Monday, July 22, 2013

LEAD Leadership Development Activity

Our LEAD program has been working with high achieving juniors and seniors involved in CWE365 this summer, training students in advanced life skills like finances, personal testimony, and community service. The program is more rigorous and rewarding than other CWE365 programming because it requires consistent participation and completion of homework assignments. The fifth week of our program, however, was a rewarding break from the intensive training of most LEAD activities. 
Working with Paradigm Shift’s founder, Ryan Eller (, the LEAD students, along with the Youth Strategies Job Readiness Program students, participated in a morning of leadership games and activities. Through engaging team exercises Eller specializes in training students and professionals to set goals, work as a unit, solve problems and lead with service in mind. With a commanding and creative personality, he led our students through a maze of constant instruction, lateral thinking and competitions.

LEAD is often a period of disciplined growth for our most mature students – a time to create budgets, to reflect and write about life experiences, or to build a plan a solid spiritual life in college, away from programs like CWE365. However, Eller brought an energy and dynamic to the group that echoed our summer camp itself – a place of laughter, sprinting, holding hands in a group and obeying bizarre instruction.

Students competed in a rock-paper-scissors tournament. They learned the five types of high-fives. Working in pairs, they built towers of blocks, alternately defending it and attacking others. They perfected animal noises, picked the color of their personality and thumb wrestled.
Silly games are often a gateway to more serious material. At CWE365, we’ve found that these activities often free up personalities and break down social barriers, closely knitting groups together. Eller eventually turned his energy and focus towards a discussion of the essential qualities of leadership and a time of reflection on our personal strengths and weaknesses as a leader.

Our LEAD students exited Eller’s seminar, not only with joy and a big grin but also with a better understanding of who they are as a leader of peers – how they can improve not only their shortcomings but also their strong aspects of character. Later, eating lunch with the LEAD students, each was able to articulate the value of not only introspection but also giddy fun.

To see more photos from the morning, click here.

Friday, July 12, 2013

CWE365 LEAD Students take part in Antioch

From June 25-27, eight members of CWE365’s LEAD program attended the Antioch program at Fellowship Bible Church in Lowell. Fellowship’s Antioch program teaches high school students about discipleship, the guiding by example of how Christians should live.
The lectures and activities were focused on Christian missions, the history of how Christianity has spread throughout the world and how to apply the past to the future. It was enlightening for the students to hear how their own lives have been affected by the lives of those in Christian history, “They went so far back to explain where missions originated and the people who were dedicated to doing that. So while I didn’t really like history in school, learning about that it was really cool… it takes a lot of dedication to get into that. I really admired all the people who we learned about. Its something I’m going to look more into learning about, and how to send people [to be missionaries]. It spoke to me and inspired me,” Abraham of Bentonville shared.
Pauline of Springdale shared a similar sentiment, “Having the teacher talk about the history and share with us how the missionaries spread the Gospel… you never really think about how the Gospel got to us, but realizing what they went through, all the pain and suffering and sacrificing they had to do to spread the gospel, and without them we never would have gotten the good news of Jesus. Realizing what they did and knowing there’s still people who haven’t received the gospel, we can be like them and maybe one day people will be talking about us being the radical missionaries!”
The nine students and four Ozone directors were refreshed through perspectives shared bye Fellowship Church staff. One of the reoccurring themes mentioned was the difference between purpose and passion. While passion may be intense at first, it’s easy for it to burn out quickly, an instructor shared. However, when a person understands his purpose for being and living, passion will follow and both will be stronger. Brett of West Fork reflected on the statement, “Our purpose is to be a disciple and make disciples, spreading the word of God. If you don’t have that in your mind, it makes you burn out and your passion is going to be very temporary. Your passion will follow your purpose if you keep purpose in mind.”
LEAD’s time with Antioch built a firm foundation for students as they enter new and unknown territories in the fall. With the majority of them heading off to college, this was a wonderfully purposeful opportunity for growth in the knowledge of how to be a light for Christ on their campus.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Family Night Kickball

There’s a chance your childhood was intensified by the rolling of a red rubber ball on a dusty diamond. Garbled yelling swarmed your ears as a swift connection made that ball fly and you took off like a shot, rounding first as the entire outfield ran to the one unmanned spot in right field. You knew getting the ball to that glorious open space was your goal, and you aced it. A home run, the crowning glory of 4th grade recess.

This summer, Ozone has implemented monthly family nights, a time for all ages to come together with their families for an evening of summer enjoyment. Family nights began during the final week of June with kickball tournaments at both north and south Ozone meetings. This break from our normal Primetime and Summit meetings allowed our students to bring their parents, their siblings, and friends to engage in some healthy competition. Families formed 4 teams, cheers were cheered, team headbands donned, and the tournament began.

Families appreciated an event they could all come together to enjoy. Jurnie, a high school student in Rogers, was thankful for her youngest sister being able to join in on the fun. “Usually at Ozone, my little sister Kennedy doesn’t get to come with us, but here I got to play with her and my big sister Madi.” It was a joyful thing to be able to provide a family bonding experience. Austyn of Bella Vista agreed, “Everyone was really enthusiastic. It was a lot more fun to have the whole family out here, ‘cause we could all enjoy being together. It’s great for families to do stuff like this together because instead of going their separate ways, they’re playing on a team together.”

Join us for our next family night, as we pull out the projector, blankets and folding chairs for a movie on the lawn, July 16th (north cities) and 18th (south cities).