Fall Friends + Family Day
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Please contact us for more information!
Spring Friends + Family Day
2020 Event Details TBA
Maddie “Ace” Petre: Hi I’m Ace and this is my 3rd year in Kesem! My major is Community and Nonprofit Leadership. I Kesem for more reasons than I can list, but the most important reason is to show people that cancer cannot break us. Through love, family, support, and strength, we can come together and show that cancer doesn’t win. My favorite memory of camp was a camper telling me, “I used to be scared to go to camp because I was leaving home, but now it feels like i’m coming home.” I can’t wait to go home again 🙂
Caitlin “Bug” Randell: Hi, I’m Bug! I Kesem so that no child ever has to go through a parent’s cancer alone. I am a Biomedical Engineering major and this is my 4th year in CKUW. My favorite part of camp is feeling all the love and support during empowerment. In addition to that, some of my favorite activities at camp have been the s’more assembly station at the campfire and messy games!
Sarah “Freckles” Mraz: Hi everyone, I’m Freckles! This is my 4th year as a Camp Kesem counselor and 2nd as a director! I’m a Human Development and Family Studies major with hopes to become a Child Life Specialist. I Kesem to help create and be part of a place with people who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there and give unconditional love! Seeing campers and counselors of all ages and backgrounds come together and become an instant family during one week of camp is incredible, these crazy kids deserve the world!
Tara “Alfredo” Roach: Hi, I’m Alfredo! I’m studying Journalism and Spanish and this is my third year in Kesem. I Kesem for our awesome campers and the incredible people I’ve met through Camp Kesem. My favorite camp memory is the camp dance because I love singing along to all the songs and breaking out my best embarrassing dance moves!
Tori “Kiwi” Matson: Hi my name is Kiwi, this is my third year in Kesem, and I am a Nursing student at UW-Madison! I Kesem for all the incredible campers and to give each child the chance to ‘just be a kid’ through camp! My favorite camp memory was when we were leaving on the last day of camp and three of my campers came up to me and hugged me saying that they couldn’t wait for the fall reunion because they were going to miss me so much and they didn’t want to leave camp!
Mackenzie “Tortellini” Douglas: Hi I’m Tortellini! This is my third year in Kesem, and I’m a Rehabilitation Psychology major at UW-Madison. I Kesem because I have seen how much of an impact this organization has made on our campers and families, and it’s a place where you can truly be yourself. My favorite camp memory is the talent show last summer where my campers, my co-counselors, and I sang a song from The Greatest Showman.
Sophia “Winnie” Barash: Hi I’m Winnie! I’m a senior majoring in Marketing, Operations, and Supply Chain Management, and this is my fourth and final year in Kesem! I Kesem because of the family you build with your fellow counselors and campers that is unlike anything else I’ve experienced. Spending a week every summer with these amazing kids and watching them grow up has been the most inspiring and magical part of my college career. My favorite Kesem memories are the dance parties we have every summer!
Mike “Socks” Wierman: My name’s Socks and I’m an economics major. This year is my fourth year at camp. I Kesem because both my dad’s parents passed away from colon cancer and because the kids we serve show me what it’s like to be comfortable in my own skin and to be whoever I want to be. My favorite memory was seeing a kid not really interacting with the whole cabin until empowerment. Then he was a completely different person and was interacting with the rest of the cabin more than anyone of the rest of the campers.
Linzie “Z” Wildenauer: Hi, my name is Z! This is my third year in Kesem. I Kesem for the wonderful campers and counselors!
Morgan “Aurora” Lentz: Hi, my name is Aurora! This is my 2nd year at camp and I’m a biology major. In my first year I learned about the reality of pure Kesem magic. I Kesem to spread the magic throughout the wonderful Kesem family that is built on unconditional love and selflessness and to empathize with the kids as they face hardships and tribulations at an early age. My favorite memory was going to Color Wars and hearing one of my campers say, “This is the best day of my life!” I was overjoyed and felt the same.
Sarah “Junior” Homedi: Hi I’m Junior! This is my fourth year in Kesem and I am a Neurobiology major. I kesem for all of the kids, to help give them a carefree place to let loose and have fun for a week during the summer! Some of my favorite camp memories are from the bonfire we have on the first night, when we are all so excited to be back together at a place where we can all have so much fun.
Morgan “Martian” Maresh: Hi, I’m Martian and I’m studying biology with an emphasis on psychology. This is my third year in Kesem and I joined Kesem for what we do for the kids who get to have another chance at being kids again. But what I didn’t expect was the impact they’ve had on me. I am my best self when I am Martian and my time at Kesem has brought some of the hardest but also every single one of the greatest moments of my life filled with meaning and opportunities. For that I am forever grateful.
