PALS Programs

Camper Spotlight: Velinda Ramsey

Name: Velinda Ramsey

Age:18 yrs old

Number of years at PALS: 4 yrs

What camps have you attended: Cabrini, Poconos  

What is your favorite PALS memory: The dances

What is something unique about you, that most people don’t know: I’m a cheerleader at my high school, the Blue Devils.

What is your biggest accomplishment:  Learning to tie my sneakers.

If you could have any job, what would it be: Doctor

Anything else you would like to share with the PALS community: I can’t wait until next year to go to Camp Pals Poconos and see my friends!

The Congratulations Project:  The Exley Family

This is our sweet little boy, Gavin. Gavin was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. Initially, my thoughts about people with Down Syndrome were extremely limited. I didn’t think he would ever live a fulfilling life. I was completely ignorant about Down syndrome. After all, Gavin was the first person I ever met with the condition. 

After receiving the diagnosis, we went to work immediately learning about what this would mean for him and for our family. We got plugged into our local Down syndrome association, began therapies, and seeing specialists. I think the most meaningful information we have gained has come from individuals who have Down syndrome themselves. Getting to know these beautiful people have tremendously impacted our ideas about how fulfilling Gavin’s life truly will be. It touched our hearts in an amazing way to have a personal, hand-written letter from our pen pal. He had some beautiful words of encouragement for our family. I hope that every family that is blessed with a child who has an extra chromosome is able to experience the heartfelt connection that PALS is building for people.

Taylor Exley

To learn more about The Congratulations Project, visit congratulationsproject.org

The Congratulations Project:  The Ascherl Family

Today, the Ascherl Family shares sweet Bradyn’s Congratulations story:

“Bradyn burst in to life with the surprise of having a little something extra, he was born with Down syndrome. Everyday we are lucky enough to wake up to his smiling face. Sometimes it is hard to think of what the future may hold and how his life will be different or similar to his brothers. 

Receiving the gift as part of the Congratulations Project through PALS gave me a glimpse into an older boys life. He had aspirations of being in the Army and gave us a great drawing of Iron Man. It gives me so much hope for Bradyn’s future. Also the gifts were very sweet and Bradyn cannot get enough of the Grip n Roll Balls and plays with his brother rolling them back and forth. 

The Congratulations Project is such a blessing to new parents and new little ones! 

 Thank you, The Ascherl Family”

The Congratulations Project:  The Romero Family

image

This week, we hear from the Romero Family:

“Shortly after our son Colt was born we discovered that he had been gifted with an extra chromosome.  The news changed nothing for us in our minds and hearts for our love of our precious baby.  We know that Colt is just as fearfully and wonderfully made by our perfect creator as our other children so why would we feel any different?  God didn’t make a mistake when Colt was being “intricately woven” and “knitted together”.

Sadly though, “CONGRATULATIONS!” isn’t always the word you hear upon sharing news of this amazing blessing.

I cannot put into words what a wonderful gift it was to not only hear that word  but to receive a letter from one of the amazing campers at Camp PALS.

We were so touched by the letter and package that we received.  I truly look up to these individuals and look for any chance that I can to hear from and talk with others who also share that something extra special.

I am so grateful to Jenni and the rest of the staff and campers at Camp PALS for helping to spread the beauty and joy in this blessing to us parents!

You are doing a wonderful thing! Thank you for celebrating our son! Keep up the great work!

Sincerely, Kelsi Romero”

tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o3_1280.jpg
tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o4_1280.jpg
tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o2_1280.jpg
tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o5_1280.jpg
tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o7_640.jpg
tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o8_640.jpg
tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o6_1280.jpg
tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o1_1280.jpg
tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o9_1280.jpg
tumblr_n80h7wDYJ31rsxq19o10_1280.jpg

Wow, what an incredible week we had at Cabrini College for Camp PALS Philadelphia. There were incredible trips to the beach, Dave & Busters and the Franklin Institute, not to mention endless dance parties and fun activities!

