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‘IGGNITE’ Int. Girl Guide Camp 2017 Set For Tipperary

The countdown to Ireland’s biggest ever 2017 International Girl Guide Camp has officially begun, following the launch last year of ‘IGGNITE’ at ‘CONNECT’ held in Rockwell College, New Inn, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, on August 21st 2016 last.

The IGGNITE event will be taking place in Rockwell College again this year, from July 30th, 2017 to August 6th. 2017.

Irish Girl Guides are now looking forward to welcoming some eighteen hundred other Girl Guides, aged between 10 years and 16 years old, from many different countries around the world. Indeed visitors, all who will be camping out, are expected from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada, the US, Georgia and Zambia, as well as areas closer to home, e.g. England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Full details and contact information on this major exciting event can be obtained HERE.


100 Years Of Girl Guides In Ireland Celebrated

Queen Elizabeth as a Girl Guide in 1937

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Girl Guides in 1937.

On the 7th of May 2011, the Dome, here in Thurles Co, Tipperary saw over 6,200 disciplined, spirited, inquisitive and members of the Irish Girl Guides gather to celebrate 100 years of their organisation, and what an organisation.

One of the disappointment felt by me, reflecting on the ceremonies organised for the recent visit by Queen Elizabeth II, was the visual absence of senior officials from the Irish Girl Guides Association. While we appear to have fitted in an invite for every other member of the ‘great and the good,’ there was not a sign of a Girl Guide anywhere in sight, despite celebrating their 100th Irish Birthday this year. The fact that Queen Elisabeth herself and her late sister Margaret were both Girl Guides, with the Queen presently the associations patron, this appears to have been a major oversight on behalf of the organisers.

Yes disappointing, no matter, no doubt this will be corrected when US President Barack Obama comes to Ireland on Monday, especially since his wife Michelle is President of the American Girl Scouts. But enough about this, ‘Dedication and Organisation,’ always has it’s own reward and real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.

Against the background of our hallowed Semple Stadium, this Girl Guide celebration was packed with Avitars, Moving Statues, Circus Performers, TD’s, Government Ministers, Giant Pigs, Helter Skelters, Musicians, Line Dancers and to close off this fun day an Abba Tribute Band.

The day got off to a brisk start with a Gold Award Ceremony, where 78 teenage girls each received the prestigious ‘Gold Award,’ the highest achievement that a Girl Guide can ever attain. These same group a short time later led the Members Parade, themselves kick starting the groups centenary celebrations, which fully demonstrated the total dedication and commitment by not just Girl Guides, but their leades representing the whole of Ireland.

Fine Gael TD, Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs was on hand to officially opened this 100th birthday event. The Minister in addressing the large crowd stated “This is a wonderful, historic, colourful day for you all. It is truly inspiring to see so many young people, and their leaders of all ages, latter still so young in spirit, gathered together to celebrate 100 years of success and true dedication. The organisation has an incredible role to play in supporting the young people of this country; helping them to develop our greatest natural resource to their fullest potential.

The remainder of the day was spent by the girls becoming involved in their different age group activities.  These activities included Circus Skills, Drumming,  Dancing, Science Workshops, Animal Roadshows, together with having the time to enjoy a free flow area, which housed a Helter Skelter, many large scale Inflatables, a Carousel and numerous Street Entertainers. The excitement of the day’s events were clearly written and easily read, on the faces of all those in attendance.

Coming near to the close of events, a presentation of ’30 year service pins,’ were presented by IGG’s President Maureen Dillon, Chief Commissioner Emer O’Sullivan and special guest Mary McPhail, Chief Executive of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, to some of the older yet still dedicated leaders.

The girls and their officers ended the day singing and dancing with music and song courtesy of the ABBA tribute band, ABBAesque, and in keeping with the 100th anniversary celebrations, this band lead all in attendance with a wonderful rendition of ‘Happy Birthday.’

A special thanks to Catherine Noone, Carmelia Jordan and PRO Catherine O’Connor for their kindness on the day.

Next huge event will be “Camp 101“, which is the International Girl Guide Camp, taking place in Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon in July 2012, with Guides from around the world in attendance. Camp 101 for Girl Guides represents the beginning of a new centenary, and the opportunity to further build on a most successful past 100 years of Guiding in Ireland.

Want To Join Irish Girl Guides? Please contact the Irish Girl Guides National Office:- Telephone 01-6683898.



Irish Girl Guides – Irelands Future Is Safe

Attending the gathering of four hundred Irish, American and Australian Girl Guides, which included their Leaders, here in ‘The Dome’, Semple Stadium, on Saturday last, set me to thinking.

My thoughts, (a very dangerous practice many would forecast) were focused on the major event in progress.

