Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony
I pulled out my old vest and got mistaken for a scout!
Me and Susan from GS Western Ohio Council!
July 22nd was the first ever Bridge to the Future event hosted by Girl Scouts Great Rivers Council, formerly Great Rivers Council(I'm telling my age). This particular even was really special because current Scouts "bridged" to the next level in scouting on the Purple People bridge that connects Cincinnati to Newport, Kentucky. I got an email earlier in the year asking for any Girl Scout alumnae to come out and help the girls bridge by pinning them. I was all over it and so was my mom who was sort of my.. mom-ager when I was younger. Earlier during the week, my mom asked me if I had registered and I hadn't because I wasn't sure if I would be in town or not. Two days before the event, I searched my email and the council website for directions to sign up and ended up leaving a voicemail late at night with my contact information. I got a call back from council the next day and it was confirmed that I'd be attending. Yay!
Fast forward to the morning of the bridging event and it was sort of difficult to get out of bed. I wanted a little more sleep and my friend had a going away party the night before. I thought to myself "there's next year" and "they'll have plenty of people, they won't miss me. After all, I did register late," But another voice took over and told me that it was my duty to show up for the scouts who would be bridging. I knew that there were going to be a few young Black girls who would be amongst the crowd and I wanted to be that figure to show them that 1) Black girls love Scouts and 2) Black girls go FAR in Scouts! I grabbed my vest, cute green shorts, my white shirt, and headed out the door to welcome girls to the next level. I arrived on the Newport side of the bridge, looked for the sign-in table and saw familiar faces that I've know for nearly 15 years! It felt great. It was really hot outside and it was only 9am but I was so excited. I was directed to the front of the line with the other alumnae and it wasn't as large of a group as I expected. There were maybe 12 of us, two of us younger, and I was the only woman of color. It was something I've been used to and gave me a bit more pride. While standing in line, I began talking with other women about scouts and how awesome this event was. I met a older woman( mid-50s)who is a Occupational Therapist and said that she not only became interested in OC because of Scouts but she got her job because of Scouts. During her time in the organization, she wanted to make the camp more accessible and she talked about helping to carry people because there weren't any ramps. That was the basis of her Gold Award project and set the trajectory of her career. Another woman next to me suggested that I go for the gold award. I was wearing my vest so I guess she might assume that I was a current Scout. I responded, "I earned my Gold Award 10 years ago!" She thought I said "two years ago" and said that she may have been on the committee when I got mine. I was flattered but I repeated myself and clarified and said "10 years ago. I got mine in 2007." We laughed it off and got ready for our walk. We were the first to move in the procession followed by Seniors, Cadettes, Junior, Brownies, and Daisy Scouts. We led the group onto the bridge and proceeded to recite the Law and Promise like old times. Walking to the center of the bridge, we took our places and were handed a bunch of pins on green ribbon to place around the girls' necks. Group by group, girls would come and we would shake each other's left hand, hold up our GS 3's, and I'd congratulate them while pinning. It was fun to see girls of all ages and backgrounds together.