Letters from our Founder and Directors
Letter from our current directors, Mac, Cheese & Peaches:
Camp Kesem 2014 was a wonderful and unforgettable experience filled with all sorts of fun activities, camp love, and of course, puppy chow. For the first time ever, Camp Kesem MIT held two one-week sessions and had the pleasure of serving 129 campers!
Our coordinator board has been hard at work the past few months planning camp activities (in addition to securing an awesome theme), raising money, forging new connections in our community, and recruiting some fantastic counselors!
We are proud to announce that we’ll continue expanding our camp, sticking with two one-week sessions, with a goal of accepting 170 campers, aged 6-18, from all over the New England area! Both camps will be held at Camp Wekeela in Buckfield, Maine. This is by far our most ambitious camper goal, and we can’t do it without your help! Please help us spread the word to any families you know who are/have been affected by cancer.
It makes us so proud and excited to see how Camp Kesem has grown throughout the years, and we hope that it will continue to do so in the years to come. It’s been an incredible experience for us, and we love the family that CK has become. As always, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Jonathon “Mac” Zuniga, Sami “Cheese” Alsheikh, and Lizy “Peaches” Trujillo
Letter from Camp Kesem MIT’s founder, Caroline “Congo” Huang:
Summer camp is one of my most cherished memories. Growing up, I eagerly anticipated those hot summer days filled with intense Capture the Flag and Four Square battles, relaxed lanyard-making sessions, and of course, the quintessential tie-dye and even more rituals.
Millions of kids across the country have had similar experiences. They too have experienced the camaraderie between campers, the positive influences provided by counselor role models, and the self-confidence gained from participating in all kinds of activities. At Camp Kesem, however, the benefits of your everyday summer program take on an added meaning. Camp Kesem is a special kind of summer camp: every camper has a parent who has or has had cancer.
Cancer is devastating at any age, but it is especially difficult for children to understand and cope with adult concepts such as disease and loss. Gone are the simple pleasures of childhood, replaced by a harsh world of waiting rooms and medications, operations, and treatments. Children affected by their parent’s cancer may experience overwhelming feelings of isolation. Worst of all, children whose parents have or have had cancer must bear enormous invisible burdens. They can be lost in the shuffle, with few resources available to help them make sense of their world being turned upside down.
To combat this problem, Camp Kesem MIT offers a free, weeklong summer camp to kids whose parents have or have had cancer, providing them with a week in which they can just be kids. Campers participate in normal camp activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, and sports; what makes Camp Kesem special is that during these activities, campers realize they are surrounded by other children in the same situation. Through love, laughter, and support, Camp Kesem helps campers to share each others strength and realize that they are not alone. And in the process, college students serving as volunteer organizers and counselors gain hands-on experience in running a nonprofit out of their dormitory rooms.
Thank you for taking the time to read about Camp Kesem MIT. Browse around our website, and you’ll see that Camp Kesem has lived up its name: Camp “Magic” in Hebrew. In learning about the very special camper families, counselors, donors, advisors, and others who comprise the Camp Kesem community, I hope you feel inspired to help share the magic of Camp Kesem.
Caroline “Congo” Huang
Camp Kesem MIT, Founder