On July 28 and 29 Campion’s volleyball coaches put on a camp for the school’s players. Head coach Kelsey Cate along with coach Codi Jahn and coach Baylee organized and ran the camp. 17 girls attended and practiced many drills including passing, setting, hitting, and serving drills. They also played games and conditioned for the upcoming season. Ireland Anthony, who going into her junior year and has been on the varsity team for two years, said that her favorite part about camp was, “Being able to bond with other new friends and being able to try out every position.” Everyone is very excited for this volleyball season which is coming up quick with tryouts starting in just three weeks.
Ashley Herber, Senior Student Editor
Photos by Jill Downey and Jill Harlow
Megan Michalenko, an incoming senior at Campion, spent her summer on the Spark team. She shares with us the impact spending the summer in ministry had on her.
Going into the summer I was definitely most excited to do Vacation Bible School. I love working with kids and I plan on eventually becoming an elementary school teacher. I was in charge of the crafts station which was something I loved. Something else that drew me to the job was music. I play the violin, so each night I played along with praise team. I love the creativity that playing with a praise team allows me to have with the violin. I also enjoyed playing for special music along with our pianist, Kendra Eickmann.
Something I was the most uncertain about for the job was the preaching part. Personally, I am a very shy and introverted person. The thought of public speaking terrified me. When I decided to interview for this job, I didn’t let my fear hinder me. I knew that God was calling me to work for Sparks, and that He would help me with my fear. The first time I preached was at Campion’s student-led Week of Prayer. Although I was scared, I was able to preach in front of the whole school. I made an altar call for baptism, and two students came forward and were baptized later that week. After accomplishing that, I knew God had called me to Sparks for a reason.
My favorite experience of the entire summer was when I preached opening night for our two-week long sermon series in Grand Junction. I talked about the fears and uncertainties we have in this world, and how to cope with them. I made an altar call for anyone who wanted to let go of something and give it to God, and three ladies came forward. Each of the ladies shared with me why they had come forward. Although it was heartbreaking to hear, each of their stories was so inspiring. One of the ladies shared with me that she had recently lost her husband and her house. Something I remember her saying was, “You were preaching right at me the entire time.” That's when I knew God had given me the right words to say that night. He calmed my fear of public speaking, so that I would be able to speak clearly and reach others.
Megan Michalenko, Senior
For the past eight weeks, a group of eight Campion Academy students have been putting on Vacation Bible School programs for children and preaching in evangelistic meetings for adults across the state of Colorado as part of the Spark team. Erik Maldonado, an incoming senior at Campion, gives an overview of their summer of ministry and shares his experience.
Our first two weeks of ministry began at Campion Church. While there, we only held VBS. The turnout was great, and the availability of the Campion gym allowed us to really put everything into the program. We were able to really build a connection with the kids, and they had a great time! After leaving Campion, we arrived at Chapel Haven church, located in Thornton, Colorado. Here, we were able to hold both a VBS and our evening meetings. Our two weeks here were very impactful, as we were able to get to know both the children of the church, and the adults. Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit, a few people decided to be baptized. Next, we travelled to beautiful Estes Park. There, we held both a VBS program and the evening meetings for one week.
After Estes Park, we took a mini retreat to Moab, Utah where we stayed at Daystar Academy, a small Adventist boarding school. This proved to be very beneficial for the team. Stuck in the desert with limited phone service, it was here that we were able to really bond and grow together spiritually.
After the retreat, we traveled to Grand Junction, Colorado. Because the church had done a VBS earlier in the summer, we used the time in the morning to hand out free Christian literature door-to-door. This experienced proved to be a huge blessing for both us and the many people who received the literature. We were able to hear many powerful testimonies and even prayed at many of the doors. The evening meetings were well-attended, and through them, the Holy Spirit moved about 16 people to baptism!
This summer was a very moving and powerful experience for me. I was very skeptical about leaving home for the summer, but looking back, it was completely worth it. I was able to share my testimony around Colorado and help people make a decision to come to Christ. Not only this, but because of the constant, 24-hour contact with the team, I have made a group of friends for life. This summer has shown me that if you’re able to commit to the Lord, He will use you in ways that you never imagined.
Erik Maldonado, Senior at Campion Academy
After working for the past 13 years as a physical therapist, Wendy Eickmann was notified at the beginning of July that due to changing business contracts she would no longer have a job by the end of the month. Despite her initial surprise and concern, she trusted that God had something in mind for her. She would easily be able to find another opportunity in the area working as a physical therapist, but she felt God’s gentle prodding to seek out a job that would allow her to be more intentional in ministry. She had no idea what that might be, but she knew that she would like to be more involved at Campion.
