palsadventures

Counting Down To Our Hershey Park Adventure!

Hey PALS family,

With only 18 days until our Hershey Park Adventure, words cannot explain how excited we are to see PALS finally take over Chocolate town! On Friday night, 21 awesome pairs will be brought together to kick off the final adventure of the season with a catered dinner and a night of nonstop dancing, singing, and fun! 

On Saturday, we will head to Hershey Park, where we look forward to riding roller-coasters, meeting the Hershey characters and, of course, eating a few chocolate bars here and there. To wrap up an amazing day in the park, we have rented out a private pavilion for a delicious Chipotle dinner, tie-dying shirts, and some s'mores by the fire. Before we pack up and head home on Sunday, PALS will take a trip to Chocolate World, where we will customize our own chocolate bars, solve a 4-D chocolate mystery, and take a tour around the park!

Our team has been working tirelessly to ensure that our Adventure to Hershey Park will be the best one yet, and we cannot wait to see it finally take shape in just a few short weeks! We look forward to seeing you there, and we hope you are ready for a very sweet weekend (Pun fully intended)!

Lots of PALS love,

Ally and Darby
HersheyPark Adventure Leaders

Adventure Recap: Gage Farm

Hey Friends, Family, and PALS-Alike!

Our names are Tom and Amelia, and we were the Adventure Leaders for Gage Farm this past weekend! We have both been with the PALS family for about 3 years now, but getting to lead the Gage Farm Adventure was the icing on the cake. Our weekend was a jam-packed two days, filled with new experiences, memories, and friends.

Saturday began with an early arrival, where we got to meet our PALS for the weekend. After introductions, the group split up into small activities, where Campers and Counselors learned how to take care of the smaller animals, made homemade applesauce, and mastered the skills of riding a horse!

Following our busy morning, we took a pleasant wagon ride over to Wyebrook Farm in Honeybrook, PA for a music festival and a delicious barbecue-style dinner! After setting up our blankets and chairs, Counselors and Campers got to spend the rest of the afternoon jamming out to country music while filling their plates with farm-fresh.

Once the concert was over, we rode the wagon back to Gage Farm for our nighttime farm chores. During the assigned farm chores, Campers and Counselors could be found feeding and giving water to the animals, as well as cleaning up around the farm and collecting eggs.

What better way to end a fun-filled day, then under the stars next to a roaring campfire. We roasted s’mores while cheering on our all-star singers in the classic PALS Karaoke before retiring to our tents for the night!

Sunday began bright and early with morning farm chores! Everyone helped with brushing, feeding, and again cleaning up around the farm. After a morning of hard work, we had a tasty breakfast provided by Morgantown Coffeehouse. We then started another round of small group activities that included decorating your own horseshoe, an archery competition, and a challenging scavenger hunt! After a tasty feast from Just Mom’s, our Adventure ended with a unique Horse Show, where campers got to showcase their new horseback riding skills to an audience of family and friends!

We would like to thank all of our incredible Campers and Counselors for a great weekend. Our Adventure wouldn’t have been possible without the help of everyone involved! We would also like to give our utmost thanks to the entire Gage Family, especially Tim, Marnee, and Caroline for all of their hard work and hospitality in making this Adventure so memorable!  

PALS Love, 

Amelia and Tom

Gage Farm Adventure Leaders

Counting Down To Our Gage Farm Adventure!

image

Hello Campers, Counselors, and PALS Families alike!

In just 10 days, 14 lovely pairs will be uniting to take over the Gage Family Farm for the weekend. Gage Farm is located in the quiet town of Elverson, Pennsylvania, and owned by Marnee and Tim Gage. Marnee and Tim are an incredible duo, who have generously worked with our team over the past few months to ensure that we have an Adventure for the books:

Over the course of just two days and one night, our PALS will have tons of fun with the activities we have planned. Our Campers and Counselors will get to experience all the fun a farm has to offer, kicking off with an early arrival on Saturday morning. Our weekend will be filled with horseback riding, scavenger hunts, camping in tents, a hay ride, and a legendary trip to Wyebrook Farms to dance to some country music and eat a delicious barbecue-style dinner! While this is just the beginning of the magic we will experience, we hope it’s enough to get all of our friends excited for next weekend!

Our team has been counting down to this Adventure since January, but as the number of days shrink, the excitement only grows! We are super pumped for the amazing weekend laid out ahead of us, and are thrilled for this one-of-a-kind experience.

