Who We Serve


Who We Serve
The Need For a Medical Specialty Camp

There are more than one million children in California with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Our needs assessment revealed more than 17,500 of those children are unable to attend summer camp due to their medical conditions. That is, until The Painted Turtle came along!

The Painted Turtle has provided more than 64,700 camp experiences to children and their families — absolutely free of charge — since 2004.

Each year, we provide more than 3,000 on-site camp experiences to children and family members effected by serious illness. We welcome roughly 130 children to each of our 8 overnight, medical condition-specific Summer Sessions, up to 130 campers and family members to each of our 10 Family Weekends, and over 400 guests to both our annual Holiday Gathering and our Spring into Camp event.

Additionally, we serve 3,500 campers annually through our in-hospital program, The Painted Turtle Outpost. Outpost brings the camp experience into 22 hospital sites, medical centers, and clinics throughout California, as well as to community events.


Find a Session by Medical Condition

In order to be considered for Camp, each child must meet the below criteria and have one of the medical conditions listed below. 

Age Eligibility:

  • Child with a medical condition must be between the ages 7 - 18 

Campers participating in Camp at Home sessions, Camp on the Move events, Camp in a Box, and Camper Holiday Gathering must meet the following eligibility criteria: 

  • Have an eligible diagnosis (all conditions listed below in the dropdown menu qualify)
  • Minimum developmental age of 5 years

Campers participating in the Fall Overnight Family Retreats​ at Camp in Lake Hughes must meet the following eligibility criteria: See a full list noted in blue in the dropdown menu below.

  • Have one of the following diagnoses:
    • Adrenal Insufficiency
    • Epilepsy
    • Rheumatic Diseases
    • Skeletal Dysplasia
    • Spina Bifida
    • TPN

Please be advised that no child is guaranteed to be accepted to camp. Applications are reviewed and acceptance is based upon health care needs, space, and staffing ratios.

Use the dropdown below to search sessions by medical conditions.

* conditions that will be eligible for Limited Family Days are Noted in BLUE

Medical Conditions Currently Served at The Painted Turtle

15 Q 24 Micro-deletion Syndrome

22q Deletion Syndrome

Adrenal Insufficiency 

Alport Syndrome

Apert Syndrome

Aplastic Anemia


Diamond-Blackfan Anemia

Cerebral Palsy

Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction: A TPN dependent condition 

Craniofacial Conditions

Kabuki Syndrome

Kidney Disease

Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: An adrenal insufficiency condition 

Crohn’s Disease

Cystic Fibrosis

Dermatomyositis: A rheumatic condition 

Dialysis: Hemodialysis and Peritoneal

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome: A rheumatic condition 

Factor Deficiency in Females

Fibromyalgia: A rheumatic condition 

General Nephrology-decreased kidney function


Juvenile Arthritis: a rheumatic condition

Kidney Transplant

Limb Deficiency 

Liver Disease (non-communicable)

Liver transplant

Mitochondrial Disease

Mixed Connective Tissue Disease: A rheumatic condition 
Mucopolysaccharidosis: A skeletal dysplasia 

Muscular Dystrophy


Noonan Sydnrome


Primary Immunodeficiency Disease (PIDD)


Pulmonary Hypertension


Rare Genetic Conditions

Rheumatologic Conditions
Scleroderma: A rheumatic condition
Short gut Syndrome: A TPN dependent condition 
Skeletal Dysplasia

Small Bowel Transplant

Spina Bifida 

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia: A skeletal dysplasia 
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): A rheumatic condition 


Tube Feeding Dependent

TPN Dependent 

Ulcerative Colitis

Uveitis: A rheumatic condition 

Ventilator Dependent

Wegener’s Granulomatosis



Boy enjoying Silly Olympics

When campers set foot into The Painted Turtle, they enter a world where fun and laughter are part of the remedy. Upon their arrival, campers and their families are greeted by The Painted Turtle’s exceptional staff. Volunteers and staff are both experienced working with children and committed to the well-being and care of our campers.



Dad and daughter enjoying a Family Weekend.

When a child comes to The Painted Turtle, it impacts the entire family. As the guardian of a child with a serious medical condition, we understand that you might be searching for more information about The Painted Turtle. We hope that you will use this section as a starting place for your exploration and research.