Summer Ends with Fun PAL Camps
Summer came to a close with fun camps and trips for more than 200 PAL members across Philadelphia. During the week of August 17th, more than 60 young ladies participated in PAL’s annual Girls Basketball Camp and 65 kids in the Northeast attended the Tacony PAL Camp.
Girls Basketball Camp at Harrowgate PAL brought together participants from nine PAL centers to practice drills and teamwork on and off the court. Players were coached by knowledgeable PAL Officers, Sergeants, and volunteers. The young ladies received trophies and plaques for their great effort and sportsmanship during a ceremony on Friday, August 21st.
Tacony PAL Camp involved more than 65 six to twelve year olds in fun physical and educational activities. They played flag football and wiffleball, and went on several day trips to Pennypack Environmental Cente, Smith Memorial Playground courtesy of Director Megan Weiss, and more. They heard from former Philadelphia Eagle Mike Reichenbach, who encouraged the kids to stay involved in positive programs like PAL, and Todd Pride from the Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers and Outdoors Program who taught them fishing techniques as they competed for new equipment prizes. Campers also spent a day with Phil McGurk at Liberty Bell Bicycles where they learned about bike parts and practiced repairing flat tires. They enjoyed water ice after a day of working hard on their bikes, and snacks every afternoon thanks to Wawa.
Leading up to the unofficial end of summer, more than 100 youngsters enjoyed a day at Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom with their friends and PAL Officers.Other exciting summer highlights include indoor basketball leagues at Logan and Cozen PAL centers during weekend hours.
PAL thanks everyone who helped keep PAL kids active and engaged in positive programming this summer.
Check out more photos of PAL summer programs here!
PAL Campers Invent a Bright Future for All
More than sixty youngsters attended Camp Invention during the week of August 17th to round out a summer of fun programming. First through sixth graders participated in interactive lessons to invent new machines, solve complex problems, and explore the lifecycle of everyday materials.
Campers learned about innovation by using recycled electronics and other materials in new and unique ways. They created mazes with parts from keyboards and hard drives, learned about electricity with snap-together circuits, and even built karts with cardboard boxes and skateboards. The youngsters practiced teamwork and collaboration by working together with kids from neighborhoods across Philadelphia, teachers, and camp counselors.
Camp Invention wrapped up with an Inventors’ Showcase on Friday afternoon. Family, friends, and PAL Board members saw everything campers created throughout the week, and watched them race their karts. Everyone received patent certificates for their inventions and awards for outstanding participation.
PAL thanks everyone who donated materials for their continued support of Camp Invention.
PAL Golf Camp a Unique Experience for PAL Kids and Teens
Throughout the summer, hundreds of kids participate in PAL’s summer offerings. Particularly unique, however, is PAL’s Golf Program. It’s not often that inner-city kids and teens have access to the sport of golf, let alone the equipment and courses. Yet this program is a PAL favorite, and introduces kids to an international sport that builds confidence, character, determination, and more. What’s extra special, is that kids are often teamed up with children from other centers, which builds friendship and encouragement.
Between the programs three phases, the First Tee Program, Kids on the Hill, and Junior Golf Camp, approximately 300 PAL kids take advantage of the offerings. Many look forward to seeing the open, green landscape every day.
The final phase of the summer program, Junior Golf Camp, took place at Juniata Golf Course, and closed for the season in late August. More than 100 youth golfers participated in this phase, many of whom took part in the program all summer long. On the last day, after wrapping up competition, kids ate lunch with their peers and were awarded for their participation in each of the three phases. Prizes were won by girls and boys of all different ages from various areas of the City. Congratulations to all participants on dedicating their summer vacation to trying new things, learning about the sport of golf, and spending time with new friends.
PAL’s Citywide Baseball Program, Sponsored by Walmart, Provides Fun, Safe, and Free Summer Activity for Hundreds of Kids
Baseball is America’s pastime. Here at Philly PAL, it’s also one of our favorite summer activities. Thanks to a continued partnership with Walmart, PAL was able to provide exciting in-house leagues at the Gibbons and Harrowgate PAL centers, and citywide leagues for our 12-and-Under and 14-and-Under divisions. Serving nearly 1,000 kids and teens, baseball is a staple in PAL’s summer program offerings.
