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2006 & 2007

Larch Hill Outdoor Camp

Larch Hill Outdoor Camp was held in Tibradden from 29th June to 1st July 2007. Here are some photos from the event.

Our Campsite More Tents Walk of Larch Hill Relaxation Time On Top Of The World Larch Hill Triplets :) Rock Climbing Snack Time Washing Time Shoe Rack Rock Climbing Ranger Enrolment Balancing Act :) Peg Cleaning :(

Here's the official website of Larch Hill Scout Campside

5th Helen Storrow Seminar in Our Chalet, Switzerland

Marianne McGovern, Raheny Guider, represented CGI (and Raheny Guides :) at 5th Helen Storrow Seminar in Our Chalet, Switzerland. The event ran from 23rd to 30th April 2007.

5th Helen Storrow Seminar issued a "CALL TO ACTION". Girls worldwide say... 'Fight AIDS'

The Helen Storrow Seminar, a leadership seminar for young women in WAGGGS, was held at Our Chalet World Centre, Adelboden, Switzerland from 23rd to 30th April 2007. Marianne went to Our Chalet to learn more about HIV/AIDS projects, advocacy, and how we can all make a difference in the world.


In the above photo, Marianne is the third from the left.

Busy Discussions Swiss Food Our Chalet Ireland Display on International Evening

Report on Seminar

I was delighted to be chosen to attend the 5th Helen Storrow Seminar that was held this year in Our Chalet, Adelboden, Switzerland. The theme of this year's seminar was 'Fight Aids'. The seminar was attended by 21 representatives from 19 different countries around the world. It consisted of a very diverse group of delegates from many backgrounds, coming together to share this experience. The main goal of the seminar was to create awareness and bring this back to our member organisations throughout the world.

The programme consisted of many sessions that opened our eyes to the problems surrounding HIV/AIDS. Although most of us had basic knowledge of the issues, with the activities we participated in we were able to learn a lot of information.

The first session 'Finding a Common Language' was one of the most beneficial sessions because English wasn't everyone's first language we needed to open the lines of communication to allow for open discussions. It outlined the terminology we would need to be familiar with during the seminar through several activities. This was the first time some people had spoken openly about topics like sexuality and AIDS that may be taboo in some countries. Through these discussions and activities we were able to get to know the other delegates and share knowledge from our different countries.

The next session was 'The Right to be me' which we split up into our regions (Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific, Arab and Western Hemisphere) to discuss moral and physical characteristics of people. We also discussed responsibilities and where they lie in our communities and countries as regards to family planning, health and well being. This lead on to the topic of values and opinions on issues like is it alright to have a child outside of marriage. Through these topics it was clear that situations in different countries were very different. We also discussed the different types of relations hips one person might have and what makes those relationships strong or weak. That night we had our international evening and we presented food, pictures, dance and music from our countries as well as sampling some Swiss cuisine.

Other sessions were 'Let's play: HIV/AIDS' which involved playing games that involved HIV/AIDS knowledge, 'Prejudiced and Stigma Reduction' involved defining both terms and role playing, 'Advocacy and WAGGGS' was an exercise to try sell our projects to influential people for funding. 'Peer Education' and 'Project Management' were also discussed.

We had several speakers throughout the seminar to bring the issues home to us. We had a trainer from Kenya who is the Programme Manager HIV/AIDS Kenya Girl Guide Organisation and we had a trainer from Brazil who is a co-ordinator of the Listen Learn Live Project, Girl Guides Brazil. They both outlined the steps taken in their country and by their organisation to 'Fight AIDS'. We also had two guest speakers from AIDS-HILFE SCHWEIZ. This was a really great experience speaking with two people who have been HIV+ for over thirty years. They explained their fears at first how they worked through them and how they now live a relatively normal life. Speaking to these people really helped me put this whole experience into reality and made it real to so many of the delegates.

One of the highlights of the whole seminar was our trip to Geneva. We got up early and took the bus to Geneva. We went to the World Council of Churches where we first had a meeting with the YWCA. They told us about all the HIV/AIDS projects they have running around the world and we then discussed what factors make a successful project.

