Monday, October 22, 2012

I Saw You at the Pole.

The following was written by Fayetteville Ozone Director, Ricky Shade.

Working with youth of all ages, I’m accustomed to initiating events for students. However, it was on Wednesday, September 26th that I was able to witness students that care about coming together for a cause and being the ones to take the initiative. The cause? It was the 22nd Annual See You At The Pole (SYATP) Rally. SYATP is a completely student-initiated, student-organized and student-led event where students come together at schools all over the country to pray.

According to, there were more than 56,000 students on 1,200 campuses in Texas and three other states at the first See You at the Pole Rally in September of 1990. Since then, students all over the country have gathered on the fourth Wednesday of September to pray together.

In addition to student participation, others are allowed to attend if a student of that school invites them. A few weeks ago, Fayetteville co-director, Alyssa Hanson, and I were invited to West Fork High School’s SYATP Rally by one of our Summit students, Baylea Cantrell. Baylea is a senior at West Fork who has been attending Ozone and Camp War Eagle since they began.

Not knowing what to expect that day, Alyssa and I showed up at 7am right on the dot. At first there were a handful of students surrounding the flagpole. Some of them had guitars, bibles and one had a djembe. For a while, they played Christian worship songs, and to my surprise a great deal of the students knew the words. There were no projectors, no speakers to project sound, no cool graphics on a screen. Just kids playing music, singing to the Lord.

As the rally went on, more and more students began to unite. Scripture was shared, and we even divided into small groups to pray for whatever we felt led to pray. Then the buses arrived, which literally doubled the number of kids there. The middle school was within throwing distance, and those students were more than welcome to attend as well. And they did. I was very pleased and thankful that the upperclassmen were setting a great example to kids that look up them. One student counted 175 total students in attendance.

Other cities had tremendous mornings at SYATP too, connecting with several Camp War Eagle campers and Ozone students. Bentonville directors Matt and Ellie prayed with students at Bentonville High School. Rogers directors Cass and Christine attended at Heritage High School. Springdale directors Wes and Erin supported students at Har-Ber High School.
Some Ozone students at Bentonville High School
I walked away from West Fork High School that day extremely encouraged and even proud. Proud to see students have a tremendous impact.  Proud to see students praying for others. It was incredible to see students giving praise to God and to witness students setting examples for the younger generations. And I was proud to know that God is working in the lives of others.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beaver Lake Clean2012 Video

Look at this incredible video made for CWE365 by Storytime Productions! Here's a great look at our annual Beaver Lake service project. Don't forget to get involved next September in this fantastic opportunity.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rogers Ozone Lends a Hand with Miracle League

The following was written by Rogers Ozone Director Cass Trumbo.

One of the attractive aspects of Ozone is the community service component. While some students attend club for the silly games or to see their camp counselors, parents often endorse our program because we generate projects and hours of service that fulfill student’s requirements elsewhere.
However, as a participant as well as a director in Rogers, I believe the best part of Ozone’s community service is the character building. 

On fall Saturday mornings, Miracle League hosts games in a park in southern Springdale. The fields have been built in miniature on a foundation of rubber to create spaces that look more like playgrounds than ballparks. It’s built just so because the players are all handicapped. Either physically or mentally challenged, the players come to the park to play ball on a equal field.

Over three games that morning, our students were paired with a buddy and together they hit balls, ran bases and fielded flies. But baseball is a slow game and those pieces of action were only a small portion of each buddy’s game. The real work – the unadvertised and at times overlooked work – was relationship building. 

Most of the students in the Ozone program have been campers at Camp War Eagle. Often that’s what leads them to Ozone. As long-time campers, or even long-time club attendees, our students have been exposed to the kind of top-notch counseling and mentoring that makes CWE great. Our counselors strive to make each camper feel special. With Miracle League, our students found a chance to practice this for themselves.

Through the course of the morning, students played baseball on their knees or pushed wheelchairs, chased rogue players or simply sat against the fence with their buddy. They did their best to make those players feel special. At the end of the morning, our Miracle League liaison was full of praise for our students, who did what adult volunteers seldom do: they made their service about the kids. 

Check out some pictures from our time with the Miracle League!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Beaver Lake Clean Up 2012

Every year the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Benton County Solid Waste District partner together to clean the shores of our beloved Beaver Lake. As an organization that enjoys these warm waters throughout the summer, CWE365 dedicates a Saturday morning each year to work alongside these organizations and pick up trash around the lake.

With registration beginning over a month in advance, numerous families were quick to sign up for the opportunity on September 29th to serve the community in this way. Upwards of 120 Ozone students and family members from Bentonville and Rogers cleaned up around the old Monte Ne Hotel. After loading the trailer with trash of all shapes and sizes, they relocated and did the same at the Highway 12 Bridge. With so many volunteers helping out, we are proud to say that those areas were picked clean of trash.

The southern cities had similar results at their locations. With over 90 volunteers from both Fayetteville and Springdale Ozone, they collected a full trailer’s worth of trash at Blue Springs Park and the Old Bridge off Highway 12. After cleaning for a couple of hours, all four Ozone chapters met at the Prairie Creek Pavilion, where the Corps of Engineers served an appreciation lunch for all volunteers. Some of the Rogers and Bentonville students brought camp to Beaver Lake Cleanup by doing a chow hall cheer favorite, the Beaver Call. Although there were some confused and strange looks from onlookers, the students really enjoyed sharing lunch together and spending time with other campers. After a big group picture the cities parted ways with each camper having completed 3 hours of community service which will help them get accepted into CWE summer camp 2013.

As an event we look forward to each year, it was exciting to see the turnout of students who had the desire to help clean their community. It is a blessing to be able to love God through loving his people and caring for the beautiful environment surrounding us here in Northwest Arkansas..

 If you’d like to see more pictures from the event, visit our CWE365 Facebook Page