Camp Kesem at University of Minnesota

Camp Kesem at University of Minnesota

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Camp Kesem at University of Minnesota
Camp Kesem at University of Minnesota

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

Week 1 Session
8/9/2020 - 8/15/2020

15752 Lake Ave, Paynesville, MN 56362

Week 2 Session
8/17/2020 - 8/21/2019

15753 Lake Ave, Paynesville, MN 56362

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, March 21st, 2020

McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Southeast Oak Street, Minneapolis, MN

Tickets Available

Meet the Team

Jeff 'Bass' Arnold: My first year as a counselor experiencing Kesem magic for the first time during the week two talent show.

Megan 'Feyre' Filzen: My favorite Kesem memory is watching a very shy first-time camper become more outgoing throughout the week. At the end of the week, she got up and sang Demi Lovato's "Confident" at the camp talent show!

Hannah 'Hopper' Pichman: My favorite Kesem memory was singing songs while making smores at the bonfire. At that point in the week, I felt completely part of a family and it was so fun getting to learn new songs and make smores for the kids.

Hannah 'Baloo' McCurley: My favorite Kesem memory comes from cabin chats with my unit this summer. It was nice to reflect on the day and work on self-reflection and I learned so much from my campers! We ended every chat with a cinnamon roll hug: a perfect end to the day!

Kalli 'Hestia' Dorwart: My favorite Kesem memory is Empowerment from this past year at camp. It really gave me the opportunity to grow closer to all the campers, as well as my fellow counselors. I can't wait to be back at my favorite place this summer!!

Nathan 'Rocky' Diederich: Last year we went rock climbing at camp, and I loved being able to show the campers something I'm passionate about! I think climbing is a great way to push people out of their comfort zone and all the campers crushed it!

Emily 'Cranberry' Koetting: I love hanging out with the campers! Everyone gets so close throughout the week, and I absolutely love that.

Kailin 'KitKat' Oliver: I joined the Kesem family here at the University of Minnesota last year as a freshman, but unfortunately, I was not able to attend camp this past summer. So I'm really looking forward to the chance to go and experience Camp Kesem this coming summer!

Emily 'Chickadee' Clarke: I've had the opportunity to make so many new connections and memories over the last two years that I've been involved in Kesem. I'm looking forward to another year of camp and trying out some new camp activities!

Kaitlin 'King Julien' Machina: This is my third year with Kesem, but it's my first as an operations coordinator. I'm super excited to help plan the camp fun this year! I'm a senior studying neuroscience and french, and in my free time I like to snowboard, play card games, & bake.

Jennifer 'Nala' Osborne: My favorite Kesem memory is when my first cabin and I had a dance party in our cabin while waiting for the rain to stop. My campers (and myself!) were dancing, singing, and laughing more than I could have imagined for the first full day of camp! :)

Riley 'Chip' Fletcher: I am so excited to get back to singing camp songs in a socially acceptable environment (apparently people look at you weird when you sing them in public)

Erica 'Ginger' Wooner: I'm looking forward to seeing the kids I made relationships with last year at this year's camp, and getting to reform the strong bonds we had made.

Ethan 'Muktuk' Thomas: My favorite Kesem memory is my first year talent show. I had the younger campers and they put on a puppet show with stuffed animals they had brought from home. However, it quickly devolved into each of them yelling random things and laughing. Chaos.

Kristen 'Pork Chop' Peck: At bedtime, my campers wanted to play truth or dare. I said they could if they stayed in their own beds and lights out. One question was who is your bff. One camper said she did not have friends and another camper said "well we are your friends now".

Madeline 'Skip' Jones: My favorite Kesem memory has been the cabin chats I've shared with my campers! I love having the opportunity for everybody to slow down and reflect at the end of the day!

Lucy 'Ducky' Kwiatkowski: My favorite Kesem memory is when one of my campers who was originally very reserved and quiet got up and sang Demi Levato's confident in front of the entire camp at our talent show. Watching my cabin support her made me immensely proud.

Rachael 'Peach' Cook : My favorite kesem memory was last year at camp and as sad as it may seem the day we had to say goodbye to our campers. I knew it might be the last time I was at camp and my campers meant so much to me. I saw them grow through our week together.

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 Minnesota

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

Camp Kesem at University of Minnesota

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

Camp Kesem at University of Minnesota

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 Minnesota

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 Minnesota was generously provided by the LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project.

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

Kofi Bonsu, Regional Program Director –
Kofi Bonsu, Regional Program Director –

Kofi joined the Kesem National team in April 2019 as a Regional Program Director. He first became involved with Camp Kesem while attending the University of California, Irvine in 2015. Driven and excited by an opportunity to serve others who have also been affected by a parent's cancer, he served as an Operations Coordinator before becoming a Chapter Co-Director the following year. After graduating in 2017, he was blessed with an opportunity to continue serving the chapter as a CIT Counselor. Previously, he has also worked in higher education counseling, non-profit educational media, as well as with fostered, minority, underserved and underrepresented, youth populations. He hopes to do his part to help Kesem Magic spread so that no child ever has to go through cancer alone! Kofi is originally from San Diego, California and will be relocating to Chicago, Illinois.

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.