The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and was founded by actor Paul Newman in 1988. The camp is named after the gang in Newman's film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The camp is a 300-acre (1.2 km2) parcel of land including a 44-acre (180,000 m2) lake. The land was originally part of a large farm owned by the Harakaly family. When the farming industry in Connecticut began to decline, the Harakalys built the lake and, after refusing to develop it, sold it to Newman.
The camp's programs include year-round outreach to hospitals and clinics, and ongoing services for children, families and caregivers. These programs serve 20,000 children and family members annually. All of the services are provided free of charge. The hospital outreach program serves children in hospitals across the Northeast. The camp's staff members make regular visits to these children, introducing services that are consistent with the spirit and programs offered in the camp's Ashford facility.
Each summer, more than 1,000 children between the ages of seven and fifteen, diagnosed with cancer, sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS, hemophilia and other serious illnesses and conditions attend the camp. Approximately 4,000 children are served through weekend programs that run from fall through spring. The Hospital Outreach program serves approximately 15,000 throughout the year. More than half of the children served come from low-income backgrounds.
The camp relies upon contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations, receiving support from more than 15,000 annual donors and many organizations, including Newman's Own, AngelRide Charitable Trust, Travelers Championship, the International Longshoreman's Association Children's Fund, and Newman's college fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau. Although Newman remained active on the Camp's Board of Directors through his later years and supported the organization financially, 98% of the Camp's annual operating budget of $8.4 million comes from sources other than Newman's Own.