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Camp Kesem, a summer camp for kids whose parents have or have had cancer, takes place on 37 university campuses across the United States as part of the larger organization, Camp Kesem National. Each year a group of students host Camp Kesem at Stanford.
The camp is similar to a regular sleep away summer camp – it features sports, art and drama activities and hikes through nature. But unlike other summer camps, here, every camper in attendance has had an experience with cancer in their immediate family. The camp, organizers say, gives them room to bond and grow over shared tragedy.
Camp Kesem is offered free-of-charge, as most families affected by cancer are already under a large financial burden. To achieve this, organizers engage in year-round fundraising. They also ensure a 2-to-1 counselor-to-camper ratio. This year, Camp Kesem will host 150 campers, ages 6 to 16, from Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and the surrounding areas. It will take place in the Santa Cruz Mountains, June 17-23.
This video takes us inside the camp and introduces us to the dedicated volunteers who make it possible.