Who We Serve
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.
In order to be considered for Camp, each child must meet the below criteria and have one of the medical conditions listed below.
- Child with a medical condition must be between the ages 7 - 18
Campers participating in Camp at Home sessions 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 Limited Family Days 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
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
Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction A TPN dependent condition
Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia An adrenal insufficiency condition
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
Liver Disease (non-communicable)
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease A rheumatic condition
Mucopolysaccharidosis A skeletal dysplasia
Primary Immunodeficiency Disease (PIDD)
Rare Genetic Conditions
Scleroderma A rheumatic condition
Short gut Syndrome A TPN dependent condition
Small Bowel Transplant
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia A skeletal dysplasia
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) A rheumatic condition
Tube Feeding Dependent
Uveitis A rheumatic condition
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.
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.