“There are nearly 20 million children who fight a life threatening condition in the United States and for these children the illness is always present and it cannot go away.” -Isabella L., Grand Worthy Advisor
During the year of 1999, Paul Newman, Page Adler, and a few others co-founded the life changing non-profit, The Painted Turtle. Adler says she drew her inspiration from the experience she had as a young adult volunteering at Newman's first camp for children with serious medical conditions, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut. "We wanted to level the playing field and say to kids, 'You can be like any other kid,'" said Adler, who co-founded the camp with her husband, award-winning music producer Lou Adler, and other philanthropists, including actors Paul Newman and Jami Gertz, and NBA coach Larry Brown. The organization coined its name due to the widespread species of turtles found in most of the United States. Adler says, "It's an animal that has a tough exterior and a soft interior, very much like these kids that we're serving."
“At The Painted Turtle for children ages 6-17 with all kinds of chronic pain, 90 of them to be exact, can participate in a camp of their dreams, absolutely free. Not only is their trip free of cost, it is free from judgment.” - Isabella L., Grand Worthy Advisor
According to The Painted Turtle’s website, their goal is “to reach beyond illness and inspire children with life-threatening diseases to become their greater selves.” and to “to empower campers—to make new friends, try new things, build self-confidence, and become more independent in their medical care. In short, we aspire to help our campers discover all that is possible in their lives.” Their website also states that their mission is “to provide a year-round, life-changing environment for these children and their families – one that allows children to participate in an authentic camp experience by supporting their medical needs and offers their families care, education, and respite.” Since opening in 2004, the magical environment of The Painted Turtle has served thousands of campers and family members at their year-round camp programs.
The oasis is a 17-acre developed site on 173 acres in the Angeles National Forest located in Lake Hughes, California. The Painted Turtle has many activities that they offer at their state of the art camp, which include horseback riding, ropes course, arts and crafts, woodshop, archery, team building experiences, fishing, boating, singing and dancing.
“Every child deserves to fun, feel accepted, and be included.” - Isabella L., Grand Worthy Advisor
California Rainbow is excited to learn about and support our 2019-20 Grand Service Project this year, The Painted Turtle. For more information and a virtual tour, visit thepaintedturtle.org
By: Hannah W., Assistant Grand Editor