Saturday, January 26, 2013

Take A Seat at The Walton Arts Center; The Velveteen Rabbit, An Elementary Perspective

Bentonville students and leaders at the Walton Arts Center
On a bright January afternoon in Fayetteville Arkansas, CWE365 participants filled over 60 seats at the Walton Arts Center. A ballet interpretation of the Velveteen Rabbit had elementary aged girls and leaders mesmerized with dance, fun costumes and a whimsical story. Thanks to the generous “Take a Seat” program offered to us by the Walton Arts Center, we were able to provide this unique and captivating experience to young students. Each girl expressed happiness about being given the chance to see dance and story combine into something special. We interviewed one student in particular, Jeslynn of Bentonville, about her take on the ballet.

Jeslynn, what did you like about the Velveteen Rabbit?

“I liked, well my favorite part was when the fairy pops out and turns the velveteen rabbit into a REAL rabbit. So the whole story is that a little boy gets a Velveteen Rabbit for Christmas, right? And then he only plays with it for two hours that day. And then one day when he goes to sleep he couldn’t find the china dog that always slept with him. So the mother, what they call Nana, who was in charge of the toys, tidied them up, cleaned up the boys room, she said “here take your old bunny and that was the VR. So the boy slept with him, first the r felt a little uncomfortable because the boy kept rolling on him, like sleeping on him, squeezing him a little too tight. Then the rabbit got used to it. Now, he’s played with him for summer, winter, spring and then one day the little boy gets sick. And can’t do anything. He had something called Scarlet Fever. Scarlet Fever is a really bad sickness; it is contagious. He gets better. But the Velveteen Rabbit and other things he’s touched have to get burned because they have his Scarlet Fever germs in it. And then the little Rabbit sheds a tear because he doesn’t want to be burned. A flower grows in that spot. And it grows and grows and a fairy pops out! And she turns the Velveteen Rabbit into a real actual rabbit, and he goes off to play with the other rabbits. He comes back to play at the little boy’s house, to see him. The little boy thinks that it used to be the Velveteen Rabbit; That there was something familiar about that little rabbit. He didn’t know that rabbit was the REAL rabbit!”

How can you tell the boy loved the rabbit a lot?
“His fur was being rubbed off, his eyes lost color… the rabbit began to lose shape.”

Why did the Fairy decide to make the VR real?
“Because the rabbit, as I said earlier, was shabby torn losing shape. She could tell the boy loved him very much. The nursery magic told him that he was real.”

Would you have turned him into a real rabbit?

Would you recommend this to your friends to come see?
“It’s really good, I think my friend would really like it. I have a friend who loved the Velveteen Rabbit…”

Do you think you could ever learn to dance like the dancers in the Velveteen Rabbit?
“Yes… I want to be a drama girl when I grow up… [I would have to] practice hard, get dancing lessons, get funky costumes!”

Thursday, January 24, 2013

CWE365 Student Bloggers: Tyler, Rogers Summit

Tyler Navas, a Senior at Roger High School, wrote the following as a reflection on his involvement with Rogers Ozone.
Like many other fellow Camp War Eagle campers, I heard Ozone pitched during the closing ceremonies of my session. And what a perfect time to tell everyone! It’s the end of the session and we all wish camp could go for just a little while longer… Thanks to Ozone, it does.
Camp has become such a second home to me that it would have been unbearable not to have some connection with it year round. I began attending the still very young Ozone program in 2006, being held at the Rogers Boys and Girls Club at the time, to see if it was what I hoped it would be. I wasn’t disappointed one bit! I definitely felt as though I was missing something if I didn’t go. Even so, looking back on these early Ozone meetings, it’s amazing to see how much has changed and improved to what it is today.
Above all, this program has strengthened relationships. It’s sometimes unsettling to think of all the amazing people I wouldn’t be close to were it not for Ozone. Ozone is able to attract a group of kids and leaders that are a positive influence on each other. You would be hard-pressed to find a more shining example of Christians treating others like a loving family. The best relationship Ozone has strengthened is the one I have with Jesus (and Jesus’ dad of course!). Sure, I can go to church to have a once-a-week refresher, and then go back to my daily life with my faith on the back burner. But personally, I’ve found that through Ozone, my faith has become more evident and applied to daily life.
The Ozone program has been truly wonderful to me. I mean, who wouldn’t like to have fun, faith and friendship all in one place?

Friday, January 18, 2013

An Intern's Perspective of Ozone: Ryne of Fayetteville

CWE365 has been able to prepare upperclass college students and recent graduates in youth programming through a yearly internship program. Each year the internship program is further developed in order to both lead and challenge these up and coming leaders to impact the community with their gifts and drive. Each city is blessed with a male and female intern to support the program and build relationships with the children of that city. The following is written by University of Arkansas Grad, Ryne Pruitt, who is a CWE365 intern.

