“It was really cool to learn about how they save lives.” That statement sums up the enthusiasm and eye-opening experiences of the students who attended a unique summer camp at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College last month.
The first-ever Scrubs Camp at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College was held in July when 27 high school students spent three days on campus exploring health science careers and experiencing a slice of college life. The camp drew students from as far away as Alaska, plus several from Edina, Eden Prairie, and Woodbury. Local schools were well represented with students attending from Cloquet, Carlton, Cromwell, Barnum, Proctor, Hermantown, Superior, Duluth East and Duluth Denfeld.
Scrubs Camp gets its name from the typical “uniform” worn by many professionals working in the healthcare industry.
“My favorite part of Scrubs Camp was the paramedic and firefighter session because that is what I want to do when I am older,” said Kaitlyn Nynas, a ninth grader from Barnum. “Everything about it was interesting. I told my friends that the camp was super fun and a great opportunity to learn more if you are thinking about going into a career in the medical community.”
The primary focus of the Scrubs Camp was to provide students insights into healthcare professions. The camp experience in Cloquet was a collaborative project between HealthForce Minnesota and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, along with local healthcare partners Community Memorial Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital and Regional Trauma Center, Life Flight, Essentia, Fond du Lac Human Services, and the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Scrubs Camp offered students entering grades 9-12 the opportunity to explore a variety of careers in the health sciences. Students participated in hands-on learning sessions and investigated possible healthcare careers of interest. Camp participants were guided through activities by working healthcare professionals and college faculty.
“Our first Scrubs Camp was a huge success and we are happy with how well the camp went during the three days on campus,” said Mary Monson, Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. “The students were great and we are already committed and planning for our second Scrubs Camp next summer.”
Students learned from college faculty and staff, stayed in the campus residence hall, and got a good picture of what the path looks like to pursue a specific career in the healthcare industry.
“These students are the trailblazers for Scrubs Camp at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College,” said Misun Borman, Program Coordinator for HealthForce Minnesota that is based at Winona State University. “Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is an excellent site with great staff who are willing to share knowledge and resources. It was a fabulously organized camp.”
Some of the health careers and topics that were included during Scrubs Camp at FDLTCC included nursing, speech therapy, paramedic and emergency medicine, medical laboratory, psychology and mental health, occupational therapy, neurology, anatomy, and veterinary medicine. The topics and careers will change each year, so students who return for a second or third Scrubs Camp will continue to see and learn about different health sciences.
“I would recommend Scrubs Camp to others and I definitely want to come back next year,” said Jayden Sapik, a tenth grader at Superior Senior High School. “My favorite part was the experience of meeting new people and making new friends. I enjoyed the hands-on part of being involved in the activities, and learning about all of the different occupations in the health care field. It was really cool to learn about how they save lives.”
Scrubs Camps was offered throughout the summer at several Minnesota locations, but this is the first time the camp was held at FDLTCC. Over 850 students attended similar camps at 14 different locations during the summer of 2016.
Scrubs Camp students
Scrubs Camp students


I chose FDLTCC because of its size and the curriculum. When I first came here in 2019, I was just looking for what I needed to volunteer, perhaps in a crisis shelter. I met with Don Jarvinen, and the rest is history.

My favorite thing about FDLTCC is the people. I’ve met fantastic students, faculty and staff who go above and beyond what I expected.

It is awesome here at the FDLTCC Education Program because it is like a family here, if you need help or are struggling with anything, you have quite a few people who will help you out.