Flying Horse Farms is a camp that provides transformational, magical experiences for kids with serious illnesses and their families - free of charge.
Flying Horse Farms provides magical, transformative camp experiences for children with serious illnesses and their families - free of charge. Located in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, camp first opened its gates in 2010 and hosts about 900 children and families each year.
We are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 100% of our year-round operating budget of $4.9 million is underwritten by the generosity of others. We are funded by gifts from individuals, corporate partners and foundations.
Flying Horse Farms is the first camp in the Midwest to become a full member of the SeriousFun Children's Network. In 1988, actor, philanthropist and Ohio native Paul Newman began the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp because he envisioned a place where children living with serious illnesses could raise "ruckus." Three decades later, Newman's dream has grown into a global network of independently managed and financed camps and programs creating opportunities for children with serious illnesses and their families. Known as the SeriousFun Children's Network, it is now a global community serving over one million children and families across five continents.
We serve children ages 8 to 17 and their families, from across Ohio and beyond.
The children live with medical conditions including cancer, heart conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, blood disorders, asthma, gastrointestinal disorders and facial anomalies.
We have partnerships with eight Ohio children's hospitals-Akron Children's Hospital, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic Children's, Dayton Children's Hospital, Mercy Children's Hospital (Toledo), Nationwide Children's Hospital (Columbus), ProMedica Toledo Children's Hospital and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital (Cleveland)-as well as Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Our 17 annual camp sessions available to campers and their families at no cost focus on providing respite in unique, innovative strategies across camp tailored to promote resiliency, cultivate community, and further peer-to-peer and family bonding in an emotionally supportive environment. We intentionally design activities to nurture social connections and to mitigate feelings of isolation and adverse effects of consistent stress for all participants.
The benefits to campers, families, volunteers and their communities resulting from our work at Flying Horse Farms are many, including the protective factors of resiliency, developing positive bonds with caring adults. and initiating and maintaining social connections that are important to overall health and wellbeing. Resilience, a person's ability to cope with ups and downs, and bounce back from challenges in life, involves emotional strength and awareness, and a positive sense of self.
By the nature of their diagnoses, our campers are not shielded from challenges, but developing resiliency through adapted programs and social connections at camp empowers them to seek out support when experiencing difficulties, and to grow as individuals.
Paul Newman's vision inspired Jenni and David Belford, who founded Flying Horse Farms on 200 acres in Mt. Gilead in 2005. Attendance at camp has grown from 385 in our first camp season to 900 campers annually. Accredited by the American Camp Association, Flying Horse Farms gives campers opportunities for respite and play in a natural setting of 200 acres that includes rolling hills, woods, and ponds that significantly contrast with medical offices and hospital settings. Our adapted programs, specialized medical care, and services promote resiliency that empowers campers and families to develop positive self-identity, to engage in healthy creative outlets, and to nurture social connections important to overall health and wellbeing.