In 1988, our esteemed alumnus and actor Paul Newman, Ohio ‘43, founded Hole in the Wall Gang Camp on a 300-acre piece of land in Connecticut. Now an international organization known as SeriousFun Children’s Network, this camp was designed as a place where children with terminal or life-threatening illness could escape their medical conditions for a little while to just be kids and, in Paul’s own words, “to raise a little hell.” Today, SeriousFun camps have served over 1,000,000 children in 20 different countries - all free of charge. Phi Kappa Tau has been formally partnered with SeriousFun for over 25 years. In that lifetime, we’ve raised $1.6 million dollars.
Phi Kappa Tau and SeriousFun have a special relationship. In addition to our shared history, Phi Kappa Tau provides the camp with much-needed male volunteers. Since 2008, our members have provided SeriousFun with over 2,000 volunteers and 100 full time staff members. Their manpower, work ethic, and leadership are a continued valuable addition to the camps.
If you are interested in volunteering at a SeriousFun camp, you can find volunteer or staff openings at a camp near you here.
Joshua Berman Memorial SeriousFun Stipend
The Phi Kappa Tau Foundation provides one $1,000 stipend to an undergraduate who has volunteered at a SeriousFun camp in the past and plans to volunteer again for more than five days. This stipend was created in memory of Joshua Berman, the son of Shelley, Southern California ‘05, and Sara Berman. Joshua died of cancer in September 1977 at the age of 13. This fund was endowed by Bob Plumleigh, Southern California ‘47, and his wife, Betty.
Application deadline: April 1st.
This application requires two essays, a resume including volunteer experience, two letters of recommendation - one from a BOG member and another from a dean/college official.
The first prompt: Describe and discuss how Phi Kappa Tau's partnership with SeriousFun Children's Network supports the mission, vision and creed, and how Phi Kappa Tau can increase its support of SeriousFun Children's Network at a local, regional and national level.
The second prompt: Describe your past experience of working or volunteering at a SeriousFun camp. How can this relate to your experience with Phi Kappa Tau? What moment had the biggest impact on you and why? What will you take away from this experience? How can this experience be used in your everyday life?
SeriousFun Travel Stipend
The Foundation provides up to $300 in travel stipends to any undergraduate who volunteers at a camp.
All SeriousFun stipend applicants must be an associate or Resident Council members of Phi Kappa Tau. Stipends awarded are intended for students who will be entering the next academic year as a sophomore, junior or senior. Applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be enrolled as a full-time student.
Application Deadline: Within 30 days of your volunteer date.
For questions or concerns regarding applications contact Angie Van Winkle.