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
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
This past weekend, Campion Academy’s Girls’ Club held a dorm retreat at Glacier View Ranch. Guest speaker Erica Jones gave seminars on practical life lessons, but most importantly spoke on how to be content with yourself.
A huge spiritual blessing was gained from this retreat. “I was heavily impacted by Erica Jones’ messages over the weekend,” says Sandra Arlt, senior. “She made her talks relatable and thought provoking. She included God within all of her messages and made sure we were getting what she was saying to us.”
The retreat was not only sitting in meetings, but also bonding with and getting to know each other. “I had a lot of fun making new friends in my cabin. I’m already looking forward to next year’s retreat,” Gwen Cress, sophomore, said.
The mountain views mesmerized the retreaters, with some girls waking up before dawn to watch the sunrise from the top of a rocky point. “The view was really pretty. I love the mountains,” commented junior Isabel Navarro.
The girls also had the opportunity to go paddleboarding and kayaking, and had a karaoke night on Saturday.
Students were thankful to be able to leave campus and experience a more normal retreat this year. The ladies returned to campus not only with new friendships, but a new sense of purpose in Christ.
Jacqueline Kobagaya, Student News Team
Photos: Love Pickle
Fifteen Campion Academy students and sponsors immersed themselves in nature over the weekend on the annual Outdoor Club backpacking trip.
For several students, this was their first backpacking experience. Jared Marcenaro, a junior, said, “It was a lot of fun and I definitely would go again. I was going in blind and had no idea what to expect. Using the restroom in the forest was definitely a challenge I had to overcome. Since I’m from Kansas and there are no mountains, it was cool to see first hand how huge the mountains really are. I now understand the significance of the phrase that God moves mountains because he really is so strong and powerful.”
The backpacking trip was originally scheduled for the weekend of September 11th but was postponed to September 18-20 due to snow. In another turn of events, on the day they left, the sponsors of the trip were informed that there was a fire near the planned location, a mountain range in Wyoming. They had to quickly change plans and relocated to Peaceful Valley in the Indian Peaks Wilderness near Glacier View Ranch.
The students hiked about 15 miles total over the weekend, which included going up to Coney Lake, camping by a river, and witnessing a moose near camp.
Airi Nomura, a junior, said “It was a lot more fun than I expected. The hike was hard but the view and sense of satisfaction definitely made it worth it. I was exhausted and my legs hurt a lot, but my friends were there and everyone helped each other out. I definitely want to go on another one, but maybe the hike could be a bit shorter and the days a bit longer.”
They had worship on Friday night and on Sabbath during which the group talked about how the plans people make will not always be the plans God has for them. Jillian Harlow, a sponsor, said, “Personally, I love doing outdoor activities and getting away from the rush and stress of life. I am able to grow and reconnect with God, and I love introducing students to that experience as well.”
Bentlee Barry, Student News Team
Campion Academy welcomes new Acquainting Agriculture class instructor Doug Hoos, who will work alongside Program Director Russell Branham. Hoos’ gardening roots go back to 1973 when he attended a summer-long gardening course in Loma Linda, California. Now retired from a land surveying company, he likes to garden and relax in his free time.
“I was looking to get involved with more extensive gardening, but after my wife retired, we kind of discontinued that and had other plans for this summer. But COVID-19 came along,” Hoos explained. “So, I was praying for some place to do some gardening and saw the Campion newsletter come out saying they were re-starting the program at Campion. The timing seemed to be right.”
Hoos shared his goals for this program: “[I’d like] students to learn simple, very low cost methods they can take home or anywhere in the world to use to garden.”
Gregory Lang, sophomore, said, “During Agriculture class so far, I learned how to plant vegetables and how soil could change the development of the plants. It is a fun class. Mr. Hoos is a kind man, and he has the passion to make this class a good learning experience.” Acquainting Agriculture is open first and second semester to students in all grade levels.
Produce is available for sale to the community on a limited basis. Currently, the program offers zephyr squash, green beans, emerald okra, crimson okra and lots of basil. Carrots, beets, brussels sprouts and radishes are not quite ready yet. The Agriculture class will be growing mostly root type vegetables through the winter as well.
Russell Branham, husband of Director of Development and Alumni Relations Darcy Force, has been hard at work planting Campion’s summer garden as the new Program Director of Acquainting Agriculture. Branham took over the care of the garden and produce sales as a volunteer last summer through this spring, including maintaining a winter garden. After Campion Academy procured a grant from AdventHealth this spring, he has been able to manage the garden as a part-time employee.