When an immediate need for an interim chaplain opened at Campion, Eickmann would never have expected it, but she knew deep down that this was what God was asking her to do. “I felt extremely unqualified, but God put it on my heart,” she reflects. “The very morning I was praying about considering applying for the position, I read these words in my devotional, ‘God will call you to do what you cannot do but will provide everything you need to do it,’” (Tripp, Paul. New Morning Mercies).
Wendy Eickmann has served alongside her husband, Steve (technology teacher), at Campion for the past 13 years. Their oldest daughter, Kelby, graduated from Campion in 2018, and their other two children, Nolan and Kendra, are both current students at Campion. Over the years, Eickmann has been involved and been a second mom to many Campion students, going on outdoor club trips, senior survival, and tournaments. For the past three years, the Eickmanns have opened their home and dinner table every Friday evening to any student who wants to come, sometimes serving over 50 students in an evening! “I have loved being able to connect with students when they come over, and it has made me want to be even more involved,” she comments.
Most importantly, Eickmann is passionate about helping students learn the importance of having a personal relationship with Christ. “I really want each student to know what a comfort and what an impactful thing it is to have a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus,” she emphasizes.
Eickmann looks forward to working also with the student chaplains this year at Campion: Madi Jordan, and her own son, Nolan Eickmann. “They’ve got great ideas and I really plan to utilize them and put them in charge to use their passions and their God-given talents,” she explains.
As a parent, Eickmann has seen the many ways her children have been able to grow in faith at Campion Academy as they are surrounded by spiritual mentors in their teachers, deans, and other staff members. She looks forward to being a greater part of that as we start this school year.
We are thankful that God can even use unexpected challenges for His glory.
There will be some staff changes at Campion Academy. We regret to announce that Pastor Esequias Perea will no longer serve as Campion’s chaplain as he steps down from this leadership position.
Esequias and his family will be moving back to Texas. His wife, Anna Perea, will also be deeply missed as the teacher of the Acquainting Agriculture class. Several staff members will continue to work to harvest and sell the produce through the end of the season.
Campion Academy has been blessed by God through Pastor Esequias and his family and we wish them well as they return to Texas.
God continues to provide for us at Campion Academy. We have decided to hire an interim chaplain to allow the administration ample time to conduct a search for a permanent filling of the chaplain's position at Campion Academy. Wendy Eickmann has accepted the role of interim chaplain. She has been a part of our campus community for over 13 years and clearly has a heart for students and for God. She will be assisted by two extraordinary student chaplains, Madi Jordan and Nolan Eickmann.
While it is difficult for us to see the Perea family leave, we know that God will continue to work on our campus, and we remain focused on our commitment to lift up Christ on our campus and in our community (John 12:32). God’s Holy Spirit moved on our campus in a mighty way this past school year with many students committing their lives to Christ and being baptized. We are thankful for our students who have shown deep commitment to their faith and the mission of the church this summer as they served in mission trips, literature evangelism, camps, and especially on our Spark youth evangelism team. With the support of our local Campion church pastors, the Grand Junction Church, Pastor Phil Jones, and Patricia Torres, the Spark team had a very positive and impactful end to their evangelistic series in Grand Junction. Sixteen people have committed their lives to Christ and plan to be baptized as a result of these meetings.
Please pray for God’s guidance for our staff and our students as we prepare to start the new school year.
Kent Kast led a group including five Campion students and over 30 others on a mission trip of a lifetime to Nairobi, Kenya from June 20th through July 2nd. Their primary purpose was to complete the walls on the second floor of Imara Daima Adventist School, located in a poor neighborhood in Nairobi. As the walls were built, lives were changed.
About 700 students attend the school, and around 40 students have to fit in each small classroom. “The school already had three floors, but the walls had been made of just sticks and tin,” commented Kast. “This is the typical building material in this area if one cannot afford cement or bricks.” After the first few days, they discovered that they needed to leave each morning by four a.m. to get to their worksite to avoid the heavy traffic as they crossed the city. The group worked a total of nine days, laying block and cementing the walls, until they completed all of the walls on the second floor.
Although the school’s students were also on summer break, one of the highlights of the trip was getting to visit with the local people, including the school’s teachers and several parents who came to work alongside the group each day. “The local people were very friendly and helpful. They weren’t there to just watch us work,” explained Kast. “They were very interested in making their school a better place, and they were also very interested in getting to know us. They loved to talk and tell us about their families. Some took us to their homes nearby to show us where they lived. Many of houses there had under 200 square feet of living space.”
Ryan Brown, one of the Campion students on the trip felt good about the work they did because it would help over 700 students. He mentioned, “The most meaningful part of the trip was seeing how other people lived and it made me appreciate my life in America and realize how lucky we are.”
