In Girl Scouts, a bridging ceremony takes place when the girls move up to the next level of scouting. For South Orange-Maplewood girl scout troop 20277, the bridging ceremony itself was taken to a new level this month as the troop traveled to the Brooklyn Bridge.
The troop originally wanted to have their bridging ceremony at the end of the school year, but with the Service Unit Camporee and all of the end of school year activities for 5th graders, it was impossible to find a date that worked. Thus, they decided to wait until the fall.
They had a planning meeting in August to talk about the upcoming year and make a decision about the bridging ceremony. When they bridged from Brownies to Juniors they crossed Jonathan’s Bridge in Meadowland Park, South Orange. They discussed other bridges in the area when one of the scouts, Alexa, asked if the troop could cross the Brooklyn Bridge. The other girls at the meeting thought that was a great idea and it was decided that it would be a memorable trip. The leaders, Andrea Garrido, Jenn Crowley-Barnett, and Christina Keller, were a little worried about the logistics involved in getting 14 girls to New York City to cross the bridge.
After some research, and input from the girls, the leaders decided that the best plan would be to take a train from South Orange to Hoboken, then a NY Waterway ferry from Hoboken to Pier 11, followed by a NYC ferry from Pier 11 to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Once in Brooklyn, the plan was to eat some delicious New York City pizza before crossing the bridge and celebrating our accomplishment in Manhattan with ice cream. The trip home involved a walk through the beautiful Oculus to the PATH station, and a NJ Transit train back to South Orange.
While they were unable to complete all of the steps of the Junior Independence badge last year, the girls used this trip as an opportunity to use some of those independence skills. They were responsible for purchasing their ferry and train tickets and keeping track of their return tickets. It was interesting to see how the girls were a little nervous to buy their ticket from a person at a window, but had no problem figuring out the the ticket kiosk in the World Train Center to buy their PATH tickets home.
Luckily everything went smoothly other than the extreme heat. The girls were great and really didn’t complain. When they got to Manhattan, the group found a shady spot in City Hall Park where the girls put on their cadette vests for a very short ceremony followed by ice cream. After ice cream the troop walked to the WTC PATH station. The girls were amazed by the WTC Oculus and explored the area a bit before getting on the train to begin our journey home.
When asked about the experience, here are the scouts responses:
Lilah said,”traveling by ferry was great because you were able to see NYC and get a nice breeze.”
Phoebe said walking across the bridge was “super cool.”
Chloe said it was “tiring, but worth the views.”
Adriana was excited to see the Statue of Liberty.
Photos by Joy Yagid.