Monday, May 16, 2016

3 Important Things Daisy Girl Scout Leaders Need to Know About Bridging to Brownie Scouts

Updated October 2019

Girl Scout bridging is the hot topic on the Facebook groups where I belong, as well as the Girl Scout forums I read. Daisy leaders have so many questions and concerns since they have not done this before. As an experienced leader of a few of these ceremonies, here is my advice to you.

First and foremost, KEEP IT SIMPLE! You are not throwing a graduation party or a Sweet 16, this is a small ceremony for the girls-not their parents! Your troop is comprised of 6 and 7 year olds and you have to plan things accordingly. While it is important to make it meaningful, the meaning has to be for the girls who are bridging.

Useful bridging ceremony tips for Daisy leaders to help them plan their troop's ceremony.

Photo from Pixabay

My Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony lasted about fifteen minutes and took place during our regular meeting time at our regular meeting place. What made this more special than a regular meeting was the fact that parents were there and we served light refreshments at the end. No marching band, no parade, no get my drift. 

I guess I was lucky because we bridged before the Pinterestification of motherhood. When I started my Girl Scout troop, there was very little information on the internet about how to lead a troop or conduct a Girl Scout bridging ceremony. I did what I could with the tools I had. With Pinterest, a place that I love and adore for getting ideas to tweak and make my own, the stakes have gotten higher. From what I am reading, leaders are stressing over a simple short ceremony for first graders. What is going to happen when their daughters get married?

Your Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony does not have to be Pinterest worthy! I did not even take photos of what I did years ago..I just had pictures taken with the girls. Even my oldest daughter's bridging ceremony was a simple affair that I remember well.

To Gift or Not to Gift

Photo from Pixabay

Another topic that has leaders stressing is what to give your troop as bridging gifts. This is a choice that all leaders must make. You already give your girls the best gift of all-your time! Giving a small present from your co-leader and you is not required.

What concerns me is the time and effort other leaders put into homemade bridging gifts that make other leaders feel like they have to do the same. 

If you enjoy searching for ideas, shopping for crafts, and spending time creating something, then go ahead and do it! For a bridging to Brownies gifts, I bought each girl a box of Brownie mix. When they bridged to Juniors, their gift was their part of the bridge that my co-leader and I made one afternoon while our kids played. It took less than an hour and I bought all of the supplies in one place.

Do not feel pressured into doing something big if you do not want to. No one is going to think less of you if you don't have a razzle dazzle gift to the troop. Each troop is unique and each leader has her own way of doing things. A store bought present is also fine to give as well, if you are so inclined.  

Should Leaders Buy Brownie Uniforms?

Photo from Pixabay

If you are bridging in the late spring or over the summer, you may want your girls to have their vests for the ceremony. Who should pay for the uniforms?

If you sell cookies and have a nice chunk of change in your bank account, you may be considering purchasing the uniforms, pins and patches for your soon-to-be Brownie troop. In my opinion, this is not a good use of your money. I wrote a very detailed blog post about this on my main Girl Scout blog, (you can read it here). I have never purchased uniforms for my girls. Parents need to have some skin in the game. What if a family moves or a girl changes her mind and does not want to be a Brownie in the fall? While some leaders believe that the vest is hers because she fundraised for it (and this is true), why would you want to risk losing this money? I am sure you can find many other ways to spend the money.

If your troop has children who come from a lower income area and buying a uniform may be a financial hardship, then why not wait until fall after the girls have registered and then you can buy the vests. Financial aid is available for these girls.

Last, you can have parents pay for a portion of the uniform and the troop pays for the other portion. 

Your Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony should be a time for celebration, not a source of stress. Keep it simple!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Summer Olympics Party Idea for Daisy Girl Scout Troops Who Are Not Bridging

*This post contains affiliate links.

Update May 2019

The end of the scouting year is fast approaching, and if your troop is completing its first year of Daisy Girl Scouts, then you will want to end the year on a high note. A party is just what you need to have to celebrate your accomplishments (you did it!) as a troop.

If you do plan on a big end-of-year bash, then make sure that you have enough volunteers lined up to make it a success.

One idea I wrote about last year was to host a Daisy Girl Scout tea party. You can find the party plans here in this blog post. With the 2016 Summer Olympics just around the corner, why not host an Olympic themed event for your troop?

Ideas for having an Olympics party for your Girl Scout meeting

Photo from Pixabay

Olympics Party

This summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janerio. Why not host a Daisy Girl Scout Olympics for an active and spirited meeting?

Since the girls are going to be very active, make sure they come dressed appropriately with shorts, short sleeved shirts, hair tied back and sunscreen. If you plan on having any water games, have the girls wear a bathing suit under their clothing and a towel to dry off.

Opening Ceremony

Have the girls stand in a line as you or your co-leader runs to them with the Official Olympic themed music and an Olympic torch. Pass the torch down the line and at the end, the last girl will pretend to "light" the official fire. This fire can double as a table centerpiece for the party.

Girl Scout Olympic Games for an end of year party or summer meeting

Girl Scout Summer Meeting Ideas-Host an Olympics Event

Games to Play

Here is where the fun starts! Your co-leader and you will need to overplan the games to ensure that you do not run out of ideas. These games do not have to be complicated-quite the opposite. Make them fun and simple to execute so everyone will have a great time! You will need at least two teams for each game.

Here are just a few ideas.

Water Relay Races 

Since the weather is warm, why not have some water races? Have a bucket fill with water on one side and the girls have to use a measuring cup to scoop out the water, pass it down the line, and fill another bucket at the end of the line.

Another play on this idea is to use a very large sponge to soak up water and then wring out on the other side. The girl who wrings it out runs to the front of the line to put the sponge in the bucket to soak up the water.

A third option is to have the girls race with water balloons in their hands. They have to toss it to the next person in line once the race is complete. If the balloon drops, give the girl another one.

Hula Hoop Games

You will need a timer for each leader. Give one girl on each team a hula hoop and time her. Record the time. The team with the biggest amount of time actively using the hula hoop is the winner.

Line up Hula Hoops in a staggered line. Girls have to race through the hoops to the other side.

Ball and Throwing Games

Some of the Olympic games for Track and Field are based on throwing (javelin, discus). Why not do a few of your own for some games to show a girl's personal best?

You can toss a frisbee or a ball of any size. Place markers or measure where it lands. If the girls enjoy soccer, you can do some kicking games as well.

Awards Ceremony

Hand each girl a medal and then play the National Anthem like they do on television.

Food to Serve

There is no need to get fancy-the girls need something refreshing to eat. Have a Make Your Own Sundae bar and some Olympic themed cupcakes.