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Hello Kesem Families!

Scooby here, reporting in for Sparrow. As the new author of this blog, I’d like to say hello to all of you and express how excited I am to keep you updated on the goings-on of the Kesem team over here at Augie. We hope that school is going well for all our campers and that the fall weather is treating you all well!

Things are heavily underway here at Augustana. We’ve planned bake sales, Dine-and-donates, and some other awesome events in the planning phase we can’t wait to do.

With the seemingly endless laundry list we all find ourselves having to do, I often find myself prioritizing my tasks to make sure everything that needs to get done gets done. I think I speak for everyone here at CK Augie when I say Camp Kesem is always near the top of my to-do list. It begs to the question, why do I Kesem? Why do any of us Kesem? To answer that, we’re going to be introducing a new mini-series here on the blog: the Augie Counselor Archives. Every so often among the updates here, there will be a blurb from one of our counselors explaining why they Kesem. This week’s blurb comes from our camper-care coordinator and counselor Sparrow. Below is why she Kesems. Enjoy!

“Unlike most of the people I’ve met through Camp Kesem, I’ve never experienced a family member with cancer. Cancer’s touched my family several times, but all occurrences were treated without a problem. Regardless of this, I still understand how frightening the word “cancer” can be, and unlike ghosts and monsters under the bed, cancer can’t be scared away by turning on the light. Cancer is real, cancer is scary, and cancer is deadly. However, cancer isn’t something the patient goes through alone. They have family support and doctor support and possibly even group support. When I came across Camp Kesem at the campus activities fair before my freshman year, I realized that though the cancer patient was receiving well-needed support, the children of these families needed supporting as well. This isn’t to say they don’t receive that support from friends and family, but it’s unlikely that they have peers who can connect with their true feelings about cancer. That being said, the founding principle of getting children of cancer patients together for a week of carefree fun struck me as something that I should have heard of sooner.

How was it that I, eighteen years old and just entering college, had only now heard of Camp Kesem when the idea seemed so obvious? Of course these children would love getting away for a week. Of course these children would benefit from getting to know others who had similar experiences. Why had I not heard of it before?
And so this is why I Kesem. I Kesem because more children should be welcomed into Kesem families and because they should have this support system readily available. I Kesem because I’ve seen these campers’ faces brighten with the thought of doing things they never thought possible and because I’ve watched the way the magic of Kesem removes some of the weight from their shoulders. I Kesem because one day Kesem will become a common household name and because I want to see more children attend our camps every year.
I Kesem because not only do I want to change the lives of the campers at camp, but because I want to be a part of the driving force that continues to help Kesem grow to accommodate more families from more regions for more weeks of camp. I Kesem because I can’t imagine myself not doing so.”

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Stay tuned for more updates and blurbs regarding why we Kesem.

Have a great week!