Camp Kesem at University of Kansas

Camp Kesem at University of Kansas

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Camp Kesem at University of Kansas
Camp Kesem at University of Kansas

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

Week 1 Session
5/24/2020 - 5/30/2020

1101 Camp Wood Rd, Elmdale, KS 66850

Week 2 Session
Week 3 Session

Friends + Family Days

Fall Friends + Family Day


Please contact us for more details!

Spring Friends + Family Day

Please contact us for more details!

Make the Magic

Saturday, February 29th, 2020

Lodge at Ironwoods, 14701 Mission Road, Leawood, KS

Tickets Available

Meet the Team

Jaden 'Scout' Sangoi: I am looking forward to hosting over 120 kids and 70 volunteers at camp, increasing our campus and community presence, and welcoming new people to Kesem!

Sarah 'Spud' Ross: My favorite memory of Kesem is watching all of our kiddos and volunteers experience Kesem for the first time. The best part of my job is watching people grow and find their love for Kesem. I can't wait to see this all happen again this year!

Grace 'Rainbow' Hermes: I love writing warm and fuzzies!

Kristina 'Kit-Kat' Nguyen: My favorite Kesem memory would probably be the dance party after Empowerment this summer. From spraying people with silly string to being chased around the room by 6 and 9 year olds in a game of tag, it was definitely a highlight of camp :-)

Rathi 'Ratpak' Narayan: I loved having joint cabin chat with the boys and girls cabin in my unit!

Campbell 'Volley' Potter: My favorite Kesem memory was my first empower hour dance party. After we had a really awesome empowerment ceremony, I don't think we could have had a better dance party then we did. I'd never seen any campers that happy before, and I hope to again.

Anjali 'Watson' Pradeep: My favorite memory is one of my new campers coming up to me at then end of camp and saying how excited they already are for another great week at camp next week.

Kristi 'Skippy' Haas: I'm looking forward to being in a board position this year and being more involved in my chapter.

Madison 'Jamz!' Schmucker: My name is Jamz!, but I sometimes go by Madison. I am SO pumped to be an Operations Coordinator again for CKKU 2020! I can’t wait to spend another year growing our Kesem family and seeing the magic and love that Camp Kesem brings. Get Loose Everyone!

Manisha 'SJ' Ravi: My favorite part of Kesem is just how close everyone ends up. It doesn't matter if you have been a part of it for one year or five years; we're all just one big family. My all time favorite quote is "I know Kesem means magic, but to me it means home

Olivia 'Liver' Hansen: My favorite Kesem memory would be getting to lead Empowerment this past year. After the day was over I got to light luminary bags with the campers and set them adrift over the lake.

Sarah 'Bear' Knisely: My favorite Kesem memory would be my first Messy Olympics at camp this past summer. Even though it took two weeks for me to wash the paint out of my hair, this activity brought so many smiles to both the campers and volunteers!

Jordan 'Burger' Berger: Getting the chance to be surrounded and impacted by so many strong, courageous, and powerful people for an entire week.

Ericka 'Ka' Nadeau: The support for our campers at Camp Kesem is amazing! All of our campers have so much love for each other, it's truly an amazing gift to see.

Ryan 'Arrow' Mohamadi: My favorite camp memory is being apart of the closing circle at the end of every day around the campfire with all the campers and counselors with their hands around each other.

Maura 'Kenai' Bagstad: I am looking forward to recruiting new members for our chapter and seeing our chapter grow throughout the year!

Lily 'Tuck' Machalek: I am looking forward to getting to know all of our new volunteers, and I'm excited for an awesome year in Kesem!

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 Kansas

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

Camp Kesem at University of Kansas

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

Camp Kesem at University of Kansas

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 Kansas

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 Kansas was generously provided by Mark and Corrie Sloan and the Sean D. Biggs 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

Shane Smith, Regional Program Director –
Shane Smith, Regional Program Director –

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.

Warm Welcome

Kesem's care package program that immediately includes all families into our greater community in a personal, supportive manner.

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.

Special Deliveries

Provides all children with personalized greetings–delivered by either traditional or electronic mail.

Online Resources

Provides online access to topical resources–including publications, books, organizations and resources.