We then met with the UNAIDS representatives. We were shown a video of a women living with HIV and the problems she encountered. We were then introduced to the women from the video. We spoke to her and her co-worker about living with HIV. They showed us their medicine and answered any questions we had. We were also shown a presentation on UNAIDS and how they work throughout the world. They gave us information packs and contact details for further details. We then had some time for sightseeing in Geneva before we got back on the bus to Adelboden.

I really enjoyed my stay in Switzerland. I met so many amazing people, learnt so much and all in the amazing surroundings of Our Chalet. I would definitely encourage anyone to visit Our Chalet. The staff were so friendly, the mountains were beautiful and the memories unforgettable!

Marianne Mc Govern - Raheny, Dublin Diocese CGI

The Juliette Low Seminar in Sangam, India

Louise Browne (Raheny Guider) attended the Juliette Low Seminar in Sangam, India, from Aug 26th - Sept 3rd 2006

Louise along with her Patrol, Narangi

Louise along with her Patrol, Narangi

Inside Sangam

Inside Sangam - Swimming Pool



The Sangam Sign

The Sangam sign

And a taste of some Bollywood Music:
Dus Bahane - Bollywood Dancing - Right Click and select 'Save Target As' to download.

Report on the Juliette Low Seminar

I was privileged to be selected to attend the recent Juliette Low Seminar held at Sangam World Centre, Pune, India. The theme of the seminar this year was 'Values-based Leadership Development in an International Setting' and was attended by representatives from 44 different countries. This was the largest representation from different countries to attend any JLS.

The program consisted of sessions on Leadership Styles & Qualities, Creativity, Communication, Advocacy, Managing Change, Leading a Team and WAGGGS - 10 million girls, 1 voice. We were encouraged to explore the type of leader we are and how we fit in to our own organisation. We also discussed the Strengths and Weaknesses and Opportunities and Threats that our organisations experience, working together on action plans to turn these weaknesses into strengths and the threats in to opportunities. The Chairman of the World Board, Elspeth Henderson, joined us for the second half of the seminar and she covered talks on the WAGGGS Board and how WAGGGS and WOSM are working together in relation to the voice of girls and young women.

One of the most inspiring sessions was when we visited some of the local NGO's working to improve various aspects of Indian life. The Door-Step School - working to increase literacy levels & numbers attending school. YWCA - working with girls/women to help them understand their rights and give a voice to their needs.

Finally, the Mobile Creche - a creche for the children of workers on the building sites on which both mother and father work. These visits had a big impact on many of the participants as it made you appreciate a lot of what we take for granted. I was so impressed by the work of the Door-step school that, since returning home, I held a themed Indian Night and raised the money to pay one teachers salary for a year.

During the seminar, it was easy to recognise that we are one big guiding family with different cultures and how when we work together we can achieve anything. Together we have one big voice and this is how we can make a big difference.

While we worked hard throughout the seminar, we also had a few opportunities to experience various aspects of Indian Culture; Mehendi Art (Henna), Bollywood Dancing, A Maharastrian Dinner (dressed in our Sari's!) and we visited the Aga-Khan Palace where Mahatma Ghandi was held under house arrest for two years.

I really enjoyed my time at Sangam. All the staff are very friendly and extremely helpful. I would encourage everyone to make the trip and visit Sangam.

When the seminar was over, myself and four of the other participants started a weeklong tour of the other sights India has to offer. This started with a 24-hour train journey from Pune to Agra. In Agra, we visited the beautiful Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary and many marble craft houses.

We then traveled on to Jaipur where we started at 7.45am with an Elephant Ride up to the Amber Palace and Fort. This was an amazing experience that was added to by the beautiful surroundings. In Jaipur, we also visited the Jaisingh Observatory and the City Palace and Museum.

Finally, we traveled to Delhi, host to the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Here we visited the Headquarters of the Bharat Scouts and Guides (after a very enjoyable Rickshaw ride that included a flat tyre!). Upon arriving at the HQ, we were given a very warm welcome, including a tour of the building.

We also visited Humayun's Tomb, Qutab Minar, Jama Masjid and Raj Ghat - Where Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, was cremated after he was assassinated in 1948.

Some websites worth visiting: Juliette Low Seminar; Sangam World Centre; and Door Step School.

Louise Browne, Raheny, Dublin Diocese CGI

Louise and Elspeth Henderson, Chairperson of the World Board, and awesome human being