Students in Nathaniel Marin's Spanish class gave presentations this week of a Hispanic artist they've studied. Students presented highlights of the artists' lives and then revealed their own artistic rendition of one of the artists' works. Students' projects ranged from artwork to poetry to a reenactment of a classic "I Love Lucy" scene starring Cuban actor Desi Arnaz. Many of the works, including those by Natalia Anciso and José Guadalupe Posada, featured political or cultural commentary. Besides giving students experience with research, technology, artistic creativity, and public speaking, Marin's goal for this project was "for each of my students learn about the rich artistic culture of the Hispanic world."
Academy Days attendance climbed this year with over 90 potential students, promising greater enrollment for next year. Recruiter Jessica Rios, Principal Reeder, and other Campion staff advertised for the event by sending out fliers and personally visiting different schools to recruit for the event. "The teaching staff have been stretched thin in past years planning for the event," Principal Reeder commented, "and [now] having a full time recruiter has been a major blessing to this school.”
Campion's own students volunteered to lead out in the activities themed "Around the World." Angie Cedano, a visiting sophomore from Houston, Texas, said, "They took us around campus and we played Bible Pictionary, Apples to Apples, and other games. The activities and worships got us involved and excited to be at Campion." The kids had a blast. When Jordi Obregon, a visiting sophomore from Wichita, Kansas, was asked if he enjoyed Academy Days, he said, "It was a fun experience and I would recommend it to any of my friends." Both Jordi and Angie plan on coming to Campion next year.
The high attendance and positive feedback about the event shows promise for a higher enrollment number next year. Principal Reeder said, "We generally get 30-35% of who attend Academy Days, so with over 90 students attending, we are looking at about 30 potential students next year."
Jessica Rios, the school recruiter, said that she believes Academy Days was a big success. She said her favorite part was "Our S.A officers guiding visitors and taking them on tours. We used other students to help show people where the boys’ dorm was, etc. I also think our students interacting with them showed them the spiritual culture here as well. A lot of parents enjoyed that." Principal Reeder agreed, "I had a parent come up to me and tell me she had been to a couple of Academy Days in the past, but this one was the best she had been to." Jessica said that some parents thought that we were putting on a show, but when they realized that students get up front and talk about God on a regular basis, they were sold.
Madeline Uhrik and Benjamin Gueck are both seniors at Campion Academy
photos by Bryant Oei and Jennifer Sigler
Four teams made up of two students each head to HMS Richards School from Campion Academy each week to give Bible studies to 7th and 8th graders. These 7th and 8th graders, in turn, give Bible studies to the 4th through 6th graders.
The Campion students are members of Joe Martin’s junior Bible class where they have been studying the 28 Fundamental Beliefs since the beginning of the school year.
After studying one of the beliefs, Martin has his students choose seven Bible verses on that topic that are clearest to them and which they can use in their studies with the younger students. They are creating their own Bible studies.
“Although for many of these juniors giving Bible studies is out of their comfort zone, this group is thoroughly enjoying sharing their faith and praying with the kids, many of whom have never prayed before with strangers, says Martin. They are “enhancing their walk with God by sharing their faith,” he finishes.
All 43 of Martin’s junior Bible class students will have the opportunity to give Bible studies. In turn, all 14 of the 7th and 8th graders at HMS will have the opportunity to receive studies and then to give them to the 22 4th through 6th graders at HMS.
Ashley Halvorson, a 14-year-old 8th grader at HMS, has enjoyed receiving Bible studies from Campion students. “They did a really good job giving them to us,” she states. They had a lot of Bible verses for us to look up” [on] the Second Coming and what happens when you die,” she shares. “I think it’s fun to tell other people about our beliefs,” Ashley says “and to see God work through us.”
Christine Eagan-Foster, a 12-year-old 6th grader at HMS, received Bible studies from two girls in 7th and 8th grade, one on baptism. “It’s really fun that we can get taught about these teachings and interact about them. We even learn more than we learned at home. It’s nice to get a kid’s perspective on it,” she shares.
“By the time the HMS students have experienced this [give and take of beliefs] for a couple of years, they will be ready for baptism,” states Davin Hammond, principal of HMS. “We want every 7th and 8th grader to recognize that they can give Bible studies,” he adds.
Junior Bible students Cassie Carr and Natalie Boonstra, both raised in pastoral homes, believe the things they are learning in the class strengthen what their parents have taught them.
“The Bible class with Pastor Joe has helped me to know God on a more personal level,” shares Natalie. “Bible class has helped me develop in my Christian walk and to prove my faith.”
“We mark our Bibles with several verses to support each topic and cross reference them,” says Cassie. This gives us the tools to share with whomever we come into contact with. The junior class,” she says, “is coming closer to God because of this class and it is noticed all over campus.”
Martin has long had a burden to disciple young people and has worked with the student literature program for more than 25 years. A new federal law, however, that limits the age students can work to 16 and prevents them from working before 3 p.m. has made it more difficult to carry on this program with some students.
“The devil tried to close the door of evangelism” through this law states Martin, “but God opened a bigger door to evangelize our youth. Now we are placing the Scriptures in front of many of our youth who would never have opened them had the literature evangelism door not been closed. I’m having more influence with more kids in class than with LEs,” Martin enthuses.
Carol Bolden is RMC administrative assistant for communication
This story first appeared in Mountain Views, a publication of Rocky Mountain Conference of SDAs.
Campion's orchestra tour of Colorado continued in spite of a bus breakdown and a last minute performance cancellation due to lack of space. For their major orchestra tour of the year, the group set off to Canon City, Grand Junction, and Glenwood Springs. Mr. Glenn O'Halloran and student Nathaniel Sanchez worked on the bus periodically, stopping about four times to keep the bus functional. The orchestra went to different schools and churches to perform and share their musical talents in hopes of blessing people. "Things always go well when you have God on your side," said Hernan Rodriguez, a senior at Campion Academy.
The orchestra members played "Sleeper's Wake" by Johann Sebastian Bach and "Into the Storm" by Robert W. Smith. Students enjoyed trips to the hot springs, going on hikes, and bowling. Kathleen Zelaya, a sophomore, said, "Being on tour made us bond in a way that we hadn't before." Junior Bryant Oei, a junior, stated "O'Halloran kept everyone positive through the difficulties throughout the trip." Another senior at Campion, Baldo Plata, said that the trip was "an unexpected adventure."
Sam Middlebrooks and Destaney Bohlender are both seniors at Campion.