This past weekend around 600 alumni reunited at Campion Academy, rekindling their friendships. The homecoming event included worship services, musical performances, time to gather with old classmates, and sports competitions.
Friday evening during vespers, Dick Stenbakken portrayed John the disciple of Jesus, when he was exiled to the island of Patmos. His reenactment gave the audience hope of Christ's second coming. Lillian Resz, Sophomore expressed, “The performance was super entertaining and touching. It was amazing to see former Campion students together and Mr. Stenbakken’s performance made me even more excited to reunite with God and my family in Heaven.”
At the church service, the honor classes (ending in 3 or 8) were recognized. Alumni of the Year Awards were presented to Codi Jahn, Class of 2001, for her contribution to the Campion Community, and Darryl Bohlender, Class of 1971, for his service to his community. Finally, Harold Williams was inducted into the Hall of Faith for his dedication to Campion students over 28 years of teaching.
The services included choral, orchestra, and handbells performances. Ginger Easley, Class of 1983, shared, “The music program was big for all of us, so it was really cool to see the current music program. The performances were great!”
Erik Stenbakken, Class of 1986, was the main speaker. In his sermon he revealed many humorous antics from his time at Campion Academy and emphasized how God works to save us, despite our own actions.
During a sundown worship service Saturday evening current students participated in a panel discussion where they shared testimonies of how Campion Academy has changed their lives, helping them grow into spiritual leaders. Taryn Clark, Class of 2003 and former Campion staff member, reflected, “I just love that this is a place for people to get a great Christian education.”
On Saturday night, the current students and alumni faced off in friendly competitions of soccer and volleyball. Alumni dominated the soccer game winning 6 to 1 while the current volleyball team beat the alumni in a close match of 3 to 2.
Finally, on Monday, 27 alumni and supporters participated in the annual Reeder Golf Classic which raised money for Campion Academy. The winning foursome was sponsored by Amy Gane’s Southmarch Veterinary Clinic and included, Stefen Wilson, Christian Cable, JD Downs, and Cayman Ham.
As the weekend came to an end, David Marroquin, Class of 2018, advised current Campion students to: “Enjoy your years here at Campion. Make sure you cherish your youth and the time that you’re here.”
Eva Resz, Student News Team
The entire student body left the classrooms behind to learn from nature at Rocky Mountain National Park on Wednesday, September 13. The teachers each led a group of students to study a variety of topics including Elk Ecology, Orienteering, Park History, Junior Ranger, and Front Range Floods, while also exploring the top sites of the park.
One of the groups tested their endurance on a nine-mile round trip hike to Sky Pond. Jack Ramos shared that they found wild raspberries to enjoy on the hike saying, “They tasted so good! I’m glad that I experienced these moments with friends.”
The Elk Ecology group not only observed bugling Elk, but also saw a variety of animals including a bear, bighorn sheep, and marmots. “I learned all about the different animals that live at RMNP and how the park is trying to protect and regulate the Elk and other animals,” recalled Sarah Rushhold, junior at Campion.
In addition to the learning components, one of the objectives of the day was to allow all of the students to experience the Rocky Mountains. Eriane Saraiva, a senior from Brazil, explained, “This trip was my first time in the mountains and for me it was a very fun and different experience. One of the parts I enjoyed most, apart from spending time in nature, was taking a break from studying and school, and I also had the opportunity to talk to people I hadn't gotten to know before.”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
The coaches and members of Campion’s varsity soccer teams hosted about 70 middle school students from four local Seventh-day Adventist schools for a soccer clinic on Friday, September 8. The students worked on building their skills through drills and practice, then competed in a mini-tournament in mixed-school teams.
A soccer coach at Campion and HMS Richards Adventist School, Pastor Herbert Hernandez described the multi-school event saying, “I think it’s a great opportunity to get to know each other and to make friends with the students from other schools. Even with older kids, once they interact with other schools they don’t see each other as rivals, but as friends.”
Tryg Sorensen, an HMS Richards seventh-grade student shared the sentiment, saying, “I like that we are able to play with other schools and work together as a team; it made me feel comfortable and confident.”
The Campion varsity players each coached a team during the tournament, sharing their knowledge and love of the game. While the younger students appreciated the attention from their mentors, the Campion students explained that it was a benefit for them as well. Brayden Marroquin, Varsity Team Captain reflected, “It's fun teaching kids because I remember that when I was a little kid, I always looked up to the older guys at Campion, and now I get to be on the other side. I enjoyed getting to know the kids and helping them improve in this amazing sport.”
Pedro Vieira, Student News Team
This past Sabbath, a Campion Academy SWAT (Students with a Testimony) team traveled to Sidney, Nebraska to put on the church service for the local Seventh-day Adventist congregation.
The students shared testimonies, prayers, music, poetry, and scripture. The members of the church commented that they were blessed by hearing the students' testimonies as they participated in praise and worship together.
Elizabeth Shannon, senior, reflects, “It's fun getting to know other church members and seeing how God works through you to impact their lives. A lot of people told us - ‘I loved how you guys came and I want you guys to come again,’ which I really appreciated.”
The students and church members bonded over delicious food in a potluck following the service. Mabel Cabandon, senior, shared, “This was my first time going on SWAT and the church members made me feel so welcomed. I loved eating potluck and getting to know the church members. The root beer floats and mashed potatoes were so good; definitely the best part!”
Teresa Johansen, Campion Church Administrative Assistant, helped organize the trip and accompanied the students. She reflected, “My favorite part of SWAT was learning more about the kids when they told their testimonies and their stories. They did a really good job and the people at the church really appreciated it. It was really fun!”
