Tori Hall, a student at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, planned a veterinary camp for school-age children with her first-year classmates. Hall’s goal was to develop a program that would give participants a crash course in the first two years of veterinary school.
The veterinary camp took place at the CVM with two three-day sessions in June for 13 to 15-year-olds.
“We wanted participants to really get a feel for what vet school is all about,” Hall says. “We knew kids would leave the camp with either a deeper interest in veterinary medicine or the realization that perhaps vet school isn’t for them. Either way, kids attending the camp got hands-on experiences led by actual veterinary school professors. We have been thrilled with the interest and want to expand it next year so that we can include more kids.”
Campers were engaged in activities from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day of the camp, spending time in anatomy, critical care and microbiology laboratories. Campers had the opportunity to learn two common sutures used in veterinary surgeries and then practice those stitches on plush toys. Other sessions introduced the teens to equine and bovine health, basic canine exams, veterinary dentistry and caring for shelter animals.
“Campers received instruction from one of the few board-certified veterinary dentists in the country and made dental molds they could take home,” Hall says. “They also got to practice exams on dogs – checking their heart rate, temperature and vision. Some of the kids even got to do a neurological exam. A really unique experience was getting to bandage horses’ legs and perform an equine dental exam.”
Hall says the camp will continue to expand to include more students and diverse experiences.