Bridging is the term that Girl Scouts use to identify the work that a girl or troop does to get ready to move to the next level. This work is not mandatory but is meant to give a girl an idea of what is waiting for her at the next level. Bridging insignia are worn on the next level uniform, not the level where earned. For example, the bridge to Juniors is worn on the Cadette uniform, not the Junior uniform.
The first bridging was started about 1927 when Brownie wings became available. Since Brownies were at one time called Brown Owls, the idea was for them to “fly-up” to Girl Scouts. The first wings were red, green and white embroidered on brown cloth and were used until 1935. In 1931 the wings were brown embroidered on gray-green Girl Scout cloth. With two types of wings, Brownies who had earned the Golden Bar were awarded the brown wings, while Brownies who had earned the higher award of the Golden Hand were awarded the multi-color wings. In 1935, both types of wings were discontinued. The new wings were bright yellow embroidery on dark green felt that we still have today
In 1977, the Bridge to Juniors patch was introduced. The original patch was a green arch with Bridge To Juniors embroidered in gold. The arch was meant to go over the three Brownie B’s that were earned by Brownies at that time. In 1980, the Bridge to Cadettes patch was introduced. The patch was a yellow rectangle with a small trefoil embroidered in yellow in the middle. In 1987, both of these patches were changed to coordinate with the new Five Worlds program. The Bridge to Juniors patch was still an arch but was embroidered in the colors of the five worlds (red, yellow, blue, green, orange). The Bridge to Cadettes remained a rectangle but was embroidered in the same manner as the Bridge to Juniors.
In 1987, the Bridge to Seniors patch was introduced. It was a chevron embroidered with the same rainbow as the Junior and Cadette patches. The Bridge to Adults was also introduced at this time. It was a small rectangular pin with the rainbow colors surrounded by a green border. 1993 saw the introduction of the Bridge to Brownies patch for Daisies. This patch was an arch shaped top over a rectangular bottom.
With the new program changes in 2008 the girl bridging patches were redesigned. They all are arches but with different multicolored designs. The Bridge to Ambassadors patch was introduced in 2013. The Bridge to Adults pin was not changed.
The requirements for earning the bridging patches have changed in number over the years but the intent has remained the same. Girls are to find out about the level the are going into and meet with the older girls, then they are to share what they learned with younger girls-planning their bridging ceremony at the end of their work.