Hello from San Antonio!

We arrived on Friday evening at the National Down Syndrome Congress in San Antonio, TX!

The big highlight of the first day was Camp PALS co-director Jenni Newbury’s keynote speech to open the conference. Jenni had been asked by the NDSC to give a personal take on her relationship with her brother Jason and how that experience motivates her in her work with Camp PALS and beyond.

On Saturday, following Jenni’s speech, we spoke to individuals from across Texas and indeed the country who were interested in learning more about Camp PALS. As we were quickly finding out, Jenni’s speech was already being considered the highlight of the conference!

We also went out to dinner with Catherine, Nicole, and Luke from Camp!

On Sunday, we got to have lunch with Daniel Chaplin and his family. Dan comes to the conference every year, and he shared with us his favorite parts of the conference.

Overall, it was an incredible experience! Consider joining us next summer in D.C. for the NDSC 2012 conference.


Day 5 Highlights

Today was another great trip day! First, campers attended training and choice activities in the morning.

Photo by Tamar Ingber
 Then East Camp went to the zoo while West Camp went bowling.
Photo by Crissy Plana
Photo by Jim Solomon
We finished up the night with team preparation for Camp PALS Olympics and camper speeches.

As always, check out for more pictures from today and the rest of the week.


Day 3 Highlights

Today was beach day at Camp PALS. Following a bus ride to Ocean City, NJ on which campers watched movies like “Never Say Never” and “Cars,” we arrived at camp to ride surreys on the boardwalk.

Photo by Crissy Plana
Then we ate some lunch and hung out on the boardwalk and beach.

Photo by AJ Abelman
A few of us were even brave enough to go into the cold water!

Photo by AJ Abelman

Check out the rest of the pictures from today and the rest of camp online at


Day 2 Highlights

We’re just getting started here at Camp PALS and already have had such a blast! Today was a jam-packed day of activities on campus. Here’s a peek at what happened today.

Some campers participated in rousing games of kickball.

Photo by Jim Solomon
Campers also participated in photography activities during which they photographed themselves, their fellow campers and camp staff.

Photo by Amanda Hesser 
Finally, some campers took a break to stretch and relax in yoga. 

Photo by Amanda Hesser

Check out the rest of the pictures from today and the rest of camp online at


Camp PALS 2011 Counselor Arrival

Camp PALS 2011 is gearing up! Over the past few days, over 150 counselors and staff have gathered from all over the country to get ready for what many call the best week of the summer.

Upon arrival, the counselors participated in a counselor picnic and ice breakers to get to know each other better. Among the activities were a fierce rock, paper, scissors tournament and a friendly competition between each team that included leap frog, singing and some interesting interpretive dances.

We gathered to train our counselors on the best way to have a great week and signed a petition to spread the word to end the word.

Additionally, in preparation for the nearly 120 campers attending camp this year, the counselors have been diligently working to decorate each team’s hallway and make sure that this truly is the best week of the summer for everyone involved!

Check out the rest of the pictures from today and the rest of camp online at
See you all soon!

-Crissy, Head Photographer

Maryland reunion follow-up

Thank you to everyone who came out to support Camp PALS at the DC Reunion last week. We had a great time catching up and planning ways to make Camp PALS 2011 even better!  We had over 15 campers and counselors come out to eat at Cici’s, with tons of family and friends.  Special thanks to Cici’s Pizza and to everyone who brought guests to dinner.  This DC Reunion was also a fundraiser and 10% of the proceeds from each meal was donated to Camp PALS!

With your help, we were able to raise $75 for Camp.  If you would like to begin planning a Reunion dinner and/or fundraiser in your area, please e-mail me at Thanks again, and have a wonderful 2011 - just 150 days until Camp!

Laura Karp
DC Region Reunion Coordinator

Beach Day at Camp PALS

Yesterday was our annual trip to the beach. We all woke up really early to board the buses and made the drive down to Ocean City, NJ, in beautiful coach buses (with DVD players)! The beach was great. Campers and counselors sped along the boardwalk on their colorful surreys before heading down to the water.

Thank you again Dr. Mark and Marisa for making our day so great!

After getting back to campus, we enjoyed an interactive concert led by Music Works and made get-well-soon cards for a few campers who couldn’t make Camp this year.

And as a reminder, you can see many more photos from this summer here.