The Painted Turtle offers an exhilarating array of camp activities and intentional programs that foster personal growth, self-confidence, and exploration. Our programs empower campers to make new friends, gain independence in their medical care, and become their greater selves.
The Painted Turtle offers year-round programs including: Spring and Fall Family Weekends for the entire family, one-day family events, week-long Summer Sessions, and hospital outreach programs.
At The Painted Turtle there is always something exciting going on, whether it be an event, TPT in the media, or our latest edition of the Turtle Scoop. Check out what’s happening at camp and catch up on all the latest news!
I just took a breath and knew I was in a safe place where I could be myself. —Camper
2023 Programs and COVID-19
The safety and well-being of our campers, their families, our volunteers, and our staff are of the utmost importance to us at The Painted Turtle. We are taking all possible and appropriate measures to ensure everyone has a safe experience at The Painted Turtle.
Each summer, The Painted Turtle welcomes children ages 7 to 16 for our week-long sessions.
In each session, between morning horseback rides and evening campfires, children become artists, swimmers, athletes, canoe paddlers, stargazers, actors on stage, adventurers, and, most importantly, friends. Our campers form a unique community, living in cabins alongside other kids coping with similar medical conditions. With the support of both counselors and cabin mates, kids discover they are capable of doing things they never dreamed possible.
Family Weekend Program
Throughout the spring, winter, and fall, The Painted Turtle invites families who are living with the challenges of a medical condition to experience a weekend at camp.
The Painted Turtle Outpost
The 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 Leadership Program is open to 17 and 18 year-old campers seeking to enrich their camp experience through a variety of leadership training activities. Campers will participate as Leadership Campers (LCs) or as Leaders-In-Training (LITs), depending on medical needs.
The Equestrian Program fosters self-esteem and confidence in campers and builds an emotional connection between them and the horses. Having a serious medical condition makes many children withdrawn and afraid to trust. Horses have an uncanny way of drawing many of these children out and helping them to feel safe and less fearful. Most riding sessions conclude with hugs and kisses for the horses.
The Medical Program
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.
Need a little Camp in your day? Check out these amazing magic moments from our programs and events! Each program at The Painted Turtle delivers unforgettable moments that are just too good not to share.