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 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 they need.
Camp Kesem UC Davis is a FREE overnight camp for children ages 6-16 whose parents have, had, or have passed away from cancer. Campers participate in a range of activities including arts and crafts, swimming, hiking, athletics, drama, and various 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.
The UC Davis Camp Kesem organization is a student run non-profit group that strives to make a difference in the lives of its campers. The students that put together this camp volunteer both their time and money in order to make camp as special as possible. Camp is free for the families served, and is sponsered by Camp Kesem National, a 501 (c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Camp Kesem is open to all children regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, or financial status.
The first Camp Kesem™ project was founded at Stanford University in 2000 as a project of Hillel at Stanford, a nonprofit serving Jewish students at the University. The project was developed by a group of student leaders who sought to create a magical summer camp experience for children in need. After assessing the needs of the community, the students found that children who have/had a parent with cancer comprised an under-served population who could benefit from a summer camp experience with peers who faced similar challenges.
The UC Davis Camp Kesem was founded in 2005, and we have held 7 successful camps. Every year, we are expanding our camp.