Around 700 alumni gathered at Campion Academy this last weekend to reconnect with their classmates and support their alma mater.
Kicking off the event on Wednesday, the 26th annual Reeder Golf Classic featured 62 golfers, 20 more than previous years. More than $10,000 was raised towards our counseling and mentoring program. This year’s tournament was in honor of Lance Turner, ‘85-’86, an alum and beloved community member who was known for being exceptionally supportive of his classmates and neighbors.
On Friday evening, alumni and current students gathered for a vespers concert presented by Prisma, a local group of musicians.
The main event on Sabbath was the church service, featuring Dr. Andrew Harewood, the first Adventist and African American chaplain to reach General rank in the US Army reserve. In addition, Campion Academy’s music ensembles performed for the first time this school year.
Following the service, the honor classes were provided with a meal of lasagna served by the senior class. The honor classes gathered in the halls of the Ad Building after lunch looking at pictures of their class and seeing how much things have changed.
Celebrating 70 years since graduation, Betty Ready, Class of 1952, reflected on her feelings when she first came to Campion Academy: “I was just always so excited to come to Campion because it was a bigger school with more people. I was coming from a school of six or seven people.”
The students enjoyed being around the alumni and talking about how the school has changed since they were here. “I thought it was really cool getting to meet some of the people that graduated years ago and seeing all of the many faces on campus,” commented Daneil Camas, junior at Campion Academy.
Current students got to see some of their friends that graduated recently. Sandra Arlt, Class of 2022 commented, “It’s really cool coming back as an alumni this year because it was fun to see all of my friends, talk to the teachers, and update everyone on my life. I really appreciate being able to come back, seeing friendly faces, and having a family to say hi to.”
On Saturday evening, in a new feature this year, the alumni and students came together to perform in a brass ensemble and a choir sing-a-long that featured five former choir directors.
The alumni closed off the weekend by playing volleyball and soccer against Campion Academy’s varsity teams. In typical fashion, the alumni defeated the current students in both games.
The livestreams of the programs are available on Campion Academy’s Facebook page and Youtube channel.
Haley Beckermeyer, Student News Team
Campion Cougars lost in their home game vs Windsor Charter on Thursday, September 8.
Nine Campion Academy student leaders trained with others from across the Mid-America Union during Leadership Experience at Union College last week.
A highlight of the workshop was the chance to get to know student leaders from other schools. “I really enjoyed being able to see all the other schools and know that we are all on a similar journey of being a leader,” reflected Ariel Patterson, junior and Resident Assistant at Campion.
The event kicked off with an emphasis on service, with the leaders working in community projects around Lincoln for Union College’s Project Impact day. Over the course of four days, the students participated in leadership simulation activities and listened to advice from experienced leaders, including the Union College SA officers.
Melody Mambo, senior and SA President expressed, “The thing I enjoyed most about the retreat was that we were able to understand our different strengths and weaknesses as leaders. We were able to show our abilities in activities provided by Union, and it was interesting to see how different people from each group stepped up to show their leadership qualities.”
Patterson further explained, “The weekend was full of really fun activities and challenges, and I was able to learn some valuable lessons for leadership in just a couple of days!”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
The Campion Academy seniors bonded as a class and grew closer to God over the five days of Senior Survival in the mountains of Glacier View Ranch.
When they arrived last Wednesday, each pair of students was given supplies to build a shelter to stay dry. Many students brought duct tape and rope to help build their shelters. Several students brought hammocks and others slept on the ground. Thankfully, the students had relatively warm and dry weather.
Each group that camped together collected sticks and chopped wood to build a fire, which they used to make their own breakfasts and suppers. They cooked meals such as stew, French toast, hotdogs, and breakfast burritos.
At night, the seniors gathered around a campfire as Chaplain Carlos Santana led them in discussions of faith centered around the theme “Level-up”. Senior Carlos Lopez commented, “My favorite worship was when everyone sat around the fire, and we were finally honest with each other and shared our fears because now we know that we are not alone and have friends that have become like family to help us through.”