In addition to the construction work, a doctor and two dentists in the group offered free medical and dental care to the people in the neighborhood of the school. These clinics were a large draw for the local people and allowed the group to have greater interactions with the people there.
Even our local Campion community was able to bless the people there through donations Kast collected before leaving. “HMS donated the entire grade school Bible curriculum that they were replacing. The school was very happy to receive the textbooks. The students have to buy their own textbooks, so they often will share due to lack of money,” Kast commented. “We also took several suitcases of donated clothing with us. This was put in one of the classrooms to be given to the people of the community as they need it.”
“I believe the best part of these trips is meeting the people,” said Kast. “The relationships we make with our new friends are genuine. When we leave there are always tears shed as we leave our new friends. When we visit other countries and cultures it helps us put a face on what we see only in magazines and on TV. Often, we have preconceived ideas of what a place will be like or what people believe and do. It is when we can say we have friends that are Kenyan that we can truly say we understand a little about them and their way of life. It also removes much of the fear we may have of an area due to our lack of knowledge. Hopefully we all represented our God and our home country well.”
The group stayed in guest rooms on the well-manicured campus of the East Kenya Union Conference, which also includes a church and medical clinic. While working took up the majority of the time in Nairobi, the group enjoyed attending Sabbath services at the local church, going out to eat at a nice restaurant, and especially having the opportunity to feed giraffes at a local park.
When the work was completed, most of the group went to Masai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya to have a chance to see lions, elephants, other famous African animals. “Africa is not all covered with lions and elephants,” Kast clarified. “They mainly reside in parks where they are protected.” The Maasai nomadic people also reside in this area, and while many have settled into permanent villages, some still roam the vast Serengeti, following the wildlife. “Visiting the Maasai village was as much a hit as seeing the animals,” Kast stated.
At the end of the trip, Kast and his son, Zach Kast, took the opportunity to make a short flight to Tanzania and hike to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the largest free-standing mountain in the world. “We started at the Machame gate at 5,900 ft. From there we spent four days climbing up through four different climate zones from rain forest to desert,” Kast explained. “The guides and porters were wonderful and became like family. The food was very delicious and fresh. We had perfect weather the entire time with sunny skies and starry nights. On summit day, we climbed the last 4000 feet from our camp in just over six hours to the high point of 19,341 feet (5895 m). We were able to watch the sunrise from the roof of Africa. It was such a wonderful experience and I can only praise God for the chance to experience that trip and for the strength to enjoy it.”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
Campion Academy is pleased to welcome our new head dean, Michael Gann, and his family to our campus community. Gann comes to Campion with 15 years of experience as a dean in Seventh-day Adventist boarding academies. Serving alongside Gann is his wife Jenny, an occupational therapist and an RN, and his three children, Caleb (13), Addison (10), and Nolan (8). “We are truly excited to be at Campion,” Gann commented. “It’s an institution that we’ve always seen as a special place to be a part of, and we feel that God led us here.”
Principal Don Reeder was also impressed by how God led in the journey to find Michael Gann and his family. “It is evident that Michael is a team player and understands how Residence Hall life can be a great support for students in their walk with God and in achieving a high standard of Academics,” he remarked. “I am excited to work with him and the deaning team at Campion Academy.”
As a dean, Gann’s primary goal is to help the young men form a relationship with Christ. Secondly, he desires to help build positive comradery between himself and the guys to create a unified dorm. Finally, he states, “I hope that we form a bond strong enough that we are able to learn from each other and hold each other accountable.”
When asked what he enjoys most about being a dean, Gann elaborated, “It’s the impromptu interactions with the students. I love it when someone just comes in to talk in the office. It seems that often on Friday evenings after vespers guys tend to congregate and we are just able to talk about life. Most of the time it leads to spiritual things and we are able to engage in spiritual topics and talk openly about our faith journeys.” Of course, Gann enjoys having fun with the guys too. “I think it’s important to meet the guys at their level and have fun and be goofy with them,” he commented.
Gann has a diverse background and has called many parts of the United States home. He was born in Hinsdale, Illinois, but spent most of his childhood in Massachusetts. He completed high school at Shenandoah Valley Academy and went on to Andrews University for three and a half years before ultimately finishing his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education at Columbia Union College.
His first job was at Dakota Adventist Academy as the athletic director, but early on, Gann felt God calling him to do something beyond P.E. “When I first brought up the idea of being a dean to my wife, she thought it was a crazy idea,” he remembered, “but I felt God calling me to it. As a student I was greatly influenced by my deans and saw how they made an impact on my peers as well. I saw what an opportunity being a dean was to have an impact on young men and as something God could truly use us to do.”
