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Saving Money On Career-Focused Summer Camps

Written by La Verne Proctor-Streeter on March 10, 2020.

Looking for a summer camp or program for future veterinarians, medical doctors or lawyers?  Think it’s too expensive?  Perhaps not. Check out camps on college and university campuses for middle and high school students that give them the exciting experience of being on a college campus, meeting others with similar career interests and networking with professionals and college students in those fields. Immersion in their interested career field can push their passion even further. These colleges offer great career-focused summer camps and programs with some financed by the government or other agencies, while others offer free or reduced-cost camps. Don’t assume your income doesn't qualify your child(ren). ASK AND ASK EARLY about scholarships and discounts, especially for youth with military connections.

TIPS to Save You Money

  1. Start Early! Visit websites of colleges and universities, especially those with professional schools such as veterinary medicine, medical, and law schools. Although summer information may not be available on the website, email the contact person for continuing education, outreach or K-12 programs for application deadlines and financial assistance information. Some registration and financial aid applications for Summer 2020 camps opened as early as September 1, 2019 and closed as early as November 30, 2019. If you missed those camps, then save a Sept. 1, 2020 reminder on your calendar now for next year. Good news! Many camps still have open registration and/or waiting lists. Start checking now.
  2. Check with the camp of interest to you and with associations about scholarships. The Georgia Science Teachers Association Foundation offers the Science Adventure Student Scholarship. It can be used by students for continuing their education/experiences through educational programs. The deadline is usually in November. Save a reminder on your calendar now to start checking in October 2020 for 2021 scholarships.

Other Financial Assistance

Ask the camp if they offer the following financial assistance:

  • Waiver of registration and application fees
  • Discounts for military or military-connected persons
  • Early-bird specials for early payment or payment plans
  • Day camp versus residential options may be less expensive
  • Discounts for multiple enrollments from family or friends
  • Discounts for parents or relatives volunteering with the camp

Career-Focused Summer Camps/Programs

Some of the camps below offer financial assistance, scholarships and day-camp option. These camps do not provide transportation for participants. Visit their websites noted below for more details.

*Some deadlines may have closed, but check with the programs for wait lists and next year's info.*

University of Georgia (UGA), Athens

Financial assistance is offered for the Mini Medical School 1, Mini Medical School 2: Beyond the Basics, and Legal School. The option of being a day camper or overnight camper is offered at a reduced rate. Overnight campers reside in a UGA residence hall.

Mini Medical School 1 is for youth interested in healthcare careers. Participants learn about DNA, x-rays, human anatomy, personal health and more – all while having fun and even performing mock surgery. They learn about different healthcare fields and the many kinds of providers. This course is designed for students with little to no background in medicine or life sciences. Mini Medical School is offered in weekly sessions. Participants choose from one of the five weekly sessions starting June 1, 2020 and ending July 17, 2020. Ages: 11-15.

Mini Medical School 2: Beyond the Basics is designed for the more serious student who wants to build on the lessons learned in the introductory Mini Medical School camp or for students who have previous experience in the subject matter. Students begin learning how to correlate scientific aspects of various systems of the human body (nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, and others) with some clinical manifestations of related diseases that can occur with them. They study the various systems through a combination of short lectures, hands-on activities, and selected dissections of mammalian organ specimens. Several field trips are taken that will give students an inside look at medical education and the delivery of health care, as well as an understanding of the various team players (physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, and others) who are all working to improve public health. Participants choose from one of the five weekly sessions starting June 1, 2020 and ending July 17, 2020.  Ages: 12-16.

Legal School is for youth interested in law careers and other related careers. They learn about the many roles lawyers play in our society, from courtroom advocates to policy-makers. Students will hear from local attorneys, current law students, and professors. A trip will be taken to the local courthouse to see the justice system in action! Working together, students will hone their critical thinking and public speaking skills as they prepare opening statements, questions, and closing arguments for a mock trial. Families and friends are invited to watch the students show off their newfound skills on the final day of camp! Participants choose from one of two weekly sessions starting June 7, 2020 and ending June 19, 2020.  Ages: 14-17.

The Animal Science in Action summer program is offered through the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). Financial assistance is not available for this program. It is a two-day program designed for rising high school juniors and seniors interested in science and careers in animal science. Participants engage in a series of laboratory experiments and visit each of the college's main teaching farms for hands-on activities with beef and dairy cattle, horses, swine and sheep. Current CAES animal and dairy science students help lead the program, which begins June 9, 2020 and ends on June 11, 2020. Participants stay overnight in UGA dormitories in Athens, Ga. Animal Science in Action is presented by the Department of Animal and Dairy Science. The application deadline for the 2020 program is May 11, 2020.

