One of our goals in Journalism and Communication class was realized this last week when two of our students’ stories were published in the local newspaper, the Loveland Reporter-Herald. Ashley Herber’s article about the diversity of Campion’s soccer team and Megan Michalenko’s article about HMS Richard’s students cleaning up trash in downtown Loveland were both in the Friday, November 8 issue.
“I was so excited that my article was published!” exclaimed Herber. “I actually want to be an author one day, so I felt like this was one step towards that goal.”
Each week our students’ stories are not only published in This Week at Campion, but also picked up by the Rocky Mountain Conference newsletter, News Nuggets. From there, a Campion article is usually selected to be a part of the monthly Union magazine, Outlook. Previously, we had not been sending regular press-releases to our local newspaper, but this year we are starting to change that.
In addition to the academy news, Michalenko has been dedicated to writing a story covering events at HMS Richards each month for our church newsletter. “I work at HMS, so I get to see a lot of the events that I get to write about. I love that I get to help HMS be able to reach out more to the community with what I write,” she commented.
Having a small but dedicated Journalism and Communication class has really amped up our ability to share the positive stories that are happening at Campion Academy. Those who have been dedicated readers of our weekly e-newsletter may have noticed that the student team has recreated our format, increased our feature articles, and added more graphic ads for our upcoming events.
The class has featured a variety of guest speakers who are professionals in the communication field. We started locally with Ardis Stenbakken, communication director at the Campion Church, and Darcy Force, Campion’s Director of Development and Alumni. We are reaching out more into the community and have had Erik Stenbakken, professional photographer, and will have Jean Boonstra, Executive Producer of Discovery Mountain, and Carina Julig, reporter at the Loveland Reporter-Herald, joining our class this semester.
The guest speakers and students in the class have certainly added some fresh ideas and creativity as we seek to improve our communication department, and it has been a pleasure to watch their skills continually develop.
Jill Harlow, Journalism & Communication teacher
Students, church members, and people from the community enjoyed games, food, and fun at the
annual HMS fall fest block party last Saturday night. Booths were set up for things like funnel
cake, hot dogs, caramel apples, mini bike races, and face painting. The proceeds went towards
fundraising for school trips and classroom needs among other things.
This past Saturday, the Music Department put on their Fall Concert during parents’ weekend. Performances from Orchestra, Chorale, Koinonia, and Handbells were featured at the concert. The different groups have been working hard and looking forward to performing. Parents were able to see all the hours their children have put in and appreciate the music performed. Directors of the Music Department, Melissa and Yves Clouzet, have put in many hours of dedication which shone through the beautiful music.
Megan Michalenko, Student Editor
On Saturday night, boys from all classes participated in Campion Academy’s annual Ironman competition. Senior Eddie Camacho won the 2019 Ironman title, getting his name on a plaque on the official trophy. It was Camacho’s first year participating in the event, and he even had to come home early from a trip to Mexico to participate.
“It was a blast.” Camacho said, laughing, “I talked a lot beforehand. I told a lot of my friends, jokingly, that I was going to win it. I talked a lot of smack and then afterwards I was like ‘I better actually go win this thing now.' I would have been happy if I had just placed, and I was surprised when I won. Probably one of the most fun parts was hyping everyone up and showing good sportsmanship in every event, because having fun is what it’s all about.”
The competitions included a mile race, bench press, obstacle course, pushups, jousting, chugging, and a basketball dunk competition. One highly anticipated moment of the night was senior Hunter Bergondo’s turn at the bench press. Last year he broke Campion’s record by benching 315 pounds, and this year he broke his own record by benching an incredible 370 pounds. Not only was that a record for Campion, but it was a personal record for Bergondo.
“I just decided to go for it. I was anxious about it all weekend. I wanted to get at least 360, and after I got that I was like ‘well I might as well go for 370,’” Bergondo said. This was Bergondo’s third year of participating in the event and it had been a personal goal of his since he was a freshman to beat the bench press record that had been held by Jared Barnes since 1999. “One of my favorite Bible verses is Philippians 4:13. It helps me know that I can achieve anything with the Lord.” Bergondo said, adding, “Praise the Lord.”
Ashley Herber, Student Editor
Last Monday evening began the first week of prayer for the school year. Benji Maxson, a current pastor in California and former chaplain at Campion, was the speaker for the week. Maxson started off the first night with a relatable story about one of his first experiences as a pastor and how we all have different testimonies of how God has worked in our lives. Maxson held the student’s attention with his unique sense of humor. Student chaplains Madi Jordan and Nolan Eickmann also introduced the idea of giving up something for the week. Some chose to restrain from using social media or listening to secular music and were encouraged to use the extra time to commune with God through prayer and reading the Bible.
Each week of prayer comes with a theme song. This week of prayer’s song was “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong. The song had an overall theme of believing in who you are in the eyes of God. This theme was also carried on into the talks given by Maxson. Each night Maxson introduced a new story in the book of Mark and told an entertaining personal story to go along with it. As a former chaplain of Campion, Maxson related to many of the events on campus and had many stories to tell. Kendra Eickmann shared, “I liked how the speaker kept everyone’s attention by telling funny stories. The speaker was also able to connect his stories to life lessons taught by Jesus.”