During the days, the seniors all participated in team-building activities where the had to work together to cross through obstacles. “I really enjoyed the spider web and the Ground is Lava activities because they got me closer with the other seniors, and taught us teamwork,” commented Noah Greenemeier, senior.
Early on Sunday morning, many of the seniors climbed to the top of a hill to watch the sunrise before packing up their camps to return to campus.
Santana said, “This was my first time going to Senior Survival, and it not only met my expectations but surpassed them. I saw God working in this senior class of 2023. God not only worked in them, but in me as well. It gives me hope for the spiritual future of the young people here at Campion.”
Haley Beckermeyer, Student News Team
The boy's Varsity Soccer team beat Nederland High School in the first game of the season at home.
In the first volleyball game of the season, the Cougars won at home against Poudre Community Academy.
Twenty-three Campion academy students backpacked a total of twelve miles reaching American Lakes and Lulu Mountain in Jackson County this past weekend while enjoying the scenery and each other’s company.
On Friday afternoon, the outdoor club hiked four miles up a steep side of a mountain to reach their campsite. Sophomore Marcela Zuniga says “I loved hiking even though it was hard, I thought I wasn’t going to make it to the campsite, so as I was walking up the mountain I asked God to help me and He did!”
Along the way, a few of the students got a surprise visit by a mother and baby moose that temporarily blocked the trail. Haley Beckermeyer, senior commented, “I thought it was really cool seeing the moose and her baby up that close. Even though she kind of halted our hiking process a bit, it was spectacular.”
On Saturday, the whole group made their way up the steep trail to Snow Lake. Some students chose to spend most of the day at the lake. Sophomore Keaton Drake reflects, “It was really awesome getting to climb on the rocks, play in the water, and look at the scenery. The view of the forest and valley was honestly incredible.”
The second option that students could do was hike up the 12,002 foot peak of Lulu Mountain. Keon Paez, sophomore, said, “At first I didn’t think I would make it up because it’s super tall, my legs got really tired, mostly because I didn’t get a lot of oxygen up there. But, once I got to the top, I felt very relieved because I didn’t have to climb anymore. The view was incredible and captivated me. The hike was hard but definitely worth it.”
The weather in the mountains was constantly changing. Junior student Dwayne Rey says, “The weather was crazy, at times the sun would be out and it was chill, but then like two seconds later, it disappeared. It was super windy, then it would stop. It was raining, then the hail came. It was CRAZY!”
After breakfast on Sunday, the group hiked back down to the vehicles. Zuniga says “The hike down was a whole lot faster and more fun because of the steepness of the trail. It was such a relief to make it back to Campion after having many challenges and many good times.”
For the students who hadn’t camped or backpacked before, there were a lot of new skills they had to learn, including filtering water for the whole campsite, cooking food on a tiny stove, and even fitting a sleeping bag into its sleeve. Sergio Enriquez, freshman states, “We all were working together to stay alive. We got water together for the entire camp. We bonded by experiencing the same struggles and the same laughs.”
Toby Quillin, Campion News Team
Campion closed up the second week of school with games and competitions at the annual SA Picnic to bring students closer to their classmates and provide fun moments.
In the same spirit of Class Scramble, the classes competed wearing their respective colors in activities such as tug-of-war, water-sponge relay, ball relay, and the traditional bus-push.
While the seniors took first place In tug-of-war, the freshmen class surprised everyone by beating out the junior class. Cindy Santana, Campion teacher, emphasized, “The freshmen have come off as a strong class this year. They did well in Scramble and they also showed that on the SA picnic, so I think in the future they are going to be a class to contend with.”
The junior class had their redemption by winning the bus-push. However, in another unusual turn of events, members from all the classes came together to help and cheer on the freshman class as they struggled to get the bus up the hill. The mix of classes uniting behind the bus showed what the competitions were really about: sportsmanship and school spirit.