For more, check out the Facebook and Youtube and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Camp PALS Georgetown photos and videos this week!

Guest Photographers from Camp PALS Chicago

We’ve been having a great time this week at Camp PALS Chicago! The campers and counselors have taken in many sights, and made a lot of memories! Here are some of the memories captured as photos by PALS campers!

A Silly Selfie, by Isabelle W.

On a Scavenger Hunt, by Holly D.

The Big Bean, by Danny S.

The Best of Friends, Megan W.

Keeping Cool, by Blake W.

Keep up with all of our fun activities on Facebook and Youtube, where updates are posted throughout the day!

Guest Blogging From Soeren and Timbo- PALS Board Members and Spread the Word to End the Word Co-Founders

 "Timbo and I started Spread the Word to End the Word six years ago with what we thought was a crazy idea: that, somewhere, there were young people and self-advocates with ability and desire to lead a movement changing the way society views intellectual disability. We thought that, maybe, we could find enough young people and self-advocates willing to stand against the mistreatment of their classmates and friends with intellectual disabilities.

And then we came to PALS. And we realized that this wasn’t such a crazy idea after all. Through something as simple as being a counselor, being a camper, being a friend, all of us in the PALS community have already taken a stand against the stigma and prejudice that continues to follow those with intellectual disabilities. And we’ve taken a stand for acceptance, for friendship, for respect. Whether it happened at Camp Olympics, a PALS Spread the Word event, in a Camper Speech, or an authentic conversation over lunch, we’ve all taken a stand.

Today, we hope that you’ll take a stand with us to end one part of this stigma and prejudice: the word “retard(ed).” Take the pledge to end the R-word atwww.r-word.org and then asks your friends to do the same. Together, we can make a world where acceptance and dignity for people with intellectual disabilities isn’t such a crazy idea. Together, we can make the world a bit more like Our Place.


We hope you’ll take a minute to read the op-ed that Timbo and I wrote today for Spread the Word to End the Word. And, as a bonus, you can watch Timbo and I fidget in our interview with Huffington Post Live (also at the link).

Peace, Love, PALS,

Soeren and Timbo

Co-Founders, Spread the Word to End the Word
2010 Camp PALS Cabrini Olympics Champions (Go Sharks)“

Our First PALS Adventure on the West Coast is March 21st!

We are very excited to be announcing our first PALS Adventure on the West Coast!

This Adventure will take place Friday, March 21st, 2014 at the Google campus in sunny Mountain View, California! We will start with lunch paired with our Google partners and then move on to our Google technology sessions where we work on developing independent skills for going to work and school. We will be wrapping the day up in the Google bowling alley to dance, sing, bowl and have a blast with all of our friends at Google!

Interested in this PALS Adventure?

Sign up here: PALS Google Adventure Application

If you have any questions, please email adventures@palsprograms.org or can contact the Adventure Leader, Meaghan, directly at meaghan.oday9@gmail.com 

We are looking forward to continuing the wonderful relationship PALS has built with Google and cannot wait to see you all in March!

Guest Blogging from Alyson and Jenna!

Camper/counselor pair Alyson McGonigle and Jenna Pando met a year and a half ago at Camp PALS and have remained extremely close. Read more about their friendship in their own words:

Alyson: “Going to school in Virginia often makes it hard to hang out during the school year, but we like to take advantage of the time we do have together while I am home. Over this past break, we went shopping, had lunch at Ruby’s and had a sleepover. While at school, I am thankful for the ability to FaceTime with Jenna. Because of this she has been able to meet my roommates, and see where I live while away at school.

Jenna has become so close with my entire family, and I with hers. We feel blessed to have such an amazing friendship…I am so lucky to consider Jenna one of my best friends, and I cannot wait to see what other adventures our friendship takes us on.”

Jenna: “I have fun with my friend Alyson from Camp Pals! This Christmas break we went to the Mall and I went to her house and played Ping Pong, dance party and Sequence at Alyson’s house.

