Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

July 28 – August 2, 2019

Lions Club

22801 Big Pines Highway

Valyermo, CA 93563

Friends + Family Days

Spring Friends + Family Day

April 27, 2019

Please contact us for more details!

Make the Magic

April 6, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Marina Park Community & Sailing Center

1600 West Balboa Boulevard

Newport Beach, CA 92663

Tickets available now

Meet the Team

Rae “Peanut” Michaud: Hello! My name is Rae “Peanut” Michaud, and I am a senior at UC Irvine double majoring in Dance and Psychological Sciences. I love every aspect of Camp Kesem, but I am especially proud of how Camp Kesem offers a place for children to find a community, enjoy a week where they can just be kids, and how each year chapters grow to offer this opportunity to more children. My favorite camp song is “I get loose!” and my favorite part of camp is, of course, the Messy War.

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Faith “Scrappy” Flores: Scrappy here! I am currently a 2nd year student with a major in Public Health Policy and a minor in Biological Sciences. Fun fact about me: This 5’2 girl (I rounded up…) LOVES to play rugby. When you do not see me with Camp Kesem — I’m out there on the rugby pitch with some of my teammates preparing for the next tackle in the game. ALSO, I Kesem mainly for the kids. I believe that memorable moments are the key factors to keep pushing through tough times. Let’s make the magic happen once again!

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Jacob “Cubby” Cravens-Meza: Hey everyone!! My name is Cubby (like a lion cub not the box for crayons) and I’m a 2nd year Psychology and Social Behavior major! I am also minoring in Digital Filmmaking! I Kesem for my family members who have been affected by cancer. I also Kesem for the kids who were once in my position as I would have loved to be at a similar camp.

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Elaine “dug!” Nguyen: BAAABY SHARK DO DO DO DO DO!! Hello, my name is dug! (like the dog from the Disney movie Up) I am a second year Education Sciences major at UC Irvine, and I am one of the Alumni/Marketing/PR (AMP) coordinators this year! This is my second year being apart of the Kesem family and I am super excited to help make more Kesem magic happen and help this amazing organization grow! I Kesem because the kids have shown me such an incredible amount of hope, strength, and love.

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Ivy “D.Va” Jung: My name is Ivy “D.Va” Jung and I am a 3rd year Biological Sciences major at UCI. To me, Kesem means looking out for each other and being a good friendly neighbor. Fun facts about me are that I love video games so much (I play all kinds) and I am a fitness enthusiast! I can also twirl a baton like nobody’s business!

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Jordan “Sharkbait” Nguyen: Hello! My name is Sharkbait (Ooh Ha Ha), and I am a third year Biological Sciences major at UC Irvine. Camp Kesem has been such an eye-opening experience filled with deep conversations and joyful laughter, and I feel so blessed to be part of this amazing organization. Fun fact about me: I LOVE eating good food! You can count on me on getting that money’s worth at all-you-can-eat restaurants. I also LOVE playing volleyball and any sports really.

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Tea “Chip” Antonino: Hello all! My name is Chip, and I’m currently a Criminology, Law, and Society major with a Psychology and Social Behavior minor. Even though this will be my 2nd year at camp, it will by my 1st year on Coordinator Board. I am so excited to help spread the magic as one of your Make the Magic Coordinators! One of my favorite camp songs is P-A-R-T-Y! During camp, all of the cabins continued to sing this song as we waited out a rainstorm. It shows that no matter what the Camp Kesem party never ends!

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Maranda “Soap” Allen: Hi! My name is Maranda, or better known as Soap, and I’m a 2nd year Software Engineering major! I Kesem for the kids, and also for my mom, who lost her dad to cancer when she was young. Outside of Camp Kesem, I like to sing in my choir and hang out with my friends! I can’t wait to make some magic this year for Camp Kesem!

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Jeremy “Germ” Pfahler: Hi all! I’m Germ! I am a Criminology and Education double major and I Kesem for my family who has been fighting cancer through several members since before I was even born. In my free time I love to play both volleyball and soccer!

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Ashley “Knumchuck” Diaz: My name is Ashley “Knumchuck” Diaz, and I am one of the Outreach coordinators for Camp Kesem at UC Irvine. I am Pre-Med Biological Sciences major at UCI, and things I like to do outside of school are volunteer work, reffing intramural sports, working out and getting gains, eating unhealthy food, spending time with friends and fam, movie nights, dancing, singing out of tune, and doing anything that involves pranking someone!

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
UC Irvine
UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Kevin “Russel” Truong: My name is Kevin, but my Kesem name is Russel…so either of those work. I’m a 3rd year Human Biology and Psychology & Social Behavior student at UCI; and, so far, Camp Kesem has been one of the major highlights of my time at UCI. I’m so stoked to be a part of such an amazing organization with some pretty rad people! I Kesem for the kids whose parents have cancer, are undergoing treatment, or are cancer survivors because no one, especially a child, deserves to experience something like that.

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

Vittany “Munchkin” Luo: Hello hello!! :-)) I’m Vittany, but you can call me Munchkin!! I’m a 3rd year Public Health Sciences Major! What is Camp Kesem? Let me explain it like this. A random thought pops up in your head, and you’re randomly chuckling out of nowhere. Someone asks, “What’s so funny?” You go, “Oh nothing, I just remembered when… *trip down memory lane*” Why do I Kesem? I Kesem because I see the magic in kids, and that magic inspires me to be better than the best version of myself.

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine
Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

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 UC Irvine

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

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

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

Camp Kesem at UC Irvine

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 UC Irvine

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 UC Irvine was generously provided by Edwards Lifesciences.

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

Chelsea Saurer, Regional Program Director – chelsea.saurer@kesem.org
Chelsea Saurer, Regional Program Director – chelsea.saurer@kesem.org

Chelsea joined the Camp Kesem National staff as a Regional Program Director for the Southern California region in 2018. A Sacramento native, she made the jump to SoCal to attend UCLA, where is was involved with Kesem all four years. She graduated with a degree in Sociology and Education, and a passion for working with children. Even though she misses her dog back in Sacramento, she loves living in LA. In her free time, you can find Chelsea eating ice cream, catching up on the latest in pop culture, going to concerts, or exploring the city.

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 UC Irvine