What is Camp Kesem? Counselor Blog
What is Camp Kesem?
If you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you’re one of two sorts of people.
- Someone who genuinely doesn’t know what Camp Kesem is, but stumbled across us somehow and wants to know what the deal is with all these green and blue caterpillars.
- Someone who knows what Camp Kesem is, but is obsessed with all things CK and would read pretty much anything about our campers.
If you don’t fit into either of these categories, I apologize. But from my experience, either you don’t know what CK is, or you know what it is and it has become your passion. I know I can say that for those of us at CKOSU.
Here at Camp Kesem OSU, we provide a free, week-long summer camp for kids (and teens!) ages 6-16 whose parents have or have had cancer. This year, we will be providing camp for 45 campers, over doubling the rock star campers we had last year. Because 100% of the funds are raised by us, that means our fundraising goal has over doubled, too! As a group of ragtag college students we have quite a challenge ahead of us, but we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. If you’ve met a single one of our absolutely incredible campers and witnessed their transformation at camp, you know we have all of the motivation in the world.
Camp Kesem is, in a word, magic. It’s the magic that occurs when a kid who hasn’t smiled in ages cracks a smile when a dingo smells his breath. It’s the magic that occurs when a camper tells a counselor that it’s an “honor” to be at this camp. It’s the magic that is allowed when a young person gets rid of their “real” name for a week and is allowed to be 100% themselves, being cared for and respected by their community for who they truly are. The magic that allows a camper to cry without fear of judgment or humiliation. It’s the magic that provides a camp which can “crush bad dreams away” from a young person. Magic that allows a parent to spend all week in the hospital running tests and knowing their child is having the best week of their life. The magic that transforms caterpillars to butterflies. The magic that provides a camp to a young person that otherwise would have been financially impossible. Magic that provides laughter and goony birds and water balloons and felt ties and shaving cream and hippos and tree-hugging and smiles and the feeling that everything is finally going to be alright.
I will never be able to thank the CKOSU campers and families enough for the way they’ve changed my life and inspired me in every possible way. If you want to know what Camp Kesem is, look no further than the smiles of our campers. Camp Kesem is magic.
Keep on the lookout for camper applications later this month. If you are interested in donating, check out our Friends of Camp Kesem Team Page http://www.friendsofcampkesem.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1036349&lis=1&kntae1036349=B8A09911F7B8412290E992E4E65DB8FB&supId=0&team=5272592&cj=Y
As always, get the latest on our social media pages.
-Aubry “Bear” Vonck
Co-Chair, Camp Kesem OSU