We can see it now: the sun sparkling on the brilliant blue of the Pacific, the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, and thousands of Girl Scouts ready to bridge from Juniors to Cadettes—that’s right, Golden Gate Bridging (GGB) is right around the corner! Girl Scouts are always prepared, so make sure to pack these 12 GGB essentials:
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First off, your girls are going to need something to carry all their stuff! Make sure it’s a comfortable bag that can hold everything she might need—but remember not to over-pack, since she will have to carry it comfortably across the Golden Gate Bridge and around Crissy Field all day.
A reusable water bottle
Being outdoors all day is one of the best parts of GGB, but remember to stay hydrated! Fill it up before you arrive (if it’s a hot day, consider bringing an insulated water bottle with ice!) and refill it as often as you can.
Sun protection: lip balm, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a good sun hat
Stay protected from those UV-rays to have some real fun in the sun! Even if the weather is cloudy, you can still get sunburned, so make sure your girls reapply their sunscreen regularly. Top it off with a good hat and pair of sunglasses to keep the sun out of her eyes and the wind off her face during her adventurous trek across the bridge.
The weather in San Francisco can be capricious—it might be foggy in the morning, but it could be windy and raining, or bright and sunny a couple of hours later. Make sure your girls bring a trusty sweatshirt (ideally one of our Golden Gate Bridging sweatshirts for maximum Girl Scout style). To be extra prepared, check the weather that morning, and if rain is on the horizon, bring along a water-resistant windbreaker—that way you’ll be ready for any kind of weather!
Snacks might be the most important thing you pack, and the thing on every girl’s mind. All that walking and laughing and running around makes a girl hungry! Pack a nice hearty lunch, as well as easy-to-eat, delicious, high-energy foods like veggies and hummus, crackers and cheese, apples or grapes, energy or protein bars, pre-peeled hardboiled eggs… anything with some carbs and protein to get you or your girl across the bridge and through the day.
You planned for this day, registered on time, and made it all the way to San Francisco, so don’t forget those tickets! Printing them out is easy, but you can also access them on your mobile device at the event.
Golden Gate Bridging is a safe event, but it’s also a big event that can get a little crowded! Make sure each girl knows who to call if they need anything by printing out a list for each girl with the phone numbers of every adult from your troop attending the event, as well as their home phone numbers or their parents’/guardians’ cell numbers. That way if they lose their phone or run out of battery in the hustle and bustle, they will still be able to call whoever they need.
Phone and a portable charger
Speaking of running out of battery, she won’t if she brings an extra charger! Don’t forget to charge your portable charger the night before for maximum effect. Her phone is also great for one other GBB must-have: photos with her Girl Scout sisters and all the new friends she’ll make!
Medical forms and permission slips
This one is for chaperones: make sure you have all the forms you’ll need for each girl attending the event. Having them on hand makes the event more relaxing for you, and safer for the girls, so you can all get the most out of the event!
Comfortable walking shoes
Nothing ruins a day faster than sore feet! Wear comfy, already-broken-in walking shoes: the route across the bridge is roughly 5 miles long, and you’ll be on your feet a lot as you explore the activity booths and join in on the dance party.
One of our favorite Girl Scout traditions at GGB are SWAPS! These “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere” are neat little trinkets girls make themselves to trade with their sister Girl Scouts from other troops attending from all over the country. Making SWAPs together as a troop is a fabulous activity. Each SWAP should have the first name of the girl bringing them, their troop number, and their city and state on it. Each girl will want to bring a gallon zip-lock bag full of about 150 SWAPs, and another empty zip-lock bag to collect all of the ones they get at GGB (because they are going to get a lot of them). There are thousands of people at this event, and girls around the nation are going to want a memento from your girls to remember the wonderful new friends they made at GGB!
Girl Scout spirit!
I know we’ve all been planning and looking forward to the big day: this is the moment when your Junior becomes a Cadette, and gains that coveted older girl status, so now that it has finally arrived, enjoy yourself! Spend time together, take in the view from the Golden Gate Bridge, and make great new memories—you only bridge once, after all!
To make sure you’re ready for this once in a lifetime adventure, Mom and daughter Girl Scout duo (and GGB experts) Natalie and Alexandria will show you exactly what you and your girls need to have the best bridging ever.
Natalie and Alexandria’s What to Pack for GGB Video:
Happy Bridging! We can’t wait to see you there!
What to do next:
- Want to see what Golden Gate Bridging is like? Check out Marissa’s highlight reel from GGB 2017.
- Make the most out of your day at GGB with these tips from Elizabeth, our resident GGB expert (and events manager).
- Read more about what to expect at GGB, and visit our website for more information.
Katie Mock—Katie is the Marketing Copywriter for the Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she writes everything from tweets to Trailhead articles, and makes sure everyone dots their ‘i’s and crosses their ‘t’s. Although she was a Girl Scout for only a few years, her experiences with Girl Scouts, combined with attending a single-sex high school, gave her a profound appreciation for the power all-girl spaces have to change girls’ lives for the better. Katie moved to the Bay Area after graduating from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Linguistics; when she’s not diving into writing with a red pen, you can find her geeking out about the latest sci-fi novel, cooking anything from traditional Japanese Cuisine to pizza, or cuddling her two cats.