Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Ultimate Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony Guide

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At the end of first grade, Daisy Girl Scouts who choose to continue their scouting experience will become Brownie Girl Scouts in second grade. A bridging ceremony to celebrate this Scouting milestone is typically held during the last meeting, although it can take place over the summer or even at your first meeting in the fall. While I highly recommend having the ceremony at the end of the year so it feels like an accomplishment after a year (or two) of earning petals and doing service, you, as the leader, need to figure out what is best for your troop. 

This is an important event in the life of a Girl Scout, parents are invited to witness their daughter's transition from Daisy to Brownie.

Here is my updated 2017 guide for planning your Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony.


Complete Guide for planning your Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony
Photo from Pixabay

Important Decisions to Make Before Your Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony


Time and Date

There are several things your co-leader and you need to discuss and decide before your bridging ceremony. The first is the place and the time. Since meeting dates are known in advance, this would be the best time, in my opinion, to have your ceremony. After all, this time slot is already carved out in the child's weekly schedule. If your meeting time is after school, then parents should be notified of the bridging ceremony about two months beforehand. This is necessary because parents who work full-time will need to be able to arrange their work schedules to attend. It is also necessary to give ample notice so parents with other children can arrange for childcare for them if they are young and may disrupt the bridging ceremony.

New Uniforms

Once you have established the time and date of the bridging ceremony, then you need to decide who is going to buy the vest or sash, pins and patches...will it be the parents or the troop? I am firmly against troop funds being used to buy these items, as time and again, I have read in Girl Scout forums and Facebook groups how leaders buy them, as well as the tabs, pins, and patches, only to have a girl not return in the fall. Your troop has now lost this money, which could have been used for earning Brownie Badges or taking a field trip.

Parents need to have some skin in the game. It needs to cost them money, the same way a sport or dance class costs them money. Dance studios do not buy each child's costume for the year end recital, parents do. Teams do not buy cleats for the team, parents do. While I understand that some leaders want their girls to be self-sufficient and pay for all troop related costs, it is not wise to spend money on an unknown. I did have one girl bridge from Daisies to Brownies, only to have her not return in the fall. Her parents bought her vest for the bridging ceremony, so they were out the money, not my troop bank account.
Even if a girl loves your troop and being a Girl Scout, schedules change. What was a free time in first grade many not be free time in second grade, and therefore she will not be able to continue with your troop or with scouting at all.

If you want to give the girls something when they bridge that does not cost a fortune from your troop account, here is a site where you can download a free printable Daisy to Brownie Bridging certificate.

But if you feel strongly about buying the girls their new Brownie uniform, email the parents asking for the size their daughter needs (I suggest going up one size as girls will grow in two years). Then you can make your life easier and buy most of the uniform online. You can find all your Girl Scout supplies, except for your local Council ID badge sets, (they do have a few of those on the site), here at Boscovs.

Brownie Girl Scout vest for Daisy to Brownie Bridging Ceremony


Brownie Girl Scout tab for Daisy to Brownie Bridging Ceremony




Brownie Girl Scout Bridging Arc for Daisy to Brownie Bridging Ceremony



What to Serve

Since this is a celebration, of course you will be serving food! Create a Sign Up Genius event (my PTA and synagogue use this for organizing their events and it rocks!) and then put enough items on the list so that everyone is able to sign up to bring something. On your sign up list, make sure there is a place for parents to RSVP how many guests they will be bringing so people know how much to buy or make. Keep it simple; finger foods work best with younger children. Here are some ideas:

Plates
Napkins
Plastic Table Covering
Juice Boxes
Pony sized water bottles
Donut holes
Cookies
Hershey Kisses
Mini cupcakes
Veggies and dip
Fruit (grapes, strawberries, bags of pre-sliced apples)
Hummus and pita chips
Brownies (of course!)

Before you make your list public via a troop email, be sure that your co-leader and you sign up for what you want to bring. Make it easy on yourself! Personally, I always brought the paper plates. The theme for bridging is a rainbow. Here are some fun party goods for your celebration.


Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony paper goods for your celebration



Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony party supplies-napkins


Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony party supplies-rainbow tablecoth


The Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout Bridge

One of my mottos in life is to keep it simple. Complicated is too...complicated! When my troop bridged, I took two large pieces of oaktag, cut them in half, and taped them together to look like a bridge. Then I made "steps" on green construction paper and wrote one word on each...."Now I am a Brownie Girl Scout." The girls walked along it and crossed over to my co-leader, their parents, and myself. 

The Ceremony

Remember that your girls are only in first grade. Keep the ceremony short and simple! You will want to spend your meeting before the bridging ceremony practicing what will happen so girls will not be surprised. Young children like to know what to expect.

We had the girls do the Pledge of Allegiance, the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law. Then I said a few words about what we had done with the girls over the past two years. The girls sang "I've Got Something in My Pocket" and used the word "Daisy" for "Brownie". 
Then we called each girl one at a time. Her parent helped her put on the Brownie vest, and I pinned on her pins while my co-leader took a picture. We handed each girl a bridging certificate and a baggie with her bridging patch in it.
After each girl crossed the bridge, we sang "I've Got Something in My Pocket" and said "Brownie smile" extra loud. Then we took hands with the parents, did our friendship squeeze, and sang "Make New Friends". 
Then we had our refreshments. 

Here are some other Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremonies to inspire your own.












This easy Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony is one your co-leader and you can easily put together.  It is a great way to end this chapter of your Girl Scout leadership!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

How to Earn Three Daisy Petals With One Two Liter Bottle

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As a Daisy Scout leader, you are responsible for planning activities to earn Daisy petals. Since a young troop is starting out, there is very little money in the troop bank account. Therefore, it is your responsibility to make good use of whatever dues you collect.
The following activity costs very little money. It is a great craft to do in the spring, especially around Earth Day on April 22nd. This craft is not only inexpensive, but your girls can also earn three Daisy petals:
How to Earn Three Daisy Petals With One Two Liter Bottle

Photo from Pixabay

Before the Meeting

About two weeks before your meeting, send an email to the parents to let them know that you will be needing a washed out two liter soda bottle that has already been cut in half. The bottom half will be used as a planter. As always, be sure to bring an extra one or two for those girls who forget to bring the needed materials.
You will also need to buy:


  • Potting soil (a five pound bag should be enough)
  • One package of daisy seeds
  • Small gardening shovel
  • Water
  • Pencils
  • Water can or cup for watering
  • Sharpie marker
  • Stickers to decorate

Each girl needs to bring an empty, washed out 2 liter soda bottle that has been cut in half. A clear one works best. The bottom half will be used as the planter. As always, be sure to bring an extra one or two for those girls who forget to bring the needed materials.
You will also have to get a copy of one of my favorite children's books, Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney.


How to Earn Three Daisy Petals With One Two Liter Bottle



At the Meeting
As always, at the start of the meeting, we talked about the petals we were going to earn and what they meant. Then I read Miss Rumphius. This story ties in directly with all three petals. Miss Rumphius promises her grandfather that she will make the world a better place. The book tells how she goes about doing this, despite physical obstacles of her own.
After you read and discuss the story, have each girl take out her two liter bottle. Before you begin, write the girls' names on the bottom and at the very top with the Sharpie marker. Help the girls fill them with soil and poke holes in it with the pencil. Drop in the seeds and cover them up with the dirt. Lightly water the soil so it is moist. The girls can decorate the bottle with the stickers that you have brought.
For early finishers, be sure to have some coloring pages or some puzzle pages handy. If you are doing a perpetual Girl Scout scrapbook, be sure to take a photo of the girl and her plant.

At the next few meetings, ask the girls about their plant's progress!
This simple activity is perfect for earning the green Daisy petal, yellow Daisy petal and the rose Daisy petal.