Upcoming Events

Camp PALS Community Cruise

About two weeks ago I distributed a survey to the Camp PALS Community about a group cruise idea for next summer, and the response was extremely positive. Given the information provided by the survey, I chose the cruise that appeared to work best for the most people: a 7-night Norwegian Gem trip departing on August 4, 2012 out of New York and going to Florida and the Bahamas.

This is not an official Camp PALS program, but it is an opportunity for us to travel together and share common experiences. The trip is open to everyone in the Camp PALS/Down syndrome community and friends and family. If you are interested in learning more about the trip, please visit http://www.astrotravel.net/ for more details and pricing.

- Josh

Camper Application is Now Available!

Happy New Year from Camp PALS!

The 2011 Camper Application is now available online on the Campers page at camppals.org. As you know, camp this year will be held from June 12-18, 2011. We have also put up our Reduced Fee Application and Funding Sources document for those interested in financial aid.
If you have any questions, please contact jenni@camppals.org.

Here’s hoping 2011 is the best year yet!


Maryland reunion at Cici's Pizza

Happy New Year Camp PALS!

One of our favorite resolutions is staying in touch with old friends… and what better way to do that than joining us for a Camp PALS Reunion? Add this fun-filled event to your calendars, pronto!

Do you live in MD/Metro DC?  Miss your friends from Camp?  Then come to Cici’s Pizza on Tuesday, January 4 for a Camp PALS reunion and fundraiser! The reunion starts at 6 PM and the fundraiser lasts from 5-9 PM. All you have to do is mention “Camp PALS” when you purchase your (all you care to eat) meal, and 10% will go to Camp PALS!

If you have any questions about the event, please e-mail me at laurakarp@gmail.com. Directions to Cici’s Pizza in Rockville can be found at http://goo.gl/maps/cCsc or call 301-770-4600.  Please spread the word by inviting family and friends to this event!  Thanks for your continued support.  See you at Cici’s!

Laura Karp
DC Region Reunion Coordinator

Less Than Two Weeks Left!

Camp PALS is just a few weeks away and the directors have been working on what we hope will be our best summer yet! Here is a sneak preview of some of our on-campus events…

  • Choice Activities: Our choice activities will be better than ever. This year we have added both basketball and weight lifting! We are improving our painting sessions by having all campers and counselors work on a large mural that we will display during closing ceremonies. We will also be having a new focus on healthy options in our cooking program.
  • Camp PALS Olympics: Perhaps our most anticipated event each year, the 2010 Camp PALS Olympics will be a sight to see! With our now-annual parade of athletes, the singing of the national anthem, and our new and old relay events, it will be quite a work-out for everyone involved! As is our tradition, we’ll end with the Camp PALS water balloon fight!
  • Evening Shows: After dinner each night, we’ll be having an evening show for the full camp. Some talent acts are still being selected, but you can expect a magician, MusicWorks, karaoke, and perhaps some talented acts from your very own counselors!

As you can see, the on-campus programming of Camp PALS is bigger and better than ever, and this is just the beginning. Don’t forget about swimming, the End of the Week Formal Dance, and a scavenger hunt!

See you soon!
- Jenni

Update on Princeton Reunion and Down Syndrome Conference

The Camp PALS reunion in Princeton had a great turn-out with over 30 people in attendance. We enjoyed Panera food, heard some good speeches and laughed with old friends. Below are a few of the pictures from the event.

A big topic of the reunion was the upcoming 3rd Annual Down Syndrome Conference at Princeton University. This year, the conference is titled “Up” and is again, hosting some fantastic speakers for parents while pairing all children with Down Syndrome and their siblings one-to-one with a Princeton student volunteer. The conference is scheduled for Sunday, November 15. You can register online at www.princeton.edu/~pda.

Hope to see you there!


NDSS to Honor Camp PALS

In July 2005, Camp PALS received the President’s Award of Distinction from the National Down Syndrome Congress. Today, 4 years later, I’m happy to announce that we will be honored at the National Down Syndrome Society’s Spring Luncheon. To be recognized by both of the world’s leading Down syndrome advocacy groups in such a way is a privilege and absolute honor.

The NDSS luncheon will take place on Thursday, May 14 at Rockafeller Center in New York City. If you live in the nearby area and would like to attend the event, tickets may be purchased on the NDSS website.


Princeton Down Syndrome Conference featured on Princeton.edu

Breaking Down Barriers, Princeton’s 2nd Annual Down Syndrome Conference, was a great success and is in the record books as the biggest student-run volunteer event in Princeton University history. To celebrate, Princeton has put a video of the conference (created by Joe Kozlowski ‘10) on the Princeton homepage!

