2012 Annual Report

Camp PALS is and probably will always be my favorite place on Earth.
Shelby, PALS Counselor


An Invitation
Welcome to PALS. When Camp PALS was founded in 2004 the vision was clear—changing perspectives through relationships built on shared experiences. We paired up individuals with Down syndrome one-on-one with their peers to experience camp: to grow in independence, to tackle new experiences, and to build friendships along the way. Today we’re building more friendships, confidence and meaningful memories than ever before. In 2012 we held four programs that brought together over 370 counselors and campers from across the country. The programming is simple—we go on trips, we try out new activities in small groups, we compete in the PALS Olympics, and we host the best dance parties you’ve ever seen. And while the programming is simple, the rest of it is magic. Over the years we’ve built a commitment to this place—to this world where the boundaries of judgment, the fear of exclusion and the stress of fitting into some predesigned mold are gone. We hold specific values of who we are. We are welcoming and supportive. We are a family that is passionate and genuine, and always has fun. PALS has shaped the lives of hundreds of individuals over the past 9 years. Half of us have Down syndrome, but all of us know the value of friendship, the thrill of being on a team, and the best place to experience summer. Together, we challenge each other to be a little better, and to see the world a little differently, with each passing year. Will you join us? Jenni Newbury Co-Founder & Executive Director PALS Programs


This is our place...
Our camp programs provide a place for those ages 12-25 with Down syndrome and their peers to try new experiences, gain independence and build lasting friendships. Our year-round reunion programs help alumni of all ages stay connected and provide opportunities for new adventures. With our outstanding volunteer staff, our community is made up of dedicated individuals who are proud to call PALS their home away from home. Currently, our camp programs are hosted in the following locations: Chicago, IL www.camppalschicago.org Georgetown, DC www.camppals.org/georgetown Philadelphia, PA www.camppals.org Princeton, NJ www.camppals.org/princeton San Francisco, CA www.camppalswest.org

“It was really fun. I liked all the counselors and meeting new friends. I would totally recommend my friends who have Down syndrome to this great, fun experience so they can soak up the sun at the beach and play and challenge people at Dave and Busters. It is a great camp and I loved it.” – Claire, PALS Camper


Our model
One-to-one One-on-one pairings are based on similar interests, age, personality and location. The personal bond of pairings helps both participants and volunteers step out of their comfort zones, challenging them to try new things at our programs. This unique relationship encourages all to keep in touch throughout the year. Peer-to-peer Similarly-aged pairings help participants and volunteers feel more comfortable with one another. Staff are all individually chosen for their ability and eagerness to affect social change. They form a strong social network for future recruitment. The youthful attitude and excitement about camp from the volunteer staff contributes to age-appropriate and exciting programming. Residential All of our programs take place in a dorm-like atmosphere. This type of location allows a fully integrative and immersive experience. The college and dorm room atmosphere also allows for growth and independence and the downtime between activities in the dorm is where the friendships really form.

“I look forward to camp every year because it is a place where I get to hang out with some of the most electric, passionate, interesting and all around nice people in the world. Camp gives us hope that there are genuinely good people in the world that will accept us all simply as we are.” – Amanda, PALS Counselor


Our growth
Locations for 2012 campers Total number of campers each year
180* 162 135 81 63 16 2004


25 2005











Estimated number for 2013

Locations for 2012 counselors

2012 Participants
Campers Counselors Support Staff Medical Staff Photo/Video

162 31%
Not shown on this map, 2012 counselors also traveled from Canada and Jamaica



162 21%



20 30%



10 0%



10 20%



“Camp PALS is an incredible experience, where the counselors may teach life skills. but the campers teach us to love life. It is growing and spreading throughout the country, and I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing opportunity for young adults with Down syndrome.” – Jennifer, PALS Counselor


Our expenses
Direct program expenses*
Lodging Food Transportation Apparel Supplies Programming Sub-total

Direct program expenses by %
$57,587 $57,445 $17,167 $15,421 $14,140 $5,904 $167,664
Transportation 10% Supplies 8% Lodging 34% Apparel 9% Programming 4% Food 34%

Organization expenses*
Legal Accounting Service & Gov. Fees Office expenses Insurance Sub-total Programming sub-total Grand total

$1,077 $1,590 $5,655 $5,287 $252 $2,654 $16,515 $184,179


PALS’ fiscal year runs from Sept 2011-August 2012, which is reflected in this budget. Beginning in September 2012, PALS hired an Executive Director which brings additional expenses in salary, insurance, and taxes to be eflected next fiscal year.


