“On a beautiful September day in 2017 I set out with a group of transition year students for a two day walk through some of County Wicklow’s rolling hills.
The students were all kitted out with backpacks and boots for the adventure section of their Bronze Gaisce Award. For some this was the part of the award they were most looking forward to… what could beat a few days away from the school desk in the company of their friends, walking, chatting, camping, cooking, good times. Others were more wary of the task ahead, looking around with nervous anticipation at the surrounding peaks, wondering which one they would shortly be attempting to climb.
I explained to the guys the importance of the Gaisce award scheme to potential employers, and of course to themselves personally. It shows a level of commitment and an ability to see things through to the end that can be hard to find, that you can pick a path and follow that path until its conclusion. And when it comes to the adventure section, the paths are not metaphorical but real, and that you are capable of encouraging others in your company to follow and join in your journey.
……..suffice to say that it was a great success. There were blisters, races, marshmallows, missing lunches, and warm breakfasts all round. But as always, when we reached the finish line the next day there were plenty of stories to tell, a great sense of achievement among the group and an eagerness that would carry the students on through the rest of their Gaisce journey…”