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98% of parents believed that Camp Kesem had a positive impact on their family.

Camper applications are now available here!

We are offering two different weeks of camp this coming summer.

Week 1: July 5th-10th (filled!)

Week 2: July 12th-17th

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Camp Kesem?
Camp Kesem is a free, week long summer camp for the children of cancer patients.

Is Camp Kesem really free?
YES! We understand that some strains of cancer can be financial, so we offer the camp free of charge with the help of our donors.

Who can go to Camp Kesem?
Any child, age 6-16, whose parent or guardian has undergone or is undergoing treatment for cancer is invited to join us at Camp Kesem.

When is this year’s camp?
We will have two separate weeks of camp. You have the option of choosing to attend Camp Kesem 2015 from will be held Sunday, July 5th – Friday, July 10th OR Sunday, July 12th – Friday, July 17th.

Where does camp take place?

We will be returning to Camp Tontozona in Payson, Arizona

How does my child get to camp?
We typically meet at a location near Tempe to complete check-in procedures. Campers are then bused from this location to the campsite, and on the last day of camp are bused back to the same location, where they are picked up. Since our campsite is located in northern Arizona, families that live in this area have the option of dropping off and picking up their children directly at the campsite.

What do campers do at Camp Kesem?
Going on nature hikes, swimming, doing arts and crafts, performing skits, playing sports with other campers, singing in the dining hall or by the camp fire, and participating in the talent show are just a few of the activities campers can partake in.

How is Camp Kesem different than other camps?
Camp Kesem focuses on the specific needs of children of families coping with cancer. We have a counselor-camper ratio of 1:3, far better than other camps, and our staff is specifically trained to understand the needs of our campers. At camp we create a safe, supportive, FUN environment in which campers support each other and emerge from the week with increased self-esteem and understanding that they are not alone.

How is the staff trained?
Our staff undergoes intensive training prior to the week of camp that focuses on facilitating positive group interactions and creating a memorable experience for campers.

Are there “adults” at Camp?
The Camp Director, Camp Nurse, and Camp Therapist are college-graduates over 21 years old. Additionally, all of the camp counselors are older than 18 years of age and undergo a thorough application and screening process to become counselors.

How many campers will be at Camp this year?
Information and details about Camp 2013 are still in progress. Last year we took 96 campers!

My child has special needs; can he/she still go to camp?
Of course! We anticipate that many of our campers will have special emotional, social, and dietary needs. In fact, Camp Kesem’s excellent camper-counselor ratio means your special needs child will be even better served than he/she might be at another camp.

Who runs Camp Kesem?
Camp Kesem is operated by a group of college students at Arizona State University under the direction and guidance of a group of advisors from other universities and the local community. The students work year round to raise the money, organize programming, and recruit campers and volunteer counselors for Camp.

What does “Kesem” mean?
Kesem is the Hebrew word for “magic.” Magic is exactly what we hope to be able to provide our families and our campers.

Does Camp Kesem have any religious affiliation?
None at all. Camp Kesem is open to all campers regardless of religion, race, or nationality.

Wait, I still have more questions! Whom do I talk to?
Please feel free to contact us at asu@campkesem.org or call us at (602) 325-3187. Please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as we can.