Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

Week 1: June 30 – July 5, 2019
Week 2: July 8-13, 2019

YMCA Camp Kern

5291 State Route 350

Oregonia, OH 45054

Friends + Family Days

Fall Friends + Family Day

December 1, 2018

Please contact us for more details!

Spring Friends + Family Day

April 6, 2019

Please contact us for more details!

Make the Magic

March 23, 2019 at 5:00pm

Columbus Mariott Northwest

5605 Blazer Pkwy

Dublin, Ohio 43017

Tickets available now

Meet the Team

Betsy “Anna Sun” Whiteman: I am a fourth year Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability student double minoring in Global Public Health and Neuroscience! This is my fourth year as a counselor and my second year as a director for CKOSU. I love long distance running and Waffle House and I had my fourth grade birthday party at CiCi’s pizza. I’m super duper excited to be involved in Kesem again this year and be apart of the CKOSU team <3

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Kaylee “Kitten” Ploskonka: I am a super senior studying Nursing with a minor in Human Development and Family Science! This is my fifth year as a part of Kesem and my second year as Director. Some of my favorite things in the world are chocolate peanut butter ice cream, Ohio State football (Go Bucks!) and my cat, Callie. My favorite camp songs to lead are Princess Pat and the Birdie Song! Kesem has truly changed my life and I am SO excited to spend another year being a part of such a wonderful organization!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Molly “Boo” Davies: Hi, I’m Boo! I’m on my senior year (part 1) and am pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. This is my third year in Kesem but my first as a coord member! I love my family and my dog, Bernie! One of my best memories was watching the Royal wedding. I’m super excited for this upcoming year with Kesem and am ready to make some magic!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Ryann “Bread” Hawkins: Hello, I’m Bread! It’s a hard choice, but if I could be any bread, I’d be cinnamon raisin! I am in my fourth (but not last) year at THE Ohio State University and am pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. This is my third year in Kesem; I CANNOT get enough! I really, really LOVE cows. The highlight of my summer, besides attending Kesem camps, was when I heard that Wendy’s dropped their frosty prices to only 50 cents. The chocolate ones pair very nicely with their fries, in my opinion.

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Evan “Blitz” Catton: My name is Blitz and I am a development coordinator! I am a 4th-year biomedical engr. student with a focus on cell+tissue engr., biomechanics, and micro-nano tech. I have been a part of Kesem here at OSU since its start in 2011! I can’t wait to pour all that I have into this beautiful organization, it has done more for me than mere words can describe. Every year, I look forward to sharing that week with our campers and experiencing the CK magic together under the same moon and stars.

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Bryan “Chewy” Chu: I’m Chewy! This is my second year with Kesem! I am studying Biology and plan to become a Pediatrician. I am super pumped for this year of camp! I love being goofy and making people laugh! Outside of Kesem you can catch me on the courts, spending time with family and friends, admiring nature, or bumping to 2000’s playlists. I once visited South Korea and tried live squid! I love trying new foods, but Mexican food is my favorite! I enjoy spending my Saturday’s cheering on the Bucks!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Claire “Fuego” Ackerman: I’m majoring in Integrated Language Arts. I hope to become an English teacher and dance coach. I believe that it is my job to fight cancer in anyway I can to honor my sister’s boyfriend, Bradley. He passed away after battling cancer for a year& beating it but unfortunately experienced complications that eventually took his life. I do everything to share his story, to represent him in the light that he deserves. I believe that there are No Bad Days. I hope to display that during my time in Kesem.

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Sonya “Jellybean” Kim: Hi, I’m Jellybean! I’m a second year at Ohio State studying Neuroscience and looking to pursue a minor in Nonprofit Studies. I love to eat chicken nuggets, especially in dino form! When I’m not supporting our Bucks at the Shoe, I like to spend my Saturdays exploring more of Columbus. I’m always looking for new places to eat and love going to concerts! When I was really little I used to greet random people at restaurants while they ate. Big supporter of pineapple on pizza :)

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Audriana “Otter” Adams: Otter Here! I am this years co-coordinator for Make the Magic! I am senior majoring in Biology and minoring in Childhood Developmental Psychology. If I am not at Kesem, you can find me stuffing my face with corndogs, running the trails, or reading a book in the park. There’s nothing I love more than being outside in nature, whether it’s hiking, biking, or even cruising around on back roads. Even though my camp name is Otter, I’ve never learned how to swim. The cool pool is for me!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Abby “Duckie” Pitts: A fun fact about me is that I dance, water ski, and golf. My favorite food is ice cream and grapes. I love to spend my Saturday’s going to different restaurants in Columbus and spending time outside.

