Monday, 29 September 2014

Gold Awards at The Gresham!

There was a great buzz in Dublin’s Gresham Hotel on Saturday when 86 Guides received their Gold Awards at a special ceremony. The girls were warmly congratulated by IGG President Maureen Dillon, who presented them with their Gold Award pins, and Councillor Dermot Lacey, who gave them their certificates.

Here five of the girls share something about their journey to the Gold Awards …

Eimear O’Meara (age 16) of St Rynagh’s Guides, Banagher, Co Offaly said: “The journey to the Gold Award was a challenging one at times but, once I found a way to complete the challenges, I had a great sense of self-fulfilment,” she said. “I learned many new things which helped me to grow as a person and I also made new friends.”

Sinead Moran (16) of St Rynagh’s said: “I started in Ladybirds over 10 years ago and have always loved the sense of togetherness within the Guiding community. I have worked my way up the ladder of Guiding from Ladybirds to Brownies to Guides and so the obvious next step for me was to go on and complete the Gold Award. I am so glad I did put in so much work and I am now an active member of Senior Branch.”

Mary Ellen McMahon (16) of St Rynagh's said: “Looking back, it only seems like yesterday that I joined Guides and was enrolled. In reality though, it has been a long but rewarding journey to the Gold Award. I hope to be involved with IGG long into the future.”

Katie McDermott (15) of Si Gaoith Guides, Barna, Co Galway said she wasn’t sure if she would ever manage to complete the award. “The work for the Gold Award was difficult but I was really determined to complete it, so I kept working at it,” she said. “I’m really glad I completed it because I feel like I’ve achieved something. All the hard work was definitely worth it.”

Christina Coyne (15) of Si Gaoith said she also found it challenging but had kept going with the encouragement of her leader, Nonie Hickey, and by seeing how many opportunities Guiding had given her older sisters, Nicole and Katie.

“Now I can see that all the hard work was worthwhile,” she said. “I have learned so much from doing this award – things that will help me in everyday life, such as organising and talking in front of groups. The Gold Award has opened many doors for me in my life and I believe all my hard work has certainly paid off and will hopefully make me a better person in the future. I am grateful I had the opportunity to join Guiding and to get the highest award.”

Congratulations to all 86 girls! We wish them all the very best as they continue on their Guiding journey … 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Welcome to the new Guiding year!

Autumn time, when the evenings begin to shorten, and the turning leaves herald the start of a new Guiding year….

It’s hard to imagine that anything will come close to the excitement of the Brownie Centenary celebration, especially the 3,500 IGG members partying at the Brownies’ Brilliant Birthday event in the Phoenix Park and the cutting of the cake by Ray D’Arcy. When you think of all the Centenary Brownie camps and all the Regional, Area and District celebrations, it’s unimaginable to think we can top this. But the Guiding way is to embrace a challenge and we will do our best to be even bigger and better this year!

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) / Dove ‘Free Being Me’ programme for 7-10 year-olds and 11-14 year-olds is a new initiative which challenges young women to stand up and take action to build both body confidence and self-esteem. Following the programme and doing the Take Action project will earn you the ‘Free Being Me’ badge, and we all love earning badges!

Last weekend saw the launch in a few Units of the pilot stage of the New IGG Programme . This New Programme will be officially unveiled next March at something else I’m really looking forward to - TWIGG.  Many of you will already have seen the ‘save the date’ advert in September’s Trefoil News, but for anyone who hasn’t TWIGG stands for ‘Together We’re IGG’. It is the launch of the New Programme and the National Conference all rolled into one. In a way a mini type of Branch Weekend, hence TWIGG.

Ladybirds have the fun of the Table Quiz to look forward to in October as well as many exciting adventures in the coming year.

For Senior Branch the coming year holds exciting changes on the way involving the New Programme, and it’s an Explorer Belt year too.

Trefoil Guild are busy looking at new ways in which to fulfill their aim of supporting those interested in embodying the Guiding ethos whilst not actively involved as a member or Leader. I hear of the possibility of a Student Guild, a Craft Guild, a Hill-Walking Guild, and a Theatre Guild to mention just a few. So these are exciting times indeed!

As you can see, this Guiding year 2014/15 is sure to be fun-filled and has something to offer everyone. I, for one, can’t wait to get started.

My first job is to jet off to the Guide Gold Awards to celebrate with the 86 recipients of this prestigious award and it’s one I’m really looking forward to. 

~ Maureen Dillon, IGG President