IGG is a window with so many opportunities’, says Young Scientist winner
Climbing three Alps in a day, sailing a tall ship, working with poor children in India, broadcasting from a music festival in Germany and representing Ireland at the Women in the World Summit are just a few of the many exciting opportunities members of Irish Girl Guides (IGG) have enjoyed in the past year. That’s not forgetting the buckets of fun they’ve had taking part in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities at their meetings and on days out, weekends away and trips abroad. Also, lending a helping hand in their local communities and helping the next generation of girls grow in confidence.
Senior Branchers (age 14-30) enjoy the independence of planning their own meetings, choosing activities that interest them and that can be fitted in and around their busy schedules. As well as the craic they have together, the teamwork, leadership and life-skills that Guides (age 10-14) and Senior Branchers gain from their involvement in IGG look great on a CV! Jessica McMahon (16), of Celbridge Senior Branch, loves the great experiences IGG has given her.
“I like the confidence it gives you to do public speaking and the extra responsibilities you are given, like being asked to help out with Brownies (girls age 7-10) and Ladybirds (age 5- 7).”
Emer Hickey (18), a Senior Brancher from Kinsale who won the BT and European Young Scientist of the Year 2013, describes IGG as “a window with so many opportunities”.
“I am a lot more independent and secure because of Guiding,” she says, “And I have had many opportunities other girls my age would not have had. We learn a lot about respecting other people, about leadership and the world around us.”
IGG members are encouraged to make a difference and inspire others to do the same. Emer hopes that her prize-winning project, which she achieved with two school-friends, to speed up the germination process of barley and other crops, will one day help eradicate famine and poverty in developing countries.
Sarah Connolly (17), a Senior Brancher from Lucan, was one of 14 hardy souls who took part in this year’s Chief Commissioner’s Award. The highest IGG accolade, this event sees participants hike 60 kilometres in five days while carrying all their cooking and camping equipment and living on just €3.50 a day.
“We set out to achieve something we had only dreamed of and came out successful,” says Sarah. “It was something completely mad to do, but something completely worth doing.”