Off the beaten path in northeastern Connecticut is a dirt road framed by dense woods and accessed by a passageway through rough-hewn boulders reminiscent of a Wild West hideaway. Founded by Paul Newman in 1988, and named for the secret, outlaw hiding-place from his film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp has been serving seriously ill children with a remarkably empowering away experience for more than twenty years.
Here, children diagnosed with cancer, sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS, hemophilia and other serious and life-threatening conditions enjoy more than they or their parents ever thought possible. Activities include archery, mini golf, swimming, boating, fishing, horseback riding, arts and crafts, sports, theater and camping; all are designed to include every child and ensure that no child will fail. A zero-entry pool provides water fun for all campers, regardless of any mobility challenges they may have. A special warming room or “French fryer” allows children with sickle cell anemia to enjoy swimming – many for the first time in their young lives. An exceptional tree house, mini golf course and multiple trails are specially designed to be wheelchair-accessible, ensuring an inclusive experience for all youngsters.
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp provides year-round programming, offering an outstanding summer camp experience for more than 1,000 seriously ill children, as well as 24 weekend programs from fall through spring for approximately 3,000 campers, along with their families and caregivers. The Camp’s year-round Hospital Outreach Program brings the hopeful and playful spirit of Camp to seriously ill hospitalized children, providing services to approximately 11,000 children in sixteen hospitals from New York to Boston each year. Altogether, the Camp serves more than 15,000 children annually. Best of all – all of the Camp’s services are free of charge, thanks to the generosity of many caring friends and supporters.