Every Friday from now until Summer, we’ll be featuring each of our volunteer director teams. Follow along at #PALSDirectorBlogSeries . This week, we are featuring our newest Camp PALS location, North Carolina. The Directors are gearing up for an awesome week at University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
Name: Jake Taylor
How long with PALS: Almost 2 years
Which program: North Carolina
What brought me to PALS: A resident from the nursing home I’ve worked at since I turned 16 thought that I would make a good fit for PALS. Her granddaughters are involved in PALS so she told me to look it up online, so I did. Soon enough, I went to my first PALS program at Cornell University in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the magic that PALS brings.
What keeps you coming back: The friendships that I have made through Camp PALS are so special to me. Every time I come to PALS I make the best memories, and I have the opportunity to make so many new friendships.
Advice for prospective leaders: Always stay upbeat when you’re at camp! Staying positive and interactive throughout the whole week of camp shows how passionate you are about PALS.
How can you lead in other roles: Interact with as many people as you can at camp. You can make a camp so memorable by creating a fun, engaging atmosphere.
Advice for first-time volunteers: Reach out to any leader or returning volunteer with any questions you have, either before camp or once it starts! Don’t hesitate or feel nervous, someone is always willing to help out.
Name: Kelly Kitchen
How long have you been with PALS: 5 years
Which program are you directing: Camp PALS North Carolina
What brought you to PALS: The people! You meet the best people while at camp and getting to spend a week together is so fun
What keeps you coming back: Creating new and exciting experiences for everyone at camp. I love seeing people come back year after year, and they have grown so much.
What is your advice for people who want to become a leader in their community: Just ask how! If you’re interested, make it known. Talk to your head counselor and Director team to see what inspired them to take the leadership track.
How can you lead at PALS in other roles: Go to other PALS camps and volunteer in different roles. You can also just ask if you can help out and try something new.
Do you have any advice for your first summer with PALS: You are in for the best week of your life. Go in with an open mind and be ready for anything!