Ceremonies help Girl Scouts mark special events throughout the year, such as bridging to another level, earning a National Leadership Journey award, or getting a Girl Scout pin.
Ceremonies can commemorate accomplishments or add something special to the beginning or end of a group's meeting. Girls can plan a ceremony around a theme, such as friendship or nature, and express themselves in words or songs. Whatever its purpose, every Girl Scout ceremony helps girls share in Girl Scout history and traditions—and create special memories.
Whether you’re a new or seasoned leader, we put together this guide of Girl Scout Ceremonies to help you plan and get familiar with the traditions.
Let’s start with a quick guide on important Girl Scout Ceremonies:
- Bridging Ceremonies mark a girl's advancement from one level of Girl Scouting to another.
- Hosting a Bridging Ceremony? Check out this guide to planning your first Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony! It covers the basics and outlines some tips and key program pieces to make it traditional and unique. This ceremony is typically hosted in May or June.
- Flag Ceremonies can be part of any activity that honors the American flag. These are typically hosted at major Council or Girl Scouting events.
- A Fly-Up is a bridging ceremony for Girl Scout Brownies bridging to Girl Scout Juniors. Girls receive the Girl Scout pin along with their Brownie wings.
- Founder's Day or Juliette Gordon Low's Birthday, October 31, is a time to remember the vital role Juliette Low played in the founding and growth of the Girl Scout Movement in the United States.
- Girl Scout Birthday Ceremonies can be held on or near March 12, the date Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouting in the United States.
- A Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award Ceremony honors Girl Scouts who have earned these special awards and is usually held at the troop/group level or combined with the annual Council event.
- Girl Scouts' Own is a girl-planned program that lets girls explore their feelings around a topic, such as friendship or the Girl Scout Promise and Law, using spoken word, favorite songs, poetry, or other forms of expression. It is never a religious ceremony.
- Investiture welcomes new members—girls and adults—into the Girl Scout family for the first time. Girls receive their Girl Scout, Girl Scout Brownie, or Girl Scout Daisy pin at this time.
- Journey Ceremonies honor Girl Scouts who have earned the final award along a Journey. The ceremonies are usually held at the troop/group level and invite girls to develop a themed celebration of their Journey, often including friends and family.
- Court of Awards is a special ceremony recognizing girls’ accomplishments. Girls are presented with their badges, year pins, and other recognitions earned during the year. Volunteers may also be recognized during the ceremony. The Court of Awards can be held anytime during the year, at any location, and as often as the troop wants.
- Opening Ceremonies start a Girl Scout meeting.
- Pinning Ceremonies help celebrate when girls receive grade-level Girl Scout pins.
- Rededication Ceremonies are an opportunity for girls and adults to renew their commitment to the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
You might find yourself asking, “How do I plan this Ceremony?” As a Troop Leader, your job is to guide the girls in an age-appropriate way as THEY plan their celebration. Walk your Girl Scouts through the ceremony one step at a time. Listen to your girls’ ideas and be open to help them create the ceremony in a meaningful way. With younger Girl Scouts, you might consider giving them simple choices to make, such as choosing a theme for the event or having them pick the songs they want to sing. If your girls want to make bracelets or hold a daisy flower, for example, honor their decision-making skills and include their ideas in the ceremony.
Offer the opportunity for girls to express how important this ceremony is to them by allowing them to create invitations, ceremony programs, and decorations. When it comes time for preparation, call on your troop parents for support to help make this celebration come to life. As your girls get older, you’ll be able to turn over additional responsibilities in the planning and execution of the ceremony – keeping in mind that their ideas will change over time. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting back and watching the girl-led, learning-by-doing process unfold, leaving you with a feeling of honor and pride.