April 23, 2013
Coordinator Blog: A look back on Button’s camp experience, as a soon-to-be graduate
Putting my experience with Camp Kesem into words fails to do justice to the experience I have had, and to the family that I am so grateful to have become a part of. I joined Camp Kesem four years ago when I came upon the organization at a campus event. I moved a long way from home to come to college, and was looking for an organization that worked towards something beneficial and good, and an organization that would allow me to meet other college students.
When I came across Camp Kesem, it met this very criteria, and its mission resonated deep within me as someone who could have used a Camp Kesem years ago. I lost my own mother to cancer when I was younger, and even fourteen years later I struggle to move past this. I spent years unable to talk about my mom, years missing her, years angry that she had been taken from us, and years feeling as though no one I knew could relate. This is why I joined Camp Kesem. I joined because, looking back on my life, and looking at the growth and the changes, the friendships and the relationships, the love, and the support, that Camp has provided to our campers, I see how truly beneficial and life-changing Camp Kesem is. I joined Camp because I wanted to give other kids not only a magical week of summer camp, but also a lifetime of unconditional support.
As I look back on my Camp experience, as a soon-to-be graduate, I see that Camp has been all of this and so much more. Our campers have given me strength, perspective, understanding, and compassion. They have taught me to be strong, that it’s okay to talk about cancer; it’s okay to become vulnerable to our inevitable emotions, that it’s okay to let people in, and it’s okay to accept the shoulder to cry on. They have given me some of my happiest moments, my fondest memories, my most cherished stories, and my greatest laughs.
This is my last year with Camp Kesem, and I feel so fortunate to have stumbled across the organization four years ago. Camp Kesem truly is a magical place, for it is a unique organization that is able to shine some light into the lives of kids who have experienced the worry and the fear, the confusion and the uncertainty, of watching a parent battle cancer. It is unique in that it fulfills its mission by creating a week of fun and excitement surrounded by the most genuine campers, staff, and families. I joined Camp because of my own experience, but I continued because of the friends I made, the families who trusted us to spend an unforgettable week with their kids, and the campers themselves who are some of the most inspirational people I have ever met. Camp Kesem has changed my life in ways I could never have imagined when I joined four years ago, and that is the magic and the beauty of Kesem.