About Us

What is Camp Kesem Stony Brook?

Camp Kesem Stony Brook is a college student run summer camp for children with a parent who has (or has had) cancer. Our free week-long overnight camp is a chance for children ages 6-16 to have a fun-filled week and just be kids.  Everything we do at Camp Kesem focuses on our goal of giving campers the most fun week possible, while providing the extra support and attention that they need. Campers participate in a range of activities including arts and crafts, swimming, nature hikes, field sports, and various other nighttime activities. Each night before bedtime the campers participate in “cabin chats” which is an activity where they can share their stories and express their emotions with peers in similar family situations.

Our Mission

Camp Kesem supports the often-overlooked population of children affected by a parent’s cancer through a national network of summer camps run by passionate college student leaders.

Our History

Camp Kesem was an idea that originated with the Hillel organization at Stanford University. The first camp was organized by one staff member, Iris Rave and just four student leaders. That summer they hosted 37 campers for one week in the summer of 2001.

We wanted to join universities from all over the country on this great endeavor. So, in the spring of 2013, a group of Stony Brook University student leaders applied for a $10,000 LIVESTRONG grant and a bid for a Camp Kesem charter with the support of former Dean of Students Dr. Jerrold Stein. Stony Brook was selected through a national online voting competition as the most voted for school in the northeast region. Stony Brook’s first year was very successful with 52 campers and raising over $50,000!

Find out more about our $10,000 Livestrong Community Impact Project Grant here!

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