Thursday, December 10, 2015

Behind the Lens: Streetfest

*written by Bethany Meyers |
Springdale Ozone Volunteer & CWE Photographer

    As a Camp War Eagle Photographer for Ozone activities. I get to see our events from a very unique perspective, so I was asked to talk about Streetfest from "behind the lens."

    What is Streefest? Streetfest is the coming together of Camp War Eagle’s Year-Round program, The Jones Center and Fellowship Bible Church to put on a fall-festival. It’s a time where families from all around the Springdale community are invited to come enjoy a night of games, prizes, dancing, CANDY and ultimately, fellowship with one another.
    One of the best parts of the night was the dance party. Kids, families, and many volunteers came together under the flood lights, next to the hay-bale-covered DJ stand. For most of the event, there was lots of laughter, dancing, and people breaking out of their comfort zones to have a good time. We love dancing at Camp War Eagle, but it was even more magical to see many different people come together for that same camp-like experience outside The Jones Center, in the middle of Springdale.

    A little over 1,500 people came out to the event. That many people on The Jones Center’s front lawn, along with all the games and inflatables, was an incredible sight to see. I was asked to capture the event in photos and I recorded some of the evening as well. The coolest thing about going through the footage later was noticing how excited all the kids were to be there and how much joy was exuding off of every face that I was able to catch on camera.

    Thank you to all the volunteers that came out to make sure the kids and families had the best time possible and thank you to Camp War Eagle Ozone, The Jones Center and Fellowship Bible Church for making Streetfest happen each year. It is a cherished community event that would cease to exist without your efforts, commitment and passion for serving Springdale families!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Beaver Lake Clean Up

*A blog written by Bonnie Black, the Rogers Ozone Director

Beaver Lake Clean Up is a community service event that involves the entire community of Northwest Arkansas. Every year, people from all four cities come together for the common purpose of cleaning up our beloved Beaver Lake. Beaver Lake has a special place in our hearts because camp is right on Beaver Lake. Camp is our second home, therefore we have a soft spot in our hearts for good ole Beaver.

Throughout the morning, we picked up trash, tires, and even found some animal bones. Families came together and worked hard for several hours. Beaver Lake Clean Up is such a great event because it provides an opportunity for families to serve the community together and for students to serve alongside their friends. Several parents claimed that it is their favorite event that we do every year. It is not just a great way to earn community service hours, but also a fun activity to so as a family.

Cedar Valdez, senior at Rogers High, came to the service event for the third time this year. This is Cedar’s last year to be involved as a student and is taking every chance that he can get to make the most of it. He has been to Beaver Lake Clean Up in the past, but said that this year is different. “This year, I was the oldest student. It felt good to have the responsibility to be a good example to the younger students, to show that community service is important,” Cedar explained. Cedar has grown to love his camp community over the years and is starting to realize how big of an impact his camp family has had. “It is so cool to see the outreach and effect Camp War Eagle has on so many different people.” Cedar also enjoyed the opportunity to serve with Scott Richards, CWE 365 Director. They picked up trash and caught up on life. Cedar has looked up to Scott for a long time and is thankful for influence that Scott has had in his life and other CWE 365 students. Cedar is sad that this is his last year as a student, but as he looks back, his gratitude for Camp increases.

Monday, October 19, 2015

BREAKAWAY from the Norm

A post written by T.C. Shippy, Rogers Ozone Director

Fall is upon us! It’s always amazing to see everything in nature begin to change. Many of our campers have never been out to Camp War Eagle other than the one or two weeks that they have been out in the summer. The change that happens out at camp in the off season goes unbeknownst to most of our students. Recently, we at CWE 365 had a Summit worship night for our high school students called Breakaway. High school students from all over NWA came out, had fellowship together, and worshipped God at a place that means so much to so many of them.

