Summer camp for middle school students set

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Area middle school students from Mecklenburg, Lunenburg and Brunswick counties will have the opportunity to attend a unique program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill that will introduce them to a broad range of health careers.

A special, one-week, summer camp has been planned for the last week in July entitled, “CSI: Career Scene Investigation” and will focus on the many career opportunities that are available in health care. Partnering with Southside Virginia Community College, and thanks to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, 15 middle school students who have an interest in a health career will be chosen to attend this summer health care camp during the week of July 29 to Aug. 2.

The camp will be offered at no charge to students. During this weeklong camp, students will spend time with staff from many clinical areas and have “hands-on” opportunities. They will learn how to apply casts and splints, take x-rays, learn about monitoring the heart, spend time in the Emergency Department, dress in scrubs and see the operating rooms, learn how to suture, work with rehabilitation therapists and much more. The week will be fun, interactive and exciting for the students and VCU CMH staff.

“We are very pleased to offer to area students this excellent opportunity to learn about the world of health care,” said Hazel Willis, RN, BSN, education department manager for VCU-CMH. “The program will offer a variety of activities that will allow students to observe and interact with health care professionals in their work environment and gain valuable insight into health care careers. We want to provide a positive learning experience for students and encourage teens to explore health care careers.”

According to Willis, health care careers are the fastest growing, and will be the most in demand careers for the future. Rapid technological and scientific advances in the medical field, along with a large aging population, have created high demand for health care professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the growth rate of new jobs in the health care professions will be twice the rate of job growth in non-healthcare professions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts a need for 5.3 million health care workers to fill job openings created by departures and new positions in the next five years.

During the middle school years is the ideal time to reach students and introduce them to career ideas so they can begin to plan a curriculum that includes the necessary sciences and other required courses.

A total of 15 students from the middle schools with at least a C average will be selected to attend the camp from applications that include a short essay about why they want to attend the camp, and from teacher/guidance counselor recommendations. Breakfast and lunch will be provided daily for the students. Transportation to and from VCU Health -CMH will be the responsibility of the student’s parents. Students will receive a backpack with supplies and a CSI: Career Scene Investigation T-shirt. Parents will be invited to attend a special graduation ceremony at the conclusion of the week.

Applications for the camp may be obtained through each school’s guidance counselor or online at For more information or for an application call Willis in the education department at CMH.