Campion Academy has a tradition of sending students to various churches in the Rocky Mountain Conference. This year, Chaplain Carlos Santana has placed sophomore student, Izuchi Nwankwo, in charge of finding students to participate in SWAT events. Nwankwo explains, “Being in charge of finding students for the SWAT trips makes me think outside of the box. I try to find different people for the trips, which also helps me make new friends and understand more people. SWAT has helped my leadership.”
This year, Chaplain Carlos Santana plans to take students to different churches about once a month.
Eva Resz, Student News Team
Each class came up with a creative way to reveal their class officers during assembly on Wednesday.
The Campion Academy seniors carried on the tradition of bonding as a class while surviving in the woods surrounding Glacier View Ranch from Wednesday, August 30th to Sunday, September 3rd.
They hiked into the wilderness with their backpacks to set up their shelters using only natural materials, ropes, and tarps. The students were lucky to not have to contend with bad weather, as it was mostly warm and sunny for the entire trip.
The students went without their phones, allowing them to find entertainment through conversations and games. “It was really nice seeing the students interact with each other and talk because kids normally don't sit there and talk as much as they did,” Amy Kluchesky, senior class sponsor, elaborated.
During the days, the seniors had to use communication, leadership, and patience to complete group activities, including a trust fall off a rock. Natanya Razafindrabes shared that this was her favorite memory of the trip because “during the trust fall, we were all connected and really bonding since we literally had to trust our classmates to catch us.”
On Friday evening, many students shared their testimonies around the campfire. “I was able to see God during these testimonies no matter who told them, and even if they were struggling with understanding God. I saw how God would take care of and communicate with each person,” Seth Harmon, Senior Class President, remembered.
Many students felt that they grew closer with one another over the trip. Dwayne Rey, senior, expressed, “We've gotten more comfortable with each other and we're able to be vulnerable, which makes our relationships stronger. We got to know more about each other's opinions and how we handle things. We were able to see things from each other's perspective, which makes it possible for us to grow.”
The staff also noted how well the class connected. Sue Helm, senior class sponsor, reflected, “The girls and guys bonded by spending time and playing games together. I think they definitely bonded during the trust fall. That was a huge, huge one. These kinds of activities bonded them as a class because they had to work together. They had to understand each other's feelings, and what each one was going through and what he or she needed at the time.”
Finally on the last evening the students had a communion service and held class elections.
They returned to campus on Sunday, stronger as a class.
Catie Fairfield, Student News Team
The Campion Varsity boys beat Heritage Christian in their first home game with a final score of 3-0. Brayden Marroquin scored two goals and Pedro Vieira scored one goal.
Photos by Eva Resz
Photos by Eva Resz
Campion students united in prayer and praise for a Sabbath youth service in the chapel led by Chaplain Carlos and Student Chaplains Eva Resz and Jovanna Maldonado, after Mountain Church at GVR had been canceled due to weather.
The Youth Church was centered around this school year’s theme: God’s Will. It included worship music, prayer, activities, a sermon, and time to discuss. “It was awesome to hear all the different takeaways and reflections across the group about how each person viewed the story and how it impacted each individual’s walk with Christ,” said Ekenna Nwankwo, senior.
The students also enjoyed center campus by hanging out with each other, laughing, and playing games in the afternoon. “Youth Sabbath was filled with spiritual happiness. Not only did I feel connected with God but with all the students as well. Hanging out with friends, singing songs, and having Bible studies. Such an amazing sabbath!” shared Mabel Cabandon, senior.
Pedro Vieira, Student News Team
Freshmen Scramble and SA Picnic
Sophomores Scramble and SA Picnic
Juniors Scramble and SA Picnic
Senior Scramble and SA Picnic
Campion Academy students showed off their class spirit at the annual Class Scramble and SA Picnic last weekend, creating a fun start to the school year.
The students were separated into their classes and participated in challenges that required team work. At Class Scramble, the seniors won by a tiny margin over the sophomores, making the event more exciting. “It was awesome to finally win it this year, even if it was only by 5 points,” remembered Ekenna Nwankwo, senior, “Those sophomores really gave us a run for our money”.
Marc Winokan, sophomore, expressed, “Class Scramble was very fun. Our class was really organized and showed great class spirit. We were so close to beating the seniors, but either way it was still really fun.”
The junior class came in third place, but the freshmen weren’t far behind them. A new freshmen student, Abigail Brown, commented, “I felt very intimidated doing class scramble at first. Our class didn’t have as many items, and we didn’t know what we were doing, but as the game went on we started getting the hang of it and doing somewhat well, leading the juniors for a little bit. In the end we lost, but it was fun working together with my class and getting to know them more and building class spirit.”
On Sunday, students again divided into their class groups for more competitions at the SA Picnic. The first activity was tug-of-war, and in a surprising turn of events, the sophomores beat the seniors.
“Winning tug-of-war was very exciting! Our class was ready to give it our all and our motivation to win drove us to victory,” explained Lillian Resz; “it was so much fun to experience winning against the upperclassmen”.
The final event was the traditional bus push, where students had to join together as a class to push one of the school buses up the Campion Academy drive. Toby Quillin, junior, expressed “The bus push was a great way to get closer to our class, some people pushed the bus up the hill while the others cheered on, and eventually, through lots of pain, we won!”
Finally, the students had time in the afternoon to enjoy relaxing on center campus and cooling off on a slip-n-slide.
All these competitions had two common goals: to help students grow closer with their classmates and to create fun memories for the beginning of the school year.
Julia Santiago, Student News Team