I chose to write about the American Girl historical character, Nellie, and Saint Patrick’s Day for our Girl AGain blog post, because I really love Ireland.
When I went to a sleep-away camp I had many Irish counselors – we were all much younger then! I got to travel to Ireland in April 2017. It was a trip for my Spring break with my high school. My teacher Ms. Falco, who runs the school trips, knew how much I wanted to go to Ireland so she took me there when I was a senior and allowed me to see many of my counselors from the past.
My first Irish counselor was Katie. We met in 2012 during my first summer at sleep-away camp. I was a little nervous about my first time at sleep away camp and it was her first time as well, so we got to know each other very well. She is from Galway but is currently living in Dublin. She was a very nice counselor but sometimes a little strict, especially when she wanted everyone to eat healthily. When I felt homesick or was having a bad day, she was always there for me.
After camp ended, we kept in touch by email. I didn’t see her again in person until April 2017 when I went to Ireland for my Spring break. I was so happy to see her again after almost five years. We hung out at the hotel I was staying at and then we went out for dinner.
My other counselor from camp is called Clodagh. I met Clodagh in 2014 when she was my counselor for my bunk and also taught the counselors improv and performing. She is from Belfast. She was kind and I loved hanging out with her. She was very funny. During performing arts, we did a scene from High School Musical where everyone is auditioning to get a part in the play and two campers played the kids who didn’t get the part because they were nervous, and Clodagh played the judge who doesn’t like mistakes and I played Gabriella. She was very funny because when the two kids messed up, she acted all dramatic and when I came to audition, she threatened to go home if I didn’t make the part. When I made the part, she got all excited and said I got the part. I kept in touch with Clodagh by email and other forms of social media, but she didn’t respond until March of 2020 when the pandemic started and during the pandemic, we talked on Zoom a bit and caught up with each other.
Lorcan and Annalise
Lorcan is another Irish counselor I met at camp. I met him in 2013 and he is very funny and a very good actor. Once during track and field day, he dressed up as Regina the evil queen from Once Upon a Time and it was very funny. Annalise – another Irish counselor with who I got very close – taught everyone how to make ceramics. She is from Belfast. I got to know her very well and learned we have a lot in common. We both like pink, we both love animals and we both love Disney princesses. Annalise calls me a wee princess because I wear a lot of dresses and wee means small and I’m small. Annalise and I look so much alike we could be sisters. Annalise has been quite busy during the pandemic because she is a nurse. I saw her when I went to Ireland.
Amani is another Irish counselor I know. She is so funny and full of energy. She likes to wear a shirt that says “Let’s get weird”, so I got one too. She moves around a lot. After camp, she stayed in Mystic, Connecticut, for a while so I got to see her in person once. Right before the pandemic started, she moved back to Ireland and is with her family. We talked a lot during the pandemic.
My final counselor is Georgia – She taught drama and we did a fairytale-themed improv show together. She is a very sweet person and very mature for her age. I saw her when I went to Ireland and we went to the Titanic Museum.
On this St. Patrick’s Day, I would like to dedicate this blog to all of these special people who have helped me develop a love for Ireland and Irish culture. They are all so important to me and this holiday always helps me remember my fond memories.
My February blog post for Girl AGain highlighted the diversity among the dolls. To learn more about Nellie and her Irish background, please also read my St. Patrick’s Day blog post.
By Sarah F.
Marjorie Madfis says
I loved reading about your Irish connection. Izzie’s Grandma Rita, of blessed memory, was half Irish and she loved her heritage. Where Izzie went to camp there were many counselors from Ireland as well. It’s wonderful that you could visit them in their home country.