Meet the Staff

COODINATOR BOARD 2015

Directors

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Lauren “Waffles” Deschner

Favorite camp moment: I can’t pick one! Every closing circle, or song session, or all-camp game is my favorite!

Why do you Kesem: I Kesem to experience magic.

Why did you choose your camp name: I don’t have a good story for how I picked my name. It was just the first word that came to my head!

What is your spirit animal: My spirit animal is a cat because they are sweet and cuddly, but they are also independent. Also they love naps.

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Jessica “Pumba” Tran

Favorite camp moment: My favorite memory from camp was two summers ago when we had a water balloon/shaving cream/chocolate sundae fight. Seeing all the kids and counselors running around laughing, smiling and having the time of their lives with such a simple activity is a memory that I will never forget. This gave an opportunity for our campers to simply be kids again and have that carefree moment that all children should be able to experience.

Why do you Kesem: I Kesem simply to give these kids a week of magic. Seeing them get so excited and so happy over the little things we do is the most priceless thing I could ever experience.

Why did you choose your camp name: I chose my camp name because my favorite movie is The Lion King and everyone else had the other good names from the movie already.

What is your spirit animal: My spirit animal is the Bear!

Operations

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Jingyan “Bubbles” Yue

Favorite camp moment: Empowerment ceremony, hands down. It was AWESOME.

Why do you Kesem: For the amazing, incredible kids! Because they deserve to have this fun week, and so much more!

Why did you choose your camp name: Because I am a bubbly person!

What is your spirit animal: Siberian Tiger…
Fierce, spontaneous, great personal strength and willpower, and intelligent!

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Megan “Piglet” Chavana

Favorite camp moment: My favorite memory from camp was playing drip, drip, drop with the kids. I think I had more fun than they did!

Why do you Kesem: For the kids!

Why did you choose your camp name: Piglet is one of my favorite characters on Winnie the Pooh and I love to eat. A lot.

What is your spirit animal: I really like penguins. They are super cute, chubby, and wobble when they walk. I love that.

Outreach

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Faraz “Crash” Damghani

Favorite camp moment: The teen hike and where we played “tap the shoulder”.

Why do you Kesem: Make an impact on someone’s life.

Why did you choose your camp name: I loved the game Crash Bandicoot on playstation when I was younger, I would play it for hours. So it felt fitting since at camp we get to be kids again.

What is your spirit animal: Rabbit. I used to have one and we had a deep connection, beyond what words can explain.

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Jordan “Tinkerbell” Salley

Favorite camp moment: My favorite memory of camp was this year at camp. Mater and I were singing boom-de-adda, or should I say mumbling it under our breath and we were standing next to the purple unit (teenage boys). All of a sudden, all the boys started singing it with us. It was definitely a special moment.

Why do you Kesem: My mom is diagnosed with a rare immune disorder, Camp Kesem is definitely something I wish I would have had as a kid when my mom was diagnosed. I think its a great opportunity for the kids to cope and grow in their understanding of what it means to have a sick parent. But even moreso, I think it is amazing that they all get to meet people in similar situations like them and have a week full of fun!

Why did you choose your camp name: I’ve always loved Peter Pan and I really love the concept of never growing up. I also really wish I could fly. So when I got to choose a camp name, Tinkerbell was at the top of my list.

What is your spirit animal: Sara Barielles.

Yes I am aware she is not an animal. But she’s an incredibly sassy person. I saw her in concert this summer and really enjoyed it!

Development

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Jordan “Minnie Mouse” McGarrity

Favorite camp moment: I don’t think I can choose just one. I’m gonna go with the whole week is my favorite memory.

Why do you Kesem: I Kesem because being a part of the family is one of the most amazing, positive, humbling experiences that I have been lucky enough to be a part of.

Why did you choose your camp name: I love everything Disney so I knew that I wanted my name to be Disney related, but all of the princesses that I wanted were already taken by other counselors. I was looking through Disney character names and once I found Minnie Mouse I knew it was the perfect fit!

What is your spirit animal: I would say my spirit animal is a sloth because if I could I would sleep 15-18 hours a day.

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Cooper “‘Flash” Irwin

Favorite camp moment: My favorite memory from camp was the prank war that went on between the cabins. The red unit found our cabinet strown with toilet paper and vowed revenge on the green unit. It was a lot of fun playing pranks and brought me back to my childhood.

Why do you Kesem: The kids are awesome!

Why did you choose your camp name: I enjoy sports, and I wish I was as fast as Flash. I would dominate in basketball if so.

