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Welcome to Ye Olde Camp Kesem-a-lot

photo 2High on the mountaintops of land Blue Ridge a magical kingdom reigns. Camp Kesemalot is more than just a realm of kings and queens; it is a place like no other. Today our kingdom grew as we welcomed many excited wizards, oracles, knights and more. As they arrived each were knighted a new name, one that will forever mark their home in Camp Kesemalot. Forty-four in total,
everyone spent much of the afternoon playing name games and singing camp songs. From “Ride that pony” to “Honey I love you” smiles seemed to be popping up left and right. For many kids it might be the first time being away from home, but sometimes it was hard to tell that our campers hadn’t been best friends forever. After learning new songs and games, everyone filed back to their castles to settle in and unpack before our opening ceremony. We kicked things off with a skit of magical proportions. Sir Gravy was on his way to deliver the chest of Camp Kesem Magic to Queen Muggle when Lord Lightning brought mayhem to the kingdom by stealing the chest. Our knights’, wizards’ and oracles’ mission had just begun. Throughout the week they must help Sir Gravy retrieve the chest of magic. However, any journey can’t truly begin on an empty stomach. A feast was served followed by a bond fire and s’mores. With full stomachs and sleepy eyes the campers returned to their castles for Cabin Chat. This is a special activity each Camp Kesem Kingdom across the nation participates in. Each night a cabin will gather around and talk about what may start off as a superficial conversation, but ends up being so much more. It’s a time campers break down the walls photo 1we all put up when dealing with a parent who has or had cancer. It’s easy in their situations to be guarded, unsure if the person sitting next to them will understand what it feels like. As camp progresses, cabin chats become those truly magical moments when each realizes their not alone anymore. Cancer is a disease that doesn’t hurt just one person, but a family. One person isn’t fighting, we all are. Knowing their are others out there that support you and will always be there for you is what Camp Kesem is all about. Today was only the first day, but like the rays of light shining through the trees, you can see each camper shining through the pain. The magic of this week is just beginning to twinkle in their eyes. As each new song is learned, each smile shared, each new friend made the cancer loses. Here in Camp Kesemalot kids are not only wizards, knights and oracles, but kids again knowing that cancer can never take away their Camp Kesem family.