Join our Health & Wellness Team

This summer, Camp Kesem will host over 140 sessions of camp across the country with hundreds of available professional roles, including nurses and mental health professionals on our Health and Wellness team!  See below for a list of available positions.
Applications open on December 1st, 2019.

About the Health & Wellness Team

The Camp Kesem Health & Wellness Team at each camp is made up of, at a minimum: two nurses, one mental health professional, and one Camp Advisor. Members of the Health & Wellness Team work collaboratively to ensure the emotional and physical well-being of campers and staff. Compensation for nurses and mental health professionals will be agreed upon after an initial interview with chapter leadership. If selected, you will be compensated as an independent contractor and will be required to sign an independent contractor agreement and provide a signed W-9 form. Reimbursement of agreed-upon travel expenses may also be provided for members of the Health & Wellness Team. If you would like to join us at camp and receive a personal email once Health & Wellness Team applications launch, please fill out this interest form.

Nurse Position Description

Nurses should be passionate about ensuring the well-being and general safety of children and staff members. The nurse works as part of the Health & Wellness Team (mental health professional, another nurse, and one Camp Advisor).

Nurse Position Requirements:

  • Must be a Nurse Practitioner, RN or LVN (LVN qualification varies by state) and must hold a license (or temporary license) to practice in the state in which camp is held.

Nurse Responsibilities:

  • Manages and distributes all camper medication, and documents all medications given.
  • Is in charge of all medical events.
  • Responsible for all medical needs of campers and staff.
  • Must adhere to Camp Kesem rules and policies, including following proper reporting processes.
  • Is present for at least a portion of counselor training (if possible) and all parts of camp in which campers will be present, including camper check-in on opening day. It is very important for the nurse to speak with each camper’s guardian at check-in to make sure that the proper instructions are given for that camper’s medication.
  • Must remain at camp the entire session.
  • Must complete all of the required forms and training, including a background check.

Additional Nurse Information:

  • The nurse should always be available at camp in case needed for a medical event or injury.
  • Nurses may not leave camp at any time, unless they require medical assistance. No outside visitors will be permitted at camp.
  • The nurse should have a walkie-talkie at all times set to a designated nurse’s channel so that they can be contacted at any time.
  • The nurse is an integral part of the camp staff. They should be included in camp activities. This is a great way for the nurse to get involved with camp programs and to be interacting with campers, counselor, and staff.
  • The nurse, as a medical professional and responsible, respected adult, can be used as a resource for a variety of issues. Counselors and staff should feel comfortable consulting with the nurse regularly on matters of camper behavior, counselor issues, etc. The nurse should help the counselor or camp leader manage the situation. The nurse should avoid stepping into the situation directly unless it is absolutely necessary for the safety of the camper or counselor.

Mental Health Professional Position Description

Mental Health Professionals (MHPs) should be passionate about ensuring the well-being and general safety of children and staff members. The MHP provides multiple layers of support as needed to campers, their families, counselors, and other staff at camp, most of which is focused on emotional and behavioral needs that emerge. The MHP works as part of the Health & Wellness Team (potentially another mental health professional, at least 2 nurses, and one Camp Adviser) and reports to the Camp Adviser (point-person at camp) and Hotline Operators (who will provide assistance remotely).


Mental Health Professional Requirements:

  • MHPs must hold, at minimum, a Master’s in psychology, social work, or a related field.


Mental Health Professional Responsibilities:

  • Is a consultant for camp staff and leaders to help them better interact and communicate with campers and each other.
  • MHPs may not leave camp at any time, unless they require medical assistance. No outside visitors will be permitted at camp.
  • Is a “mandated reporter” in charge of helping report situations to law enforcement or social services as required by state law.
  • A support for camp staff, to help ensure the well-being and preparedness of camp staff when dealing with emerging camp situations.
  • Is present for at least a part of counselor training (if possible) and all parts of camp in which campers will be present.  Must remain at camp the entire session.
  • Must complete all of the required forms and training, including a background check.
  • Note: The MHP may not play each of these roles at their specific camp, needs vary among camps and emerging situations.
  • The MHP is NOT a therapy provider or caregiver: We do not provide therapy to campers, their families, counselors, or any other staff members.


