I had an awesome summer. It was the second summer in a row that I have worked with the PALS camp. P-A-L-S stands for Purdue Athletes Life Success. It is an exciting camp that helps keep the local Lafayette and West Lafayette kids, aged 8-14, inspired, active, and healthy over the summer. Different types of activities are incorporated into the program. These activities range from sporting activities like basketball, ‘sharbade’ and soccer to team-building activities like ‘team-time’. Throughout the length of the program (5 weeks), different instructors lead different activity stations. My favorite activities were soccer and sharbade because I got to develop my skills in these sports by learning from people who knew more about them.
The camp focuses on teaching the kids how to become better members of the society by teaching them ‘character pillars’ such as honesty, respect, and dependability which they can use in their daily lives. Some kids come back to tell how they have been using these pillars at home. To aid with character-building, some staff members act as team leaders to a group of kids while others act as instructors. In this way, both are able to bond with the kids and impact their lives positively. I had the opportunity to be a team leader and an instructor on different occasions during camp.
The PALS camp has become an important part of my summers because I get to mentor kids and become a big sister to them. The camp not only improves the welfare of the kids participating in the program, but also improves one’s physical and emotional well-being. In addition to this, being surrounded by amazing staff ties the whole experience together. I can say without a doubt, I had an amazing time at camp this summer!
— Rita Ifenso-Okpala, Senior, Health Sciences Pre Professional