Oops! You must enter a search term greater than 3 characters.

Invite reviews

Invite friends and colleagues to share their experiences with this nonprofit
44 Reviews
1234.977275
| 1 2 3 45 |
Write A Review
December 26, 2010

more

December 26, 2010

I started volunteering as a Camp nurse in the summer of 2009. Since then I have been back for several family and camper reunion weekends. I work as a nurse in an outpt dept at CT Children's Medical Center and I have been able to help some of our "kids" apply to Camp and it has been rewarding to see them go and have fun and come back to tell the songs they have learned and the experiences they have had. I plan to volunteer again as a nurse for weekends in the upcoming year and for an entire week the summer of 2011. I LOVE Camp. It is hard to explain but it is such an incredible place. I have met amazing people ...campers, their families, medical staff, volunteers, paid staff , counselors. They are an incredibly giving , loving bunch who work tirelessly to give these kids a phenomenal camp experience. I never see anyone say no to these kids (unless it is a safety issue of course)j. They will do their best to be able to allow the kids to do what makes them happy. They are so encouraging. The kids feel safe in this Camp environment, they don't have to worry about being picked on or not being able to do something because of their medical issues. I love watching the "kids be kids" . They TALK to each other (no cell phones or computers), they experience "cabin chat" which for me was an awesome experience, they create things, they make things. They use their imaginations to perform and create projects. They love to fish...that is one of their favorites.

From a medical perspective the staff nurses and the volunteer nurses and the physicians are amazing. They never seem to get tired. I have seen a staff nurse work all day, stay up all night with the older kids keeping them safe during a camp-out and then accompany a sick child to the emergency room the next day--in her pajamas--and never complain.

It is such an uplifting place to be. You would think with all the medical issues and illness that this would be a depressing place to be but it is exactly the opposite. The kids are inspiring. It is so rewarding to see them making friends, helping each other and learning about themselves. They can't wait to come back. I always leave Camp with much more than I came with and I can't wait to go back. I feel very lucky to be a part of such an amazing team.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have watched our patients (from CT Children's Medical Center) return from Camp with more confidence in themselves.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Presently I cannot think of any changes. I just want this Camp to continue doing the wonderful work that it does.

December 18, 2010

more

December 18, 2010


My wife and I have been donors and counselors for about 15 years. We have seen first-hand the destruction that a child's life-threatening disease can cause to the child and his or her family.

The camp, which is free, doesn't cure the disease of course, but it does allow each child to
just be a kid for a while without having to dwell too much on the illness itself, as well as to recognize that he or she is not alone. At the same time, it also provides a respite to the families who tend to spend a lot of time with their sick children - sometimes to the detriment of their healthy children or the parents' relationship.

My wife and I have met many remarkable people over the years - staff, other volunteers, parents and children, and have formed lasting friendships. In many respects, these people have become extended family. Paul Newman once told me that he got more out of the camp than he contributed. I agree with that sentiment. I can't think of another organization that is more worthy of a person's time and money.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Relationships developed with children and families - this camp can be a life-changing experience for campers, their families, and volunteers.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to figure out a way to utilize the facilities more during the school year.

December 14, 2010

more

December 14, 2010

For the past 14 years The Hole in the Wall Gang camp has been a vital part of my life. As a camper I would live for the one week to go to the place where I could be my complete and total self without judgment. The counselors were not only my caretakers for the week but my friends who never showed lack of interest in me. It did not take me long to figure out that I wanted to be a staff member for camp. In my mind it was a no brainer decision to become one of the coolest people on the face of the planet. At least this was my view of all the counselors at camp. Making the transition from camper to counselor was everything I hoped for and more. I finally had the opportunity to bring the same joy which I experienced into hundreds of campers’ lives. I have also been able to develop amazing lifelong relationships with my fellow staff members. I feel so honored to be able to work with such loving, kind and selfless people summer after summer. One of my favorite things about being a counselor who was once a camper is having a deeper insight on some of the everyday struggles a young boy with Sickle Cell disease may have undergone. Three years have passed since my first year as a counselor and I am still in awe of the mission we are able to accomplish every summer. I can’t wait to complete my journey as a counselor this upcoming summer and hopefully make it nothing short of legendary for the campers of 2011.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the eight years I was a camper and the three years I have been a staff member.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

December 13, 2010

more

December 13, 2010

My first time at Camp, I was very excited to be volunteering as a nurse in the infirmary. Little did I know that I would be leaving with so much more than I arrived with.The enthusiasm, the courage, the spirit, the friendships, the fun, the creativity is greater than you could ever imagine. The genuine sense of caring, from the smiles and hugs , to carrying a child on your back or in your arms because they have used up all their energy at play and are blissfully tired. The encouragement to perform on stage , ride a horse , make a birdhouse or pass a swim test. The environment at Camp is perfect for making awesome things happen and that's why we keep coming back year after year to witness them
Adrienne

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Ashford, Ct @ Camp by volunteering in the infirmary for the last 3 summers and for the fall weekends

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue as is. It works!