Claudia “Veggie” Flatt: Hi I’m Veggie! This is my third year in Kesem; I am majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and Social Welfare. I Kesem for the amazing campers in an effort to bring support, love, and fun into their lives. My favorite camp memory is when another counselor was wearing a lime costume for fruit day. Our 6-8 year old campers pretended to bite him so we could take a funny picture. Well, one of the kids took the task a little too seriously and lost his tooth!
Connor “Stretch” Bosch: Hi Everyone! My name is Stretch and this will be my second year in Kesem. I am a senior here at UW studying Math. I Kesem for all of the kids who have had their families and childhoods impacted by cancer. My favorite camp memory is my first ever empowerment.
Jake “Flip” Justesen: Hi, my name is Flip and this is my third year in Kesem! I Kesem so that I can do everything in my power to spread magic to as many children as possible, because every child I have come across through Kesem has definitely deserved it! My favorite camp memory would probably have to be last August, when all of my teens surprised us and performed “Home” at the talent show.. it was beautiful and it was very fitting, because Kesem truly is a home away from home.
Kaylin “Fern” Langer: Hello all, my name is Fern!! This is my third year of Camp Kesem and my second year as a CKUW Outreach Coordinator! I am majoring in Neurobiology and getting a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. I also play the trombone in the UW Marching Band! I kesem to give kids a place to feel at home.
Lizzie “Crocs” Geiger: Hi, I’m Crocs! I am sophomore at UW Madison studying English and this is my second year in Camp Kesem! This organization has taught me that you can find light even in the darkest times when you have a community of people who love and support you. I Kesem for my mom and the kiddos!
Carrie “Bee” Snodgrass: I’m Bee and this is my fourth year in Kesem! I am studying Nursing and Spanish. I joined Kesem because my dad passed away from cancer a few years back, but now I Kesem to give all of our campers the incredible support community, love, and light that Kesem has given to me. My favorite camp memory is from this summer, when our cabin was blasting “This is me” from the Greatest Showman and singing it at the top of our lungs and dancing like crazy!
Emma “Poppy” Richlen: Hi I’m Poppy! This will be my third year in Kesem and I an Accounting and Economics major at UW-Madison. I Kesem to give our campers a chance to have fun and be kids, not worrying about whatever situation could be going on at home! My favorite part about camp is the overwhelming love and support everyone shows toward each other, a feeling that you can truly only get from the Kesem family.
Jacob “Buddy” Budnik: I’m Buddy! This is my 3rd year with Camp Kesem and I am studying Civil Engineering. I Kesem for the kids. I get such an amazing feeling when I am there for the kids, but an even greater sense of joy knowing that they are there for each other. My favorite camp memory has to be playing Word Association with the other counselors one night after the children went to bed! That moment was one you had to be there for to understand, but it is one I will never forget!
Caroline “Shadow” Kornak: Hi everybody! My name is Shadow and this will be my fourth year in Camp Kesem. My major is Human Development and Family Studies, and I’m pre-PA. I Kesem for all of my wonderful campers who inspire me every day to have even half of their positivity, energy, and enthusiasm. I have too many favorite camp memories to name, but one of my favorites has to be when one of my new campers declared, “I’m going to come back to Camp Kesem every single year,” on the evening of her first day at camp!
Will “Weasel” Kiesling: Hi, I’m Weasel! This is my third year in Kesem and I am going into Nursing. I Kesem because I have seen how important this organization is to the kids and their families. I have been inspired by this strong support community, and I want to do whatever I can to help these families. My favorite camp memory is probably when Drewbacca covered my face and beard in orange paint. It was just a fun little moment in an amazing first week, and I’ve never looked back!
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:
Our Advisory Board who provides ongoing guidance to our chapter’s leadership team.
Our corporate and foundation donors who provide critical resources to help fund the services we deliver locally.
The many retail and service providers who offer in-kind support for our summer camp as well as many or our year-round services.
Countless individuals – including our families and friends who honor our commitment to Camp Kesem with their financial support and unwavering encouragement.
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.
Hannah joined the Camp Kesem National team as a Regional Program Director in 2019. Her passion for Kesem began when she joined the founding team at Brown University, where she served as an Alumni, PR, Marketing coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Operations Coordinator, and Chapter Co-Director her senior year. During this time, she also served as a Junior Camp Advisor and Camp Preparation Volunteer. Hannah graduated from Brown University in 2019 with a degree in Public Health. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, she now resides in Chicago, Illinois.
This chapter's page is still under construction, check back soon!