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 122,000 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. 

Requirements and Eligibility

  • Age Requirements:
    • Family Weekend: Between the ages of 6-17
    • Summer Camp: Between the ages of 7-16
    • Have a minimum developmental age of 5 years
  • Be able to function and participate in a group setting
  • Able to communicate needs independently
  • Can be without family members for a limited period of time (overnight retreats and family weekends) or the duration of the camp session (summer camp)

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..

Search for Medical Conditions by Program Type 

Family Weekend, Camp at Home 

15 Q 24 Micro-deletion Syndrome

22q Deletion Syndrome

Alport Syndrome

Apert Syndrome


Cerebral Palsy

Craniofacial Conditions

Kabuki Syndrome

Limb deficiency

Mitochondrial disease

Muscular Dystrophy



Pulmonary Hypertension

Rare Genetic Conditions

Spina Bifida

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Wegener’s Granulomatosis

Summer Sessions, Camp at Home


Aplastic anemia

Diamond-Blackfan anemia


Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

Factor Deficiency in Females



Juvenile Arthritis

Mixed Connective Tissue Disease


Noonan Syndrome

Rheumatologic Conditions


Skeletal Dysplasia

Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)



Camp at Home Only

Cystic Fibrosis

Dialysis: Hemodialysis



Ventilator Dependent

Family Weekend, Summer Sessions, Camp at Home

Adrenal Insufficiency

Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction

Kidney Disease

Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Crohn’s Disease

Dialysis: Peritoneal


General Nephrology-decreased kidney function

Kidney Transplant

Liver Disease (non-communicable)

Liver transplant

Primary Immunodeficiency Disease (PIDD)

Short Gut Syndrome

Small Bowel Transplant

Tube Feeding Dependent

TPN Dependent

Ulcerative Colitis

Search for Programs by Medical Condition



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.