Aug 24, 2023
Mini-Med Camp: Icing on the Birthday Cake
What did you get for your birthday when you were 12 years old?
Did you ask for a bike? Or maybe a Barbie or a LEGO set?
For William Twhehues, that dream birthday present was a trip to the Mini-Medical Camp hosted by the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership.
Mini-Med is a week-long camp founded at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education, and the Medical Partnership has been hosting and reinventing the camp for the last two years with medical school students serving as the counselors and instructors. The camp features hands-on experiences that introduce the world of medicine to children ranging in all ages from elementary to high school.
William turned 12 on January 13th, and when the time came to ask for a present, he asked for a trip to Mini-Med for one important reason—William has dreams of becoming a doctor.
“I want to be a pediatrician,” said William.
William’s mother, Susan, said she stumbled upon Min-Med Camp while looking for camps that would enroll younger students. Once Susan and her husband, Matt, explained the camp to William, they were impressed with their son’s birthday wish to attend the camp.
“I was thrilled,” Susan said. “William has a long-standing passion for the medical sciences, and this camp seemed like a tremendous opportunity to focus on something that he cares about deeply.”
The Twhehues family resides in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky—an eight-hour drive to Athens. William made the trip with his father, and the two stayed at the Hampton Inn for the duration of the camp.
Matt said he enjoyed seeing the excitement from his son after each day of camp.
“It was great picking William up every day and him being genuinely excited to fill me in on the medical concepts they covered and the learning experiences that he had,” said Matt. “The camp exceeded our expectations in giving William the opportunity to learn about medical concepts in far greater depth than he would have been able to investigate otherwise.”
Susan said she would eagerly await William’s daily update from camp.
“Being here in Kentucky while William and Matt were at camp, I couldn’t wait for my nightly updates. William, being a typical 12-year-old boy, doesn’t typically like to talk on the phone. It was nothing for him to keep me on the phone for thirty minutes giving me the play-by-play of his day.”
While at Mini-Med, William and his fellow campers learned about the body and medicine through fun, hands-on activities such as—making fake blood with arts and crafts, learning how to perform an ultrasound, applying first-aid, listening to the lungs and the heart, doing a Sim Center escape room, and more.
For William, there was no doubt what the highlight was from camp.
“My favorite part of the camp was when we dissected the sheep brains,” said William.
Each week of Mini-Med Camp ended with all campers receiving a certificate from Campus Dean Dr. Michelle Nuss at the graduation ceremony. Parents also received tours after the graduation ceremony to see what their children had been up to during the week.
By the time camp was over, William already had plans to return to Athens: “I want to come back to camp next year,” he said.
“This camp is an amazing opportunity for tweens and teens who share the passion and aspiration for the field of medicine,” said Susan. “Thank you for such a great opportunity.”