Looking forward to earning more badges!

Guiding does not end with earning your Trail Blazer National Guide Award. Once our members have completed their four years as a Girl Guide, they are encouraged to continue their Guiding journey by joining their local Senior Branch Unit where they will continue to grow in confidence and independence and will have opportunities to take part in national and international Guiding events.

Zoe of Ballybay Guides, Monaghan, thoroughly enjoyed earning a wide range of badges while she was a Guide and looks forward to earning more in Senior Branch. Here is the text of a speech she delivered at the National Guide Awards ceremony in Croke Park:

Hi, I’m Zoe.  One of the first things a new Guide does when she gets her Journey Folder is to look at the interest badges that can be earned. Whatever your interests, there are badges for you.

During my four years at Guides I earned numerous badges; some I worked on with a group and others individually. Some of these are: Guiding Traditions, Outdoor Cook, Campers Way, Drug Awareness, Global Traveller, Healthy Mind and, of course, everyone’s favourite – the Chocolate badge. The badge I would like to share with you is one I completed with all my Unit in my Trailblazer year and it is the Disability Awareness badge.

We completed this with Sinead who was a Gold Award Guide as a teen. We looked at deafness and we learned the alphabet in sign language. In week two Sinead brought in a wheelchair and we had to perform several tasks, including getting into the building, turning on the light, getting something from both a low and high shelf in the cupboard. We then discussed the difficulties faced by disabled people daily.

The highlight of this badge was our visit from Diane. Diane suffered a spinal cord injury after a car accident at the age of 21 while a student at college studying to be a Primary teacher. She gave us a detailed account of how she dealt with this change in her life, both physically and mentally. We then got to ask questions; we could have stayed all night as it was so interesting. Diane did go back to college and today she teachers Junior Infants.

In the final week, in our patrols we made sensory mats, three were donated to local schools with autism units and the other to a local family.

I loved my time in Guides and hope to achieve many more badges now I am a Senior Brancher.