PALS Love,

Amelia and Tom

Gage Farm Adventure Leaders

image
image

Counting Down To The Great Wolf Lodge Adventure!

image

We cannot wait to see PALS take over Great Wolf Lodge! We will be bringing together 39 incredible pairs to take on the indoor waterpark and resort in Pennsylvania from March 3rd - 5th. When we aren’t riding the slides, splashing in the pool, or diving into the water, we will be dancing, crafting, singing, and playing loads of games in the ballroom. After a day of waterpark fun, on Saturday night we will be hosting our very own Minute to Win It game night! While the adventure is only a weekend, we have packed every day with the maximum amount of fun.

Bridget

Summer 2016 was my first year with PALS, and I could not be happier I joined. That being said, this is my first PALS Adventure, and instead of simply being a counselor, I gladly stepped into the role of Adventure Leader! This Adventure is what we lovingly refer to as our “monster Adventure,” due to how many camper counselor pairs we have. To give a good estimate, it is roughly the size of a large Camp! Great Wolf Lodge has so much self-contained fun, but we did not want to lose touch with the local community in the Pocono’s. We are bringing in some special guests to help us out with an activity designed just for us Saturday afternoon! We can’t wait to see you all soon!

Panini

After Camp PALS New Jersey I suffered from some serious post-PALS depression and I knew I could not wait until the summer to work with PALS again. The obvious remedy to my slump was becoming an Adventure Leader and it may be the best decision I have ever made. The time has flown so quickly since I accepted this role, and now our Great Wolf Lodge Adventure is less than a month away! My excitement levels are through the roof. After hitting the slides, our Minute to Win It will test our pairs. From ring toss to mini golf, Campers and Counselors alike are going to find some tough challenges ahead. I have given you all the heads up, so come prepared with your game face to GWL. We cannot wait for our unforgettable Adventure to begin!

image
image

Adventure Recap: Chicago

image

Hey PALS,

It was a great weekend filled with laughter, dance parties and fun times. This adventure wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the counselors, families, and the amazing PALS staff. As adventure leaders, we want to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for all of the memories!

We started off our awesome weekend exploring our hostel in the heart of Downtown Chicago. We feasted on Chicago style deep-dish pizza followed by an epic karaoke session. We ended the night with a dance party-PALS style! 

On Saturday, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast to prepare us for a full day in the city. Our group tore up the ice and conquered the ribbon at Maggie Daley skating park. We then visited a legendary Chicago staple, ‘The Bean.’ After touring local restaurants for lunch, we took advantage of out hostel’s entertainment and played ping pong, pool, and games. For the evening, we got ready for a fancy dinner cruise and enjoyed a three course meal. Our PALS cruise wouldn’t be complete without a dance party on the observation deck!

On Sunday, we took on the Shedd Aquarium! Our group got to tour the aquarium and enjoy an aquatic show with dolphins, penguins, and a special guest dog! The fun continued with a 4-D movie. After what felt like a very short, yet full weekend, it was hard having to say goodbye to the amazing group of campers and counselors. We feel so lucky to have had a very fun and memorable weekend filled with PALS magic and the cure for Post PALS Depression!  

Much PALS love,

Patrick Bruen and Nicole Alvarez

PALS Chicago Adventure Leaders

image

Counting Down to Our Chicago Adventure!

This year, our midwest Adventure will be taking place in Downtown Chicago from January 27th-29th! We will be exploring the new Maggie Daley park, seeing ‘The Bean,’ and visiting the Shedd Aquarium. The Chicago Adventure will be hosting 11 awesome pairs of Campers and Volunteers.

Pat

I have experienced PALS Adventures and Camp for over two years now and I love the PALS magic. After attending almost every Adventure last year, I had the opportunity to plan and bring one back home to Chicago. I wanted to add in programming that our Chicago Camp that is new to our Chicago community. I am also very excited to co-lead this Adventure in such an amazing city during winter season!

Nicole

I have just completed my second year at PALS as well! I have experienced Philly each year and even had the chance to attend Poconos last year, too. I have never attended an Adventure, so I figured I might as well hit the ground running with them! I am so happy to be able to experience Chicago with PALS and watch all of our Campers and Volunteers experience the Winter Wonderland that is Chicago in January!

image
image

Adventure Recap: DC

image

Dear PALS Families and Friends,

Our names are Matt and Samantha, and this is both of our first years being involved with PALS Programs. Matt attended Camp PALS New York this summer as a counselor while Samantha attended Camp PALS Maine and Georgetown on the Medical team. For both of us, this was our first time ever going to an adventure and we are blessed that we got the opportunity to lead it. 

We had an amazingly fun time in DC and the weekend went by way too fast!

