Longford teens receive Irish Girl Guides’ National Guide Award

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Girl Guides

Members of Ardagh Guides, Longford, pictured on a hike pre-Covid

Six Longford Girl Guides recently received the Trail Blazer National Guide Award – Irish Girl Guides’ highest award – during a special online award ceremony.

Jean Kenny, Eliza-Jane Pearman Howard, Sarah Keenan and Aoibhinn Kelly of Ardagh Guides and Katelyn Penrose and Sarah Coppinger of North Longford Guides each received a Trail Blazer gold pin and a National Guide Award certificate.

Under normal circumstances, the girls would have headed to Croke Park with their proud parents and Leaders to receive their awards from the Irish Girl Guides (IGG) President at a national ceremony. However, due to the current Covid restrictions, this year’s ceremonies have been taking place in online regional ceremonies.

IGG President Maureen Murphy congratulated the girls, saying: “You have been on a journey with lots of challenges and new experiences, you have gained new skills and friendships, and I am sure had fun too. When you think back to 2020, I hope, as well as remembering the pandemic, you will also remember that 2020 was the year you achieved your Trail Blazer Award under exceptional circumstances when you showed commitment, persevered and achieved.

“It takes commitment and self-determination to complete the award,” she continued. “I have no doubt you will shine going forward and, as Trail Blazers, will make a positive contribution to your local communities.”

IGG Honorary Ambassador Shirley McCay, Ireland’s most capped female Irish athlete, also congratulated the Guides: “2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone in so many ways, which makes the achievement of earning the National Guide Award all the more significant. It’s so important that young girls, like those in Irish Girl Guides, continue to aim high, dream big and inspire those around them.”

IGG West and Central Midlands Regional Commissioner Caroline Flanagan said: “This award is made in recognition of the successful completion of a series of challenges, including teamwork activities, outdoor survival skills, community service, global awareness and working with younger members of Irish Girl Guides to help them develop confidence, independence and essential life-skills. We are immensely proud of the Guides in our Region who have achieved their National Guide Award.”

Irish Girl Guides welcomes new members from age 5+ and volunteer leaders from age 18+. Previous experience of Guiding is not necessary. To find out more, see www.irishgirlguides.ie, email info@irishgirlguides.ie or tel: 01 6683898.