Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Gold Awards at The Gresham!

Girl Guides from throughout the country received Gold Awards at a special ceremony in Dublin’s Gresham Hotel on 21st November. There was such a high number – 140, which is the highest number ever – that two ceremonies were held – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Each Guide was presented with a Gold Award pin by IGG President Maureen Dillon. Guides attending the morning ceremony were presented with a certificate by Dublin Lord Mayor Cllr Críona Ní Dhálaigh; in the afternoon certificates were presented by Cllr Janice Boylan.

There were a number of speakers at each ceremony, including several Guides at each. At the morning ceremony Michelle Usher and Ellen Collins of St Barbara’s Guides, Ballincollig, Co Cork, talked about the Outdoor Compulsory Challenge they undertook as part of the Gold Award:

Our names are Michelle and Ellen and we were asked to talk to you today about an activity we helped to plan, organise and run at our Guide camp last summer. Our chosen activity was a wide game to be played with all the Guides on the Saturday afternoon of camp. 

Along with the other Gold Award Guides at camp, Alannah and Alannah, Amy and Leah, we decided to run a mini-Olympics over several bases.  This involved deciding how many bases we would need and what activity to play at each stop. 

There were about 35 Guides at camp so we split them into groups.  Because it was a mini-Olympics, we gave each group a country to represent.  The games included events such as running races, jumping hurdles and trying to run in straight lines after being spun around. 

We were given a bag of equipment to work with.  This included various outdoor items like skipping ropes, balls, ropes etc and we used these for some of the different bases. The Guides had to work together as a team to get the best results in order to win each event. 

We had a great time creating this activity for the Guides and we hope they enjoyed it equally as much.

Áine Daly of St Rynagh’s Guides, Banagher, Co Offaly, talked about how she had attended two Senior Branch meetings to find out about their programme:

We met up on Friday evenings – we picked Friday as some of the girls were in college. They were all girls I knew from Brownies and Guides. We had a chairman, secretary and treasurer. My first meeting was around Christmas and we decided to plan an outing. We had to discuss what Leader was going to come, where we were going to go, the cost and the transport.

We decided to go to Dublin Zoo. We looked up what it was going to cost and looked up prices for the local bus company. Everyone agreed that they would like to go. We decided that that we would bring money to the treasurer at the next meeting.

The next Friday we all brought in the money and the other girls started telling us what they were doing in other Units. They were telling us how they did a Hallowe’en craft with Ladybirds and Brownies and how much they enjoyed it.

We went to Dublin but, when we got there, it started to rain so we decided to go shopping instead. It was a great day out for all of us. Now that I’m finished my Gold Award, I’m now a member of Senior Branch. As I got my Bronze Gaisce Award during Transition Year, I’m looking forward to getting my Silver Moon with Senior Branch.

At the afternoon ceremony two members of Lucan Guides, Susanne Moody and Sarah Brogan, talked about new hobbies and interests they had taken up as part of the Gold Award challenge.

Susanne: I joined Westside Performing Arts School for my hobby. I really enjoyed singing, dancing and acting and I’m looking forward to being part of a show soon.

Other girls in our Unit became helpers at Brownies, took part in their school play, started bowling and even learned how to play the ukulele.

Sarah: I began baking every week. I made some simple things, like cookies and cupcakes, and some very challenging things, like lemon meringue pie. I definitely enjoyed not only the process of baking, but also eating them!

Susanne concluded: I think we speak on behalf of all the girls when we say that the Gold Award has been a great experience and we are lucky to have completed this worthwhile award before the new system came in.

Well done to all 140 Guides on a well-deserved achievement!

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