The mission of Camp Kesem is to provide a student-run summer camp program for children who have or have had a parent with cancer, where campers build self-esteem and gain support from peers facing similar challenges. With a camper-counselor ratio of 3:1, campers receive the special attention and support that they would not receive at a regular summer camp.
Camp Kesem at Johns Hopkins University is an organization that endeavors to reintroduce normality into the lives of children whose parents are either currently struggling with cancer, or have in the past. This is achieved through a week-long summer camp that connects children burdened with similar adversity and hardship to one another and offers an environment of joy, support, and encouragement fully equipped with a certified psychologist and nurse.
Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. We are the largest national organization dedicated to this unique population – supporting children with innovative, fun-filled programs that foster a lasting community. According to the Camp Kesem national website, 98% of parents believe that Camp Kesem has a positive impact on their family. There are 105 Kesem chapters, including the Johns Hopkins chapter. Our camp this year will serve 50 children, with many on a waitlist who we hope to serve in the future. The camp is secular in nature and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, or background. The age of the children ranges from 6 to 16. Our goal is to fundraise $55,000 so that camp is free for our campers - no cost is incurred for the families that participate in Camp Kesem. This year (2019), camp will be held from August 18h to August 23th at Camp Louise in Cascade, Maryland