Painted Turtle Gang Camp Foundation
They say that Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth. Not so. Just ask anybody who has spent anytime in any capacity at the Painted Turtle Camp. It doesn't matter if you are a camper,volunteer,staff, family of a camper or a visiter of the yearly open house. You will walk away a changed person. The love is evident. They staff and volunteers care for your children as if they were their family. I am always amazed at the energy of everyone there. We have been attending family weekend for about 6 years and our son attends week long summer sessions for about 4 years. We go at not cost to us. They have volunteer medical staff from some of the best hospitals not only in the area but in the country.
The camp experiance is alive and well at the Turtle. Camp songs are sung, goofy dances are the norm, laughter is a must, and good vibe is a rule. Fun is a serious buisness. And you and your kids are safe to be your silly, dilly self. Everyone has heard you get out of it, what you put into it. It could never be truer than at the Painted Turtle. If you embrace the madness and just let go and go with the flow you will have a life changing experiance. Every kids just want to be normal, more so for the kids with chronic and life threatening illnesses. And here they are the norm. No one looks twice at scars, ports, prosthetics. There is no taunting from other kids that medications are taken, that shots are given, breathing treatments are scheduled.
You get support not only from the staff but the kids support each other. I as a kid never went to camp and never thought about it. But if I knew camp was like the Painted Turtle I would have morned it my whole kidhood. I wish my son was 100% healthy, but I am so happy there is a place like the Painted Turtle.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Attending family camp weekends, and our son attends week long summer camp at no cost.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I wish that healthy siblings could attend summer camp. Healthy siblings are often in the shadow of the attention of the ill child.