Medical Program


The Medical Program

Medical Program nurse administering care.

The Painted Turtle serves children from California and across the US who are coping with many types of chronic disease conditions including arthritis, Crohn’s and colitis, hemophilia, kidney and liver disease and transplant, Primary Immune Deficiency Disease, metabolic and genetic conditions, and skeletal dysplasia.  Read about eligibility requirements and find a session by medical condition.

The Painted Turtle never wants children at Camp to feel as though they are in a medical or hospital environment. The Well Shell’s bright colors and murals create a fun, whimsical environment in which doctors and nurses wear casual and festive camp attire, rather than scrubs or lab coats. Even so, these expert staff and volunteers are equipped to serve children with intensive care needs, including hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, home ventilators, tracheostomy tubes, and central venous catheters. The Well Shell is open around the clock to promote everyone’s health and happiness throughout their session. During last summer alone, nursing staff administered over 9,750 medications, over 500 Well Shell visits, and 350 procedures for campers. 

To learn more about joining our medical team as a staff member or volunteer, please visit our page for Medical Professionals.


The Medical Side of Magic

This summer brought a unique opportunity for The Painted Turtle to provide much needed medical resources to parents and caregivers, which is typically only offered during Family Weekends. In going virtual, through our six Camp at Home summer sessions, our Medical team adapted to meet the needs of camper families during these more challenging times. We learned quickly and to no surprise that as a result of the pandemic, parents and caregivers were overwhelmed, which was coupled with the loss of respite, behavioral support, and in-home services for their child. 


The Well Shell

The Well Shell, our state-of-the-art medical facility at Camp.

The Painted Turtle’s medical clinic is known as the Well Shell. It is a 6,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility fully equipped for necessary routine and emergency procedures, disguised as a fun camp space. It has a comfortable waiting room, large medical room, 4 treatment rooms, two rooms for overnight and prolonged stays, as well as 6 hemodialysis stations with beautiful views of the lake and trees outside. You’ll find its roof is in the shape of a round shell and its interior walls are decorated with natural textures and soothing ocean colors. 

The treatment rooms are decorated with floor-to-ceiling murals which give the feeling that you are transported into another world.