Last Friday, Campion Academy’s Spanish classes presented a celebration of culture that included live musical performances, authentic cooking videos, food samples, and recreated artwork from the Spanish-speaking world.
The audience had an experience that delighted the senses: “I really liked that there was a variety of different foods, dances, and arts from the Spanish culture,” said Sofie, junior; “It was very fun and I enjoyed it a lot.”
The students appreciated the break from mostly focusing on language to incorporating culture. Olivia Jordan created a cooking video on how to make empanadas. “I enjoyed learning about the different types of foods from Spanish-speaking countries. It was fun to try to recreate the empanadas. Regan and I had a really good time in the kitchen trying to follow the recipe and video ourselves at the same time. In the end, I think our empanadas turned out great; they were delicious!” Jordan commented.
Poe Hla Hla performed the song “Recuerdame,” commenting, “I am proud of myself for pushing myself out of my comfort zone and singing a song that is very dear to my heart.” Angel Villalobos, the Spanish department’s student worker, assisted her in the performance. “I give thanks to Angel because I couldn’t have been able to do this without him, he really helped me out,” said Hla Hla.
The audience got up on their feet when Sandra Arlt gave a lesson on the basic steps of the well-known latino dance, the Salsa. “One of the things I majorly enjoyed is how many vibed with my presentation. I was scared at first, and then everything just fell perfectly into place,” Arlt reflected; “I thought all of the presentations went very well. I was very proud of what we all pulled off. Overall it was just really fun!”
At the end of the performances, the audience had the opportunity to sample the food from each of the cooking shows and visit the art exhibition.
“It was a memorable day for our Spanish classes; the songs were beautiful, the videos were funny, the dances were interactive, the artwork was exceptional, and the food was delicious. I’m very proud of the students and the work they put in to make this event a success. I hope to make this an annual event at Campion!” - Jill Harlow, Spanish Teacher
Students became actors last Saturday night when the American Literature class performed two plays, A Faded Flower and A Thread Amongst Many. The plays were written and performed by students and based on the classic, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.
Blessing Simamora, junior, described her experience of acting. “I enjoyed being an actor because I got to put myself in the shoes of a character. The most challenging aspect was performing and projecting real emotion. My favorite part of my role in the play was how I got to express what my character was feeling.”
Beyond acting, students experienced the various roles that go into live theater, including scriptwriting, set design, public relations, and videography. “This is the third time I’ve done this project but the first year that we had videographers as a position,” explained Miss Johnson, American Literature teacher. “Having some behind-the-scenes videos was fun, and it shows the process of our rehearsals to the audience.”
Noah Sturges, junior, reflected on his role as a videographer. “As the year went on, I gained footage and knowledge and slowly created my video. Even though the process was very long, I enjoyed it to the fullest.”
The plays were entirely written by students in the American Literature class, one of which was Brianna Bell, junior. “I really enjoyed being a playwright this year for the Am Lit plays! However, with this job came great challenges,” she explained. The playwrights had to condense the performances so they could perform them for the entire school. “It was difficult picking only two scenes to share with the audience. We wanted to share our whole play with them. Even though being a playwright was difficult, it was totally worth it!”
“The purpose of this project is for everyone to grow in something that they are good at but also to expand on their learning of A Raisin in the Sun,” Johnson remarked. “I think that it all turned out really well! The actors gave their absolute best performances and the sets looked amazing!”
Jayce Treat, Student News Team
Even though Campion Academy has been able to be in-person for most of the academic year, the COVID-19 pandemic has still significantly affected the mental health of many students. Throughout the United States, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thought rates have significantly increased within youth. The Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey found that 56% of young adults reported feeling symptoms of anxiety or depression and 26% experienced suicidal thoughts at some point during the past year.* Campion students shared how the pandemic has affected their mental health.
It can be hard to maintain a positive attitude and stay connected with others, especially during times of quarantine. "Even though I don't always show it, I like being around people,” explained Ivan Mogaka, junior. “Lockdown made it very hard to get the social aspect of life and when my friends are not near, I become lonely and sad."
In times like these, it can be especially hard for people who express themselves through touch or facial expressions by having to wear a mask and social distance. "COVID has negatively affected my mental health because I am a very touchy guy. My love language is touch, so it feels like I can't convey my happiness to others right. I love hugs and the distancing is hard on hugs.” said Jared Marcenaro, junior.
“Since the pandemic started, it has been hard for me to stay positive,” an anonymous student reflected. “Before COVID, I had struggled with anxiety already and the pandemic only added to the problem. I have struggled with social anxiety the most since I haven’t been able to interact with others regularly. However, God has been the main frame of happiness in my life and I have learned how much I need to lean on him in difficult times.”
