Camp Kesem
Camp Kesem operates free summer camps for children who have been impacted by a parent's cancer. Camp Kesem operates free summer camps for children who have been impacted by a parent's cancer. Camp Kesem operates free summer camps for children who have been impacted by a parent's cancer. Camp Kesem aims to give children impacted by a parent's cancer a community of people who understand what they are going through by planning and operating a free summer camp.

Project Description

The University of Maryland chapter of Camp Kesem seeks to address the issues of an often overlooked population. Camp Kesem is the only organization of its kind that support children whose parents are suffering from cancer. There are over 5 million children who are affected by a parent's cancer. This is a small enough population for children who have a parent suffering from cancer to feel alone, and not have any peers that understand what they are going through. However, this population is large enough that our camp can make an immense impact. The goal of Camp Kesem is to create a community of individuals that can relate to each other about the struggles that they go through when dealing with cancer in their families. Camp Kesem is a week long free summer camp during which the campers get to have fun, but also have an accepting community to relate to and have open dialogue about the struggles that they are facing. Camp Kesem also provides leadership opportunities to students through the opportunity to plan and operate the summer camp. Camp Kesem's target population are families affected by cancer, including both parents and their children. In addition, Camp Kesem aims to engage students at the University of Maryland. The venture will give an overlooked population of children the opportunity to be a kid, and not have to think or worry about the health of their parent. The camp will also give the parents an opportunity to focus on their own health, and not have to worry about caring for their children or hiding their sickness from their children. The camp that will take place in the summer will be in St. Mary's county in Southern Maryland, and will be open to campers from all over the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. Camp Kesem is advised by the national Camp Kesem organization to remain within organization guidelines.

Team Members

Alexander Tran
Kaylee Helmbacher
Logan Dechter
Devin Cain
Gillian Vesely

Social Issue/Cause

Childhood Development, Mental Health, Cancer

Type of Activities

Fundraising/Giving/Philanthropy, Community Organizing