GSUSA Traditions

Remember that every council has slightly different rules and regulations, and everything you read online that is general for all of USA should always be double checked with your local council rules and regulations.


Playing games is a tradition of Girl Scouts from the founding of the organization. Some of the traditional games to play can be found by various councils. Here are a few:


  • Investiture – A ceremony welcoming those who have started Girl Scouts for the first time.
  • Re-Dedication – A ceremony for those continuing on another year of Girl Scouts, but are not moving up a level.
    • Pinning Ceremonies where you pin the new membership star for the new Girl Scout year are often done with Re-Dedication ceremonies. The alternative is to hold a Pinning Ceremony at the End of the School Year to celebrate the Girl Scout finishing the year. Awarding the membership star at the start or the end of the year is acceptable – but be aware the only requirement for a membership star is to be registered with GSUSA for the membership year. That means the most popular option is to do them at a Re-Dedication Ceremony at the start of the new Girl Scout year in October.
  • Bridging – A badge and a ceremony for those moving up a level. It is not required for the girls to move up a level, but it is required if you want the Rainbow Bridging Badge. The bridging badge requires 3 steps:
    • Look Back
      • Have a younger scout starting the old level join them for the ceremony and all scouts in the old level share their favorite memory from when they were in that level.
      • No younger scout? Make a card and have each bridging scout write a short note of their favorite activity they did as that level. Then look in your community/service unit or on a Facebook group for a troop just starting that level and mail them the card.
    • Look Ahead
      • Have an older scout from the new level join them for the ceremony and share their favorite memory or activity they did in that new level.
      • No older scout? Before the ceremony, have the troop look through some of the new level badges and pick an activity from one of the badges they will do at the ceremony. It will not earn them the badge, but it gives them a glimpse of what they can do in the new level. It’s recommended to finish earning the badge in the next meeting after the Bridging Ceremony, if possible.
    • Hold a Ceremony
      • Note – A “Fly Up” ceremony is a bridging ceremony for Brownies going to Juniors, referencing how it used to be that Brownies flew up to Girl Scouts. It is not a separate ceremony, but it does mean you want to alter your ceremony to include letting the girls “fly” across the bridge.
  • Flag Ceremonies
  • Scout’s Own
  • Campfire Program
  • Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award Ceremony – is usually held as a council recognition, but a troop level celebration should also be done for earning one of the 3 highest awards GSUSA offers. There are no set ceremonies for this beyond recognizing the achievement and giving them the award.

One council has created a booklet for ceremonies that might interest you as well.


A description of most of these holidays are given on GSUSA.

  • Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthday/Founder’s Day – October 31st
    • Many will do a celebration alongside their Investiture, Re-Dedication, or Bridging Ceremonies in October.
    • Celebrating Juliette’s birthday can be part of the requirements to earn most Girl Scout Way badges.
  • World Thinking Day – Feb. 22
    • The World Thinking Day badge can be earn at anytime during the year of the GSUSA theme, but most like to make it a tradition to earn it sometime in February to follow the tradition of World Thinking Day.
  • Girl Scout’s Birthday – March 12th
    • Many troops do a Girl Scout Birthday Bash meeting as a reason to just have a fun meeting to celebrate all the troop members birthday at one time in the year. Doing something to celebrate troop member birthdays through the year is hard for most leaders to keep track of and this is an easy alternative.
      • If you believe you might miss one person’s birthday announcement, do not try to celebrate individual birthdays throughout the year. Even if you mean no harm, missing the announcement of an upcoming birthday or forgetting the little traditional gift or card your troop does (or having it sent or given late) can cause a huge issue for the missed child. That trauma lingers. Better to make sure you say happy birthday if the child brings it to your attention, allow a parent to hand something out at the end of the meeting only if the parent requested it if the meeting happens to fall on the child’s actual birthday – but otherwise just let all birthdays be celebrated on one single day each year.
  • Girl Scout Week – Sun through Sat of the week with March 12th in it
    • Most councils will have a “Week” activity printout you can give your Girl Scouts to earn a fun patch.
      • Make sure parents are aware if the troop is covering the cost (troop needs to vote on that and budget set aside) or if parents need to pay the fee for the fun patch when they return the Week printout to show they did the activities all week long to earn the fun patch.
  • Girl Scout Sabbath/Shabbat/Sunday/Jummah – The appropriate day of the week during Girl Scout Week
    • Another tradition that girls can do something and you can have an option for them to earn a fun patch.
  • Volunteer Appreciation Month – April
    • If you want to celebrate this GSUSA has some ideas for activities.
  • Girl Scout Leader Day – April 22nd


These traditions can be incorporated into normal troop meetings and do not need a specific event or meeting to go over them. Find descriptions of all of them on GSUSA.

  • Girl Scout Sign
  • Motto
  • Slogan
  • Greeting
  • Friendship Circle