June 11 2004

NEW BRIDGING CEREMONY, OLD GIRL SCOUT TRADITION

768 San Diego Girl Scouts marked program advancement with council-wide event

More than 750 Girl Scouts from Oceanside to San Ysidro and from Pt. Loma to Jamul made history recently when they gathered in Balboa Park for San Diego-Imperial Council’s first-ever council-wide bridging ceremony. From five-year-old Daisy Girl Scouts to 17-year-old Senior Girl Scouts, these girls celebrated graduating—or “bridging”—from one program age level to the next by crossing the historic Cabrillo Bridge together. The ceremony began in Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion, where the emcee, resident camp staffer Natalie Priester, led the Girl Scouts and their families in camp songs, and Brownie Troop #3423 performed a flag ceremony. Participants recited the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law together, and sang songs. Council Chief Executive Officer Jo Dee Jacob discussed the significance of both the ceremony and the bridge to San Diego Girl Scouts. (Built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the bridge preceded the arrival of Girl Scouting in San Diego by just two years.)

After walking, skipping, running—and even wheeling—through the brightly colored arch marking the end of Cabrillo Bridge, elated troops tossed their Girl Scout vests and sashes into the air and joined family and friends for celebratory picnics and games. Post-bridging festivities included service projects benefiting Mama’s Kitchen, Children’s Hospital and Meals on Wheels; crafts; and a puppet demonstration.


Brownie Troop #3423 from City Heights and Oak Park after doing flag duty Sunday at the annual Girl Scout Gold Award ceremony. (Left to right): Monica Longworth, Stephany Martinez (in sweater), Zoe Dejecacion, Sylvia Longworth, Katelynn Peterson and Alexandra Delgado.

The bridging ceremony has traditionally marked a milestone in the lives of Girl Scouts throughout the country. The symbolic bridging ceremony promotes personal growth by prompting girls to reflect on past challenges and achievements while preparing for future endeavors.

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