We began our adventure with a quick bus ride into DC for the Washington Wizards NBA game. We toured the stadium, bought souvenirs, and watched the Wizards get their first win of the season against the Atlanta Hawks! The event coordinator of the Wizards actually came up to our group and said we must have brought some good luck with us! After the game, we went back to our lodging at the National 4-H Conference Center to catch some sleep before our big day in DC.

On Saturday, we woke up bright and early to a Karaoke/Dance Party! We were able to enjoy a morning filled with new friendships, dancing, our favorite karaoke songs, and lots of good laughs. After our morning party, we hit the road to DC to go to the National Air and Space Museum. At the museum, we received a private tour by an amazing guy by the name of Scott. We soaked up a ton of knowledge and had a great time! After our tour, we watched an IMAX viewing of a Voyage of Time, showing the history of the world starting from the creation of Earth. We followed the tour up with an exquisite dinner at Logan Tavern. Once our bellies were full, we had a private trolley pick us up for a Monuments by Moonlight tour around DC! The tour started at the Lincoln Memorial and ended at the White House; we had a great tour guide who taught us about American history, DC secrets, and the significance of many important DC buildings.

On Sunday, we set out for Bowlmor Bethesda and had a fun and relaxing time bowling and bonding before having to say our final “see-ya-laters”!

On our incredible weekend, we were able to build new friendships and enhance old ones while having a great time laughing, singing, dancing, chanting, and running around DC. Thank you to all of the campers and counselors who made this weekend so memorable and enjoyable! A special shout-out to Stephen for the outstanding amount of support with this weekend. This weekend couldn’t have happened without all of you. We are so grateful to have gotten to know you all, and we cannot wait to meet again soon!

PALS Love,

Samantha and Matt

image
image

Counting Down to Our DC Adventure!

image


Samantha

This summer was my first summer with the program and also my first time having the pleasure of becoming friends with young adults with Down syndrome. I volunteered as an EMT on the Medical Staff for both Camp PALS Maine and Camp PALS Georgetown, and it changed my life forever!

Matt

I was a counselor at Camp PALS New York for a week at the end of July. For me, the camp was the best of my week of my summer and my year. I had so much fun being with the campers and getting the chance to experience New York City with them!

Our DC Adventure!!

Our adventure in Washington D.C. is a FIRST time adventure for PALS! We are looking forward to having 15 pairs share the joy of the District of Columbia together! We have so many fun plans in progress for roaming our nation’s capital including (but not limited to) a Washington Wizards NBA game, checking out cool, historic museums including the National Air and Space Museum, a private night stroll by trolley around the city to see all of the monuments, a fancy dinner in the heart of D.C., and much more! We are so excited to be in the planning process for this Adventure, and we cannot wait to share this weekend with our participants!

image
image
image

Adventure Recap: Hershey Park

image

Dear PALS Families and Friends,

As the Adventure Leaders who facilitated our trip to Hershey Park, we would like to introduce ourselves: our names are Hayley Cavanaugh and Amelia Siwa. Hayley has been a counselor at Camp PALS Philly for two years, and has attended multiple PALS Adventures, including Indianapolis, New Years Eve, Wisconsin Dells, and Chesapeake Bay. This is Amelia’s second summer returning as a counselor at Camp PALS Poconos. She has attended the Great Wolf Lodge Adventure for the past two years, as well as other PALS events such as the spring Picnic last May. While we have both had a lot of experience in the PALS family, this was our first time organizing and leading our own PALS Adventure!

We started off the weekend on a rainy Friday afternoon, but we didn’t let a little water ruin our fun! We moved into our campground cabins, introduced our PALS family for the weekend, and moved on to enjoy some fresh Chipotle Catering in a nearby pavilion. Shortly after that, we met in our central cabin to enjoy a classic PALS tradition: Karaoke Night! Campers sang (and danced) to a variety of their favorite songs, showing off their talent and music taste to the group, ending in a crazy dance party!

The next morning, we headed out bright and early to Hershey Park for a day of fun in the sun (and wind)! Everyone enjoyed a full morning and afternoon together smelling the funnel cakes, splashing down the Log Flume, spinning on the Carousel, and flying over the hills of roller coasters! After our exhausting day, we hung out at the campgrounds, eating a delicious dinner provided by Fuddruckers and reminiscing on our favorite parts of the day. We finished Saturday out with a toasty campfire, making s'mores.

On Sunday, we set out for Hershey’s Chocolate World, where we spent the morning solving chocolate mysteries, learning how Hershey’s Chocolate is made, becoming certified ‘Palateers’, and finally making our own chocolate bars!

