Year-Round 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.

Sample activities for kids and parents include a campfire, carnival, woodshop, fishing and boating, arts and crafts, yoga, ropes course, horses, archery, and stage night. Special teen and parent activities are also offered throughout the weekend. Fall and Spring Family Weekends include parents and siblings in the enjoyment of an authentic camp experience and offer much-needed respite, recreation, and family time. For many families, their weekend at camp is their annual vacation, one they are only able to take because of our on-site medical support.

In addition to fun activities, family camp offers the chance to form friendships with families facing similar challenges.  For siblings of children affected by illness, they can sometimes feel “lost in the shuffle.” These weekends provide siblings the opportunity to receive peer support and engage in creative, constructive outlets.

Each session focuses on serving children with one of the medical conditions found most in need of camp opportunities in California. For a list of current medical conditions we serve, please take a look at our Camp Calendar.

The family weekend is very important to all the families. Everyone, especially the kids, realize they aren’t alone in this battle. All the volunteers and families are so open, friendly and caring. We really enjoyed ourselves! Thank you!!!!”

Camper Parent


  • “Thank you for one of the best weeks of my life… I came with my doubts about my first time at a camp, but as I left that night I couldn’t have felt more satisfied or overjoyed by my experience”
  • “I haven’t seen my son this happy since we have come into the hospital…it is awesome to see him smiling and acting like himself again.”
    -Parent, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • “My daughter told me tonight that Camp is the only place she feels that she’s ever been able to be herself… It’s the only place she’s been where people just accept her for who she is.  It’s the only place she’s been where all of the activities are designed for her to be able to do.  She doesn’t have to sit anything out. She’s part of it all.”
    -Camper Parent
  • “Can I take a picture with my fish & fishing pole in front of the backdrop? I want to prove to my friends that I went fishing in the hospital…they’ll never believe me.”
    -Child, age 10, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford
  • “Yay, I’m so glad you’re here today. I have The Painted Turtle Outpost on my calendar with gold stars all around it!”
    -Child Life Specialist, UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital