Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hundredth Match Sends Batson Out with a Bang!

Paul Batson, Director of Mentoring for Camp War Eagle, is celebrating his retirement after seeing the mentoring program reach its one hundredth match.  The match was met on October 26, 2010 between Springdale Ozone intern, James Mix, and Har-Ber High School sophomore, Christopher Magness.
The success of the mentoring program, Batson believes, comes from the families participating the program. “It is not just working with children, it is more working with children in the context of the family,” Batson said. “I have been working with children and families for over 40 years now and it has been such a rewarding life through all those years.”
Batson has been working in mentoring program administration for around ten years. He started working with Judge Finch in Benton County through a mentoring program for children in the organization called FINNS (Families In Need of Services). Then in 2003, he worked with a project of the US Department of Health and Human Services called HIP (Hope, Inspiration, Protection). HIP was a mentoring program for children with parents who were incarcerated. Batson said, “It was a wonderful program and some of our existing mentors and mentees were part of that program.”
Although this is a great accomplishment for the program, Batson hopes to see this program rise above in the future. Batson said, “In ten years I believe the CWE Mentoring Program will be bigger than Big Brothers Big Sisters. Why? Because the CWE Mentoring Program has the substance that comes with being a Christian mentoring program. If we work hard and continue to improve and promote mentoring it can't help but be successful. The program has too much to offer a child not to be successful.”
            Even though he is retiring from the program, he will continue his work in the area of mentoring. Batson said, “I am hoping to work with churches outside this four county area who would like to start a mentoring program. I think churches are missing a tremendous mission field if they don't have a mentoring program in their church.  I hope to help them get a positive start through consulting with them in structuring a strong and successful mentoring program.”
            The mentoring program will now be lead by Brent Jensen, and newcomer Hannah Cypert.  Jensen said, “It has been very rewarding and I have learned quite a bit.  [Batson] has a great passion for not only CWE and the Mentoring Program, but especially for the kids and families in the community.  It has been a lot of fun learning from him and seeing the positive things that he has done for these families.”
            Since the hundredth match, the program has made seven more matches, and they are currently working on the eighth.  To learn more about becoming a mentor with the Camp War Eagle Mentoring Program, contact Brent Jensen at (479) 530-1943 or Hannah Cypert at (214) 793-8893.
Here Paul receives a plaque commemorating the Camp War Eagle Mentoring Program's 100th match.

Thank you, Paul!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Senior Spotlights

We are proud to spotlight two of our awesome seniors from Rogers!

Mariano Mendez of Heritage High School lives in Rogers with his mother, stepfather, and younger brother. In fall 2009, Raul Rodriguez, Ozone Director of Hispanic Relations, met and formed a relationship with Mariano. Since then, Christ has changed Mariano’s life. He began participating in Ozone activities in 2009, and attended Camp War Eagle for the first time in 2010.

Over the past year, Mariano has become a positive influence to all with whom he interacts. He actively reaches out to his peers, often crossing social, economic, and racial boundaries, and has sought leadership positions in his school. He is actively involved in his church's youth group, his high school's cross country team, FCA, and Ozone. He has set high standards for himself in both academics and athleticism, and was recently awarded a full tuition scholarship at the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith. He will be the first Hispanic student from Heritage to run for the UAFS Cross Country team!

Ministry is an important part of Mariano’s life because he is passionate about helping others know Jesus the way he does. He spent Christmas break in Mexico playing with and teaching kids and helping translate for a local church’s mission team. He plans to spend spring break on another mission trip to Honduras. He has expressed an interest in becoming a youth minister in the future. We are blessed to witness God’s amazing work in this young man’s life.

Juliette “Juju” Brashears is also a student at Heritage, and she lives in Rogers with her mom and younger sister. She has been a CWE camper for five summers, has been involved in Ozone since fall 2009, and has been a part of the CWE Mentoring Program since fall 2010. Juju has demonstrated significant growth since attending CWE in 2009 and committing to make Christ a priority in her life. She has made a concerted effort to lessen the time she spends on popular activities like online social networking, and instead has set her focus on activities that will make an enduring impact on her character and community.

