Camp Kesem- A Free Camp for Kids Impacted by Cancer

camp kaseemCamp Kesem at VCU opens applications for free summer camp for kids impacted by parent’s cancer

Kesem (n.): magic; the ability to change a life; an agent of growth; the unique power that transforms kids into Camp Kesem Campers

In 2013, then VCU sophomore Jenny Holmgrain applied and received a matching grant from the LIVESTRONG Foundation to establish a campus presence for Camp Kesem at VCU.

The national network of campus organizations empowers college students across universities to build a network of support for kids facing a parent’s cancer through hosting an annual summer camp.  VCU’s inaugural camp takes place this August 11-15, 2014 and is free to attend with 30 camper spots available by registering at

“We are really excited to have our first camp this summer. It will definitely be a life changing experience for the kids. My sister went to Camp Kesem at George Washington University a few years ago and when she came back, she was a changed kid,” Holmgrain said. “She smiled and laughed more often and I am very grateful for that. I now want to help other children the way Camp Kesem helped my sister.”

Open to those 6 to 16-year-old who have been affected by a parent’s cancer, Camp Kesem gives participants an opportunity to focus on being a kid. Participants receive transportation to and from VCU to Harrisonburg’s Camp Horizons, a fun-filled week of activities, and an opportunity to share their experience with others.

Richmond area families are encouraged to apply by April 30.  Campers will receive confirmation of participation within two weeks of applying.   Camp Kesem will try to accommodate those waitlisted through working with other affiliated Virginia camps.

Since the beginning of this academic year, a leadership team of eight students has filled over 20 counselor positions and reached half of a $30,000 goal without direct financial support from the university.  All money has been raised from grants and personal donations.

For more information about Camp Kesem at VCU, visit or follow on, Twitter @CampKesemVCU, or Instagram @CampKesemVCU