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June 11, 2012
Founding Camp Kesem Northwestern
As Camp Kesem Northwestern’s 8th summer of camp is in full swing, we wanted to share the story of its beginnings.
Co-Founder Erica Birnbaum reflects on her experience:
“When I was approached to start a chapter of Camp Kesem at Northwestern, I was immediately interested. As a childhood leukemia survivor, I benefitted immeasurably from being able to attend a non-profit camp meant for children suffering from cancer. One thing I learned as a survivor is that cancer has such a major impact on family members. I can only imagine how traumatic it must be to be the child of a cancer patient. Children have to grow up so quickly when suddenly placed in that position and Camp Kesem gives those kids a chance to just be a kid again. Just as I was able to meet other children in my situation when I was at camp, these children are given the same opportunity through Camp Kesem.
Working with Camp Kesem throughout my college experience taught me invaluable lessons in humility and leadership and always holds a special place in my heart! People are always impressed that Camp Kesem is entirely student run. It is amazing what a few motivated young adults can accomplish!
My favorite memory from Camp Kesem Northwestern was when we spelled “Camp Kesem” out of campers lying on the field! It was part of a scavenger hunt and the kids worked really hard to form the letters perfectly. The pictures always make me smile ”
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