At The Painted Turtle, PUN is as fundamental to the camp experience as arts & crafts, fishing, or the ropes course. Beloved and revered by campers and staff alike, PUN—part magician, part counselor, part clown, part friend—volunteers at nearly every camp session The Painted Turtle holds each year.
And of the thousands of people who come through our gates, we would wager there is not one who leaves the camp not having shared a smile, a laugh, a word of encouragement, or a kind hand up from the miraculous PUN.
My favorite part about camp was meeting new friends and PUN! —14 year old camper
PUN has the ability to change a life!
It is hard to summarize in words the way in which PUN affects every person he meets. Dressed in a loud magician’s coat, a floppy-brimmed hat, baggy pants, striped socks, and armed with magic tricks, cards, ropes, plungers, and laughter spilling out of every pocket, PUN is a person who has the ability to change the course of a day, a week, and I’m sure in some instances a life, by the love and generosity he offers to each person with whom he comes in contact. One of the magical aspects of PUN is that he seems to be everywhere. His presence on camp brings a spirit of innovation: PUN develops special game show programs for Camp that he intentionally designs with our Camp setting in mind, plus so much more.
Yes, PUN is a universal presence, but what is even more amazing about him is the individual and intentional opportunities he creates to interact with each and every child at camp—and the way in which those interactions impact a child to feel lighter, more confident, more appreciated, more special. And therein lies PUN’s true magic: his ability to affect positive change in a child.
PUN also serves as a role model and teacher to the hundreds of volunteers who enter the gates of The Painted Turtle to donate their time for a camp session. He constantly shows a willingness to teach and mentor our volunteer community, and this impacts the program in immeasurable ways. PUN’s dedication also extends to volunteer recruitment. By carrying information about our camp program wherever he goes, he passionately champions the camp experience to people he encounters and encourages them to get actively involved in serving our campers.
Power in Numbers: Over 11,000 volunteer hours & counting
- PUN currently volunteers a minimum of 500 hours each year at Camp, but many years has exceeded 750 hours.
- PUN has cumulatively volunteered for nearly 1,500 hours at The Painted Turtle Outpost, the hospital outreach program run each week in 22 different California pediatric hospitals.
- Combining summer camp, family weekend sessions, and Outpost, PUN has personally engaged and been a part of over 25,000 camp experiences for children with serious illnesses, siblings, and family members.
Oh I know him, he’s the guy who makes me laugh when I feel sick. —UCLA patient about PUN
What Better Way to Honor PUN than by Naming Creative Arts in His Honor!
Creative Arts is a free-form program area that combines dance, theatre, music, and more. Campers express themselves through skits, improvisation, drumming, clowning, magic, fashion shows, and stage night performances. The goal is to introduce campers to the world of performing arts, providing them opportunities to move beyond their inhibitions, discover their hidden or desired talents, and experience performing before others.
PUN asserts that he is simply one of the many musicians whose different instruments create a symphony of support for campers and families, but we believe this is a musician who deserves permanent honor for his impact on the program and The Painted Turtle.