This year’s Girl Scout bridging was much different than usual. On September 20th, Hsi Lai’s Girl Scout Troop 18894 made history: the very first virtual Bridging Ceremony. During this ceremony, several girls transition to the next steps in their journey as Girl Scouts, also known as “bridging” to the next rank. This event is significant because girls take a moment to appreciate and honor their growth throughout the year. Our Cadette Girl Scouts, Molly Huang and Allison Chieh, successfully planned and guided the girls through this event. Despite the challenges of hosting a special Girl Scout event virtually, the Scouts kept their spirits up and overcame these hurdles.
The ceremony began with the Scout tradition: the flag ceremony. The Scouts recited the Pledge of Allegiance with their right hand over their hearts, followed by the Girl Scout Promise accompanied by the three-finger salute. After concluding the flag ceremony, Venerable Zhi Ching shared her insightful speech with all the attendees. Girls in the call were reminded of the importance of moving forward, the responsibilities of being a Girl Scout, and how each phase in our journey will move each girl closer to becoming a young lady.
Following Venerable Zhi Ching’s speech came the troop custom of singing the Girl Scout song “Make New Friends.” “Make new friends, but keep the old…” This song stemming from the 1960s holds great significance to the Girl Scout way because it reminds the girls that no matter whom you meet along your voyage in life, it is vital never to abandon old friends. Yet we must also welcome new ones with a warm smile.
After singing “Make New Friends,” another critical event followed: presenting colored objects that align with the Girl Scout Law. The troop could not meet in person, so as a result, girls were instructed to choose an item of importance to them that is the shade of their assigned color. These colors represent the essential roots of being a Girl Scout. Afterward came the titular event- the bridging between levels. Many girls bridged to become Junior Girl Scouts, Senior Girl Scouts, and Ambassador Girl Scouts. In all the previous years, before the COVID-19 pandemic, girls would cross over a physical bridge to symbolize the passing of phases. However, in these changing times, many members improvised by using objects such as blankets, yoga mats, and boxes. The Bridging Ceremony concluded with the newly transitioned girls reciting the promise once more to welcome the year 2020-2021 and a new phase of their stories.