The History of
Iris Rave, a then-student at Stanford University, worked with Hillel to help four student leaders set up Camp Kesem. The group chose the word Kesem, which means “magic” in Hebrew, because its goal was to bring “magic” to families coping with cancer. Since its inception, Camp Kesem has been open to student leaders and campers of any religion, race, or ethnicity. Camp Kesem would provide plenty of laughs and lots of emotional but non-therapeutic support, all forged in a safe, compassionate and cancer-aware environment of fun and friendship.
Thanks to the hard work of many student leaders, Camp Kesem at Stanford hosted 37 campers at its inaugural week of Camp Kesem. Word quickly spread and the Stanford student leaders encouraged their friends at colleges across the country to replicate Camp Kesem in their communities.
Iris Rave founded Camp Kesem National in August based on the success of her Camp Kesem project at Stanford. The goal was to help college students from coast to coast to start similar programs.
Every year since…
Camp Kesem has improved upon its model, finding new tools for inspiring and empowering students so they can become better leaders who run even richer and more fruitful Camp Kesem programs.
LiveSTRONG chose Camp Kesem as part of their Community Impact Project, which funded the replication of Camp Kesem at 12 new universities with seed funding of $10,000 per campus.
- LiveSTRONG chose Camp Kesem for the Community Impact Project again, which will help 12 additional universities host their inaugural weeks of camp in the summer of 2014.
- Camp Kesem launched an exciting new program with some friends in the NFL called Scoring for Good. Currently teamed up with NFL players Aldon Smith, Tyler Polumbus, and EJ Manuel, this program raises awareness of and funds for Camp Kesem. It’s simple: for every sack participating defensive players make during the football season, and for every touchdown scored by participating offensive players, that player will pledge to send a child to Camp Kesem.
- The Holt Brothers Foundation, founded by NFL brothers Torry and Terrence Holt to improve the quality of life for children and families dealingwith cancer, announced the formation of the Holt Brothers Butterfly Grant to fund a second week of summer camp for children at CK North Carolina. The Butterfly Grant was named by the Holts because it represents the perfect transition from Camp Kesem’s mascot (a caterpillar), which takes two weeks to transform into a butterfly. In addition to providing this extra week of camp for North Carolina children in 2013, the grant will assist in other chapters across the country with implementing a second week of programs beginning in 2014.
|Stanford University||2001||Palo Alto, CA||University of Georgia||2012||Athens, GA|
|Duke & University of North Carolina||2003||Durham, NC||University of Washington||2012||Seattle, WA|
|University of Notre Dame||2003||South Bend, IN||University of Minnesota||2012||Minneapolis, MN|
|UCSD||2004||San Diego, CA||Columbia University||2012||New York, NY|
|Indiana University||2005||Bloomington, IN||VUniversity of Missouri||2012||Columbia, MO|
|UCLA||2005||Los Angeles, CA||Ohio State University||2012||Columbus, OH|
|Northwestern University||2005||Evanston, IL||Syracuse University||2013||Syracuse, NY|
|UC Davis||2005||Davis, CA||University of Nebraska||2013||Lincoln, NE|
|University of Virginia||2006||Charlottesville, VA||University of Oklahoma||2013||Norman, OK|
|University of Illinois||2007||Champaign, IL||University of Southern California||2013||Los Angeles, CA|
|MIT||2007||Boston, MA||Santa Clara University||2013||Santa Clara, CA|
|Arizona State University||2007||Phoenix, AZ||University of California Santa Cruz||2013||Santa Cruz, CA|
|UC Berkeley||2007||Berkeley, CA||University of California Irvine||2013||Irvine, CA|
|Michigan State University||2007||East Lansing, MI||BYU-Idaho||2013|
|Texas A&M University||2008||College Station, TX||Rice University||2013||Houston, TX|
|Brigham Young University||2008||Provo, UT||Saint Louis University||2013||Saint Louis, MO|
|University of Florida||2008||Gainesville, FL||Case Western Reserve University||2013||Cleveland, OH|
|George Washington University||2008||Washington, D.C.||Yale University||2013||New Haven, CT|
|Camp Kesem Miami||2008||Miami, FL||Penn State University||2013||State College, PA|
|Emory University||2009||Atlanta, GA||College of William & Mary||2013||Williamsburg, VA|
|University of Richmond||2009||Richmond, VA||Virginia Commonwealth University||2013||Richmond, VA|
|University of Wisconsin||2010||Madison, WI||Stony Brook University||2013||Stony Brook, NY|
|University of Michigan||2011||Ann Arbor, MI||University of Colorado Boulder||2013||Boulder, CO|
|University of Oregon||2012||Eugene, OR||Carnegie Mellon University||2014||Pittsburgh, PA|
|University of Pennsylvania||2012||Philadelphia, PA||Princeton University||2014||Princeton, NJ|
|Vanderbilt University||2012||Nashville, TN||University of South Alabama||2014||Mobile, IL|
|Johns Hopkins University||2012||Baltimore, MD||California State University, Fresno||2014||Fresno, CA|
|Southern Utah University||2012||Cedar City, UT||University of California Santa Barbara||2014||Santa Barbara, CA|
|University of Texas – Austin||2012||Austin, TX||Elon University||2014||Elon, NC|
|Augustana College||2012||Rock Island, IL||Boston College||2014||Chestnut Hill, MA|
|Florida State University||2012||Tallahassee, FL||Cornell||2014||Ithaca, NY|