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University of Texas – Dallas

Important Dates

Please use the "Contact Us" button above for questions on dates, times, or event details.

Camp Sessions

Week 1: July 29-August 3, 2018

Camp Gilmont

6075 TX-155

Gilmer, TX 75644


Friends + Family Days

Fall Friends + Family Day

October 28, 2017


8196 Walnut Hill Lane, LL10

Dallas, TX 75231

Spring Friends + Family Day

February 11, 2018


UT Dallas Galaxy Room

800 W Campbell Rd

Richardson, TX 75080

Make the Magic

March 3, 2018 at 6:00pm

UTD Galaxy Rooms A,B,C

800 W Campbell Rd.

Richardson, TX 75080

Tickets available here

Meet the Team

I’m Fishsticks and I am a junior accounting major at UTD and I have been a part of Camp Kesem for the past 2 years! It’s been incredible to be a part of the journey of our first camp and now getting ready to grow our chapter to have as many kids at camp as possible! Other than Camp Kesem, I am a proud Terry Scholar and member of PPA 11. Also, in my free time I like to go running, watch the Office on a loop, and regularly beat my co-director, Chancho, in Madden and 2K.


I’m Chancho and I am a junior accounting major at UTD and I have been apart of Camp Kesem for the past 2 years! It’s been incredible to be apart of the journey of our first camp and now getting ready to grow our chapter to have as many kids at camp as possible! Other than Camp Kesem, I am a proud Terry Scholar and member of PPA 11. Also, in my free time I like to go running, watch the Office on a loop, and regularly beat my co-director, Fishsticks, in Madden and 2K.
I’m Nugget and I am an undergraduate senior at UT Dallas studying to become a middle school science teacher. I am enrolled in the UTeach Mathematics and Science program and I am also pursuing a Masters of Arts in Teaching in Science Education via fast-track. I hold three part time jobs as a private tutor, nanny/babysitter, and after school science instructor. I love serving in my community and especially giving back to Camp Kesem!


I’m Annalise and I’m a sophomore Biology/Pre-med major at UT Dallas. This is my first year getting involve in Camp Kesem. Not only am I involved in this amazing organization, but I am also the activities coordinator for Alpha Gamma Delta, and a member in Doctors Without Borders, and FSA. Along with that, I do research with UT Southwestern and volunteer at the Children’s Hospital. During my free time, I like to watch How to Get Away with Murder (hint the camp name) and workout.
I’m Corndog and I’m currently serving as a development coordinator because I want to spread the word about kesem as well as do my best to fundraise as much as possible to give our kids the best week ever. I’m an active member on campus in multiple organizations including Alpha Gamma Delta, Pre-OT/PT professional development, and Doctors Without Borders advocates. I plan to graduate fall of 2018 majoring in healthcare studies with a concentration in pre-physical therapy.
I’m Plop and I am a currently a UTDallas Sophomore and a 2017 Kesem counselour! I am majoring in Public Affairs and specializing in non-profit organization. I am super excited to be involved in this coming year’s Kesem experience and can’t wait to make it the best week ever!!
I’m Lightyear and I was a first-time camp counselor in the first ever Camp Kesem at UT Dallas. There was joy. There was sadness. There were tears. There were memories that will never fade. The name “Lightyear” was very random ( Just science nerd things ). I love new ideas, projects, activities. I live for it. I like to dance and sing but not in front of others and I breathe in music whenever I move. Most of all, I love Camp Kesem.


Hi, my name is Raven and I am a junior at UT Dallas studying biochemistry. This is my second year in Kesem and I am so excited to help plan our chapter’s very first Make the Magic with Grumpy! I’m looking forward to organizing this incredible event down to all the tiny details and raising money for such an incredible cause.
I’m Goldie and I am a pre-med senior at UTD from Houston, TX. I am passionate about global medicine and infectious diseases and have a heart for community outreach, volunteerism, fine arts and the Spanish language. Hobbies include playing guitar, painting, calligraphy, DIY crafts, cooking and biking. I also enjoy going on crazy adventures with friends and watching comedies and thrillers.


