The Painted Turtle

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Paul Newman

The camp, located in the town of Lake Hughes, will serve chronically and seriously ill children by providing a free camp experience for them.

By Jonathan Friedman/Staff Writer

Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson and other celebrities will be in the California town of Lake Hughes on Saturday for the opening of the Painted Turtle, a camp for chronically and seriously ill children. It is the sixth of actor/businessman Newman’s Hole in the Wall family of camps, and the first on the West Coast.

Malibuite Page Adler approached Newman in 1997 about starting a camp in California after she volunteered at one of his camps in Connecticut. She said it took three years before deciding on the 173-acre site, located about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The desire was for land that would be flat for wheelchair access, and had lakes.

Adler’s husband, record producer Lou Adler, was also instrumental in getting the camp started. The Painted Turtle’s executive director is Malibu education activist and former Planning Commissioner Deirdre Roney.

The Painted Turtle includes a 23-acre lake, a covered horse-riding arena, a recreation center, a dining hall, an arts and crafts center, campers’ cabins and a fully equipped medical center. Getty Center architect Michael Palladino designed all of the buildings at the camp at no charge. About 1,000 kids will enjoy the free camp experience during the summer, as well as thousands more during the rest of the year.