FAQ for Campers and Families


COVID-19 Precautions

What safety precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at Camp?

  • Prevention: Camp has implemented many layers of screening for symptoms, testing, and pre-camp procedures to minimize the risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19 before and during camp programs.
  • Policies, Protocols, and Training: The Painted Turtle has developed a thorough guidebook of COVID-19 specific policies and protocols that are implemented across camp to ensure the safety of all participants. Examples of policies and protocols include stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes, program design guidelines to foster camp connectedness yet reduce risk of spread of COVID-19, among many others. In addition, all TPT staff (including volunteers) are thoroughly trained on these policies and protocols to ensure they are implemented as designed.
  • Facility Improvements: The Painted Turtle has invested in many improvements across Camp to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 at camp. These improvements include but are not limited to HEPA air filtration in all camp buildings, touchless hand sanitizer, sinks, and soap dispensers, clear and campy signage with safety reminders, enhanced outdoor areas for programming, eating, or group activities.
  • Program Design: The program design and camp experience will be structured to be in compliance with COVID policies. While there will be adaptations such as cabin cohorts, limited capacity at sessions, the addition of outdoor meals, mask wearing indoors and physical distance between cabin cohorts, we are confident the Camp spirit – the joy, laughter, fun, and friendship – will be strong!
  • Guidance and Resources: The Painted Turtle continues to follow the guidance of the CDC, California and Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health, TPT’s Medical Advisory Board, and the SeriousFun Children’s Network. In addition, Camp follows the recommendations of Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc, a professional group contracted by both the American Camping Association and SeriousFun Children’s Network to develop operating guidance specifically for camps serving children with serious illnesses. The Painted Turtle monitors updates from these groups on a regular basis and follows guidance of these groups to make decisions regarding camp programming throughout the year.

What are TPT’s COVID Protocols (pre-camp, during camp, and post-camp) for in-person camp programs?

Safety is our priority at The Painted Turtle. Camp has implemented many COVID protocols to ensure the safety of all participants. You may visit our COVID-19 Participant Precautions and Protocols here: https://www.thepaintedturtle.org/post/covid-19-participant-precautions-and-protocols

Camp at Home Programs

Will you continue Camp at Home Programs this year?

Yes, The Painted Turtle is pleased to continue the successful Camp at Home (virtual) camp programs this Spring! In an effort to reach ALL campers, we are pleased to offer a Cabin Chat Series and Family Weekend program this Spring. There are many benefits of the Camp at Home Program, including:

  • Campers from ALL TPT medical condition groups are invited to join
  • A condensed, brief application process
  • Ability to join from anywhere in the world
  • A Camp in a Box full of camp activities delivered straight to your door
  • Joining fellow campers and families for tons of camp fun

When are the Camp at Home Programs this year?

Both the Camp at Home Cabin Chat Series and Family Weekend will be hosted in Spring 2022. We encourage all families to mark your calendars and apply early and take advantage of these online opportunities to connect with camp friends and families!

I’ve submitted my camper/our family application to an on-site program. Should I apply to the Camp at Home Program(s)?

Yes, we strongly encourage all families to participate in the Camp at Home Programs this Spring. The Camp at Home application is brief, only requiring two (2) brief family forms completed on your CampSite account to apply.

Please note, TPT acknowledges there are a number of factors that may restrict a camper or their family from participating in on-site, in-person Camp events this year. These factors may include but are not limited to camper capacity limitations, medical condition eligibility, travel restrictions, and the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. TPT strongly encourages all families interested in the Camp program to participate in the Camp at Home Family Weekend as it is accessible to all children and families and is an engaging, impactful, and FUN weekend with Camp!

COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster

Is the COVID-19 vaccination required for participation in camp programs?

Yes, all participants (campers, family members, volunteers, and staff) who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine are required to be fully vaccinated in order to participate in onsite camp programs. Fully vaccinated means 2 weeks after your second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine booster required for participation in the Spring Overnight Family Retreats?

At this time, the COVID-19 booster is not required for participants during the Spring Overnight Family Retreat programs.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine booster required for campers this summer?

