Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State 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

Details TBA

Please contact us for more details!

Spring Friends + Family Day

Details TBA

Make the Magic

2020 Event Details TBA

Tickets Available Soon

Meet the Team

Rachel “Mickey” Pini: Hi, I’m Mickey! I’m a senior studying Integrated Science and Education. As a Co-Director this year, I’m excited to spread the Kesem magic to even more West Michigan families! Kesem is so important because these children deserve a week to just be kids. The smiles on their faces at camp are worth every ounce of work we put in during the year.

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Caroline “LuLu” Brereton: I am a senior at GVSU and a Biomedical Science major with an emphasis in Microbiology. I plan on attending medical school after graduation and I hope to go into pediatrics! I Kesem because every kid deserves a to have a childhood. No child should have to watch a parent suffer and Camp Kesem provides these kids the chance to build a community with others who are going through the same thing.

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Leah “Poppy” Cook: Hi! I’m a junior at GVSU and am majoring in nursing! My goal while being part of Kesem is to help give a week of childhood back to these campers, without cancer having to get in the way. Cancer feels lonely, but Kesem is here to remind us all that we aren’t alone.

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Colton “Coaster” Tinsley: I kesem because I know I would want a group of volunteers to help my family if we were going through cancer.

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Gabby “Daisy” Ermanni: I am a senior majoring in Health Communications. I Kesem to give the campers a second community they can call home and just be themselves with no worries for a week.

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Matthew “Tadpole” Had: Yo yo yo this is Tadpole and I’m a senior studying math and stats. I’m passionate about Kesem because these little tots deserve the world! I also can juggle (a max of three objects)!

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Emma “Cookie Dough” VanBoven: Hi! I’m Cookie Dough and I’m a junior at GVSU studying Allied Health Science (Pre-PA) and minoring in Nonprofit Management. I’m passionate about kesem because I have personally felt the amazing affects of Kesem! I was a camper, CIT, counselor at CK at University of Michigan, where my younger siblings are still campers at, and a founder of GVSU’s chapter 2 years ago. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to help plan the first ever Make The Magic gala for GVSU this year!

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Anthony “Siri” Nguyen: I’m a senior majoring in science with an emphasis on clinical therapy. It is my passion to be a cheerleader for others; and to encourage kids to have a blast, be themselves, and do my best to give them a summer highlight they’ll never forget. I am also not to be mistaken for Alexa. :)

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Hannah “Minnie” Parent: I’m a sophomore double majoring in Supply Chain Management and Finance. I kesem because our campers deserve to have a place where they can be themselves and feel supported by friends who understand what they are going through. I am most excited for camp songs and messy games.

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Breanna “Bumblebee” Kooienga: Hello! My name is Bumblebee and I am a junior at GVSU. I’m studying Biomedical Science with a Human Rights minor. I’m passionate about Camp Kesem because I love that it provides a space for kids to find a support lifelong support system during a difficult time and gives them a chance to escape and simply be kids for a week. This is my second year as one of the operations co-coordinators and I am super excited for our second year of camp!

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Rachael “Tinkerbell” Behl: I’m a 5th year senior studying Secondary English Education. I Kesem because no one should have to face cancer alone. Camp Kesem is one big family, and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Zach “Astro” Brown: I’m a junior in college studying Biomedical Sciences. I am passionate about Kesem because I want to be able to give children a chance to be kids again and not have to worry about the stresses of life. I love helping people, and I want to be able to give back because everyone deserves to have a great childhood free of stresses of cancer.

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Alex “Bucket” Miller: I kesem as an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. Having seen the change kesem has on our campers, there’s nothing more I’d like to do than continue to work hard and make the magic happen together.

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State
Grand Valley State
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Sarah “Skittles” Miller: I’m a junior at GV and am studying accounting. This will be my second year as CK treasurer! I Kesem because I love giving kids the opportunity to meet others similar to them and they can just be kids!

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Mariah “MoMo” Slaughter: Hi I’m a senior and my major is social work. I’m passionate about Kesem because I want to help create the magic for campers, much like my counselors did for me when I was a camper at Kesem. Camp creates a little family that I’m extremely proud to be a part of. My favorite song is Jellyfish!

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

Caleb “Danger” DeBoer: I’m a junior and my major is Secondary Education and Social Studies. I love Kesem because it is one big family where everyone can let go and be silly. Camp-self=Best-self!

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University
Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State 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 Grand Valley State University

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

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State University

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

Camp Kesem at Grand Valley State 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 Grand Valley State 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

Kofi Bonsu, Regional Program Director – kofi.bonsu@kesem.org

Kofi joined the Kesem National team in April 2019 as a Regional Program Director. He first became involved with Camp Kesem while attending the University of California, Irvine in 2015. Driven and excited by an opportunity to serve others who have also been affected by a parent's cancer, he served as an Operations Coordinator before becoming a Chapter Co-Director the following year. After graduating in 2017, he was blessed with an opportunity to continue serving the chapter as a CIT Counselor. Previously, he has also worked in higher education counseling, non-profit educational media, as well as with fostered, minority, underserved and underrepresented, youth populations. He hopes to do his part to help Kesem Magic spread so that no child ever has to go through cancer alone! Kofi is originally from San Diego, California and will be relocating to Chicago, Illinois.

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 Grand Valley State University

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