July 7, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. - Camp Kesem's Excitement About Aggie Football UC Davis student organization supporting the community, university and its student-athletes
Camp Kesem is a national non-profit organization that fundraises all year to sponsor a week-long summer camp for children whose parents have either passed away, survived or are currently fighting cancer. When cancer affects a family, especially a parent, it puts stress on a child.
"This camp is an opportunity to make the children feel like kids again and bring the `magic' back into their lives," said second-year UC Davis student and Camp Kesem counselor Dana Sever.
UC Davis' chapter currently has 53 student-counselors sponsoring roughly 120 children each year. They bond, train and coordinate into teams that have names like "Birdie," "Yoda," and "Cookie." This organization gives counselors an opportunity to empower others through their leadership while providing a support system for these children.
Andrea Wong, a second-year UC Davis women's golf team member and Camp Kesem counselor, believes the organization bridges gaps across the UC Davis student population with members representing a variety of majors, ethnicities, clubs, organizations, and intercollegiate athletics teams.
The UC Davis Camp Kesem chapter is known across campus not only for graciously supporting these children and their families, but also the Davis community and university as a whole. This includes supporting UC Davis football.
"There is always a Camp Kesem member at an Aggie football game," said Sever. Even the Aggie Pack's lead emcee for the 2011 and 2012 football seasons has been a Camp Kesem counselor.
For Emily Dorin, a second-year UC Davis student and counselor, attending games provides a chance to bond, hang out with friends and meet new people. For this fall, they are planning Camp Kesem group outings and bonding events at select home games, including a possible involvement with the homecoming and breast cancer awareness game against Montana State on Oct. 11.
Counselor Andrea Wong is looking forward to watching all the hard work the Aggies put into the offseason pay off this fall.
"I have a lot of respect for Coach Gould, and think he's bringing a lot to the program," she said. "There's just a lot more people around campus excited about this football season."
CAMP KESEM FUN FACTS
Kesem means "magic," in Hebrew
Logo is Carl the Caterpillar
Founded at Stanford in 2000
UC Davis chapter began in 2005
There are 62 chapters nationwide