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Students volunteer at camp for kids

Students will volunteer during the summer of 2014 at the first session of Camp Kesem at BYU-Idaho. Those interested in volunteering or registering a child or children to go to the camp, visit campkesem.org/byu-idaho. RYLEN STRATFORD | Courtesy Photo
Students will volunteer during the summer of 2014 at the first session of Camp Kesem at BYU-Idaho. Those interested in volunteering or registering a child or children to go to the camp, visit campkesem.org/byu-idaho.
RYLEN STRATFORD | Courtesy Photo

Camp Kesem is a free, week-long sleep-away camp for children ages 6 to 16 whose parents have battled cancer in any way past or present.

The camp will be in Ketchum, Idaho from  Aug. 10 to 15 at Luther Heights Camp and will have a variety of activities and guest speakers.

Darren Gealta, a senior studying exercise physiology, said that this is a great opportunity for children to be children and forget for five days that one of their parents is sick.

Gealta said he is the founding director of the Camp Kesem chapter at BYU-Idaho, and he helped bring the organization to Rexburg, which will allow students to volunteer and offer meaningful service.

“We want to let faculty and administration know that this is available to their families,” Gealta said. “We also want to reach out to the community, as deep as possible, so they know this is available to them as well.”

Gealta said that on the Hero Day during the Empowerment Ceremony, kids share their feelings about their ill parent, and they have the opportunity to listen to people from the military, law enforcement, fire fighters and doctors who also had a parent with cancer.

“We’re going to have a magic show and a concert so they can have fun,” Gealta said. “We also want to provide a care-free opportunity to be a kid and make friends who are in the same situation.”

The idea to provide a fun environment for children and volunteering opportunities for college students started 14 years ago at Stanford University, according to     Camp Kesem’s website.

Today there are 54 chapters in 27 states. Camp Kesem at BYU-I was selected as a new chapter, among 11 other new chapters, in 2013.

“I needed opportunities to serve in the community and gain leadership experience,” Gealta said. “It took me two years to get our region selected, and now we’ll be a permanent chapter.”

Camp Kesem at BYU-I received $10,000 as a start from the National Camp Kesem organization after it was selected Community Impact Project in 2011 by the Livestrong Cancer Foundation.

“The registration for the camp started in February,” said Rylen Stratford, a senior studying neurobiology and the public relations coordinator for Camp Kesem at BYU-I.  “We are expecting to have 45 campers for the first year.”

Stratford said that if a family has been impacted by cancer has multiple children, then all of the children may attend.

Besides celebrities and large organizations like Livestrong, Camp Kesem has nationally partnered with three NFL athletes ­— EJ Manuel of the Buffalo Bills, Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers and Tyler Polumbus of the Washington Redskins — to generate greater awareness of and sport for the program, according to Camp Kesem’s website.

The chapter at BYU-I has 126 volunteers. These are all students seeking internships and volunteering opportunities.

“Those in the medical field are required to do community service. Therefore, this is a great résumé building experience,” Gealta said.

“Several students are getting credit for their internship requirement at BYU-Idaho by volunteering at Camp Kesem.”

Stratford said that after the camp is over, there are two more meetings throughout the year to have the kids reunite with the friends they made.

Ober Delgadohttp://www.oberdelgado.com
Ober Oswaldo Delgado Quiroz was born in Portoviejo, Ecuador. One of Ober’s biggest attributes is his love and charity for others, especially those in need, this is why with the sponsorship of the Lions Club International Foundation, a non-profit organization, he founded and presided the Leo Club Reales Tamarindos for two years, managing a group of twenty five young men and women for the help and care of others. He was awarded nationally as Best President in 2004. Ober has been known as a fun, energetic, entertaining, bold and professional young man. After graduating from high school he began his journey to become a professional in the field of Communications. He attended the San Gregorio de Portoviejo University and was doing his studies in Journalism. Ober was one of the lucky students who got an internship and became very involved with the media at his very first semester in college. He was a broadcast journalist for Radio Católica 89.9 FM and he calls this radio station “the school”. After being there for six months he was offered to conduct a primetime two-hour daily show at San Gregorio Radio 106.1 FM, this radio station was number two in popularity throughout the province. After being there for almost two years he was contacted by CC Radio 98.9 FM with an offer as a radio host. Panorama Magazine was also interested in having him as a reporter, and Manavision also wanted him as a news anchor. Ober accepted all the offers, but at different times. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where at the age of twenty two served a full time mission in McAllen, Texas bringing joy to families and individuals. He believes that families are the source of happiness and there is nothing more important in his life than his. He enjoys watching movies, listening to music, spending time with his friends and is very good at dancing; he plays the piano, he sings, he dances, he likes to play volleyball and he acts. In 2011 he had the opportunity to be on an episode in one the most popular TV shows from Telemundo International called “Caso Cerrado” which was broadcasted in several countries in Latin America. Check out my website www.oberdelgado.com to learn more.
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