Meet Our Committee Directors



Carey “Waldo” Appeldorn & Jeremy “Bubba” Reynard

Waldo: Penguins, attention! Hey everybody! My name is Waldo, and I’m a fourth year at UCLA double majoring in Economics and Political Science. When I’m not doing camp-related stuff, I love snowboarding, being outdoors, watching the (world champion) San Francisco Giants, barbecuing, and relaxing with friends. This will be my fourth year as a counselor for UCLA Camp Kesem, and my third year on Committee. Camp Kesem has without a doubt been the most incredible part of my life at UCLA, and I cannot wait to help bring the magic to camp again this year!

Bubba: Hey everyone! My name’s Jeremy and I’m a fourth year Business-Economics major originally from the Bay Area. In the Kesem world I go by Bubba, and I could not be more stoked for my third year at camp and second year on Committee! Last year I was the Development Coordinator and worked with my homeboy Nachos to raise over $100k! This year I’m stoked to be co-director with my former roommate and camp legend Waldo. Kesem has been an incredibly rewarding experience in too many ways to count and has definitely made me rethink my goals and priorities in life. The Kesem family is unlike any other community I’ve been a part of. I feel so fortunate to be part of such a wonderful organization and cannot wait for another year at camp!


Outreach Directors:
Lauren “Clementine” Choi & Tess “Kanga” Lombardo 


Clementine: Hey hey! My name is Clementine, and I am a second year Linguistic and Computer Science major. I love baking, crafts, traveling, snacking, and of course Kesem! This is my second year involved with Camp Kesem, and I am so excited to be one of the Community Outreach Coordinators for this year! When I heard about Camp Kesem, I knew it was an organization that I really wanted to participate in, and I consider myself unbelievably lucky to be a part of something so wonderful. I can’t wait for camp this summer and to see all of my campers again!

Kanga: Hello! My name is Kanga, and I am a fourth year Pyschology major at UCLA. Camp Kesem has by far meant the most to me out of all of my other extracurricular activities, however I am also currently a member of the Dancer Relation committee on the Pediatric AIDS Coalition, as well as Vice President of Risk Management for my sorority Alpha Phi. I am most excited to see my camp family again. I was lucky enough to get involved with Camp Kesem my freshman year, and can’t wait to spend every day and night with all the campers I have grown to love so much!

Public Relations Directors:
Juliana “Poof” Kelm & Joel “Gumby” Ontiveros

Poof: Hey, hey listen up listen up! I’m Poof, a fourth year Sociology and Film/Television student in my third year of Camp Kesem. I was fortunate enough to serve as the Public Relations Director last year as well, and could not be more excited to keep improving the position. Out of the myriad of organizations and jobs I have been involved with at UCLA, Kesem is by far and away the most meaningful. I always say Kesem is so life-changing because as college students you get to not only mentor and help the campers but you selfishly get to meet the most wonderful, philanthropic and vivacious students at UCLA. I cannot imagine my life or college experience without Kesem and am extremely honored to serve on our committee board again!

Gumby: Hello there! My name is Gumby, and I am currently in my last year at UCLA double majoring in Communication Studies and World Arts & Cultures/Dance. I have been involved with various student affairs based organizations while at UCLA; however, I have most recently become involved in various camps thanks to my love of Camp Kesem. Kesem has not only changed me for the better as a current college student, but it has also provided me with a new family and some of my best friends. I am extremely excited for my third year as a Camp Kesem counselor, and I cannot wait for the magic!


Program and Operations Directors:
Michelle “Marshmallow” Goodwin & Michael “Phelps” Ruder

Marshmallow: Hey there caterpillars! My name is Marshmallow, and I am the programming extraordinaire for the upcoming year, and I couldn’t be more excited to plan one of the best years of camp yet! A little bit about me: I’m a 4th year student studying Cognitive Science at UCLA with a specialization in Computing. In my free time, I like to seek adventure, read, and spend time with the people I love. This will be my third year in the Kesem family and my favorite camp memory would have to be leading the Adventure/Nature rotation of camp last year and using nets to catch wildlife in the pond with the kids. This year I am most excited to be a part of committee for the first time and be able to contribute even more to the organization that means the most to me. I feel so grateful to be a part of such a loving and selfless community and I can’t wait to see what this year holds!

Phelps: Greetings! My name is Phelps, and when I am not at camp or informing people they cannot ride in my little red wagon, I am a third year Cognitive Science major at UCLA. This is my second year as a member of Camp Kesem, and I am stoked to be an Operations Coordinator and member of team Pharshphello. Camp Kesem has allowed me to meet truly incredible people and has allowed me to develop a deeper appreciation for the simple things in life. I am beyond excited for camp this year and cannot wait to see what magic this year will bring.

