114 Senior Branchers take on the 24 in 48 Challenge!

Well done to the 114 Senior Branch members who took on the Senior Branch 24 in 48 Challenge with the aim of completing 24 Ladybird Badges in 48 hours (or however many they wished to)!

During the Camp At Home weekend (18-19 April) participants learned new skills, made crafts, learned dances from different countries, made TikTok videos and had plenty of online discussions. While earning their Europe badge, they met up online with Maria Walsh MEP to learn about life in politics at a European level.

Congratulations to the 32 Senior Branchers who succeeded in achieving the Ladybird Diva Badge by earning at least 20 badges each. Wow! Also, to the 67 girls who earned more than 10 badges each. Over 1,200 badges were completed in total over the weekend. An amazing achievement!

Everyone who took part was delighted to have the opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones, demonstrating that, even during these uncertain times when they can’t meet up in person, the Guiding spirit lives on.

Aishah Morshed of Bandon Senior Branch writes about her experience doing the Challenge:

#SeniorBranchDo24in48 was truly the most unique and fun Guiding weekend I have had in a long time. The entire weekend was action-packed and full of excitement from the very first Zoom to the very last and it wouldn’t have been half as successful if it wasn’t for the enthusiasm and fun-loving attitude that Senior Branchers always bring. Whether it was colouring in aeroplanes together or singing a very out-of-time Safe Cross Code, we all got to embrace our inner Ladybird for the weekend (#ChocolateIsAFruit).

Even with two very full 12 hour days, the energy never dipped as everyone jumped from back-to-back Zoom meetings to posting, liking, and commenting on all the independent challenges to try and earn as many badges as possible. It really brought out the resourcefulness of Senior Branchers as we had to make kites, Tara brooches and musical instruments out of whatever we had to hand.

It wasn’t all silliness and laughter as we also managed to have some thoughtful discussions about badges like Cultural Diversity, Disability Awareness and Environmental Awareness, along with an insightful Q&A session with MEP Maria Walsh about her job and the EU. The experience left me with no doubt that the next generation of Ladybirds truly are in good hands with the next generation of Leaders.

It was surprising how quickly everyone adapted to using technology to run, and participate in, the weekend and yet it still felt like every other amazing Guiding weekend I have been on. I got to meet and talk with new people, learn new skills and laugh and catch up with old friends. The ending was just as bittersweet as always with everyone super tired and yet not quite ready to hang up and say goodbye. The whole weekend was a resounding success and will definitely be remembered for years to come, so a massive congratulations and thank you are in order for the Leaders and Senior Branchers who planned and ran the entire event. You all are a force to be reckoned with and a prime example of what the Guiding spirit can achieve in any circumstance and situation.

Ella Sylvester Collins, also of Bandon Senior Branch, writes:

Being able to take part in last weekend’s #SeniorBranchDo24in48 weekend was a great experience as it allowed a welcome change of scenery compared to the monotony of the last couple of weeks. Being able to interact with people and have conversations about different aspects of the badges during the online meetings brough back a sense of normality to the current situation that is preventing us from attending meetings and seeing each other in person.

I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the weekend as each badge, from making Tik Toks about road safety to taking part in a virtual WAGGGS* campfire from the comfort of my own bedroom, I was kept busy the whole weekend. I had the time of my life.

Without a doubt, this has been one of the liveliest weekends I have had for a while. I hope I get the opportunity to take part in something similar again in the future and would definitely encourage others to take part as well. Hopefully next time the circumstances surrounding it being an online challenge will be different.

It truly was a great experience that I surely will never forget, I can’t wait to see everyone at the next one!

Anna Higgins, a member of Na Huaimhe Senior Branch and a Leader with Navan Guides, writes:

Taking part in a virtual at home camping challenge was a first for me and definitely a first for many others. Senior Branchers from around the country logged online at 9am on a Saturday morning to undertake the challenge that the Ladybird deep inside us was itching to accomplish. Not only were we hoping to earn ALL of the Ladybird Interest Badges, we were also aiming to gain our Ladybird Diva pin. There’s nothing more enticing than a shiny pin to add to the necker!

After a quick opening ceremony and a round of introductions with over 100 of us, we began the challenge. The first badge we undertook was the Ladybird Road Safety badge. This involved us all getting out (within our 2km radius) and taking a video of ourselves in the correct walking/cycling gear. We also had to list the safety rules as a pedestrian or a cyclist, such as walking on the correct side of the road (depending on your activity).

Once we had undertaken our walk/cycle we had to upload our kilometres to the Mishon app. This also linked into the next badge, Sportswoman. For this badge and the Active Body badge we had to attempt six challenges on the Mishon app and post screenshots of the challenges into the Facebook group. Some badges were independent and some were ran entirely on Zoom call.

I found that I was busy non-stop throughout the two days. One thing that took most of the time was colouring! I hadn’t realised just how much colouring the Ladybirds do. Imagine if I went outside the lines, I wouldn’t live it down! Between carrying out science experiments to dressing up as our favourite character from a book, there was such a variety of activities. My favourite part of the weekend was the WAGGGS* campfire on the Saturday evening. While in the middle of the Camp Cape Badge I sang along to some of my favourite songs with my Guiding sisters from around the world. It was a very special campfire as we all celebrated the #sharethelight movement.

Through the use of technology – from emailing to social media and Zoom – we were all able to come together and take part in a challenge while staying at home and keeping our distance, all while having fun. I made new friends, had a laugh with old ones and I learned so much. It was an experience that I will never forget, hopefully it will become an annual challenge.

Camping at home has never been so fun!

*WAGGGS = World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

Well done to Aishah, Ella and Anna who all succeeded in earning the title of Ladybird Diva!