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Penn State Selected to Host Camp Kesem

Since 2000, Camp Kesem has been held across the country to give support to kids who have had — or currently have — a parent with cancer. This year, Penn State has been selected to host Camp Kesem after going through a voting process at

Camp Kesem is run by college students and is open to kids from ages 6-16. Other schools within the Big Ten Conference that hold the camp are Ohio State, Indiana, Northwestern, Michigan State, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

In 2011 and 2013, the Livestrong Foundation chose the camp as one of its four Community Impact Projects, which gave it the opportunity to open 24 new camps around the country.

Their mission, according to their website, “is to provide children affected by a parent’s cancer with a supportive, lifelong camp community that recognizes and understands their unique needs” and “to empower college students to make a difference and build invaluable leadership skills by developing and managing every aspect of their Camp Kesem chapter.”

The week-long camps include sports, arts and crafts, plays, and “Cabin Chats” which give children the opportunity to share their experiences with others and their counselors.

The word “Kesem” was chosen when the camp was created by four Stanford students who were part of Hillel. Kesem means “magic” in Hebrew. It began with 40 student leaders and 37 campers and has escalated to 5,172 counselors and 8,489 kids across 37 chapters.

After seeing THON’s $12 million for the Four Diamonds Fund in February, and Relay For Life of Penn State’s $137,502.59 for the American Cancer Society this weekend, it’s great timing for the community to find out that Penn State will have the chance to host this life-changing camp.

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About the Author

Maddy Pryor

I'm a 2013 Penn State alum with a B. A. in Public Relations as well as minors in History and Communications Arts and Sciences. I am proudly from Neptune, NJ and talk about it at any opportunity possible. I love college basketball and am a big fan of Penn State Basketball, as well as their official student section, Nittany Nation. I'm a big supporter of Relay For Life of Penn State as well as THON and Coaches vs. Cancer.


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