Rural Health Careers Camp

Click the links below to find out more about Rural Health Careers Camp and how to apply.

Rural Health Careers Camp for High School Students


The purpose of the Rural Health Careers Camp (RHCC) is to increase rural high school students’ awareness of careers in healthcare and prepare them for the academic and training requirements of future health professions programs. Program participants receive information about health professions training, financial aid, and campus life. Participants also engage in workshops and team-building activities that develop leadership skills and raise self-awareness of careers interests. Current health professions students are recruited to serve as camp counselors, who assist with the operations of the program as well as serve as mentors to the participants, providing insight on their experiences pursuing a health-related degree. Since its inception in 2005, the RHCC has educated over 600 high school students on healthcare professions.


  • Up to 50 high school students will be selected for the program.
  • We are looking for rural Illinois students who are passionate about helping others and would like to know more about getting into careers that will help them get there.
  • We accept students from the following counties, with preference for underclassmen students: Boone, Bureau, Carroll, DeKalb, Henderson, Henry, JoDaviess, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Mercer, Ogle, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Stephenson, Warren, Whiteside and Winnebago. Seniors and students outside of these counties will be considered, pending availability.


The cost of the program is an all-inclusive $100 fee that covers all activities, meals, and housing. The program fee is not due until notification of acceptance.

Important Dates

The camp will be held June 22-25, 2020 on the Rockford University campus, located at 5050 E. State Street in Rockford, IL.

Applications are due Sunday, March 1, 2020

Rural Health Careers Camp Application 2020
Rural Health Careers Camp Brochure

Camp Counselors for College Students

Health professions students interested in serving as camp counselors or camp counselor leaders can now apply! Both positions are paid opportunities and allow students to develop their leadership and mentoring experience.


Camp Counselors will receive a stipend of $600 for their time and assistance with the camp. Camp Counselor Leaders will receive a stipend of $800 for assuming additional responsibilities under the direction of the Program Coordinator.

Position Responsibilities

The Rural Health Careers Camp is a four-day, overnight educational program for rural high school students interested in learning about healthcare careers. The camp provides hands-on labs representing different health professions and is hosted on the Rockford University campus. Camp Counselors and Camp Counselor Leaders are needed to assist in the day-to-day operations of the program.

The camp counselors will assist in the overall day-to-day operations of the camp. Most importantly, their role is to ensure the care and well-being of the campers.  Camp counselors need to assist campers to adjust to new situations, give encouragement and care about each camper as an individual.  Camp counselors should:

  • Provide participants with a safe and secure environment both physically and emotionally where they can participate in educational, recreational and social experiences.
  • Offer opportunities to campers to have a better understanding and appreciation for the many careers related to health profession.
  • Model positive personal life skills and values, including, but not limited to: Fairness, Caring, Good Citizenship, Trustworthiness, Respect and Responsibility.
  • Provide opportunities for campers to learn and practice leadership, decision making and teamwork through group activities.
  • Foster the development of positive relationships between campers and camp counselors, who serve as positive role models, teachers and mentors.
  • Camp counselors may be asked to assume additional responsibilities during the course of the camp.

Two camp counselor leaders will assume the aforementioned responsibilities of camp counselors as well as additional responsibilities prior to, and during, the program. Camp counselor leaders will be asked to be available for up to two meetings in the week leading up to the camp. Required meetings will be held within the Rockford community and scheduled between the Program Coordinator and camp counselor leaders.

Camp Counselor Expectations

  • Beginning Sunday, June 22 at 2:00 pm – Thursday, June 25 (afternoon), counselors and counselor leaders are required to reside at Rockford University in the assigned residence halls.
  • Counselors will reside, overnight, in the Rockford University residence halls to supervise Rural Health Careers Camp participants.
  • Appropriate clothing. Camp Counselors should never wear clothing that advertises drugs, alcohol, or inappropriate subjects or behavior.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed at any time from the Orientation until the conclusion of the camp on Thursday. Violation of this expectation is grounds for immediate dismissal.
  • No drugs are allowed, except those being administered under doctors’ orders.
  • No profanity or the use of foul language.
  • Because this is a health careers camp, and counselors should be modeling healthy behaviors at all times; the use of tobacco is not permitted at any time during the camp.


