Offaly girls receive highest Girl Guide Award

Edednerry and Birr Girl Guides among 68 girls to reach 'pinnacle of guiding'

Offaly Express Reporter

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Offaly girls receive highest Girl Guide Award

Anna Martin and Jessica Lennon of Edenderry Girl Guides

Three Offaly teenagers received Irish Girl Guides’ highest award – the Trail Blazer National Guide Award – at a special ceremony on Saturday.

Aoife Guinan of Slieve Bloom Guides, Birr, and Anna Martin and Jessica Lennon of Edenderry Girl Guides were among 68 girls from around the country to blaze a trail to Croke Park with their proud families and Guide leaders to celebrate reaching the pinnacle of Guiding. Ellen McDermott of Edenderry Girl Guides has also achieved the award but, unfortunately, was not able to attend the ceremony on Saturday.

Aoife Guinan of Slieve Bloom Girl Guides, Birr, pictured after receiving her Trail Blazer Award at Irish Girl Guides’ National Guide Awards ceremony in Croke Park. Also pictured from left are IGG President Maureen Dillon, Slieve Bloom Guide leader Linda Dowling, IGG Chief Commissioner Helen Concannon and Guide Branch Chair Carol O’Brady.

Each Girl Guide received a Trail Blazer gold pin and a National Guide Award certificate from Irish Girl Guides (IGG) President Maureen Dillon and IGG Chief Commissioner Helen Concannon.

The Trail Blazer pin, which was awarded for the first time this year as part of IGG’s new Journey Programme, is made in recognition of the successful completion of a series of challenges, including teamwork activities, outdoor survival skills, community service, global awareness and working with younger IGG members to help them develop confidence, independence and essential life-skills.

Presenting the awards, IGG President Maureen Dillon said, “All of you here today are worthy recipients of the highest award in Guiding. Each of you has worked hard on your own initiative and, in doing so, demonstrated self-motivation, commitment and enthusiasm.

“You have each blazed a trail during your time in IGG in order to receive this Award and I have no doubt that all of you will continue to blaze a trail – not just in your local communities but in wider society too. We are hugely proud of each and every one of you.”

Congratulating the Guides, IGG Chief Commissioner Helen Concannon said, “Well done to all of you for working to your fullest potential. We know that you will continue to use the life-skills you have developed for the benefit of the wider world. We are delighted that many of you are continuing to be involved in IGG as members of Senior Branch where you will continue to develop confidence and self-reliance as responsible citizens and have exciting opportunities to travel and represent IGG at international Guide events.”

Carol O’Brady, Chair of Guide Branch, said, “We are delighted to have 68 Guides receive the National Guide Award today. In Guiding girls are awarded for doing their best and each one of you has done her best – working on your own initiative to carry out a series of challenges. You have learned new skills, which will equip you for life. You have worked hard to achieve what you set out to do and so we say a big ‘well done’ to each and every one of you. We encourage you to dream big and to continue to strive to fulfil your potential.”

Lt Jennifer Larkin of the Army Equitation School also attended the National Guide Award ceremony and presented 21 national flags to the organisation. She said, “I was delighted to attend the National Girl Guides Awards to speak to them about our national flag and about how the Defence Forces work as a team, much like how the Guides have done to achieve such an award. Similar to our Defence Forces values, the girls have shown physical and moral courage to accomplish this." 

Irish Girl Guides welcomes new members from age five and volunteer leaders from age 18. Previous experience of Guiding is not necessary. To find out more, see www.irishgirlguides.ie. tel: 01 6683898.