Ah, September… Schools are back in session, the PSL (pumpkin spice latte) is once again available at Starbucks, and our first Girl Scout troop meetings of the year are right around the corner. What better way to celebrate the start of a new Girl Scout year than with an investiture ceremony?

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What is an “investiture ceremony”?

An investiture is a traditional Girl Scout ceremony designed to welcome new members to our sisterhood – both girls and adults alike! And they make for a great way to start the Girl Scout year, since their primary focus is on honing new members’ understanding of, and dedication to, the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Like any great Girl Scout ceremony, an investiture is super customizable based upon the age and interests of your group, and should always be girl-led.

Whether your girls choose something formal and intimate or casual and fun, these are the 3 key elements all investitures should include:

  • New members should understand the meaning of the Girl Scout Promise before becoming members and should recite it at some point during the ceremony
  • New members should be verbally welcomed into the troop and Girl Scout Movement
  • New members should be presented with their membership pin—remember, Daisies and Brownies have special membership pins

And that’s really all there is to it… the rest is up to you and your girls! Typically, a ceremony is designed around 3 parts: an opening, in which you welcome the group and set the tone of the ceremony; a main section, where you’ll actually do your investiture; and a closing, where you’ll leave the group with an inspiring takeaway. Starting with these sections as your guides, you can build your ceremony around the unique interests of your troop. Do your girls love to sing? An investiture is the perfect time for a song like On My Honor. Or if they love to perform, a skit might be a fun touch. Have a group of Brownies getting invested? Tying in pieces of The Brownie Story could be a great launching point.

Pro Tip: If you’re only welcoming a small number of girls to your large troop, hosting a combo investiture and rededication ceremony is a fun way to engage your whole group in a special tradition. A rededication is very similar to an investiture, but instead of being invested into Girl Scouts, members renew their commitment to Girl Scouts and the principles of the Promise and Law.

Sample Investiture Ceremonies

Still not sure where to start when planning your troop’s investiture ceremony? A quick search through Google, YouTube, and Pinterest will return tons of creative ceremony scripts, invitations, snacks, and other ideas from experienced volunteers. Here are a few of my favorites:

Not welcoming new girls this year? Don’t forget about the parents!

Back when I was an older Girl Scout, my troop was pretty solid and didn’t add many new girl members during our last 5 or so years. However, we did host an investiture ceremony our very last year for the standout parents who had dedicated themselves to schlepping us to and from our camping trips, putting up with our boisterous weekly meetings at their homes, sewing hundreds of badges and patches onto our uniforms over the years, tirelessly supporting us through all five of our (highly ambitious) Gold Award projects, and so much more. It was a really sweet and heartfelt way to honor our parents who experienced the power of Girl Scouting through their daughters for all 12 years of our membership. So even if you’re not adding new girl members to your troop this year, an investiture ceremony is a meaningful way to thank your amazing parents and adult volunteers for their dedication to Girl Scouts.

Remember, there is no “right” way to host a Girl Scout ceremony, so have your girls take the time to search for creative ways to celebrate this fun milestone—the more involvement the girls have, the better the experience will be for everyone (and that goes for just about every aspect of Girl Scouting)!

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Marissa VesselsMarissa Vessels—Marissa is a lifelong Girl Scout, Gold Awardee, and Marketing Manager at Girl Scout of Northern California. 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 outdoors!