Thursday, April 28, 2011

High School Ozone Spring Break Sleepovers

On Tuesday night of spring break, high school students from Fayetteville, Bentonville, Rogers, and Springdale spent the night having fun and getting acquainted with students from different cities and schools. The guys gathered at AAO in Fayetteville, and the girls stayed at Matt and Kara Noetzels’ home in Rogers.

After introducing themselves and getting to know one another, the girls learned how to safely build a campfire, roast marshmallows, and make s’mores. Other activities included improvisational acting and both small and large group games that encouraged the girls to break out of their comfort zones and facilitated the development and deepening of friendships.

Back at the AAO, the guys enjoyed getting to know each other on a closer level. Activities varied from playing pool, foosball, air-hockey, ping pong, and the crowd favorite, video games on the X-Box. The camaraderie of the guys was strengthened as they worked together, attempting to defeat their Ozone Directors Ricky, Ben, Matt, and Justin in the video game Halo. (This was a failed attempt, of course. Come on, the Directors are recent college graduates. They still have some skills!) Time flew by and as the clock quickly approached 6:00 A.M., the boys finally began to turn in for the night. They eventually all got about an hour of sleep before waking up for the next morning’s activities.

On Wednesday morning, guys and girls from all four Ozone cities met together at AAO for a post-sleepover breakfast. Students were responsible for preparing and cooking their breakfast, while staff supervised and advised students about healthy dietary choices. Students prepared whole wheat, low-fat french toast, homemade granola, and fresh fruit. They enjoyed cooking together, but even more they enjoyed eating what they had made. The meal proved delicious as well as healthy when it finally came time to eat and the students devoured their creations!

The students also spent time Wednesday morning contributing to a service project that challenged them to think globally. The students watched a DVD about a missionary from Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) whose job is to fly an airplane over the hard-to-access jungles of Colombia, South America, distributing Bibles, Christian literature, and solar radios tuned to Christian stations. These items are attached to parachutes that are dropped from his plane, and are designed to reach the guerrilla troops who persecute Colombian Christians. Students then spent about an hour constructing parachutes to send to VOM for the project. The students were challenged as they considered the implications of living out their faith in an environment so hostile towards Christianity. They appreciated the opportunity to pray for and serve fellow believers far away.

The sleepovers and Wednesday morning breakfast, along with the other high school spring break events, contributed to the growth of the Ozone community as students shared experiences and formed memories together.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Camp Ozark Ozone Spring Break Service

Camp Ozark is Camp War Eagle’s sister camp.  Much of Camp War Eagle’s program originated at Camp Ozark, including the Ozone Program.  The Ozone programs of Ozark and CWE partnered up in a local mission project March 14-17, joining forces with Pontiac Church in Springdale to reach out to the community surrounding the church.  

Each afternoon, the Ozark Ozone students helped clean the Pontiac Church.  They mopped the floors, removed old ceiling tiles, cleaned out the oil drainage ditches, helped mulch the green spaces in the parking lot, and painted cabinets and drainage grates.  

After cleaning, the group made their way to Brookhaven Apartments, where they were joined by CWE Ozone staff and students. Each day they hosted a block party for families in the community with numerous activities for the kids in the apartments.  Kids and staff played soccer and basketball, jumped on inflatables, hula hooped, drew with sidewalk chalk, and played smash-ball.  At the end of the event each day, everybody gathered on the basketball court to eat a snack and watch as the Ozark Ozone students performed skits and shared the gospel.

On Wednesday, children and their families from Brookhaven were invited to walk down the street to Pontiac Church to enjoy a free meal of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks.  Families were given the opportunity to see Pontiac Church and were invited to attend a service.

Our hope is that through the relationships built and time spent with families, Ozark and CWE were able to provide a positive influence for the community surrounding the Pontiac Church, and to serve the church in its mission.  CWE365 would be pleased to participate an event like this again!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ozone Intern Spotlight: Maggie Bates

Maggie Bates has served as an intern for Rogers Ozone for the past two years. Here is your chance to get to know Maggie a little bit better!

Where are you from?
Fayetteville, AR

What school do you attend and what are you studying?
The University of Arkansas. English and Creative Writing.

How did you hear about Ozone and why did you want to get involved?
I worked at Camp War Eagle for two summers as a counselor. Everyone at camp talks about Ozone! I love the community of Northwest Arkansas and I was excited to have a chance to serve the Lord in a community that I love so much. CWE is a place where I had already built a lot of roots. I wanted to be committed to the CWE family because I had already invested so much of my time and heart in that community.

How else do you spend your time besides school and Ozone?
I intern for my church, hang out with friends, read, hike, spend time with my family, build campfires, and run!

If you could have any career, and skills weren’t an issue, what would you choose?
I would be a Broadway Actress. It would be SO FUN.

What are your plans for the future?
I want to be a teacher. My dream job would be an ESL teacher. I really love family ministry, and being an elementary school teacher is a great way to serve kids and families. Teachers, next to parents, have the biggest influence in kids' lives.

What’s your favorite part of being an Intern with Ozone?
I love to see God proven through the work of CWE. I love seeing the way that CWE makes an impact not only during the summer but all year round. I love seeing lives change, and that kind of change doesn’t happen in just two weeks. I love seeing kids learn that God isn't just at camp.

