The National Senior Branch Committee organises and runs a number of national events throughout the year.
NATIONAL SENIOR BRANCH WEEKEND
When: The last weekend of November every year
Who: All members of Senior Branch
The National Senior Branch Weekend, or the November Weekend as it is often called, takes place every year on the last weekend of November. During the weekend girls have an opportunity to take part in various workshops. Previous workshops have included trainings on specific programme areas, the teaching of new skills, discussions on areas relevant to young women today & anything the organisers feel would interest the participants. It's not all work however as there is always a variety of fun activities to try over the weekend e.g. juggling, climbing, treasure hunts, dancing, t-shirt printing, roller discos have all featured in the recent past. Girls may attend the weekend on their own or with girls from their Ranger/ Senior Branch Units. Leaders are welcome to attend, however it is not necessary for them to do so. Every second year a leader's training is run in conjunction with the weekend.
Previous Weekends have taken place in Kilkenny, Drogheda, Cork, Tramore, Galway, Wicklow, Meath, Newbridge and Limerick.
NATIONAL LIGHTWEIGHT TRAINING WEEKEND
When: May Bank Holiday weekend
Who: All members of IGG aged 14.5 or older
The national lightweight weekend is a great introduction to the art of Lightweight camping for newcomers. Multiple routes of varying levels of difficulty are used during the weekend to challenge our returning participants as well as those training for the Chief Commissioner's Award or Explorer Belt events.
Learn to pitch your tent more effectively, choose the right type & amount of clothing to bring with you for a weekend hike, learn how to prepare a nutritious & tasty meal on a lightweight stove & learn what all those funny squiggles on a map mean!
CHIEF COMMISSIONER'S AWARD
When: During the summer of odd numbered years
Who: Teams of 2 or 3 girls aged 16-26, Members older than 26 may participate as Visitor Teams.
The Chief Commissioner's Award is one of the highest awards which may be gained by members of Senior Branch. It involves a hike, in Ireland, of 60km (40 miles approx) over five days and four nights in teams of two or three. The teams are not told the destination before the event begins, thus adding to the excitement. Each team completes a log book and a series of projects during the hike.
After the hike the teams are assessed by means of the log books, projects and team interviews to ascertain how well the team members got on together and whether or not they really entered into the spirit of the Award and managed to get beneath the skin of the area they were hiking in. The Award Certificate is presented to all teams who participated in the event. A leather woggle with the celtic knot inscribed and the Award certificate is presented to all the teams who completed the mileage, log book and the projects. The Award itself, plus certificate & woggle, is achieved by teams who go beyond the minimum requirements, enter wholeheartedly into the spirit of the Award and benefit in a really personal way from the experience by giving a little more of themselves and gaining a whole lot in the process. The Award is given to those teams who really “get under the skin” of the community in which they are walking. The Chief Commissioner's Award is a silver celtic knot pin. A Bronze pin is awarded to visitor teams who fulfill the same requirements.
Previous 'Chief's' have taken place in Dingle, Wicklow, Donegal, Waterford, Cork, Achill, Clare, Mellary and Inis Mor.
EXPLORER BELT EXPEDITION
When: During Easter or summer of even numbered years
Who: Teams of 2 girls aged 18-26
The Explorer Belt Expedition is a physical & mental challenge through which teams of two girls will spend 10 days getting to know a different culture. During these 10 days the teams must hike a minimum of 200km. They must keep a logbook of their adventures & complete a number of projects en route, all while living within a tight budget. The girls will not know the country they are travelling to until they reach the airport!
The Explorer Belt is not easy from a physical point of view but with plenty of preparation and training it is an achievable goal. It is certain to be one of the most challenging, rewarding and enjoyable experiences in your life!
Previous Belts have taken place in Spain, Sweden, France, Italy, Wales, Scotland and Northumberland.