Teens and Tweens Go Behind the Scenes at Union Hospital With Camp Scrubs

Camp Scrubs was so successful last year for eighth grader Carter Phillippi, he decided to participate for a second year to prepare for his future in medicine.

“I came back because last year was good, and this year I knew there would be a lot more people to meet and learn with,” he said.

Carter Phillippi and other campers practiced CPR on manikins.

He and his fellow campers-turned-friends spent a week engaging in all things medical through Camp Scrubs, a partnership between ChristianaCare and Cecil College. From practicing laparoscopic surgical skills on oranges to delivering food to swaddling a newborn doll, the teens and tweens got to experience firsthand the many facets of being a health care professional.

Hooray for Camp Scrubs!

Camp Scrubs grants interested teens and tweens the opportunity for firsthand hospital experience as a health care professional. In conjunction with a partnership with Cecil College and Union Hospital, Camp Scrubs exposes students to career opportunities and helps them understand the important role of medical care within a community.

Camp Scrubs helps young people learn about potential careers while also shining a light on the love and excellence shown every day by Cecil County campus caregivers.

The beloved camp returned to Union Hospital with eight students in 2023, after an extended hiatus due to COVID-19. This year, participation expanded to two week-long session — one in June and the other coming up in August — with more than 40 students total. In math class, that comes to a 437.5% increase in participation. Hosting students from all over the tri-state area and beyond — Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and even Texas — has camp organizers brainstorming on how the camp might expand further.

Campers also experienced health care from the patient’s point of view. Here, they took turns in a Hoyer lift, used to transfer patients safely.

“I think it’s pretty neat for them to experience this at their age,” said Katie Hunter, program coordinator for Community Engagement. “These students are our future of health care.”

Being a part of Camp Scrubs has given rising junior Faith Andreen the chance to practice, observe and play all for the love of health. Witnessing everyday experiences of health care workers has further motivated her to continue pursuing a job in health care.

Faith Andreen (left) and a fellow camper learn to swaddle as part of their visit to Union Hospital’s new Family Birth Center where they learned about post-partum newborn care.

“There’s not really a lot of health care opportunities for kids our age, so when I heard about this I thought: ‘That’s a perfect opportunity to get to know more about the hospital and different areas of medicine,'” she said.

“I think the camp was put together really well. Every day was jam-packed full of fun things and I learned a lot!”

Motivational messages from Camp Scrubs students decorate the High Street walkway. Here’s one: “Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.”

Campers left their mark on Union Hospital as well. They offered cheer and hope to patients by decorating the windows across High Street, hand-painting rocks to add to the hospital’s “kindness garden” and building and stocking a little free library for patients.

  • Hello, Campers!