Branham has had previous experience working in greenhouses and gardens and has a personal passion for agriculture. “Long before I came to Campion, one of my personal goals has been to help teach people how to grow food for themselves,” he explained. “Agriculture seems to be a dying skill, and I think we need to get back to our roots. I’d like to see the young folks learn about growing and becoming self-sufficient.”
Without students or volunteers in the program this spring and summer (or the promise of a farmers market), Branham has kept the garden at a smaller, more manageable scale, and he plans to keep produce sales to our school and church community. Currently, he is growing crops such as bush beans, okra, brussel sprouts, beets, carrots, squash, radishes, turnips, asparagus, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, and raspberries. He expects to have produce available for sale in mid-August. With a future sweet harvest in mind, Branham has also started a small peach tree orchard from seed with 35 saplings growing strong.
In early July, through the use of grant funds, Branham was able to purchase a BCS 739 walk-behind commercial tractor as a much-needed piece of equipment to increase his efficiency. The tractor has multiple implements and he is currently using it for tilling the ground and creating new rows for planting. He is working to improve the garden area overall for future harvests. “Right now I’m focusing on the health of the garden. It was very overgrown with weeds and I’ve been able to get that under control. I’m working on squaring off the sections we are using for growing and tarping off the areas around to reduce the weeds.” Branham uses all natural methods of weed and pest control without the use of chemical pesticides.
In the fall, he plans to work with students to plant winter crops both in the greenhouse and in the ground using simple row covers. Campion is currently still seeking a classroom teacher for Acquainting Agriculture in order to offer it as a class, but Branham will work with students in the field.
The grant received from Advent Health will cover the basic costs of employing Branham and a teacher for the program for the next year. However, the program will still rely on donations as it continues to get established. If you have an interest in helping the agriculture program please consider donating for the following needs:
High Wind Tunnel Kit - $2,800
Implement - Rotary Plow $1,495 (to be used with the new tractor)
Used livestock tanks (items to be turned into large planters)
Large water containers (used is also fine, as long as no chemicals were used in it. Food Grade.)
campion.net/give | 970-451-1513
While students on campus are wishing the snow was gone, the 28 students that were on ski trip enjoyed it as much as possible. This past weekend, outdoor club students spent three days skiing and snowboarding at Copper Mountain Resort. Kylie Wehling, a sophomore stated, “Ski trip is about being freezing-cold, sore, and tired, but it’s also about having the time of your life with your friends in the most beautiful place in the world.”
Most were thankful just to be able to practice this iconic Colorado sport with their friends. Cade Lukens, a senior, expressed that “being able to snowboard with my closest friends hasn’t just made me a better rider, but has also helped me grow close to those I wasn’t close to before.”
For three full days, the students skied their way across three different mountains and over twelve thousand feet of elevation. Some students preferred to ride the terrain park jumps, and others preferred to cruise across the natural high-alpine terrain.
In addition, on Saturday the students were able to lead the church service for the Leadville Seventh-day Adventist Church. The students led out worship in praise and prayer, and four students shared personal testimonies of times when God touched their lives. The church provided a potluck lunch following the service. After lunch, the group went tubing at the local sledding hill. “Sledding is always fun,” said Trent Kiefer, a senior, “especially when you try to fit as many people as possible onto one tube.”
Caleb Wehling, Senior, Guest Contributor
Teamwork and determination needed to reach the summit (and leave the parking lot) of Mt. Elbert
Over the past weekend, 15 students and six sponsors packed their tents, sleeping bags, food, and other gear in their backpacks and headed off for an adventure to summit the highest peak in Colorado: Mt. Elbert. Leaving after classes on Friday, they hiked in from the trailhead about two miles under the light of the full moon.
The next morning, they took on the challenge of reaching the summit which was about nine miles round-trip and 4,700 feet of elevation gain. The hike was long and strenuous, but the group was rewarded by magnificent views along the route and especially at the summit. Students and sponsors teamed up to encourage each other along the way and helped each other surpass their individual limits. The weather was clear and comfortable for hiking, allowing the group to relax at the top and enjoy the afternoon hike back down to camp.
