A Newbridge teenager is preparing to take part in Guiding’s toughest challenge, which will see her living on €3.50 a day while hiking 60km and carrying all her camping and cooking equipment, clothes, food and water at a secret location on August 3 next.
Áine Foley (18), who is a member of Irish Girl Guides’ Senior Branch and a leader of Lily Guides, which meets in Scoil Muire, will also have to complete eight projects and keep a log book of her experience during the five-day Chief Commissioner’s Award. However participants never know what part of the country they will be competing in until the day the challenge starts.
Áine says she is counting down the days until she dons her rucksack on Sunday, 3 August to join nine other young women from around Ireland taking part in the survival adventure, which is organised by Irish Girl Guides to challenge members over age 16. Everyone competes in a team of two or three and Áine will be teaming up with two Dublin friends, Aisling O’Boyle (18) and Lauren Manning (19).
Áine decided to take part because she felt it would be “a great challenge”. While admitting to feeling “scared, nervous and excited”, she also looks forward to making new friends and enjoying a sense of achievement and fulfilment as well as learning new skills along the way.
She reckons the skills and strengths she has already acquired through her years of Guiding will help her meet the challenge.
The Guiding motto is ‘be prepared’ and that’s exactly what Áine has been doing by taking long walks in the Curragh as well as joining her team-mates for hikes in the Wicklow mountains.
This has helped them build up their strength and stamina while practicing their map-reading and compass skills.