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Girl Scouts "bridge" to adulthood

 

Last updated 7/21/2021 at 3:44pm

Village News/Courtesy photos

Graduating from Girl Scouts are, from left, Jenna Jedlicki, Carley Jones, Veronica Romero and Grace Bell.

Christal Gaines-Emory

Writer

On June 29, Girl Scouts Grace Bell, Veronica Romero, Carley Jones, and Jenna Jedlicki from Troop 4042 walked across the historic San Luis Rey Bridge, symbolizing their growth and transformation into adults.

For Girl Scouts, this process is called "bridging" and it is an important step in growing up and moving forward. Bridging occurs at every level of Girl Scouts. Some Girl Scouts begin as Daisies, then bridge to Brownies, and Brownies bridge to official Girl Scouts. Many of these girls have been involved in Girl Scouts since their early childhood, including Bell and Romero.

"I've been in Girl Scouts since I could start as a Daisy as a kindergartener," said Bell. "I have learned so much during my time as a Girl Scout."

Romero also started Girls Scouts as a Daisy; she joined the organization at the age of 4. For her, bridging this year represented a large change occurring in her life.

"Bridging this year for me felt like a large part of my life was ending but in reality it prepared me for my future life and careers," she said. "This year, my troop decided to bridge on the same bridge that three of us walked together when bridging from Daisies to Brownies."

"Our families came to watch as we shared our favorite memories together and what our troop meant to us," said Romero. "We then handed out patches and the four of us walked down the bridge and let go of balloons when we reached the end."

Since both Romero and Bell have been involved in the organization for many years, they have both experienced a tremendous amount of growth through Girl Scouts. Bell said that she has enjoyed being able to see the growth in herself as well as in her peers.

"I've learned how to build my self-confidence, how to be more of a leader, how to work with others, and so much more," said Bell. "I believe the most important lesson in Girl Scouts is learning how to uplift other girls and work together to make the world a better place." Romero has also grown as a result of her involvement in the organization.

"I think one of the main things I have learned is how to develop a plan and implement it. Whether it be earning a patch, or something bigger like my bronze and silver awards. I think that is probably my most important lesson as well since it is something I will consistently use in my future and has helped me become a better leader," said Romero. "Girl Scouts has also contributed to my character and taught me the value of being a good friend and being inclusive to everyone around me."

Having the opportunity to bridge to adulthood with friends since childhood was an important step to moving forward, and Bell said she is thankful for having the opportunity to make the step together with her other troop members.

Girl Scouts cross the old San Luis Rey Bridge in a symbolic bridging ceremony to mark their crossing into adulthood, from left, Veronica Romero, Carley Jones, Grace Bell and Jenna Jedlicki.

"I would like to thank the two leaders of our troop, Mrs. Kelly Romero and my mom, Deanna Bell. Without you two, I doubt that our troop would have made it all the way that it did," said Bell. "I would also like to thank my other troop members, Carley Jones, Jenna Jedlicki, and Veronica Romero; you girls have become such great friends of mine and throughout the years we have been together as a troop, I love you all so much and I'm so happy to have met you all and grown with you all."

Romero also said she is also thankful for her other troop members and the support from her troop leaders. She plans to take the lessons she has learned from Girl Scouts to start her own troop in order to inspire and uplift the younger generation.

"It felt weird to know that this would be the last time we bridged together, though I am excited to see where we go in life," said Romero. "I plan to continue being involved in Girl Scouts and start a troop of my own in hopes of giving more young girls the same experiences, opportunities, lessons, and friendships that I was given."

 

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