The Painted Turtle

The Painted Turtle
1300 4th St. Ste. 300
Santa Monica CA 90401

Tax ID/EIN: 95-4612481
Year Founded: 1996
Last Updated 2016-05-04

Public Charity

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Why are we a Messenger?

The EQUUS Foundation has designated our organization as a Messenger. Click here to learn more about our horse care and use practices.

Messengers are organizations on the Equine Welfare Network that demonstrate a commitment to public transparency and accountability by their willingness to publish and share extensive data about their operations.

Equine Welfare Network Messenger

Primary Focus involving horses (Horse Welfare, Public Service, Sport & Recreation):  Public Service

Our organization operates programs involved with providing equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) using certified instructors for individuals with special needs.

Our organization is directly responsible for the care of horses to provide its services.

6.3% of our total programs and services are horse-related.

Our organization conducts its horse-related programs at one facility.

Our Mission/How we are involved with horses:
The Painted Turtle’s mission is to provide a year-round, life-changing environment and authentic camp experience for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. The Painted Turtle supports children’s medical needs, inspires them to reach beyond their illnesses, and provides care, education, and respite for their families. All campers and families attend completely free of charge.

Equestrian is one of our 16 program areas. Our therapeutic riding program provides campers with a safe, nurturing environment where they learn about horses, experience riding, and promote an independence and self-awareness that will last a lifetime.

Horse-related programs:
The Painted Turtle's equestrian program incorporates therapeutic riding techniques and hallmarks of equine-assisted therapy to heighten positive developments in our campers, many of which continue to flourish after they have left camp, thus impacting their lives with their families, at school, and in their broader communities.<br /><br />Research has shown that equine therapy often improves mental and physical health and leads to happier, healthier children. At The Painted Turtle, campers seem to grow before your eyes as they join their families in a horse-drawn wagon ride around camp, ride a horse for the first time on the open trail or around the arena, and tackle the playful challenges created for them as they improve their riding skills and gain equestrian knowledge. These accomplishments in the equestrian program foster self-esteem and confidence in campers and forge an emotional connection for them with the horses. Having a serious medical condition causes many children to be withdrawn and afraid to trust. Horses have an uncanny way of drawing many of these children out of their shells and helping them to feel safe and less fearful. Most riding sessions conclude with big smiles and hugs for the horses.

Non-horse-related programs:
The Painted Turtle's Medical Specialty Camp Program offers children ages 6-17 with serious medical conditions the opportunity to participate in a recreational camp program, all while receiving the highest quality of medical care. During the summer, we host 8 week-long overnight sessions exclusively for children with specific conditions. Throughout the spring and fall, the camp hosts 10 Family Weekend programs for children with serious illnesses and their parents, siblings, and other family caregivers. All camp sessions are medical condition-specific, and each session holds up to 120 campers. We also host 2 on-site Day Camps, one in the spring and one in the fall, where all families are invited to participate.

Camp on the Move recreates the camp atmosphere in venues away from our local camp geographic area. In 2013, after the Powerhouse wildfire affected our camp site, we learned that we could adapt our programs and take the benefits of camp “on the road.” Camp on the Move day events are designed similarly to our on-site day camps and are open to children with any medical condition we serve. Camp on the Move events proved so popular and successful that we have incorporated 2 events into our annual program offerings. They help us reach children throughout the year who may not be able to travel all the way to camp for different on-site programs.

The Painted Turtle Outpost Program brings the intentional programming of our camp into 19 hospital sites and to various community events throughout the state of California. With the use of camp props and program activities, hospital spaces are transformed to resemble the look and feel of camp. This program is available to any child in the hospital and gives them the opportunity to be transported to "camp" and forget about their illness for a little while.

Our intentional programming gives children the opportunity to take part in camp activities in a safe environment that offer positive reinforcement. Programs are all challenge by choice, meaning The Painted Turtle champions the courage of all campers who try new things or challenge their comfort zones, whether riding a horse, performing at Stage Night in silly costumes, or climbing the ropes course thirty feet in the air. All recreational programs and the facilities are universally accessible to campers with disabilities and are used year-round:
-Music & Performing Arts
-Nature & Discovery
-Arts & Crafts
-Gym & Rock Climbing Wall
-Ropes Courses
-Team Building Initiatives

Volunteer Opportunities

There are no volunteer opportunity listings posted at this time

Wish List Items

There are no wish list items posted at this time