Ryne with Fayetteville kids at "Shrek the Musical" this October 
Ozone is Camp War Eagle’s year around vision to help campers develop and sustain good relationships with Jesus Christ outside the camp boundary.  My role as an Ozone intern is to enhance and create a Christ-centered environment where youth of Northwest Arkansas can find ministry for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. 
The opportunities to minister to campers naturally occur so many times throughout the week because of the responsibilities of an intern.  Our week begins at 4:30 on Tuesdays, when we ignite the 15-Passenger Van with the Turbo-Diesel V8 (“THE 15P”).  The journey for my co-intern and I takes us all over town as we pick up 6th-8th grade students in a race against time to get to Primetime by 6:00.  Thus, we have a solid hour to get to know students and teach them about Jesus.  But our trip does not end there. Our students attend Primetime where they play games, eat, learn about Christ and share with small groups what we talked about in the lesson.  As an intern, I strive to make the environment as fun as possible and facilitate scheduled events to make the best use of our hour-and-a-half with the students.  After we wrap up in small groups and with prayer, we load back up in the 15P at 7:30, pump up the music and take the students home. As the van bounces around the town, we can further discuss the lesson and how it could be implemented in each individual’s life. 
This Tuesday schedule is repeated for Summit on Thursday evenings for high school students, and again for Lifeline on Saturday mornings for Elementary students. Through Ozone, I meet further with students throughout the week at school or in Bible studies. During each event, van ride or Bible study, God provides ample opportunities to develop discipleship relationships with campers and equip them with the encouragement, resources and scripture to love others as Christ loves us.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January Service Lifeline

On January 5th, Lifeline kicked off a new semester as every new semester should be kicked off: with piles of newspaper.
With refreshed vision of the importance of community service this school year, Lifeline students have undertaken the task of beginning two community gardens. In the fall, the majority of 1st Saturday Lifelines gave kids the chance to learn about gardening and make great strides and preparing the gardens, located in Rogers and Springdale. 
Bentonville and Rogers students work on garden beds in November.
As January is a month more synonymous with frosted car windows than flowering buds, elementary students prepped seedlings, getting them all set to start rooting. Many of these tiny plants will be transplanted, as the weather becomes a better fit for outdoor gardening.
The main task at Lifeline, in both north and south locations, was to prepare these seedlings for their bright, healthy future. Newspaper, as students have learned, is a great resource for composting. Thusly, newspaper was the medium of choice for the seeds’ temporary home. 
newspaper cylinders for holding seeds
Using PVC pipe sawed into small sections, newspaper was rolled and folded into cylinders. One cylinder became two, and two became hundreds as the rolling and folding continued joyfully. Instruction followed on filling and planting tiny seeds. Through the nurturing and obedience to detail of the students, the seeds will continue to grow!
Since September, John 15:5 has been at the center what’s been taught at Saturday Service Lifelines. The verse, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” is a reminder to students how all the good things they do is a product of God working through them and giving them strength. Each month the verse is reviewed, it’s meaning discussed, encouraging them to not only do good things for others, but to rely on God and continue to follow after Him. This month the verse was reviewed by teaching a handful of memorization techniques. Do you like to dance? Sing? Make random noises? Use them. That’s precisely what each student did by using these techniques; small groups were able to creatively recall each word of the verse! It was a productive time to grow, and that’s not just limited to the seeds!
Check out a few photos from this event! For even more, like our CWE365 fan page on Facebook

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rogers Summit Girls Build True Community

This post was written by Rogers Ozone Director Christine Janssens.

What do the things in this list have in common?

 Beaver Lake Cleanup, Primetime, Great Pretenders, Paint Wars, Summit, Spring Break Retreat, Canned Food Drive. 

Yes, they are all CWE365 events. Yes, they are all fun. Yes, each is highly anticipated by families and students. They are the events that consistently come to mind when anyone thinks of Ozone. Highly advertised, enjoyed by all and asked about frequently. 

Personally I really enjoy the big events and the weekly meetings of Primetime, Summit, and Lifeline.  Although these are great ways for students to get involved and stay plugged in to a church community, there is a lot more that Ozone has to offer than big events and once-a-week meetings. 

Community. Fellowship. Love. Friendship.

This is what a group of Rogers High School girls experience through their involvement with Ozone.  There is a core group of really awesome high school girls that just enjoy being with each other. They serve elementary kids together at Lifeline, meet for bible study at a leader’s house and share meals together.  By God’s grace these girls have been able to develop a community beyond school, sports and our regularly scheduled Ozone events. 

The mission of CWE365 is to share the Gospel—the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—with our students in hopes of them applying what they learn about our powerful, loving Father and then strive to be like him in every way. The group of Rogers High School ladies is one example of students who’ve found community through Ozone.  They are girls who seek to love like Jesus through service to their community and fellowship, as it says in Romans 12:9,10:

“Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”

Rogers High School Senior and Summit student Hannah spoke of her experience with the group, "Being part of this small group is such a cool blessing. It's so fun to get to share life and grow with other girls that love Jesus. God's taught me how important and how special fellowship is, and how crazy fun it is to live and learn and laugh and love with a group of God-seekers. So much encouragement, so much JOY, so much growth, and an incredible amount of contagious laughter! I wouldn't trade these friendships for anything!" Another RHS student and Summit regular, Pia, said, "I really love meeting with these girls. They are so fun, filled with joy, loving, and full of kindness. I have never had a group of girls in my life like these girls. It's really nice to have people in your life that support you and hold you accountable. They keep me on track. My life has changed a lot over the last couple years, not always in a good way, but I know that I can always turn to these Jesus-loving girls who will speak truth into me."

It’s not advertised. You don’t have to sign up for it. It doesn’t take a lot of preparation, planning or time. All you have to do is come to hang out with us once a week, love with genuine affection and delight in honoring each other. What is it? It’s a community.  It’s fellowship that welcomes and loves.