The Painted Turtle

1300 4th St #300, Santa Monica, Ca 90401
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Our missionThe mission of The Painted Turtle is to provide a year-round, life-changing environment and authentic camp experience for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

The Painted Turtle

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Ways to help

Family Weekend Volunteers

Family Weekends are an opportunity for campers and their families to enjoy a weekend together at The Painted Turtle. Volunteers play an important role during the weekends by helping families to experience all camp has to offer. Volunteers join us at camp from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon to work as Family Pals or Program Pals (2.5 day weekend sessions at our campsite in Lake Hughes). Volunteers must be 19 years of age at the time of volunteering.
  • Occasional, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Evenings

Equestrian Volunteers

If you are interested in volunteering with our Equestrian Team and assist with side walking, leading horses in lessons, horse education and activities with campers, or working directly with the horses in our schooling program please contact us. Volunteers must be 19 years of age at the time of volunteering.
  • Occasional, Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Physical, Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

The Painted Turtle Outpost

The unique outreach program brings the fun and spirit of our camp program into hospital playrooms and community events throughout California. Individuals who have previously volunteered at The Painted Turtle for a Family Weekend or a Summer Session are eligible for this program. Learn more at our Outreach Programs page. Volunteers must be 19 years of age at the time of volunteering.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Volunteer Days

Each year, we host volunteer days where our corporate partners and general volunteers can bring their team or families to help prepare our beautiful camp site for the arrival of campers. Light breakfast, lunch and camp tours are provided. These annual volunteer opportunities include our General Volunteer Day (February), Corporate Volunteer Day (May), and Aerospace Volunteer Day (September).
  • One-time, Occasional
  • 55+, Adults, Child with Adult
  • Individuals, Groups (2-10), Groups (10+), Corporate Teams, Families
  • Physical, Outdoor
  • On-site
  • Weekends

Special Performers and Program Guests

Specialty performers and program guests are kid-friendly performers or workshop leaders who contribute unique performances or workshops to a day event at camp. If you have a hobby, talent, or craft that you would like to share, please let us know. Volunteers must be 19 years of age at the time of volunteering.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Partner Days

Camp reserves special work-day projects for corporate partners who make a significant financial impact on the mission of Camp. These days can be tailored to your company’s philanthropic goals and can be used as a remarkable team-building experience.
  • One-time, Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Corporate Teams
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • On-site
  • Weekdays

Day Events

We have two annual day events at our site in Lake Hughes each year: Spring Into Camp and the Camper Holiday Gathering! Day events are open to all our campers and families to enjoy camp for a day. Volunteers run program areas, crafts, games, and other activities. During some of these events, we welcome participation for volunteers under the age of 19. All volunteer participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • One-time, Occasional
  • Teens, 55+, Adults, Child with Adult
  • Individuals, Families
  • Outdoor
  • On-site
  • Weekends

Volunteer Cabin Counselors

Volunteer Cabin Counselors join a cabin team during a summer session to care for, supervise and cheer on campers throughout their time at camp. They encourage friendships and teamwork within the cabin, role model camp spirit, and help campers to get the most out of their camp experience. Our medical team provides any needed medical support so counselors can focus on engaging campers in the activities. Volunteers live in the cabins with 8-10 campers and 3-4 adult counselors. As a volunteer, you’ll contribute to a team-oriented experience of leading your cabin, planning activities, and creating a lifetime of unforgettable memories. Each session is 6-7 days at our camp site in Lake Hughes. Volunteers must be 19 years of age at the time of volunteering.
  • Occasional, Weekly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Evenings, Weekends

Office Volunteers

Do you have a few extra hours a week you would like to donate to a great cause? If you are organized and like administrative projects, we could use your help behind the scenes. If you are 16 years old or older, and would like information about volunteering in our Santa Monica office, contact us.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • Teens, 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Office work, Indoor
  • On-site, Formal
  • Weekdays
How you helpThe Painted Turtle relies on the generosity of hundreds of volunteers every year to accomplish our mission. Each year, more than 800 volunteers donate over 35,000 hours to make the magic of The Painted Turtle a reality. When you volunteer with us, you become a part of The Painted Turtle family: a caring, supportive, and compassionate community that comes together to make a difference in the lives of our campers.
About usThe Painted Turtle supports children’s medical needs, inspires them to reach beyond their illnesses, and provides care, education, and respite for their families. The Painted Turtle staff, volunteers, Board of Directors, and supporters work year-round to give children with serious medical conditions the chance just to be kids in a safe and inclusive environment. All campers and families attend completely free of charge. Located just outside of Los Angeles in Lake Hughes, California, The Painted Turtle has served tens of thousands of children and families since opening in 2004.
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