Have you heard the word? Golden Gate Bridging (GGB) is right around the corner! It’s our largest event of the year at GSNorCal, with over 7,000 girls coming together to bridge from Juniors to Cadettes across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. (Hey, if you’re gonna do something, you might as well go all in and do it big – it’s the Girl Scout way!)

Participating in this special event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for girls and it’s something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. How do I know? Because I was one of those girls, and now I’m here to share a special GGB story with you—mine! Feel free to jump down to my highlight reel for a close-up look at the event.

Way back in ye olden days (okay, fine, it was only 2005), my troop leader packed up my entire 10-member troop into minivans and we made the trek up the I-5 from Riverside, CA to the bustling city of San Francisco. As a Junior, this was one of my first “big trips” without my family and I was excited that I got to experience it with my troop leader and some of my best friends from Girl Scouts. I vividly remember how much I enjoyed exploring the city, visiting the GSNorCal council shop, and taking in everything that GGB had to offer. Now, I’d been to San Francisco many times at that point, but this trip was different: we were staying in a hotel in the heart of downtown, my troop got to plan our entire itinerary, and my parents were nowhere to be found. Best. Trip. Ever!

Fast forward to the Fall of 2010—it was my first year at UC Berkeley and I was eager to sign up as a volunteer with GSNorCal. As an 18-year-old, I didn’t feel equipped to take on a troop of my own, but I still wanted to work directly with girls, so GSNorCal offered me a position as a Program Instructor for a Girls Go Tech program. I spent that entire year with an awesome group of girls in Oakland, working with them on space science curriculum and loving every minute of it. And when Spring rolled around, our program was staffing a booth at Golden Gate Bridging, so guess who got to live that once-in-a-lifetime magic for a second time? (Hint: me!)

I spent that GGB teaching girls all about physics and space and the exciting opportunities that exist for Cadettes who want to explore STEM through Girl Scouting and beyond. As a volunteer in the Party Zone on Crissy Field, I got to experience an entirely different side of GGB and it was inspiring to see girls’ eyes light up as they correctly identified constellations or built accurate models of our solar system. I’ll admit that it’s not something I fully appreciated as a girl, but I love that Golden Gate Bridging gives girls a taste of all that Older Girl Scouting (Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors) has to offer.

And our last stop in this journey down memory lane is GGB 2017—my first Golden Gate Bridging as a GSNorCal staff member. I had so much fun—from talking to all of the Girl Scouts about their best Girl Scout adventures to walking across the Golden Gate Bridge (twice, back and forth!) to meeting Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA… it was pretty awesome. But I think I’ve done enough talking at this point, so instead of telling you all about my GGB 2017 experience, how about I show you? 🙂

Marissa’s GGB Highlight Reel

(Also, a big thank you to my teammate, Queena, who helped me put my footage together into video format to share with all of you!)

Pretty cool, right? The dance party, the massive friendship circle, walking the bridge with thousands of other Girl Scouts—the energy of it all is unbeatable and so uniquely GGB.

Can’t wait to see you all on the bridge in April!

What to do next:

Marissa VesselsMarissa Vessels—Marissa is the Director of Marketing at Girl Scout of Northern California and a Gold Award Girl Scout. Though she’s originally from Southern California (Yay, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council!), she moved to the East Bay to attend UC Berkeley and never looked back. One of her favorite things about Girl Scouting in the Bay Area is all the incredible hiking and camping options available to girls who love to explore the great outdoors.

The Trailhead