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Learning leadership skills with Trócaire

On 23 August Senior Branch members from Cork, Westmeath and North Longford joined young people from Foróige, Youth Work Galway and Adamstown Youth Club to take part in a Trócaire leadership weekend in Larch Hill International Scout and Guide Centre. Here Olivia Hoysted, a member of North Longford Senior Branch, gives an account of the event:

On arrival at Larch Hill, we were invited to participate in many activities that the wonderful team representing Trócaire had planned. We had fun with the ice-breaker games, which helped expand our knowledge on what leadership means. We drew our favourite leadership quotes and chose people to go to a desert island with. The team conveyed to us that leadership is more than just being direct with information.

We had an exhilarating experience as we participated in the famous Tròlympics. This was a competition in which four groups partook in four games. The winning group was noted by the fastest times and the correct answers to the questions about Tròcaire’s work. The first station was about folding a ground sheet until all the members in the group could fit on it. The second station involved running back and forth with a water bag 100 times (1km). The third station involved putting together 13 Trócaire boxes within an allocated time and the fourth was based on how fast items of clothing could be put on one person.

After a fantastic night, we woke to anticipate an eventful day outdoors with Scout Leaders. We played a game based on the importance of communication in a Leader. We all had ropes and we had to direct each other to pick up a peg. The other game consisted of gutters and a ball that couldn’t touch the ground. This showed the types of leadership that could be used in different situations.

That evening we were all delighted with the fantastic news on Trócaire’s proposed plans for a youth panel, which would tackle newer problems arising from a youthful perspective. We all showed extreme enthusiasm toward this exemplary project, as the team got us to explore the positive and the negative results that this could have.

After that, we were all treated to an interesting night of games that people had created for Trócaire’s game-changers contest. We played a virtual game that gave children’s knowledge about climate change in Honduras. “The Game of Life” was designed to educate children about inequality in the world. We also tried a game designed for primary school students about preparing for school (i.e. buying school books) and we played a game for an older age group explaining the production of clothing. The last game was extremely anticipated by everyone as it was interactive in teaching us about the atrocities that refugees suffer.

On Sunday we had a quick reflection on the weekend before the Trólympics winners were announced. The group was presented with the legendary Trólympics mug and a box of chocolates each.

We had a thrilling time and would like to extend a warm thanks to the Trócaire team (Aine, Karen, Laura, Steven and Conor) for making the weekend an informative and memorable one.