The Legend of the Friendship Stick

No camp experience is complete with a few traditions. One of our most cherished are our Friendship Sticks. We close every resident camp season with a final camp fire. During this event, our camp staff will present the current camp director with a Friendship Stick. They read the story behind the tradition and explain why one is presented each year. 

Friendship Stick on display at Camp Seven Hills

Next time you visit Camp Seven Hills or Camp Timbercrest, make sure you check out the dining halls and the Friendship Sticks on display. Now, without further delay, we present the legend behind the tradition:

The Legend of the Friendship Stick

The wood of the friendship stick is alive and solid.  It is curved to fit the curve of the earth.  This symbolizes the friendship that can grow as do the wonderful trees of the forest. 

The green circle at the bottom is for faith—faith in God and faith in one another.  It is first because it is the basis of a happy and meaningful life. 

The next four circles represent the races of the world.  They stand close together indicating that all people are equal.  Every person is capable of becoming a loyal friend. 

The green of hope is above the races.  It is hope for the future.  It is hope that people everywhere will try to overcome any differences and human failings.  Both faith and hope are green—a combination of hues; both combinations of emotional feelings we cannot adequately describe.  The four races bound by faith and hope can produce unity—a working together for the good of all.  The four paths lead toward a central goal signifying the attainment of this unity. 

The smiling face is the result of friendship based on faith and unity.  It is a reminder of the person with whom we promise to be friends.  To be greeted by the smiling face of a friend is one of the greatest joys we can experience. 

The face is crowned by the Girl Scout colors indicating loyalty.

On the back, green is carefully placed opposite the four races to show that peace and charity can exist among all people. 

A Friendship Stick must be carved by its giver.  It shows time, thought, and effort. 

The Friendship Stick can be presented as a gesture of international goodwill; as a part of an inter-troop activity; as a sign of friendship between girls of one troop; at a campfire, or during an indoor ceremony. 

This legend has traveled with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides throughout the world. 

Author: Ann Evans, Girl Scout Council of Buffalo and Erie County



What does a bridging ceremony look like?

It’s National Girl Scout Bridging Week! While bridging is an important ceremony to us, you may not understand what it is or how to do it. Never fear! This blog post is designed to help you plan your bridging ceremony and provides resources for each level.

In case you don’t know, a bridging ceremony is the celebration of moving on to a new adventure. We recognize what the girls have accomplished and how they’re ready for their next steps and responsibilities as they move to the next level in Girl Scouts.

While there is a general guide, the most important thing about the bridging ceremony is that it’s fun and personalized by the girls themselves. It’s meant to be done as a partnership between the girls and adults.

Usually held at the beginning or end of the troop year, they generally consist of three parts, including an opening, main section, and closing. The opening is your time to welcome everyone and set the tone for the event. The main section will explain what’s happening and celebrate the girls as they “bridge” to the next level. In closing, the girls can do a friendship circle and thank everyone for attending.

Through every part, it’s important to make sure there’s room for the girls individuality and creativity to shine through, making it a girl-focused event. You’re paying tribute to these amazing girls and want that to remain the focus.

For more information on how each level can earn their bridging awards, check the links below:

Daisies

Brownies

Juniors

Cadettes

Seniors

Ambassadors