Kickapoo High Quarterly


Kickapoo High Quarterly


Kickapoo High Quarterly



Missouri AHEC Science and Health (MASH) camp recruiter, Heather Booth, shares information on how students can explore healthcare this summer.
Photo by Evelyn Nelson
Summer is a great time to explore your interests in healthcare by participating in camps, volunteering, and shadowing healthcare professionals. It also strengthens your college application by showing your passion for medicine.

   Choosing to enter the medical field can be a hard choice for some high school students. Luckily, there are many opportunities for students to develop their interests in medicine, health, and science this summer. 

   Sophomore Addilyn Hill is a student at our school that is interested in healthcare. 

   “I love helping people and knowing that I can make their lives easier,” Hill said.

   She plans on doing the Alliance for Healthcare Education program next year to get a head start on her nursing career. 

   “I’ve always wanted to be a nurse since I was little. My mom works at Mercy hospital, so I looked up to her a lot when I was younger,” Hill said.

  Hill has also participated in many explorative health camps and activities to make sure that healthcare is what she wants to do. It helped her decide to pursue being a nurse. 

   “I was really interested in health camps such as the Missouri AHEC Science and Health (MASH) camp. I saw a lot of opportunities to strengthen my knowledge on others’ health and learn more about the science aspect of it. I think it’s a great opportunity for others that are interested in science and health to get involved and learn more about the field,” Hill said.

   This is Heather Booth’s 13th summer of planning, implementing, and running the MASH summer camps. 

   “MASH summer camp is designed for students who know that they like science, or maybe they’ve thought about doing some kind of career in health sciences, but they are not sure what. It can also be for students who are not even sure if they even want to go into the health sciences and are still considering other career fields as well,” Booth said. 

   If a student is hesitant about whether healthcare is a good fit for them or not, MASH camp is a good way for them to find out. 

   “It’s also really great for students that are already pretty set on what they think they want to do because sometimes they come in and they are like ‘Oh I really want to go into nursing, but then I learned about occupational therapy and I didn’t even know that existed and that was that really neat too, maybe I should look into that also.’ So, it can kind of make you think twice about what you think you want to do because it exposes you to a bunch of different health career fields that you didn’t know about,” Booth said. 

  MASH summer camp is a good way to try out a variety of different health professions. They have local health practitioners and professionals from a variety of different fields come in and participate during the camp. It depends on what practitioners are available on what day but the camp always tries to include medicine, nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy. They also try to incorporate the dental field, nurse anesthesia, pharmacy and radiology. They also sometimes include healthcare administration and communication insight disorders, such as audiology, and speech language pathology.    

   This summer, there are four different camp locations. There is one in Joplin from June 18 to 19. On June 25 to 26, there will be one held in Monnett. From July 11 to 12, the camp will be held in Bolivar. The camp that most students from our school would attend is here in Springfield from July 24 to 25. 

   The camps are generally held at nearby colleges and universities or local hospitals. The one in Springfield will be held at Missouri State University. It is not too late to register to attend the camps.                      

  “The deadline to register for camp is one week before the camp starts. If you know you really want to go, I would register earlier because we do cap them, depending on where our host sites are. Most of the caps are between 20 to 40 students. Once we get over the cap we have a waitlist,” Booth said.

   To register for this camp, visit the Missouri AHEC Science and Health (MASH) camp website (

  According to the website, the price to attend the camp is $40, but if money is an issue, limited scholarships are available. If cost is a hindrance for you in order to attend the camp, Booth’s email is available on the MASH website as well as other people who can help. 

  “We can usually find a scholarship for you without much trouble. When I say limited. I mean that not every single person who registers has financial strain and would not be in need of a scholarship,” Booth said.

   Booth is very passionate about making sure students have this opportunity, so if you are interested, register for the camp. 

  “I just enjoy working with the students and giving them access to the healthcare professionals and to the faculty members, because it’s hard if you are in high school to be able to shadow directly and make those connections. I also think it’s important for students to dig in and see what each career field is like so that they can get an idea of whether or not it would be good for them,” Booth said.

  Attending this camp is the perfect way to explore healthcare. Register today, and dig into healthcare this summer!

MASH camp offers hands on experiences for a variety of medical fields (Photo courtesy of Missouri State University (Southwest Missouri Area Health Education Center) (Missouri AHEC Science & Health (MASH) Camp)
MASH camp attendees can learn different skills they might need if they pursue a career in healthcare (Photo courtesy of Missouri State University (Southwest Missouri Area Health Education Center) (Missouri AHEC Science & Health (MASH) Camp)
Learning how to bandage wounds during an emergency triage is one of the many things you can learn if you attend MASH camp. (Photo courtesy of Missouri State University (Southwest Missouri Area Health Education Center) (Missouri AHEC Science & Health (MASH) Camp)
This camp is a great way to meet new people and make connections with professionals in your field of interest. (Photo courtesy of Missouri State University (Southwest Missouri Area Health Education Center) (Missouri AHEC Science & Health (MASH) Camp)
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About the Contributor
Evelyn Nelson, Reporter