PAL Camp 2021 — Fun for all
September 20, 2021
Each summer, several Yale Police Officers participate in the Police Activities League (PAL) Kids Camp. During July, the day camp provides local children ages 8 to 11 with educational, athletic, and just plain fun programs. Officers Elizabeth “Liz” Vaccino and Michael Claxton were assigned to the 10- and 11-year-old groups. It was their third year supporting this program.
This year the camp was held at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Connecticut. It ran Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. The Yale Police Department (YPD) partners with the New Haven Police Department (NHPD) to organize and fund the PAL Camp. In past years, it took on about 200 children, but because of COVID-19 restrictions was reduced to 80. NHPD Sergeant Ron Farrante coordinated the overall 2021 PAL Camp organizing the team, venue, vendors, and food.
Activities included a daily one-mile walk or run, hiking up East Rock Park, inflatable day (with lots of bounce houses), and swimming in the Wilbur Cross High School pool. The children are treated to weekly ice cream truck and pizza days featuring many New Haven favorites like Sally’s Apizza, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (Pepe’s), and Modern Pizza. Other programs included arts and crafts, making tie-dyed t-shirts, dancing, and playing sports like basketball.
During the month, the YPD and NHPD officers are in plain clothes, and each age group has two to
three officers assigned to it. “I love working with these kids. It is a great opportunity for them. They have fun and enjoy activities they might not normally be exposed to. This year there were fewer kids, so it was more intimate. We got to talk to the kids and got to know them. Also, they saw us as humans, not just officers enforcing the law,” said Officer Vaccino.