This amazing night started out with good eats at the Crafts Center. Students spanning from Fayetteville to Bentonville got a chance to reconnect with one another and talk about their lives since camp while munching on some grilled hamburgers. After the meal, they made their way down to the tennis courts. To get things moving a little bit, they played a hybrid game of tennis and volleyball called Fish Ball. For a lot of the students, this was the first time they had ever played the game, but the tournament was a fun time, filled with classic camp music and beginner Fish Ball skills.
After playing a few rounds, students began to settle down and gather into small groups. During small group time, they talked about what worship means. This was a fulfilling time for many students because they learned worship is not just a one time act of singing songs, but it is an ongoing act that involves their entire lives. Worship is something that they can experience together with other believers, and our students experienced that reality.

They then walked down to the cross, one of the most beautiful and scenic places at CWE. They prayed over the coming time of worship as they walked through camp. They made their way to an overlook of the lake and a giant cross, where students were able to sit down right as the Sun had set. They sang to God songs of praise for all of His wondrous acts. With the accompaniment of a guitar, the students joined in singing songs together. As they continued to worship, Erin Wiltse spoke to the students about why they sing and the importance of worship in their everyday life. They finished singing about the goodness and greatness of God, which ended the night.
For our students, Camp War Eagle is a special place where they came to know the Lord or grew significantly in their faith. To have such a special night at such a special place meant so much to these students. To be reminded that all of the experiences, friendships, and fun that CWE 365 offers revolves around God and having a relationship with him was refreshing for our students. God is so wonderful and is still working amazing things through camp and its students.

Monday, October 12, 2015 into the new year!

A post from Lauren Barnett, site director of Parson Hills S.O.A.R. program

Camp War Eagle’s S.O.A.R After School Program started in 2013, assisting the children from Jones Elementary, grades 1st through 5th. In July 2015, the state of Arkansas awarded S.O.A.R with two grants. These grants allowed Camp War Eagle to open two additional S.O.A.R. sites. In addition to our original S.O.A.R. at the Jones Center in Springdale with Jones Elementary, this year we opened a S.O.A.R program in Springdale at Parson Hills Elementary and in Rogers at Grace Hill Elementary.
        The name of our program is S.O.A.R, standing for Service, Opportunity, Academics and Recreation. S.O.A.R. serves many purposes, giving students opportunities to participate in educational activities, homework help, exciting art projects, fun games and recreation, and rewarding community service opportunities. We strive to give children the opportunity to create, play, learn and serve with us.

      Each site differs in structure, bringing it's own creative flavor and excitement to our children. We offer various activities for students to participate in: football, soccer, crafts, experiments, photography, building, STEM, gardening, dancing and many more. S.O.A.R. programs at Jones and Parson Hills have partnered with Art Feeds, an organization that “exists to feed creative development and facilitate emotional expression in children through art and community.” We also partner with Trike Theatre, an organization that “empowers youth to forge deep connections with themselves, their community and the world by seeing, participating, and learning through theatre.” These partnerships have been an incredible encouragement for our students, to expand their creativity and find confidence in who they are.
S.O.A.R. is a place students can come to feel safe, secure, and loved. The directors and staff strive to provide a positive, uplifting environment. We have found this gives students the freedom to express themselves through creativity, sports, arts, music, building, outdoors, and academics. We are very grateful to have three thriving S.O.A.R. programs. Our hope is to continue growing in this way, expanding our mission in reaching students and leading them into successful, bright futures.

A few words from our students

“I love after school because I get to be with my friends and I love my leaders.”

“After school is so fun because I get to play games and get help with my homework.”

“ After School is my favorite part of the day.”

“ I wish I could be at after school all day long.”

“After School is fun because my leaders are nice to me and teach me things.”

Monday, April 13, 2015

Camp War Eagle Summer Day Camp comes to Rogers

GOOOOOOOOD MORNING Camp War Eagle Families!

