Back on campus I’m involved with a variety of clubs and extra-curriculars, but there’s one that stands above the rest: Camp Kesem. Camp Kesem is a ~free~ summer camp for children affected by a parent’s cancer. So whether their parent/guardian was recently diagnosed, in remission, or has passed away they are invited with open arms to a week full of laughter, friends, and magic. Camp Kesem is also a national non-profit organization, meaning there are chapters scattered all around the US. I joined Kesem my freshman year of college and immediately felt a sense of home on our large campus. There’s just something special about my fellow counselors- they’re all genuine, compassionate, and goofy people despite our large range in interests and passions. I know that whenever I need a helping hand (whether that’s a study buddy, a ride from the airport, or even moving super heavy furniture from my apartment) one of the other counselors will be there in a moment’s notice.
That being said, I never really thought of Kesem as an international community, that is until I found out that there was a counselor from Camp Kesem Stanford working in Bangalore. I kind of creepily reached out via Facebook just being like “hi yeah I know you’re in India and also a Kesem counselor, lets hang out” not expecting a response. But in typical Kesem fashion, he gave a super kind response and we were able to meet up over dinner!
I can’t tell you how awesome it was to be sitting in a random restaurant in Bangalore, India swapping favorite camp songs. It made me realize (once again) how important and powerful the Kesem community is to me. Plus, it filled me with “warm & fuzzies” and made me even more excited for camp in 9 days (who’s counting?!)!!