Thursday, February 27, 2014

Savannah's CWE365 Mentoring Internship

The following was written by Savannah, CWE365's Mentoring intern, regarding her internship experience.
My adventures with the CWE Mentoring Program started three years ago. A dear friend of mine – before I was even walking with Jesus – told me about Camp War Eagle and its awesome mentoring program! At first, I didn’t give it much thought. I hadn’t really given a lot of weight to Jesus or kids for that fact. However, things soon changed that summer after my freshman year of college. Jesus changed my heart and directed it towards Him. He showed me that kids are AWESOME and gave me a passion for sharing Christ with kids through many different ministries. Realizing this fact, I decided I wanted to know more about this crazy-cool camp called Camp War Eagle and their mentoring program. So I did what any person would do; I called Hannah, one of the staff members of the mentoring program. Then she called me. Then I called her back. It was a bit of phone tag, but in the end, Hannah interviewed me and decided I would mentor Olivia.
The next year was spent hanging out each week with Olivia. We participated in fun activities like going to get frozen yogurt, eating yummy food at Rick’s bakery, slurping down Sonic drinks, or swinging at Wilson Park. It was so incredible to get to know Olivia and her mom, Joy, better! My adventures with the CWE Mentoring Program didn’t stop there though. My first summer working at Camp War Eagle I was approached by Hannah Hiemstra and asked to work as an intern for the mentoring program. I told her I would pray about it because I already had a job lined up. Driving back from camp after orientation, I called my grandma and asked her about her thoughts on the situation. She knew my heart and my prayers. My grandma is so wise! She said I’d be crazy not to follow the path Jesus had obviously opened. I called Hannah that night and told her I’d love to be the intern for the mentoring program.
During my time as an intern, I have witnessed the excitement of so many children – like Mateo, or McKayln, and others – in receiving a mentor to walk with them through life. I have witnessed the joy of kids when they get to participate in fun events like the program’s annual Fall Festival.  I have also cried because of the brokenness I have witnessed due to the fact that unhappy things sometimes happen in the lives of the children. However, there is hope and I praise Jesus that they have the opportunity to be loved and supported by an incredible mentor.
Throughout my now two years as an intern, I have continued to meet with Olivia (or Liv) each week. I have enjoyed the many moments that we have laughed like when we went through the drive through at McDonalds and I drove off without the food. I have enjoyed our competitive spirits each time we play the card game “Speed” together. I have enjoyed becoming part of her family and spending many moments watching her use her talents as an actress to impress so many! However, my favorite moment of ours is when Liv and her mom went to Honduras with a bunch of college girls and I through our church.  It was such a sweet week of pointing each other towards Jesus through serving together and reading 1 Peter together. I was also so encouraged because I didn’t really know the impact I had on Liv’s life until her mother wrote me the sweetest note and shared how thankful she was that I was a part of Liv’s life and hers. I won’t ever forget that trip. I’m so thankful the Lord showed me that He is good and knew from the beginning how beautiful it is to be able to love on Liv and her mom through mentorship.
Looking back, I had no idea of the journey I’d encounter, but Jesus knew the blessing that would come serving him consistently and His desire to give children the opportunity to know Him through Christ-centered mentors. Through this internship, I also have learned so much. I have seen the power of Jesus in the lives of students through mentors. I have seen the beauty of community through going into the office each week. I have learned that loving Jesus changes our hearts for others to be more like his . I have learned what it looks like to be encouraged and supported by an incredible boss (a.k.a Hannah Hiemstra). I have cultivated a passion for mentorship as I have seen it transform my life and the lives of many others. I have seen the love of Jesus through so many.  It has been such an incredible journey and I am so thankful that Jesus showed me that his ways were and are so much better than anything of mine. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Summit Worship Night 2014

Most Ozone special events come with flashing lights, lots of energy, many games, slices of pizza, and a crazy Camp War Eagle experience.  But, because we’re Camp War Eagle, we like to change it up once in a while! Once a year we bring our high school students together for a more low-key, mellow event with dim lights, a focused energy and a home made meal. Worship Night is an event held for those students who want to know God in a more intimate way, through worshiping with their voice, heart, and soul.
Worship has been something that many students in all cities have asked directors to incorporate more into Ozone. However, with the hour and a half packed schedule of a typical Ozone, the requested style of worship is something that often won’t fit into the night. However, we do listen to our students’ requests and see the importance of worshiping our Lord!  Rogers High School student Hisleny Garcia says that she loves worshiping God through song because, “I can connect with the words of the song and I can feel God’s presence in me.”
We at Camp War Eagle value worship because it is a time to put God at the center of our lives, and focus on the one who is all Powerful. Psalm 86:9,10 says this:
All nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
Because God is so great and deserves much praise, we enjoy this time of year that we get to come alongside our students and focus on worshiping our God.  Rogers Summit attendee Julia Holden enjoys worship because “I can connect with the Holy Spirit and focus on Him alone.”

Ozone is a place where students from all walks, wisdom, and knowledge can come and share in one thing- Christ. Although we are unable to share in corporate worship like this during the majority of the year at Ozone, Worship Night is a time students from all four cities can gather and worship God together, sharing in fellowship, a meal, worship, prayer, and fun.

