68 Guides receive the Trail Blazer Award!

Well done, well done, very well done to the 68 Guides who received the Trail Blazer National Guide Award at a special ceremony in Croke Park on 22 October 2016!

The girls, aged 14-15, travelled from all around the country with their proud families and Guide Leaders to celebrate reaching the pinnacle of Guiding.

Each Guide received a Trail Blazer gold pin and a National Guide Award certificate from 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.”

Two Guides - Andrea Cotter of Ardilaun Guides, Macroom, and Eimear Hehir of Blackberry Guides, Limerick – delivered superb speeches on their experiences doing the Award. You can read Eimear’s speech on the IGG blog here.

The ceremony was opened by Flames Not Flowers - a community group from inner city Dublin who re-enacted the 77 women leaving Richmond Barracks following the Easter Rising in 1916. The 250 women who took part in the Rising were remembered - 'cooks, nurses and shooters' - and everyone present was urged to continue the fight for equality.  

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." 

Lt Jennifer Larkin presented each Regional Commissioner with a national flag for their Region and one to CEO Linda Peters for National Office.

And finally …. Well done to the Leaders who were presented with their QQI certificates!

You can watch a short video of the award ceremony on You Tube and you can see more photos on our Facebook page here.