Letters from our Founder and Co-Chairs
Letter from our current co-chairs, Kiwi & Horton:
Dear Camp Kesem Families,
Hello from MIT! We hope all of you are enjoying the school year–and not missing Camp too much! This year, we had an awesome week of water balloon fights, s'mores, games, and songs. We all had incredible, unforgettable experiences at CK 2012 and have started planning for and counting down the days until CK 2013. We can’t wait to see you all again, and we hope you all are just as excited for next year’s Camp as we are!
Each year, we hope to share the magic of Camp with more families, and next year, we are excited to once again offer Camp to an expected 100 campers, aged 6 to 18, from all over the New England area. For those of you who may be interested in a Camp Kesem campus closer to home, please note that there are several other Camp Kesem campuses in the New England area hosted by students from Columbia, Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, University of Richmond, University of Virginia, UNC/Duke, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Pennsylvania. All of us cannot wait to see you at Camp, and our coordinator boards have already been hard at work to ensure that next year’s Camp session is better than ever.
Camp Kesem has been an amazing experience for us, and we love the family that Camp Kesem has become. Please feel free to contact us with questions, comments, concerns, or simply stories from Camp – we’d love to hear from you! You can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 617.848.2824.
Camp Love and Ours,
Hamsika "Kiwi" Chandrasekar and Angela "Horton" Ma
Letter from Camp Kesem MIT's founder, Caroline:
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