|Lucy O'Donovan (left) and|
Órla Reilly all set for Chief's!
Rucksacks are at the ready, boots are worn in, tents have been put up and down countless times and the last minute excited jitters have set in. It can only mean one thing .. The Chief Commissioner's Award 2014!
It feels like just yesterday Órla and I discussed doing Chief's together and signed up, but the days just flew by and now it's right around the corner! When we first decided to take on the challenge we sat down and planned a training schedule (this wasn't easy as Órla and I both had holidays, Guide trips and shift work to get our heads around)!
We started training by carrying those large 5 litre bottles of water in our rucksacks and walking around 8km. It sounds crazy but it really worked! We started to up our mileage and started adding things like the trangia, sleeping bags and sleeping mats to our rucksacks as the weeks went on. Then when we had put everything we might have needed for Chief's into our bags, we took out the 5 litres.... what a relief! Now the bag was much more manageable as we had got used to carrying so much more.
All my friends thought I was utter bananas when I explained I was being dropped in a place I didn't know for a week, with a strict budget to live on, camping in a tent every night, carrying everything I needed on my back and, oh yeah, the fact I would be covering 60km! And I would be enduring all of this in the hopes of getting a certificate, a woggle and, hopefully, a pin. But I guess that's Guiding for you! For Guides, this is a great opportunity.. but to others it's complete insanity!
I'd be lying if I said I'm 100% confident and not at all scared about the challenge ahead. I'm quite nervous! (Did I mention that we don't actually know where Chief's is being held until the day?) but I've heard so many great stories about previous participants' adventures and how they got involved in the communities they walked through, so I'm looking forward to making my own. I know I've got a great partner in Órla who has exactly the same drive and humour as me and I'm sure we'll laugh and joke our way through the tough bits!
I hope you've enjoyed this little snip-it of my Chief's journey to date. Keep an eye on this blog during the 3rd-10th of August for updates and on the IGG Facebook page, Chief Commissioner's Award page and Senior Branch Facebook page as well as IGG twitter.
We won't have access to technology at all during the week (another part of the challenge), so if anyone has some final words of wisdom or encouragement for me, or any of the other Chief's participants. please let us know in the comments below as soon as possible!
~ Lucy O'Donovan, Abbey Rangers, Kinsale