November 23, 2010

more

November 23, 2010

Our son, who has sever Hemophilia A, has been going to camp one way or another for about 4yrs now. In my formative years, I worked at summer camp for a couple of years which has a great reputation. My first time @ Hole in The Wall, I was speechless. It really is a special place. The staff get you pumped up and happy to be there from the time you enter the gates. It's very well organized, there's so much to do, and you feel at home:) Between the sessions for campers, siblings or family's, the camps enviroment and staff make everyone who attends feel like a hundred bucks. The children & family's who attend, haven't been dealt the best hand in life. The HTWGC make them feel real, normal & together again. Our youngest son, who sometimes can be introverted and a hard shell to crack socially, is convinced Camp is the best place on earth.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've attended the family weekend and other events. All it takes is one visit and you know this place is the most wonderful in the world.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Changes.....umm no.

November 18, 2010

more

November 18, 2010

The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp should claim the title, “The Happiest Place on Earth!” I have never heard, seen, and experienced more laughter, joy, and play in one summer. The campers and staff truly embody the Camp rules of “Safety, Respect, and Love” I was the Camping Specialist, currently volunteer for family/camper weekends, and will be back again next summer as full-time summer staff. The facilities are state of the art, the programs are incredible, but what makes Camp so magical are the people. During the year, I am a teacher and the staff and volunteers at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp are the most dedicated, enthusiastic, and qualified group of professionals that I have ever worked with. They meet each individual camper at their level. Through creativity and the passion to make sure each child is included in every activity, our campers see themselves as children rather than being defined by their disease. One of my favorite camp memories was when one of my campers, who is wheelchair bound, went up the high ropes tower via team fly (our cabin lifted her up to get to the top of the wall) and zipped down. Then, she turned to me and said, “I can’t walk, but after just two days at Camp, I can fly!” The energy at camp is electrifying, everywhere one turns there are campers and staff singing, dancing, and applauding one another. This spirit is exemplified during the Awards Ceremony where every camper is recognized and gets a standing ovation for their accomplishments that past week. After a week of Camp, our campers leave with a confidence and stronger spirit and sense of self. I wish I could do Camp justice in just a few paragraphs, but it is an indescribable place that has infinite benefits for anyone that experiences it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

all aspects of my life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Keep expanding into all parts of the US and abroad. Make Camp available to every child who needs it.

More feedback...

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

November 17, 2010

more

Review from Guidestar
November 17, 2010

After a week of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a volunteer cabin counselor understands a new world view, a new language and a code of conduct: There are only 3 principles to run your week—safety, respect and love, and the kids really do believe in them. There are only 3 rules, No physical violence, no killer statements, and no unsupervised activities, and if they were followed in the world we’d all live in Utopia. But there is a fourth rule—have fun. It’s an impossible rule not to follow. You will never in your life ever see so many people putting so much energy and talent and creativity and hard work into hard playing. You usually don’t notice the hard work part. You notice that when someone mentions what or how much they make, it doesn’t refer to income but the volume of crafts and woodshop projects created. You realize that the only colors that really matter in this world are unit colors: purple and blue and red and green and yellow and if you mention one, a loud cheer with complicated rhythms executed in perfect synchrony might very well ensue. You wonder why clowns don’t help out in our lives everyday. Things would work out so much better. You learn that you can get really tired and not much sleep and still just thrive! Each day of the week has a name but it’s not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but Fun Day, Stage Night Day, Party Night Day. Camp is the only place other than a Broadway musical where singing and dancing can break out at any time. The most important meeting of the day is when everyone is in bed and a candle is burning and it’s time for cabin chat. Overnight transformations of places you were in only hours ago occur regularly. Where did that gorilla come from? Was that totem pole there yesterday? People transform too. Random acts of kindness are performed by super secret agents. That there is true goodness in the world and it is possible to spread it around . Every risk you might take to be better, stronger, kinder, more artistic is not so scary with a lot of help from your friends. That homesickness is never as hard to deal with as sadness about leaving camp. It’s a good world to understand.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the way children realize they are not alone facing their illnesses. It is like a great weight dropping from their shoulders.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire more year round staff, so the camp magic could reach even more children and families in the non-summer months.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 8, 2010

