History

History

Purdue Athletes for Life Success (PALS) began in 2002 as the National Youth Sports Program at Purdue University.  It was dedicated to engage underserved local youth ages 8-14 in fitness, health and life instruction.  The summer program was and still is free-of-charge to campers (parents /guardians must meet certain income guidelines set forth by the US Department of Health and Human Sciences).

Year PALS Started
2002
Approx. Number of Campers
400
Youngest Campers
8
Oldest Campers
14

Since its inception, PALS has inspired thousands of underserved youth to stay active and healthy.   However, the program is much more than a summer sports camp.  As Drew Brees stated, “This is not a sports camp; this is a life success camp.”  PALS staff emphasizes teaching points known as The Four Pillars: Respect, Responsibility, Courage, and Caring.  By incorporating the pillars into all PALS activities, campers learn important life skills that they can apply in their own lives. The PALS Camp has evolved over the years to include academic and daily living skills to enrich the campers’ lives.

The Four Pillars: Respect, Responsibility, Courage, and Caring.

These campers have been exposed to healthy activities, positive role models, summer fun, and personal growth opportunities.

Many community leaders, in conjunction with Purdue University, play a major role in the promotion, celebration and financial support of the PALS program as they all share in the mission of helping youth and families in poverty. We believe our research findings can help others with similar missions to address the critical needs of impoverished youth and families and make differences in their lives. Thousands of youth have benefited from the PALS program in the past 15 years, setting their lives on a healthy, successful course. These campers have been exposed to healthy activities, positive role models, summer fun, and personal growth opportunities.  In short, they’ve been given a dream. Our PALS camp is one of two that currently operates in our nation.  We feel very fortunate that our community continues to invest in our children.