Camp Kesem Central PA

Important Dates

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

Camp Sessions

August 17-23, 2019

Camp Chen-a-Wanda

355 Camp Rd

Thompson, PA 18465

Friends + Family Days

Fall Friends + Family Day

October 28, 2018

Please contact us for more details!

Spring Friends + Family Day

April 14, 2019

Please contact us for more details!

Make the Magic

State College Make the Magic

March 30, 2019 at 6:00pm

Days Inn – State College

240 South Pugh Street

State College, PA

Tickets available now

Philadelphia Make the Magic

April 5, 2019 at 6:00pm

Heroes Ballroom

11630 Caroline Road

Philadelphia, PA

Tickets available now

Tickets available now

Meet the Team

Peyton “Paws” Haefner: My name is Peyton “Paws” Haefner and I’m a senior majoring in animal science with minors in business management & wildlife. I chose my camp name because I love animals and couldn’t choose just one, but all of my favorite animals have paws! My favorite part of camp is Messy Olympics and favorite camp song is the Banana Song. I believe in Kesem magic because it’s a feeling and a family that brings out the best version of who you, are no matter where you go – my camp self really is my best self!

Camp Kesem Central PA

Bridget “Pookie” Myer: Hey y’all! my name is Pookie and I am a junior at Penn State studying Rehabilitation and Human Services. My favorite part about Camp Kesem is watching the relationships that are formed during the week at camp and seeing how much these relationships grow from year to year.

Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA

Dylan “Whirlpool” McKelvey: My name is Dylan “Whirlpool” McKelvey and I am a Junior studying Security & Risk Analysis. I am super ecstatic to be an AMP Coordinator this year and I hope to make this the best week of camp yet! One of my favorite camp activates is Affirmation. I love how the magic of Camp Kesem can help form relationships that are so meaningful and last a lifetime!

Camp Kesem Central PA

Jill “Nutmeg” DeMaio: Hey everyone! That’s me giving some attitude with Honey Badger and Scoops. I’m Nutmeg and I’m a senior on the pre-law track. I’m Nutmeg because I’m from Connecticut, aka the Nutmeg state. This will be my 2nd year in camp and I’m so excited spend it as an AMP coordinator! Kesem lives within me year-round— my camp self is my best self! My favorite camp activities are DEFINITELY messy olympics and empowerment. I try to sing “Hey Burrito!” every day. I’m pumped to spread some magic this year!

Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA

Ally “Razz” McCready: Hi! My name is Razz and I am a senior majoring in Early Childhood education with a double minor in special education and sociology. This is my first year as one of the Development Coordinators! Kesem is the most incredible organization and I cannot wait to make our chapter even better this year. My favorite part of camp was seeing the transformation the campers made, the friendship they shared, and the genuine love and support the girls in my cabin gave to one another.

Camp Kesem Central PA

Jacob “Woody” Klemmer: Hey guys! I’m Jacob, but most people call me Woody! This is my first year as a Development Coordinator and I’m so excited to see what we accomplish. My favorite part of camp is Affirmation because it allows everyone to show and appreciate the friendships made throughout the week! I’m counting down the days until Camp Kesem 2019!

Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA

Ryan “Zipper” Darby: My name is Ryan, but I’m much better known as Zipper! I am currently a junior majoring in Political Science and Global & International Studies. Last year I was one of our AMP Coordinators, and this year I’m super excited to help plan Make the Magic with Pix and Red! Counting down the days till camp 2019!

Camp Kesem Central PA

Kasey “Red” Dunleavy: Hi!! My name is Kasey, but my best friends call me Red. I’m a sophomore studying Marketing and this will be my second year involved with Kesem! It’s so hard to pick just one thing, but I think Color Wars was probably my favorite part of camp. If I had to choose a favorite camp song, it would be Ride That Pony. I knew I wanted to have a larger impact this year, which is why I’m so excited to bring the Kesem love to all our friends and family through Make the Magic and can’t wait to get started!!

