Camp Kesem at University of Southern California

Camp Kesem at University of Southern California

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Camp Kesem at University of Southern California
Camp Kesem at University of Southern California

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

Week 1 Session
8/2/2020 - 8/7/2020

22801 Big Pines Hwy, Valyermo, CA 93563

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!

2nd Spring Friends + Family Day


Please contact us for more details!

Make the Magic

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

St. Monica Catholic Community Church, 725 California Avenue, Santa Monica, CA

Tickets Available

Meet the Team

Hannah 'Wrigley' Cremer: My favorite part about Kesem each year is seeing my unit open up to each other and become close friends! Their vulnerability and kindness to each other is so special!

Andrew 'Questlove' Nallathambi: Seeing my most shy and self-conscious camper letting all of that go in his second year at camp during the camp dance.

Nitya 'Cosmo' Turaga: My favorite Kesem memory is during a cabin chat my first year as a counselor. I started tearing up after hearing my campers stories and they gave me tissues, hugged me, and told me that I'd definitely need to brace myself for Empowerment.

Ronnie 'Chip' Cornelius: the time when my friend got me out of assassin but felt bad she made me a friendship bracelet

Mark 'Tuna' Morrissey`: My favorite kesem memory was the last campfire last year. We did all the songs we could think of and I learned a few new ones. "My name is Joe" and "I love the Mountains" were some of my favorites and it felt like the camp spirit was really high

Tommy 'Bolt' Bartecki: Last year was my first year at camp and I was with the Red Unit or 15-year-olds. By the end of camp, we had all grown extremely close and seeing my kids get along so well was extremely rewarding as a counselor.

Kayan 'Pepper' Jan: My favorite Kesem memory was hearing my campers' stories and seeing their resilience throughout camp. I also loved the dance parties where we danced to our heart's content! I'm looking forward to another fun year with everyone in Kesem!

Martha 'Dibs' Steupert: My favorite Kesem memories were cabin chats. I loved getting to know my campers in such a special way. Those thirteen year olds embody a strength and kindness that truly make me so grateful to have the opportunity to be in their life.

Ryan 'Stoke' Gautereaux: My favorite memory from camp was teaching the kids how to polish lake stones. We would go up and down the water front looking for smooth rocks to either skip or polish, and by the end of the day all the kids were working on their rock.

Alexander 'Boots' Maher: My favorite Kesem memory was watching my Yellow Unit Campers during the "snipe" hunt. Their reactions to the "snipe" noises were both varied and unforgettable.

Varun 'Vroom Vroom' Srinivasan: My favorite Kesem memory is singing camp songs, eating s'mores and enjoying the warmth of the Kesem magic and campfire.

Nikki '' Jamshidbaigi: My favorite memory was seeing my first year campers become best friends in just a couple of days! It was so special seeing their bond blossom.

Kalya 'Triscuit' Stanten: My favorite Kesem memory was the sunrise hike with my Gold (LIT) unit on the last day of camp this year. It was such a beautiful way to close our week together.

Brooke 'Dopey' Allen: Freshman year the movie projector broke, so we improvised with a makeshift talent show. Even the shyest kids broke out into ridiculous dance moves - I've never laughed so hard. Camp Kesem has a way of turning little mistakes into pure joy.

Eliot 'Tiny' Yang: My favorite Kesem memory was my first Messy Games as a freshman. I didn't know many people going into camp, since I was a late add, and that is when I began to truly feel like a part of Kesem

Isabella 'Ribbet' Hauptman : My favorite Kesem memory is making friendship bracelets with my campers and co-counselors!

Ashley 'Dory' Brady: My favorite Kesem memory is our surprise dance and ice cream party with yellow and blue unit campers!

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 Southern California

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

Camp Kesem at University of Southern California

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

Camp Kesem at University of Southern California

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 Southern California

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

Chelsea Saurer, Regional Program Director –
Chelsea Saurer, Regional Program Director –

Chelsea joined the Camp Kesem National staff as a Regional Program Director for the Southern California region in 2018. A Sacramento native, she made the jump to SoCal to attend UCLA, where is was involved with Kesem all four years. She graduated with a degree in Sociology and Education, and a passion for working with children. Even though she misses her dog back in Sacramento, she loves living in LA. In her free time, you can find Chelsea eating ice cream, catching up on the latest in pop culture, going to concerts, or exploring the city.

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.