It’s a special time when a Girl Scout graduates from one program level to another. This transition to the next level in Girl Scouting, known as “bridging”, is an opportunity to progress as well as experience more adventures with your troop, learn new skills, and seek new challenges! This article for troop leaders explains how to make the bridging transition smooth and special.
Prepare for the Transition with Your Girl Scouts
Prior to bridging, your troop can test the waters by meeting with Girl Scouts who are in the program level to which your girls will be transitioning. You can also go through the next program level’s Girl Scout materials for a discussion about what’s similar or different.
Get Materials and Review Resources
Check out the next level’s Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting and Journey books. At every program level, Girl Scouts can earn Journey awards, skill-building badges, and legacy badges. The year plan for your new Girl Scout level will help you break down your upcoming year into manageable steps.
See our detailed articles and search for more information about your new program grade level.
Make it Special with a Bridging Ceremony
Every Girl Scout graduating from a program grade level bridges. To make bridging special, your troop can optionally earn the Bridge Award by completing bridging steps in the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting. You can even have a bridging ceremony where troops cross over a bridge—real or symbolical—to symbolize each child’s advancement in Girl Scouts. Sometimes these are combined with a Court of Awards ceremony.
The older your troop gets, the more hands-off your role as a troop leader should be. You’ll want to let the troop lead more as they progress into higher program levels. See our article, Letting Girl Scouts Take the Lead, for a detailed guide to age-based, progressive Girl Scout leadership.
Families also become more comfortable as volunteers as their child progresses! You can ask families to become more involved in the troop and share their skills with the troop. As Girl Scouts get older, their ideas get bigger. If they want to try activities that you or troop families aren’t comfortable leading, reach out to your local Service Unit to connect with volunteers who have the expertise your Girl Scouts are interested in, and they may be able to help.