Gann’s first year as a dean was at Broadview Academy in Lafox, Illinois which had recently closed and was attempting to reopen. “That first year as a dean was trial by fire,” he reflected. “There were so many challenges and it seemed that everything that could go wrong, went wrong. However, it was a learning experience and prepared me for what was to come over the next 15 years as a dean.”
He continued on to serve as head dean at Fletcher Academy for five years, and most recently at Ozark Academy for the last eight years, where he also taught some P.E. classes and was the assistant coach for the Varsity basketball team.
Coming to Campion Academy wasn’t exactly a part of Gann’s personal plan, but he found out that it was part of God’s plan. “It was totally a God-thing,” Gann explained. “We thought we were going in one direction and God threw a curve-ball. But we are so glad that God’s in control, and we are excited to be here.”
When Gann talks about working as a dean, he consistently uses the plural pronouns of ‘we’ and ‘us’. “One of the cool things about working in the deaning field is that my family has totally embraced it,” he explains. “The kids love being part of the dorm family, and my wife really takes on the role of the dorm mom. She takes the time to connect with the kids and does a lot of baking, which the guys always enjoy.”
In their personal time they enjoy spending time as a family and watching and playing almost any sport. They are big fans of Chicago sports teams, (“Bears and White Sox not Cubs,” Gann clarified). The mountains and outdoor pursuits are draws for them here in Colorado as they enjoy camping and hiking.
One of Gann’s favorite verses as a dean is, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity,” Psalm 133:1. “I like to remind the guys that we get to be a part of something special. This is a unique community of young men and we can learn from each other and mentor each other,” explained Gann.
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
Huge heads of lettuce, piles of turnips, and soon, green beans, tomatoes, beets, squash, cucumbers, peppers, onions and more will all be ready for harvest on the Campion Academy Farm. Headed by Anna Perea, the summer harvest is a form of celebration of all the work she and her students have put in throughout the school year in the Agriculture class, and evidence of the many ways that God has blessed.
The fresh produce is available to the public at their roadside stand in the front of campus every Monday (except July 8) and Wednesday from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. In addition, they will be at the Fort Collins Farmer’s Market every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The market is located at 1001 East Harmony Road near the intersection of S. Lemay Avenue.
If those don’t fit your time frame, you can come to campus to pick-your-own produce straight from the field. Donations can be left in the money box in the green house, or you can go online to donate on the website at: www.campion.net/agriculture.
This past school year, with the vision of Perea and the support of the church community, Campion successfully implemented a new agriculture class and program. In fact, Perea, along with several other Adventist teachers throughout the United States have been developing a curriculum and teacher’s guide so that the model could be more easily implemented at other schools. The pilot model focuses on educating the students about God’s character through plants rather than simply for the produce to eat or sell.
This summer, two student workers are working part-time at the farm alongside the Perea family as well as some volunteers from the church. The program continues to have needs for both financial donations for supplies such as caterpillar tunnels, deer fencing, and ground cover, as well as volunteer labor. “It’s been really wonderful to see how supportive the community has been,” commented Perea. “Everything is donation-based, and people have supported both financially and with their time especially for our work-bees. God has always provided exactly what we needed at the right time.”
At the beginning of June, Campion Church put on its annual Vacation Bible School, but this year they used a program created by the Voice of Prophecy. Back in 2017, the VOP started a dramatized audio program called Discovery Mountain, and this year they created a VBS based on that program. Campion Church was enlisted to pilot, film, and promote the Discovery Mountain VBS where kids learned about the story of Noah and how Jesus rescues us.
Kari Lange, the VBS leader, said, “We had different animals come in every day, and it was fun to see the kid’s excitement over the animals.” This was the fourth year that VBS was led by Mrs. Lange, the first and second grade teacher at HMS. She was helped by Carey Jordan, the Campion Pastoral team, and youth involvement including the Spark team.
Spark, formerly known as Wildfire, is a summer job opportunity for Campion Academy students where they travel to different churches, preach evangelistic series sermons in the evenings, and put on VBS programs for kids in the morning. Campion’s VBS was their first stop, and the Spark team helped out at different stations, looked after the kids, and sang songs up front. Delanie Kamarad, a member of the Spark team, said, “It’s important to grow all aspects of the church, and the future of the church is kids. By doing VBS we are able to give kids the right tools to be able to lead.”
The Spark team is continuing to use the Discovery Mountain VBS program as it is easy to adapt for different churches. At the end of June, they completed VBS and an evangelism program at the Chapel Haven church in Thornton, and they are now spending a week at the Estes Park SDA Church. To finish out their summer of evangelism, they will spend two weeks in July at the Grand Junction SDA Church.
Ashley Herber, Student Editor