Help Camp Kesem come to Bradley

Camp Kesem, a new campus organization, is raising money in an attempt to make a colony on Bradley’s campus. This program provides a way for kids affected by their parent’s cancer to release the stress that comes from coping with the illness.

The program supervisor, Jenna Barnett, describes Camp Kesem as “a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer.”

Barnett, who also helped start a Camp Kesem chapter at the University of Georgia, explained why Bradley is a good location for a colony.

“We want to locate a colony at Bradley for two reasons,” Barnett said. “First, it is in a high-needs area. Second, we have many Chicago board members and Bradley alumni that are interested in getting a chapter started at their alma mater.”

Camp Kesem can be a great opportunity for Bradley students to develop strong connections with the Peoria community, and by doing so gain first hand experience applicable to the workforce along the way, Barnett said.

Volunteers will have an opportunity to improve professional skills such as group teamwork cohesion, time management and public communication. Bradley’s colony, like chapters on other campuses, will have a body of undergraduate organizers and volunteers.

“Any undergraduate students can be involved,” Program Director Tracey Landstrom said. “There are also opportunities for community members to get involved on the advisory board or at camp in a professional staff capacity.”

According to Barnett, you never know who you might meet while volunteering at Camp Kesem, as well as where those relationships might take you.

“The friendships I’ve made with counselors and campers alike have impacted my life and given me purpose every day for the past six years,” Barnett said. “I met several of my best friends and even my fiancé through the Camp Kesem chapter I was involved in in college.”

Camp Kesem is hoping to raise $30,000 in order to send 30 kids to camp in its inaugural year.

Those interested in donating money or volunteering their time to the Bradley Camp Kesem colony can contact the organization at development@campkesem.org.