2009-10-16 / Sports

Summer Fun For PAL FR Campers

PAL Programs Now Open At Redfern, Ocean Bay, Goldie Maple
By Linda Armstrong

As the school year begins campers from the Police Athletic League (PAL) Far Rockaway camps have a lot of wonderful memories to take with them. This past summer was a summer full of making new friends and seeing old ones. And it was a summer of exciting trips.

More than 200 youth, ages 5-13, enjoyed going to various places including United Skates, Funtime America, Green Meadows Farm, the Cloisters Museum, Cozy Bowl, Medieval Times, the New York Hall of Science and some campers even had the opportunity to go to Six Flags Great Adventure.

In addition to these marvelous trips, youth participated in PAL agency-wide activities like Sports Day, PAL Day at the Intrepid, a Mini-Carnival, and a Queens Day picnic at the Park. Summer Camp 2009 ended with campers going to the park on Beach 90 Street and participating in Rockaway Resource Day, an event that was a collaboration between Far Rockaway PAL and the NYPD Community Affairs Department of the 101 Police Precinct.

The youth enjoyed a barbecue, rides, fashion show and it was a chance for some of the talented campers to strut their stuff, as some sang and danced. But the summer was not just filled with fun and games. On Mondays, selected middle school campers did community service to preserve the beachfront, working with the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance.

More than 200 campers came from three PAL sites in the Far Rockaway area — one at Goldie Maple Academy, located at Beach 57 Street (which is in its second year of offering summer camp to the community), and two of PAL's new satellite programs at Ocean Bay, located at 5710 Beach Channel Drive and Redfern, located at 1544 Hassock Avenue.

These three sites were run this summer by each location's assistant director — Luis A. Tapis at Goldie Maple Academy, S'Hanel McLemore at Ocean Bay and Douglas Wilcox at Redfern. All were under the guidance of Makeetah Cochy, who is the director for all three PAL Far Rockaway sites.

Each site director gave his/her goal and opinion of how the summer turned out. "My goal for summer camp was to have a great summer and have the kids have an exciting and educational time and I believe that happened," said McLemore.

"The goal for the summer was for the campers to have a safe and fun summer. I wanted them to say, 'when I was

at PAL I had a really good summer,' and for them to remember their counselors as some of their favorite people. I think that this summer PAL debuted it's presence as a valuable asset to the Far Rockaway community and I think the kids enjoyed it," said Tapis.

"My goal for the kids was to provide excitement, security and hope. I believe that the summer camp was a wonderful experience for this community to have a quality program for which parents did not have to pay anything. But they still received quality from staff and the PAL agency," remarked Wilcox. He then added, "I'm excited because the PAL Beacon has emerged as a frontrunner in this community and now the community looks forward to working with us in the fall and that is with all the PALs in Far Rockaway."

For more information about registering your child in PAL Far Rockaway's afterschool program please call the Goldie Maple Academy site at 718-634-4305, Ocean Bay at 718- 634-4493 or Redfern at 718-471- 0360.

The afterschool program will run Monday-Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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