Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Important Dates

Please use the "Contact Us" button above for questions on dates, times, or event details.

Camp Sessions

August 25-30, 2018

Camp Lakota

56 Park Road

Wurtsboro, NY 12790

Friends + Family Days

Fall Friends + Family Day

October 28, 2018

Please contact us for more details!

Spring Friends + Family Day

March 31, 2019

Please contact us for more details!

Make the Magic

April 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm

New York City Fire Museum

278 Spring Street

New York, NY 10013

Tickets available now

Meet the Team

Fabiola “Mermaid” Plaza, CC 2019 Neuroscience and Music
Why I Kesem: I Kesem because of the magic that happens at camp. The family that is created in one week is what pushes me throughout the year to make camp happen. To see how people can come together through hardships is inspirational, and there is truly no other organization like Kesem. I Kesem because it’s become a huge part of who I am, and it makes me hopeful for the future.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Ava “Ziti” Adler, 2020, Barnard, Biology
Why I Kesem: I Kesem to be part of the family, to help make sure camp is the best it can be for campers that are amazing and inspirational, and to experience the Kesem magic: something impossible to capture in words alone.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Ivy “Lotey” Allotey, 2021, CC, Political Science and Psychology
Why I Kesem: I Kesem to bring smiles to the faces of the youth that will impact our future. There’s so much potential that these strong-willed campers have and I am excited to be part of their experiences and growth one summer at a time. This is a community that they can fall back on and being part of that experience is amazing.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Anju “Pac-Man” Gupta, 2021, CC, Neuroscience & Behavior
Why I Kesem: I Kesem for the amazing community that Kesem is! They inspire me to be the best person that I can be, and remind me that you are never defined by your struggles and hardships.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Sara “Bumblebee” Bernstein, 2021, CC, Computer Science
Why I Kesem: I Kesem because the strength of the campers really inspires me to find good and happiness in everything around me, and they teach me the strength in vulnerability. Though many of them are much younger than me, they are more resilient and strong than I could ever be. In addition to inspiring me, the Kesem kids are also so fun and I love getting to hang out with them and bring a smile to their faces.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Stacy “Sailor” Kanellopoulos, 2020, Barnard, Spanish and Latin American Cultures, Biology
Why I Kesem: I Kesem for the amazing campers, and I Kesem for my mother. I have learned so much from my campers and co-counselors, and I am grateful to be a part of the wonderful Kesem community where we are bound by our common experiences.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Yoav “Bashful” Varadi, 2020 GS/JTS English/Jewish Literature
Why I Kesem: I Kesem because our campers inspire me constantly!

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Lauren “Violet” Sekiguchi, 2021, SEAS, Biomedical Engineering
Why I Kesem: I Kesem for our campers! Instead of allowing cancer to create distance between themselves, they use their shared experience to empower each other. Their strength and resilience is inspiring, and I love watching them explore their passions and share their talents at camp!

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Ingrid “Boba” Lee, Barnard, Cellular and Molecule Bio, French minor
Why I Kesem: I Kesem because I’ve met the most incredible kids and it’s one of the most supportive communities I’ve had in my college career here. One of my personal favorite things is being able to see returning campers every year – witness how much they grow up, how they stay in touch with campers out of camp, and how excited they are for camp activities like the talent show and gaga ball!

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Heather “Piano” Chang, Sophomore, CC, Neuroscience & Economics
Why I Kesem: I Kesem because I want the kids to know that someone understands and cares about them. Having been through the same experience, I know how hard it is. Camp is only one week, but everyone really connect and become family. I love Kesem! <3

Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Huber “Moon” Rodriguez-Tejada, CC 19, Bio major Psych Concentrator
Why I Kesem: I first joined Camp Kesem to help kids that have experienced something people don’t like thinking about. I stayed because of the Kesem family and of how amazing the kids are!

