In-Hospital Program


In-Hospital Program
The Painted Turtle Outpost

In-Hospital ProgramThe Painted Turtle Outpost takes the magic and fun of what we do at our camp-site to hospitals and medical community events throughout California. The program is endowed by the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation.

The Painted Turtle Outpost logo.Outpost allows The Painted Turtle to reach out to children who are hospitalized, giving them a chance to be in an environment where they can “go to camp” and forget about their illness, at least for a little while. Since the launch of the program in September 2007, the Outpost program has brought the fun and spirit of our camp program into hospital playrooms and community events all throughout California. The Painted Turtle provides this program to hospital and partner organizations free of charge.

The Painted Turtle Outpost Program with girl at USC L.A. Medical Center.During The Painted Turtle Outpost events, children enter into a creative “camp” environment that is inclusive, supportive, and challenging – just like the one at The Painted Turtle’s camp-site!

The Outpost staff along with a team of trained volunteers deliver this exciting and engaging program.

Can I give you a hug? Because you really made my daughter’s day! This is the first time she has smiled since surgery. —Parent of patient, UCSF

COVID-19 Update: Outpost is following each individual hospital’s policy regarding visitor groups in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and unfortunately is not able to return to in-person programming yet. The safety and well-being of all participants is our highest priority. The Outpost team is continuing to send Outpost Activity Bags to hospital campers, offer virtual playroom sessions, and is consistently adding to our YouTube page. Outpost will adjust our program plans accordingly as more information becomes available and will update our online calendar as changes happen. We look forward to welcoming Outpost volunteers back to the hospitals when it is safe to do so.

For inquiries about the Outpost program please contact Teresa Molello at

Click here to view our Hospital Outpost sites


Outpost Volunteer Requirements

Volunteering with the Outpost program is an amazing opportunity to deliver a little Camp magic during a time when children and families may need it most!  As an Outpost volunteer you will spend the day in the playroom “fishing,” crafting, or singing camp songs around the “campfire,” but most importantly you will be putting a smile on their face and some laughter in their heart. 

To volunteer with Outpost, we require that you first complete the following: 



In addition to bringing camp cheer to hospitals and medical community events, The Painted Turtle Outpost also offers “Turtle-Grams” to campers who are hospitalized, getting surgery or a procedure, on bed rest, or just needs a little Painted Turtle to lift their spirits, we invite you to request a Turtle Gram. Our Outpost team will send your camper a box filled with Camp activities, games, and projects to keep them busy and as a reminder that we’re thinking of them. An optional virtual visit can also be requested alongside the Turtle Gram. “Turtle-Grams” deliver a healthy dose of camp cheer and aim to offer some comfort and fun to our campers even while they’re not physically at camp!

If you are a parent or guardian and feel that your child would qualify for a “Turtle-Gram,” please fill out the request form and our Outreach Manager will contact you. Please note participation in this program does not in any way affect your child’s future admission to a camp session at The Painted Turtle.