Camp Kesem gives kids a place to connect for the first time in Tucson

Camp Kesem

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - For the very first time, Camp Kesem is teaching kids camp songs and helping them make friends in Tucson.

“After my first year I always wanted to come back,” said Kauyumarie Santoyo, a camp attendee who’s been to other Camp Kesems before.

It’s a national non-profit that puts on a camp for children who have parents with cancer.

“(Cancer is) something in the world that shouldn’t be,” said Santoyo.

The week is for the kids to get away and have fun. From archery, to swim time and lots of singing, it’s a camp like any other.

“I’m not the only kid who knows their parent has cancer because it feels like you’re just alone in the world,” said Santoyo.

They focus on the positive things in life and at the camp.

“People who’ve gone through the same thing or same struggle with you, it makes us connect more,” said Chloe Gonzales.

Gonzales is attending the camp for the first year with her sister. Learning the camp songs is their favorite activity, other than archery.

“It’s been pretty fun. You get to learn about other people’s stories, and things they’ve gone through as well,” said Gonzales.

There are 20 kids attending the camp on Mount Lemmon. University of Arizona students spent an entire year putting the whole thing together. For more information on the camp, visit their website:

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