Gaisce Spring E-Zine – March 2023
Message from the CEO
It’s great to see Award participation levels bouncing back after a challenging couple of years and we’re hearing lots of exciting Award stories as we begin to see more Award completions coming in. We’re delighted to spotlight some of the stories in our Spring e-zine, sharing ideas of different ways to complete the Adventure Journey.
Now is also a great time to encourage those finishing their Bronze or Silver Award to progress to the next level. Keep an eye on our website for Gold and Silver Award progression info sessions for participants and PALs.
We’d also like to congratulate and thank our hardworking and dedicated President’s Award Leaders. It was fantastic to meet some of you at our recent PAL Celebration event in Farmleigh, where we presented awards for long-service, retirement and supporting Gold Awardees.
Avril Ryan - Acting CEO
Award completions period is coming up fast for many so please check if you have participants who haven’t paid for their Award yet, as unfortunately we can’t approve completions or send medals and certificates without payment. Remember, Awards take 10 days to be sent from Head Office once completed on the system.
If you’ve been a PAL for 5 years, firstly huge congratulations – and thank you! Secondly, we need to put all PALs through Garda Vetting on a five year basis, so don’t forget to check if you need to be re-vetted. If you need further assistance on this please reach out to the Admin Team – email@example.com
Approved Adventure Journey Providers
We’re delighted to launch this new initiative by highlighting and recommending Approved Adventure Journey Providers as an option for completing the expedition Challenge Area. It aims to ensure consistency, quality, and safety across the Adventure Journey experience and provide support to President’s Award Leaders looking for an organised and pre-packaged Adventure Journey solution.
For a full list and to find out more check our webpage
In April last year, Tullamore College students undertook their Gaisce Adventure Journey with a twist – an overnight sleep in the school. While Covid-19 restrictions were gradually being lifted throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, the PALs were still concerned that certain aspects of the Adventure Journey may be affected. Given the prices of looking towards other organisations to host students, and the potential for cancellation, the PAL’s decided to use their own school, as the point for staying over.
Feedback from the students was extremely positive for this initiative, and it sparked curiosity among the rest of the student body about “The Big School Sleepover”. Students paid a total of €15 to cover food, bus and antigen test costs. This initiative was such a success that the Tullamore College President’s Award Leaders are going to do the same again this year.
To Read more about the Big School Sleepover check the Stories page on our website!
14 6th year students from Pobalscoil Neasáin travelled to Porto in Portugal to walk 100km north in the direction of Santiago de Compostela for their Gold Award Adventure Journey. As always its amazing to see how the students who would never cross paths in a school setting suddenly engulfed in this journey. Their bonding starts in the planning of the trip prior to departure.
On the walk you see barriers really break down, sitting having lunch, a coffee, or a rest together. Each evening as we’re cooking for each other and discussing their injuries, blisters and where hurts, all in a kitchen hostel over a packet of the local confectionery. For some this is the only adventure they have or will be on, however for the majority this experience will spark a want to travel and see what the rest of the world has to offer.
Check the Stories page on our website for more from the participants themselves!
Share Your Story
Do you have a participant who went above and beyond on their Community Involvement, or perhaps their Personal Skill was fantastic? Did your group come up with a great idea for their Adventure Journey or try something new for their Physical Recreation? Are you just really proud of what your participants did and think others should hear about it – get in touch!
We want to hear about Gaisce journeys, any stories about your participants or your experience as a President’s Award Leader. These could feature in future e-zines, and on our website, so we can share experiences, ideas and expertise across the national network of President’s Award Leaders and participants.
Share your stories with your Development Officer or with our Events & Community officer – Emily Wolfe
Dates for the Diary
Keep an eye out on our website and socials for details about the Gaisce Defence Forces Challenge 2023 – applications will open by end of March. This is an ideal Adventure Journey option for participants looking to complete their Silver Award.
We encourage Gaisce Award Partners to have at least two trained President’s Award Leaders within their organisation to support each other. If you have someone interested check out the How to become a PAL page on our website. Upcoming PAL training dates are updated regularly.