Monday, February 10, 2014

CWE365 Intern Blog: Keith, Springdale

From Ordinary to Ozone
An Intern’s Tale by Keith Laster
Days before one of the greatest fictional quests of all time, Bilbo Baggins was asked to join in on an adventure. “Adventure?” he said, “Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things, they’ll make you late for dinner!” His reaction was eerily similar to my initial reaction on a warm summer day at Camp War Eagle when I was asked to consider an internship with Ozone. What about free time, Netflix, and keeping up with football scores? I thought. I was momentarily entrenched by the small comforts that I would sacrifice if I joined the Ozone team. I responded with a not-so convincing “let me think about it,” but what I didn’t know is that later that very night, much like Bilbo, the lure of doing something that matters was about to take hold of my soul, and I was about to embark on an epic adventure.
During the first week of my experience with Ozone we put on the craziest, most exhilarating, and most colorful party I have ever been a part of: the Paint War. I was attacked by literally hundreds of students with paint in their hands and flaming desire for victory in their hearts. I wasn’t going to be outdone though; I fought back with a vengeance and definitely added some Springdale red to the flags of the opposing cities. That night I not only fought in an epic paint war but I also became a friend to some of the coolest students on the globe; Friendships that our weekly club has allowed me to maintain and see grow.
Cleaning Beaver Lake with students 

Since August I have been part of many board games, mind games, skits, and artistic ventures (you should see the Christmas themed maraca I made last week at Lifeline!). Club has been an incredible part of my Ozone adventure. Where else would I be able to create an imaginary animal and send it into battle in my personal favorite game “Mad Scientist” and learn and teach wonderful things about the creator of the universe all in the same night (twice a week)? Not only has it been a ridiculous amount of fun but I have grown tremendously from both the club meetings themselves and the responsibility that I have to contribute weekly to the crazy experience that is club.

One of the best rewards of any adventure are the relationships formed along the way. Imagine Frodo without Samwise, Luke without Leia, or Peter without Susan, Aslan, and the rest of the Narnia crew. I set off on this adventure alongside some of my favorite people on the planet, who challenge me, encourage me, and pray for me regularly, all of which are acts of friendship that I do not take lightly. Lately I have come to agree with John Newton who wrote, “I count my best friends to be those who pray for me.” Ozone has also paved my way to incredible friendships with remarkable students who, over the past year, have filled my life with wide rivers of laughter, moments of tears, and the wonderful assurance of purpose.
Keith, bottom right, with students at the Walton Arts Center

Through it all, the greatest and most epic part of my adventure with Ozone has been the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through the club meetings, service projects, and the Gospel centered relationships that Ozone has allowed me to be a part of, I have lived and been a piece of the great mission of the Church of Jesus Christ. What an honor it is to share with students of the greatness of the good news of Jesus on a regular basis. After He triumphantly rose from the grave and just before he ascended into heaven, Jesus spoke to his disciples and gave the most profound and richly affirming commission ever “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mathew 28:19-20). I have seen and tasted what it is to know that Christ is with me in this great adventure of making disciples that He has called us all to be a part of. Ozone has been and continues to be an incredible medium to live this commission in. What an adventure! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sound of Music: Walton Arts Center

Not every theatrical production requires its audience to hiss at a character. And not every movie calls for round after round of boisterous singing at the top of one’s lungs. But those are the very things that made Walton Arts Center’s Sound of Music Sing-a-Long so very special for our students.

This January, the Walton Arts Center generously afforded a group of 15 Summit students and leaders tickets for the Sound of Music Sing-a-Long. The premise was simple. Play the classic film, with subtitles during each song, and provide props and guidance to get the crowd intensely involved (and a little hyper). However, what the group experienced was beyond their expectations of a typical show.

Upon arrival to the theater, each person was given a bag of what they told were “props” for their participation in the evening’s show. “Props?” Eyebrows rose. As the group seated themselves in the balcony, they were surrounded by the sounds of two hosts, dressed as nuns, leading the entire auditorium in an excited round of “Doe a Deer” with hand motions. The energy in the room rose like a loaf of bread as voting began on the audience costume contest. Students cheered and whooped for each participant, whether it was the elderly man dressed in his Austrian finest or the adorable toddler dressed as a nun.

Finally the curtains drew back to reveal a massive movie screen and the hills of Austria sparkled in illuminated frame on stage. The crowd erupted with cheers about the grandeur of “THE HILLS,” exclaiming it as the prescribed phrase for the geological wonder. The movie continued with cheer and song and excitement.

Students joined the crowd in joyous expression from song to song. “It’s been a really long time since I wanted to sing this much,” said one 9th grade guy from Bentonville High School. It was as if the show built strong feelings in everyone, “We got to talk DURING A MOVIE! Field trip to Austria, let’s go!” “That was so fun. I will retain my ticket forever.” It truly was inspiring, a Bentonville 9th grade girl reflected, “it was so… awesome to sit there and sing. I feel inspired now.”

The Walton Arts Center is, without a doubt, one of our "Favorite Things!"