Meet Ally Ellis, our PALS NYC Director from this past summer and this winter’s PALS Holiday Philadelphia Director.
What made you want to become a leader in the PALS community?
PALS Programs has introduced me to a welcoming and an inclusive environment that has completely changed my life. I wanted to become a leader in the PALS Community so that I could continue the PALS legacy by bringing the PALS magic to new Campers and Volunteers as our family continues to grow. Additionally, by taking the leadership track, I am able to extend my PALS week-long experience to a year-long experience that utilizes my skills and talents to benefit something so dear to my heart.
How have you grown as a person through your PALS leadership experience?
Experiencing PALS through the lens of a leader rather than a Volunteer Counselor has enabled me to grow in many ways. As I reflect on my development over this past year as I organized and oversaw PALS NYC, it is clear that I have discovered a new sense of confidence that I once lacked. When my Co-Director and I first met back in January, we were hesitant that we, two young and inexperienced leaders, would be able to plan a new Program in a new city that was comparable to that of our well-established Camps. Knowing that our new Program has brought the same sense of PALS magic that Sarah and I have felt in past years to the Campers and Counselors at PALS NYC leaves me with complete certainty and confidence that PALS NYC will continue to grow and improve with every passing year.
What legacy do you want to leave with PALS as a leader?
As a leader in PALS, I hope to serve as an example to the new Counselors. During my first experience with Camp PALS, I had an extremely young and challenging Camper. In order to grow as a Counselor and learn the ropes of Camp, I turned to my Head Counselor at the time, Cat Wood, to teach me various techniques to better approach my relationship with my Camper. By the end of the week, I had felt a new sense of accomplishment and truly believed that I could handle most Camper-related problems on my own in the future. Ever since my first Camp, I have watched Cat’s involvement and leadership with PALS develop, and I have modeled much of my leadership track off her’s. I hope that I can not only fill the footsteps that have been paved for me from past/current PALS leaders like Cat, but also hope that I may impact the next generation of PALS in the same way and encourage them to take the same leadership track that I am now taking.
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