Thank you to everyone who attended, and everyone who volunteered!

Hope to see you next year!

- Jenni

Off to Boston!

This weekend,a group of 16 Camp PALS staff members will head to Boston for the 36th annual National Down Syndrome Congress Convention. The NDSC has arranged for Camp PALS to have an exhibit throughout the weekend and to present a workshop on Sunday (7/13) at 10:00 AM. We are hoping to gain exposure for Camp PALS in order to broaden our support base, which will be necessary to ensure the continued existence of Camp.

If you are planning on coming to the convention, please stop by to say hello! All of our volunteers will be wearing bright-colored Camp PALS t-shirts, so we should be hard to miss. We will be posting updates from Boston throughout the weekend, so check back often.

Camper Reunion hosted by Penn volunteers

Hi! My name is Christine and I am a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. This year, a bunch of my classmates and I got together to plan a Camp Pals reunion for campers from the Philadelphia area at an arcade called Grand Slam USA. Although the preparation for the event was hard work, it has also been a lot of fun. We can’t wait until this Saturday to see the smiles on attendees’ and volunteers’ faces! What could be more exciting then an event that makes everyone happy? We are counting down the days until November 10th. I hope to see you there!

Turning the World Upside-Down


I wanted to fill everyone in on an event that Connor Diemand-Yauman (Camp PALS 2007 Counselor) and I have been working on for the past few months.

Princeton University’s Class of 2010 will be sponsoring the first-ever Princeton Down Syndrome Awareness Convention. The event will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2007 from about 10 AM-8 PM. The convention will host exhibitors, speakers and workshops throughout the afternoon for all of the parents. Meanwhile, over 100 Princeton University volunteers will pair up with all of the children and young adults with Down Syndrome. Together, they will spend the day at an Indoor Carnival held on campus complete with games, prizes, food and performances from many Princeton student groups.

This event is a great opportunity for parents to come and learn about the newest developments and issues going on in the Down Syndrome Community. This is a family event - siblings are encouraged to come to the carnival as well. Brunch and Dinner will be provided for all attendees. Finally, to end the event, we will (hopefully) be screening the Camp PALS Documentary.

Please go to www.camppals.com/convention and download a registration form ASAP. The registration deadline is October 17. Also, if you have any suggestions as far as speakers or exhibitors, please let me know!

This event is a dream come true for me, I can’t tell you how excited I am that its actually happening!!! Hoping to see all of you soon….

- Jenni

Full Circle

Almost exactly four years ago, I was sitting in a room packed full of people in Philadelphia at the 2003 National Down Syndrome Congress Convention. I remember listening intently to the speakers as they discussed a program made to create friendships between teenagers with and without disabilities; PALS, they called it. I was inspired and excited to see two teenagers who seemed to share my passion to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

As a sibling, it is my goal to ensure that my brother has each and every opportunity available to him. I decided to approach them to ask how I could get involved. From then on it was a whirlwind of events. Jason and Josh helped me to create a PALS chapter at my own high school. In the midst of organizing a club that quickly grew to over 100 members, I was invited to work with Jason and Josh on developing a camp for teenagers with Down Syndrome - Camp PALS. We started discussing and planning and accepting applicants, and before I knew what hit me, “The 3 J’s” were standing in front of a group of parents who were thanking us for creating an unbelievable week for their children. I don’t think reality set in for a few more weeks, not until we were sitting in front of hundreds of people, as PALS was given the President’s Award at the 2004 NDSC Convention. Wow, the difference a year can make.

Now, after a few “transition” years, Camp PALS is coming full circle once again. Jason Toff, Jenna Aidikoff, Jason Newbury and myself will be traveling to Kansas City, MO to present an exhibit and a workshop at the 2007 NDSC Convention. We are so excited about our trip - we hope to find more campers, counselors and sponsors - but most of all we look forward to being encouraged and inspired by the incredible things happening in the Down Syndrome Community. If you or your family is planning on attending the NDSC as well, please let us know! We would also appreciate any written testimonials about Camp PALS that we could bring with us. Please feel free to post them on the blog or email them to me at jenni@camppals.com.

As we hit this checkpoint in the life of Camp PALS once more, I can’t express how grateful myself and the other directors are for the incredible campers, counselors, parents and sponsors who contribute to this program. I don’t know where the time has gone, but I know these past four years have contained the most inspirational experiences of my life.