Freshman Lilian Resz exclaimed, “I was definitely surprised when the seniors, juniors, and sophomores helped us because I thought it was just going to be us and they would boo us if we couldn’t get to the end. But this attitude gave me a lot more confidence in this school in general when it comes to teamwork, and it made me feel better even though the bus push was something very hard.”
Besides the usual games, there were brand-new ones like the ball relay, that became favorites amongst students. Ekenna Nwankwo commented “The whole thing was really fun, I enjoyed it and I liked the new relay race with the ball. I had a lot of fun, and I think SA did a good job planning it all.”
Overall, the seniors once again finished the day with the most points.
After the competitions, students hung out on center campus, getting wet in a friendly game of slip ‘n slide kickball, or just enjoying talking and laughing with friends. Senior Brayan Martins said, “In four years I had never tried the slip ‘n slide, but this year, seeing all of my friends trying and having fun. I felt an urge to be a part of all that. It was great and I felt very excited to cherish these moments as a senior. ”
Ana Segawa, Student News Team
Seniors won Campion Academy’s annual class competition, Scramble, with a lead of over 200 points. After coming in second place the past two years, the class of 2023 was determined to win this year.
Daniel Moraes, senior, commented,”Class scramble was amazing and fun, honestly at the beginning I thought we were going to lose but we started picking up the rhythm and ended up winning. I was really excited and glad that we won our last year.”
The seniors kicked off the Saturday night event with Principal Don Reeder warning everyone to beware of their surroundings. Then, the lights went out, dubstep music blared, and the seniors jumped out from their hiding places, running and yelling around the gym.
Cecilia Simmons, new staff member and SA sponsor, exclaimed, “Oh. My. Goodness. I have been to many a junk scramble in my career, but that was intense. I even got chills when the seniors made their entrance. My adrenaline was so high after the night, I didn’t want to sleep. Clearly I had too much fun. What a night and congratulations to the seniors.”
Each class got dressed in their class colors and competed against each other in the gym, after two years of having it outside. Reeder called out items from a snowboard to a chocolate kiss ribbon that students raced to the center. Students participated in the traditional drills of dead cow, man overboard and air raid. Campion’s Student Association (SA) also added new games such as “cups” and “the floor is lava” to the excitement.
Even for the classes that didn’t come in first place, the night was an opportunity to build class spirit and excitement for the school year. Lillian Resz, freshman, reflected, ”Class scramble was super fun, and it was a perfect opportunity to get close with everyone in our class.”
Blet Htoo, Students News Team
Senior Scramble Photos
Junior Scramble Photos
Sophomore Scramble Photos
Freshmen Scramble Photos
Campion Academy welcomed 125 students to campus with worship, games, and handshakes on Sunday, August 14.
Donning black plastic trash bags and downcast faces, the Student Association (SA) officers kicked off the event by transforming into bright and energetic leaders, introducing the theme for the school year: ‘Renewed’. After leading worship songs, Spiritual Vice-President Tiffany Mogaka shared insights of how God can renew each of our lives.
Students were then divided into their class groups for classic competitions such as human knot and hula-hoop pass. Toby Quillin, returning sophomore, mentioned, “The games were a really good way to get to know our classes better, both for those returning and those joining for the first time. The friendly competition really brought all of us closer together.”
For the main event, all the students and staff members lined up to shake hands and introduce themselves. Ana Segawa, a new senior student, hadn’t experienced this type of welcome at a school before. “As a new student coming from Brazil, it can be very intimidating to go to a boarding school in a different country, but the handshakes were a great icebreaker and a nice way of getting to know the other students and staff,” she explained. “I got to meet amazing people and the whole experience made me feel very welcome.”
The evening ended with a prayer of dedication from Pastor Micheal Goetz and a round of high fives for Principal Don Reeder.
Four-year senior, Haley Beckermeyer, still found herself caught up in the excitement and positivity Handshake brings to the start of the year. She reflected, “I am excited to watch the school grow closer as a student body and closer to God throughout this year.”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director