About Us


Camp Kesem GW provides a free one-week overnight summer camp for kids of past and present cancer patients.





Camp Kesem GW was founded in September 2007 by first-year students at The George Washington University. Their goal was to create an organization that addressed the special needs of an underserved population: the children of local cancer patients.

They established a branch of Camp Kesem at the university to utilize the energy, passion, and commitment of volunteer college students to host a one-week summer camp for children whose parent or primary caregiver is in treatment for cancer, is in remission from cancer, or has passed away from cancer. Six years later, Camp Kesem GW has grown into an award-winning student organization that is still rapidly expanding!


Camp Kesem recognizes and embraces the often-overlooked population of children affected by a parent’s cancer. Our mission is to create a peer support network that has a life-long impact on these kids.


Our Programs

47a4d605b3127cce9854aa45471200000035130GYtmLVsyZaSummer Camp

  • CKGW provides a network of free college-student run summer camps for kids affected by a parent’s cancer. Our camp provides a unique and compassionate environment where kids can just be kids.

Year-Round Support

  • Throughout the academic year, children affected by a parent’s cancer participate in reunions, connect with their peers, and receive support resources.

Leadership Development Program

  • GW students and Counselors-In-Training learn leadership skills and receive year-round training to organize and run our camp.

Community Engagement and Civic Leadership

  • CKGW engages alumni, community leaders, and camper families through advisory boards, alumni associations, and the national Board of Directors.


Our Camp

47a4d605b3127cce985494cfc6b700000035130GYtmLVsyZaCKGW is run entirely by student volunteers at the George Washington University. It is NOT a religious camp and it is NOT a therapy camp. It is just a place for kids to have fun and be themselves!

At camp, students maintain a 3:1 camper to counselor ratio to ensure campers get the attention they deserve. They are also supported by a professional nurse, a child therapist, and campsite staff.

It is hosted every August at Camp Louise in Cascade, Maryland, an ACA accredited camp site. Our most recent camp was from August 17-22nd, 2014 and hosted 95 campers, 45 student counselors, and 5 staff members thanks to donations totaling over $70,000.

CKGW aims to serve 100 campers at our 2014 camp with the help of 50 volunteer counselors.

In post-camp surveys, 70% of parents reported that their child returned with higher self-esteem and 100% of parents rate CKGW as “exceptional” and say they personally benefited from their child being at Camp Kesem.

CKGW is provided free of charge to all families.


Our Campers

Children from ages 6 to 18 are eligible to attend Camp Kesem GW if at least one primary caregiver is currently undergoing cancer treatment, is in remission from cancer, or has passed away from cancer.

Camp Kesem GW does not discriminate on race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, or other factors.


Camp Activities

With so many fun camp activities, it’s hard not to feel the CK magic! Here are some of the many activities that campers participate in each year!

    • Ropes courses
    • Swimming
    • Color wars
    • Water slides
    • Talent show
    • Cabin chats
    • Campfires