Casey Korthals

Community Service Reflection

College of Education

For one full week, Monday through Friday, in the summer of 2007, I worked at Camp Invention, at Dakota State, as a volunteer counselor.  The group I lead was fourth and fifth grade boys.  All of these boys showed passion for science and it was intriguing for me to watch.   I have never been too interested in science, but the camp brought out appealing aspects of science for not only the students but me as well.  There were around fifty students that attended the camp; however, the older they got, the fewer girls there were.

Growing up, I babysat children of all ages; however, I had never worked with so many older boys at once.  These boys were at the age when they thought they knew everything plus some.  There was one boy in particular who had to keep being reminded that he had to be considerate of others and that he was not to be so controlling.  There were times when everyone in the room would notice his behavior and his peers would yell at him to relax and calm down.  It was nice working with older children for this reason.  They are at the age when they are feeling more responsible and at times, more respectful.  This was a positive experience for me because it allowed me to not have to watch the students as I may have had to with younger ones, but observe them.

Most of the projects the students did involved group work; a task the boys excelled in.  The one time when the boys were not required to work in groups, was when they tore down an electrical appliance and invented one of their own.  However, while observing them, I found that many of them asked each other for their opinions and assistance, and in the end, it was a group effort after all. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and immediately told Jennifer Gross prior to the camp that I would love to work at it again next summer.  That week, I was given the opportunity to work with older students, something I do not have too much experience in.  Though there were a few struggles throughout the week, it was not enough to scare me away.  When the week was over at the camp, I was inspired, and even more anxious to teach.