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Campers "Wild" about 2013 Boiler Vet Camp!

For two weeks in June, Boiler Vet Camp provided a total of 90 students who are interested in becoming veterinary healthcare professionals with a preview of the vast fields of work available in the veterinary medical profession.  The annual program gives the campers a taste of what it is like to attend veterinary school and what it takes to become a veterinarian or veterinary technician. Students entering 8th and 9th grades are eligible to attend the Junior Camp and students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades are eligible to attend the Senior Camp.

This year, 90 young people were admitted to the 6th annual Junior Camp.  From the start of camp Sunday, June 9, through the closing ceremonies the following Saturday, the campers enjoyed getting to know each other and taking part in such hands-on learning sessions as, “Welcome to the Blood Bank,” “Follow the Clues,” “Poultry Potpourri,” “Cud it Out” and “A Look Inside the Horse.” The campers also visited the Indianapolis Zoo where they heard from zoo veterinarians and participated in a round-robin style session led by members of the Indiana Board of Animal Health staff, which allowed the campers to learn about the role of veterinarians in public health and disaster management.  The fun and learning didn’t stop there as campers then visited the Fair Oaks Dairy in northwest Indiana. 

As soon as the Junior Camp concluded, the fourth annual Senior Boiler Vet Camp was ready to begin, giving 40 campers the opportunity to learn many facts and skills in veterinary medicine by focusing on the veterinarian’s and veterinary technician’s role in the wellness care of shelter animals and the preparation of dogs for adoption.  Eight dogs from the Clinton County Humane Society in Frankfort, Ind., were carefully cared for by the senior campers and their second and third year DVM student counselors.  The campers observed and learned about various kinds of wellness care provided to their camp dogs.  They also learned dog behavior and training techniques, performed physical exams, learned about diagnostic blood work including complete blood count (CBC) tests and blood chemistries, and completed fecal exams.  Additionally, the campers gained experience in the proper method to glove and gown for surgery, which provided for many photo opportunities. 

The campers also took a field trip to the Humane Society of Indianapolis, where they learned about the operation of a large animal shelter and met with the veterinary team to learn their roles in working with the animals.  The campers also shadowed the students in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital which allowed them see how the veterinary team works in a hospital setting.  The camp concluded with special closing ceremonies when the campers gave presentations for family and friends about the many things they learned during the week.  Meanwhile, the camp dogs found new homes with their campers or by adoption through the Clinton County Humane Society.  As the campers returned home they took with them not only the veterinary knowledge and skills learned during camp, but also a much greater understanding of the road to veterinary school.  The College looks forward to seeing many of these campers back on campus in the years ahead as undergrads and even as veterinary students.

Junior Boiler Vet Campers check out the shark exhibit at the Indianapolis Zoo.

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