Did You Know?: Boiler Vet Camp

May 2, 2014  


Boiler Vet Camp

Middle school and high school students have the opportunity to spend a week in June learning about the veterinary medical profession at the Boiler Vet Camps. (Photo provided) 
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Middle school and high school students spend a week in June learning about the veterinary medical profession at the Boiler Vet Camps.

Purdue Veterinary Medicine hosts two camps during the month of June, a junior camp and a senior camp. This summer, the junior camp for rising eighth- and ninth-grade students will be held June 8-14. The senior camp, June 15-21, is for rising sophomore, junior and senior high school students. Campers will stay in Hillenbrand Residence Hall for the week and will spend about 40 hours participating in workshops and activities.

“Our goal for the junior camp is to really stimulate and excite campers about science; in particular, veterinary medicine, but science in general,” says Dr. Jim Weisman, director of student services for the college.  

“For the senior camp, it’s to energize campers and hopefully future veterinary students about small animal veterinary medicine.”

With only 90 available spots, 50 for the junior camp and 40 for the senior camp, enrollment is very competitive. This year, campers were chosen from 600 applicants. Interested students submit an online application, including two essays: one about why they want to be a veterinarian or veterinary technician and the other about what they hope to learn from the camp. A group of faculty members evaluate the applications and make their decision based on these essays and the amount of experience applicants have with animals.

Current veterinary students serve as counselors for the week, staying with students in the residence hall and helping their teams with the activities of each session.

“Our vet students that serve as counselors really learn a lot, too, during that week as they get to show off what they’ve learned, become an instant role model to these young people and really get to develop some of their leadership skills further,” says Weisman, who is also clinical assistant professor.

At the end of the week, teams give presentations about what they’ve learned during camp. Junior campers discuss the veterinary medicine case they worked on with a faculty mentor during the week, and senior campers share information about the general information and wellness of the dog they worked with that week.

Weisman says the week is about teaching kids about all the veterinary medicine opportunities they can explore.

“It’s not just about being a vet in private practice or farm setting. It’s about all the many career opportunities that veterinary medicine provides,” he says.

 “I think it opens doors for career opportunities and for them to think more broadly.”  

This fall, a camper from the 2010 senior camp, which was the first one, will attend veterinary school at Purdue.

For more information about Boiler Vet Camp, contact Dr. Jim Weisman at 49-47893 or jweisman@purdue.edu.

 

Writer: Hannah Harper, harper4@purdue.edu

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