Yes, all campers ages 12 and older are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine booster in order to participate in the summer camp program if it has been at least 5 months since the last dose in their primary series or at least 2 months after vaccination for anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine. Campers ages 7-11 are not required to have the booster at this time, however, this may change based on guidelines from the CDC and LA County Public Health Department.

Camp Application Deadlines and Acceptance Process

Is there an application deadline?

Yes, applications for camp programs are due 1 month in advance of family programs and 6 weeks in advance of summer camp sessions. However, should we receive more applications than spaces available, we may close applications early at any point.

With a limited camper capacity, how will Camp make decisions regarding Camper Acceptances?

While we wish we could accommodate everyone that applies, we anticipate that Camp will receive more applications than spaces available for in-person programs this year. Acceptances will be based on a number of criteria including years of camp experience, medical acuity, timeliness of application completion, among other considerations. A complete application means that the camper/family has submitted all necessary application requirements including but not limited to medical clearances, immunization records, and CampSite forms. The Camper Admissions team will be in communication on any missing application pieces throughout your application process. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and we encourage all campers and families to apply early and complete your application in a timely manner.

If I apply and complete my application, is my child/family guaranteed acceptance?

No, unfortunately we anticipate that we will receive more complete applications than spaces available. Campers and families will be notified of acceptance to a camp session shortly after the session’s application deadline. Campers and families that are not accepted are automatically placed on a waitlist for the session.

Will the application close if a session is full?

Yes, The Painted Turtle will close applications once a session becomes full or at the application deadline, whichever comes first. All interested campers and families are encouraged to apply early and complete your application in a timely manner.

Camper Eligibility

How close to a camp session can a camper be removed off of the Camper Waitlist?

While there are a number of pre-camp protocols that participants must agree to attend Camp, it is the goal of The Painted Turtle to welcome as many campers as safely possible into Camp programs this year. Campers may be offered a spot in a camp session off of the waitlist in the days leading up to the session given that, upon invitation, they have not had any symptoms of illness, have not had exposure to someone who has tested positive with COVID-19, and can meet any additional requirements necessary (i.e., test 3 days prior to travel for campers flying into Los Angeles).

Are there medical conditions that previously attended that are not eligible this year?

Unfortunately yes, there are some conditions that are not eligible for Summer Camp.   After consultation with our Medical Advisory Board and other SeriousFun Camps, the decision was made that we can not safely support Campers who require respiratory support at Summer Camp.  This includes campers with tracheostomies, ventilator dependent, CPAP, BiPAP, scheduled aerosolized procedures or other chronic lung disease.  Campers with a diagnosis of asthma that do not require scheduled aerosolized treatments as part of their daily care are still eligible.

Are you hosting a Special Diagnoses Summer Session?

No. While we aren’t able to host a Special Diagnoses Session this summer, we have added an additional family weekend opportunity for the Special Diagnoses community. This Spring we will host a Spina Bifida and Special Diagnoses Spring Overnight Family Retreat and there are plans to host one additional Special Diagnoses Family Weekend in the Fall, dates to be announced mid-summer. It is our hope that through these three programs we can serve as many campers from the Special Diagnoses session as possible.


Will Camp provide bus transportation to camp for Summer Camp Sessions?

Yes, The Painted Turtle will provide select bus transportation for Summer Camp sessions. Campers who travel to/from camp must agree to symptom screening and additional testing prior to boarding a bus provided by Camp and follow specific bus protocol throughout the trip. Please note, while we will give our best effort to meet camper needs, bus locations and capacity will be more limited than in years past. Please do not board The Painted Turtle bus if you have any symptoms of illness.

Are participants allowed to travel by plane to participate in camp sessions?

Yes, The Painted Turtle welcomes seasonal staff, volunteers, and campers to travel by plane to participate in a camp session. All participants who travel by plane must agree to additional COVID protocols to minimize the risk of contracting COVID before or during your travels. These additional requirements include testing 3 days before travel, testing prior to loading a TPT van or bus to camp, and abiding by safe travel policies (mask wearing, frequent handwashing, etc.).  Please do not travel if you have any symptoms of illness, even if your preflight test is negative.