The end of the week of prayer was closed with Vespers Deluxe which is a special monthly Friday evening worship that is open to the community and includes an afterglow of doughnuts and praise time in the tower. Ireland Anthony reflected, “This week of prayer was amazing. At first, I did not want to go, but the first time I heard the speaker, it made me want to stay for the entire week. I wasn’t at the best state with God at the moment, but when I was listening I could feel God’s presence surrounding the space.”
The week had a very strong spiritual impact on the students. At the end of the last talk, Maxson made an altar call for students to accept Christ for the first time or rededicate their lives to Christ and more than half the student body went up forward.
Megan Michalenko, Student Editor
The Campion Academy varsity soccer and volleyball teams traveled to the annual Union College tournament this last weekend. The tournament was organized a bit differently this year, with the games on Thursday determining if you were placed in the gold or the red division for the next two days. This gave an opportunity for first place trophies to go to both the red and gold championship games for both soccer and volleyball, allowing all teams a fair shot at first place.
The Campion soccer team came in first place in the red division, ending their game 3-0. The volleyball team came in fifth place in the red division, ending with two ace serves by Ashley Herber. Both teams won their last games on Saturday night. Collegedale Academy, from Tennessee, took first place in both the volleyball and the soccer gold championships.
Obed Barrera, a senior captain on the soccer team, said, “In the fourth game we were playing to see if we would make it into the red division championship, and at the beginning of the game we were not playing that hard. Then at half time, Mr. O gave us this big speech about how we should keep pushing even if we’re playing for seventh place. Then in the second half we started dominating. It was a big difference and it was a really cool turning point because after that speech we just gave 100 percent.” He continued, “I learned not to give up. I was pretty beat down because I was like ‘we’re out of the (gold) championship game, what are we playing for?’ But I learned to overcome that and just play for fun because that’s what soccer, and any other sport, is all about. If it’s not fun, then why are we playing that sport?”
When asked about her favorite part of tournament Delanie Kamarad, a senior captain of the volleyball team, said, “My favorite part was the last game after we won. Even though we had a lot of hardships through the season and in tournament, looking around after the game there was no one else I’d rather be by. The energy we had toward each other all season wasn’t just about the sport or our positions it was about the memories and the friendships we made.”
Barrera also said, “One of my favorite parts about tournament was cheering on our volleyball girls. That was hype and it was really fun.” Not only did the Campion teams cheer on each other, but they also cheered on the Mile High teams. Even though Campion and Mile High Academy are typically top rivals, before the tournament volleyball coach Kelsey Cate encouraged the girls to cheer on their sister school when they could. Ashley Halvorson, a senior volleyball player, then made a sign that said “Colorado Proud” so that the volleyball team could cheer on Mile High when they didn’t have a game. This led to both schools showing up to each other’s games to hold up the sign to cheer each other on.
“It felt empowering to cheer on Mile High. Not only did it make us feel good about ourselves but I think that people on their team payed attention. One of the moms of the players came up to us afterwards and said, ‘Thank you so much. We really appreciate you guys and this means a lot to us,’” Kamarad said.
The Campion teams came away from tournament with great memories, new friendships, and important life lessons.
Ashley Herber, Student Editor
All photos used with permission from Union College
Tune into the children’s audio adventure series Discovery Mountain, and you might recognize some voices from around campus. Since April of 2017, the media ministry Voice of Prophecy has been offering Campion students and staff the opportunity to be involved in voice acting for the Bible-based program which is set in a small mountain town where, as they say, “the air is clear enough to hear your imagination.”
Current and former students like Grant Velbis, Tamhelda Yalape, Wyatt Watson, and many more have auditioned and been accepted as voice actors on the show. Several teachers have also played important roles on the show, including Principal Don Reeder who plays the principal at Discovery Mountain Academy, whose character is named after himself. For most participants, Discovery Mountain voice acting is a volunteer position, but those who land larger roles are paid.
“Discovery Mountain has changed my life for the better. When I came to [Voice of Prophecy] I never expected to have some of my favorite experiences there. I grew a love for acting and God at the same time, and I’m excited to still be a part of it!” says Wyatt Watson, two-year voice actor for Discovery Mountain.
“We’re incredibly thankful for our relationship with Campion Academy. Having the talented students and staff willing and available to play large roles and smaller—but no less vital seasonal and Bible character roles—has allowed the program to have the rich variety that we only could’ve dreamed of otherwise,” says Discovery Mountain writer Jean Boonstra, who has worked directly with Campion in recruiting and organizing students for roles in the ministry.
Each fall, the Voice of Prophecy team can be found on campus holding auditions and recruiting new Campion students to the team. Director Doug Bruce and Producer Steve Phillips make an appearance in Wednesday chapel, and occasionally pull students from Bible class for auditions. While fall auditions have passed this year, anyone can still get involved by visiting discoverymountain.com/auditions and uploading an audition file. The series is available for listening on discoverymountain.com as well as on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Naomi Boonstra, Student Editor
Over two weeks in October, Campion Academy’s Vice-Principal of Finance, Dean Helm, and May Forshee, an independent agent, marketed Campion’s international program at educational fairs in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Seoul, South Korea; and Bangkok, Thailand. They traveled with International Student Network, Inc. (ISN) and over 5,000 students, guidance counselors, and international agents attended the events.
