Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

August 11-17, 2019

Camp Saginaw

740 Saginaw Rd

Oxford, PA 19363

Friends + Family Days

Fall Friends + Family Day

December 2, 2019

Please contact us for more details!

Spring Friends + Family Day

April 6, 2019

Please contact us for more details!

Make the Magic

March 23, 2019 at 7:00pm

Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

401 Chestnut St

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Tickets Available Soon

Meet the Team

Liv “Fruit Snacks” Welsh is a junior from Dunedin, FL studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a concentration in Distributive Justice. She is on the Track and Field team and competes in the Pentathlon and Heptathlon. She enjoys playing her ukulele, shopping at Trader Joe’s, and exploring Philadelphia. Last year, she was a blue unit counselor and the Sports Program Director. Her favorite moment of camp was singing with her “Blue Crew” to “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire every day of camp.

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Maddie “Pancake” Paliganoff is a senior studying Bioengineering from St. Charles, Illinois. Besides Kesem, she loves are camping, breakfast food, rock climbing, and her kitten, Bean! She was a Green Unit counselor 2 years ago and co-directed the Arts & Crafts program with Mango. Last year, she served as co-director with Mango. Her favorite part of camp was Messy Olympics and being turned into “counselor sundaes” by the girls in her cabin, even though it meant she smelled like strawberry syrup for 3 days!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Ally “Oats” Sterner is a junior from Center Valley, Pennsylvania studying nursing. This year will be her third year at camp! Ally has spent the past two years in red unit and last year was a red unit leader. In her free time, she loves to play with her dog, cook, and try out new restaurants in Philadelphia with her friends. Her favorite camp memory was watching her campers excitement during messy olympics!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania


Braden “Hawkeye” Saba
is a junior majoring in neuroscience and double minoring in music and chemistry from Raleigh, North Carolina. During Kesem, he served as the photographer and is excited to return to the same position next year. His other interests include writing/recording music and playing club lacrosse, as well as photography- both personally and professionally. His favorite part of camp this year was running from activity to activity and seeing every single camper each and every day!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Eva “Kabook” Spier is a sophomore hailing from Suffern, New York. She is majoring in Biology and minoring in Anthropology and loves talking about bacteria. Outside of Kesem, Kabook loves to meet new people, play volleyball and do photography. She was a Red Unit counselor last summer and her favorite part of camp was getting absolutely filthy in Messy Olympics. Kabook is already counting down the days until she can go back to camp and spend time with all of the amazing campers!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Meghan “Queso” Barnes is a senior studying Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology with minors in Psychology and Law in Society. Her name comes from her hometown of Dallas, TX, it being her favorite food, and her love for cheesy puns. This is Queso’s third year in Kesem, with her first as a Gold Unit counselor and then as the CIT coordinator. She loves spending time with the older kids and her favorite parts of camp have been the teen programming.

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Camila “Belle” Johanek is a junior from New York City studying Psychology, Nutrition and Religious Studies. You can find her drinking coffee, jamming to Ed Sheeran, or looking for the next cool Philly street fair. She loves exploring, watching cooking shows (but not necessarily cooking), spinning, and hiking. Two years ago she spent her summer with the Blue Unit. Last year, she was on the Admin team and loved waking the campers up every morning with singing and dancing! She can’t wait for more fun this year!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Elena “Nug” Brown-Soler is a junior from Atlanta, GA studying Criminology. She is a member of the Penn Track and Field Team and competes in the heptathlon. Outside of Kesem and Track, Nug loves to shoot film photography, paint, and eat ice cream. Last summer, Nug was a Gold unit counselor, and her favorite part of camp was Messy Olympics and Capture the Flag. Nug can’t wait for another magical week of camp next summer!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania


Camille “Sandy” Dickson
is a sophomore from Austin, Texas who is studying Economics. She is on the track and field team at Penn and enjoys being outside, traveling, live music and spending time with family and friends. Sandy was a blue unit counselor last year and is so excited to be on board this year as one of the “Make The Magic” coordinators. Her favorite part of camp was getting to know her campers and connecting with them.