Juju is committed to seeking growth in her relationship with God. In addition to her personal study of the Bible, she spends time weekly with her mentor discussing and memorizing Scripture and attending church with her family. In addition to her own personal growth, Juju spends her time serving the community. She volunteers weekly at the Rogers Public Library, and has also participated in various service projects with Ozone. Finally, Juju is pursuing academic excellence. She was recently awarded a $500 college scholarship for an essay concerning the effects of digital media on teenagers. She will attend the University of Arkansas in the fall. In addition to her more serious life pursuits, Juju can often be found enjoying time with friends participating in various leisure activities. Some of her favorites include cooking and baking, knitting, and playing Quidditch!

Both Mariano’s and Juju’s choices continue to demonstrate their commitment to Jesus and to set them apart as a leaders among their peers. Their influence has impacted the students of Rogers Ozone in a positive way. We are thankful for them and can’t wait to see where God will lead them next in their journeys!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Staff: Hannah Cypert Joins Mentoring Team

Camp War Eagle 365’s newest employee, Hannah Cypert, brings a history with Camp War Eagle and Ozone Ministries, and a love for people to the Mentoring Program. Hannah, who hails from Allen, TX, graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2010 with a degree in Social Work.  Hannah dedicated 3 summers to Camp War Eagle, serving both as a counselor and in a top staff position, overseeing the gymnastics center. During the school year, she furthered her commitment to the program as an intern for Bentonville Ozone, where she continues to volunteer and love the kids!

What is your job description as a part of Camp War Eagle 365?
I work for the Camp War Eagle Mentoring Program as Assistant Director to Brent Jensen.  

What do you view as the best part of your job?
My favorite part this job is getting to do match support with our camp families. I also love recruiting; getting to talk to anybody and everybody about our Mentoring Program. I love to talk about camp!

What does a normal day look like for you, as part of the Mentoring program?
Every day is different. Some days I am in the office setting up appointments or doing match support, some days I go meet with prospective mentors, and on a really great day I get to set up a match!

Tell us about your own experiences in mentoring.
In high School I was a PAL (Peer Assistance Leadership) my junior and senior year. I was matched up with 4 kids a year who were in need of a mentor. Every day I went to their schools and met them in their classrooms. Sometimes we would work on school work, and sometimes we would just play games like Uno and talk! It developed my interest in wanting to work with kids.

Through Bentonville Ozone, I’ve had the chance to co-lead a small group bible study for 7th and 8th grade girls. I’ve been able to mentor a few Ozone girls through the small group. I love middle school!

I have a wonderful mentee through our camp Mentoring program, named Elyssa. She is a very consistent junior high leader in our Bentonville Ozone club. She is exceptionally athletic and musical. She spent a lot of time this past summer teaching me how to shoot a basket properly and how to play some chords on the guitar.  We like to go to Kennedy’s, Chick-fil-a or Skia to drink coffee and do Bible study together. She is a lot of fun.

This semester, I am leading a Bible study at the Tri Delta house on [the University of Arkansas] Campus. I am excited to mentor and encourage those new relationships that are forming.  I was never in a sorority, but I am excited to get to know and to share life with some younger college girls who want to learn more about God’s word. Go Tri Delta!

Why do you think others should become mentors for Camp War Eagle Mentoring?
It’s a great hands-on ministry opportunity impacting Northwest Arkansas community. All of our mentees have been campers at Camp War Eagle in the summertime! The Mentoring program is designed to be a year round follow up program offered to our kids. A consistent positive influence can make a huge impact on the course of a child’s life. Kids are the future. If you love kids and have a heart to encourage, you should become a mentor! It’s a wonder program, and we are excited to offer it.

What do you think it takes to be a good mentor?
Consistency and a joyful heart towards children.

If someone is interested in becoming a mentor or having a mentor, what should they do to become a part of the Camp War Eagle Mentoring program?