I miss her when she is gone at school. Sometimes when Alyson is at her school I FaceTime with her and show her the dress my mom got me for my dance or my duck slippers. I love her.”

Jenna’s mom, Lizanne, added, “We have been so touched by Alyson and Jenna’s friendship.  Her whole family has embraced Jenna and welcomed her to their home or out to Alyson’s track meets many times. Alyson is a very special person and we have come to love her like family.  We hope that Alyson and Jenna remain friends forever.

We can’t thank Camp PALS enough for giving Jenna the opportunity to spread her wings and learn independence and relationship building with wonderful people like Alyson in such a safe environment.”

Do you have a photo or story like Jenna and Alyson’s from a recent hang out with your Camp PALS friends?

Email details to aj@palsprograms.org for your very own blog spotlight featuring the ways you keep the PALS love alive all year long.

Guest Blogging from Hannah and Andrea!

Recently, Andrea went to visit her Camp PALS Georgetown camper Hannah Culotta at Hannah’s performance of The Nutcracker. Here’s a message from the pair:

Andrea: “I was honored to be able to see Hannah perform at the Nutcracker this past weekend. Hannah’s smile and personality lit up the stage! I am so happy to have been able to continue my relationship with Hannah throughout the year. I consider her so much more than just my partner for the week; she is one of my best friends.”

Hannah: “When I first started the Nutcracker, I was ten years old. Once I was a giant mouse and a soldier. This year, I was a party girl and a sleigh angel. I felt excited to see Andrea at the Nutcracker. She was my counselor at Camp PALS. It was so fun that Andrea came to see me.”

 

Do you have a photo or story like Hannah and Andrea’s from a recent hang out with your Camp PALS friends?

Email details to aj@palsprograms.org for your very own blog spotlight featuring the ways you keep the PALS love alive all year long.

Meet the Directors: Introducing the Dallas Team

Howdy, y’all! Meet the director team of the brand new Camp PALS Dallas. This exciting team of directors are excited to introduce Camp PALS to the South! With Kellen’s vision and determination, Brenna’s wisdom as a sibling, and Jill’s humor and passion, they hope to provide a week in Dallas that you’ll never forget. Dallas may be the baby of the camps, but this group of campers will represent the oldest age group, 18-25. With the special interests of this group in mind, this week in Dallas will focus on leadership development, self-advocacy, and life skills such as independent living and career building. But never fear! This group will also have plenty of time to soak up the Texas sun with trips to the water park, horseback riding, and more! We can’t wait to see you in Dallas. 

Learn more about this director team after the jump:

Kellen:
“Howdy! My name is Kellen Gandy and this is my fifth year at Camp PALS! I have been a counselor at the Philadelphia and Georgetown Camp PALS locations and can’t wait to lead this camp at its new location in Texas. I am currently living in Arlington, Texas and working on my Ph.D. in Health Psychology & Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Arlington. Camp PALS is my favorite time of the year and I can’t wait for the exciting week we have planned at Camp PALS Dallas.”

Brenna:
“Hi y’all! My name is Brenna O’Sullivan. I am so excited for Camp PALS to finally come to the South! I have been part of the PALS family since 2009, and this is my first year as a program director. I could not be more honored to serve the PALS community in this capacity. While I’m not daydreaming about Camp PALS, I am working on finishing up my senior year at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN and preparing for my Teach For America placement in the Fall. I hope to see you in Dallas for the best week of the year!”

Jill:
”Howdy, y’all! (Did I say that right?) I’m Jill Novak and I am uber excited for Camp PALS this year. This will be my fourth year at Camp PALS. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend Camp PALS Philly, Princeton, and San Francisco and now will be directing Camp PALS Dallas with some awesome people. I’m originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but am currently living in Nashville, Tennessee where I am getting my master’s degree in Special Education from Vanderbilt University. I enjoy long walks on the beach, strawberry ice cream, and the color forest green. I am so excited to extend our PALS family to the south and can’t wait to make new friends in the lone star state. “

Camp PALS Dallas takes place at the University of Texas at Arlington from May 25-31, 2014 for 20 campers ages 18-25.

