We are very excited about being the first Camp Kesem in Texas, and we feel very passionate about making Camp Kesem come to life for so many kids who have gone through the hardships of having a parent with cancer.
This is an often-overlooked population of children, as they are not ill themselves and are indistinguishable from other children in their communities. While we do not provide therapy in the most conventional sense, we do provide a safe environment where the children can feel comfortable interacting with peers who truly understand them. We hope that the relationships built at Camp Kesem A&M will help our campers face their parents’ disease with strength forged in new friendships.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Camp Kesem?
Camp Kesem is a college student run summer camp for kids with a parent who has (or has had) cancer. Our one-week sleep away camps are a chance for kids 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.
How much does it cost?
Absolutely nothing! Camp Kesem is free to all children who have/had a parent with cancer. Camp Kesem, as an organization of students, works hard year around to raise the funds necessary to make camp happen. Camp Kesem is a non-profit organization.
What does “Kesem” mean?
Kesem means “magic” in Hebrew. The founders of Camp Kesem chose Kesem because their goal was to bring magic to families coping with cancer. More recently, we’ve developed a more detailed definition of what Kesem means to us.Kesem (n.): magic; the ability to change a life; an agent of growth; the unique power that transforms kids into Camp Kesem Campers
Is Camp Kesem a religious camp?
No, Camp Kesem is a secular camp and is open to student volunteers and campers of all backgrounds.
How old are the campers? How long are the camps?
Camp Kesem campers are ages 6-16. We have a special teen camp program specifically for our 14-16 year old campers! All of our camps are held for one week. We are an overnight camp program.What do you do at camp? HAVE TONS OF FUN!!! Camp Kesem is designed to be a place where children have a safe, supportive environment away from home where they can have the best week of their summer! Campers swim, climb rock walls, play games, sing songs, roast marshmallows, and other great camp stuff! Campers do not receive therapy at camp, but we do provide the campers a chance to chat every night about anything that’s on their minds in cabin chats.
Who organizes camp? How does it work?
The members of Camp Kesem, as an organization, and a team of committed student coordinators. The coordinators will lead committees throughout the year that will make Camp Kesem happen. Coordinator positions include Community Outreach, Development, Volunteer Outreach, Operations, Counselor-In-Training Program, Make the Magic, and Public Relations/Marketing.
That sounds like a lot of work. Do we have any help?
Of course! Throughout the whole process, we are supported by National Program Directors who work for Camp Kesem. Camp Kesem’s National Program Directors primary goal and purpose for existence is to provide support, advising, and coaching for student leaders across the country who are committed to creating amazing summer camps for children of cancer patients.