By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development
As springs gets into full swing over the next few weeks and as the end of the school year starts to be in our sights, many troops begin to think about ways to recognize the girls for the awards they have earned, and also to celebrate girls’ achievements of moving up to a new level in Girl Scouts.
An end of year Court of Awards and Bridging ceremony is the perfect way to recognize girls’ hard work, celebrate success, and involve families.
A Court of Awards ceremony may include one or more troops/groups or several in an area. It is a time to pause and give recognition to the girls or adults who have accomplished something. The ceremony may include the distribution of badges, Journey awards, participation patches, or anything else that girls are eligible to receive as a result of their initiative and their troop/group program activities.
Time should be allowed for girls to really achieve something before this ceremony is held, and can be held as many times during the year as you choose. A flag ceremony to open the Court of Awards is always appropriate. The leader can give a summary of activities and service projects accomplished during the year, and review some of the hard work that has gone to the earning of badges, both by the group and by individual girls. The awards are presented to each girl individually.
A Bridging ceremony marks the end of one level and the beginning of another in Girl Scouting. The “bridge,” or crossing over into a new program level, can be symbolized in different ways. Use your Imagination!
Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways has training resources for troop leaders on these topics, as well as many other topics. For more information, and to find those training resources, visit the council website at www.gsnypenn.org