In mid-June, Teachers College organized two separate week-long residential summer camp experiences aimed at rising high school seniors interested in teaching. These camps were made possible through the Indiana Youth Programs on Campus Lilly Endowment grant, which covered all costs for the participants. A diverse group of 22 high school students from across the state were in attendance.
These students spent four days at Camp Adventure serving at apprentice teachers for the Summer Learning Fun at Camp Adventure program in which Ball State teaching candidates design lessons and activities for third graders that attend Muncie schools. Throughout the week, the apprentice teachers assisted with lessons and activities and had the opportunity to teach their own lessons at the end of the week. On the final day, the apprentice teachers were joined by their families at Camp Adventure. They showcased their accomplishments from the week, engaged in camp activities such as the ropes course and fishing, and shared a delicious picnic lunch together.
In the afternoons, upon returning to campus, the students took part in various campus activities hosted by the Welcome Center, the Learning Center, and the Career Center. These activities aimed to provide the students with insights into the college experience at Ball State. In the evenings, they bonded as they participated in community and teaching-related activities. They explored their creativity by painting hand-thrown pottery made locally, visited Minnetrista, attended a Bob Ross painting workshop, and even participated in a STEM lesson where they dissected cow eyeballs.
The campers expressed their desire to stay another week and return next year, a testament to the meaningful experiences they had during their time here. Beginning their journey on Sunday evening as strangers, they left on Friday with tears of farewell, having formed deep connections and friendships with their fellow campers. The Teachers College staff were touched by the campers’ emotional response and their eagerness to continue their involvement. These sentiments reflect the profound impact of the camp, as the students arrived with uncertainties but departed with newfound passion and enthusiasm for teaching, as well as cherished memories and lasting friendships from their time on campus.
In their words:
“I want to go to college”, the exact opposite of what I’ve been telling everyone since I was in the 8th grade. The Flight Path to Teaching Adventure camp changed my stubborn mind. I left camp with a ton of new knowledge, friends, and the thought that I want to attend Ball state University. Dr. Katie Crews and McKenna Crews have truly put something amazing and life changing together. I’m beyond grateful to have not only been able to experience it but also be the very first group to attend this amazing camp.
Camp was such a good experience to meet new friends and helped me see another version of a classroom. It was so much fun to meet more people that wanted to do the same thing that I want to do in college. Meeting kids in the classroom that were from different backgrounds both culturally and academically helped give me more experience as well. This camp also made me really want to go to Ball State even more from watching and talking to the Ball State students and hearing what their academic and campus life was like really interested me. Overall, the camp was very eye opening and gave me confidence that I really want to be a teacher. Thank you for giving me this opportunity, it has helped me so much.