Operations Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Outreach Coordinator email@example.com
Make the Magic Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Coordinator email@example.com
Development Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Relations Coordinator email@example.com
To support children through and beyond their parent's cancer with innovative, fun-filled programs that foster a lasting community.
To ensure that every child touched by a parent's cancer is never alone.
Camp Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. A program of Kesem, Camp Kesem operates over 70 free summer camps in 34 states for children ages 6 to 16 who have been touched by a parent’s cancer. This camping experience has a lasting impact on children by providing them a peer-support network that understands their unique needs, builds confidence and strengthens their communication skills. In 2015, Camp Kesem served over 5,000 children coast-to-coast - all funded by generous donations from individuals and corporate support.
Camp Kesem North Carolina started with a big goal and a simple idea. Kesem is the Hebrew word for “magic”, and it is magic that is at the heart of what Camp Kesem gives to families touched by cancer.
In early 2002, Camp Kesem was proposed as a program of the Enterprising Leadership Incubator, part of the Hart Leadership Program at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University under the guidance of Professor Tony Brown. Three student leaders who took the lead built a business plan and began to lay the foundations for the first camp in the summer of 2003. Despite many challenges and drawbacks including an ice storm that destroyed the original campsite, the organization overcame those barriers with the help of generous donors and committed student leaders to make the first year a huge success.
Following that year, the program managed to raise upwards of $25,000 and develop a core curriculum and program for the camp experience and students involved with it year-round. In addition, 2004 marked the birth of a partnership between the students at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In August 2013, Camp Kesem NC expanded to offer two sessions in order to serve 161 campers. As the history of Camp Kesem North Carolina demonstrates, a commitment from the community and student leaders to serving families coping with cancer, it also helps predict the success of the camp program and student organization for years to come. Today, Camp Kesem North Carolina is operated by 100 student volunteers and serves over 200 campers ages 6 through 16 each year.