My name is Daniel Kelly and I am a Gaisce ambassador. I currently hold a Bronze and Silver Gaisce award and I am on my way to completing my Gold award. Along my Gaisce journey, I did a lot of things I didn't think I would do. When I first started Gaisce, I treated it like a competition with a few of the lads to see who could finish their bronze first. Gaisce is the president’s award and has three aims to be completed throughout each award. They are your personal skill, sport and community involvement, along with an adventure journey.
For my bronze Gaisce I took up playing piano as my personal skill which I then used for my junior cert music practical. For my adventure journey at bronze, I went and did an overnight hike to laurel lodge. These two activities helped me massively as it kickstarted my Gaisce journey and led me onto bigger and better things.
For silver I learned how to cook but that didn't go down too well as I still can’t cook. For my silver adventure journey I did the Camino de Santiago. I walked from Saria to Santiago in 7 days. This trip thought me a lot and gave me a lot of freedom. When I received my silver award I got it at Griffith College and I was asked to be a part of a photoshoot and Gaisce still use them photos for upcoming events.
I started my Gold Gaisce award over a year ago and Gold is where the most opportunities came my way. I decided to take up the tin whistle for my personal skill which I used for my leaving cert music practical (this never went ahead due to Covid). I was also asked by Gaisce to do an interview at Ratra house. Gaisce kept in contact with us after the interview and invited me to represent Gaisce at Michael D. Higgins’s May day garden party and got to meet him. For my adventure journey and residential project I went on a sailing journey with sailing Ireland and lived on a boat for a week. Just days before I was in Albania with my school volunteering and teaching Albanian children English through sports and music (a good chance to play my tin whistle which I taught to the kids).
If someone told me that I would of done all this just by signing up to Gaisce 4 years ago I would of laughed at them and thought they were mad. Gaisce is great and has given me and many other young people like me so many opportunities.