Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who qualifies for attending Camp Kesem?

Campers must be between 6-16 years old at the time of camp, and Counselors in Training can be between17-18.  Each camper has a parent who currently has or has had cancer.

How does a typical day at camp operate?

Every day varies as each has a specific theme which changes yearly. There are two-three camp wide activities relating to the theme.  The morning starts with three cabin rotations between activities such as sports, arts and crafts, dance/drama, and adventure. In the afternoon there is an elective and free swim.  The evening ends with a cabin chat.

What is a cabin chat?

A cabin chat is where the counselors and campers of an individual cabin get a chance to speak safely about the highs of their day and different questions dealing with their favorite activities, foods,
vacation spots, etc.

How is the topic of cancer dealt with at camp?

As counselors, we do not bring up the topic of cancer.  We are not a therapy camp.  The individual campers know they are here because of their connection to cancer. Campers may bring up cancer if they choose but that is at their discretion.

Who will be the adults taking care of my kids?

There will be over 30 college-age counselors providing a 3:1 ratio or better.  The counselors undergo an application process and background check before being selected.  Throughout the year, they attend over 40 hours of training including an overnight at the camp.  In addition, there is a certified camp nurse, a camp social worker, and camp advisor who are college graduates and act as additional resources.

Is transportation provided to and from camp?

Absolutely!  There will be buses transporting campers from Northwestern University in Evanston to the campsite and back to Evanston at the end of camp.

What’s the difference between regular and Teen Camp?

There is only one Camp Kesem, but children ages 13-16 are grouped together for certain activities separate from the larger group, such as canoeing and an overnight camping trip.

If you have additional questions, please contact northwestern@campkesem.org.