Additional Mental Health Professional Information:

  • The MHP should always be available if needed by a counselor or staff member. The MHP will do their best to meet with Unit Leaders individually throughout the week for “check-ins” to help ensure staff well-being.
  • The MHP is an integral part of the camp staff. He/she should be included in camp activities. This is a great way for the MHP to get involved with camp programs and to be interacting with campers, counselors, and staff.
  • The MHP, as a professional and responsible, respected adult, can be used as a resource for a variety of issues. Counselors and staff should feel comfortable consulting with them regularly on matters of camper behavior, counselor issues, etc. The MHP should help the counselor or camp leader manage the situation. The MHP should provide support to counselors working through difficult situations, and may be asked to directly step in to help resolve behavioral or personnel issues.

Interpreter Position Description

Interpreter Position Requirements:

  • Must be fluent in English and [American Sign Language, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.] with experience interpreting between English and said language. 
  • Must be comfortable and able to interact with children and young adults in a camp setting. 
  • Must complete required training
  • Must pass background check


Interpreter Professional Responsibilities:

  • Interpreters will translate and interpret spoken language using American Sign Language or other manual sign language systems and vice versa to facilitate communication between hearing and Deaf/HOH individuals.
  • Interpreters will stay at camp for the entire week and complete all training and paperwork required.
  • Interpreters will build relationships with camper or staff member and the rest of the participants at camp
  • Interpreters will attend all scheduled camp activities with camper or staff member while providing an accurate and succinct reproduction in the specified language


More Interpreter information:

  • The interpreter should always be available in case needed by camper or staff member according to schedule assigned prior to camp. 
  • The interpreter is an integral part of camp staff and should be included in camp activities.

Support Aide Description

Support Aide Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Experience working with people with disabilities
  • Available the entire week of camp
  • Must complete required training
  • Must pass background check

Support Aide Responsibilities:

  • Assist in program accommodations and planning
  • Guide camper(s) in participation of activities
  • Supervise camper and activities
  • Provide support and coaching to counselors
  • Create behavior management plans when necessary
  • Provide emotional support and encouragement to campers
  • Work as part of a team
  • Be familiar with the special needs, medical conditions, dietary concerns, and/or behavior needs of campers and act according to directions provided by Admin Team
  • Provide personal care assistance as required
  • Be a positive role model to campers and be available at all times
  • Support positive peer relationships
  • Stay in cabin with camper
  • Follow policies and protocols set by Camp Kesem National
  • Report situations, accidents, and incidents to Camp Advisor
  • Ensure safety and ratio are maintained at all times

Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: If you do not find the answer to your question on this page, please contact us here

What is Camp Kesem?

Camp Kesem is the flagship program of Kesem. It is a free overnight sleepaway summer camp (typically 5 or 6 nights long) for youth ages 6-18 impacted by a parent’s cancer. To see a video about camp, please click here.

What is the “Health & Wellness Team”?

The Health & Wellness Team works together to apply Camp Kesem National guidelines on the chapter level in order to maintain the safety of all campers and staff at camp. This team manages all situations at camp, making it necessary for these individuals to work together collaboratively. Although each team member has a specific role (outlined below), the goal is for consensus to be reached so that professional judgement is considered and valued while ultimately abiding by established Camp Kesem National rules and policies. 

  • Nurses: Manage first aid and medical situations that arise at camp; responsibly distribute medications to campers and counselors
  • MHPs: Manage behavioral and emotional situations that arise at camp. Provide support to counselors in order to better serve their campers
  • Camp Advisers: Volunteer from Camp Kesem National in charge of ensuring that established policies and procedures are implemented appropriately at camp. Camp Advisers serve as the liaison between the chapter and Camp Kesem National during camp.
  • Support Aide (if needed): Assist in program planning, coach counselors through accommodations, and guide campers in camp participation.
  • Interpreter (if needed): Translate and interpret spoken language using American Sign Language or other manual sign language systems and vice versa to facilitate communication between hearing and Deaf/HOH individuals.
I see the phrase “chapter of Camp Kesem” throughout the website. What does “chapter” mean?

Our program is organized around 100+ college-based chapters, with college students from those colleges or universities working year-round to operate the Kesem programs.  

Kesem chapters run the summer camps. A chapter is a division of our Camp Kesem National program. We have over 100 chapters based out of colleges or universities (most of the volunteers then come from that school). The camp is not held at the college or university and is held at a rented campsite. Many of our chapters also offer bus transportation from their area to the campsite. For assistance determining which chapter or campsite is closest to you, please contact us.
 

Where do I find a camp to attend?

Check back here on December 1st to apply for openings near you!

How do I apply?

