About Our Camp


CAMP DATES: Session I: Saturday June 20th – Friday June 26th, 2015

                              Session II: Monday June 29th – Sunday July 5th, 2015


CAMPSITE: Angeles Crest Christian Camp in Angeles National Forest, CA 

Camp Kesem at UCLA is a student-run summer camp for children who are affected by a parent’s cancer. It provides an opportunity for campers to build self-esteem and gain support from peers facing similar challenges.  Originally founded by students at Stanford University in 2000, the UCLA chapter was founded in 2004 by UCLA students and Camp Kesem Stanford Alumni.

Children who have or had a parent with cancer are neither physically ill nor visibly distinct from other children. As a result, their situation at home is often unknown to peers and teachers and their emotional needs often go unnoticed.

In addition, it is challenging for these children to find peers with whom they can relate, and they are often left feeling completely alone when coping with the fear, anger, guilt, and sadness associated with having a parent who has cancer or has passed away from cancer.

Aside from providing campers with a magical and care-free week of traditional summer camp fun, children are empowered with the tools to express their emotions through camp activities, such as arts and crafts, drama, and cabin chat. These tools, and the friendships gained provide support for these children well beyond the week of camp.

Camp Kesem is available to children in the greater Los Angeles area between the ages of 6 -16 who have or had a parent with cancer. Camp Kesem is a secular camp and is open to all children regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, or financial status. Due to the financial burden experienced by families coping with cancer, Camp Kesem is provided free of charge to the families it serves.

Our camp is run by a committee of 16 undergraduate student coordinators who work continuously throughout the year to make Camp Kesem at UCLA a reality. Our camp is staffed by 85 enthusiastic volunteer students from UCLA giving us our unique, 2:1 camper to counselor ratio.  It is this individual attention that creates lasting bonds between counselors and campers, and helps to foster a safe and welcoming environment for children.