Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

2019 Dates: July 7-13, 2019

Camp Whittier

2400 HWY 154

Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Friends + Family Days

Fall Friends + Family Day

December 1, 2018

Please contact us for more details!

Spring Friends + Family Day

April 27, 2019

Please contact us for more details!

Make the Magic

April 13, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Santa Barbara Hillel

781 Embarcadero del Mar

Isla Vista, CA

Tickets available now

Meet the Team

Natasha “Cutie” Maghen: My name is Natasha aka Cutie and I’m a Co-Director for Camp Kesem UCSB! I’m a 3rd year majoring in Anthropology. This is my 2nd year as a Kesem counselor. I attended Camp Kesem for 11 years as a camper before becoming a counselor and have had the journey of a lifetime. In my free time I love to hike, travel, and read books. Kesem has allowed me to meet some of the most amazing humans ever and I am so grateful to be a part of this magical community. I’m already counting down the days until camp!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Donna “Pinecone” Blockhus: Hey ya’ll, Pinecone here! I’m a 3rd year majoring in Classics with both a history and an education minor and this is my 3rd year in Kesem. When I’m not doing all things Kesem, you can find me on campus working as the Classics librarian, at an event for my honors frat, or out on a relaxing hike with friends. Joining Kesem is by far the best decision I have made in my college career, the endless love, support, and laughter this family has for one another is astonishing!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Davia “Tomato” Amato: Hey, I’m Tomato! I’m a third year Statistics major and this is my second year being a part of Kesem. When I’m not at camp or with my face in a math textbook, you can find me painting, watching the sunset, or both! I had such an amazing time at my first camp this year, so I can hardly wait for next!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Victoria “Daisy” Porter: Hi! My name is Daisy and I’m a third year Global Studies major here at UCSB. I have been involved with various camps over the years, but this is my first year at Kesem and I am very excited for what is to come with being a part of this great organization! Some things I love to do inside and outside of camp are painting, arts & crafts, and cooking.

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Kayla “Bean” Poursalimi: Hi! My name is Kayla “Bean” Poursalimi, and I’m a third year Economics and Accounting major. This is my first year being involved with Camp Kesem! When I’m not working to plan fundraising events, I like to play tennis and do ceramics! I’m so excited to be a part of such an amazing organization this year!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Liam “Mantis” MacArthur: Hey, Mantis here! I’m a second year biopsychology student and this is my second year in Kesem. When I’m not busy having a blast at camp, I enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hitting the beach during the spring and summer!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Melissa “Powwow” Powell: Hey there! I’m a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education and Applied Psychology. This is my second year in Kesem and I’m ready for another amazing year! Outside of Kesem, I’m an academic advisor on campus and involved in a bunch of research labs. My favorite activity in SB is kayaking in the ocean. Even though I love SB, I grew up in the deserts of California where dirt biking on the weekend is a regular tradition. So many places to call home, and Kesem is definitely one of them!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Jackie “Sunny” Gerson: Hi! My name is Sunny and I’m a third year History of Public Policy major. When I’m not at camp (aka the best week of the year), you can catch me on a run by the beach, watching history documentaries, or trying new recipes with friends! This is my third year in Kesem and I’m so lucky to be part of this special group who changed the lives of so many children affected by their parent’s cancer.

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Xarah “Pogo” Golden: Hey, it’s Pogo! This nickname was given to me by my late grandpa, for my resiliency, and optimism. I’m a third year studying Sociology & Chicano studies. Aside from Kesem, I also work for UCSB’s Arts & Lectures, and the Children’s center on campus. My goal is to become an educator, and eventually sit on the LAUSD school board. This is my second year holding the Operations position, and I am also serving on the first ever Diversity Equity and Inclusion Panel for Camp Kesem National this year.

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Anna “Banana” Talamantes: Hola! I’m Anna ‘Banana’ Talamantes, joining Camp Kesem UCSB as one of the operation chairs. I’m a 3rd year biopsychology major and a 1st year member of Camp Kesem. Outside of Kesem I work at Arts & Lectures UCSB and perform with my Polynesian drum and dance group, ITO. I’m really looking forward to meeting all the campers. See you soon!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Kaitlyn “Nugget” Hendrickson: Heyyyoo!! My name is Nugget, and I’m a 2nd year bio major and Spanish minor! I’m kind of obsessed with glitter, play on the UCSB club soccer team, and have a strong love of pugs. I can’t wait to dress to theme every day at camp!! Yay!! Woo!! Kesem!!!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Elliot “Elli” Mosqueda: I am a third year, Anthropology-Sociology double major. I like to spend my days at the beach or downtown shopping with friends. I have been a part of Kesem for two years. I started off as a counselor last summer and fell in love with the work Kesem does and the amazing people that are a part of it. So this year I came back and got more involved as the Outreach Coordinator. Fun fact: I am hoping to attend fashion school after I finish my degree here at UCSB.

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Matthew “Rocket” Ortega: My name is Rocket and this is my second year in Kesem! I am a third year studying Economics and Accounting. I love to play video games and listen to music. I also love to hang with all of my friends! I’m excited for camp this year and to see everybody’s happy faces!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Jordan “Fawn” Bashline: My name is Fawn (or for legal reasons Jordan Bashline). I’m a fourth year Mathematical Sciences major! Some of the things I do when responding to my legal name involve being a CLAS math tutor, I’ve been a Resident Assistant for 3 years, and I do research in the education department. In order to self-care, my friends and I have paint nights where we do face masks, talk, eat snacks, and watch a beloved rom-com. Every year Kesem is the highlight of my days, so let’s make the magic!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

Nina “Penne” Mokhber: Hi friends, it’s Penne! I’m a second year English and Religious Studies double major, and I’m already counting down the days until July. When I’m not keeping Kesem counselors happy as volunteer coordinator, I’m watching QVC with my roommate or eating pasta. I can’t wait to keep serving the Kesem community through this year, MKL!

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

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 Santa Barbara

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

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

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

Camp Kesem at UC Santa Barbara

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 Santa Barbara

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 the University of California Santa Barbara was generously provided by the Tower Cancer Research 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

Kirsten Olivarez, Regional Program Director – kirsten.olivarez@kesem.org
Kirsten Olivarez, Regional Program Director – kirsten.olivarez@kesem.org

Kirsten first got involved with Camp Kesem during her undergraduate career at Northern Arizona University as a Marketing/PR Coordinator for two years. After she graduated, she went to Arizona State University for her Masters in Social Work and worked within the behavioral health/criminal justice system. Her passion to work with families impacted by cancer never faded and she was thrilled to return to the Camp Kesem team as a Regional Program Director in 2018.

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 Santa Barbara