The Hole In The Wall Camps

The Hole in the Wall Camps—Mission, Purpose and History

“ A place where kids can kick back and raise a little hell.”—Paul Newman, Ohio ’43

The Camps

Brother Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Camps in 1988 to serve as a summer camp experience for children with chronic illnesses and life-threatening diseases. The Camps are magical places. Children participate in thoughtful programs and activities that focus on rebuilding the self-esteem frequently shattered as a result of a chronic illness. Thousands of children come to the camps each year, free of charge, for a week. For one week these children get to forget about their illness and get a true camp experience. Newly diagnosed campers, or those in active treatment, gain hope from older campers and from those campers and staff who are in remission.

The camps support kids with arthritis, hemophilia, cancer, blood disorders, asthma, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, epilepsy, spina bifida, ventilator assistance, and other serious illnesses.

Trained professionals, augmented by compassionate and competent volunteers, care for the children with “unconditional love.” A sophisticated, but understated, medical presence ensures safe passage for the children, many of whom are experiencing their first nights away from family. The results are extraordinary.

In addition, many of the camps offer programs for parents, well-siblings, caregivers, and others throughout the year.

“It’s not that the children say, ‘Thank you for a wonderful time’…it’s that they say, ‘Thank you for changing my life.’”—Paul Newman, Ohio ’43

Their Mission

The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps is a not for profit umbrella organization set up to serve existing Hole in the Wall Camps as well as camps in formation. Our mission is to extend the magical Hole in the Wall Camps experience to as many children with serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions as possible.

HITW Annual Statistics

  • Nearly 100,000 children have attended camps - free of charge.
  • Children from more than 31 countries and throughout the United States attend camp programs.
  • Camps serve children from more than 40 different disease groups.
  • Combined, Camp programs offer more than 50,000 days of programming for campers and their families.
  • More than 24,000 children and families take part in various Camp activities each year.
  • Collectively Camps receive donations from more than 34,000 individuals, foundations and corporations.
  • More than 7,200 individuals volunteer their time each year to Hole in the Wall Camps.


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