The Campion Academy seniors carried on the tradition of bonding as a class while surviving in the woods surrounding Glacier View Ranch from Wednesday, August 30th to Sunday, September 3rd.
They hiked into the wilderness with their backpacks to set up their shelters using only natural materials, ropes, and tarps. The students were lucky to not have to contend with bad weather, as it was mostly warm and sunny for the entire trip.
The students went without their phones, allowing them to find entertainment through conversations and games. “It was really nice seeing the students interact with each other and talk because kids normally don't sit there and talk as much as they did,” Amy Kluchesky, senior class sponsor, elaborated.
During the days, the seniors had to use communication, leadership, and patience to complete group activities, including a trust fall off a rock. Natanya Razafindrabes shared that this was her favorite memory of the trip because “during the trust fall, we were all connected and really bonding since we literally had to trust our classmates to catch us.”
On Friday evening, many students shared their testimonies around the campfire. “I was able to see God during these testimonies no matter who told them, and even if they were struggling with understanding God. I saw how God would take care of and communicate with each person,” Seth Harmon, Senior Class President, remembered.
Many students felt that they grew closer with one another over the trip. Dwayne Rey, senior, expressed, “We've gotten more comfortable with each other and we're able to be vulnerable, which makes our relationships stronger. We got to know more about each other's opinions and how we handle things. We were able to see things from each other's perspective, which makes it possible for us to grow.”
The staff also noted how well the class connected. Sue Helm, senior class sponsor, reflected, “The girls and guys bonded by spending time and playing games together. I think they definitely bonded during the trust fall. That was a huge, huge one. These kinds of activities bonded them as a class because they had to work together. They had to understand each other's feelings, and what each one was going through and what he or she needed at the time.”
Finally on the last evening the students had a communion service and held class elections.
They returned to campus on Sunday, stronger as a class.
Catie Fairfield, Student News Team
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
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 may have uncovered a new tradition worth continuing by allowing the senior class one last chance to make a lasting impact on fellow students. During the week of May 4th-8th, Campion hosted its last Week of Prayer for the academic year. This particular Week of Prayer was unlike any other, not only because it was held virtually through private zoom calls and was live streamed on Facebook, but because it was hosted entirely by the senior class. Chaplain Mrs. Eickmann and Technology Director Mr. Eickmann also worked very hard behind the scenes to make transitions between activities, speakers, and prayers seamless. Though current circumstances should have held the school back from gathering to learn about God’s Word, the message was clearly broadcast: focus on Jesus.
Mrs. Eickmann challenged the seniors to host all of the meetings from beginning to end. Responsibilities were distributed during senior Bible classes. Whether tasked with creating questions for Kahoot (an online quiz game) which brought many laughs to participants, sharing a favorite memory from years at Campion, or delivering a personal message reflecting Christ’s character, each and every senior had a part in ministering. Sydney Halvorson, a sophomore at Campion says, “Having the seniors host Week of Prayer was really cool. It gave us some insight into what their personalities are like, and it was nice to hear some of their favorite memories at Campion.”
Junior, Ireland Anthony, agreed that hearing from seniors was unique and a blessing. “I really loved the fact that it was all about the seniors this Week of Prayer because it’s their last one at Campion!” She continued to say, “something that stood out to me was that I have never heard some of the quiet seniors speak before, and they did a really good job.”
Mrs. Eickmann expressed, “I was super pleased with how Week of Prayer went. I was blessed every single day by those who presented. The seniors made me proud of how they stepped up, were real, and shared from their hearts. They inspired me! I loved having the seniors host it.”
Having seniors present the last Week of Prayer for the school year may become a new tradition at Campion Academy. The delivery of testimonies and memories allowed students to turn their eyes away from the worries, cancellations, and uncertainties this year has brought them and simply focus on Jesus.
