Orlagh’s insight to Camp Life as a Leader

Thursday September 10th 2015

When I first applied to be a leader at the Michaela Foundation Summer camp in Antrim I had a fair idea of what the week would have in store, having watched videos and seen photographs, I was dying to get involved. However, little did I know that this one week of Summer Camp was going to be so much more than an experience, it was going to give me a second family!

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“What a great favour God does to those he places in the company of good people” (St Teresa of Avila)

As Camp was approaching it was time to get organised in our elements for what Camp had in store. Our first night in our Whatsapp group was probably one of the most memorable. After literally a few minutes we were chatting away and having such a laugh! I knew from that moment on that these girls were truly something special. From then on after our meet ups, Maynooth training day and preparations our first day finally arrived!

The Leaders were buzzing for our first day, Campettes being dropped off with smiling faces ready for what was to be an amazing week full of activities! The time flew by so fast, in our element Fun, we had boomwhackers with Joe. The wee rhyme “cuppa tea, do you wanna cuppa tea” is still stuck in my head to this day! I was delighted to also be given the role of camp photographer. In my free hour I was able to get a real insight to what was going on and to be honest I was completely in awe. I could see the changes in the girls throughout the week as their confidence grew and beautiful friendships blossomed, it made my heart happy! Activities flew and the week continued there was something for everyone: Gaelic football, praying, Irish, dancing and even our very own fashion show! Before I knew it Friday had arrived, the day of the final mass. This was the most perfect way to end a perfect week. The mass was simply beautiful. The girls all participated. Our version of Lady of Knock was a complete tear jerker. I couldn’t believe the week was over I had got to know everyone so well and I didn’t want it to end, the best thing was this wasn’t the end, it was simply the beginning! Round 2 of Derry Camp was up next!

Since Camp I have spent the majority of my summer days with the friends i made at Camp and can honestly say I feel blessed. We have had sleepovers, sing songs, movie nights, dinner dates and one of my favourites when a few of the girls joined us for the gorgeous Final day of the Rise of the Roses tour in Knock.

I said to one of the Leaders “I just can’t believe how close I feel to all of you girls and I’ve only known you all a month” she replied with “it’s like minded people Orlagh, we are all a part of this Foundation for a reason.” I think this sums it all up for me as from day one all of the girls have been so supportive, friendly and kind. This year a lot of my school friends are moving on to university across the water and now I know I’ll never be without a friend as I’m so lucky to be surrounded by these beautiful, talented ladies whom I love to pieces!

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I would just like to thank Michaela Foundation for bringing these wonderful ladies into my life and giving me true friends that I could only ever have dreamed of.

Here’s to Camp 2016!