You can apply to be a member of the Health & Wellness Team beginning December 1st! The application can be accessed through Camp Kesem’s website. If you would like to receive a personal email when applications launch, please fill out this interest form!

Can I complete the Health & Wellness Team application using my mobile device?

Yes! Our Health & Wellness Team application can be completed on a smartphone or tablet, as well as using a traditional desktop or laptop computer.

Will I be paid for my time at camp? 

Yes! Each chapter of Camp Kesem will offer a stipend to members of the Health & Wellness Team, though the amount offered will differ from chapter to chapter. Please contact your local chapter if you are interested in learning more.
 

Does Camp Kesem provide therapy?

No. Our student leaders provide a warm and loving environment where children are free to share their feelings with one another. Our model focuses on providing a strong peer-based support network where children can find strength, hope, compassion and fun. Please visit the “A Day at Camp” section of our website to see a sample schedule for a day at Camp Kesem.
 

Can I attend more than one session of camp?

Yes! When completing an application, you will have the option to select which chapters you are interested in attending. If you select that you are willing to travel to other camps in your application, a member of our staff will reach out to you about upcoming opportunities throughout the late spring/summer. 

I cannot attend camp at this time. Is there another way to get involved in Kesem?

Absolutely! Visit the Get Involved tab of our website to learn more or reach out to your local chapter directly.

Where do I sleep at camp?

It depends on the camp. Members of the Health & Wellness Team usually sleep with the Admin Team and Camp Advisor(s).  Check with your chapter about what your accommodations will look like. 
 

Do you provide transportation assistance?

Each Camp Kesem chapters may provide transportation assistance or transportation reimbursement for members of the Health & Wellness Team. Please contact your local chapter to inquire about their ability to provide transportation support for you.  

What do I wear?

Athletic, comfortable clothes are highly recommended. Something light and loose that you don’t mind getting messy! Closed-toed shoes are required except when at the pool (crocs count!).

What is the best part of serving on the Camp Kesem Health & Wellness Team?

Each member of our Health & Wellness Team has something they love most about supporting our chapters. Here are just a few highlights of being a part of the Health & Wellness Team: s’mores, providing campers with an escape, building relationships with campers and counselors, and growing in your abilities as a professional! 

What is the most challenging part of serving on the Camp Kesem Health & Wellness Team?

It can be difficult working in a system where you have limited control. There are structures, activities, and policies that you may not be used to, however they are still necessary. Organization and adapting to a camp environment - it’s so different from every other job!

Where do the camps take place?

Each Camp Kesem college chapter holds their camp in an off-site camp facility for the week of camp. These campsites are not tenting campsites, but are well-equipped campsites with cabins, activities, cafeterias, etc. Campsites that we rent are held to high standards, and are often YMCA, Girl Scout, or other professional camping venues. Campsites are typically located within 2-3 hours of the college chapter.  Please visit each camp’s website for details on their specific site.

What is the food like? 

We serve three nutritious meals a day, along with snacks. Our menus vary but may include things like burritos, pizza, sandwiches and salad, or burgers all with sides of vegetables or fruit. Breakfasts can include sausage, pancakes, cereal, eggs, etc. We have plenty of snacks available at camp for throughout the day.

There are always vegetarian options available. Our campsites are committed to accommodating allergies and special dietary needs. Please be sure to note your dietary restrictions on your application.
 

Who runs the camps? How are they screened?

Our camps are staffed by highly trained college student leaders. These students are carefully screened through a competitive interview process, and undergo extensive training prior to camp. In addition, our student leaders work year-round to raise funds, conduct outreach in their communities, and plan the programming necessary to make camp a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Each camp is also staffed with a Health & Wellness Team consisting of Nurses, Mental Health Professionals, and an experienced Camp Advisor. Every volunteer and staff at camp also receives a comprehensive background check.

Is Camp Kesem a faith-based camp? 

No, Camp Kesem is a secular camp and we welcome student volunteers and campers of all backgrounds.
 

What does Camp Kesem do to keep children safe at camp?

The health and safety of your children has always been, and will continue to be, our number one priority. To help ensure their safety, every volunteer who attends camp must first complete over 30 hours of training, which includes modules on how to address bullying, prevent harassment, and support campers’ mental health. Additionally, Camp Kesem performs a background check on all our camp volunteers. Finally, our policies ensure campers and staff are never alone, and our high 3:1 camper to counselor ratio allows an excellent standard of supervision – far more than you would see at any traditional summer camp.