Thursday, July 2, 2009

Crossing the Bridge

The past few weeks have been abuzz with Girl Scout awards events.  In addition to our big Girls Scouts of Nassau County Gold Award Ceremony on June 14th where we honored 74 girls, we were part of County Executive Tom Suozzi’s salute to this year’s Girl Scout Gold Award and Boy Scout Eagle Scouts, and a similar event hosted by Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray. 

These were all fun occasions that showcase the best and brightest of our girls. These events give girls the recognition that they know how to start a project and see it through to the end --- even if the “end” turns out to be different from how that project was first envisioned. The Girl ScoutGold Award recognizes intention, perseverance and success. 
Equally as much fun as the big events, members of the Girl Scout Board and staff have also had a dozen or more invitations to be part of awards and bridging events in Associations and even for a few very polished Troops. Participating in these events gives us a chance to see our girls shine in very up-close, personal and girl-driven events.  And we get to connect with parent and adult volunteers to thank them for their service. 

The Girl Scout bridging ceremony is a rite of passage in Girl Scouts that signifies that girls are passing from one level of Girl Scouting to the next.  I “saw” bridges that required the imagination of all in the room to picture, as well as elaborate wooden bridges that could be a tremendous addition to any garden path, decked with flowers and complete with shiny “water” running underneath.  The ten Daisies at the Union Baptist Church flew up to Brownies and performed a skit depicting Oprah’s famous “Legends’ Luncheon;” the audience of 100 women got to hear from those who broke gender and color barriers like Cecily Tyson, Ruby Dee, and Dorothy Haight.  The girls were decked out in their finest fair and guests were asked to wear dresses, hats and gloves to the afternoon tea that followed their ceremony.  It was the perfect juxtaposition of traditional lady-like traditions, while instilling in these girls a sense of their heritage and the potential for their future.

For me, in all of these wonderful events, I was touched by the patriotism of the girls, the creativity and hard work that that went into the projects, and the dedication of the girls, their Leaders, their parents and the community that came out to support them.  At the local events, local elected officials and leadership of civic organizations were much in evidence.  Everyone wanted the opportunity to salute our girls for their achievements, to recognize them with engraved certificates and have their pictures taken with our girls.
I hope that next year we get even more invitations to celebrate our girls’ achievements and awards … and to see even more girls cross those bridges to the next Girl Scout level. No matter how old a girl (or adult) may be, there is power in the Girl Scout Promise and Law, ceremonies and rituals provide us benchmarks, there is always so much more to do when we cross that bridge…

1 comment:

  1. Hi! My mom sent me the link to this blog! My little sister is in the first picture above (first from the right side on the bottom in the pink dress). I have been volunteering my time with the Union Baptist Church Girl Scout troop for months now, and I was extremely excited that you enjoyed the play that the girls performed! Mainly because I know how hard the girls worked to get their parts together, but also because I happened to write this play for them! :) I was crushed when I knew I would be away when they performed it, but my mom told me that they did a fantastic job and when I return home (I am in Spain until the end of this month) she will show me the video. I was not, however, expecting the kind words that I have seen about our girls here! I'm very happy that you enjoyed yourself! Take care!