Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

Summer 2020 Details TBA

Friends + Family Days

Fall Friends + Family Day

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Please contact us for more information!

Spring Friends + Family Day

Details TBA

Make the Magic

2020 Event Details TBA

Tickets Available Soon

Meet the Team

Amanda “Boots” Glorio-Riley: I’m a special education major originally from Detroit, Michigan! I kesem because with being a teacher I hope to make a difference in children’s lives and through camp I know that i’m making a difference for children that truly need it. All I hope is that Camp Kesem is a week that these kids can actually be kids and just enjoy their lives around them, without all the bad stuff that they have to deal with also.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Jenna “Pebbles” Grant: Hey, my name is Pebbles, and I am a 2018-2019 Co-Director. I am a senior majoring in Elementary Education. I joined Kesem to be a support system and a role model for kids just like me. My mom was diagnosed with a Brain Tumor when I was in 3rd grade. I did not have a resource like Kesem when I was growing up, which makes this organization one of my favorites. Kesem changes lives, builds children’s courage up, and provides a support system for not only the kids, but with the family as well.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Danielle “Java” DiBenedetto: Hi my name is Java! I am a Junior majoring in Communication with a Minor in Digital Media Design. I Kesem in honor of my Aunt who passed away from breast cancer. Being a part of the Camp Kesem family has truly taught me so much about myself and others. This is going to be my second year of camp and I can’t wait to go back!

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Kayne “Queso” Caraway: I am a senior studying public relations. Though I have not had a parent to grow up with cancer, I know what it is like to grow up feeling alone and misunderstood. I want to be the person for these campers that I needed when I was their age. I am inspired daily by my campers, and that is why i continue to Kesem.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Austin “Toast” Lehner: My name is Toast, I am studying Civil Engineering and am in my senior year. The reason I Kesem is because I grew up with cancer all around me and saw first hand, the tolls that it takes on a family. I believe any child who’s family has been affected by cancer deserves a support system. Kesem provides more than just support as it is a family that stays by the child’s side through it all.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Arizona “Texas” Birzgalis: My name is Texas I am a junior majoring in Communication with a concentration in PR and a minor in Marketing. I joined Camp Kesem because I wanted to give back to my community and doing something that could touch multiples lives. To see where my efforts are going and how I’m impacting others lives is my favorite part of this organization.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Meghan “Kale” Needham: I joined Camp Kesem because I saw an opportunity to use my event planning skills to help children and the community. During my time as an event planner I always said I felt as if I was missing something- giving back. Camp Kesem allows me to give back while improving on my passion.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Lindsay “Pickles” Hugo: Hi, my name is Pickles! I am a senior studying elementary education with a minor in environmental education. I joined Kesem because I love kids and I wanted to make a difference in their lives, little did I know they would make a bigger one in mine! I Kesem because I truly believe in the magic of this camp.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Jamey “Extra” Paul: I am a junior majoring in psychology. I’m a member of a sorority and I serve as our Panhellenic Association’s Vice President of Programming for the 2018 year. This is my first year doing Camp Kesem and I am beyond excited! I became interested in Camp Kesem because in high school, my best friend was diagnosed with Leukemia. This experience has inspired me to join CK and improve the lives of the children impacted by a parent’s cancer.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Evelyn “Tank” Pacheco: I am junior at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in Criminal Justice. I love giving back and helping out my community in any possible way that I can. I enjoy writing poetry, learning new languages, traveling, spending quality time with friends and family. I live my life by “Being comfortable with the uncomfortable”.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Gulf Coast
Florida Gulf Coast
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Monique “Sherlock” Colon: Hi! I am a senior majoring in Sociology. I Kesem because I want to make a positive impact and offer support to these kids and their family when they are going through difficult times. I truly believe in what Camp Kesem stands for and I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Marck “Hamilton” Molina: Hi everyone! I am a Senior this year at FGCU majoring in communication with a focus in public relations and a minor in digital media design. I Kesem because I want to help our campers realize that they are strong and powerful individuals going through some of the toughest times they will ever face. My own experiences with cancer affecting my loved ones has shown me just how much strength it takes, so being able to help our campers during camp means the world to me.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

Gabriela “Kit Kat” Utroska: I am a junior majoring in psychology. I’m a member of a sorority and I serve as our Panhellenic Association’s Vice President of Programming for the 2018 year. This is my first year doing Camp Kesem and I am beyond excited! I became interested in Camp Kesem because in high school, my best friend was diagnosed with Leukemia. This experience has inspired me to join CK and improve the lives of the children impacted by a parent’s cancer.

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University
Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast 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 Florida Gulf Coast University

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

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast University

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

Camp Kesem at Florida Gulf Coast 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 Florida Gulf Coast 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

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

Jean-Luc Rivera, Regional Program Director – jean-luc@kesem.org
Jean-Luc Rivera, Regional Program Director – jean-luc@kesem.org

Jean-Luc joined the Camp Kesem National team in 2017 as a Regional Program Director. He first got involved with Camp Kesem in 2014 as a counselor with the Camp Kesem at North Carolina chapter and returned as a counselor again for his senior year. After graduating, he worked for Camp Corral, a camping nonprofit that provides military children with a free camping experience. There he was able to learn the ropes of the camping world and develop his passion for camp even more. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2015 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Biology. He is from Raleigh, North Carolina and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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 Florida Gulf Coast University

This chapter's page is still under construction, check back soon!