camppals2017

Director Series: Camp PALS Columbus

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Camp PALS Columbus 2K17….It’s Going To Be Magically LIT.

Julia Huntington (Left) - Hey guys!!! For those of you who do not know me yet I am Julia! This is my 2nd year with Camp PALS and first year Directing! Last year was such an inspiring experience for me that I could not pass up the opportunity to get involved. My dream team and I have been working diligently to create the most energetic, over the top, fantastical Camp that PALS have ever seen. The part I am looking forward to the most is the countless number of dance parties that we have in store, and since I am a dancer I am going to pump up the party all day with you all! Last year I had the privilege of serving as your Queen Elsa in our Candy Land Live version. This year please expect me to be in full costume all week as some of your other favorite queens: Tinker Bell, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and much much more to your surprise! For 2017, our mission is to bring games, movies, and TV shows to life! I am so excited to meet you all, and to be reunited with our PALS Family.

Meghan Harris (Right)  - Hi everyone! My name is Meghan Harris and this will be my first year serving as the Volunteer Director for camp PALS Columbus! I am currently a junior at the University of Toledo studying nursing. I love PALS because I feel like it’s the closest thing to heaven on Earth. Every person becomes the truest version of themselves when they are around people who love them at their core, and I feel like Camp PALS makes that dream become a reality. One thing I love about PALS is seeing people come together and work really hard in an effort to make the week the best week of everyone’s lives. If I had to choose the best part of the week, it would hands down be karaoke. I love seeing Campers pick songs that they love and seeing their friends go wild when they jump up on stage! I’m really excited for PALS Columbus this year and I hope you are too!  

Ricky Price (Middle): Hey PALS Family and Friends! I am so excited to be coming back to help co-direct PALS Columbus for a 3rd year! For those of you who don’t know me, I have been a part of PALS for a whopping 8 years, and have directed Columbus since it’s birth in 2015! The amount of joy that Campers and Counselors bring and the effect they have on me has kept me involved for 8 years. I have met some of my best and life-long friends through this organization. I am checking off each day we pass on my calendar until PALS (if you don’t believe me just email me at ricky.price@palsprograms.org and i’ll prove it!). I am most excited for Camper arrival! As the Camper Logistics Director, I get to work closely with all the families. It brings me such joy knowing that I can help facilitate these Campers in having the best week of their lives at Camp. Talking to you all on the phone is awesome. Meeting you in person on the first day of Camp is priceless! This year at Columbus. my co-Directors and I are going to be bringing your favorite board games and tv shows to life, and we are very excited for you all to arrive and experience this magical week with us! You are going to have a blast - and the Price is always right ;) 

With Much PALS Love, 

Julia (Elsa), Meghan, and Ricky

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Director Series: Camp PALS Cleveland

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Hello! My name is Gage Woolley and I am so pumped for Camp PALS Cleveland! While this is my third year with PALS, this will be our second year at Cleveland. Last year was such a huge success, and I have no doubt this year will be even better. I was born in Sidney, Ohio, right outside of Dayton and currently live in Cincinnati. I graduated from University of Cincinnati with a degree in Social Work and I’m currently in graduate school online at University of Central Florida studying Non-Profit Management. In my spare time I love to watch Netflix, Chelsea Football (soccer team), and hang with my little puppy, Diesel. I’m really looking forward to our day at Kalahari Water Park! Water is my favorite thing in the world I’m so excited for the summer at John Carroll University and Camp PALS CLE!

Hi! My name is Lisa Lapina and I am so excited for Camp PALS 2017! This will be my 7th summer with PALS Programs. Prior to directing, I participated as a counselor at Camp PALS Philadelphia and Camp PALS Georgetown. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2011 with my B.S. in Elementary Education. After my time at BU, I went on to complete my M.S.Ed. in Reading/Writing/Literacy from UPenn. I graduated in 2013 and moved to Baltimore, Maryland for my teaching job. This is my fourth year teaching 1st grade and I absolutely love it! The Camp PALS Cleveland Director Team is hard at work. We can’t wait for another unforgettable summer! I am most excited about exploring downtown Cleveland with PALS. This summer is going to be the best summer yet for PALS Programs and we can’t wait to see you!

Hi! I am Erin O'Neil and I am super excited for Camp PALS Cleveland 2017. I am originally from the Akron/Cleveland area. I graduated from Miami University in 2013 and now I currently live in Cincinnati where I am a 3rd grade Special Education teacher. I am in my 4th year of teaching and I’ve loved every second of it! I’ve been a part of  the PALS family for 5 years now and this is my first year as a Director. My favorite part of PALS is singing Karaoke or the numerous dance parties! This year I am most excited about going to Edgewater Beach! I loved relaxing on the beach and playing volleyball in the sand. I also thoroughly enjoyed being able to choose from all the various food trucks. I cannot wait to see all the returners and meet all the new campers!!

