It’s the end of the school year and we’re completing another year of Girl Scouts. This year our troop expanded to a multi-level troop with girls ranging from 2nd grade (Brownies) to 4th grade (Juniors). The majority of our girls are bridging over to Junior Girl Scouts this year so we’re planning our big end of year Bridging Ceremony. We have so much to celebrate with these girls for all of their hard work this year.
Our troop sold over 5,500 boxes of cookies during cookie season and had a lot of money to spend on the girls and our community. We had a great outing at an aerial ropes and zip line course near us with some of the profits from cookie sales. Another large portion will go to their end of year Take Action project. They are making care packages for the families and patients at a local hospice center and delivering those in about a week (or two). Whatever funds are left after they add to their saving account for next year are being used for their end of year party and Bridging Ceremony.
Each girl earned 7-10 badges and patches throughout the year that they haven’t received yet. I try to reward them with their badges as they earn them; but somewhere around the middle of the year (cookie season) we end up working on bits and pieces of badges all at the same time. It’s always a struggle to figure out how to make a fun presentation of their badges at the end of the year and make it so the badges don’t get lost on the way home!! While on a search on Pinterest for some badge presentation ideas I found a picture (with no directions) that looked similar to the one I’ve made. It’s a construction paper vest filled with all of their badges!
We already had the supplies on hand for this part of the project. All you need is construction paper in the colors of your Girl Scout level vests or sashes and a pair of scissors.
This next part I made a rough template from hand using a heavier card stock. You can download this template here if you want to use this one. Just note that most construction paper is 9 x 12″ and most copy paper is 8.5 x 11″ so you’ll have to adjust your template slightly as you cut it. I found that it worked best if you line up the left side and trace the template, then line up the right side and trace that side. Once you get one cut out of construction paper, you can use that as your official template. (Trust me, it sounds more complicated than it is.)
Then all you need to do is cut out the vests. Each vest is made using one piece of construction paper.
You can add a coordinating piece of construction paper cut in half to the inside to resemble the Girl Scout shirt under the vest.
I used a double sided tape to attach the badges and patches to the construction paper. You could also use Badge Magic or a tiny bit of glue; just use whatever you may have available. The great thing is that there is plenty of space on the inside of the vest to attach the rest of the badges and patches that each girl earned. I used a white gel pen to personalize each vest with the girls name and year. You could get really creative with these if you had a lot of time and patience!! For those with a Cricut or Silhouette cutter you can probable design a template to cut these out for you; but it only took me a few minutes for each vest.
In addition, we bought refillable water bottles (referral link to Amazon) and personalized them with the each girl’s name using paint pens. We’ve also filled the bag with some Junior Mints for our girls who are Juniors or bridging to Juniors (don’t worry, our Brownies got some sweet treats too). The gift bags didn’t take long to make and only cost a few dollars per girl to make. We embellished each of the water bottles with a G.I.R.L. hair tie that correlates to their prominent personality trait.
I was sent these Artiqo oil based paint pens (referral link to Amazon) to try on my rock paintings. They are perfect for painting on these plastic water bottles and since they are oil-based they should be hand washable. The colors were really vibrant and the paint went on smooth.
We found these hair ties at our local Girl Scout store!!
We are now officially ready for next week’s Bridging Ceremony and party! Each girl will have their own personalize gift bag full of goodies to take home with them and (hopefully) they won’t lose their badges either! Since most of the girls are bridging up to the next level, they may decide to keep their badges on this paper vest instead of on their vest they are about to retire!!
How do you present your girls badges and patches at the end of the year? What types of special gifts and goodies do you give each girl? I’d love to see your ideas!!
Want to see our Bridging Ceremony? Follow me on Instagram @BackToCalley and I’ll share some of our afternoon with you on May 23rd. We’ve rented a shelter at a local park and plan on bridging over an actual bridge in the park. We’re having food and drinks for the girls and their families. Everyone can hang out at the park following the ceremony and celebrate with each other. Let’s just hope it’s not raining like it is this week!!