SeriousFun Children's Network >
The Mission To create opportunities for children coping with severe chronic diseases and their families, to reach beyond their illness, discover joy, self-confidence, and a world of possibilities - at no cost.
History In 1988, the actor and philanthropist Paul Newman founded the first camp in Connecticut, USA - The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. The premise was that every child has the right to have a life-changing experience - the adventures and real friendships of summer camp. He built the camp to help children escape the fear, pain and isolation of their medical condition and just enjoy life. Word of the camp spread around the world and soon, generous people were inspired to found new camps. More than two decades later, there is a community of over 30 camps and programs around the world, known as the SeriousFun Children's Network. Website: www.seriousfunnetwork.org
Founded in by Paul Newman in 1988 as the Association or Hall in the Wall Gang Camps, the network has grown to a global community of 30 camps and programs for seriously ill children. The name SeriousFun acknowledges Paul's playful humor and the real impact fun can have in the lives of children with serious medical conditions.
SeriousFun Network Camps and Programs
Each camp in the SeriousFun Children’s Network is an independent, non-profit, privately funded association, which serves sick children at no cost. The facilities are fully adapted to the different illnesses and the populations that visit the camps and programs. All efforts are made to make them accessible.
In countries where the medical and psychosocial needs of children are often outside of what local resources can provide for, SeriousFun Children’s Network’s Global Partnership Program (GPP) meets the needs of children who have been marginalized by their condition and by their community’s response. Working in collaboration with other trusted international organizations, they bring the joy of camp to children with more than 50 diseases and medical conditions including: Cancer, AIDS, Hematological illnesses, Cardiac conditions, severe asthma and more.
The Global Partnership Program offers children living with serious illnesses in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean the life-changing experience that children who attend a SeriousFun Camp in the U.S. or Europe get – an experience that helps them reclaim their childhood, restore their hope and renew their sense of possibility. The result is locally designed, culturally applicable programs that excite, inspire and empower children all around the world.
- 30 camps and programs all over the world: the network is continually growing
- 127,153 children and their families attended SeriousFun camps around the world in 2015
- 732,306 children and their families, in over 50 countries, attended camps since the foundation of the first village in 1988
- 196,106 people volunteered in all camps in 2015
Paul Newman - founder of our "Fun" network
Paul Newman is known as a Hollywood actor, legend and philanthropist. His 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was the inspiration for the name Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Despite being well-known, Newman did everything to live his life as a regular person and his greatest satisfaction came from his philanthropic works. He was particularly devoted to the thousands of children and their families served by our organization - his biggest philanthropic legacy.
While this life-changing network of camps and programs continues to grow around the world, we are all indebted to Paul's legacy, centered around one core belief - that children with severe illnesses deserve the chance to be happy and just be children.