Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? Many children share dreams of wanting to weightlessly float through space or uncover ancient secrets from long forgotten cities, but what about those few who want to help animals? The passion to help animals can shine through many childhood fantasies, and 4-H Veterinary Science Camp is encouraging that dream.
A weeklong camp for teens ages 14-18, this Veterinary Camp is the perfect place to practice patching up pets. Held in the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center and staffed with trained professionals, these veterinarians are excited to lend their time-tested skills to the next generation of veterinary experts. “This is something that I could offer them that was a little more unique,” said Alexandra Draper, Broward 4-H extension agent and teacher of veterinary science at Felix Varela Senior High School.
Encouraging students to pursue volunteer work in their community, this Veterinary Camp is aspiring to do more than pique interest in their craft, but inspire youth to make positive change in their home towns. Practical skills are a must, however, and students are expected to run the gamut. From suturing wounded bananas to practicing injections on raw chicken legs, real skills are being taught in a safe and friendly environment.
Excursions to local clinics introduce the young veterinarians to their future work environment. Visits to the Millpond Equine Clinic in Coconut Creek allow the campers to practice working with larger animals like horses. Not masking the dirtier side of the job, kids are expected to assist in the collecting and testing of fecal samples, ensuring that their education is rarely without hands-on experience.
Most children enjoy the warmth of a pet, but few take the additional step to ensure its health. By educating youth in the ways of proper animal care, we foster future generations of veterinarians, and ensure that children will have that same warmth to enjoy for years to come. If you’d like to read more, follow this link.