Will your scout troop bridge in the spring or in the fall? What is the best month for bridging? There are great reasons both for bridging in the spring or waiting for the fall.
Bridging Daisy leader question: What month is best for bridging?
Our Facebook leaders responded and shared their opinions:
- Kristina responded: For our troop the best month for bridging is at the end of the year in June. We know we have some girls not returning next year but want to celebrate them before they go. We do investiture, bridging and end of year celebrations here. Plus a potluck to wrap up a fun year.
- Melinda shared: I am a leader for my graddaughter’s troop and our troop bridged in August or September because I needed to finish up a journey with them in the summer. But when I did my daughters’ troops years ago, we did it in the spring.
- Amanda suggests: The month that works for your families. We bridge in May.
- Courtney’s plans: This is our first year but I ended up with kindergarten and first graders so we will bridge and rededicate every year. School is out the very end of May here. We will have our Bridging and Rededication on the first Saturday of June after the end of school business and sports tournaments are over. I don’t want to use troop funds for uniforms in case some don’t return.
- Dona looks for parent input: The best month for bridging depends on the schedules of your families more than anything so ask the parents. I used to do all bridging middle of June right before school got out and I wouldn’t see the girls for a while. One year I waited till September after school started again because we had done a lot during the summer with the troop which we usually didn’t. So we did a combination bridging and rededication ceremony. I personally prefer doing it at the end of the school year though.
- Susan shared: Our Service Unit holds bridging for all levels in May. In this area girls do camping and other summer activities for the grade they are entering. Our troop does not supply uniforms, so that’s up to the parent. For some of our families, a new vest every two years is not in the budget, so we don’t stress over uniforms until they are Cadettes.
- Tracy also considers the girls levels for summer camping: I prefer spring because if the girl goes to summer camp she is doing Brownie activities. She may think she is still a Daisy if she hasn’t done the ceremony yet.
- Deb also feels spring bridging is less confusing for girls: We celebrate at the end of the year in May. Our girls can hit the ground running at the correct level when school starts in August. This also avoids the weirdness of having new girls join as Brownies but returning girls still being Daises for a few weeks until they bridge. Unless you meet over the summer so you have several meetings to plan bridging. It always took my girls a few meetings to plan ceremonies and bridging at that age anyway. Besides, fall is crazy busy with all the back to school stuff going on. And if a girl isn’t continuing, she misses out on her bridging award if she earned it in the spring.
- Pamela likes a fall ceremony: I like fall, because the uniform is discounted, and there are less scheduling conflicts.
- Elizabeth’s response: We bridge in May as our end of year party. We do not buy informs since we aren’t sure who is returning in the Fall. We give the girl the new pin, bridge and wings patches only.
- Jody suggested: We do May as well. Ours is bridging (if applicable) and court of awards. It’s always our last meeting night of the Scout year. So we give out the final batch of patches, badges and pins that were earned during the last few months. We don’t meet over the summer except for an occasional get together or community event that parents might post about on Facebook. Our girls are happy as can be with a certificate and their bridging arc. So I definitely wouldn’t worry about having new vests for them or anything. We bought vests in the fall for the girls but parents had some pins and tabs to purchase. If you troop has parents pay for uniform items, it’s a good time to include a printout of what they need to purchase over the summer before meeting back in the fall. Our list was attached to the bridging arc and Brownie wings when we bridged up to Juniors. It had a note stating those patches went on the new uniform and here is what you need to buy. It helped a ton.
- Tracy’s troop also prefers spring: We do May, the last meeting before summer break. I know the scouting year is technically 9/30 and I can see maybe waiting to buy patches and pins for those you know are returning, but fall is very busy with back-to-school, rededication ceremony, etc. We use ours as an end of year celebration as well with a reception, recognizing perfect attendance, giving out cookie rewards, etc. The girls buy their own uniforms so that’s never been an issue with us. I also want to recognize them and just have fun after a hard working cookie season.
- Paige reminds us your troop ceremony season may vary: As you get older, you may find that you need the summer months and early fall to finish up work so bridging can be different from year to year.
- Dawn replied: We always did it in June after school ended but just after. Parents were warned months in advance though. Always worked out for my troops we would have a celebration and camping trip.
- Jill’s experience: We do ours in the fall. We have a family picnic and start the year off. Everyone is so busy at the end of the school year with tournaments, championships, spring sports starting etc. so it’s hard to find a date that works. It seems like everyone has a better schedule at start of the school year. Also, you know who is definitely returning. Our troop made the mistake of spending troop funds on uniforms to have some not return. We’ve already set our date for Fall 2017. We do a little pizza party celebration at last meeting in spring but bridging is saved for fall.
- Amanda explains why she likes spring: We have always used spring bridging as an end of year celebration. Also, if you wait until fall and one or more girls can’t come back to the troop for whatever reason, then they won’t be able to be celebrated for their accomplishments along with the returning members. Just a thought! Enjoy it either way, and Happy Scouting!.
- Cathy is trying something new this year: We did May when we went from Daisies to Brownies. But we plan to do August this year for going from Brownies to Juniors. Everyone just has too much going on this spring. We also plan to use it as a kick off for the next year.
- Marilou replied: We always have had bridged in May because it is traditionally the end of school year. So far they have kept it that way. You can do your own but our service unit does one that is cool.
- Kimberly shared: We do May. I think of it as an end of year thing, like a graduation. Then you can use summer to get a jump on the next year.
- Aimee responded: I like fall because you have a better idea of who is returning. I combine it with an investiture and rededication ceremony so everyone is included. It’s a great way to start the year.
- Sheila’s response: We bridge in June. As the troop leader, I hang on to all the next level vests, which our troop pays for, until the fall to make sure girls are coming back.
Whenever you decide to bridge, remember to get your girls a bridging fun patch to add to their new vest. You can find fun patches for your celebrations at MakingFriends® .com.
You can also celebrate your troop bridging with a Bridging Troop SWAP pin.