Each summer ten young-adults who have faced great challenges in the system go on the trip of a lifetime, funded and organized by Dream Camp Foundation. It began in 2007 when Joe Patane invited ten high-level need youth from New Jersey to the California home of Steve Wozniak, inventor of the first commercially successful personal computer and co-founder of Apple Inc., to explore their interest in technology. Inspired by the success of his foundation’s previous kids teaching kids productions, but understanding that high-need teens require more structured programs and ongoing support in order to thrive, Dream Camps were born.

This little seed grew and now Dream Camps take place across the country and world. By taking youths from the most challenging of circumstances and exposing them to arts, sciences, technology, health and wellness, animals, travel, and so much more, Dream Camp opens their eyes to the possibilities their future holds for them. The campers are generally fostered, abused, and/or neglected youth with mental health and/or behavioral challenges, but have amazing seeds of positivity bubbling inside of them. They are given a personal, genuinely loving and life-changing experience. High level industry professionals, celebrities, teen & adult mentors and others who genuinely care about the well being of the youth of today and in the future, volunteer their time and talents at the camp. The campers are from all over America and the world. They come together for one week to build unbreakable bonds in a positive, safe, and nurturing environment. Dream Camp Foundation aims to excite kids about possibilities in areas they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience, and to encourage them to explore subjects that spark their interest on their own.

Ongoing support is a fundamental tenant of Dream Camp programs. We support and encourage the campers to pursue the interests gained at camp in their home environment, at school, or in their local community. Past campers often return as mentors to current campers, completing a wonderful cycle of serving, and empowering a cycle of positive growth.

What previous Dream Campers think...

"Dream Camp taught me that you could do anything you put your mind to... also that you can't live in a box your whole life - it's good to try new things. Since Dream Camp, I have graduated high school and I am currently attending University ... always remember the sky is the limit!"

"Keep this camp going! I'm so grateful. I got to see things I only dream of."

"I loved it. There is nothing I would change about Dream Camps"

"Dream Camp really changed my outlook on life. It was really a once in a life time experience and I am so grateful to have had the chance to be there"

"If I could do it again, I would. You learn a lot about life. I am now in college!"

Thoughts from industry professionals...

"Again, so much thanks for coming to Princeton and giving a talk for our group. People are STILL talking about it and you did change minds! That's the best anyone can hope to accomplish in a keynote address and you did it!"
Conference Coordinator

"I really appreciated the time you took to also get Marion (and her supervisor) and Eric (with his adoptive dad) to attend and participate. They are all really great folks, and I and others enjoyed meeting them and hearing their experiences.”

“What a wonderful addition this will be for the entire Social work world and for the folks you engage now and in the future…"

“What a huge plan for the future! How exciting... Energizing too. Congratulations to you Joe for the continued dreaming…"
Social Worker

“Amazing -WOW! Joe Patane, you are a wonderful role model for me and for the kids. Thanks for your dedication and commitment.”
Registered Nurse


We've done everything from flying planes to riding in horse carts. We have had presentations by industry giants like James Cameron and Steve Wozniak. Some of the campers favorite and most valuable activities include:

  • Eating Together as a family
  • Playing Segway Polo
  • Learning to cook
  • Kayaking
  • Riding in horse drawn carts
  • Beach Bonfires
  • Meeting celebrities
  • Building homes out of earth
  • Hang-gliding
  • Flying in a plane
  • Making new forever friends
  • Hiking
  • Climbing to the top of a lighthouse
  • Starring in our own film!

and so much more...