Be the good!

Monday July 13th 2015

To say I am on cloud nine would be an understatement! It’s been another jam-packed, super-busy month for me. I have found it almost impossible to find a moment to sit down and make a start to this month’s blog.

I was busy from the word go, spending the first afternoon of my summer holidays as a guest speaker at the annual MF Tea Party in Kelly’s Inn. Cora and I were invited up to speak of our “Year as a Scholar”, the high points, the low points and what it meant to us to be one of this years scholars. Where do you even begin?! It gave me the opportunity, fresh out of Belfast, to reflect on the phenomenal first year I have had, something that I wouldn’t have taken time to do otherwise. It is so important, no matter how fast life gets to take a moment out, to reflect and be thankful for all those little blessings that we take for granted. If we race through life, we often won’t appreciate those little things, and looking back in years to come, they’re the big things.


Next stop was to County Derry for the first round of Championship Season. The essential match day picnic was packed for our big match day out! Unfortunately, the road to Croker for the Mourne Men has ended earlier than anticipated so the only red and black I’ll be getting out this summer will be at the two County Down Michaela Camps. That’s good enough for me!


Speaking of Michaela camps, Camp season is well and truly upon us! During the summer holidays most schools lie dormant, quiet and still but throughout the month of July, 15 schools throughout Ireland will be bursting with love, fun, laughter and friendship as the infamous Michaela Girls Summer Camps take place. Anyone lucky enough to be involved, can feel nothing but electric throughout this one of a kind experience. The Michaela Girls Summer Camps can be described as nothing but complete magic. I am so blessed to be part of the team for three different camps this summer; East Down Camp, Glencull and Newry. One just wouldn’t be enough! Before camp season even began we had the opportunity to attended various bonding and training days to further enhance our knowledge and understanding of both the ethos of the foundation and the team we would be working with during the summer. From hikes up Divis Mountain, to action-packed training in Maynooth the build up is almost as fun as the week itself!



Our training day in Maynooth provided the leaders with invaluable information and inspiration to take with us and live out during our week at camp. Annabelle McAreavey shared with us a beautiful quote from Mother Teresa, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness”. Something that the leaders can take with them during our time at camp, but also through the rest our lives. Be the good you wish to see in the world!!


East Down Camp took place, for the first time, last week in St Malachy’s High School Castlewellan. I was a leader within the Faith Team and our theme for the week was the parable of the Mustard Seed. It was truly special watching the girl’s faith blossom and grow over the week. However, not only did their faith flourish, but so did ours as leaders. The girls were able to teach us things we had never before thought of just by opening up and sharing with us their own thoughts and perspectives.


A huge aspect of the week was focused on our faith role models, and we gave the girls time to think of and write letters to their faith role models; somebody who has touched or inspired their faith journey for the better. We were so lucky to have Ryan Cinnamond and Richard Moore in to deliver testimonies to the girls on their own personal journeys.


This element of the programme brought me back to when I was applying for the Student Award Scheme, where one of the questions was “What living person do you most admire and why?” Over the past couple of years I have been privileged to have met some extraordinary people. People, both young and old, from many different paths of life, who all have inspired me in so many ways through all their life experiences. However, when I ask myself the question there is one person who comes to both my mind and heart. On the 9th July 2012 my life was changed for the greater good when I was blessed with a little gift form God, little Annie O’Hagan, my beautiful baby sister. I truly believe, from watching Annie grow over the past couple of years, that if everyone had the same outlook on life as a young child does, the world would be a much better place. She wakes up each day to a new day, a day filled with so much love and opportunity. She’ll walk down stairs to the toys she left the night before, and see them as brand new toys. She greets everyone with a smile and always sees the best in every new person. Everything about her world is good. Simple, but vital little things that can inspire us all!


This week I am currently a leader within the Fáilte element in the Glencull camp. I can’t wait to see what this week brings. A week spent with such wonderful people will be nothing short of being completely magical.


Until next time,