Here at Camp War Eagle, we are gearing up for another AMAZING summer! This summer is special because it will be Camp War Eagle’s tenth summer! Ten years worth of fun, awesome activities, life changing stories and incredible experiences calls for a big celebration! We are celebrating this good news by starting a brand new Day Camp in Rogers! This Day Camp will be located at First Baptist Church on Olive Street in Rogers, AR. Children ages 7-11 entering 1st-6th grade are eligible to attend. Campers can attend one two week session, Monday-Friday and will be dropped off at 7:30am and picked up at 3:30pm daily. Imagine Camp War Eagle in a portable box and you have Day Camp! All the favorites will be there, morning show, tribal competition, morning activities, breakfast and lunch, lifeline and FUN special events! We will be taking applications until summer camp begins, so sign up your child for an AMAZING Camp War Eagle Day Camp experience! More information about the Rogers Day Camp can be found at within the Day Camp tab. Questions? Call 479.750.8899

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

All City Worship Night 2015

On last last Friday in January, Summit students from each city came together to engage in a special night of worship. Once a year, high school students involved in the year round program are invited to engage in a night different than what is common to a weekly Ozone meeting. There is a slightly different atmosphere to the annual event, and students appreciate its special nature. 
Worship Night is a great opportunity for students to do many things, like eat a home cooked meal together, practicing true, uninterrupted and non-digital fellowship and friendship with their peers. They get to worship God by singing praise songs along with a live band comprised of CWE 365 staff and volunteers. They pray both in groups and individually. It was a very intimate night that created unity among the different cities and gave students the opportunity to pray about issues that are happening around the world, the country, the state, in their schools and amongst friends and family.
High school student Audrey Kelley really enjoyed the time of prayer. She said, “I think it was good to show that there are other ways of worshipping God than just singing. I loved how we prayed about things happening in the world and our community.”  Many students took part in penning their prayers onto a prayer wall, where other students, staff and leaders could come and pray for the needs and requests of others.

Worship Night is such a great event because it invites students to take time to be in awe of God together and present their requests together. It is a place where high school students from different backgrounds can come and share the commonality of God and worship His name together because he is worthy to be praised. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rogers Ozone gains New Director: T.C. Shippy!

T.C. Shippy is a native of Odessa, MO (which is not the Odessa from Friday night lights) which is right outside of Kansas City. He has worked at CWE as a counselor for the past two summers and has just recently graduated from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO with a Biblical Studies degree. He is engaged to a wonderful girl from his hometown and is excited to begin his married life in NWA serving the community of Rogers as an Ozone Director.  We are thankful to have TC join our staff and look forward to all he will contribute to the team. Learn more about T.C. below!

The 3 words that describe me:
Buzzkill, handy, trustworthy

My favorite camp memory:
When I was able to go to the cove with my cabin and blob while wearing my signature full body, extremely heavy when wet Pooh bear suit.

Five things that would be part of my Best Day EVER:
Imax premier of a brand new movie that isn’t going to come out for few months
My soon to be wife and friends
A brazilian steak house.

My Favorite thing about 365:
That the amazing youth and counselors that I loved and grew with during the last two summers are just a phone call away.
The personal attribute/ability i'm most excited to bring to the CWE365 staff:
I can relate to a lot of different people and am glad that I get to use that to meet so many new people from different backgrounds.

If I could create any camp special event (or bring back an old one with updates) what it would be:
Space Travelers- which is full of intergalactic games, alien and Star Wars/Trek themed costumes and a school bus converted into a Millennium Falcon.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Camp War Eagle Mentoring Program's Events this Year

When you’re a “camp person” and the weather begins to turn cold, you have to find a way to make your own fun. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for good times when you’re part of the Camp War Eagle Mentoring Program. While the school based mentoring program has adult mentors visit students in Fayetteville and Springdale weekly at school, there are also several opportunities for mentors and kids to connect in the midst of other mentor matches in the community.  The last few months have been full of some really fun opportunities through the program.

Our Fall Festival was held in October and the day kicked off with an awesome waffle bar breakfast. Kids and their mentors came dressed in costumes for a costume contest. Pumpkins were carved with great mastery, pictures were taken of the mentoring matches, and face painting left everyone looking colorful. Everyone left with big smiles on their faces and lots of fall candy. It was a chance for mentors and kids to build a bond together through competition and activity!