Delanie Kamarad, guest contributor
Greetings fellow Campion students! As you may know, my name is Grant Velbis, and I am a Senior at Campion Academy. It has now been weeks since we left school. How many exactly, I’m not sure. I sort of lost track. I do know, however, that it’s been a very, very long time! As a means to hopefully provide you with some entertainment, news, and encouragement during this period of isolation, I have been tasked with writing an article for this newsletter. I thought very hard about what I could share with you all, and then it hit me. What could be better for a newsletter than an interview! Get some people together and ask some tough questions. Unfortunately, because of the quarantine, there weren’t many options. So, I gathered everyone I could think of into my storage closet, and began the following interview:
Grant: “Hello Campion Academy, my name is Grant, and here in my storage closet, I am joined by Grant and Grant. How are you guys doing?”
Other Grant: “Meh.”
Another Grant: “I’m doing fantastic!”
Grant: “Wow, there’s a big difference between the moods of the two of you! This has certainly been a trying time for all of us, and I can easily understand your response, Grant. Tell me, why are you so downcast?”
Other Grant: “Well… It’s been hard, you know? This whole quarantine business has been so stressful. All of my family has been crammed under one roof and there is hardly any space. I can’t even find time to think. Someone in my house is always being loud or obnoxious. Also, I miss my friends. I miss going places. I get so bored and lonely, I just don’t know what to do. Not knowing what is coming in the future has me worried, as well. Who knows what could happen in crazy times like this!”
Grant: “I see. You definitely have some valid points there, Grant. It’s very easy to become sad, lonely, frustrated, angry, and all of those negative emotions. Now, despite all this, Grant, you are smiling, happy, and look like you’re doing great! I understand that you are in the same boat as Grant, as far as being cooped up at home with your family. How are you so joyful in the midst of all this?”
Another Grant: “Well, Grant, I’m glad you asked me that! See, I completely understand where Grant is coming from. With all the discouraging things happening, it can be very easy to slip into negative thinking. But, despite all the bad things, there are so many good things that have occured because of the quarantine!”
Other Grant: “What do you mean, Grant?”
Another Grant: “Well, for me, I’ve gotten to have so much quality time with my family! Whether it be games, movies, reading together, or going on walks, we’ve been able to connect in so many ways we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to! With all the extra time on my hands, I’ve been able to dive deep into the Bible! Reading God’s word is the best way to be encouraged during tough times, and with the quarantine, I’ve had so much extra time to do it! You see, there are always ways you can flip the negative and turn it into a positive! As far as being lonely, and worried about the future, God promised to always be with us, especially through the hard times. He will guide us through. We may not know the future, but he sure does, and He will take care of us.”
Grant: “Wow. That was so inspiring, Grant.”
Other Grant: “I know! I already feel better, thank you!”
Another Grant: “You’re welcome, guys!”
Grant: “Well, with those profound words from Grant, I think it’s time to say goodbye. But before we sign off, I’d like to share this Bible verse with you: God says to us, ‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ Matthew 28:20. Thank you all for joining me, and goodbye!”
(P.S for everyone wondering, no I haven’t gone crazy.)
(P.P.S at least not yet.)
Grant Velbis, Senior, Guest Contributor
Campion Academy seniors were given a couple days off of school last week to preview various colleges and plan for their futures. Campion Academy took a bus of 28 seniors to Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the rest of the class submitted requests to view other colleges such as Southern Adventist University, Southwestern Adventist University, La Sierra University, Colorado State University, and various local community colleges. They took tours, asked questions, and took steps towards making a big decision.
The visits helped with choosing a school, and also with choosing potential majors. While at the colleges, students were able to visit the departments they may be interested in. Patricia Simamora, who visited Union College, says, “Going into college days, I thought I had my mind set on nursing, but then coming out of it I knew I wanted to major in Occupational Therapy Assistance. Touring the college and looking at all the different programs they had really helped me make an important decision in my life.”
Other students, like Ashley Halvorson, were actually able to make or solidify their decision on which college they would like to attend. “One thing I really appreciate about Campion is that they let you find out what future looks best for you,” she says. “They give you time to visit colleges and they let you pick to visit a college that interests you. I was able to visit Southern Adventist University with my mom and a couple of friends, and it really affirmed the decision I made about going there.”
Naomi Boonstra, Student Editor