Hole in the Wall Gang Camp celebrates new opening after fire

ASHFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A building at Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford was destroyed in a fire two years ago. Now, the community is celebrating its newly rebuilt Creative Complex.

The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, founded in 1988, provides a “different kind of healing” to thousands of seriously ill children and their family members free of charge. Children can partake in traditional camp activities that have been adapted so all campers can participate. The facility includes a pool, boathouse, horse barn, and theater.

In 2021, a fire caused massive damage to the camp. To rebuild the facility, the camp received a $1 million commitment from Travelers and the Travelers Championship, a $1 million gift from Newman’s Own Foundation, and donations from more than 4,500 camp supporters.

The remains from the destructive fire at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in 2021

On Tuesday morning, Gov. Ned Lamont attended the ceremony, joined by Travelers, the Newman’s Own Foundation, local fire departments, and construction teams.

The facility aims to keep still the Old West facade alive but also consists of reimagined elements. The 11,000-square-foot building includes an open-concept main level, a dedicated area for parents and caregivers, a quiet sensory room, and a back deck for outdoor programming.

The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp also aims to remain sustainable; the facility uses geothermal heating and cooling to prevent 77 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.