Thirty young Gaisce participants from across Ireland began four days of hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and obstacle courses last weekend as they embarked on a four-day Defence Forces Adventure Challenge.
The Defence Forces Adventure Challenge shows how young people can dream big and realise their full potential.
The young recruits were put through their paces by personnel from the 2 Brigade Artillery Regiment of the Defence Forces, who led the Gaisce participants through a host of incredible adventure challenges, training, and team-building exercises during the week.
Defence Forces spokesperson, Commandant Pat O’Connor, said: “The foundation of all Defence Forces training is our values of Physical Courage, Moral Courage, Integrity, Selflessness, Loyalty and Respect. We hope that we can help to develop those values in the young people who take part of the Gaisce programme.”
The challenge began at Custume Barracks before moving to the Curragh and finished on Friday after the participants conquered Slieve Bloom. The young people taking part were all participants in Gaisce – The President’s Award, a self-development programme for young people which enhances confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical, and community challenges.
Each year, more than 20,000 young people across Ireland take part in The President’s Award. Gaisce participants aged 18 or younger were invited to nominate themselves to be considered for the Defence Forces Adventure Challenge and the lucky recruits were chosen from a large number of young hopefuls.
Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Gaisce – The President’s Award, said: “The President’s Award is delighted that, due to the generosity of the Defence Forces, 30 Gaisce participants are being given a unique opportunity to experience military life first-hand.
“These young men and women from all over Ireland will push themselves to their limits. In the process, they’ll develop skills, build in confidence, learn as much about themselves as they will about military life, and create lifelong friendships and memories to cherish.”