Lending a hand at Mosney

Six weeks of fun, fabulous weather and a group of wonderfully enthusiastic girls from every corner of the world! Where else could we be, but in the new Brownie Unit in Mosney? The once very well-known summertime Irish amusement attraction that brought joy to families across Ireland is now bringing joy and comfort to families from across the seas, a home and a place of sanctuary for those who do not have a home.

IGG had the amazing opportunity to get involved with the Mosney community for a six-week period and introduce Guiding in the form of Brownies. Even though we introduced the idea to the seven to 10-year-old girls, the girls were already Brownies at heart with their enthusiasm, positivity, eagerness to lend a hand and an astonishing kindness. Everything that represents what a Brownie is!

By the end of the first meeting it was clear that this amazing group of girls from all different walks of life all had what it took to be a Brownie. So, what did we get up to? Over the six weeks the girls kept a folder that was full of arts and crafts from paper dolls wearing their home countries’ Girl Guide uniform to friendship bracelets and helpful elephants. The girls learnt what it meant to lend a hand and become a Brownie by being introduced to the Brown Owl and the Brownie story, learning what their promise meant, shaking with their left hand and learning how to tie their neckerchiefs very successfully. Absolute naturals! There were also games galore such as musical bumps, relay races and much more.

Although we didn’t all speak the same language it really did not seem to matter that there were more than six nationalities of all different English-speaking abilities in the room because we all knew how to speak FUN and, when you’re a Brownie, it’s safe to say that is the most important language to know. The six main nationalities in the Mosney Brownie group are from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Nigeria, Albania and Angola. We hope that this expands even more in September. It’s no surprise to say that Mosney was familiar with Guiding before our arrival. We were incredibly lucky and absolutely delighted to find out that a resident of the Mosney community was a Guide in Angola before coming to Ireland. She selflessly volunteered her time with us over the six-week period and was brilliant. The starting up of Brownies in Mosney meant a lot to her as Guiding, like for all of us in IGG, is close to her heart.

The enthusiasm and kindness I saw from the girls in the short six weeks was incredible. From the moment we stepped foot inside the gates of Mosney the enthusiasm was looking right at us with huge smiles, full of chat and ready to go, run, jump, lift, carry and sing. Even the smallest gestures throughout the meetings spoke volumes whether it was helping someone colour, tie a knot, remember the words to a song, a quick translation to a friend in difficulty or even down to sharing the last piece of chocolate was heart-warming to watch and a huge eye-opener at how willing these Brownies were to share.

By the end of the six weeks the girls’ heads were bursting with campfire songs (which were 100% a favourite) that just had to be let out before they exploded with excitement. So for our final meeting we had a campfire, sang our hearts out and then filled our bellies with delicious chocolate bananas which were made over the campfire. We said our goodbyes not for good but just for the summer.

We hope to continue the Brownie group in Mosney on Tuesday nights and for it to be as successful as it has been already. I think it is safe to say that we, as a group of Leaders, enjoyed the experience as much as the girls did and look forward to it continuing in the future.