Submitted by Ann Marie R. Harvie
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Girl Scouts held their annual Bridging Ceremony Sept. 13 at Trinity Episcopal Church, as 114 girls crossed the ceremonial bridge to their new level.
This year’s ceremony was like no other – a lot of adjustments had to be made in order to make the event a possibility. The ceremony was broken up into separate sessions and held outside to keep the number of girls to a minimum. Girls wore masks as they crossed the bridge individually, taking them off briefly to smile for a photographer. Parents and family members cheered for their girls in the comfort and safety of their cars. Erin Ryan, registrar for Shrewsbury Girl Scouts, served as emcee for the day and called the names of the girls as they crossed the bridge to start their adventures at the next level.
Members of Daisy Troops 65087 and 60527, the youngest members of Girl Scouts, were the first to cross over the bridge to Brownies. Two Brownie Troops (30705 and 303012) bridged over to Juniors and three Junior Troops (30050, 30308, and 30582) crossed over to Cadettes.
For the older Girl Scouts, members of Troop 11087 and Troop 11571 crossed over from Cadettes to Seniors. Three Senior Troops bridged to Ambassadors. Troop leaders from 11128 watched as eight of their girls crossed over the bridge to become Ambassadors; Troop 11140 crossed four girls over; and Troop 30587 had five girls bridge to the next level.
Finally, Ambassadors who moved on to become Adult Girl Scouts were Haley Adams, Olivia Costa, Anna Courtemanche and Cora-Ann Matthews.
In addition to girls crossing over the bridge to the next level, several troops and individual girls received high honors for projects they created to benefit the community. Two troops received Bronze Awards, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can achieve. Troop 30993 received the Bronze for their project, “Blazing a Trail.” Troop 30050 earned their Bronze Award by holding a toiletry drive to benefit Veterans Inc., in Worcester.
Members of two Troops, 11087 and 30304, were awarded the Silver Award – the highest award Cadettes can achieve – for projects that included building a gaga pit in Shrewsbury and raising awareness of the decline of pollinators.
In addition, Rebecca Fox, Troop 30050 received the esteemed Stand Tall Patch from the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts (GSCWM) for exemplifying confidence and resourcefulness in a medical emergency.
Adult Girl Scouts and Girl Scout Leaders also received prestigious awards from GSCWM – Sue Fournier received the Evergreen Award; Ann Marie Harvie received the Outstanding Volunteer Award; and Greta Koning and Maria Guillily both received the Rising Star Award.
The final awards were the Adult Girl Scout and Girl Scout Leader Length of Service Awards: Violetta Sobiech – 35 years; Martha Gach – 30 years; Christin Manos – 20 years; Ann Marie Harvie – 10 years; and Alana Dros, Greta Koning, Jennifer Kuhnel, Jamie Kulchy and Cristina Luther – five years.
Patricia Minton, Marcia Pereria and Amy Blessington were instrumental in organizing and executing this year’s bridging ceremony.