Coming from a Christian perspective, it is helpful knowing there is a better future ahead, regardless of what happens here on earth. Kylie Wehling, junior, stated, “One way I have stayed positive and strong throughout this pandemic is maintaining my spiritual life. All the changes in plans and schedules have made me realize that God is the only one who can be a constant in our lives. Our circumstances will change, but He never will. I find my strength in that promise."
Haley Enochs, Student News Team
If you are a student experiencing mental health issues, don’t be afraid to reach out. The residence hall deans and the chaplain are available to talk confidentially and will help students connect with professional counselors as needed.
*Panchal, N., Kamal, R., Cox, C., & Garfield, R. (2021). The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/
Sunny smiles and slushy snow made for epic spring-skiing conditions for the 18 students on Campion’s annual trip to Copper Mountain.
The students spent three full days of skiing and snowboarding together during the four-day trip based out of Leadville. “With COVID disrupting a big part of the year, it was refreshing to get off campus and enjoy God’s creation,” reflected Kylie Wehling, junior.
Coming from Kansas, Jared Marcenaro was one of the students in the group who experienced skiing in Colorado for the first time. “What made the trip great for me was being able to learn and fail around friends,” Marcenaro remarked. “They always helped me back up and told me what I could do better. They also pushed me to do more difficult runs and tricks.”
The students were in agreement that the relationships formed from time spent together were the true highlights of the trip. “The people who were there made the trip fun,” said Love Pickle, junior. “On the slopes, we were cheering for each other, which was so ‘sick,’” she explained.
“I think the relationships between friends and even people that didn’t hang out before grew so much on the trip,” said Karson Lee, junior. “I had a great time with my friends, but I also had an amazing time hanging out, laughing, and getting to know people who I hadn’t known very well before.”
Aside from skiing and snowboarding, the students had the chance to spend Sabbath together in an intimate setting for worship and studying the Bible. After church, they took in the mountain views while tubing down the local sledding hill. Each evening, students caught up with homework and held rowdy ping pong tournaments.
The ski trip had been rescheduled due to COVID quarantine restrictions after spring break, but even in April, Copper still had sufficient snow to keep all of the runs open, and the students appreciated the warmer-than-usual temperatures. Pickle commented, “Honestly, the fact that the weather wasn’t freezing cold was the finishing touch.”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
Sabbath afternoon, Campion students joined together to share God through reenacting nine scenes from the life of Jesus in celebration of Easter. Around 100 vehicles from the community and church members drove around the campus and watched glimpses of scenes from Jesus’ birth to His resurrection.
Produced by Erin Johnson and Nancy Meszaros, the entire student body was involved in representing different aspects of the life of Christ including: Jesus’ birth, baptism, miracles, Last Supper, Gethsamane, trial before Pilate, His crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Students in Johnson’s drama class composed and directed each scene.
“What I enjoyed the most was seeing how hard the students worked to put on this performance,” commented Brianna Bell, one of the student directors. “You could tell that they were definitely doing this for God.”
Andy Obregon, who played Jesus in the Crucifixion scene, reflected, “Every time I had to be lifted up on the cross, I thought about the actual pain Jesus went through because of how much He loves us. I have so much more appreciation for Him now more than ever.”
Erin Johnson, director of the Resurrection scene remarked, “I saw a lot of smiling faces as they drove away from the campus. We hope that the experience was a reminder that Jesus has risen and that he is coming back. Who wouldn’t be happy knowing that?”
Campion News Team with Ryan Bell
On Sunday April 4th, the upperclassmen enjoyed bowling, laser tag, and pizza at The Summit in Windsor for the Junior/Senior Banquet. The students had a chance to get off campus and have fun together: an uncommon opportunity during the pandemic.
“The banquet was an absolute blast!” said Edward Camas, junior. “It was a nice stress reliever considering that I was in quarantine for the past week (due to a COVID-19 exposure). Overall the event was amazing and I hope we can do more things like this in the future.”
The junior class officers plan the event annually as a gift to the seniors. COVID restrictions made it challenging to come up with safe options for the activity. Regan Garman, junior class president, shared, “Junior/Senior Banquet was fun to plan with my fellow class officers, but one of the biggest challenges was trying to come up with an idea that everyone would enjoy.”
The banquet was held in a private party lounge with its own bowling lanes, and the students shared that the evening was a success. Tiffany Dien, senior, commented, “Although I haven’t been good at bowling in the past, it was very memorable because I made three strikes the whole night! I definitely had a fun time during my last banquet.”
The night ended with laughs and bonding over homemade desserts on campus.
Campion News Team with Andy Obregon, Guest Contributor