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.
Each company does a slightly different mix of activities, please enquire with your local Captain prior to registering.
With the simple skills learnt in Explorers, girls in Junior/Seniors start to practice and perfect more complex versions of our core activities. The expectation put upon girls is now elevated. Respect, kindness, honesty and responsibility are encouraged and rewarded. For the first time in GB the girls are given responsibility (sometimes with the formation of Squads). Girls get a sense of ownership as they earn marks for achieving different goals. At this age the social side of GB starts to flourish as friendships are depended through teamwork. Our ultimate aim in Junior/Seniors is to have lots of fun while also allowing each girls unique talents be uncovered.
The girls are taught respect, primarily by example through their leaders and by their peers in many different ways. They are encouraged to listen while their leaders are teaching them activities and to be aware of others that might be finding it more difficult than them and lending a helping hand. Respect as we know is earned so as the GB session goes by it becomes the norm for the girls to treat each other well in their actions as well as the spoken word.
In the Juniors /Seniors girls are given some responsibility in the form of helping their leaders e.g. look after a new recruit, setup equipment, leading a squad. The leaders realise that at this age life generally gets a little more difficult for them in school (the transition up to Secondary School is a huge step) and so giving them leadership tasks gives them a space to be in control and assert themselves with confidence.
At Girls’ Brigade we value honesty. It’s not just about being truthful, it’s also about having open communication, saying how we feel and giving girls the opportunity to have their voice heard. Our leaders model honesty by making a conscious effort to be truthful and also to be good listeners. Being honest sometimes takes a lot of courage, we praise girls for being open and truthful with how they are feeling.
Having empathy is a trait that is encouraged in The Girls’ Brigade. Girls love to raise funds for our various chosen charities and many companies visit Nursing Homes/Hospitals etc around Christmas, spending time with the residents. Our leaders are watchful for any girl that might be having difficulties, seem unhappy or struggle to join with the rest of her group. Leaders are always there to help them along, but other girls are greatly encouraged to be kind to their peers and make sure everyone is included.
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 Junior/Seniors class has a certain structure which is repeated weekly, however the girls can opt to do extra activities such as practices, competitions, fundraising and so on. Badge work takes on more meaning at this age as girls commit themselves to achieving certain goals be it as part of their squad, team or solo projects. Our progression based program gives girls tangible goals to strive towards and begin to understand the value of practice and focus.
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! District and National Modern Dance Competitions are held 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 doing simple rope-choreography to more complex solo routines set to music. Skipping is physically challenging and a great full-body workout. Style, rhythm, strength an stamina are the attributes of a great solo skipper. Girls train hard to compete in District and National Solo Skipping Competitions.
This is a relatively new activity in Girls’ Brigade and a very popular one. Every girl from Juniors upwards can take part, performing an excerpt from any stage musical. Not only do the girls get to perform on stage when they compete against other companies for the Musical Theatre Trophy they also can adapt their performance for their displays, and so they get to do it all again! The standard over the past number of years since its inception has risen each year and so the audience is treated to a highly talented musical show.
Each year a different craft is chosen for girls to master, 3 entries in each section can be submitted to a National Arts and Crafts Competition. For example the girls could be painting a picture, knitting or crotcheting, making a mobile, designing cards etc – the list is endless and varies considerably each year.
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. Junior/Senior Teams may enter the National Choral Speaking Competition which gives them the opportunity to perform their poem on stage.
Each year 6 talented Junior/Senior 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 drama, team-building games, trips, fundraising, baking and annual parties. Junior and Seniors also enjoy hearing from guest speakers on a range of topics (such as welfare of animals, skincare, healthy eating etc.)
The Girls’ Brigade is all about physical movement. Whether it be Skipping, PE or Modern Dance, physical fitness is obviously a major benefit of joining GB. Skipping and PE set routines are precise and specific, while also requiring grace, good rhythm and importantly teamwork. These activities require practice, concentration and discipline. Activities like Feis, Modern Dance and Musical Theatre provide for a more freestyle, creative approach. Our aim is to inspire girls to get moving while also introducing a little gentle discipline and above all have fun.
In addition to the various competitions held throughout the year, the highlight for any girl is the Annual Display. Each company holds a Display at the end of the session. GB dignitaries, parents, families and friends are invited to see a showcase of all the activities the girls have been working on throughout the year. There is a great sense of pride amongst the girls which culminates in the prize giving. Service and activity badges earned throughout the year are awarded in addition to many special trophies, cups, medals and plaques. Winning a coveted trophy at your GB display is a memory that will stay with you forever. A sense of progression and improvement becomes very important to girls at the Junior/Senior age group. Our aim is to build up confidence, ready for leadership challenges that lie ahead.