Do you have any favorite memories or stories from your time with Ozone?
World Dinner. I loved seeing kids get passionate about the poor; seeing them want to serve others who have less. I have also loved watching Juju [Brashears, senior Ozone student] become a Godly woman and really claim her faith.

Describe your perfect day.
Let's see... my perfect day... sleep in till 10, wake up and read for two hours outside, go on a picnic at Wilson Park with my friends and eat a Jason's Deli salad, go hiking at the Buffalo River and float in the river, then go have dinner with my family at their house. My dad would cook salmon and we would eat my mom's strawberry cake for dessert. After dinner I would build a campfire in my backyard and have all the people sit around in crazy creek chairs and talk.

Maggie will be moving to south Arkansas this summer and will begin a two-year term as a teacher in the Teach for America program. We will miss her, but we are so thankful for the way God has used her to bless the students and families of CWE and Ozone!

Take A Seat

Stephanie McCullough is a volunteer with Rogers Ozone. Through Ozone, she has participated in the Walton Arts Center’s “Take A Seat” program, in which the WAC offers non-profit organizations free tickets to several of their state-of-the-art productions. Stephanie shares about her experience here:

“I am so thankful for the opportunities provided by the Walton Arts Center’s Take A Seat program. In March, I was able to spend time not only with Meredith, my Ozone mentee, but with two other campers and with a co-counselor the girls adore. We all went to dinner and to see "The Mikado," a comic opera. I really love the chance for these young ladies to experience bits of culture that would otherwise be outplayed by the noise of today's popular boy bands. "The Mikado" was a legitimate opera with a live pit orchestra complete with opening overture. I very much appreciated the time to catch up with my girls!

Soon after that show, I took Meredith and her best friend to see the Harvard Glee Club. Being a music major, I loved the wide span of genres and time periods they covered in their concert. From Renaissance to Baroque to folksongs to Harvard football tunes, the night was a great learning opportunity in seeing the roots and namesake of such a popular TV show so manyteenagers love. The TV show can't compare to the harmonious sounds of REAL Glee!

The last Take A Seat show I saw with Meredith was the "100 Years of Broadway." Meredith loves musicals, but opportunities to see legitimate performances while in high school are rare. She had a great time!

Meredith and I had a ton of fun spending the extra time together on these excursions. I am so thankful this program works with Camp War Eagle to help fulfill CWE's purpose of serving the cultural needs of the precious children of Northwest Arkansas. I wish more counselors would take advantage of it and share these special chances with kids!”

Stephanie is a sophomore studying music at the University of Arkansas. This upcoming summer will be her second as a counselor at Camp War Eagle.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rogers Ozone: Primetime Student Leadership

Rogers Primetime has an incredible group of students who have stepped up and taken the lead with the Student Leadership team.  As the inaugural class of our fledgling Student Leadership program, these students have persevered through some rough schedules (we met at 6:00 am last semester!) as we've tried to find what works best.  
Mac, Celina, Tauney, Emma, Ernesto, and Andrew meet weekly to encourage one another and take part in the multiple facets of the leadership program.  They spend time each week memorizing the key verse of the teaching for the upcoming Club, and have found that songs and hand motions really help!  They purposefully engage their peers at club, as well as interact with new students, as they strive to be role models to their peers.  They even wrote "Ye Olde Rules Skit," a medieval look at the rules for club.  Their desire to make club the best atmosphere possible is infectious, as they endeavor to create an welcoming environment where all students, regardless of religious affiliation, can come to have fun and hear truth.  

These students have been such a great help to their peers and to the directors as well.  With their input this year, this program is sure to continue to grow to establish young kids into respectable leaders within our program.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Primetime Girls' Nature Day March 12, 2011

On March 12th, Primetime (middle school & junior high) girls from Springdale and Bentonville had the opportunity to see the beauty of the Natural State up close and personal. Over 20 students and leaders from the collective cities descended upon Devil’s Den state park south of Fayetteville for a day of hiking, exploring and a great time on a beautiful day.

And with temperatures in the 70s and not a cloud in the sky, a beautiful day it was!
Upon arriving to the park, the girls got acquainted through an icebreaker activity. Soon after, the girls prepared their own sack lunches and it was time to head to the trail.
The excitement was palpable as the girls passed into the woods, and began their trek up a rocky slope. Even as the sun rose higher in the sky and foreheads began to shimmer with sweat, the girls were troopers, making the best of everything, maintaining great attitudes. As they hiked, girls were instructed in trail safety and the importance of  “Leave No Trace” outdoor ethics.

After an hour of walking (and a few water breaks), the group arrived at the destination. The girls marveled at the beauty of the sight, glad to get a chance to sit and take it all in! It was time for sandwiches and oranges, apples and trail mix, and the girls were more than ready for a refueling break.
Once pictures were taken and views were soaked in, Bentonville Ozone Director, Ellie Chase, gave a brief teaching from Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  Girls were challenged to recognize God’s greatness, faithfulness and righteousness not only in the vastness of the world around them, but in their own lives as well.

After a hike down the mountain with newly found energy, the girls dipped their feet in the creek and skipped quite a few stones. All in all, the day was an incredible opportunity for the girls to experience recreation outside of their usual day to day. There were no cell phones, no computers, only nature and community. Springdale Ozone Director, Erin Wiltse, said of the experience, “It was amazing to spend the day with the girls in a place that was a bit out of their comfort zone, really just enjoying each other and the gifts our Creator has given us.”