Open House and Vet School for a Day are hosted by the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine at no charge to participants. The Open House is the first Friday of April every year and is a full day of animals, hand-on activities, a college tour, surgery on a teddy bear, and demonstrations about all things vet med. All ages can attend. Vet School for a Day is hosted in September with applications being accepted starting in August. It is designed for high school juniors and seniors in Georgia and South Carolina who are seriously interested in veterinary medicine. The goal is to educate students who have a keen interest in the many career opportunities that exist in veterinary medicine. The program includes a tour of the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a meeting with faculty from different areas of interest, and an admissions overview. Over lunch, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from students and alumni on their career paths and experiences.

Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama

Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine offers the Veterinary Science Training Education and Preparation Institute (VET STEP l and ll) for students interested in veterinary medicine. It is a one-week residential program designed to introduce minority high school students to veterinary medicine. Students attend stimulating academic classes, participate in hands-on activities and laboratory exercises, prepare presentations, engage in stimulating discussions, and take part in field trips. Participants are required to stay on the Tuskegee University campus for the entire program. There are regularly scheduled activities for the evenings. VET STEP 1 is for students entering grades 9-10. VET STEP ll is for students entering grades 11-12. Applications for 2020 became available in early March 2020.

The Ag Discovery 2020 Summer Program is offered at no costIt helps teenagers explore careers in animal and plant science, wildlife management, agribusiness, and much more! This 2-3 week program allows participants to live on campus and learn about agricultural science from university professors, practicing veterinarians and professionals working for the U.S. Government. Students chosen to participate in AgDiscovery will gain experience through hands-on labs, workshops, field trips and other group and team building activities.  The United States Department of Agriculture will funds 19 college programs for the 2020 Summer. Other nearby universities with programs are North Carolina State University, Purdue University, University of Maryland at College Park, and Florida A&M University. For Tuskegee University, camp dates are June 6-20, 2020. Deadline to apply was March 20, 2020. Currently in Grades: 9-11.

Augusta University, Medical College of Georgia (MCG), Augusta, GA

Student Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP) Pre-College Program prepares students for a future career in the health professions. SEEP Pre-College is a 7-week, summer, non-residential program, for high school juniors and seniors. There are two SEEP Pre-College programs: Augusta and Savannah. SEEP Augusta, a 7 week program, is open to high school students in the local Augusta area. SEEP Pre-College in Savannah is a 6 week program for designated Savannah schools. Participants in both programs receive a stipend to help cover additional expenses and books, while tuition is paid for by MCG. Each program prepares students for a future career in the health professions through an extensive academic program that includes courses in various biomedical sciences, hands-on labs, clinical shadowing, networking opportunities, and guest speakers. March 2nd was the deadline date for submission of the online application. Supporting documents were due by March 8, 2020, however, check for a wait list.

Augusta University Health / The Summer VolunTeen Service Program is an unique opportunity for local high school students to contribute to the community, work in a medical environment, and gain valuable leadership skills during the summer. VolunTeens are assigned to work in clinical departments within the medical center and are included in weekly leadership learning seminars with key leaders from Augusta University and the community. The deadline was March 6th.  Applications opened in January.

Augusta University Academy is your one-stop source to explore the various educational outreach and development opportunities available for children and teens. The camp will run four weeks; June 1-26. The camp is a STEM/STEAM camp that will introduce middle school students to careers in those fields.

Check with the university about other summer programs.

Howard University, Washington, D.C.

The National Bar Association Crump Law Camp is a two-week, residential camp held during the summer at Howard University School of Law. It provides students entering the 9th through 11th grades with an introduction to the American judicial system, law school and some of the skills required to be an effective lawyer, judge and protector of the judicial system. Three other national minority bars — the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Native American Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific Bar Association have supported the camp. Financial assistance is available. Camp dates are usually mid July. Applications were due mid-March. Ages: 14-17.

Paine College, Augusta, Georgia

Summer Basic Chemistry - A free 6-week chemistry course for middle and high students from early June to mid July. The objective is to prepare students with basic knowledge for science courses. It will assist them in preparing for science careers.

Career-focused summer camps will be exciting and very rewarding for participants. Start applying early and inquire about financial assistance.


Websites for additional info about the camps and GA Science Teachers Assoc. Foundation:

Georgia Science Teachers Association Foundation

University of Georgia, Athens

Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama

Augusta University, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta

Howard University

Paine College

  • Sardar Yousufzai, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Physics & Environmental Sciences

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