 To help this amazing team of directors and the rest of PALS Programs make this summer the best one yet, please consider making a contribution of any size and Donate Here!

Meet the Directors: Introducing the Georgetown Team

image

Meet the dynamic new Camp PALS Georgetown Director Team. This team is comprised of PALS veteran Alex Meltzer, the warm-hearted Andrea Greenfield, and rising star Scott Gerson. They represent the synthesis of old and young, combining wisdom and know-how with a vibrant spirit. Georgetown has their camp in the heart of the nation’s capital and intend to take full advantage of the surrounding opportunities and Georgetown community. This program will specifically focus on the development of campers into confident, independent young men and women while they enjoy the best week of their lives. The countdown to Camp PALS Georgetown 2014 has officially begun!

Learn more about them after the jump:

image

Alex:

“What’s up, PALS people? I’m Alex Meltzer, and this will be my 11th year at Camp PALS! In the past I’ve held many different positions, ranging from counselor to head counselor to director, the last of which I am very excited to be doing again this summer at Camp PALS Georgetown. I currently live in Baltimore, Maryland, where I am working on my PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I look forward to working with two great freshman directors this year and meeting some new campers and counselors too!”

image

Andrea:

“Bonjour to you all! My name is Andrea Greenfield, and I’m anxiously awaiting the start of my 4th summer at Camp PALS. I have worked as a counselor and CPS in the past, but this will be my first experience as a director! I recently began a job at the Morris County Mental Health Association, working in the Supportive Housing Department. I live with my family in New Jersey (Go Devils!), and I look forward to checking out DC during camp this summer.”

image

Scott:

“Aloha! My name is Scott Gerson, and I am the youngest member of the PALS Director Team this year. I spent the last three summers as a counselor, visiting multiple programs this past summer (Philly, Chicago, and G-town). This will be my 4th summer with PALS, but my first as a director, and I can’t think of two people I’d rather have by my side for Camp PALS Georgetown 2014. I am currently a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland, where I play baseball and coach Unified Bocce. Hurry up, summer!”

Camp PALS Georgetown occurs in Washington, D.C. June 29 - July 5, 2014 for 40 campers ages 16-25.

To help this amazing team of directors and the rest of PALS Programs make this summer the best one yet, please consider making a contribution of any size and Donate Here!

Meet the Directors: Introducing the Princeton Team

image

Meet the Princeton Director Team. Joining last year’s fearless leader, returning Princeton director Whitney Flora, is David Sabia, a counselor at various PALS events for the past four summers, and Steven Rosen, a new member of the PALS family and a Princeton alum. Located on the historic and beautiful Princeton campus, this program intends to replicate the quintessential college experience–trying new things with new friends, all while developing meaningful independence. The team looks forward to meeting their campers and counselors and beginning what will surely be one of the best weeks of the summer!
Learn more about them after the jump:
image

Whitney:
“Hey PALS fam! My name is Whitney Flora and this will be my 6th summer with this amazing organization. In the past I was a counselor and head counselor at Camp PALS Philadelphia. I then got to experience the awesomeness of Camp PALS San Francisco and this last summer I had the pleasure of being a head counselor at Camp PALS Georgetown. It will be my 2nd year as director of Camp PALS Princeton and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for this incredible summer!  I am currently a senior at the University Of Arizona majoring in Family Studies and Human Development and plan to move to the east coast as soon as I graduate. I am so unbelievably excited to work with these guys and to plan a fun-filled camp at the beautiful Princeton campus! Watch out NJ!”

image

David:
“Hey everybody! I’m David Sabia and this summer will mark five years since my brother Steve, a 7th-year camper, introduced me into the PALS family! In that time I’ve served as either a counselor or head counselor at PALS Philadelphia, PALS San Francisco, PALS Georgetown and PALS Princeton. This summer I’m excited to spend my first year as a director with my amazing co-directors at PALS Princeton. I currently live in Silver Spring, Maryland, where I work as a 5th grade paraeducator in the Montgomery County Public School system. I am also working towards my Masters in Elementary Education from University of Maryland, which I will complete this upcoming May. Can’t wait to meet all the counselors and campers for what will surely be one of the best weeks of the year!”


