Veterinarian Camp Gives Students Hands-on Experience

A week in vet camp at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) in Charlottetown 10 years ago solidified in one 12-year-old Prince Edward Island summer resident’s mind what her future profession would be.
And now, a decade later, Tori Hall, who is starting her second year at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University, has returned to the AVC to be an assistant volunteer for a one-week session.
She is also learning all she can in order to bring the joys of vet camp to children in the Mississippi State region, using the AVC’s award-winning program as a successful model.
“(The AVC camp has) become this well-oiled machine that’s impressive to watch. They know what they’re doing and they do it really well,” says the 22-year-old, who is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Hall’s grandparents, Buzz and the late Jean Hall from Saint John, N.B., were summer residents of P.E.I., so that opened the doors to her special P.E.I. connection that developed when she and her family would migrate north each year.
In fact, Hall’s parents, Doug and Debbie Hall, now have a permanent summer place in Springbrook and are strong patrons of the College of Piping in Summerside.
“We spent months up here at the beach, in the fields, going to the Indian River Festival and the College of Piping, just spending time relaxing on the Island, eating good food,” Hall laughs.
In addition to these memory-building moments, a life-changing one occurred when she attended an AVC vet camp when she was 12.
“I was always very interested in animals, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with animals,” Hall says.
“Then we heard about the vet camp up here, and I was lucky enough to get a spot in it. And after spending a week I kind of had that golden ah-ha! moment where we were able to watch surgeries and we dissected a fish.
“And that was the part of veterinary medicine that’s always intimidating (for me); ‘Could I cut an animal?’ And after going through vet camp and getting experience and watching the doctors I thought, ‘I can really do this.” That really changed my direction I was headed.”
Now in its 13th year, this annual camp is called the Dr. Tim Ogilvie AVC Vet Camp after the AVC faculty member who started it all.

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