Penny had a chance to go to Camp PALS with her friend Rachel after two years of waiting due to Covid. PALS is one of the places where Penny comes alive because she is so welcomed exactly as she is. I asked her to reflect back on her time at PALS this year, and this is what she wanted to share:
Penny, what is Camp PALS?
Camp PALS is a orgnization founded by Jenny Newbury. It is a camp that both boys and girls go too but they all have Down Syndrome. Camp PALS is a place where you have a lot of fun with your roomate and participate in fun activites.
Can you describe a typical day?
A typical day for PALS is wake up around 7 get any morning meds you need. Then you head to breakfast in the dining hall. ( Most days). You sit with your color team for every meal. Then you head into whatever the plan is for the day.
Who is PALS for?
PALS is for young adults/teens with Down Syndrome.
Is it nice to be around lots of other teenagers with Down syndrome? What makes it different than being around people at school?
Yes because you get to make more friends. PALS to me feels like a second home. It’s different because PALS is a camp where you don’t have to learn at all and school you need to learn in classes that are harder than others. But if you are talking about people with Down Syndrome I would say it’s completly the same.
What was your favorite activity at PALS?
My favorite activity at PALS was Dorney Park which if some people don’t know is a Water/Amusement park. I went on this roller coaster that I did not want to go on and it was really fun.
Did you learn anything about yourself at PALS?
I learned that I made new friends, and that is sometimes hard for me.
If you were telling someone else about PALS, why should they go?
You get to meet new people. There are fun experiences off campus. Everyone looks forward to the Olympics and dance. Get creative when you decorate for the Olympics.
More with Amy Julia:
- Penny in her own words
- Down Syndrome Community…16 Years After Penny Was Born
- Penny’s PATH Process: Planning for Life After High School
- Missing Out on Beautiful essays: Growing Up With a Child With Down Syndrome
- A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny
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