image

Steven:
“Hi! My name is Steven Rosen and I’m a new addition to the PALS director team.  I graduated from Princeton University last year where I was a director of Princeton Disabilities Awareness (PDA), an organization that held an annual carnival for young children with Down Syndrome.  I currently live in Philadelphia but travel all over as a consultant for McKinsey and Company.  I couldn’t be happier to head back to Princeton for Camp PALS!”

Camp PALS Princeton occurs on the Princeton University campus July 27- August 2, 2014 for 25 campers ages 18-25.

 To help this amazing team of directors and the rest of PALS Programs make this summer the best one yet, please consider making a contribution of any size and Donate Here!

Meet the Directors: Introducing the Chicago Team

image

Meet the new Camp PALS Chicago Director team. Consisting of equal parts experienced and new, young and old, this quadrumvirate (Doug Kocur, Joanna Wagner, Conor Hawes, Kyle Stolarz) represents a wide range of talent and imagination that will directly drive and influence their unique set of programming held at Elmhurst College. They endeavor to create an inclusive and immersive camp experience with a twist of mid-west hospitality and a generous splash of fun. From a programming perspective, they intend to accommodate a wide variety of interests, with a distinct Chicago flavor, that will have both campers and counselors alike talking about the best week of their summer for years to come. 

Learn more about this director team after the jump:

image

Doug:
What’s going on, PALS community! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Doug Kocur.  This will be my 5th summer at a PALS program! I had the privilege of attending multiple camps last summer, in addition to the inaugural year of PALS Chicago.  I am currently a 7th grade special education teacher in Bolingbrook, Illinois. I am STOKED to not only be returning to Chicago, but to be joining this Director team as well! I am excited to work with these three amazing Directors to bring everyone the best PALS experience possible during the BEST week of everyone’s year. I hope everyone is as excited and anxious for this summer as I am.  I can’t wait to see everyone! PALS Love!”

image

Joanna:
“Hallo PALS Family.  My name is Joanna Wagner, and I am fortunate enough to be a Director for the second year in a row at Camp PALS Chicago.  By day, I am the Deputy Director of Operations for Best Buddies Illinois.  But by night, I’m working with Doug, Conor and Kyle to create the best possible camp for our wonderful campers and counselors.  Seeing the joy that our new friends brought to Chicago last year has inspired all of us to continue to spread that PALS magic throughout the year.  Whether we are sailing around Lake Michigan, eating pizza or playing board games, there is no group of people I would rather spend my time with.  We can’t wait to see you all again this summer for the best week of the summer!!”

image

Conor:
”Hey! My name is Conor Hawes and this will be my second summer with Camp PALS. Last year, I had the privilege to serve as a counselor at both the PALS Georgetown and PALS Chicago camps. This year, I cannot wait to help lead and shape the program that has brought me so much joy! I recently moved to the Windy City to start my employment as a technology consultant, and am staffed in the beautiful city of Toronto, Ontario. I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to work with a team of such talented and passionate Directors. I hope to carry forward the momentum from the success of last year’s inaugural Chicago camp in order to establish a solid foundation for Camp PALS Chicago for years to come!”

image

Kyle:
“Hello PALS friends! My name is Kyle Stolarz and although this is only my second summer acting as the Director of Camp PALS Chicago, I couldn’t think of a better place to spend a week of my year! I’ve spent the last three years crunching numbers as an actuary with Ernst and Young, and recently relocated to New York City from Chicago. I am anxiously awaiting year two of Camp PALS Chicago, and couldn’t be more excited to continue working with Joanna and join her in welcoming two new Directors to the team: Conor Hawes and Doug Kocur!

Camp PALS Chicago takes place at Elmhurst College June 15-21, 2014 for 25 campers ages 14-21.