Kicking off in late June with our annual Homerun Derby, PAL’s Citywide League plays games throughout the summer at Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park. The program provides an alternative to the streets, and keeps kids engaged in a healthy, team-oriented fitness activity that allows them to spend time bonding with friends and under the guidance of their mentors from the Philadelphia Police Department. This season, participants were excited to get a fresh, new look to their uniforms, and took pride in wearing their new baseball gear.
While all teams deserve credit for participation and for competing valiantly throughout the season, the championship games boasted particularly exciting matchups. The 14-&-Under Championship featured Cobbs Creek PAL and perennial PAL Baseball powerhouse, Ford PAL. Despite Ford PAL’s prestigious place in PAL baseball history, West Philly’s Cobbs Creek PAL edged them out for the win. The 12-&-Under Championship was a clash of two of PAL’s baseball titans: Harrowgate PAL and Cozen PAL. Both teams have been post-season nemeses for a number of years. In a tight finish, Cozen eked by Harrowgate to win 5-4. Congratulations to all children who took part in our summer baseball program and PAL Center Directors Police Officers Darryl Johnson and Cassandra Parks-DeVaughn (Cobbs Creek PAL), Police Officer Joe Ellerby (Ford PAL), Police Officers Frank Rivera and Sharon Wells (Harrowgate PAL), and Police Officers Kareem Johnson and Phyllis Young (Cozen PAL).
Special thanks to Walmart for their unwavering commitment to our mission of “Cops Helping Kids.”
The Phillies and PAL Knock it Out of the Park…for the 37th year
It was a particularly balmy August evening at the ballpark. Thousands of fans filled the stands, each excited to watch the Phillies take on the Dodgers, and to see a former fixture on the diamond – Jimmy Rollins – up to his old tricks with his new, blue team.
Two hundred of those fans: sparkly-eyed PAL kids with smiles from ear to ear, many of whom were about to witness their first professional baseball game in a MLB stadium. For our PAL MVPs – kids who go the extra mile and make it a priority to actively attend and participate in their center’s activities – this is an extra-special treat. Away from their neighborhoods, far from the dangerous streets they encounter each day, and nothing to worry about other than their proximity to, and ability to catch, the next home-run ball that tears through the night sky and crashes into the stands. This is a night when they’re the stars, when they’re the center of attention, and when, for a couple of hours, they get to just be kids.
PAL extends its thanks to The Phillies and Ron Krancer, and our co-sponsors, The H. Chase Lenfest Foundation, NECA Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter/IBEW Local Union 98, Sugarhouse Casino, and Tasty Baking Company, who helped raise over $35,000 for PAL’s youth development programming. Special thanks to all of our media partners, who made the night even more fun prior to the game with our annual Media All-Stars Softball Game. Congrats to Team Radio/Web for putting a licking on Team TV/Newspaper. Until next year…
PAL Kids Celebrated Christmas in July with The Philly POPS
Dozens of PAL kids celebrated Christmas in July with The Philly POPS on July 21st. Youngsters gathered at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia with their PAL Center Directors, representatives from The Philly POPS, and other members from the Philadelphia Police, fire fighters and military.
Guests were treated to a red carpet entrance and a Philly POPS Quintet performance before receiving brand new bicycles and helmets. One hundred bikes and helmets were waiting for the excited children under beautifully adorned trees. Attendees enjoyed snowflake sugar cookies and candy cane-shaped pretzels after they tested out their new rides.
PAL thanks The Philly POPS and Friends of the POPS for their generous donation to kids in Philadelphia.
View more information and photos from the Metro.
PAL and Walmart Team Up for Youth Baseball
On June 26th, more than 150 PAL baseball players spent the day at the fields at Belmont Plateau swinging for the fences. Boys and girls who participate in city-wide and in-house baseball leagues showed up at the fields ready to win the annual competition. This event, which kicks off the Walmart Citywide Baseball season, is collaboration between PAL, Walmart and the Phillies Home Run Derby team.
Participants from PAL centers across Philadelphia took turns at home plate to hit as many balls out of the park as possible. Encouragement from coaches, friends and teammates made this event extra special. Following a lunch break, winners were awarded plaques in different age groups, and a few children were even invited to participate in the next round of the Phillies Home Run Derby Competition.
Walmart generously donates crucial funding to PAL’s Baseball Program year after year, which allows children to learn about the fundamentals of the game while also staying physically active and learning about teamwork and cooperation. PAL thanks Walmart for their continued support.