After an incredible (but short) weekend, we found ourselves having to say goodbye to each other. As Adventure Leaders, we were honored to end the Spring PALS Adventure season with a bang!

We would like to thank our wonderful team of campers and counselors, several of which were experiencing PALS for the first time. You all made the weekend feel welcoming, and like a true PALS experience! We want to wish everyone a happy summer, and hopefully we will cross paths in the future!

We took a lot of video footage throughout the weekend, and compiled a short video to help you relive our experience. It is the first-ever PALS Adventures video!

PALS Love,

Hayley and Amelia

image
image
image

Adventure Recap: Chesapeake Bay

image

Dear PALS Families and Friends,

My name is Caitlin Caffrey and this is my third year being part of the
wonderful PALS family. I have attended Camp PALS Georgetown, Princeton
and will be attending Camp PALS Cleveland this summer. This was my
first time not only organizing an adventure, but actually attending an
adventure. I had a fantastic time at the Chesapeake Bay Adventure and
wish the weekend never had to end!

We began our adventure with a wonderful bus drive over the Bay Bridge
while jamming out to Justin Bieber. When we arrived at the beautiful Captains Quarters property, Papa John’s pizza was calling our names!  We sat down for dinner and had introductions, making and meeting new friends. After eating and exploring the house, we headed outside to a enjoy a roaring fire, play charades and make s’mores.

On Saturday morning, we woke up and prepared for the arrival of the
Escape the Room Puzzle Designers. While groups took turns taking on the challenge of “escaping the room”, other people used their time to play basketball, go kayaking, relax in the hot tub, or play a game of corn hole. After the activity-filled morning, everyone was hungry and sat down to have some delicious sandwiches. Once we were re-energized, it was time for our puppy social. The Bay Water Animal Rescue brought two adorable puppies named Moose (a.k.a Loud Mouth Moose) and Lady Bug. The rest of the afternoon was spent doing choice indoor and outdoor activities including air hockey and playing pool.

The evening came around and we had several people in the kitchen working together to prepare a spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread meal. Following the meal came delicious ice cream sundaes! We ended the night with karaoke and a crazy dance party! Our talented campers were able to showcase skills of
singing, lip syncing, and dancing. We woke up early the next day to pack up, clean the house and make fish crafts.

We had a very busy, but relaxing weekend together growing old friendships and building new ones. Thank you to all of the campers and counselors who came together to make the weekend so memorable. We are all excited for camp this summer and look forward to reuniting again! All of the campers and counselors want to make a shout out to Emesha and Stephen for helping support this
adventure as well as enjoying all of the fun-filled activities with us!

PALS Love,

Caitlin

image
image
image

Adventure Recap: Wisconsin Dells

image

Dear PALS Families and Friends,

My name is Riannon Szofer and this is my first full year being part of PALS! I attended Camp PALS Chicago this past summer and it was my first time being part of AND directing the Chicago – Wisconsin Dells Adventure! I had an amazing time. My co-director, Doug Kocur, has been part of Camps PALS for seven years. 

Doug reached out to me in November and we started planning at the end of the month and into December.  Everyone met up in Bolingbrook, Illinois around 4:00pm on Friday. We hit the road and headed towards Janesville, Wisconsin where we had delicious Mexican food at Cozumel’s! We didn’t get into the Dells until late, but campers and counselors alike were excited to spend the weekend in a cabin! On Saturday morning, we woke up and got ready for tubing. It was a perfect day to spend some time in the snow and slide down the hill with all our PALS! Samuel, Nick, and Emesha enjoyed shredding up some fresh snow on the hills. 

After a few hours, we went back to the cabins and got ready to go swimming. Everyone had a blast hanging out at the massive water park. Emily, Anna, Kayla, and Hayley surfed some waves in the wave pool. Jack, Adam, Conor and Doug enjoyed going down some monstrous slides, while Quincy and Sofie enjoyed exploring the lazy river. Everyone was pretty tired out by the end of the night, but they were ready for a meal. Campers helped to cook our “Italian style” dinner with pasta, salad, and French bread. Mackenzie, Victor, Sammie, Courtney, and Patrick displayed their expertise in meal prep and cooking. We also played a few rounds of “Pie Face” that Riannon excelled in, and we rounded out the night with karaoke and a dance party led by Heidi and Julia. The disco ball was a nice addition to have in our cabin. We woke up early the next day to pack up, hit the road, and grab some pizza before arriving back in Bolingbrook!

We had a busy weekend and all of our PALS were happy to be reunited, as well as welcoming some new campers and counselors. We’re all looking forward to seeing each other again soon.

PALS Love,

Doug & Riannon

image
image
image