North County Leader

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Skerries Scouting Successes!

Two local girls were recently awarded the highest honour given to Scouts in Ireland. Emma O’Hanrahan and Karen Grimes of Rockabill Sea-Scouts, Skerries, were both awarded the Chief Scout Award at a presentation ceremony in the Mansion House on the 21st of February. In attendance was Chief-Scout Michael John Shinnick, head of scouting for the country, a national radio station, the Lord Mayor Eibhlin Byrne, members of the Scouting Ireland head-committee and representatives from the troop. The Award consists of six separate projects, which must be completed in a twelve-month period. The local scouts had to plan and complete a thirty-kilometre hike through Glendalough Mountains, organise a day-trip for their troop, learn a new scout skill, set and achieve a personal challenge, undertake an environmental project and gain a new qualification. Karen organised a sponsored dog-walk as part of her personal challenge, raising over E100 for the DSPCA, and said to the County Leader that “the whole project was an enriching experience, and it was great to complete the award”. For her qualification, Emma attended a two-day First Aid course in Balbriggan, receiving an Order of Malta certification which she believes will stand to her in later years; “the first aid course was definitely the best thing I did, I know it will help me in the future, both in scouts and everyday life”, she said in a short interview with the County Leader. So prestigious is the award, that the girls are the first from Skerries to receive the honour since Denise Keogh completed the award just under ten years ago. Denise is now the girl’s leader, and along with skipper Patricia Farrell, guided the girls towards their success. The girls also would like to thank their other leaders, Stephen Lappin, Ronan Keogh and Hugo Van O Dyck, without whom the project could not have taken place.Emma finished by encouraging all local scouts to undertake the project; “It was a lot of hard work, but it was definitely worth it in the end, it opened a lot of new doors for me, and I really got a lot out of it!”