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 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.
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
Rare Genetic Conditions
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Summer Sessions, Camp at Home
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
Factor Deficiency in Females
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Camp at Home Only
Family Weekend, Summer Sessions, Camp at Home
Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction
Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
General Nephrology-decreased kidney function
Liver Disease (non-communicable)
Primary Immunodeficiency Disease (PIDD)
Short Gut Syndrome
Small Bowel Transplant
Tube Feeding Dependent
Search for Programs by Medical 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.