DSAM #PALSFriendshipFridays Series: Ryan and Nash

 Nash (top) and his roommate Ryan.

Nash (top) and his roommate Ryan.

We are so excited to begin a new series featuring the friendships made through PALS! Welcome to #PALSFriendshipFridays, where we explore some of the incredible friendships made through PALS. To start, we’re talking about a long-time PALS volunteer, Ryan DiCicco, and his best friend, Nash Huffman. Ryan and Nash have attended many different PALS Programs, including Camp PALS Chicago and a few PALS Adventures.

What is your favorite thing to do at PALS with your roommate?

Nash and I really enjoy running football plays whenever we can, usually with Nash taking the shotgun formation or under center - I grew up playing football with my friends so it’s awesome to pick it back up with someone who has as much knowledge of the game as Nash.

Nash and I also enjoy messing with one of our regular roommates, Jamie Martin - this usually involves Nash and I waltzing over to Jamie’s room or inviting him over to ours. We play games, host parties, yell at Alexa and have a grand old time! Some of my favorite moments at PALS happened during these “chill” times - such as our epic hide and seek battles in the dorm rooms at Elmhurst College.

 Nash and Ryan enjoying ice cream with their friends Jamie and Zach (From left to right: Jamie, his roommate Zach, and their suitemates, Nash and Ryan).

Nash and Ryan enjoying ice cream with their friends Jamie and Zach (From left to right: Jamie, his roommate Zach, and their suitemates, Nash and Ryan).

What do you do to keep up with each other between Camps?

We FaceTime every 2 weeks to every month outside of Camp, often texting more often. I think we really enjoy speaking to each other and usually our conversation devolves into a variety of jokes at the end of every conversation. I was very lucky that Nash’s parents picked me up from school in the fall of 2015 so we could do a PALS adventure together, and I was able to visit his house and hang out with Nash in Indianapolis for a weekend.

I think our bond has been really strong, as I unfortunately could not do PALS in the summer of 2016, but was right back with Nash in 2017 and 2018 - since we kept in touch so often, it felt as if we hardly skipped a beat. (Although I could tell Nash had been working out with the football players during my hiatus - he is not a man you want coming at you in a tackle football game!)

I hope to visit the Huffman’s for a weekend near the end of October this year - I think it’ll be a perfect time to chill outside of Camp, now I just have to find a good costume to wear for a Halloween!

 Nash (left) and Ryan.

Nash (left) and Ryan.

What is your favorite thing to do together outside of Camp?

My favorite thing to do is really just to shoot the breeze and talk about his time at football and in high school. It’s been really cool to keep up with Nash since 2015 and witness both of us grow tremendously, whether that be Nash’s ascent to the most popular football manager in high school or my transition from school to the working world. I am really excited to see how Nash continues to evolve as a tremendous and caring person in this world.

 Ryan (left) and Nash doing their signature dance move.

Ryan (left) and Nash doing their signature dance move.

 Nash (left) and Ryan dancing.

Nash (left) and Ryan dancing.

What advice can you give to new roommates to create amazing friendships like yours?

My advice would be to do your best to really get to know your roommate and his or her family - I mean this is like any other advice I’d give about any other friendship - some people just don’t gel together, so don’t expect like you have to be best friends with your roommate, just like you wouldn’t expect to be best friends with your first year college roommate just because they are your roommate.

I feel incredibly lucky that Nash and I have been the type of people that really get along and look forward to seeing him through his life, and I hope he looks forward to seeing me through mine!

 Ryan (left) and Nash.

Ryan (left) and Nash.

Do you have an awesome friendship with your PALS roommate? Email your answers to sarah_henry@palsprograms.org to be featured in a future #PALSFriendshipFriday Series.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #PALS365 when you’re posting pictures with your PALS friends outside of camp so we can see your friendships year-round!