During my four years of college, I dedicated a lot of my free time to Camp Kesem – a nonprofit organization that not only supports kids through and beyond their parent’s cancer, but builds character, empathy, and so much more in the college-student counselors. I met some of my best friends through the organization and made amazing memories. I truly built a foundation of support that acts like family. The people that make Kesem have personality traits that everyone dreams of and they all truly helped me become the best version of me.
Throughout the year, myself with the rest of the 90 or so volunteers would fundraise for the summer camp, plan the camp, engage the community, bond as a family and so much more. Then, the magical week came after the school year ended, where we would take hundreds of kids affected by their parent’s cancer to give them a week of fun every kid deserves and a safe space where they can talk about their adversity.
Being a summer camp counselor for Camp Kesem was always something I took pride in. I adore the people in the organization, stand by the mission, and strive to help those affected by cancer. This year volunteering as a counselor at Camp Kesem was my last. And this year, I truly feel that I left my heart at camp.
I have so so so many favorite memories from camp each year, but something special that always stays in my heart is our ceremony called ‘Empowerment’ where the counselors and campers go in a circle and say how we have all been affected by cancer. It’s always an emotional time where we cry so much that our eyes are swollen for at least two days. It’s one of those experiences where it is impossible to explain into words because it is that powerful.
Even though this was my last year volunteering as a summer counselor, I know I will always be involved in Camp Kesem through different ways. To start, I’m serving on two universities’ Advisory Boards where I will be helping them find resources, networking, and giving them ideas on how to create the best support system for the kids!
To find a camp close by to you: Find a Camp
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To donate: Donate (donations are tax-deductible)