 To help this amazing team of directors and the rest of PALS Programs make this summer the best one yet, please consider making a contribution of any size and Donate Here!

Meet the Directors: Introducing the San Francisco Team

image

Meet the Camp PALS San Francisco Director Team. Joint together by their common love of baby animals and, of course, PALS, they are ecstatic to be working together. This team plans on bringing a week full of PALS magic to all participants with a hint of California style. They advise participants to prepare themselves for a trip to Google, guacamole and Ghiradelli ice cream, and countless spontaneous dance parties under SCU’s beautiful palm trees. They are already counting down the days to all the fun in the California sun!

Learn more about this director team after the jump:

image

Hannah:
“Hi friends! My name is Hannah Cunliffe and I am beyond excited to start my 6th summer here with the Camp PALS family. In previous years, I have worked as a counselor, a head counselor, a CPS, and this will be my very first summer as a member of the San Francisco director team! I am currently a senior at West Chester University studying elementary and special education. Words cannot describe how excited I am for this upcoming summer. And with that…let the Camp PALS 2014 countdown begin!”

image

Sara:
“Hiya! I’m Sara Glass and I could not be more thrilled to begin my 5th year at PALS. I’ve had all sorts of roles here, now including the honor of being a director for the second year in a row. I am in my third year at the University of Toronto (Oh, Canada!) studying Health and Psychology. I am so excited to work alongside Hannah and James in making our third year on the best coast better than ever!”

image

James:
”Hi, Camp PALS! My name is James Kuczmarski and this will be my 6th year with camp. As a former counselor, head counselor, and founder of Camp PALS San Francisco, it is so amazing working on the director team and seeing all of the magic come together! As a graduate from Princeton University and current Googler, I bring brawn and beauty to the Camp PALS San Francisco Director team. I am so lucky to be able to experience PALS in my home in the Bay area.”

Camp PALS San Francisco hits the west coast July 6 -12, 2014 for 25 campers ages 16-25.

 To help this amazing team of directors and the rest of PALS Programs make this summer the best one yet, please consider making a contribution of any size and Donate Here!

Meet the Directors: Introducing the Philadelphia Team

image

Meet the Camp PALS Philadelphia Director Team. Joining last year’s returning directors Jenn Grobe and Morgan Williams is PALS veteran Laura Karp. This energetic, exciting team of dedicated directors can’t wait to get back to the beautiful Cabrini College campus, where Camp PALS Philadelphia has been hosted for over 10 years! They can’t wait to offer PALS’ youngest campers a week full of fun, excitement, friendship, and dance parties at the largest Camp PALS of the 2014 season!

Learn more about this director team after the jump:

image

Jenn:
“ Hi! My name is Jenn Grobe, and I’m anxiously awaiting my 7th summer at Camp PALS. This will be my third year as a Director and I’m already counting down the days until Camper Arrival! This fall, I began law school at George Washington University in Washington, DC, in the hopes of learning about and practicing disability law. I can’t wait to spend my summer making new friends, singing karaoke, and starting dance parties on the patio!”

image

Morgan:
“My name is Morgan Williams, and I love Camp PALS. This is my second year as a Director at the Philly program, but I’ve been involved with PALS since 2010, when Philadelphia was the only program we had. By the time we leave the launchpad this summer, I will have graduated from Swarthmore College with a double major in Political Science and Psychology. I’m really excited to be a part of the 2014 Director team for three reasons. One, I’ll get to see Jenn Grobe and Laura Karp every day. Two, I can’t wait to make new friends. Three, CAMP PALS IS THE BEST WEEK OF THE YEAR!”

image

Laura:
“ Hey there! My name is Laura Karp and I’m SO excited for my 8th summer at Camp PALS. I have been a Head Counselor and Head CPS in the past, but this will be my first summer as a director! I recently began graduate school for occupational therapy at Towson University. I want to be an OT to help young adults with their independence skills. I live in Baltimore, MD with two friends from PALS and we’re already counting down the days until Camp PALS Philadelphia at Cabrini College!”