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Much PALS Love, 

Gage, Lisa, and Erin

Camp PALS Cleveland Director Team

Director Blog Series: Camp PALS New Jersey

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HI CAMPERS AND FAMILIES!!

Happy March!!

We wanted to take a moment to tell you all a little bit about ourselves through each other’s eyes, sooo without further ado… It is my pleasure to introduce to you our fabulous Director Team for Camp PALS New Jersey 2017!!

Jake Introducing Nathan

Born in the small town of Frankfort, Illinois, Nathan Bartholomew Drewes was always destined for success. Excited about the prospect of establishing his own identity in this world, Drewes enjoyed the life of an only child for approximately 3 minutes. After what can only be described as an eventful day for the family, Nick and Shannon came sprawling into his life. 

Drewes found himself climbing the corporate ranks of public education, and soon began surveying his next steps in the outside world. Attending University of Alabama, Nathan showed off his proficiencies for incredibly difficult Chemistry classes as well as the assembly of deliciously decadent cold cut combos. Even so, Drewes felt a yearning for something more, and upon hearing about PALS, proceeded to give it “the ol’ college try.”

Nathan has been involved in PALS for 4 years. Not only does he portray his passion for the organization through the time, effort, and love he shows, but also demonstrates an audacity that is unmatched. Unafraid to push the envelope of what is possible or “accepted,” Nate has exposed to the community the value of standing up for what you believe in. I have had the pleasure of directing with Nathan for two years, and have learned something new from him every time we have a conversation. PALS is lucky as an organization that he made those first steps four years ago…

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Nathan introducing Samantha

I am pleased to introduce Samantha Conigliaro!

New to the Jersey scene this year, Sam has merged wonderfully into the role of Camper Logistics Director for the summer of 2017. Her love for PALS and our program is apparent as she is the embodiment of our values. From Medical Volunteer to Adventure Leader to a first year director, you could say that Sam is a jack of all trades. After attending Deep Run High School Sam graduated from James Madison University. She now resides in Richmond, Virginia and is getting ready to pursue a career in the medical field.

They say that good things come in threes, and Sam’s case is no different as she shares a birthday with her 2 brothers (what are the odds of that??). In her free time Sam enjoys recording covers of ‘90s pop songs using nothing but her nose flute and counting blades of grass. Sam has always been considered the life of the party, as long as that party ends before 8:30 and allows her to bring her world famous snickerdoodle cookies with. Sam has also been skydiving (with wonderful pictures to prove it). Working with Sam so far has been nothing short of a blessing and I cannot wait to see our week of Camp unfold!

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Samantha introducing Jake

Jake is a funny, selfless, motivational leader who is no stranger to the PALS community. As a member of the beautiful PALS family since 2013, Jake is a perfect symbol of what it’s like to be welcoming, genuine, passionate, supportive and fun. Jake began his camp life at Philly for three years then Chicago for one and is now going to be a second-year, all star New Jersey director! Originally from Philadelphia, Jake graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2013 and now resides in Norfolk, VA where he teaches high school biology and anatomy while motivating and empowering the future of America. You can catch Jake in the area going on long runs, playing lacrosse and soccer, or roaming around with his doggy best friend, Cleveland.

In his free time, Jake enjoys freestyle rapping, making puns, whipping his hair back and forth, and shaking his groove thang! Jake also loves talking about any movie with Zac Efron, especially the High School Musicals of which he can repeat verbatim but his favorite movie of all time is Napoleon Dynamite. Be sure to ask Jake about his tube sock collection – his favorite pair form a mermaid tail when you put your feet together! Of all of these cool little facts about Jake though, the most interesting thing about him is how he is able to hold his breath underwater for 59 seconds – WOW, that’s almost a full minute! As you can see, Jake is one heck of a guy to know, and we are blessed to have him as our Volunteer Logistics Director.

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Most importantly, Camp PALS New Jersey would be nothing without our wonderful Campers, and we are all so excited to meet you this summer during our favorite week of the year! We just hope you’re as excited as we are! Take a look at this video to get ready for a day in New Jersey.

As you can see, we like to have fun with every moment, and we strive to bring this great energy to Camp this summer!  

