Camp Kesem is a nation-wide organization that offers a year-long program to children whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer. It was first started at Stanford University in 2000, and, since then, it has expanded to over 60 chapters throughout the United States. The name "Kesem" means "Magic" in Hebrew, and although Camp Kesem is no longer a religious organization, it carries this name because the heart-warming experiences children receive through the program are nothing less than magic.
In the 2013-2014 school year, Camp Kesem started a new chapter at University of California, Santa Cruz! College students at UCSC coordinate and fundraise to provide not only a week of fun camp activities, but a year-long program where the children receive quality support and lifelong friendships. This is a completely free opportunity for children to enter an environment that will help them heal and grow. If you are interested in supporting our chapter in our goal of planning for our Summer 2015 camp, please send us a message via our Facebook page, or email one of our directors, Snickers & Rooski!
Parent testimonial, 2014:
"Our daughter was 6 years old when her mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. So she really grew up only knowing a mom fighting cancer for the next 7 years. Our daughter struggled with fear in telling her school friends about her mom, worrying that she would be judged negatively, and that her peers would distance themselves from her. I think this is a typical struggle for girls in the preteen years. She wanted to go to Camp Kesem because she imagined she would feel safe there, and that she would be able to share all the stuff inside with both peers and role models from college. Her experience was all that and more. She came back carrying a lot less emotional weight on her shoulders. She was able to connect, relate, open up, be understood and comforted, and so much more. Thank God for Camp Kesem! They all have had hearts of gold. And the care didn't stop at the end of camp. They have continued to drive to meet our daughter and hang out or support her any way they can. They also have hosted a follow up event for the whole camp. In short, they have been amazing."