The Holt Brothers Foundation supports Camp Kesem, a sleep away camp for children ages 6 – 16. The kids have one thing in common – all of them have a parent with cancer.
“Rather than starting a new program, we want to use our resources wisely and support existing programs that embody our mission,” explains Torry. “That’s important to us and important to our sponsors. We don’t want to duplicate efforts, but instead enhance the efforts of programs that work.”
Camp Kesem is a national program run by college students who want to learn leadership skills and make a difference. Ask them why they do it and the answer is: it’s fun. The children under their watch swim and enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities. But most importantly, they are with other children who know what they are going through.
“When you’re a child living with a parent with cancer, there isn’t a lot of time for fun,” says Torry. “There’s chemo, radiation, treatments, uncertainty. A week away with a focus on fun can make all the difference in the world.”
One camper describes her experience this way: “Camp Kesem is more than a camp – it’s a time to laugh, smile, cry, and share each other’s deepest fears. When I think of Camp Kesem, I couldn’t describe it better than a place of true joy and love, and friendships to remember forever.”