  • Have completed at least sophomore year of undergraduate studies
  • Pursuing a health-related profession
  • Mature
  • Responsible
  • Energy and enthusiasm for educational activities
  • Preference given to RAs or people with previous camp counselor experience

Please review the official job description to learn about the responsibilities of each position as well as to begin your application.
Applications for the camp counselor and camp counselor leader positions are due Sunday, March 1, 2020.

Camp Counselor Application 2020

For More Information

Vicky Rhine, MPH
University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford
National Center for Rural Health Professions
P: (815) 395-5854

The National Center for Rural Health Professions at the UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford strives to meet the health care needs of rural residents and their communities in Illinois, around the nation and throughout the world. Certified by the Illinois Board of Higher Education since 2003, this University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford center has programs and collaborative partnerships that have become successful models for education, service, research and policy related to rural health involving multiple health professions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications for the 2020 Rural Health Careers Camp are due Sunday, March 1. Applicants will be selected by the following week (March 9-13). A notification of acceptance will be sent through email to those who list an email address on their application. An acceptance packet will be mailed to all selected students the week of March 9. Please allow some time for the packet to arrive.

Preference for the camp goes to underclassmen (rising freshmen and sophomores) who have not yet attended the camp and students from rural communities. Students of all grade levels are welcome to apply. Based upon the number of applicants, there may be a waiting list. Students will be notified if they have been placed on the list. Final confirmation will be sent by mid-April for those on the waiting list.

A typical day begins by 9am. Educational activities are scheduled until dinner, around 5pm. Additional speakers, career workshops, and team building games are scheduled after dinner. Time is reserved in the evening for campers to relax before official “lights out” at 11pm. One evening of camp will be spent in the Rockford community for recreational activities.

All but one day of camp activities are spent on the Rockford University campus. The second day of camp typically includes rotations at the UIC Health Sciences Campus- Rockford and an evening activity within the Rockford community. Transportation by coach bus is provided on this day.

Up to 50 students will be selected to participate in the 2020 camp.
Camp is hosted on the Rockford University campus at 5050 E. State Street in Rockford. Campers stay in dormitories. Camp counselors are also required to stay in private rooms in the dormitories for supervision and to attend to campers as needed.

Dormitories are separated by gender. The dormitories have 2-bedroom and 4-bedroom suites. A Roommate Compatibility Form is sent in acceptance packets to match students by interests. There is also a section on the form to request a particular roommate.

Check-in begins at 9am on Monday, June 22 at the dormitories. Campers will have time to bring in their items before orientation begins. Check-out will begin by 4pm on Thursday, June 25. Campers MUST be dropped off and picked up by a parent, guardian, or the parent/ guardian of another camper. Please notify us if you will be dropped off or picked up by another camper’s family.

A list of suggested items will be sent in camp acceptance packets. Most importantly, students must bring linens for the week (towel, sleeping bag and/or bedding, washcloth, pillow).

A list of suggestions will be sent in camp acceptance packets, but we advise checking the weather beforehand because temperatures in June can vary throughout the day. The dormitories and classrooms can also range in temperature.  Campers must wear comfortable, closed-toed sneakers for lab rotations.

Of course! Campers will be assigned a small group and camp counselor for activities throughout camp. Campers will have the chance to work with students of other groups, but these smaller groups will be a great way to get to know a few fellow campers more closely. The majority of former campers say that the camp is a great opportunity to make new friends!

Yes- there will be time each night before official “Lights out” when campers can socialize. One full evening of camp is reserved for recreational activities in the Rockford community.

The majority of camp meals will be provided at Rockford University’s student dining center. Their staff can accommodate your dietary needs. The Emergency Medical Waiver Form in your acceptance packet includes a section to note your needs in advance.

Refunds may be provided through Friday, April 24, 2020. After this date, refunds will not be available.