Two Mullagh girls were amongst a group of 17 who travelled to Dublin on Saturday to receive Gold Awards – the highest achievement in Guiding. The girls travelled with their Guide leaders and proud parents to a special ceremony in The Gresham Hotel where they were presented with the prestigious awards by Dublin Lord Mayor, Oisín Quinn, and Irish Girl Guides (IGG) President, Maureen Dillon.
The girls, who until recently were members of Monasterboice, Mullagh, Boyne Valley and Cu-Chulainn Guides, put months of hard work into earning the Award by engaging in a number of challenges, including exploring the outdoors, improving health and fitness, acquiring new life-skills and developing interests in a variety of disciplines. Each also spent some time serving the local community.
Most of the girls have now joined IGG’s Senior Branch, which caters for girls from age 14 to 26.
By working on their own initiative, the girls demonstrated self-motivation, commitment and enthusiasm. Optional activities ranged from public speaking and woodwork to renewable energy, Fairtrade and cultural awareness. They also spent time working with younger IGG members, serving as young leaders.
Two girls from Mullagh Guides were honoured to be asked to speak during the ceremony about the life-skills they developed while preparing for the award. Genny McGurdy, age 14, told how she had explored with her peers the power of media messages and how she had found “a great new love” for baking and decorating cakes.
Shaune Cave, age 15, shared how much she had enjoyed volunteering with the Irish Wheelchair Association – “it was fun and yet taught me a lot about the value of life” – and how she looked forward to further volunteering with the organisation.
“It is a pleasure today to present the Gold Awards to these impressive young women who have developed a wide range of life-skills that will not only help them in their lives but will also, no doubt, prove fruitful in their communities and neighbourhoods. The future of this country is in safe hands with young women like these at the helm,” said Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn presenting the awards.
“We are delighted so many girls in our region are receiving Gold Awards today,” said Olwyn Williamson, who is IGG Regional Commissioner for the North-East Region and Leader of Ballybay Guides. “Each and every one of them is a deserving recipient. By completing various personal challenges, we have seen the girls develop in confidence and leadership skills. Guiding helps them to become responsible citizens through a three-step process of belonging, leadership and advocacy.”
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