Each company does a slightly different mix of activities, please enquire with your local Captain prior to registering.
All the Leaders in GB have been Garda Vetted and have received Child Protection Training. Typically Leaders come up through the ranks and quite a few Leaders in GB have gone on to make Primary School teaching their career. Our leaders aim to provide a friendly environment where each girl is treated with respect and will develop as individuals while feeling safe and secure.
The Girls’ Brigade Programme has been designed to provide girls with the perfect environment to develop their social, personal and physical skills and learn through a planned programme of activities which are age appropriate. The Explorers class has a certain structure which is repeated weekly, which gives the girls certainty and allows them build confidence in the GB environment through routine and familiarity. It is also in this section that we introduce the concept of progression over time through badges and competitions. Our progression based program gives girls tangible goals to strive towards and begin to understand the value of practice and focus.
Most Explorer sessions are kicked off with some Singing Games which are synonymous with GB! This involves learning to memorise simple songs with associated actions. More complex songs are added as the year progresses.
Moving to Music now becomes more formalised as Girls form teams and learn set routines. Memorising steps in unison develops rhythm, balance, coordination, spacial awareness and most significantly teamwork. Teams may get the opportunity to compete against other companies at District and National Competitions. This introduces the girls to the concept of training towards a specific deadline, being accountable to other team members and disciplined in their attendance of practices and presentation of their uniform. Winning is a thrill and losing is also a valuable life lesson.
Relatively new to our programme, Modern Dance was introduced as a less competitive counterpart to our PE programme. The girls get to let their hair down and a chance to really bop! The emphasis here is on pure fun! Each District holds an Explorer Modern Dance Competition where girls can perform the routines they have learnt. If you ask our members, most of them will tell you this is their favourite part of GB!
Girls graduate from skipping in the big rope to turning their own rope. Simple rope-choreography set to music is fun and something special to show their families at the Annual Display. Skipping is physically challenging and a great full-body workout, while also helping to perfect rhythm and counting. Girls may also be entered into District and National Solo Skipping Competitions.
Arts and Crafts get a little more serious in Explorers as girls can enter the National Arts and Crafts Competition, competing for the ‘Ethel Carroll’ Trophy. Each year a particular craft and theme is set by the competition organisers. Projects are sent to Headquarters to be independently judged and prizes are awarded to the best craft projects.
Choral Speaking is a unique activity to Girls’ Brigade. While similar to a Speech and Drama exercise, it involves the recital of a poem in unison using only voice intonation and expression. Being on a Choral Speaking team is a fantastic way to build self confidence, eloquence and public speaking. Explorer Teams may enter the National Choral Speaking Competition which gives them the opportunity to perform their poem on stage.
Each year 6 talented Explorer singers are chosen from each company to enter the National Feis Competition. Girls all practice the same song and give a solo performance on the day. How brave to take to the stage at such a young age! A shield is awarded to the best singer, but clearly all who enter are winners.
Our spiritual programme explores themes like friendship, love, justice and hope through bible and modern stories with fun worksheets and related activities. Each year we discuss and debate different themes such as “Dare to be different” and “Shine Our Light” and this year the theme is “#GBCares4the World”
Listed here are our core activities but there are lots of others too such as fancy dress, drama, team-building games, trips, fundraising, baking, annual parties and so on.
The Girls’ Brigade is all about physical movement, especially at this young age. Whether it be skipping, team games or moving to music, physical fitness is obviously a major benefit of joining GB. When moving to music, props like pom-poms, shakers, scarves and bells are uses to make it even more fun (and noisy!). Girls start by copying the movement of the leader until they have the steps memorised themselves. This is a great way to teach coordination, rhythm, balance and concentration. Also in Explorers girls begin skipping by themselves and simple choreographed steps are introduced. While skipping is of course a great exercise, the real benefit is gaining the confidence to stand up and take your turn, improving each week. Our aim is to inspire girls to get moving while also introducing a little gentle discipline and above all have fun.
Using descriptive songs and dressing up props, we introduce the girls to their first taste of performance and dramatic arts. Explorers start to act out different stories and songs. These are the first steps on the road to our musical theatre and choral programmes in subsequent sections of GB. These kinds of activities promote imagination, confidence and public speaking. Not to mention how excited they will be performing for their family at the Annual Display.