Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

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

Details TBA

Spring Friends + Family Day

Details TBA

Make the Magic

2020 Event Details TBA

Tickets Available Soon

Meet the Team

Ahona “Sunrise” Mukherjee: Hi! My name is Sunrise, and I’m a fourth year majoring in Biology. I’m so excited to be bringing Camp Kesem to UChicago with my Co-Director, It, and our coordinator board! The fun, love, and happy memories of camp will only be amplified through the magic of Camp Kesem, and I can’t wait to see it through. Until that time comes along, I’ll be testing out every camp snack recipe I can find!

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

Ella “It” Sperling: Hey friends!! My name is It, and I’m a fourth year studying English, history, and visual arts. I grew up going to Camp Kesem at UCLA, and it was a huge part of my life– I am excited and grateful for the chance to bring that love, energy, and magic to UChicago along with my Co-Director, Sunrise, and our awesome board! While I wait for camp sing-alongs, you can find me practicing my form by lip syncing to Hilary Duff classics 24/7.

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

Ramiro “Beans” Ortiz: Hi everyone!! My name is Beans, I am a second-year majoring in Economics. I am from Nicaragua, so every time I have a hot, sunny day I feel like I am back home. I love to eat and try new foods, yet I am a man of simple tastes. To give you an idea, I could have rice and beans 24/7— a classic meal in Nicaragua. When I am not eating or studying, I enjoy the occasional soccer game. I am excited to be part of Camp Kesem at UChicago.​

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

Lisa “Hiker” Smoluk: Hi all! My name is Hiker, and I’m a second year from Portland, Maine studying chemistry and business economics. I love everything outdoors— hiking especially, hence my name. I’m so excited to be involved in bringing Camp Kesem to UChicago, and look forward to both my first camp this summer and watching the chapter grow over my time in college.

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

Kiela “Kitten” Moreno: Hey guys! I’m Kitten, and I’m a third year studying Psychology with a minor in English. I haven’t gone to camp in yearssss, but as we plan this upcoming trip, I can’t help but grow nostalgic of the s’mores, late night chats, and great activities I used to participate in. Can’t wait to bring that same experience to y’all. 🙂

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

Michelle “Shell” Siros: Heylo! My name is Shell, I’m a fourth year studying biology. I’m originally from outside Los Angeles, but was transplanted here to Chicago for college, and have fallen deeply in love with seasons and the cold since. I can’t wait to play some ~messy games~ at camp, but for now I’ll just make do with throwing leaves and snow at all my friends instead!

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

Samantha “Hugs” Okere: Hey, Hey, Hey! My name is Hugs, and I’m a senior (aka fourth-year) studying Psychology/Pre-med. Camp Kesem is new to me, but I already connect with the organization’s mission and am super excited to host our first camp this summer! I know it’s going to be an amazing time, and I can’t wait to experience all the s’mores-making, belly-laughs, and camp stories with everyone, all while dancing horribly to country music (one of my favorite genres)!

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

Nathan “Sprout” Lee: Hey y’all! My name is Sprout, and I’m a second year studying Statistics from Sugar Land, Texas (yes that’s a real place). I am super excited to meet all of you! While time counts down slowly to the start of camp, I spend my time aspiring to be the next Masterchef and the next big musical icon featuring hits from my shower 🙂

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
University of Chicago
University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

Brett “Red” Barbin: Hi! I’m Red and I’m a fourth-year from South Jersey majoring in public policy and political science. Back home, I attended a camp similar to Kesem that really helped me work through my situation. When I heard students at UChicago were organizing a new chapter, I knew I had to join up and give back! While I’m hoping we get outside and go on some nature walks at camp, I also enjoy tap dancing (I’ve practiced for 14 years!). ​

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

Maria “Lava Girl” Bederson: Hi everyone! My name is Lava Girl and I’m a fourth year molecular engineering and chemistry major at the University of Chicago. I am passionate about teaching and volunteering, and have spent my time at college by teaching high school freshmen in the South Side of Chicago and volunteering at the children’s hospital on campus. I am excited to meet, recruit and train new volunteers for Camp Kesem U of C edition and spread some of the joy and passion for our chapter into our community. ​

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

William “Pocket” Yee: Hey everyone! My name is Pocket, and I’m a first year studying Political Science and Global Studies. Just like a back pocket, I chose the name “Pocket” because I’ll always be there for you when you need me. Picking my camp name was easy—I mean, it wasn’t pocket science! As a former camper at Camp Kesem UCLA, I can’t wait to help bring enthusiasm and magic to the UChicago family. When I’m not at camp, you can find me on the squash, tennis, and basketball courts.

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago
Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

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 Chicago

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

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

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

Camp Kesem at University of Chicago

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 Chicago

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

Meag Donnelly, Regional Program Director – meag.donnelly@kesem.org
Meag Donnelly, Regional Program Director – meag.donnelly@kesem.org

Meag joined Camp Kesem at West Virginia University in the chapter’s inaugural year in 2015 as an Outreach Coordinator. In the years to follow, she served as an Alumni, Marketing & PR Coordinator, followed by Co-Director her senior year. She also served as a Camp Advisor for the University of Kansas and University of Arkansas in the summer of 2018. She joined the Camp Kesem National team in August 2018 as a Regional Program Director. Meag graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing with a minor in Business Administration from WVU. She currently resides in Bonita Springs, Florida.

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 Chicago

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