What is your spirit animal: My spirit animal is a Tiger! I have willpower, personal strength and courage, and unpredictability since I like to be spontaneous.

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Isaac “Mordecai” Garza

Favorite camp moment: My favorite memory from camp was joking around with all of my campers and seeing camp change them throughout the week.

Why do you Kesem: I Kesem because I believe in the cause and what camp does for kids.

Why did you choose your camp name: I didn’t know what else to choose and somebody suggested it.

What is your spirit animal: It is an eagle because it’s majestic.

Volunteer

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Victor “BumbleBee” Le

Favorite camp moment: My favorite memory from camp has to be the Purple unit and the Green unit having an all out prank war going on the entire week of camp. It really let everyone, campers and counselors, break out of their shells to see each other’s true personalities while having fun at the same time.

Why do you Kesem: I Kesem to be a part of something that is bigger than myself. For once in my life, I am doing something that is not to benefit myself. It just seemed to work that way when I realized how inspiring these kids are. You come into camp for the first time expecting to be a leader/role model for the kids in your unit, but you walk out with a completely different outlook. They are our role models!

Why did you choose your camp name: Both my best friend and I were accepted to be counselors about 2 summers ago. We thought it would be a good idea to take the duo names Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. He had a medical emergency, forcing him to skip camp, so I carried on with the legacy of our friendship.

What is your spirit animal: My spirit animal is definitely a honey badger cause honey badger don’t care. It is the most fearless, toughest, sneakiest animal in the african and asian regions.

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Paxton “Mustard” Thedford

Favorite camp moment: One night our cabin chat question was “who is your role model.” One camper said that I was his role model and he wanted to be like me when he grew up. I’ll be honest, I just about cried.

Why do you Kesem: Camp Kesem is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had the pleasure of participating in. The kids at CK are some of the strongest, kindest, and all around more phenomenal people I’ve ever met, and I am very glad to be able to bring some happiness into their lives. To think that I’ve added to the world a smile or laugh where one was desperately needed really makes it all worth it.

Why did you choose your camp name: When it came time to pick camp names I refused to choose my own, so I was named Ketchup. Turns out though, ketchup is a secondhand name. (not cool) So instead I was named Mustard. Now I’m just trying to live up to the condiment mantle.

What is your spirit animal: Eagle

CIT

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Lexi “Mater” Iverson

Favorite camp moment: My favorite memory from camp was the last closing circle with the campers and parents. It was four times the size of the circle the first year of camp and the familiar faces from that first year were interspersed with the rest of the new CK family.

Why do you Kesem: I Kesem becauseI can’t imagine my life without it. It is my family.

Why did you choose your camp name: I chose my camp name because Cars is my favorite Disney movie and although he’s not the star of the movie, Mater makes the movie with his huge heart and endearing southern accent through his huge buck teeth.

What is your spirit animal: My spirit animal would be a Slitten. Sloth-kitten. Google it, you won’t be sorry.

Make The Magic

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Kenna “Thumper” Harris

Favorite camp moment: Camp songs and games!!! I love all the games we play, and let’s be real, who doesn’t love yelling camp songs all day,every day?!

Why do you Kesem: I Kesem for my childhood friends, whose parents were affected by cancer when we were kids.

Why did you choose your camp name: Since I was a kid, I’ve always jumped around a lot and my right foot is constantly moving so my mom started calling me “Thumper” after the bunny in Bambi. Then last year, Waffles noticed my right foot always moving and thought Thumper would be a great name…. guess things haven’t changed much in the past 17 years!

What is your spirit animal: Llamas. I love llamas. Long live the llamas!.

 

PR/Marketing

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Nina “Smalls” Lemieux

Favorite camp moment: My favorite camp moment was definitely when all of the Blue unit cleverly came up with the prank to send compliments to other cabins and to write anonymous love notes to Mufasa.

Why do you Kesem: I Kesem because I’ve watched my dad and lose his father to cancer. It is one of three times I have ever seen my dad cry and I know that it took a lot out of our entire family. The families that are a part of the CK family are going through so much and deserve to have a week without worry and connections to a community facing similar struggles. The kids that come to camp are so strong and wise, I learn something new from them every single time I speak with them!

Why did you choose your camp name: I chose my camp name because I really like watching The Sandlot, because I’m short, and because I’m pretty consistently the lovable person you constantly roll your eyes at!

What is your spirit animal: My spirit animal right now would probably be the dove. It’s important to know that your spirit animal changes, but right now I’m appreciating the doves calmness, freedom, and omnipresence all over the world!