Our revenue
Organization revenue*
Tuition received Funds raised Investment income Total

$91,501 $136,810 $2,440 $230,751

“Tuition Received” includes calculations for financial aid provided. PALS provides reduced tuition to 100% of campers, and on average charged approximately 67% of the actual cost of camp in 2012. We estimate about 20% of our campers receive financial aid from outside organizations. In 2012, PALS met 100% of financial need, providing financial aid for 24% of our campers that totaled approximately $20,00

Top donors for 2011-12
Special Olympics, Inc. Google Microsoft Todd Heller Steven Ross

$20,000 $14,030 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000

Over the past 9 years, 98% of our fundraising has been done by our volunteer counselors. Together, they raised over $70,000 in the 2011-2012 campaign.

Final budget for 2011-12 fiscal year*
Expenses Revenue Grand total

$184,179 $230,751 $46,572

PALS’ fiscal year runs from Sept 2011-August 2012, which is reflected in this budget. Additional gross revenue in this fiscal year was put towards the hiring of an Executive Director.


Our sponsors
As we grow to new locations and continue to build a staff that can ensure the PALS magic exists all year-round, we need your help. We’re looking for companies, individuals and organizations to match the enthusiasm and passion that our counselors, campers and families have for PALS programs. Donations can be made at palsprograms.org/donate or checks can be made out to PALS Programs and mailed to 12 Dow Drive, Hillsborough, NJ 08844. PALS is a 501(c)(3) registered in Pennsylvania. All donations are tax-deductible.

“It [Camp PALS] is the BEST gift we could ever give our son.” – Lourie, PALS Parent

$500 $1,000 $5,000 $10,000 $25,000

Contribution to support PALS: This donation supports PALS’ mission and growth and will be recognized online. Contribution to support a camper: This donation pays the difference from reduced tuition for one camper. The gift can be recognized online, or by the camper sponsored. Trip or Event Sponsor: This donation covers a select trip or event at a Camp PALS program. The donor can work with the directors to choose the trip or event. This gift can be recognized online as well as in a video made to commemorate the trip or event experience. Financial Aid Sponsor: This donation will cover the full financial aid fund of a specific program, allowing all campers the ability to attend. This gift can be recognized online as well as in the financial aid announcement shared with each recipient. Camp PALS Program Sponsor: This donation will cover the full need for an entire program (the difference between reduced tuition and actual cost as well as all financial need). This gift can be recognized in multiple formats, including camp materials, advertisements, aid announcements, and more.


Our future
The PALS organization seeks to serve the Down syndrome community at-large and continue to cultivate meaningful friendships between individuals with and without Down syndrome that last a lifetime. In 2012, this took form in PALS Adventures and The Congratulations Project. PALS Adventures invites PALS alumni of all ages year-round as campers and counselors pair up one-onone to explore a new place, take a trip, or engage in new shared experiences. We believe that the best PALS memories are created organically in the safe, open environment with the incredible type of people that make our PALS family. PALS Adventures will help us create those memories year-round. The Congratulations Project is an initiative in which members of the PALS family write letters to new members of the Down syndrome community. These letters are designed to inspire, encourage, welcome and, most importantly, congratulate new parents and siblings of a child with Down syndrome. At each PALS Program, participants are invited to write letters sharing about their lives and the letters are delivered to hospitals and support groups in the local area.

“While Camp advertises itself as an opportunity for people with Down syndrome, I maintain that it is not. Rather, it is an opportunity for people -- all people -- to engage the mysteries of life, love, fun and friendship amongst some of the world’s greatest teachers. And that’s what keeps me coming back to PALS.” – Soeren, PALS Counselor

Join us at palsprograms.org