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Court of Award & Bridging Ceremonies
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By Allison Hand

I have had the pleasure of attending a few Court of Award & Bridging Ceremonies this past week.  It has been really interesting to see what the girls have accomplished this past year and inspiring to see that with good leadership and support, girls can do anything!  I would really like to share with you some thoughts on these events from the volunteers...
Pam Maurus-Leader in Sauk Rapids, MN
As the Court of Awards signals the unofficial end of the Girl Scout year, it is a time to reflect.
I encourage you to volunteer, I have just whipped together a Court of Awards program at the last minute with no budget and little personal time to dedicate to it, my thoughts are - next time I volunteer and you see me doing a ‘one women show’, please stop me and insist on lending a hand. But, I also want to say thanks to those who have come before me and created the Court of Awards format for me to follow. 
As a leader, volunteer! You don’t have to go big, but ‘go’ all the same. As Brownies, we try it. As leaders we need to do the same – just try it. If you feel like repeating your success or implementing your improvements next year, that’s great! 

I tried Winter Parades; I tried it three times and learned I do not have the skills, tools or resources. Thank goodness for duct tape! 
I tried World Thinking Day. This was a great match with the girls in the troop. I did it twice, the second time around was a charm. 
I tried Day Camp – Oh yes, this is where I am in my grove, my element.  How many summers did I volunteer? I’d still be volunteering if my work schedule allowed it. 
My point is, share you skills and talents with the Service Unit. 
Next year my troop will be bridging. I will be volunteering to lead a Service Unit event to fulfill the Bridging Requirements. For me this will be a new journey, under the new system, but I am going to try it. Anyone want to go along for the ride with me? 
I encourage you to be thinking about what you would like to see happen in our Service Unit. Don’t be afraid to try it. Any effort is better than no effort.
Start with tonight’s event while it is still fresh in your mind. How would you do it different? How could it be more impactful? Volunteer to lead next year’s Court of Awards and have a full year to prepare. I will join your team. 
If we volunteer to take on a small role or project it will all come together in something BIG. Share your passions . . .
There was a time the Service Unit did Ditch Clean up, a Christmas Holiday Craft event, an annual Cookie Kick Off, an annual World Thinking Day event – because we had volunteers with a passion!
Turn a Bronze, Silver or Gold project into an opportunity for the Service Unit. 
One person cannot do it all, but if we get involved and take on a small role we can do great things. I encourage to come to the leader meetings. Share your talents, follow your passion, try it, and volunteer to take the lead for one thing in 2014-2015. 
Let’s plan an amazing year!


Litchfield, MN "Bridge" crafted with balloons

Denise Jorgenson- Community Coordinator in Litchfield, MN
I would like to thank everyone for the AMAZING night tonight. We were really able to have a great night. Thank you so very much for letting us get to work with your children. We feel truly blessed to watch them grow and learn through Girl Scouts. Thank you to all of the leaders for everything you have done this year to hold us together! 


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