Camp Kesem Virtual Home Fun – We all have been seeing the news about the challenges we are facing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many communications feel similar, yet all express the same idea: these are unique times, and communities like Camp Kesem matter now more than ever.
Camp Kesem will continue to be there for the families we support. We will be converting our in-person summer camp program to a virtual camp for our camper families called “Kesem at Home.” This will allow Kesem to keep our campers, camper families, student leaders, and other volunteers as safe as possible during this time. We are excited about the opportunity to introduce new and innovative ways to keep our Kesem community connected, and we will continue to build a sense of belonging and confidence over the summer. Kesem will always be here to provide families hope.
Kesem at Home is a program designed to allow children impacted by a parent’s cancer the opportunity to build connections and relationships, provide avenues for self-expression and reflection, and to have fun with other kids who are going through similar experiences. This is a virtual program that brings the support of Kesem to the homes of our campers, where they will participate in interactive activities and discussions with other campers and their counselors as well as activities they can take offline to complete by themselves or with their family. Kesem at Home, like all of our Kesem programming, will be completely free of cost and available to any and all families impacted by a parent or guardian’s cancer. We want to make sure every camper has the opportunity to experience camp, and we will work with each family to make sure you have the necessary supplies to engage with all of our programmings.
Kesem at Home programming will be offered at both the chapter and the national level. Local chapters will each have their own unique schedule and each camper will have a schedule tailored to them. Campers must apply to take part in chapter programming. If your internet access is limited, we can also complete the online application for you over the phone. Kesem at Home national programming will feature twice-weekly live and recorded online activities, social media interaction, and offline activities for campers and constituents. There is no registration required for Kesem at Home national programming, visit our social media pages for more information. Everyone is free to participate as much as you’d like.
New campers will join returning campers in quickly becoming part of a loving, inclusive, and supportive community—filled with peers who understand and respect each other. Being a part of this community and with other kids who are just like them is empowering, comforting, encouraging, and inspirational. Our campers will still be given some of their favorite opportunities to share in such as “Cabin Chats” (facilitated by our trained student leaders and held with others their age) and an Empowerment Ceremony, both intended to embrace the community created at Kesem at Home. Other activities may include crafting projects led by trained counselors, or group dance classes. All supplied needed to complete camp activities will be mailed out to campers before camp. Throughout a week of camp, campers will be able to participate in several virtual programs throughout each day of camp. Each activity will be designed for either a small group of campers or the whole camp and will be led by counselors and facilitators trained in leading online activities. Kesem at Home will also include a virtual “Empowerment” ceremony where campers have the opportunity to share their experiences with cancer and hear from counselors who have their own stories.
Now more than ever, the magic of Kesem must go beyond the week of camp we usually share together. We look forward to providing Kesem at Home to our families soon and continue to keep our community updated along the way. All of us at Kesem feel incredibly grateful to connect with the families we serve and look forward to meeting more each year. If you are interested in registering your kiddo for Kesem at Home or have questions about our programming, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to chat with you. We can’t wait to share another year of Kesem magic together.