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Meghan “Hudson” Walsh, 2021, Columbia College, Neuroscience and Behavior
Why I Kesem: I Kesem for the magic of camp and the amazing people who understand and support each other through all the ups and the downs of life <3

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Tian “Pocky” Low, 2021, SEAS, Computer Science
Why I Kesem: I Kesem to give back to a community that has given so much to me. :)

Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Jenna “Tink” Marks, 2020, Barnard JTS, Psychology and Jewish Women and Gender studies
Why I Kesem: I Kesem because I love being inspired by all the campers. Each one teaches me something new about myself and about how we should live our lives. I Kesem for the campers. I Kesem because Kesem is their home and now is also mine.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Noam “Bolt” Lindenbaum, 2021, GS/JTS, History/Jewish Women and Gender Studies
Why I Kesem: I Kesem because there is nothing more impactful than positive role models, especially at such a pivotal age in life. The growth opportunity presented to both campers and counselors alike is unprecedented.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Victor “Teddy” Gordillo, Senior, CC, Biochemistry
Why I Kesem: I Kesem because hardship does not define us, but the way we conduct ourselves and the people we choose to support ourselves with does. Kesem is a magical and loving community, and in addition to the friendships and family we gain from camp, I also deeply value the lessons we can gather from each other’s strength and compassion.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Paige “Avocado” Miller, Columbia College, 2019, History
Why I Kesem: I Kesem for the family, both at camp and year-round!

Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Joseph “Slothy” Borrell, Senior, Columbia College, Biology
Why I Kesem: I Kesem because I absolutely love my family at CKCU!!!! Both the counselors and the campers have taught me such valuable life lessons. It feels great to be able to provide a support system for children whose parents have been affected by cancer. They benefit so much from Kesem and it is so meaningful to be a part of that.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Bethany “Ditto” Onyirimba, Junior, Columbia College, Biology
Why I Kesem: I Kesem for all of the young, incredibly strong campers. Through Kesem, I get the chance to meet and to be a source of support for kids who are braver than I could ever be. Kesem is more than just a camp, it is a family!

Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University
Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Our Supporters

In addition to the year-round support, services, and training we receive from Kesem National,
we are grateful to those who provide support to our local Camp Kesem chapter including:

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Our Advisory Board who provides ongoing guidance to our chapter’s leadership team.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Our corporate and foundation donors who provide critical resources to help fund the services we deliver locally.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

The many retail and service providers who offer in-kind support for our summer camp as well as many or our year-round services.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University

Countless individuals – including our families and friends who honor our commitment to Camp Kesem with their financial support and unwavering encouragement.

Community Partners

Walk with Sally

Kling Family Foundation

The original funding to launch Camp Kesem at Columbia University was generously provided by the LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project.

Nationwide Community

How Kesem National Supports This Chapter

Kesem’s national staff of over 30 professionals is involved in all aspects of establishing and supporting each of our 100+ chapters nationwide as well as the training and oversight of all college student leaders. Our leadership program has been developed over the last 17 years and, while both rigorous and demanding, is focused on providing the highest level of support, service and safety for the children who participate in our programs.

The Kesem Program Director for this chapter (see below) is involved in all aspects of camp and our additional services. While your local student leaders are your primary contact for questions, you are also welcome and encouraged to contact their Program Director with other specific questions.

Walk with Sally

Meet This Chapter's Program Director

Zach Snelling, Regional Program Director – zach@kesem.org
Zach Snelling, Regional Program Director – zach@kesem.org

Zach joined the Camp Kesem National staff in 2017 as a Regional Program Director. Before doing so, he served as Co-Director at the University of Richmond, where he graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Zach now resides in Washington, D.C.

Through and Beyond Support Services

Kesem Through and Beyond Support

Our free year-round services provide children impacted by a parent's cancer a continuum of touchpoints throughout the year.

Camp Kesem

Kesem's flagship program operates over 100 free summer camps in 40 states for children ages 6 to 18 who have been impacted by a parent's cancer.

Kesem
Warm Welcome

Kesem's care package program that immediately includes all families into our greater community in a personal, supportive manner.

Kesem
Friends + Family Day

Regular gatherings for existing and interested camper families, alumni, supporters and Kesem student leaders for a day of community building.

Kesem Connections

Provides Kesem families with regular updates including important deadlines and events.

Kesem By Your Side

Provides customized support for children through the many challenges associated with a parent or guardian's cancer journey.

Kesem
Special Deliveries

Provides all children with personalized greetings–delivered by either traditional or electronic mail.

Kesem
Online Resources

Provides online access to topical resources–including publications, books, organizations and resources.

Camp Kesem at Columbia University