Camp PALS 2007

My name is Laura Karp and I am 18 years old, this year was my first summer as a counselor at Camp PALS, and it was the best part of my summer by far! I was assigned to a camper named Monica and we got along great. We fully enjoyed every activity, from the beach to the trip to 5Below, “Yogaerobics,” the Farewell Dance, and much much more!

After orientation, I was completely psyched for Camper Arrival Day. I had a lot of previous experience with people with Down Syndrome (through Best Buddies and an internship I had) but I was unsure of what Monica would be like and if she would enjoy all the activities. The week sure seemed jam-packed! I was really excited to meet Monica because when we spoke on the phone it seemed like we had a lot in common. She’s really into sports, drama and country music; three things I enjoy as well! We also share a love of chocolate chip cookies!

One thing was for sure; the week was completely filled to the brim with new and exciting activities for the campers and counselors. Monica had acting sessions in the morning and played the grandma in a “Little Red Riding Hood” activity; she was great! I taught the cooking sessions (we made magic layer bars and rice krispie treats) while Monica got to meet new counselors and campers in the activities of her choice. One night we went out bowling and Monica beat me by quite a lot (at least 30 points…); we both had a great time getting to know our team, the Spunky Starfish!

When we went to Ocean City Monica wasn’t feeling too great, yet we still had a wonderful time. Everyone was really kind and understanding, from Kat and I doing all the work on the surries (4 person bikes), to the nurse, Jason and Julian all paying special attention to her after lunch. Once she started to feel better we walked up and down the boardwalk, we even bought matching shirts! (Pictured below).

Monica and I both had a great time at camp; she met a lot of new friends and was able to push herself to try new things. For example, though she’s normally shy, on Kareoke night she went onstage and danced while her friends sang! I had a truly life-changing time at Camp PALS and am already counting down the days until next summer!

Matching shirts!
Monica and I wore our matching shirts to Putt-Putt Golfing and the Arcade. (Yes, she beat me again)

Photo Collage
I made this collage so that everyone can remember all the fun times we had this summer! I hope you enjoy it! Have a great year and see you next summer!

In friendship,

Laura