Camp Kesem nears official chapter status

Consider voting for the establishment of an organization on campus dedicated to helping children who have parents with cancer

Kesem is a non-profit organization with chapters all across the United States who work diligently to create a support system for children whose lives have been impacted by a parent’s cancer.

One of the main ways that Kesem provides this support system is through their annual program Camp Kesem, a summer camp put on by college chapters across the US. At these camps, kids get the opportunity to spend the week with other kids who are going through the same things they are, having a fun summer camp experience while gaining an invaluable support system.

After being touched by her own experience with Camp Kesem, freshman Graciela Greger has been working tirelessly to establish a chapter of the program at CNU. The application process to register CNU to be considered for chapter expansion took all of this past fall semester and required a considerable amount of research, outreach, and recruitment. Throughout the entire application process, Greger’s passion for making this dream a reality kept her going.  “It’s been a lot of hard work, but we are so close,” Greger said. “I’m really passionate about this because I think it will be a really amazing thing for our campus and the community… it’s going to be so valuable and such a positive impact and I think that that is just so exciting to picture.” 

For children in Newport News who have been impacted by a parent’s battle with cancer, there are not a lot of opportunities for them quite like Camp Kesem. The closest Camp Kesem chapter is at the College of William and Mary.

“This is really important because, especially for a child, having a parent with such a serious illness can be scary, can be confusing,” Greger said when asked about the importance of bringing Camp Kesem to the Newport News community. “The future looks really uncertain [to these kids], and so it’s really special and important for children to have that extra support in their lives…it’s also a fun experience because it’s a summer camp. I think it makes kids feel less alone in their experience.”

CNU is competing for one of five spots against 11 other schools across the country to have our campus become a chapter of Camp Kesem. Some of the other campuses competing including Virginia Tech, Emerson College and Western Carolina University. 

The voting campaign begins on Monday, Jan. 27 at 9 a.m. and is open until Friday, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. If you are interested in voting, visit, follow the prompts, make sure to verify your email address and cast your vote for Christopher Newport University. Voting is open to everyone, not just CNU students. The official results of the voting campaign will be announced on February 5th on Kesem’s website.  

Follow the CNU Camp Kesem chapter expansion’s Instagram account @chapterexpansionatcnu for updates on the voting campaign, the link to voting  and more. Information about each of the finalists for the chapter expansion is outlined on the Camp Kesem website This is also where the voting will take place. For text reminders and to have voting link sent to you, text ‘kesem’ to 31996.

~Taylor Vigil, Staff Writer~

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