Camp Kesem is a national non-profit organization that provides free, student-run camps for kids of parents with cancer at universities around the country. The purpose of the camp is to help support families battling with cancer and to give kids a chance to be kids. Camp Kesem is one of four cancer support programs included in the 2013 Community Impact Project created by the LIVESTRONG Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by cancer today. After submitting an application and being selected for an online voting campaign, Yale University was chosen to be one of 12 new chapters opening across the country.
Amanda Murray and Danna Moustafa, Yale College class of 2014, were behind the initial application process. “We felt that considering the reputation and size of Yale Cancer Center, Camp Kesem would be a vital asset to the greater New Haven community,” said Amanda. Currently there are 41 chapters in the country, and they hope to eventually impact the lives of the 3 million children living with a parent who has cancer, and the many more that have lost a parent to cancer.
Camp Kesem engages the children in camp activities like sports, arts and crafts, and drama to give them a fun-filled week. Campers also participate in “Cabin Chats” with fellow campers and counselors, giving children the chance to share their experiences with each other. It is a unique opportunity for them to forget about what is going on at home, and focus on being a kid.
The Yale University chapter plans to open in the summer of 2014. They will be appointed a program director by the national organization and Amanda and Danna will work with them over the next year to fundraise, find a location, recruit student volunteers and campers, and plan the camp activities. Children between the ages of 6-16, whose parent has or had cancer, are eligible to be a part of Camp Kesem. Applications will be available starting next fall. Any Yale undergraduate interested in being involved with the program can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
This Article was submitted by Emily Fenton, on Monday, May 06, 2013.