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Leadership Development


Camp Kesem provides a life-long, peer-support network for children whose parents have cancer. Led by the passionate volunteer efforts of college students at 62 universities across the United States, Camp Kesem gives kids facing a parent’s cancer critical support, while empowering college students with life and leadership skills.

Camp Kesem chapters are founded by the initiative, commitment and entrepreneurial spirit of volunteer college students with a passion for helping others and a desire to acquire the leadership skills Camp Kesem provides.

In addition to demanding academic, work and  social schedules, our students dedicate on average 10-15 hours/week to Camp Kesem as they commit to a year-long position managing every aspect of their camp including:

  • Public Relations & Marketing
  • Camper Recruitment & Community Relations
  • Counselor Recruitment & Training
  • Development & Fundraising
  • Programming & Event Production

If you are a student and would like to help Camp Kesem continue to bring magic to families in your local community, consider joining an existing group of student leaders.  Every campus has committees for student volunteers to help plan, fundraise, and organize for camp.  The committees on most campuses are structured in the following ways.

Outreach:  Recruit and maintain relationships with campers and families
Development:  Raise sufficient funds to allow campers to attend Camp Kesem free of charge
Volunteer:  Recruit, select, and train counselors while publicizing Camp Kesem on your campus
Operations:  Plan the camp program, logistics, and facility needs
PR/Marketing: Communicate with the press and potential sponsors about your campus’ Camp Kesem
Treasurer: Manage all financial activities of your chapter, including recording revenue, submitting expense requests, and handling vendor invoices

Join an Existing Camp Kesem

Start a Camp Kesem on Your Campus: If you are interested in bringing Camp Kesem to your college campus, please complete this form.

Each year we host a national Leadership Summit, bringing the top student leaders from all 62 of our chapters together for breakout and training sessions to  share best practices in the above categories, as well as cultivate and develop professional skills including:

    • Teamwork & Human Resources
    • Taking Initiative & Accountability
    • Problem Solving & Being Resourceful
    • Building & Managing Professional Relationships
    • Time Management
    • Interpersonal Communication

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We also invest in our students’ futures by hosting a Career Fair at our annual Leadership Summit, inviting representatives from companies seeking top talent to gain access to an intelligent and hard working group of the best college students in the nation.

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Student surveys indicate that involvement in Camp Kesem is THE most highly-valued part of a volunteer’s college experience, with over 80% of students reporting the development of significant team-building, organizational, decision-making, communication, problem solving and fundraising skills.

Camp Kesem alumni report the experience and skills gained with Camp Kesem had a significant impact on their post graduate studies, their decisions to pursue service opportunities, and their ability to secure competitive positions in the private sector.

To find out more about what fuels our college students:

To find out more about Leadership Summit sponsorship opportunities, please click  here.