The entire student body left the classrooms behind to learn from nature at Rocky Mountain National Park on Wednesday, September 13. The teachers each led a group of students to study a variety of topics including Elk Ecology, Orienteering, Park History, Junior Ranger, and Front Range Floods, while also exploring the top sites of the park.
One of the groups tested their endurance on a nine-mile round trip hike to Sky Pond. Jack Ramos shared that they found wild raspberries to enjoy on the hike saying, “They tasted so good! I’m glad that I experienced these moments with friends.”
The Elk Ecology group not only observed bugling Elk, but also saw a variety of animals including a bear, bighorn sheep, and marmots. “I learned all about the different animals that live at RMNP and how the park is trying to protect and regulate the Elk and other animals,” recalled Sarah Rushhold, junior at Campion.
In addition to the learning components, one of the objectives of the day was to allow all of the students to experience the Rocky Mountains. Eriane Saraiva, a senior from Brazil, explained, “This trip was my first time in the mountains and for me it was a very fun and different experience. One of the parts I enjoyed most, apart from spending time in nature, was taking a break from studying and school, and I also had the opportunity to talk to people I hadn't gotten to know before.”
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
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
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
by Matthew Roberts and Wes Carle
Every year the Rocky Mountain Conference hosts a bible conference at Glacier View Ranch that Campion Academy, Mile High Academy, and several other schools regularly attend. During the vespers and worships, students played ice breaker games, discussed Bible texts, sang praise songs, listened to a speaker from Union College, and spent lots of time praying.
This year's conference lasted two days instead of an entire weekend, yet the time was packed full of spiritual emphasis. According to Campion student Madi Kamarad, "The weather was on point, as well as the spiritual atmosphere. It was awesome being able to hang out with other schools--Mile High Academy, Aurora Church, and Wyoming schools. Most of all it was a very rejuvenating experience to have to get away from school and focus on God."
The main theme of the conference was "Flawless." We are all flawless in God's sight was the lesson learned. The kids and adults all got to go on some amazing hikes, and as you can see from the picture, got an even more amazing view of God's creation. Another Campion student, Chantelle Bravatti, also had something good to say about the conference. "It was awesome being out in God's nature away from the busyness of the city. It was also awesome being able to experience God with all my friends." The weekend was a very cool, God-filled experience for the people that went.
Mountain Church began several years ago when Cindy Santana, our biology teacher, decided Campion needed to make sure every student had the opportunity to see the grand vistas in the Rocky Mountains. Since then, we've used an outdoor amphitheater in the national park to have church and lunch, and then provided guided hikes and a bus trip to the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road at an elevation of over 12,000 ft.