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During their last week of classes, 29 M1s took a break from Behavioral Sciences to join the incoming medical school class for CAMP (Creating Adventurous and Mindful Physicians). Now in its second iteration since its founding in 2018, CAMP puts M0s in the midst of rugged nature for three days and nights before they start their medical school journeys.

For this year’s CAMP, the name of the game was expansion. More than 120 Michigan Medical students took over the nearby recreation areas of Pinckney and Waterloo this year.

Lunch menu: tortillas, hummus, cheese, +/- trail spice

Our presence in the area was hard to miss, and CAMPers quickly became known by fellow hikers and mountain bikers as “that group of medical students.” Our numbers notwithstanding, we championed the backcountry principle of LNT – Leave No Trace. “Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints; make nothing but memories” embodies the ethos under which CAMP operates. CAMPers were taught, among other outdoor skills, how to most successfully Whale Spit their toothpaste and bear bag their food in order to minimize the impact of our daily routines on the natural surroundings.

Though it is always easy to lose yourself in the woods, guides made sure that their CAMPers were never so lost that they forgot the journey ahead. CAMPers were encouraged to take Mindful Moments, to reflect on their fears, worries, and hopes about medical school, and to take stock in the friendships and introductions made during their time on CAMP.

This year, among all of the groups, more than 160 miles of trails were conquered, dozens of weasels were bobbed, and hundreds of s’mores were devoured over the campfire (thanks to Dr. Skye and Dr. Huang!).