Camp Kesem Central PA

Maude “Pix” Tarbox: Hello! My name is Maude, but I am better known as Pix! I am a sophomore studying Social Studies Secondary Education. This is my second year in camp and after Camp Kesem Central PA 2018, I knew I wanted to be more involved! My favorite part of camp is Affirmation, and my favorite camp song is definitely Razzle Dazzle. I am so excited to work alongside Zipper and Red to put on two incredible Make the Magic events!!

Camp Kesem Central PA

Andy “Phin” Buzzelli: Hey, I’m Phin! I’m a senior in Biological Engineering with and Agricultural focus at Penn State! This will be my second year serving as an Operations coordinator at the Central PA chapter of Camp Kesem and I couldn’t be more excited! Kesem is a special place to me because it shows how much good there is in the world, and how showing just a little bit of love can really change someone’s life for the better. My favorite camp activities are Messy Olympics and Affirmation.

Camp Kesem Central PA

Maureen “Dixie” Heneghan: Hi everyone! My name is Maureen but I am better known as Dixie! I am senior studying Human Development. This is going to be my third year involved in Camp Kesem and I could not be more excited to get the year started as the Operations Director! My favorite activity at camp is Messy OlympiCKs and my favorite camp song is “Peel Banana”. Camp Kesem has had an incredible impact on my life throughout college. I could not imagine life without Camp Kesem!

Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA

Claire “Flick” Kelley: Hi friends, I’m Flick! I am a senior studying Early Childhood and Elementary Education. In my free time, I enjoy running, singing Camp songs, and working for non-profits. This past year at Camp, I served as a Program Counselor and had the most amazing time meeting all the campers and introducing them to Flick’s Fitness Camp! I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to form inspiring relationships with our CK families, reconnect with our community contacts, and spread the magiCK like never before!

Camp Kesem Central PA

Caroline “Ramen” Sene: Hello! My name is Ramen and I’m a sophomore studying political science. I fell in love with this organization during my first week of camp this past summer, and knew I had to get more involved– and that’s why I’m so grateful to serve on the Coordinator Board this year! A fun fact about me is that I chose my camp name to be Ramen because I have blonde, curly, ramen-y hair! I’m so excited to be part of the Kesem family, and I can’t wait to help make this upcoming year of camp the best yet!

Camp Kesem Central PA

Reiley “Bread” Broms: Hi! My name is Reiley, but I’m better known as Bread! I am a sophomore studying Biobehavioral Health with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. Last year was my first year at camp and I already cannot wait for this next year!! My favorite part of camp is Affirmation because it allows everyone to show and appreciate the friendships made throughout the week!

Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Central PA
Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA

Collin “Mowgli” Kure: Hello! My name is Collin, and I am a Junior majoring in Accounting. This is my second year serving on the Coordinator Board and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to get more involved in Camp. This past summer was my second time as a counselor and I can honestly say it was the best week of my life. My favorite part of camp was watching the campers build relationships with one another as well as the counselors. I can’t wait to work with the other board members to make camp the best it can be!

Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA

Cheyenne “Zoinks!” Johnson: Hi Everyone! My name is Cheyenne, but my friends know me as Zoinks! This past summer was my first time at Camp Kesem and it was life changing! After attending Camp, my passion for Kesem has grown exponentially. It was so amazing to meet these kids and see how much the magic of Kesem has touched their lives. My favorite part about Camp is seeing the relationships these kids make with each other and how Kesem gives them the opportunity to surround themselves with people who listen and understand.

Camp Kesem Central PA

Drew “Kronk” Mintzer: Hi everyone! My name is Drew but you can call me Kronk! I am a senior Economics major at Penn State. My favorite camp activities are Cabin Chats and Empowerment, my favorite camp song is Hey Burrito, and my favorite thing about camp is developing relationships that will last a lifetime. Some fun things about myself are that in addition to Camp Kesem I like to play board games and compete in triathlons! I cannot wait to spend this year serving as one of the Volunteer Coordinators!

Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA
Camp Kesem Central PA

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 Central PA

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

Camp Kesem Central PA

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

Camp Kesem Central PA

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 Central PA

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 Central PA was generously provided by 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

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 Central PA