On Friday the 12th of May, I completed my Gaisce Bronze Award. This was composed of 13 weeks of personal development, 13 weeks of voluntary work, 26 weeks of a physical activity and a adventure trip consisting of an overnight stay and a 25km walk. I found Gaisce very beneficial as it was a great character builder and it was a wonderful experience.
For my 13 weeks of personal development, I did drama. I found this improved both my confidence and public speaking. For my voluntary work, I did coaching with the Marlins Swimming Club. I found this very enjoyable as I got to improve my communication skills, while watching the kids improve and also while giving back to the club. I also did my physical activity with club as I was already training 4 days a week with them. This was great as it kept me fit and healthy.
Lastly, all I had left now was my adventure trip. I did this between the 11th and 12th of May. This consisted of going to the Bluestack Centre with the 22 other members of my year that were doing Gaisce. We arrived at 7pm and we got straight into walking around the area as we had to complete 10km that evening. Once we had completed that, our feet were aching and we were ready for bed. So, we set up our sleeping bags on the hard wooden floor and settled down for the night. We rose bright and early the next morning as we still had to meet up with the rest of the TY’s and do another 15km across the Bluestack Mountains. At 10AM, we met with the group and once again began walking. We walked through bog, marsh and trails for about 5 hours and within this time one shoe had been lost, clothes and shoes were covered in bog water and exhaustion had settled in, however, we had reached Glenties and completed the 15km. Overall, I found that the walks were great craic and I think I built bigger and better relationships with the people around me.
I found Gaisce very good and I definitely don’t regret doing it. I am now a more confident and happier person and I will hopefully be doing my silver award next year.