After hiking back out to the trailhead parking lot on Sunday morning, the group was faced with one more unexpected challenge to overcome; the school vans, trailer, and Steve Eickmann’s car were all blocked in by other cars in the parking lot. The group quickly put their heads and muscles together and began rolling boulders out of the way to create a narrow opening between a few cars. After some multiple point turns and readjustments, Yves Clouzet got the first school van through. The trailer had to be unhitched so the second van could go through, then everyone pitched in a hand to push the trailer through and hitch it back to the van on the other side. Finally, Eickmann proved that he is acutely aware of the width of his vehicle by squeezing it between some of the parked cars, sparing less than an inch on either side.
In the end, the group all made it safely back to Campion with accomplishments to cherish and stories to tell.
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
10 lessons learned on the mountain
10. Be prepared
"We had to be prepared to sleep in a tent in the cold. The first night I didn’t wear a lot of clothes, but then the second night I wore all my warm clothes and it was so much better. " – Giovanni Silva
9. Drink water
"If you don’t drink enough water, you will feel sick at the top!" – Sydney Halvorson
8. Stick with a buddy
"You never know when you might get hurt and need a friend to help you." – Sydney Cornett
7. Don't be too quick to judge
"When we found ourselves blocked in at the parking lot, we were all upset at a certain red car that was parked in the middle of a lane. After thinking about it later, we realized that the red car actually had to have been parked before the entire row of cars that came in front of it, so didn't deserve all the blame that we had been so quick to give." - Jill Harlow
6. Encourage one another.
"When you have a friend when things get rough, you can encourage each other to get through it." – Kent Kast
5. Don’t look back
"Every time I looked back, I felt so high that it made me nervous. I just kept looking forward to the goal of the summit." --Greg Lang
4. Relationships come first
"I learned that being the first or fastest isn’t always important, it’s the people that you persevere with, even if you don’t get to go as fast or far as you want with them, that are important in the end. - Jadon Harden
3. You can push through the pain
"I was honestly ready to give up and just turn around but I kept going even though it was difficult. Having the accomplishment of summitting the mountain kept me going. – Sami Hodges
2. Slow and steady wins the race
"We set a slow pace, but we did not stop, and we were the first group at the summit." -Kean Jagitsch
1. Never Give Up
"When I was climbing the first false summit, in my head I thought I would just quit after that summit, but after I got there I saw the real summit wasn’t so far, so I encouraged myself to keep on going and at the end I made it." -Jarrod Lang
"You will have an incredible gift when you get to the top." – Giovanni Silva
This Sabbath, all of the students got on buses to go out and spend time in God's second book, nature. Students could choose between three options during their visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. The first bus took people to a rigorous hike to Loch Lake. The second bus took people to Bear lake which was more relaxing, but just as beautiful. The last option took students to the top of Trail Ridge Road, where they climbed many stairs to the top of the peak. A few students shared their experiences of how they saw God while in the mountains.
Jordyn D., sophomore, says, “Pastor Goetz shared with us this verse, Psalm 121:1-2 which says, ‘I lift my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.’ It really helped me understand that God made the mountains, and created us to enjoy and marvel at all of his beautiful creations. It made me feel truly small compared to everything around me and I am so grateful that I was able to be in God's presence while I marveled at his creation.”
Erick M., senior, says, “I took the bus up Trail Ridge Road and was able to get an amazing view at the top. Seeing all the huge peaks and deep valleys God has created made me feel pretty small and insignificant in comparison. However, being up there was an awesome reminder that God cares about and loves me deeply, no matter how powerless or small I feel.”
Beverly O., senior, says, “During mountain church, I had a wonderful experience. Hiking up the mountains with friends, and seeing the waterfalls made me see the real beauty and power of God. It reminded me of the verse Isaiah 43:2. That even in the deepest waters, God gave me rocks for stability in faith and in trust.”
Blessing S., sophomore, says, “Being in the mountains reminded me of how God is my rock and can hold me through any time. I could see how much of a great God he is. My God created the world and made wonderful things for me to enjoy. I loved looking into the waterfall. When I saw my reflection, it reminded me that I was made in his image, and I am a reflection of him.”
Adrianna Campbell, Senior, Student Editor
For grades 9-12:
300 42nd St. SW
Loveland, CO 80537
HMS Richards Elementary, pre-K to grade 8
Campion Seventh-day Adventist Church
© COPYRIGHT 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.