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January Update!

Hello camper families,

Scooby here again on this Super Bowl Sunday updating you awesome people on the goings-on of CK Augustana as we approach closer and closer to camp.

A few nuts and bolts here in terms of some updates:

Our Trivia Night and Silent Auction will be February 7th from 6-10 pm at the Vikings Club in Moline.
We’re hoping for a great turn out there; if you’re interested in trivia and you think you’ve got what it takes to beat the brains of the Quad Cities community, form a table and contact us at augustana@campkesem.org
Our trivia night will have a bunch of great prizes to bid on, including some baseball tickets. Forward any/all questions to the account listed above!

We are also halfway to our cap of campers; we’re taking up to 60 awesome kids this year. If you havent reapplied yet, the link is live! If you know of anyone who you think should apply, please forward on our application link as well!

With  the counselor application due date rapidly approaching, I figured this blog would be a great opportunity to have a Counselor Archives Update. I have for you guys a “Why I Kesem” from counselor and fundraising coordinator Tanks and our new member Jeanette:

Why I Kesem: A Story by Tanks
Before I begin, I want to apologize about my rambling. If it doesn’t make sense, just interpret it like an artist would. Make it what you want.
Well, many people ask me why I Kesem, and I honestly don’t know why. I just feel like I should. I got started when I was sitting in Erickson lobby.. one of my friends told me to do it. I then met people who were in it, and they said, ” OK well we are going to the YMCA to talk about it. Join us.” It was such a welcoming community with people who were just as goofy as I am. I remember at the YMCA I would be really sarcastic. Jazz was there, and she gave me the sarcasm RIGHT BACK, on a dime. So did Gizmo; they were both just very good leaders who could joke around, and I felt like I fit in instantly. The entire group was hilarious! I loved these people instantly.
So that night, we went to get ice cream. I’m only saying this because I love Whitey’s. (This is their plug, now I just want them tosponsor us 😉 ).
OK- Camp, sooo I don’t know anybody who is in my immediate family with cancer. My grandpa died of lung cancer before I was born. I never really got to meet him, so I never really knew him. My aunt Nancy has breast cancer, but I’m pretty sure she is doing extremely well. Shout out to you Nancy- Stay strong 🙂
I didn’t think I could fit in with these kids. They are 6-12 years old and taking care of their siblings already because their parent(s) is too sick to get out of bed. I don’t think I could even imagine that really. Making dinner for the family, taking care of their siblings, etc. I wouldn’t be able to be that strong. I would worry constantly about my parent(s).
These kids were absolutely amazing. They were the COOLEST kids ever! I really hope that they got as much out of the camp that I did. They now know that there are kids who are going through the same exact thing, and that it is OK to worry, to cry, etc.
So that’s the first part of the mission- to create a support group with students. The second part is to empower student leaders. Which, I must say, I am definitely being empowered with the fundraising chair. I am organizing events, working with other students, and leading them to a goal of $45,000! I think that’s pretty neat.
 What else is neat? The fact that I have 3 different presidents of large companies contact information in my wallet/pocket right now. I am sitting down to talk with different presidents of companies to become large sponsors of Camp Kesem Augustana. Tell me who else as a college student gets to sit and have meetings with presidents of Insurance and Financial Companies. Boom.



That’s Why I Kesem
Jeanette: A Heart-Strings kind of Kesem
“This camp is something that is very dear to my heart. When I was 11 years old, my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. As a child, I didn’t know who I could turn to that would understand what I was gong through. There were many nights when I would stay up
 wondering what would happen in the future.I wish I had the opportunity to go to this camp when I was younger. It is my hope that I can do everything in my power to allow these kids to be kids again, even if it is only for a week. They deserve to know that they are loved, and they should be able to talk to someone who understands their situation. This is my Camp Kesem goal. If you can help me in any way possible, I will be truly grateful.”
I think the diversity between these two people–between all our members and counselors in fact–just goes to show how a great cause can unite so many different types of people together. I know I’m blessed to be working with all these awesome personalities, and they teach me something new everyday. If I’ve learned anything from Kesem, it’s that everybody brings something different to the table; no matter how big or how small, the offerings made are always unique and special in their own way. Kesem has taught me to appreciate the quirks in people; the sloppy Chicago accent; the lopsided grin; the corny jokes; the awkward moments. I can’t wait to see what this new group of kids and counselors has to teach me this year, that’s for sure.
Hope everyone has a great night and I’ll be back real soon!
Stay classy you Kesemers,