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Shannon “Mater” Peters is a sophomore from Florham Park, New Jersey studying Nursing. Outside of Kesem, she’s an artist, an avid Disney fan, and a frequent watcher of stand-up comedy. Last year was Mater’s first year with Kesem and she had an absolute blast as an Orange Unit counselor. Her favorite part of camp was Club Orange and raiding the peanut butter with her unit. She can’t wait for Camp to roll around again!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania


Sophie “Matcha” Caplan
is a sophomore from Short Hills, NJ studying nursing. Even though she’s from North Jersey, she loves watching the Phillies, Eagles, and Flyers. When she’s not studying or watching the game, she’s probably making a Wawa run, cooking, or heading to yoga. Matcha was a Gold unit counselor last summer and can’t wait to go back to camp for more! She is excited to up her game when it comes to Messy Olympics this time around.

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Cecil “Tex” Ene is a junior from Rockwell, Texas. She is majoring in Health and Societies. She is a member of the Track & Field team at Penn. Last summer during Kesem, Tex was a counselor for the orange unit. Her favorite part of Kesem was watching the kids have so much fun during messy olympics!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Kelly “Mango” Litts: My name is Mango and I am very excited to be preparing for my third year of camp! My favorite part of camp last year was waking up the campers by singing and dancing through each cabin. I also love Messy Olympics, science and swimming! The rest of the year, I am studying Biological Basis of Behavior and English at Penn. I am hoping to go to medical school post-graduately and work with kids–and their parents– year-round someday.

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Sanjana “Cheerio” Adurty is a junior studying Biology with a minor in Statistics. Raised in Pittsburgh, she is a die-hard Steelers fan and loves watching the football games with her younger brother. Around campus, she can be seen at the Metropolitan Bakery or performing with her classical Indian dance team, Penn Thillana. Over the summer, Cheerio was an orange unit counselor and her favorite part about camp was chatting with the girls every night while making friendship bracelets before bedtime.

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Monica “Squirt” Benz is a Senior from Chester, NJ studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Her older brother also goes to Penn and is a part of Kesem, When she’s not pole vaulting on the track team at Penn, Squirt loves hanging out with her six siblings on her farm in New Jersey and playing with her two dogs. Squirt has been an Orange Unit leader previously at camp. Now Squirt is so excited to be Treasurer for Camp Kesem and can’t wait to go back to Camp and see all of the kids!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Alex “Wings” Farid is a junior from Los Angeles, CA, studying Biological Basis of Behavior on the pre-med track with minors in Healthcare Management and Chemistry. Last year, he was a green unit counselor and the science program co-director with Fried Rice. His favorite part of camp was the pool, because he loved seeing how much fun the kids had. He can’t wait to get back to camp this year and be with the green machine again!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

Evan “Frozone” Lee is a junior from Indianapolis, IN who is studying biology with a minor in Medical sociology. He is a decathlete on the varsity track team and an avid fly fisherman in his spare time. Favorite activities include cooking, hiking, and traveling. During his first summer at camp, Frozone was a green unit counselor. He can’t wait to participate in messy olympics and capture the flag next summer!

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania
Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania

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

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

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

Camp Kesem at University of Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania

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

Eliza Doll, Regional Program Director – eliza.doll@kesem.org
Eliza Doll, Regional Program Director – eliza.doll@kesem.org

Eliza joined the Camp Kesem National team as a Regional Program Director in November 2018. She first joined Camp Kesem while attending Michigan State University, where she served as an Alumni, Marketing, and PR Coordinator for one year and an Outreach Coordinator for two years. As an alum, she's also served as a Camp Advisor for five Kesem chapters. Eliza has previously worked and volunteered in disability respite care, refugee services, and parent education. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from Michigan State in May 2017 and plans to obtain her Master of Social Work with a focus in Mental Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Eliza is originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, and plans to relocate to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.

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 Pennsylvania