Hi guys! I’m Kevin ‘Toast’ VanHorn. I’m from Denton, Texas, and Kesem means the world to me. It’s going to be an amazing year helping make this camp happen for the 2nd year. I am working on creating a video game company and I enjoy a good smoothie. Cheers!
I’m Duck and I am a Software Engineering Junior that loves coding and playing video games with my friends. I play guitar and piano and sing. I also write and record my own music, and love Camp Kesem.
Hey folks! My name is Arizona, and I am one of Camp Kesem UTD’s Outreach co-coordinators! I am a junior political science major who enjoys having a packed schedule, whether it be volunteering on weekends, managing a newspaper staff, or of course, devoting the rest of my free time to Kesem! Kesem has shown me what family and giving truly mean, and I can’t wait for this year of camp!


My name is Ivy Pham and I am from a little city called Amarillo, TX. I moved to Dallas my second year of college and currently pursuing a degree in Finance at The University of Texas at Dallas. This is my first year being part of Camp Kesem as a Treasurer and i absolutely enjoyed every moments of it. I am excited to work with the rest of people on the team to put together a camp for the kids in the summer! #GoCampKesem


I’m Hot Sauce and I am a Historical Studies Major at UTD. I like to eat Hot Sauce and play Ultimate Frisbee. The End.


Our Supporters

In addition to the year-round support, services, and training we receive from Kesem National,
we are grateful to those who provide support to our local Camp Kesem chapter including:

Our Advisory Board who provides ongoing guidance to our chapter’s leadership team.

Our corporate and foundation donors who provide critical resources to help fund the services we deliver locally.

The many retail and service providers who offer in-kind support for our summer camp as well as many or our year-round services.

Countless individuals – including our families and friends who honor our commitment to Camp Kesem with their financial support and unwavering encouragement.

The original funding to launch Camp Kesem at the University of Texas - Dallas was generously provided by the Rees-Jones Foundation and Novartis.

Nationwide Community

How Kesem National Supports This Chapter

Kesem’s national staff of over 30 professionals is involved in all aspects of establishing and supporting each of our 100+ chapters nationwide as well as the training and oversight of all college student leaders. Our leadership program has been developed over the last 17 years and, while both rigorous and demanding, is focused on providing the highest level of support, service and safety for the children who participate in our programs.

The Kesem Program Director for this chapter (see below) is involved in all aspects of camp and our additional services. While your local student leaders are your primary contact for questions, you are also welcome and encouraged to contact their Program Director with other specific questions.

Meet This Chapter's Program Director

Kirsten Olivarez, Regional Program Director – kirsten.olivarez@kesem.org

Kirsten first got involved with Camp Kesem during her undergraduate career at Northern Arizona University as a Marketing/PR Coordinator for two years. After she graduated, she went to Arizona State University for her Masters in Social Work and worked within the behavioral health/criminal justice system. Her passion to work with families impacted by cancer never faded and she was thrilled to return to the Camp Kesem team as a Regional Program Director in 2018.

Through and Beyond Support Services

Kesem Through and Beyond Support

Our free year-round services provide children impacted by a parent's cancer a continuum of touchpoints throughout the year.

Kesem Connections

Provides Kesem families with regular updates including important deadlines and events.

Camp Kesem

Kesem's flagship program operates over 100 free summer camps in 40 states for children ages 6 to 18 who have been impacted by a parent's cancer.

Kesem By Your Side

Provides customized support for children through the many challenges associated with a parent or guardian's cancer journey.

Warm Welcome

Kesem's care package program that immediately includes all families into our greater community in a personal, supportive manner.

Special Deliveries

Provides all children with personalized greetings–delivered by either traditional or electronic mail.

Friends + Family Day

Regular gatherings for existing and interested camper families, alumni, supporters and Kesem student leaders for a day of community building.

Online Resources

Provides online access to topical resources–including publications, books, organizations and resources.