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University


Gabby “Flea” Ricard:
Hi! I’m a senior studying nursing. I’ve been involved with Camp Kesem for four years! The name Flea was originally a nickname given to me by my grandpa because of my size as a child. In my free time I love spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy running, playing soccer, and watching Ohio State football.

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Dominic “Badger” Caracci: I am a junior from Cincinnati studying Civil Engineering with a minor in Business. This is my 8th year being involved with Camp Kesem (3 as a camper, 2 as a CIT, and 3 as a counselor)! My favorite food is pasta and I love playing soccer and spending quality time with my pals. I’m a huge netflixer and a sucker for reality TV. I loved teen camp as a camper and I am super excited to be a CITeen Coordinator this year!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Ezgi “Crocs” Ulger: I love to try different types of ethnic dishes. I’m Turkish, so that is my favorite, but I will eat basically anything!! I like to spend my saturdays studying at a coffee shop. A fun fact about me is that I love journaling. I also have a love hate relationship with running. I am obsessed with bubble tea. My favorite time of the day is 6 a.m.

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Sabrina “Bueno” Hernandez: Hey CK! I’m Bueno and am in my third year at Ohio State studying Marketing. This is my second year being an Outreach Coordinator and I am very excited to continue to grow and connect with our kesem families. Outside of school, you can catch me at football games or hanging out with my friends and family! I love to draw, knit, and crochet. I am a movie junkie and am obsessed with Netflix! I’m excited for what this year of Kesem has in store! I know it will be an amazing!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Sarah “Rapunzel” Bright: I’m Rapunzel and this is my 3rd year in Kesem. I am a 4th year majoring in Health Sciences and minoring in Developmental Psychology. After graduation, I will be staying at OSU and working on my Doctorate of Physical Therapy with a specialization in pediatrics! I’m in love with all things Disney. I think cookie dough is 1000 times better than cookies. My favorite parts of camp are messy games, the talent show, and SPIRIT CHECK! I am so excited to help make this another magical year for Kesem!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Ohio State
Ohio State
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Austin “Wakjau” Reifsteck: I really like a good calzone and peanut butter, but not at the same time. I like to spend my Saturdays climbing rocks. Fun fact: Penguins have knees (you didn’t say it had to be about me). Anything else: I really like scalps and being covered with paint. At the same time.

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Ellie “Caribou” Anderson: Hey pals! I am a third year studying Chemistry with the hopes of becoming a high school chemistry teacher when I grow up. I love eating oreos and spending my Saturdays in the Shoe cheering on the Buckeyes. JK Dobbins even told me he likes my Minnesotan accent!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Emerson “Beesly” Goldenbagen: I am a second year Secondary Mathematics Education major; I LOVE calculus! If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would hands down be sushi. On Saturdays you can find me cheering on the Buckeyes at the football games or at home watching The Office literally all day. Kesem allows me to be my true and best self and my favorite part is getting to be as goofy as possible! I’m so excited for this upcoming year of singing camp songs, dancing like crazy, and doing all things CK!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

Sara “Chick-n-mini” Guagliardo: I’m a senior at Ohio State studying Pharmaceutical Sciences, specifically Drug Discovery and Development. Originally from Chicago, I love the Midwest and big cities. I love being silly so anything I can have fun with is my kind of activity. I love how Kesem has given me the confidence to be unapologetically me. You can sing a camp song with me any day of the week, they’re my favorite part of camp. Grab Chick-fil-A with me anytime!

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University
Camp Kesem at The Ohio 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 The Ohio State University

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

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University

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

Camp Kesem at The Ohio 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 The Ohio 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

Abi Yates, Regional Program Director – abi@kesem.org
Abi Yates, Regional Program Director – abi@kesem.org

Abi joined the Camp Kesem National team as a Regional Program Director in 2016. Her first experience of Kesem was in 2005 as a camper at Camp Kesem at Indiana University. After losing her father to cancer in 2010, Abi was inspired to give back by becoming a Camp Kesem counselor in college. In the years following, Abi went to Indiana University and was able to be a Coordinator for three years and served as Co-Director her senior year. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelors of Arts in Telecommunications. Originally from San Diego, California, Abi now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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 The Ohio State University