His promise was personal and his word went around the Conference. On the last day of summer, September 21, in the presence of the entire student body, faculty and staff, the deed was done.
There was no end to the cheering and applause. Selfies were taken with the willing victim, and haircut variations were attempted. Delight shot across Jessica’s face as she shaved Ed Barnett’s head with a “Reeder hair option” (a near-bald look) and transformed his thick, curly gray hair into a becoming new hair style. Donna Reeder, who regularly cuts hair for her husband, Don, principal of Campion Academy, delivered the final cut.
With his curls falling down, Ed Barnett commented: “I'm glad I can't see what it looks like. I'm not a bit sorry.”
“It was a pretty good bet. He's definitely down to earth about it,” said Faith Paden, a sophomore watching the event.
Raelynn Kelley, senior, said in a straight-forward manner: “He looks good with or without hair.”
“From the front it's not that bad,” commented Nati Joya, junior. “It's not too bad. It's not my style though!” added Joe Philpott, sophomore.
“Our enrollment was declining and we had to do something about it. Careful strategic planning and the motto, “To know Him – to show Him,” went to the core of the school’s spirituality. We knew that God is leading our 109-year old school as we lift up Christ. We added our creativity, focused on spirituality and mission, and intentional marketing to keep us on track,” explained Donavan Reeder, principal.
The school’s enrollment in 2014 bottomed with 128 students, then in 2015, increased slightly to 135. Today, the school has gone beyond the goal of 145, reaching 155 students for the current school year on the Loveland campus.
Text and photos by Rajmund Dabrowski, RMC Communications Director
Campion Church and Campion Academy are working together to “Encourage the growth of a generation that knows how to connect with a local church, become involved, and join in the mission,” as explained by Campion chaplain Rob Carlson.
The church encourages students to be involved throughout the year by identifying at least 10 possibilities for church participation. They’ve provided students with contact information for church members who can get them involved in everything from greeting, to music, to ushering, to welcoming families with the parking team. (The freshmen parking ministry greets and directs new visitors, helps carry potluck food, and provides umbrellas when needed.) “I love this church. They let us be involved,” says senior Celine Lumowa, who leads one of the praise teams for the academy’s weekly chapels and vespers. She helps with the church praise teams, too.
“It’s exciting to be somewhere where there’s a desire for the church and school to work together,” says Carlson. He works with the spiritual life committee, made up of the school principals from Campion and HMS, church pastors, and Bible teachers, who meet together once a month to vision and implement the spiritual goals on Campion’s campus. Together, they have focused on how to provide opportunities for students to get involved in church and other spiritual activities.
On the academy campus, students attend chapel, vespers, and Sparks each week. Sparks is a student-led, co-ed evening worship usually featuring testimonies given by students. Not only do students get a chance to share at Sparks, they’re in charge of planning it, too.
An additional gathering called Fusion meets once a week to provide students the chance to pursue a particular topic of study, whether it’s learning about spiritual disciplines, reading Beautiful Outlaw, practicing sermons, or learning about time management and devotions from church members Sandy Eickmann and Dick Stenbakken.
“The biggest thing right now is Fusion,” says student chaplain Diana Miranda. Over the last three weeks, her Fusion group has been reading through Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge. “It was a really nice time to read about who God is and have teenagers interested in a book that is understandable.”
Perhaps more than anything, Carlson is excited about the teamwork involved in leading students to know Christ. Not only are adult leaders involved, but many students—the dorm chaplains, class pastors, and others—meet for supper once a week to discuss ministry. “We talk about what we struggle with, what we want to change, and what awesome spiritual things are happening in the student body,” says senior Celine Lumowa. No one has to struggle to lead alone, they are joined by a team passionate about helping others in their Christian walk.
Jenny Sigler teaches English at Campion Academy
Campion students camped and hiked a challenging route up Missouri Mountain last Sabbath. After camping overnight in freezing temperatures, the group left early to climb the steep west ridge route to the 14,067' summit.
Beautiful weather allowed for all-day hiking, and a couple students were even able to descend by hiking cross country along the south ridge. For senior Michelle Hebard, Missouri Mtn. was her 4th 14er to climb with Campion's Outdoor Club in four years. For many others, Missouri was their first 14er.
"This was a great experience!" said international student Susan Wang as she hiked the last few yards to the campsite.