Four hundred young people were all lodged in less than three acre of activity space and despite an abundance of Fruit Drinks in plastic containers, Twix Bars, Mars Bars, Lolly Pops, Chewing Gum, Sweets and Treats of all make, manner and description, not one solitary paper wrapper or plastic bottle could be found carelessly dumped on the ground during the afternoon events. No one shouted or verbally argued, pushed, shoved or were disrespectful to those leaders who from time to time issued commands. Questions were asked and fully answered in a pleasant civil manner, silence was fully observed when necessary, without any request from authority, when leaders and guests spoke publicly.  Contentment, enjoyment, fun, a thirst for knowledge, civility and wisdom was everywhere in abundance, yet these Girl Guides were not hand picked and came from all denominations and varying social backgrounds, to attend this event.

What was the secret to achieving this harmonious setting I pondered?

Irish Girl Guides Launch New Logo & Uniforms from George Willoughby.

Afraid to ask the question, I watched in the full expectation that all would be self revealing. Later, leaving the event, close to the close of business, the answer was clear as crystal.

To my mind, it was a successful combination of what most of us have now sacrificed on the alter of that most powerful and insatiable deity, the god of greed, during that short period, known as the ‘Celtic Tiger Era’.  Their secret was a mixed bag of goodies they collected and now carried with them, each item clearly wrapped and labeled. The labels bore the words ‘share’, ‘team work’, ‘practical education’, ‘self discipline’ and ‘respect for fellow beings’.

Having watched these bright inquisitive young people, I left with the feeling that despite the current absence of honest leadership in this county and country, the future of Tipperary and Ireland was in safe hands, thanks to the mighty work and effort, much of it unpaid, by this worthy organisation, who gave so unselfishly of their time and vast experience. Well done.

Video Credits: B.Corbett, G.Willoughby


Irish Girl Guides Get New Uniforms

On Saturday, April 10th last, the Irish Girl Guides launched their new logo and new uniforms, with a big event for 400 of its membership here in ‘The Dome’, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. This comes in advance of the IGG’s 100 year celebrations in 2011 and will further illustrate how vibrant and modern,  the Irish Girl Guides really are.

Special guest at the event was Thurles Mayor, Mrs Evelyn Nevin.

New uniforms for Irish Girl Guides

The Irish Girl Guides were first founded in Harolds Cross in 1911. Now in their 99th year the IGG number some 10,500 members throughout the country.
IGG’s new uniforms have been designed in consultation with some of the organisations younger members. They are bright, they are colourful and in the words of the girls themselves, they are ‘cool’.

IGG has always been a forward thinking organisation and they rightly feel that this new attractive look will further encourage members to take pride in their uniform. With so much of IGG’s programme based on education through action, group activities and the great outdoors, these new uniforms, while attractive, are also practical, versatile and come in different colours identifying each section within the organisation. The new look includes colourful t-shirts, trendy hoodies and fitted micro fleeces as well as accessories, such as branded bags.

Ladybirds, Brownies and Guides aren’t just, as often misconceived, some cute kids in uniforms who go camping on weekends. The Irish Girl Guides are so much more, as people like myself quickly found out on visiting their chosen campus on Saturday last. IGG members are currently working on exciting projects such as a weekly Guide unit in Crumlin Hospital for girls who want a fun break from hospital life, Road Safety and Drug Prevention programmes for their members, their Outreach Programme – the positive step of bringing minority ethnic communities into IGG.

Those lucky to attend as visitors, witnessed everywhere, teamwork, enjoyed discipline, sharing, laughter, caring and knowledge being transmitted through the medium of competitive fun, and we were left with the feeling that, contrary to the day’s dreary newspaper headlines, this country may after all have a bright productive and positive future. Personally, if I had daughters, still young enough, I would be seriously encouraging them to join this wonderful happy organisation.

Some of IGG’s core methods are still very much in evidence such as earning badges, but they have also modernised these for example: New Brownie Badges -Discovering Faith, Cultural Diversity, Foreign Language, Disability Awareness and for Guides – Chocolate, Film Lover, Beautician, Renewable Energy, Ski-ing and Team Player.

Commenting on the IGG’s new look, Emer O’Sullivan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Girl Guides stated:

“We were very conscious when designing our new logo that we kept the traditional elements of Guiding. The Trefoil which is used by all Guiding Associations, together with the uniquely Irish Celtic knot, in a modern style.  Up till now, our Guides and adult Leaders all wore the same uniform.  Our new range of uniforms has colours and styles to suit all ages.”

Linda Peters, CEO of the Irish Girl Guides stated:

“The launch of our new logo and uniforms comes at a very exciting time for our organisation as the Irish Girl Guides will celebrate its centenary in 2011. We will have a dynamic new image as we move into the next century of Guiding.”

The launch in Thurles on Saturday last saw 300 girls aged 10 – 15 and 100 leaders from all over the country come together for a fashion show of uniforms from the last 100 years, as well as taking part in 100 Guiding challenges with everything from hand-printing, crafts, fun outdoor games, and camping challenges, to taking a photo in the shape of our organisations letters and sending messages to Girl Guides around the world via the Internet.

The 10th of April, the date chosen for this event, was significant, as it was also the day when the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) were celebrating the centenary of Guiding worldwide with a themed ‘Plant Day‘, which involved Girl Guides all over Ireland in the planting of trees in their local towns.

Update click Here