When I entered the doors of the residence hall for my very first move-in day, I couldn't help but feel anxious. The rules, the people I was around, the things I was about to do, and the schedule I would have would be different. Everything I knew was about to change, but I would make memories that would last a lifetime. All the doubts and worries I had would soon fade, as this would become my second home.
For incoming students, residence hall life can be an intimidating yet exciting new adventure. Luckily, while being here, students make friends and have the help of their deans to guide them through. Although dorm life is much different than living at home, they learn to adapt and have a great opportunity to grow stronger relationships with the people around them.
Jahir Marcenaro, junior, stated, “The people here in the dorm are like family; they are fun, crazy, and awesome to hang around with. You always have something new happen each day that makes being at Campion feel less like a school, and more like a family trying to know God more.”
At times, residence hall students struggle with the complete change in schedule and lifestyle and experience homesickness. Sami Hodges, senior, explained, “Even though I have been in the dorm since sophomore year, I still get homesick every now and then. Personally I am not someone who easily opens up about my struggles, but living in the dorm has helped me learn to trust others, and the girls have been a big encouragement during my hardest times at school.”
For first-year students, while it can take time to adapt to the new environment, the friendships made in the residence hall are irreplaceable. “Dorm life for me is amazing!” Bentlee Barry, first-year dorm student, exclaimed, “I've never had as strong relationships with girls as I do here. Everyone in your hall is like your family, no matter what happens, we have each other's back. It was such a blessing coming here and I hope others are able to experience it.”
Most importantly, being in the residence hall puts students in a Christ-centered environment that encourages them to draw closer to God. The nightly worship and the ability to pray with the deans and each other help students grow a strong relationship with God.
Despite struggles, Hodges affirmed, “I’ve had to rely on God this year more than any other year, and I have come to realize that without Him, it is impossible to get through anything on my own.”
Now, as a senior, I’m anticipating the day when I will leave the doors of the residence hall for the last time. Although I will go on to new adventures, I will carry with me all of the friendships and memories I have made here, and forever remember my second home.
-Haley Enochs, Student News Team
The resilience of Campion Academy students and staff was tested over the last few weeks as there was a spike in students attending classes online due to mild symptoms and COVID policies.
In order to reduce the chance of viral spread, this year any student experiencing any potential COVID symptoms, even if they are mild, is put on “sick list”. In addition, close contacts, such as roommates, also cannot attend classes even if they are not symptomatic.
If a student on sick list cannot easily return home, he or she must stay in their dorm room alone or move to a guest room to be isolated. The deans and school nurse check on them regularly and bring them to-go tray meals from the cafeteria. The students are expected to continue to attend their classes virtually unless they have more severe symptoms.
Angel V. was never sick, but he was on sick list for several days because his roommate had symptoms. He commented, “At first, I was excited because I would be in my warm room, have my food delivered to me, and be in my bed during class. After the second day, my excitement was gone. I missed my friends, it was difficult to understand class because of the Zoom audio quality, and there was nothing to do in my room. I spent most of my day working out and finishing homework. I also texted and called my family and friends to keep myself from dying of boredom.”
Any student with symptoms is being taken for COVID testing as soon as possible. Over 20 students have been tested in the month of October and all of them have returned negative. After a negative test result, the student and close contacts can return to classes as long as they are no longer symptomatic.
Thankfully, with the negative test results and mild illnesses, the isolation time for students has generally been just a few days. However, those few days stuck in a room have been a good reminder to students that in-person school with COVID policies is preferable to Zoom in quarantine.
“Being on the list can make you lonely for sure, but I’m just thankful we have the opportunity to be here and not go online,” reflected Haley E. “Being on sick list isn’t everyone’s dream, but it’s better than being sent home.”
Students have been heard shouting for joy when they get negative COVID test results and can return to normal school life, and the teachers and other staff members are just as relieved. Having multiple students on sick list has been a stressor for teachers trying to deliver content to students both in-person and online, the staff members driving students to get tested, the deans and nurse checking on their status and well-being, and even the cafeteria staff preparing dozens of to-go trays to send to the rooms.
Head Dean of Men, Michael Gann says that even though caring for students isolated in their rooms can create extra work, he takes it in stride. “For me, it’s just another aspect of the job to embrace. Our role is to take care of and provide for these students and give them a safe and healthy place to live. When they are sick we take care of them; it’s just part of our role. No one wants to be stuck in a room for a couple of days, but it reminds us that we are all vulnerable, and we need to keep doing our part with hand washing, social distancing, and mask wearing.”
Despite the sick list woes, thankfully, most of the students have been recovering quickly from minor cold-like illnesses, and Campion heads into the last month of the semester COVID free.
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
The first quarter intramurals finished off with championship games last week. Campion’s co-ed intramural program has been keeping the students active and healthy even while varsity sports are temporarily suspended. Students were given the option to choose between three sports: flag football, volleyball, and disc golf. Teams played twice a week for eight weeks, all getting the opportunity to compete against each other.
Flag football championships kicked off the week on Monday night. Team “You Wish” beat the “Beamers”. Kevin Perez, a senior who played on the winning team, said, “At the beginning we really struggled, but we were able to win because in the end we communicated and worked as a team.”
Volleyball originally started in the sand but transitioned to the gym due to the weather. Last Thursday, teams “Freeland” and “Quicksand” competed for the championship title. It was a close match but “Freeland” was able to take the win 2-1 and ended the season undefeated.
Ireland Anthony, senior and captain of “Freeland,” said, “We were undefeated because we all had chemistry and good communication with each other. We had so much fun on the court but were still able to be serious when needed. My favorite game we played was the last one! We had amazing rallies and it was so much fun!”
