Camp PALS Expansion

Dear Camp PALS Family,

I am writing to tell you about some exciting news.

This past weekend, the four directors met to discuss the long term future of Camp PALS. We explored a variety of expansion and sustainability options, while considering realistic limitations as four full-time students/employees.

We’ve decided that the best way for Camp PALS to continue to grow and expand is for us to pass on the experience and knowledge we’ve gained to the hundreds of motivated people in this Camp PALS Family. This means bottling and packaging up a Camp PALS toolkit so that motivated and talented counselors, families, and sponsors– like yourselves– can look to grow new Camp PALS programs in your own areas.

We know this is a huge step, but we also believe that the passion, community and commitment behind the Camp PALS family can spread to more than a one-week program in Philadelphia. Every year, Camp PALS has grown in size and reach. We now have Camp PALS reunions, and we’ll soon have Camp PALS Research and a Camp PALS Compilation of Stories. But we know you have more ideas. Maybe the West Coast needs a Camp PALS. Or maybe Camp PALS needs a version for older adults. While the four of us may not be able to create a new program, we believe that there are people in this community who can. Camp PALS was created through the vision and drive of a group of young people - the best way for us to grow is to further empower the people, both young and old, who make our program a reality.

In 10 years, we imagine that Camp PALS, as we have all grown to know and love, will still be the best camp in the world. But the Camp PALS name could mean so much more as it reaches young adults with and without Down Syndrome across the country, embodying a variety of programs: Camp PALS Texas, Camp PALS Senior, Camp PALS Winter Retreat, etc.

We believe that this sort of expansion will allow as many people as possible to experience Camp PALS. We have just gotten started on the Camp PALS Expansion Guide, and will share it when it is ready in a few months. For now, we want you to consider if you’re interested in bringing Camp PALS to your neck of the woods.

PALS love,

Jenni, on behalf of the Camp PALS Directors

P.S. We want to hear your ideas and your feedback on this expansion outline. Please share your thoughts.