Camp Kesem at VCU – Summer Camp to Help Children Through Parent’s Cancer

On January 15th, 2017 – Camp Kesem, a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer, will open registration for it’s 4th annual season of camp in the Richmond Area.

In the summer of 2016, over 6,000 children attended free summer camps during over 70 weeklong sessions of Camp Kesem held at fun and exciting sites from coast-to-coast. Camp Kesem is organized locally in the Richmond area by dedicated students from Virginia Commonwealth University. This summer, the camp will host 60 children from July 30th – August 5th at Camp Bethel in Fincastle,Virginia.

Nationally over 5 million children have been touched by a parent’s cancer, Camp Kesem is the only national organization dedicated to this unique population. Because they don’t appear sick, their needs are often overlooked and they suffer quietly, leading to academic, social, emotional, and developmental problems. The camp helps these children through and beyond their parent’s cancer by providing a carefree and fun environment in which they can interact and bond with peers who face similar struggles at home.

Children that attend Camp Kesem at VCU will participate in a host of fun activities including sports, drama, arts & crafts, adventurous scavenger hunts, and talent shows. Our Empowerment ceremony is an opportunity for campers to share their experiences and receive support, along with nightly “Cabin Chats”, which allow campers to open up to their peers and counselors in a more private setting.

“CK has impacted our lives in so many ways. As a parent who has had cancer, it is amazing that for one week they can go and not have a care in the world. CK is part of our family.” – Camp Kesem Parent

Camp Kesem at VCU is organized by dedicated students at Virginia Commonwealth University who work year long to plan and fundraise for an impactful week of camp. Student volunteers and counselors experience leadership development and undergo twenty hours of extensive training prior to camp. The camp is provided free of charge to all participating families and is therefore supported by private donations and community support.

“Every empowerment ceremony has meant the absolute world to me. It gives you this chance to see what you thought were broken kids, be strong and feel like they have purpose and reason to enjoy their childhood. I just love Camp Kesem.” – CK Student Leader

Camp Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. A program of Kesem, Camp Kesem operates over 70 free summer camps in 33 states for children ages 6 to 16 who have been touched by a parent’s cancer. This camping experience has a lasting impact on children by providing them a peer-support network that understands their unique needs, builds confidence and strengthens their communication skills. In 2016, the camp served over 6,000 children coast-to-coast – all funded by generous donations from individuals and corporate support. For more information on Camp Kesem, please visit, CampKesem, and @CampKesem on Twitter & Instagram.

Camp Kesem at VCU was founded in 2013 and supports children in the Richmond community by providing a cost free week-long summer camp experience and year-long peer support. Last year the camp was operated by 36 student volunteers and served 46 campers ages 6-16. This year’s camp hopes to begin serving 60 children in the Summer of 2017. For more information about Camp Kesem at Virginia Commonwealth University please visit and