Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

July 26-31, 2019

Alabama 4H Center

4713, 892 4H Rd

Columbiana, AL 35051

Friends + Family Days

Fall Friends + Family Day

December 1, 2018

Please contact us for more details!

Spring Friends + Family Day

March 23, 2019

Please contact us for more details!

Make the Magic

March 2, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Levee Bar and Grill

1 Bridge Avenue

Northport, AL 35476

Tickets available now

Meet the Team

Gillian “Smelly Cat” Dooley: My name is Gillian Dooley, I am a senior from Marietta, Georgia and I am Pre-Med. After founding the chapter at the University of Alabama, I have been so overjoyed to see how much it has taken off and grown so far. I am so blessed to be apart of such an amazing organization. Camp is a place where these kids learn to be happy again. They make lifelong friendships; real, true friendships, full of love, selflessness, kindness, and most of all MAGIC.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Makayla “Sunshine” Zammett: Hi I’m Sunshine, I’m a senior Athletic Training student from Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve been a part of Camp Kesem for three years, and this is my second year as director. I’m so thankful to be a part of an organization that continually gives back and provides a home for kids who deserve so much. Kesem has changed my outlook on cancer and life, and taught me to be a more positive person in all aspects. I’m grateful for the opportunity to get to be a part of this wonderful group of leaders.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

CJ “Birk” Schmitt: I’m from Springfield, Illinois. Currently a junior at UA studying Communicative Disorders (Speech Pathology) with a minor in Computing Technology and Applications. I love hiking, hammocking, napping, and snacking. I am part of Camp Kesem Because I love being able to have such a fun time while also having an amazing impact on some kids lives!

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Eve Pollock: My name is Eve Pollock and I am from Crystal Lake, IL. I’m a Junior at the University of Alabama, studying marketing. This is my first year with Camp Kesem and I couldn’t be more excited to belong to an organization that supports kids who’ve been affected by a parent’s cancer. I’ve personally dealt with the loss of a parent to cancer, so I’m very grateful for the opportunity to create a great experience for campers this year!

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Ryley “Boss Lady” Roche: I am a Junior from Franklin, TN. I first joined Kesem because of my love for kids. I fell in love with the idea of the camp and the heart behind it all. After attending camp this summer I fell even more in love with camp and all the kids I got to spend a week with. I have a deep passion for children and love getting to have an impact on their lives during this very hard time for them.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Seth “Joker” Hayes: I’m a junior from Rockford, IL, majoring in Mathematics. I enjoy being a part of Kesem because the atmosphere of camp is so special and one that you can’t find anywhere else, and I’m looking forward to another great camp this summer!

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Katie “Pookie” Mellon: My name is Pookie and I’m a freshman in the Nursing program from Amesbury, Massachusetts. After eight years as a Camp Kesem camper, I am excited to begin my journey at Alabama as a Make the Magic coordinator and camp counselor. Kesem is so important to me because it changed my life in so many positive ways. I can’t wait to give back the magic to future campers.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Madeline “Kiwi” Noll: I Kesem because I have a personal connection to cancer which has made me so passionate about about this organization. Eleven years ago I lost my mother due to cancer and I want to be there for kids whose family has also been affected by this horrible disease. This will be my second year as an exec member for Kesem at UA and it has truly been such a life changing experience. Kesem is now family and a place where we can all come together to support and be there for one another.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Cullen “Turtle” Finnerty: I am a biology major and a theatre minor on the pre-med track. I am from Peachtreecity Georgia. I am a part of Camp Kesem because it is one of the few volunteer opportunities where I know I am making a difference. I have been volunteering since 6th grade, and I have never had a volunteer experience that has impacted me like Camp Kesem did. I can not wait until it is time to return this summer.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Anna “Kitty” Siegfried: I am a part of Kesem because I never want a child to go through such a difficult time alone, everyone needs someone and I want to be that someone. I am from Suwanee, GA and I am a junior at Alabama!

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Neeley “Fishstick” Boston: I am from Montgomery and I am a junior with a major of communicative disorders. I became a part of Camp Kesem to try and make a positive difference in people’s lives. I felt called to be a counselor for camp kesem to let families know they aren’t alone. No one is ever alone, and there is always love to share even through difficult times. Both my mother and grandmother have been affected by skin cancer, and I am here to support the whole Kesem community with the same compassion I once received.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Chelsea “Grace” Green: I am from Columbus Mississippi and am majoring in Early Childhood Education with a minor in nutrition. I’m apart of Kesem because I have a fiery passion for kids. When I went to camp as a child the counselors were always the people I looked up to. I wanted to be that person for someone else, because they really made an impact on my life. I’m not personally able to relate to a parent having cancer, but at least I can be there for them.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
University of Alabama
University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Megan “Chicken Mini” Pewitt: I am a junior from Gulf Breeze, FL. I am a double major in marketing and finance. I am a part of kesem because I love going to camp, having fun, and seeing the positive impact the organization has on the kids and their families.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Courtney “Monkey” Dimitris: I am a senior studying athletic training and pre-occupational therapy. This is my third year being involved with Camp Kesem at UA and my second on Coord Board. My camp name is Monkey because it was a childhood nickname I got from my grandma growing up. I have loved my time with UACK and it’s hard to believe it is coming to an end. Camp Kesem has truly been my favorite experience in my four years of college.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

Nick “Nacho” Wheeler: I became a part of Camp Kesem because I have seen how a parents cancer can affect their children. I am a sophomore and am biology major at the University of Alabama. I am from Dallas, Texas.

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama
Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

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 University of Alabama

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

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

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

Camp Kesem at University of Alabama

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 University of Alabama

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 University of Alabama was generously provided by Propack International.

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

Shane Smith, Regional Program Director – shane.smith@kesem.org
Shane Smith, Regional Program Director – shane.smith@kesem.org

Shane joined the Camp Kesem National team as a Regional Program Director in 2019. Shane first became involved with Camp Kesem as an inaugural member of the University of Kansas's chapter in 2016. During his time at the University of Kansas, Shane served as a counselor, Outreach Coordinator, Co-Director, and Advisory Board Member. Shane graduated from the University of Kansas in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Global and International Studies. Upon graduating from the University of Kansas, he has worked for the International Relations Council as the Membership Consultant and Assistant. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Shane now resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

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 University of Alabama