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Director Series: Camp PALS Maine In Memory Of Myrna

Meet the Camp PALS Maine 2017 Directors:

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Kevin: Calling all Maine-iacs!!!  This is going to be my 5th summer with PALS and I couldn’t be more excited to head back to Portland!  I work as a finance analyst at a government contractor in Washington DC so, needless to say, I am really looking forward to spending our week in Maine outdoors and on the water.  I also have a sister with Down syndrome who will be attending Camp with us this summer (Hi Megan!). I know I speak for the whole Maine team when I say we can’t wait to get this summer started!

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Allison: Hey everyone! This summer my marks my fourth year with PALS and I am pumped to be heading back to Maine for a third time! It’s been amazing to watch Camp PALS Maine evolve over the past couple of summers. I am currently going to school full time pursuing a Masters of Social Work degree (I’ll be graduating this May!) and I also work full time as a substance use counselor. I’m ready to have an a(maine)zing week of summer with everyone exploring all of the great things Maine has to offer! I hope everyone brings their dancing shoes because it’s guaranteed that there are going to be some killer dance parties!   

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Annie:  Hi! This will be my 8th summer with PALS, and first time at CP Maine! In the past I have directed Camp PALS New York and Camp PALS Poconos, and I am so excited for Camp PALS Maine! I attended Penn State University, and am currently an elementary school art teacher. I am most excited for the lobster dinner in Portland and sailing!

Director Series: Camp PALS Philadelphia Session 1

Meet the Camp PALS Philly 1 2017 Directors:

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Cat: I am so excited for my second year of directing a Camp PALS program! This will be my 9th summer with PALS Philly and each year is better than the last. PALS for me is a home away from home, filled with incredible friends and memories. My favorite PALS memories are going to the beach, PALS Olympics and the famous PALS dance! This year I’m excited to meet new Counselors and Campers and welcome back our returners. My goal for Camp PALS Philly 2017 is to create an environment that is electric and fun with opportunities for everyone to make friends, let loose and find their own favorite PALS memories! Can’t wait for June 2017!

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Shane: Hi PALS Family!! My name is Shane Kensil and this will be my sixth summer at Camp PALS! To say that I am excited would be a complete understatement! My younger sister who has Down syndrome and I both got involved in 2011 and haven’t looked back since. I am originally from Warrington, PA which is about 30 minutes from Philadelphia. I am so incredibly excited to be working with Cat and David this summer!! This dream team knows how to take a single week in June and pack it full of fun activities, trips, and amazing Campers/Counselors. Personally, Dave&Busters is my favorite trip during the week, but Beach Day is definitely a close second. My hope for the future is that one day the spirit of acceptance, happiness, and love that exists at PALS will be able to exist in the real world for the other 51 weeks of the year. PALS really is the happiest place on Earth! Can’t wait to see everybody in a few months!!

David: What’s up PALS fam!? I’m absolutely stoked for camp this summer! This will be my 3rd year with the program and 1st as a Director. Outside of PALS, I’m adjusting to post-grad life (I just graduated from Penn State in December). I’m currently studying for the LSAT in effort to go to law school next year. While I’m not studying, I spend my time rocking out on my ukelele and watching Gordon Ramsay cooking videos.

As the Volunteer Logistics Director, I hope to facilitate a dynamic and entertaining environment where life changing experiences will be fostered, as well as organize one of the most successful camps yet! I’m ecstatic to be working with Shane and Cat to make the most out of camp this year! I can’t wait to have the week of a lifetime with all of you this summer!

Director Series: Camp PALS Poconos

Chris Rahill: Hi everyone! My name is Chris Rahill, and I am the Logistics Director for Camp PALS Poconos this summer. This is my 5th year with PALS, and I’m so excited to be directing Poconos this year! I am currently a senior at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where I am studying Finance and playing lacrosse. Besides lacrosse, some of my hobbies include going to the beach, playing the guitar, and watching HBO documentaries. Planning this week for all of you has gotten me so excited for everything we’re doing, but my favorite PALS activities are the trip we take to Promised Land State Park, Art Night, and the Camp PALS Olympics. I am counting down the days until July 16, and I can’t wait to see all of you again this summer!

Maggie Lesmes: Helloooo PALS Family! My name is Maggie Lesmes, and I’m the Camper Director for Camp PALS Poconos 2017! This will be my 4th year with PALS, but as a first-time director, I could not be more excited for this summer. While I’m currently down South studying Advertising at the University of Georgia, Maryland is where I call home. When I’m not studying, I’m either watching Criminal Minds, eating chips & guac, or FaceTiming the new puppy my family decided to get when I left for college. While the CP Poconos itinerary is full of things to do in Scranton area, I’m most excited for our first ever Camper fashion show, our trip to Montage Mountain Waterpark, and, of course, karaoke night. I can’t wait to see all of your beautiful faces in the Electric City in July!

