Friday, May 18, 2012

Ozone Ministries Hosts All City, All Ages Food Drive

It’s Saturday morning and instead of sleeping in, watching tv or playing video games, Springdale Ozone student Travis runs from house to house passing out bags for the Ozone canned food drive. Travis was just one of the many students who took part in the annual event, which provided over 375 bags of canned food to area food banks. The next Saturday, elementary Bentonville Lifeline student Sara collects similar bags, lugs them back to the van and helps distribute them to a food bank in the area. A couple of days later, Rogers Primetime student Jonathan sorts cans of vegetables, fruits, soup and everything in between in preparation for distribution at the Samaritan Community Center in Rogers.
Ozone Ministries’ annual event, Together We Can, enabled students from every age group and every city to participate in helping to fight hunger in Northwest Arkansas. The high schoolers in each city started off the event by stapling informative flyers to large paper bags and distributing those bags to their local neighborhoods. The elementary kids came on board next, collecting the bags of food in teams one Saturday morning and thanking those who donated. Middle and Junior High School students finished it off by sorting the cans for organizations such as Samaritan Community Center and LifeSource International. Ozone had the opportunity to serve organizations in Springdale, Fayetteville, Rogers, and Bentonville. Every age group had a distinct and important part of the canned food drive and together we were, and are, able to accomplish much more than we could have done on our own. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dinner Club Community

In a corner house in a Bentonville neighborhood, High School girls are learning to like their vegetables. Every Monday (and sometimes Wednesdays) this semester, Bentonville High School Ozone students have met for “Dinner Club” and community at Assistant Director Ellie Chase’s home. They show up excitedly, ready for a nutritious meal and conversation with friends and leaders.
Traditions are formed; girls grow to expect warm bread and sweet tea with each dinner. After the first few weeks of Dinner Club, the girls became eager to learn and to serve their fellow ozone students. One high school sophomore, Brianna, enters the kitchen each Monday and pulls out the ingredients to brew sweet tea. She serves her peers weekly, crafting something she’s learned to make through instruction during one of the first dinners. Another student, Allison, a Bentonville High School Freshman, prepares salads with creativity and willingness to serve. Others offer help in everything from food preparation to clean up. Girls celebrate with one another as “Birthday Dinners” are joyously recognized, complete with a birthday song and candles.
Throughout the course of Dinner Club this semester, knowledge of food, nutrition and cooking has been in focus. During a three-week cooking challenge, groups of girls and leaders researched recipes, wrote up shopping lists and led in the kitchen in order to feed others. Each meal keeps fresh ingredients, vegetables and natural foods in mind, guiding girls in proper eating habits without making it about rules or obligations.
Dinner Club has built a close community in Bentonville Ozone through fellowship, service and fun. Girls are learning and growing together in an environment of support and trust. And that environment has the occasional ice cream sandwich for dessert. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spring Break High School Retreat 2012

If you had to pick a major part of the body to be rid of, would it be an easy choice? What would life be without sight? The use of your arms? The ability to walk, jump, run freely? Maybe you’d forego ears, but what’s life without sound? Can we agree to the conclusion that we’d all prefer life with full use of all our extremities?
High School students at the Ozone Spring Break Retreat this year were challenged with a similar idea. As the “body” of Christ, each of us represents a part, and each part is responsible to do what it’s been chosen to do, serving in the capacity it was designed to serve in.
From March 21-23, around 100 high school students from all over Northwest Arkansas convened at Camp War Eagle for a retreat geared around serving the community and learning what it means to live out our roles as followers of Christ. “Selfless,” the theme of the retreat, manifested itself in Biblical lessons learned and service completed, relationships made and conversations had.
Students served several locations throughout the region: the Samaritan House Thrift Store, Goodwill in both Bentonville and Springdale, Cuerpo Vivo Church of Rogers and other places of need. Hard work and dedication to projects resulted in over 760 hours of community service performed between Thursday and Friday alone. Organizations were “impressed and thankful” for the effort and persistence put forth by students.
Small groups led by Camp War Eagle 365 staff and volunteers and past Camp War Eagle counselors were established to build community and relationships. Creativity reigned supreme as leaders came up with fun themes, like the Yellow Hats, the Bros and the Secret Ninjas, for the group to be known by. Teams discussed together what it meant to be a “part” of the body of Christ. How do I serve with my gifts and abilities I’ve been given, and how do I encourage others to do the same? When all parts work together in harmony, serving in their ability, the body serves it’s purpose, showing Christ to others.
So in returning to the question about what body part students would do without, it becomes simple to see that all parts are necessary and all parts have a purpose, as do they in the body of Christ.
 “My favorite part was probably service projects, it actually made a difference. It was good to help,” one High School junior from Rogers reported. The retreat was without a doubt one of the most energetic and purposeful events of the year. Students enjoyed dance parties and dodgeball, but came away with deeper lessons about their role as followers of the Christ and the importance of serving the community selflessly.

Check out some pictures of our fun time!

dance party!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ozone Welcomes Wes May, new Springdale Staff

Camp War Eagle has recently welcomed Wes May on staff with the CWE365 year-round program.  Wes has just graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia Arkansas and will be moving to Springdale this month.  Wes has worked at camp over the last four years as a summer staff counselor and seasonal facility coordinator at Camp War Eagle and he is very excited to come aboard fulltime.  We are thrilled to share this recent interview with Wes and we hope you enjoy the insight into his life it provides. 

What aspects of Ozone are you most excited to experience this year?
I am most excited about building relationships with the students and volunteers.
How do you relate to our campers personally?
I am the youngest of five children; I love to play sports, sing, and have a good laugh. On a more personal level as a result of my brother’s death my parents got a divorce when I was 17. I ended up living with some of my friends for the rest of my high school years. It was easy for me to feel as if I was abandoned, but looking back on it now it is great to see how my Father in heaven was guiding and protecting my every move.
What is the toughest thing you've ever been through?
When I was 16 I had a brother who was 17 died from a pulmonary embolism. This is a blood clot to his lungs that makes it impossible to breath. While the whole event was very fast and dramatic, it was the after effects that made this situation the toughest part of my life. It was through the events that would follow that the Lord would draw my heart to his.
What is your favorite Camp War Eagle memory?
It was the last session of my first year at camp.  Osage and Caddo where tied in tribal competition for the session and for the year. It came down to the older boy’s obstacle course with the last member from each team going at the exact same time. They crossed the finish line with less than a second apart from each other! Osage won! On a side note I am not the most competitive person, but just to let you know the only two years the Osage has won were the years that I was working at camp, just saying.
Name a historical figure you would spend a day with and why?
I would love to spend a day with Benaiah, one of King David’s mighty men from the Old Testament.  This is the man-beast that killed two lions with his bare hands! So I would want him to teach me the proper technique on how to survive a lion attack, make a video with my best Bear Grills accent, and then place it on You Tube and become a one hit wonder all in a day’s work!
Name one food you hate?
I hate celery!!!
What personal gifts or skills are you most excited to share with Springdale Ozone?
I love speaking in front of people, coming up with creative skits, planning crazy games, but most importantly I love teaching people how to study God’s word.
What does your perfect day look like?
A perfect day for me would be to wake up with the car packed and ready to go for my family and I to go on a day hike in the Rocky Mountains. Then as the sun begins to set making a camp fire (using leave no trace) and talk about the highs and lows of the day while making a creative camp fire dinner for my family.