Who We Serve


The need for a medical specialty camp

Of the more than one million children in California with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, our needs assessment revealed more than 17,500 are unable to attend summer camp due to their medical conditions.  That is, until we came along!

The Painted Turtle provides these children and their families with an empowering, renewing experience completely free of charge.

The Painted Turtle supporters give these children the gift of a lifetime – a gift of laughter, fun, and personal growth that they may otherwise not experience.

Medical conditions we serve

Our on-site medical support allows us to provide a unique and safe camp experience to children with special medical needs. Recent groups served include children with spina bifida and paraplegia, cerebral palsy and limb deficiency, rheumatic diseases, skeletal dysplasia and mucopolysaccharidosis, kidney disease and transplant, liver disease and transplant, immunodeficiency disorders, total parenteral nutrition, Crohn’s and colitis, hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, thalassemia, and severe asthma and allergies. We also have a special session for siblings of children who medically qualify to come to our camp programs.

For more information on current programs, please see our Camp Calendar.

Read more about the medical requirements of attending camp.

Camper families

Beyond serving individual campers during our summer camp sessions, our program’s reach extends to the entire family during our Fall and Spring Family Weekends. These weekends include parents and siblings in the enjoyment of an authentic camp experience and offer much-needed respite, recreation, and family time. For many families, their weekend at camp is their annual vacation, one they are only able to take because of our on-site medical support. In addition to fun activities, family camp offers the chance to form friendships with families facing similar challenges. Read more about Family Weekends.

Outreach program

Since 2007, The Painted Turtle Outpost program has brought the fun and spirit of our camp program into hospital playrooms and community events throughout California.  Read more about The Painted Turtle Outpost.