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History and Mission

Giving Kids the Opportunity to Be Kids

When a parent is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family is profoundly affected. Camp Kesem camper Angela carried this adult size weight on her tiny shoulders, and acknowledges today that it was only at Camp Kesem that she realized she was not responsible for her mother’s cancer or death. There are 3 million Angelas out there… Camp Kesem is dedicated to serving these invisible victims.

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.