Helm and Forshee manned a booth for Campion Academy complete with interactive activities, Helmdini magic, Campion gear, and brochures outlining the international program. Campion was the only high school that traveled with 19 universities representing their programs. While the expos were mainly marketed for students interested in universities, a large percentage of the attendees expressed interest in Campion’s high school program. “When visitors found out we were a private boarding high school from the U.S., we had a great deal of interested students, parents, and agents wanting to find out more about our program,” explained Helm. “You could visibly see faces light up repeatedly as they realized what we were all about. We had a prize wheel at our booth that drew interest from nearly everyone who entered the fair location.”
The recent tour visited countries where Campion has not previously marketed its program. Helm explains, “I was very satisfied with the overall reactions and support that we received from interested parties, as well as from the universities we traveled with. I would consider the trip a success. This was the first step in opening up new international markets for us, which I feel supports our overall mission of our school. Relationships are very important as we seek to find students from around the world to minister to, while they seek out educational opportunities. This trip started new relationships that we intend to keep developing as we walk through the doors that God opens for us. When we receive actual applications from potential students, it will be easy to gauge the success of this trip in human terms. But until we see actual applications, we will continue trusting God to touch lives through us in ways we can't measure.”
Campion Academy has been intentionally building its international program over the past five years and currently has students from China, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, Mexico, and Japan. Principal Don Reeder explains that Campion has a goal of having about 20 percent of its student body be international students. “Campion sees recruiting internationally as part of our mission of telling the world about Jesus,” Reeder comments. “I believe that having diverse cultures in our school enriches the experience of all of our students. It is important that all students learn that God is the Father of all nations and He seeks to reach the whole world. Students who attend and graduate from Campion Academy will be prepared to live and work together in this world where cultures are so intertwined.”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
Standing at the sidelines of a Campion Academy soccer game it is easy to notice two things. The first is how well this team knows and enjoys the game, and the second is how different they look from the teams that they play in Northern Colorado. The Campion soccer team is very diverse, with people from all backgrounds and ethnicities such as Latinos, Asian-Americans and international students from places like Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo. With so much diversity comes many languages including English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.
One would think that with so many different languages there would be a lot of confusion, but that is not the case. “Some of the newer Brazilians don’t really understand English that well, but if you try to explain it, it will be easier (for them) to get it,” Jeremy Matondo, an international student from the Democratic Republic of Congo and a captain on the team, explained.
“There are not many miscommunications. It’s kind of funny, for the people who don’t understand English as well, the people that can speak their language will explain it to them when Mr. O is talking,” Grant Velbis added.
Even their coach, Randy Ottschofski, speaks a different language, naming many of his plays after German words and names including Mueller, kimmich, and angriff, which means attack. Erick Maldonado, a captain on the team said, “He’ll call it out and yell, ‘Go Kimmich, go Kimmich!’”
“Then everybody will go Kimmich, it’s like a chain reaction,” Caleb Wehling added.
All of this diversity on the soccer team has only enriched the game for the players. “It’s cool how all of us, even though we’re from different backgrounds and speak different languages, have been able to work together really well and we’ve had a really good season this year,” Velbis said.
The Campion soccer team just finished their regular season undefeated 9-0 and 1, and it is safe to say that one reason for their success is that they have been able to benefit from everyone’s unique view of the game. The team is heading into their final tournament of the year at Union College this week.
“It’s fun to play with people from a different background. They have different ways to play the game and a different understanding of the game and it’s such a nice thing to do with them, to play with people who are not from where you are from, and it just brings you closer,” Matondo explained, “Sometimes we don’t talk to each other in the dorm, and soccer is a way to get closer to each other and be friends.”
Campion’s international program and soccer team have brought people together at Campion because even if the players are very different, they can still enjoy the beautiful game of soccer.
Ashley Herber, Student Editor
Abby Segovia, a senior at Campion Academy, shares how the unexpected growth in her family led to unexpected blessings in her life.
My family has drastically changed in the past year. We went from a family of three to a family of eight. Through my mom’s work in a preschool, we had gotten close to four little boys that were not in the greatest home. A lot of things happened and we got a phone call one day asking my mom if she would be willing to take all four boys into her home for as long as they needed. Later on that day, they were all in our living room watching a movie. This was one of the biggest adjustments that my family has had to go through. Going from it just being my mom, my sister, and I, to having my aunt come and live with us, and the four little boys, it was definitely a hard task. My mom is one of the most amazing people in my life because of how big her heart is. The boys are part of our family now, and to this day she hasn't given up, even through all the struggles. As a family we have prayed a lot about God guiding us through everything and so far, He has tremendously blessed us. I can say that all my siblings go to an Adventist school, we always have food on the table, we have a beautiful home, we have a church family that loves us, and we never seem to be short of anything we need. God has provided for us through every obstacle we have had to face, and He is still providing and blessing my family with so much more.