more

September 8, 2010

You can read other reviews about The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp that will be more eloquent and more detailed than anything I’d ever be able to share (And, by the way, they’re all so terrifically written and so spot-on accurate!). So my short, simple story goes something like this: I first heard of Hole In The Wall Camp over 15 years ago, but didn’t get the chance to jump into the mix until the Summer of 2009. Since then, I’ve worked as a volunteer counselor at camp, worked at one-day outreach programs in the city, worked at fund-raising events, worked at the New Haven administrative offices — I’d gladly, voluntarily work any time, any place for this organization because of what they stand for: Safety, Respect, Love. You feel it every minute you’re around this place. Everyone you meet — from the staff, to the volunteers, to the kids themselves — has an energy and enthusiasm and passion for life that’s hard to find in such abundance anywhere else. This is an organization with a singular, laser-like focus: helping seriously ill kids and their families have some serious fun! There aren’t too many things more rewarding than seeing a smile or hearing a laugh coming from the heart of a Hole In The Wall camper. If you’re considering attending camp, volunteering at camp, or giving to camp, this is THE place to do it!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing, first-hand, kids take on new challenges and new experiences in their young lives: traveling away from home for the first time; catching a fish; riding a horse; singing on stage. We're creating lifetime memories!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to fund and replicate what's happening at Hole In The Wall Camp. In fact, that's already started, with other affiliated camps operating in other corners of the US and the world under the Hole In The Wall Gang Association. But we could use more!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the dedication, the enthusiasm, the world-class people...but mostly, the time with the kids!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

true professionals, focused, passionate, kind and considerate, and always appreciative.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

keep on building and recreating the magic of Hole In The Wall Gang Camp...bring it to more corners of the world.

Ways to make it better...

it hadn't rained the week of my summer camp session!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

carrying on the legacy that Paul Newman created with this camp -- not getting complacent, always growing and extending the family.

One thing I'd also say is that...

you'll get hooked on this place!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 3, 2010

more

March 3, 2010

My daughter Vanessa Gonzalez was a camper at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp from 1999-2003. This marvelous, miraculous camp changed her attitude about her illness completely. It is a wonderful place, like no other on this earth. From the 1st moment you arrive and are welcomed by the wonderful staff and counselors, to the last day when no one wants to go home, the children are treated like kings and queens. I, myself, spent a couple of weekends at the camp on parent retreats and also as a volunteer on work weekends. Everyone is wonderful, the place is magical, it makes you feel like it's the closest place to heaven. I cried with joy each time I was able to visit camp because I did not want to go back home. I love how it changed my daughter and how she became more open about her disease and more willing to help other people in her situation by just telling them her experiences and helping them through theirs. Everyone at camp is an angel and we miss you truly.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

raising my daughter with her illness. She was very bitter and angry before she went to The Hole in the Wall. She met people there who were living with the same condition and she was able to establish positive relationships that have carried her through.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that the staff and counselors treat every child like if they were #1. They go over and beyond in choosing the counselors. It almost like if the counselors are hand picked for our children. Every counselor there is truly God sent.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all angels. It is like if they were individually hand picked for our children. They love our children and it shows.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

serve more and more children each year.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2003

February 11, 2010

more

February 11, 2010

I have been a volunteer cabin couselor at Hole In The Wall Gang Camp for 8 summers now, and have been consistently impressed and amazed by the quality of the program and the permanent staff. But the best part - the part that keeps me excited and coming back - is the impact this wonderful program and these wonderful people have on the Campers and their families. I've been priviledged to see firsthand the healing and restorative effect of being in a place where safety, respect and love are not just nice words but a real way of life. And playing a tiny part in that, year by year has made me a better person, enabled me to put aside my own problems, my own struggle with diabetes, multiple surgeries and personal tragedy and have a wonderful shared experience with these children who have helped me as much (or more) than I have ever helped them. Working up at Camp has become a high point of my year and something I look forward to all year long.

Photos

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kindhearted, giving,caring and selfless

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Open more camps around the world...unfortunatley there are a lot of sick children out there who are not able to derive the benefits of this unique program

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Filter by reviewer role:

Support This Nonprofit

Help this nonprofit get more reviews

5 tips for getting reviews

5 tips for getting reviews...

  1. Sending an email to clients, volunteers, donors, board members, and other partners with a link to your profile page.
  2. Putting a link on your Web site
  3. Including a link in your email newsletter
  4. Putting a link in the signature of your email
    Putting a link on your facebook page and status updates
  5. Tweeting out a link to your twitter followers

3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

help us in our administrative office in New Haven, CT.