A few weeks after beginning my freshman year (way back in 2006) I received an email about Camp Kesem, a non profit starting up at MIT that would provide a free, week long camp for kids with a parent who has or has had cancer. The first camp began at Stanford in 2001 and has since grown to more than 20 campuses throughout the country.

As MIT students, we are constantly bombarded with various solicitations to get involved with any of the many, many student groups/projects/movements on campus. Unfortunately, time is a hot commodity here at the institute. To say there isn’t enough time to do everything I want to would be an understatement. However I knew from the moment I read the email that Camp Kesem would be something I could never say no to. I felt compelled to be a part of it and to apply to be a counselor for MIT’s first camp in August 2007. The rest is history, as they say. This will be my 3rd year as a counselor and 2nd year as a coordinator. Specifically, I and my co coordinator, Semmie, are in charge of “Camper Care” wherein we recruit all of our awesome campers!  Throughout the year, wework tirelesslyto publicize and connect with families directly and through social workers/therapists/onoclogists in the New England area. In 2007, we had 13 campers. In 2008 (when Semmie and I first became coordinators), we almost tripled our campers to 33. This year, our goal is 60 campers and…let’s just say we may need a waitlist this year.

Camp Kesem has been the most rewarding thing I’ve done at MIT. It is incredible to have the opportunity to be part of something bigger than problem sets and exams on a daily basis. This past November, I attended the Camp Kesem national conference and got to meet students from all over the country involved in CKs at their respective colleges and universities. It was faith-restoring to meet so many compassionate, selfless individuals.

I could truly talk forever about Camp! For more information about Camp Kesem check out: www.campkesem.org and for more information about Camp Kesem MIT, check out our website: www.campkesem.org/mit

Click here to help us send children to camp for free! And watch the video above – my best attempt at creating a slideshow 🙂