They should go online to our website and apply!  Click HERE!
Or, call me at our office at 479-751-8899 ext 4104 

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Big Wampee

On January 29, 2011 Ozone Ministries had the opportunity to put on an event called “THE BIG WAMPEE”.  What is that? A question that often arose from our students.  Well if you were able to partake, you would have found out that The Big Wampee was an event that brought together a number of elements: a narrative, skit, video media, games and a lesson rolled up into one.
The narrative was a live-breaking news story about a man-type monster that was guarding the gates of Camp War Eagle in order to make his voice heard.  Our students had to follow the story and participate in games in order to gain understanding of his reasons for not wanting to let kids back into camp.  Each element of the event led to another, in order to move forward and convey the Big Wampee’s message.  
The Big Wampee, lives at Camp War Eagle, and is the keeper of a special light fueled by the right action of Camp War Eagle campers. The light is fading and the Big Wampee leaves his home to find out why. He discovers that the kids, who come to camp, learn simple but life-giving truths about a relationship with Christ, but unfortunately, some campers tend to go home and forget the life practiced at camp.  And because the Big Wampee desires to see the light shine brightly again he has a message that goes something like this...
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
**James 1:22-25**
The reality of what camp is meant to do is reveal Truths that move the campers, as well as us, into a freeing, blessed life through obedience to Christ.  The Big Wampee wants to make sure the campers understand this before he is going to let them back into camp…because that which he is witnessing of these campers throughout the year is not matching up to this blessed state that shows the world who Jesus is.  
You see the Big Wampee knows…he remembers what Christ said to His people when he was here:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
**Matthew 5:13-16**
Jesus tells us that we ARE the salt and light of the world.  Not that one-day we will be, but NOW, when we come into understanding and relationship with Him.  The Big Wampee reminds and challenges us to move from just hearing and learning lessons at camp to applying them in our everyday lives; because if we aren’t acting upon the lessons, then we are not revealing salt or light to a needy world.  
The questions now remain: Should the Big Wampee let us back in?  Are we going to forget what we look like (who we are), as soon as camp ends?  Or will we make choices, daily choices, to remain salty and a bright light, so that people who are in need of salvation will see God through us?
The Big Wampee recognizes the pressing importance and call to a consist pursuit of and obedience to Christ.
Will we listen?
I URGE YOU: Help the light shine once again!!  The world needs to see people who pursue a relationship with Jesus so that they might know and experience the Truth that brings them freedom and blessedness.
This Ozone event was meant to challenge our students the same way camp hopes to challenge them in the summer.  A relationship with Jesus is not just a one-time, one-week deal. Instead, it’s a life-style.  It was our hope that by using an interactive story to engage our students, that it would be an event, and therefore a message, that sticks.  

Check out some photos of the event!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Trash 2 Treasure

One of Ozone's goals is to teach students valuable life skills in order to equip them to live healthier, more fulfilling lives that will positively impact their community. One of the ways that we have sought to fulfill that goal this school year was through Trash 2 Treasure, a fun, interactive, and educational event focused on reducing waste and recycling.

On October 2, 2010, 40 middle school students from Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville gathered together to learn about recycling, repurposing, and reusing as alternatives to producing waste.

We brought in several examples of art and craftsmanship to show the students what great “treasures” can be made out of trash…

like an old cabinet door...

or an expired license plate...

or a worn out high heeled shoe!

Students learned statistics and facts about trash and recycling with an emphasis on their own involvement in and responsibility to the community.

We focused on several hands-on projects creating crafts entirely out of materials normally considered “trash.”

This gift bag is made out of an old newspaper, with just a little string and glue.

These students are using hammers and nails to create designs in old tin cans. Place a small candle inside and they make the coolest lanterns!

Using some old t-shirts sewn together and stuffed with foam from retired CWE life jackets, students worked together to make a comfy bean bag chair!

We were excited to expose students to ways they can live counter-culturally in what has become a highly disposable society.

We were even more excited about the opportunity to talk to students about the way that Jesus works in our lives. He is the great Artist, who takes broken, beat up people and turns each of us into a beautiful treasure with a special purpose for His Kingdom. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32) Praise God that He is not looking for followers who have got it all figured out on their own. Rather, He redeems those of us who recognize our great need for a Savior!