Summer PAALS Day Camp

Summer PAALS 2018 Information

PAALS will hold four (and potentially five) summer day camps in 2018. The dates and age ranges for each are listed on the right. A potential fifth camp will be held depending on demand. Sign up for the wait list. We will either hold a regular camp or a pups camp (but not both) depending on the number of campers.

This year two of the camps will be focused on reading skills: Summer PAALS Reading Camp and the Farm and Summer PAALS Junior Reading Camp. The Reading Camp at the Farm will include horses (EAGLA) as well as dogs and will focus on decoding new words; reading quickly, accurately and with comprehension; building vocabulary; and overcoming barriers that block comprehension. The Junior Reading Camp will focus on study skills, comprehending text books, decoding unfamiliar and multi-syllable words, building vocabulary, higher order thinking, and critical and creative thinking. Both reading camps will be lead by reading specialists. You can find out more about reading camps by downloading the brochure below.)

The Summer PAALS Camp and Summer PAALS Junior camp will be regular camps during which campers learn the basics of dog care, training and community service all while pairing up to help train a service dog candidate. For Summer PAALS Camp, Friday is usually field day trip with dogs.

The registration fees for the 2018 are:

  • Summer PAALS Reading Camp at the Farm: $375
  • Summer PAALS Junior Reading Camp: $200
  • Summer PAALS Camp: $300
  • Summer PAALS Junior Camp: $175 (if held during Wait List Week)

A $25 early bird discount is available for all camps where the registration fee is paid in full by May 15, 2018.

All camp applications must be completed online. You will need to complete the online application form even if you are paying the registration fee by check.


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Summer PAALS 2017 Camp Dates

Summer PAALS Camp Dates & Age Information

  • Summer PAALS Reading Camp at the Farm (6/11 – 6/15): Campers 11 – 14, 8:30AM to 13:30PM
  • Summer PAALS Junior Reading Camp (6/25 – 6/29): Campers 8 – 10, 8:30AM to 12:30PM
  • Summer PAALS Camp (7/16 – 7/20): Campers 11 to 14 & Campers with disabilities 11 – 19, 8:30AM to 3:30PM
  • Summer PAALS Camp (7/23 – 7/27): Campers 11 to 14 & Campers with disabilities 11 – 19, 8:30AM to 3:30PM
  • Wait List (7/30 – 8/3): This will either be a third Summer PAALS Camp or a regular Summer PAALS Junior Camp depending on the number of campers on the wait list.

Summer PAALS Reading Camp at the Farm is held at the Big Red Barn Retreat in Blythewood, SC. Summer PAALS Junior Reading Camp and Summer PAALS Camps are held at the PAALS training facility at 221 N. Grampian Hills Rd. in Columbia, SC.

Drop off time for all camps is between 8:30AM and 8:45AM. Pick up time for Summer PAALS Reading Camp at the Farm and Summer PAALS Camps is 3:30PM. Pick up time for Summer PAALS Junior Reading Camp is 12:30PM.

PAALS thanks the Big Red Barn Retreat for once again hosting Summer PAALS at the Farm this year.


Summer PAALS day camp is one of only a handful of camps in the country that integrate assistance dogs in training with youth who have disabilities alongside youth who do not. Campers learn the basics of service dog training, how to help people in the community, and work side by side with other youth and youth with disabilities, all while pairing up to train a service dog candidate.

PAALS began holding Summer PAALS Camp in 2007 and has held it annually every year since. What started off as a single week-long camp session has expanded each year. PAALS now holds four camp sessions each year.

At the regular week-long Summer PAALS Camp sessions, (youth ages 11-14 and 11-19 for youth with disabilities), campers learn the basics of dog care, training and community service all while pairing up to help train a service dog candidate. Friday is usually field day trip with dogs.

PAALS has teamed up with the Big Red Barn Retreat to offer a week long session of Summer PAALS at the Farm (youth ages 11-14 and 11-19 for youth with disabilities). With the unique environment at the farm, campers will learn about dog and horse communication, training and care. They will also participate in enrichment activities like yoga with dogs and painting with horses.

Responding to requests from parents of older campers to provide a similar experience for their younger children, PAALS started Summer PAALS Pups camp (youth ages 8 – 10). At this camp, the young campers learn the basics of dog care, participate in dog games and crafts and practice teamwork while pairing up to care for a service dog training candidate