Ceremonies

To Welcome A New Year in Girl Scouting

 

 

               A Rededication Ceremony at the beginning of a new Girl Scout year is the time for girls to renew their Girl Scout Promise and think about the meaning of the Girl Scout Law. Include an Investiture Ceremony if you are adding a new girl to your troop. GSUSA provides a Ceremony Planner so that girls can be involved in planning their ceremony. GS Rededication Patches with year strips and an Investiture Patch are available.

               A Daisy Investiture is appropriate to welcome new Daisies to the world of Girl Scouting. Brownie leaders could invite their new members to take the Gold Walk, look into the Brownie Pond, or visit the Wishing Well (scroll down). The full Brownie Story might also be worked into the program. A variety of other investiture and rededication ceremonies have been written by creative leaders over the years using symbolic candles, a paper chain, flowers, gemstones, Juliette's pearl necklace, dimes, trail mix, and more.  Or, challenge your girls to write their own ceremony.

               This is also the time when girls receive their membership pins if new to their program level (ie: Daisies, recently bridged brownies & juniors, and brand new Girl Scouts). Brownies might like to do a fun skit to receive their Brownie Girl Scout pins. Some troops follow a tradition begun in Boy Scouting: ³When first presented, the pin is placed on the uniform upside down. The pin may be righted once they have completed three good deeds, one for each leaf of the trefoil.²  For the younger Brownies, leaders might say something like: ³Now every special Brownie Girl Scout, with her first good deed turns the pin about. Your Brownie promise you are about to make, but first give me the Girl Scout sign and shake.² The below poem written by Carol Lee Spages of New Jersey could be used to present girls with their new Girl Scout pin:

 

My Girl Scout Pin

By Carol Lee Spages

 

My Girl Scout pin is small in size,

But so many things are tucked inside.

Courage, honor and fairness, so true,

Make the world a better place... That's what I will do!

 

It means I am friendly to all who I know,

Considerate and caring wherever I go.

It holds a pledge that I will be strong,

And do what is right when things go all wrong.

 

It's sisterhood, adventure, discovery and fun,

It's knowing much more when the day is done.

If everyone would follow the Girl Scout way,

Wouldn't we have a wonderful U.S. of A.?

 

               Traditionally, all the girls join hands in a Friendship Circle to end their ceremony with a song and/or Friendship Squeeze.  One of the more popular closing songs is Make New Friends (add a new verse each year).

               Older girls might enjoy doing the Friendship Weave while singing the song, Weave. Music for the song is printed in the Sangam Songbook, pg 119. The following instructions are provided by Kermit (from the GirlSing Task Group, GS Pacific Peaks Council):

1.        Form a circle, nice and comfortable, shoulders close.

2.       Right hand up (hand you use for the Girl Scout Sign)

3.       Gently drop your right hand down, placing it in front of the belly button of the person on your right.

4.       Now put your left hand up, and gently drop it down, and take the hand you find in front of the belly button of the person on your left.  NOTE: You do not hold the hand of the person next to you. Your arms are open to receive a hug, not crossed.

5.       One person (the Leader) has both arms over to start the weave.

6.       On the first beat of the song, the leader raises her left arm while maintaining the hold of the hand.  When her hand gently touches the back of the person on her left then that person weaves her left arm back.  This is like a wave.

7.       If the circle finishes before the song is over, you can reverse weave, or just sway back and forth with the music.

 

               Should your number of girls not exactly match the parts listed in a prepared ceremony, girls can always split a few of the longer parts, or some may volunteer to handle more than one part.  Also consider that many candle ceremonies could be adapted to make a paper chain when you find yourself outside on a windy day or with younger girls who aren't quite ready to "hold fire". Another option is to dim the lights and use flashlights instead of candles. 

               A number of ceremony props are available for troop loan from the Council Office including flags, flag stands, and various uniforms. Please refer to page 63 of your Managing the GS Troop booklet for local procedures.

 

 

Updated August 2009