Camp Kesem at Syracuse 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

Sunday, November 10, 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

Yvette “Snowflake” Rother: I’m Snowflake, a senior psychology and neuroscience dual major, and my favorite camp song is the Closing Circle Song! I Kesem because this organization offers an opportunity to support the strongest and most deserving children ever! Words will never be able to truly describe the bonds that are formed at Camp Kesem. Cancer is scary and confusing, yet Kesem offers a light through the dark times. I’m so lucky to be able to lead our chapter with my incredible co-coordinator, Ohana.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Madeline “Ohana” Merwin: I’m Ohana, a senior political philosophy major and biology and human development & family science dual minor, and my favorite camp song is Oh, A Milkshake! I Kesem to give kids the same love, support, joy, and family that I received at UC Davis Kesem. I am so proud to spread our mission in order to give our campers a week of bliss and empowerment and to give their families a friend. Kesem is life, motivation, why I am the who I am, the best week of the year, a support system, and a family.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

John “Jimpy” Doscas: I’m Jimpy, a junior graphic design major and psychology and management studies dual minor, and my favorite camp song is Boa Constrictor! I Kesem to spread love. Everyone knows what it feels like to feel alone, but Kesem is a beautiful organization built on love and support. Camp Kesem campers are some of the strongest children you will ever meet & I am proud to get loose & get funky as a camp counselor!

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Anastasia “Breeze” Breeze: I’m Breeze, a junior public relations major and Spanish minor, and my favorite camp song is Get Loose, Get Funky! I Kesem to feel the magic that helps us get through the both good and not-so-good days as a community, camp organization, and family.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Mady “Daisy” Fagant: I’m Daisy, a sophomore biotechnology major and environmental biology minor, and my favorite camp song is Oh, A Milkshake! I Kesem for all of the laughs, messy games, camp songs, smiles, and s’mores. Most importantly, I Kesem because these kids deserve all of the love and support in the world.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Brian “Toast” Ellsworth: I’m Toast, a junior medicinal chemistry and Spanish dual major and psychology and addiction studies dual minor, and my favorite camp song is Boom Chicka Boom! I Kesem because I had seen how cancer had affected the way my cousins learned how to grieve, deal, and ultimately raise their own kids. I want to be the person my cousins needed when they were younger. I Kesem to be a support system for the kids I was able to meet this summer and for all the future campers.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Ajené “Spice” Arokium: I’m Spice, a sophomore political science major and sport management minor, and my favorite camp song is Little Red Wagon! I Kesem for the kids, to make sure that they can really just be kids and not have to grow up too fast.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Sarah “Chip” Baker: I’m Chip, a senior speech pathology major, and my favorite camp song is Great Big Moose! I Kesem because it provides campers, families and counselors a year-round supply of support, energy and love! Camp Kesem has shaped me into the person I am today and I will be forever grateful for everything it has given campers, families, counselors, and our community. I am so excited and grateful to be given the opportunity to make some magic this year with my co-coordinator, Spice!

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Molly “Good Golly” Murphy: I’m Good Golly, a junior social work major and Spanish and addiction studies dual minor, and my favorite camp song is Great Big Moose! I Kesem because cancer does not stand a fighting chance when there is love like Camp Kesem love. Camp Kesem campers are a guiding light through cancer and adversity, and it is a privilege to be able to contribute what I do for Kesem.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Evan “Lucky” Moss Carter: I’m Lucky, a senior psychology major and biology minor, and my favorite camp song is Great Big Moose! I was initially drawn to Kesem by its promise to allow kids to step back from the stress and fear of cancer and be kids again. I experienced losses at a young age and as a teenager, and felt as if I had nobody. Kesem has given me the resources to live by the mantra “Be the person you needed when you were younger.” I Kesem to be a part of an amazing support network and a family.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Sally “Sugar” Rubin: I’m Sugar, a junior television, radio & film and English & textual studies dual major and Spanish minor, and my favorite camp song is This is Pepe! I Kesem because I believe all kids deserved a chance to experience childhood as it should be, without the pressure of a parent’s cancer. I Kesem for the laughs, the water fights, the tears at cabin chat and the cheers during lunchtime cookie eating competitions. I Kesem for every minute of it.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Melissa “Koala” Navarro: I’m Koala, a junior medicinal chemistry major and addiction studies minor, and my favorite camp song is Humpty Dumpty! I Kesem to attempt to bring the magic into others’ lives like it was brought into mine! Camp Kesem came into my life at a time when I really needed it, and it has become my family and my home away from home. Every child deserves to feel loved and to feel special, and Camp Kesem brings that to them. Camp Kesem makes the bad days a bit better, and the good days magical!

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Harry “Stitch” VanWagenen: I’m Stitch, a senior biology major, and my favorite camp song is Humpty Dumpty! I Kesem because when I lost my grandmother to colon cancer at 7 years old, I did not have that support system that Camp Kesem provides. I want to give these kids the childhood that they deserve and make sure they never have to feel alone. There is no greater feeling than seeing your camper smile and laugh!

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Syracuse University
Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Maria “Books” Velazquez: I’m Books, a senior mechanical engineering and renewable energy dual major, and my favorite camp song is Boa Constrictor! Kesem gave me the amazing opportunity to help others through their situation. I want to help children feel more stronger and comfortable with themselves while having them know that there are people who care, understand and have their backs!

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Buddy “Vinyl” Paladino: I’m Vinyl, a senior psychology major, and my favorite camp song is Boom Chicka Boom! I Kesem for the family I have found through this organization. Here at Syracuse University, Kesem was where I found a home full of friends and support unlike anything I’d ever known before. I want to give as many people as possible the ability to have a home away from home through Camp Kesem; people who are always there for support and to be there for one another.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

Liliana “Sister” Schoenke: I’m Sister, a junior selected education major, and my favorite camp song is Get Loose, Get Funky! I Kesem because I want to help create a positive and fun community for the children who are affected by a parent’s cancer.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse University
Camp Kesem at Syracuse 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 Syracuse University

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

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University

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

Camp Kesem at Syracuse 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 Syracuse 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

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 Syracuse University

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