Dominic Dipersia: What’s up everyone? My name is Dominic Dipersia, and I’m your 25-year-old Director of Volunteers at Camp PALS Poconos! This is my 5th summer at PALS. I hail from the great city of Worcester, MA and I’m wearing many different hats at a private school up here in Mass! When I’m not planning this amazing week of Camp and working hard, I like to throw a frisbee around with friends, go on road trips, eat AND make pizza, and work on my action-crime-romantic-comedy memoir (hitting book shelves Fall 2022). My favorite things at Camp are definitely Camper arrival and the RailRiders baseball game (even if they are affiliated with the Yankees…Go Red Sox!) So hyped to make this week the best week we’ve had at Poconos yet!

We can’t wait to see you in July!

PALS Love,

Chris, Maggie, & Dominic

Director Series: Camp PALS New York

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Hey PALS Families! It’s us…New York!

We are the amazingly, fun (totally unbiased) Directors for Camp PALS New York this year and so excited to help bring the PALS magic to Cornell!

Dan Rodini: Heyyyy you guys! I am Dan Rodini and I am the Volunteer Director for Camp PALS New York this year. My job is to make sure that all of our volunteers get what they need and are prepared for our week together at PALS! I’m the guy you e-mail when you have that random question about what to bring to camp, travel arrangements, or for whatever you need! When I am not spending my time on PALS, I am a 6th grade science teacher in West Philadelphia and a first year graduate student at Temple University studying Special Education. There is never a dull moment in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This will be my second year as a Director for Camp PALS New York and I am super excited for our new location at Cornell University! PALS is my home away from home and I couldn’t imagine a summer without it!

Morgan: Hi PALS family! I am beyond excited to be joining my co-Directors, Dan and Dan, at a brand new PALS location this summer. My role is the Camper Director, meaning I get to communicate weekly with our special Camper families! This is my fifth year as a part of the PALS family and second year directing. A little bit about myself: This past May, I graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition. Since I love being a student sooo much, I’m currently a full-time graduate student studying Community Nutrition. Some of my favorite things include laying on the beach, traveling to new places, eating ice cream, and I guess running/exercising. I’m looking forward to sharing my PALS love with all of you! Welcome to New York, we’ve been waiting for you!

Dan Knott: What’s up PALS People?! My name is Dan Knott and I am the Logistics Director here at Camp PALS New York! It is my responsibility to make sure everyone at Camp has the best week of the year (all while staying under budget)! After spending weeks brainstorming and planning, I think I’ve come up with the perfect week that I’m sure you will enjoy. This is my fourth year being involved with Camp PALS and second year directing. I am a senior at Temple University and will be graduating this fall with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. I am also a lifeguard at the Jersey Shore during the summer, which is where most of my favorite memories are from, besides Camp PALS of course! I also enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities, such as; skiing, running, hiking, water skiing, wakeboarding, surfing, fishing, and eating food. I can’t wait for this summer at Camp PALS New York! It’s going to be the best Camp out there!

See you in New York!

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Director Series: Camp PALS Chicago

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Kayla

My name is Kayla and I am so excited to serve as the Camper Director in Chicago this summer. This is my third summer with PALS and my third time at Camp in Chicago. I cannot wait to see so many returning Campers and welcome our new Campers into the PALS family. I have been lucky enough to have attended the Chicago and San Francisco Camps in addition to the Wisconsin Dells Adventure. My favorite PALS activity is karaoke night! I am from a suburb of Chicago and love being in the city. I am currently a senior special education major at Clemson University and am completing my student teaching experience.

Riannon

My name is Riannon and this is my third summer with PALS! I began my journey in Chicago in 2015, and then directed the Wisconsin Dells Adventure in 2016. Last summer, I had the pleasure of exploring the West Coast in San Francisco and will be heading there for the Monterey Bay Adventure! I’m finishing up my senior year at the University of Illinois studying special education and am currently completing my student teaching. I am beyond excited to be the Volunteer Director this summer and can’t wait to spend a week in the windy city!

Devin

My name is Devin and I am ecstatic for my first year at Camp PALS Chicago as a Director! This will be my second year volunteering with PALS Programs. My first experience with PALS was at the 2015 Indy Adventure. Within my first year I have been able to attend a Camp in San Francisco as well as the DC Adventure. I am in my senior year at Grand Valley State University, studying Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies. I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan, located about 45 minutes from Lake Michigan. I can’t wait to meet everyone and have the best week of our summer!

We are all so excited to meet you this summer during our favorite week of the year at Camp PALS Chicago! We just hope you’re as excited as we are! Take a look at this video to get ready for camper arrival in Chicago in just 145 Days!

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