The number of members on each team was reduced to ensure social distancing and help limit contact. The teams were also required to wear masks and temperature checks were taken each day in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.
A major benefit of the intramural program has been the camaraderie it’s created amongst students. Perez reflected, “My favorite part of intramurals was getting to know my teammates. I didn’t know them well before, so it was really nice to grow my relationships with them.”
The second quarter intramurals season will begin with new sports in November. Campion plans to continue keeping students active with precautions, while awaiting the official sports seasons.
Bentlee Barry, Student News Team
On Tuesday, October 13, the Campion sophomore English class changed their styles for a fun alter-ego project based on the play, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” The students were tasked with creating an “alter ego” of themselves, and then dressing up and acting as that person for the day.
“Since we are reading ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, which is centered on a man who creates an alter ego for himself so he can have an excuse to go to town, I thought it would be fun for the students to experience that for themselves,” explained Erin Johnson, sophomore English teacher. “I wanted them to apply an old story to their lives in a creative way,” she said.
Students changed various aspects of themselves, such as the way they dressed, their hairstyles, or the way they talked. Some students took it further than others; one of them even shaved his head. “It was crazy how everyone did so many different things,” said Haley Beckermeyer, sophomore. “The village students went all out, and even some of the dorm students went crazy.”
Many students thoroughly enjoyed dressing up and altering their personality. Melody Mambo, sophomore, said, “It was a fun time because I got to experience my friends in a way I have never seen them before.”
While they had fun doing this for a day, students experienced the meaning of “The Importance of Being Earnest” in real life. “I learned how difficult it is to be someone that you’re not, and how much better it is to just be who you truly are,” shared Faith Evert, sophomore.
Jayce Treat, Student News Team
Photo by Erin Johnson
Last Saturday night, Campion Academy students decked themselves out in flannel for fun, films, and food at the annual Student Association (SA) Fall Party, held outside at the campus RV Park.
The party was centered around a short film festival. The school was able to watch both funny and serious videos prepared by the students that focused on the theme fall and rise. “Odalis and her team’s video was my favorite because it had a lot of meaning behind someone going through rough times, and Odalis was a really good actor,” said Lexi Davenport, freshman.
Students lined up for popcorn and cotton candy, a student favorite. SA members prepared games like corn hole, gunny sack races, whipped cream eating competition, and glow-in-the-dark tic-tac-toe. “The games were so much fun, and I liked getting candy for participating even though I didn’t win. Also, I had a five-minute winning streak in the whipped cream competition. It was so fun and yummy,” said Airi Nomura, junior.
The photo booth, a canopy strung with lights and fall decor, was popular as a way to commemorate the night with friends. Andy Obregon, senior, commented, “My favorite part of the party was the picture taking. Most of us seniors like to take our precious time with photos and the whole process of taking one, just ONE photo was the funniest part of that night.”
The last activity of the night was karaoke. Students took turns taking the stage to sing-along to their favorite songs. In what has become a Campion Fall Party tradition, seniors sang Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again.” Nelly Salinas, senior, said, “I was so happy our entire class sang together. But, it was also sad because I realized that this is my last year with these amazing people who have changed my life.”
Tiffany Dien, Student News Team
Campion Academy was among the first high schools in the nation to reopen for in-person classes on August 9. Now, eight weeks later, they’ve completed the first quarter without a positive COVID case.
School nurse, Jenny Gann, was instrumental in developing the health and safety policies which have helped Campion manage the risk of an outbreak. For starters, mask wearing is required at all times, even outdoors. Gann commented, “As frustrating as they can be, I believe masks and limiting our students coming on and off campus have been the main policies which have kept our students healthier this quarter.”
Residence hall students have only been able to leave campus with immediate family members, and trips off campus have been vastly reduced, which has limited the potential for community exposure. While some of these restrictions can be draining on students, Gann says, “I appreciate that the staff and students have been cooperative, so that we’ve been able to stay open.”
Teachers have had to adapt as well to social distancing and to managing an in-person classroom along with students joining on Zoom. Anytime a student experiences any type of viral symptoms, he or she must stay home or in their residence hall and is able to join classes remotely through Zoom, until they’ve been cleared through testing and/or nurse approval to rejoin their classes.
Erin Johnson, Literature and Geography teacher, comments, “I think the challenge is trying to be creative with the restraints. I’m typically a teacher that puts students in groups, so I have to be creative in getting students to work together without being physically close.”
With all the added precautions and bumps in the road, has in-person education been worth the risk? “Definitely,” said Johnson. “The kids value our spiritual programming and having in-person help from a teacher. Just being able to see each other’s eyes face to face is valuable. It’s hard to have that ‘ah-ha’ moment, or connection, through a screen.”
Principal Donavan Reeder commented, "I am so proud of our staff, students and families. It has been difficult to navigate all of the restrictions. I am amazed at the creativity of our teachers in delivering education with these challenges. Students and families have been understanding and cooperative. Our Spiritual Life team has been faced with challenges for spiritual programming, but the efforts are worth it. We can see God's Spirit moving on our campus as we seek to Know Him and Show Him."
While Campion can celebrate this milestone, the administration recognizes that the fight is not over. Students were able to return home for a much anticipated break last week, but with that, the risk of COVID exposure was increased at the start of the second quarter.
Gann comments, “It is easy to let our guards down because we’ve been safe so far, but diligence in wearing our masks, washing our hands, keeping our distance, all of those difficult things, is extremely important right now.”
Principal Reeder further said, “I am grateful to God for His watching over us as he promised in Psalms 91, and we ask for everyone to keep us in your prayers for the rest of the school year.”
As students have returned from the break, Campion plans to continue the second quarter as they did the first: with diligence.
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
UPDATE: With 10 days left in the semester, Campion has still had no COVID-19 cases.