BLOOMFIELD, NJ-- Girl Scout Troop 20340 celebrated the achievements of its members with a Bridging Ceremony at Brookside Park on Sunday, September 27.   Girls from the 36 member troop came together with their family and friends to honor each other, their commitment to the Girl Scouts, and their members' promises to help others at all times and live by the Girl Scout Law.

"Bridging is a Girl Scout tradition that honors girls' achievements throughout the year and celebrates their 'crossing the bridge' to the next Girl Scout level," Jen Rodriguez, troop leader, explained.

Girls who were moving to the next Girl Scout level crossed the bridge over the creek at Brookside Park, walking through a flurry of bubbles and rainbow crepe paper as one level, and returning across the bridge to their friends and families donning their new level vests, symbolizing their advancement.  New members were also welcomed and members who were not moving up were honored with a special gift for their renewed commitment to the troop.  

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"Today was special because it means I get to move up and be a Brownie this year!  I get to earn all new badges and get to do cooler stuff than when I was a Daisy,” said Evelyn Stella (7).

Troop 20340 is based in Bloomfield but welcomes girls from surrounding areas as well.  "We believe in being inclusive of all girls who want to participate," said troop co-leader Virna Liguori.

"Girl Scouts is really fun and  encouraging and we get to earn cool badges for learning new COOKIES!” said Leona Rodriguez (8).

According to Kayla Alfaro (10), “I’ve made friends with girls who I have may never have been friends with otherwise. I love it!”

The ceremony was also attended by local officials, including Bloomfield First Ward Councilwoman Jenny Mundell and Bloomfield Second Ward Councilman Nicholas Joanow.  Councilwoman Mundell told the girls she had also been a Girl Scout. "One of the things we recognize from our experiences in this pandemic is that what we do for our communities matters," Mundell noted in remarks to the crowd.  "Remember, you never have to wait to change the world.  Each and every one of you has the power and you can start right here in your local community."

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