Development Directors:
Lauren “Sharkbait” Vaughan & Gentry “Simba” Alverson

SharkbaitHi! My name is Sharkbait, and I am a third year biology major and pre-veterinary student at UCLA. This will be my third year with Camp Kesem, and my second year on CK UCLA’s committee. Last year I was one of the Operations directors, and I had a blast programming the week of camp for such wonderful, deserving kids. One of my favorite memories is seeing Harry Potter Dinner come to life: drinking Butterbeer, eating Bertie Bott’s Beans, and casting spells with the kids. I am so grateful that I found Camp Kesem my freshman year, and that I have the opportunity to be part of this inspiring family. Outside of Kesem, I enjoy all kinds of art, cooking and baking, traveling, anything animal related, spending time with family and friends, and of course getting to know new friends. I am looking forward to helping Camp Kesem grow this year as one of the Development directors, and I cannot wait to see what the year brings!

Simba: Hey y’all, Simba here.  I am currently a Senior at UCLA studying political science and accounting.  I hail from the great state of Ohio, but have since accepted LA as my true home.  I’ve been involved with Kesem going on three years now, and it has hands down been the best experience I have had in my college career.  The people I’ve met, both campers and counselors, have had such a huge impact on me, and I can say with confidence have made me a better person.  Our goal as Development Coordinators this year is raise more money than UCLA has ever raised, so we can send as many kids to camp as possible!  I’m looking forward to another great year, and as always, can’t wait for camp.

CIT/Teen Programming Directors:
Claire “Buckwheat” Burtner & Dominic “Fozzie Bear” Fusco

Buckwheat: Hey everybody! My name is Buckwheat, and I am one of your CIT/Teen Directors for summer 2014 with the dashing Fozzie Bear. I am a 4th year  at UCLA majoring in Sociology and hoping to pursue a career in child art therapy. In addition to being a 4th year at school, it is also my 4th year being a Camp Kesem counselor and 3rd year being on committee. I served as a Volunteer Director during my sophomore year and one of the PR/Marketing Directors during my junior year. Since joining the magical Kesem family, I cannot seem to tear myself away from it. Sometimes my roommates even tell me they hear me singing “Little Sally Walker” in my sleep. I come from the beautiful East Bay and love exploring new places, going on hikes, and trying all types of ethnic foods. I live for the jokes, laughter, and smiles which Kesem has brought to my life over the past four years, and I can honestly say that Kesem has been the most influential and important part of my college experience. I cannot wait for this next year of amazing counselors, campers, and memories.

Fozzie Bear: Hi there! My name is Fozzie Bear, and I am a fourth year double majoring in Political Science and Psychology. I also tutor on campus in my spare time. This is my third year involved with Camp Kesem, and my first year on committee. I couldn’t be more excited to run the CIT/Teen part of camp this summer! My favorite part of camp historically has been archery and fishing, but this year I am most excited for the final talent show (I am already preparing my act). I can’t wait to see everyone at camp!

Recruitment and Training Directors:
Kory “Beans” DiGrande & Taylor “Sprout” Whitaker

Beans: Hello, my name is Beans, and I am currently a junior at UCLA studying Biochemistry and hoping one day to become a physician.  Aside from Kesem, I am involved in the ARC volunteering program, a Vault Prep tutor, and a member of the Greek System here at UCLA.  This is my third year doing Camp Kesem and my first time holding a position, which is one of the Volunteer Coordinators for this year.  My favorite memory of camp has to be singing the Pokemon original theme song my first year at camp along with the 10 and 11 year old boys in my cabin that year, not to mention many other great times.  I cannot wait to get started on Kesem this year, which includes training new counselors, connecting with new kids, and expanding the Kesem family.  I am so thankful that I became involved with Kesem as early as I did, but it really never is too late to feel the magic.

Sprout: Hey! My name is Sprout, and I’m a fourth year Biochemistry major and one of the Volunteer Coordinators for 2014! This will be my third year being involved in Camp Kesem at UCLA, and I’ve loved every second of it. Having lost a parent to cancer myself, Kesem is a cause very close to my heart. Besides being a camp counselor, I direct UCLA’s Synthesis Dance Theater, do research, and work at a doctor’s office. I will be attending medical school in the fall, but I’m looking forward to my last fun summer of camp with all the amazing campers and counselors!