Vet Set Go, Merck Animal Health and VCA Animal Hospitals Team Up to Launch “Become a Veterinarian Camp Contest 2022”

Contest Gives Rising Sixth to Eighth Graders Chance to Win Coveted Spot at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Junior Vet Camp June 26 – July 1, 2022

Online essay contest opens Tues, March 1 at 8 am EST; Entries due Thurs, March 31at 11:59 p.m. EST

St. Augustine, FL (Feb. 24, 2022) — To help aspiring young veterinarians start now to pursue their dream, Vet Set Go — the first and only community dedicated to aspiring teen and tween veterinarians, together with Merck Animal Health and VCA Animal Hospitals — is inviting rising sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to enter the sixth annual Vet Set Go “Become a Veterinarian Camp Contest 2022.” The online essay contest will award three prizes for tween and teen students to attend the Auburn University’s Junior Vet Camp from June 26 to July 1, 2022, at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the nation’s premiere veterinarian schools.  

A picture from the camp

The prize package is valued at $875 and includes camp tuition, materials, and room and board at the world-renowned Auburn Junior Veterinary Camp in Auburn, Alabama. Transportation to the camp is the responsibility of the winners. The contest opens on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at 8 am EST, with an online essay submission available at Vet Set Go. The contest ends on Thursday, March 31st, 2022, with all essays due by 11:59 pm EST. The three selected winners will be notified of their free Junior Vet Camp experience by May 31, 2022.

“Vet Set Go is proud to offer young aspiring veterinarians a unique opportunity to access the in-person, hands-on veterinary experience they are craving,” said Chris Carpenter, DVM, founder and president of Vet Set Go. “Veterinarians have not been able to provide students the invaluable opportunity to volunteer and shadow in their clinics and hospitals as they traditionally would. Vet Set Go is excited to offer three scholarships to Auburn University’s Junior Vet Camp, which is one of the first in-person opportunities for tweens to explore their dream after the pandemic.”

The Vet Set Go “Become a Veterinarian Camp Contest” is open to students entering sixth through eighth grade in fall 2022. With the help of a parent or guardian, students enter the contest using the official entry form available Tuesday, March 1 at Vet Set Go. Student entrants are asked to complete a short online essay (300 words or less) that addresses at least one of these topics:

  • Why they want to be a veterinarian
  • Why they love animals
  • What they have done to get animal experience or learn more about science

Additionally, contestants will be asked to submit a photo of themselves with a favorite pet or animal or doing something to demonstrate their animal experience.

A student with cow

“Vet Set Go surveys show 65 percent of today’s veterinarians decided before the age of 13 it was the career path they wanted to pursue,” adds Dr. Carpenter. “Veterinary medicine is a calling, and at Vet Set Go, we believe now is the time to nurture and support these aspiring veterinarians.”

“Hands-on experience can make all the difference in showing the joy of the veterinary profession and preserving that early spark of interest,” said Todd Lavender, DVM, President, VCA Animal Hospitals. “I’m proud to work with Vet Set Go to send these deserving young people to Junior Vet Camp. This year’s program shows these future professionals what’s possible with access to mentorship and training.”

“Speaking from my own experience, having the passion to care for animals begins at an early age; and yet, it can be challenging for young tweens and teens to find educational or volunteer opportunities to gain the hands-on animal health experience they’re craving,” said Christine Royal, DVM, Associate Vice President of Companion Animal and Equine Business Unit, Merck Animal Health. “On behalf of Merck Animal Health and as an Auburn alumnus myself, we’re thrilled to once again partner with Vet Set Go for the 2022 Become a Veterinarian Contest and give emerging veterinarians the once-in-a-lifetime chance to attend Junior Vet Camp.”

During the camp, contest winners will learn about veterinary medicine first-hand in Auburn University classrooms, laboratories, and outdoor facilities. Curriculum includes learning about public health, food animals, wildlife, anatomy, x-rays, and first aid, as well as gain valuable mentoring about veterinary science careers.

Students in the classroom

To learn more about the “Become a Veterinarian Camp Contest 2022” or to enter between March 1 – 31, 2022, visit www.vetsetgo.com.

ABOUT Vet Set Go

Vet Set Go is the first and only web community dedicated to helping teen and tween aspiring veterinarians explore their passion. Founded by Dr. Christopher Carpenter, Vet Set Go works to encourage future veterinarians to explore their dream and to show them how they can start today.

Vet Set Go! published the only book available for young veterinarians to show them how to get animal experience, volunteer, learn animal science, meet veterinarians, and/or connect with other aspiring veterinarians. The 60-page, full-color hardcover book is a Mom’s Choice Award winner and a Benjamin Franklin Gold Award Winner. Since 2010, Vet Set Go has connected hundreds of thousands of aspiring veterinarians to resources, activities and connections to unique volunteer opportunities. For more, visit www.vetsetgo.com.

ABOUT Auburn Junior Veterinary Camp

The Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine offers the Auburn Junior Veterinary Camp on its campus in Auburn, Alabama each summer for youth entering the sixth through eighth grade who are interested in the veterinary medicine profession. Faculty, technicians and second-year veterinary students provide unique veterinary coursework and experiences for campers in laboratories, classrooms and outdoor facilities in one of the nation’s premiere veterinary schools. Over the course of its 125-year plus history, the Auburn University has produced more than 6,400 veterinarians and more than 500 specialists and researchers.

ABOUT Merck Animal Health

For over 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of connected technology that includes identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT VCA Animal Hospitals

A leader in veterinary care, VCA Animal Hospitals is committed to caring for the future of veterinary medicine. We are a family of hometown animal hospitals determined to positively impact pets, people, and our communities. From general practice to emergency and specialty care, VCA delivers world-class medicine to more than four million pets each year. Our national network of clinics and hospitals invest in cutting-edge tools, training and technology that enables our Associates to lead the industry today and into tomorrow. Among our talented 35,000 Associates are nearly 7,000 veterinarians – including 430 who are board-certified specialists – nearly 4,000 credentialed technicians and over 10,000 veterinary assistants – all dedicated to giving pets the very best in medical care.

As part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of brands, VCA is committed to the Mars Petcare Purpose—A Better World for Pets™. To learn more about VCA, visit: www.vca.com.