Camp PALS Philadelphia will occur June 22-28, 2014 at Cabrini College for 60 campers ages 12-18.
 

 To help this amazing team of directors and the rest of PALS Programs make this summer the best one yet, please consider making a contribution of any size and Donate Here!

Meet the Directors: Introducing the Content Team


image

Meet the brand new, “still in the box with shrink wrap on” team of content directors. Supporting PALS across the nation, this team is composed of the energetic Paige Talhelm - Donor Relations, the veteran Jordan McCollough - Media, the classy Courtney Lynch - PALS Adventures and the awesome Ricky Price - Medical. This team was created to fulfill the needs of all programs, current and future, of our rapidly growing organization. The Content Team aims to assist each group of directors on common key areas, such as funding, staffing, and continued programming, allowing each group of camp directors to focus on making “the best weeks of the year.” While others have begun the countdown to a specific camp, the content team is already living the PALS dream by supporting each location year-round. They are inspired, motivated, and excited to support the wonderful PALS community 365 days of the year

Learn more about this team after the jump:




image

Paige:

“I’m Paige Talhem, and this will be my fourth year at PALS and I will be serving as our Donor Relations Director. I will be working with each of the program director teams and their donations. I’m super excited to work with each camp and am counting down the days. My interest in PALS and helping those with special needs began because of my brother who has Autism. I reside in the hood of Baltimore with my two roommates and wiener dog. I am currently a Psychology major at Towson University. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering at the Hussman Autism Center and eating a lot!”

image

Jordan:

“Greetings Earthlings! I’m Jordan McCollough, Director of Media, and this will be my 7th year with PALS. Over the years I’ve filled a lot of roles including counselor, blogger, and videographer. This will be my first summer as a PALS Director, and I couldn’t be more excited! I currently live in Washington, DC where I am working as a Software Test Lead for an IT consulting firm. In addition, this summer I started my own wedding videography business and have successfully completed 4 projects. I look forward to acting as videographer for PALS this summer while taking a step back to shape the future of PALS Media “the other 51 weeks” of the year. Please feel free to contact me at jordan@camppals.org for any PR/Media related inquires!”

image

Courtney:

“Hello PALS family! I’m Courtney Lynch and I’m ecstatic to officially be joining the PALS Director team! I can’t get enough PALS in my life and Summer 2014 will be my 6th summer at camp. This year, I will be working on year round PALS programs as the Director of Adventures. I graduated from Miami University in May with a degree in special education and though I grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio, I currently live in beautiful North Carolina. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to bring PALS Adventures to a city near you! ”

image

Ricky:

“Hey PALS Peeps! My name is Ricky Price and I am so excited to join the Director Team for my 5th summer at PALS. I have been a counselor for the past 4 summers, so I was thrilled to receive this roll as Medical Director for PALS 2014 to help make this summer the best summer yet for all of our programs around the country. A little about me: I am a senior at Michigan State University (GO GREEN!) and I will be graduating this spring with a bachelor’s in Kinesiology and a minor in Dance. I am also in the process of applying to Medical Schools in the hopes of becoming a specialized pediatrician for persons with disabilities. I am super excited for this summer; the countdown has begun for PALS 2014!!”


To help this amazing team of directors and the rest of PALS Programs make this summer the best one yet, please consider making a contribution of any size and Donate Here!

Check back tomorrow to meet the next team of directors!

Guest Blogging From Camp PALS Dallas Director Kellen Gandy

“Howdy! Luke and I had a great time at the Buddy Walk in Dallas, Tx recently promoting the new Camp PALS location. There were over 150 teams registered at the Buddy Walk with all of their friends and family present. Luke was very energetic when telling people about our plans to go horseback riding, to cool off at the water park and of course, the awesome dance parties that would occur at camp.

We handed out PALS balloons, bracelets, and brochures and it was great to see all of the PALS balloons being paraded around the city during the walk. We are really excited about the new location and to be able spread the PALS joy down South!”