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Our mission is two-fold:
- To provide kids whose parents have or have had cancer with a summer camp experience that gives them a chance to be kids
- To allow college students to channel their passion for making a difference, while developing critical leadership skills for long term social impact
There are 1.3 million cancer cases a year in the United States that affect individuals and their families. The support is there for grown-ups; but the special emotional needs of children of adult cancer patients have been overlooked. Simply put: kids are often left to deal with these personal tragedies on their own; and if parents themselves are struggling with illness, their sons and daughters frequently miss the simple joys of childhood.
Camp Kesem has several values that guide every aspect of our camp programs.
Giving Kids the Opportunity to Be Kids
Since 2000, Camp Kesem has given children affected by a parent's cancer the opportunity to just be kids. The ever-expanding Kesem community engages in camp activities like sports, arts and crafts, and drama to give campers a fun-filled week. Campers also participate in "Cabin Chats" with fellow campers and counselors, giving children the chance to share their experiences with each other. There are plenty of laughs and lots of emotional support, but Camp Kesem does not provide therapy. The tremendous fun and support campers experience is what makes Camp Kesem a transformative, magical week for campers and counselors alike.
Empowering a Generation of Student LeadersCamp Kesem makes a huge impact on the lives of children, but it also prepares and empowers a generation of student leaders by allowing responsible college-age individuals to make a meaningful difference. Each of our camps around the country is organized and operated by the young up-and-coming leaders of tomorrow who gain hands-on experience in fund-raising, finance, marketing and project management as they bring much-needed happiness to truly deserving kids. In addition to real-world skills, Camp Kesem enables student-leaders to discover their passion for serving others.
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