Camp Kesem is a university-based summer camp program. College students fundraise and host the camps, free of charge for children with a parent who has, or has had cancer. The program began in 2001 with Stanford University hosting a camp for 37 children affected by cancer. Camp Kesem has since grown through replication to 23 additional universities hosting camps from Los Angeles to Boston and serving over 1,000 children a year.
Through the 2011 Community Impact Project LIVESTRONG will fund the replication of this program at 12 universities with seed funding of $10,000 per campus. These funds will not go directly to the school, but will instead be managed by Camp Kesem for students to use towards camp expenses. Initial trainings and communication will begin in the summer of 2011 with the award covering a 12-month period. The camps funded through this cycle will be held in the summer of 2012. This program is entirely student run, and requires input and work from a broad group of students as well as the university itself to succeed. Students implementing the program would be responsible for additional fundraising for the program to succeed and continue on an annual basis.
Students implementing this program will also be trained as LIVESTRONG leaders, becoming representatives of LIVESTRONG and our resources within the local community. This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in careers in health care, policy, nonprofit or public health fields, in addition to gaining valuable leadership skills. Students will have the opportunity to distribute LIVESTRONG resources to local schools, hospitals, cancer centers and community organizations and educate their local cancer community on how we can help.
This program is ideal for student government organizations and service oriented student led organizations. The Camp Kesem program funded through LIVESTRONG allows students to become engaged within their community by providing assistance to a population that is often overlooked. To be considered for this award, students must also send in a letter of support from their university’s president or chancellor, or from their student activities association. This letter may be uploaded during the application process, mailed, faxed or emailed to Community@LIVESTRONG.org.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Camp Kesem Program Co-Chairs will identify, recruit, train and supervise student leadership teams to launch the new Camp Kesem chapters at selected universities
- Camp Kesem Student Leaders will raise awareness in their college and cancer communities, train new student leaders, recruit new campers and fundraise to maximize the number of campers age 6-16 served annually
- Camp Kesem Student Leaders will transfer knowledge to incoming student leaders, broaden and accelerate community partnerships and fundraising to ensure the long term sustainability of Camp Kesem nationally
- Student leaders will complete LIVESTRONG leader training to better support people affected by cancer and educate them on LIVESTRONG's cancer support services