Monday, June 4, 2012

To the Next Step... Bridging to Brownies

Well, as Sharpay sings in High School Musical, "we've arrived because we stuck together."  For the past two years, our sweet group of girls has been working together to earn their Daisy petals.  They completed the two required bridging steps earlier this spring by hosting an Ice Cream Social.  The first step is to "Pass it On."  The girls in our troop shared their experiences as Daisy Girl Scouts with younger girls who may one day wish to be a Daisy.  The second step is to "Look Ahead."  The girls in our troop arranged time to spend with Brownies who described to us what it is like to participate in Girl Scouts at the next level.   

Our troop participated in a Bridging to Brownies badge workshop offered at a local park.  For a nominal fee, a Park Naturalist guided the girls through this program.  They completed about two-thirds of the requirements for the Outdoor Adventurer badge which was previously offered as a Brownie Try-It.  The girls discussed how to dress for the weather.  They planned what to take on a day hike, and they prepared a trail mix.  During a hike through the woods, they participated in a Touch, Smell, Listen exercise.  We scheduled an informal bridging ceremony immediately following the badge program. 

We gathered around a 15-foot bridge that crossed a beautiful creek that cut through the middle of the park.  I welcomed everyone and thanked them for joining us for this special occasion.  I had fully intended to begin the bridging ceremony by reciting the Girl Scout Promise and the Pledge of Allegiance. I wanted to share a brief version of the Brownie story before introducing each girl and allowing her to repeat the rhyme (see below):

     In England, many people tell stories about little people called Brownies.  They look a little bit like elves.  The old folktales say that Brownies would sneak into houses at night to do chores for people while they were asleep.  To find a Brownie, you had to hike into the woods and ask the Wise Old Owl.
The owl would tell you to walk to a nearby pond, turn around three times and say,
“Twist me and turn me and show me the elf, I looked in the water and there saw…” When you looked into the water, you would see your own reflection.  You could then finish the rhyme:  “Twist me and turn me and show me the elf, I looked in the water and there saw MYSELF.” 
This story is a fun way to show you that you don’t have to wait for someone else to
make things better.  You are Girl Scouts who are working to make the world a better place.

Unfortunately the mosquitoes were eating us alive.  I was trying to hurry, and to be quite honest, I forgot my initial plan.  We did announce each girl individually, and they walked across the bridge.  As each girl bridged, she received a gift bag that included her Brownie membership pin, the Bridge to Brownie Girl Scouts Award (the rainbow patch), a membership star for the year with the blue Daisy disc.  They also received a gold Anniversary Membership Disc which represents being a Girl Scout during the 100th Anniversary.  I included a small slip of paper in each bag that explained the meanings of the recognitions.  The gift bags were purchased from Dollar Tree (3 for $1).  The Daisy Girl Scout stickers were purchased from Michael's, using a 40% off coupon.  The Daisy stickers were also purchased from Michael's with a coupon.  I happened to have the sheer blue ribbon and the royal blue tissue paper in my stash of craft and gift wrapping supplies. 

I was SUPER excited to present each girl with a handmade plaque to commemorate their year(s) as Daisy Girl Scouts.  I was inspired by this pin on Pinterest.  I purchased the unfinished wooden plaques at Michael's for $0.99 each.  I used a 40% off coupon to buy the 8oz bottle of Cobalt Blue Apple Barrel paint that is originally priced around $4.  I also used a coupon to purchase the white paint pen that costs $4.  I found the multi-colored Daisy ribbon at JoAnn Fabric.  Of course, I used a coupon for this purchase as well, saving $1.75.  I had a bottle of Mod Podge (8oz--gloss) on hand.  A bottle will cost between $3 and $4.  Taking into account the cost of all supplies required to make this plaque, I spent less around $2 to make each one. 

We invited all the families to attend the bridging ceremony.  We encouraged them to bring a picnic dinner so we could celebrate the troop's graduation to the next level of Girl Scouts.  There are so many different ways to recognize your troop's accomplishments.  I would love to hear about your bridging ceremonies.  Thanks for reading! 

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