As the temperature dropped, we began to look toward Christmas and all the hustle and bustle it brings. The chill of the air brought in the need for a night of warm soup at our Christmas Craft Night. We split up the group; the guys learned some new woodworking skills and created a Christmas gift of a candle-holder they made from scratch. The girls worked really hard on painting Christmas tree centerpieces that would later be used at the Camp War Eagle Community Christmas dinner. It was such a great time to be together and focus on the meaning and joy of Christmas. The students and mentors both got a chance to flex their creativity, learn new skills and serve others in a tangible way!

In January, we got a little antsy and decided we needed to jump off some energy. So, we hosted a big night at High Rise Trampoline Park in Rogers. Wow, it was so much fun. Kids jumped, flipped, dunked, and bounced until they had nothing left but jelly legs. We received many requests to do this on another night, and lots of questions as to when Camp War Eagle will get it’s own trampoline park! The year 2015 was kicked off to a great start with this night and it was so fun seeing mentors and mentees having so much fun together! Harold Crow, mentor of Logan, an 8th grader from Springdale, recounted why it was special to them, “my mentee learned how to do a backflip on a trampoline for the first time! It was fun to teach him something like that and share the excitement together. It was awesome.”

We are looking forward to lots more events through the mentoring program this year, and many more opportunities to invest in the lives of children in Northwest Arkansas through mentoring!

Special Projects at Craft Night

Learning great skills

High Rise Trampoline Park fun!

Friday, January 23, 2015

What Are We Learning? Primetime and Summit

This semester is all about helping the students apply what they have learned throughout their involvement in the year round program. Last semester our focus was on the foundation of who God is, and now our focus is going to be on applying that foundation to the lives of the students. Below is the schedule and description about how we are going to achieve our goal this semester.

Weeks 1-4 (Jan 13- Feb 5) will be focusing on testimonies, which will include four different leaders telling their personal stories about how God has impacted and changed their lives through Jesus and his teaching. We hope to encourage the students to be comfortable with telling their testimonies through this, as well as teaching them to recognize God's work in their lives and the lives of others.

Weeks 5-6 (Feb 10- Feb 19) will be starting a two-week series on learning how to read the Bible. We will be using Ephesians 2:1-10 as our passage of focus, and help the youth to ask questions and interact with the Bible using this great piece of Scripture about redemption.

Weeks 7-9 ( Feb 24-Mar 12) are going to focus on the person of Jesus and why we should put our faith in him. By discussing different stories in the gospel, we will understand better who Jesus says he is and what he came to do.

Week 10 (Mar 17, 19) is a week preparing the youth for the Spring Break retreat, which is going to focus the book of Philippians and the theme HOLDING FAST to Jesus.

Weeks 11-14 (Mar 31- Apr 23) are going to be our final weeks of Club for this school year! This is where we are going to drive home everything we have been teaching this semester by looking at questions that people asked Jesus, or questions that Jesus asked his followers. Asking ourselves some of these same questions will be the perfect way to finish a great year.

We are looking forward to teaching and learning with our students! Come to club each week to get involved in what's happening!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rogers Ozone Gains New Director: Bonnie Black!

Rogers Ozone gained a new director in Bonnie Black, this January. Bonnie, a native of NWA who attended Rogers schools herself, has spent the past 3 summers at Camp War Eagle in both counselor and top staff roles. After graduating from John Brown University of Siloam Springs in December, she moved back to Rogers to join the CWE365 staff. We're excited to share in all the joy and blissful happiness she'll bring to the organization! Bonnie shared more about herself, below.

Describe yourself in 3 words: quick to laugh

What attribute about yourself are you most excited to bring to the CWE365 staff?
I'm excited to bring a perspective of someone who grew up in Northwest Arkansas. 

What are you looking forward to teaching/ sharing with campers?
I am really excited to join campers in their journey of knowing God and learning how to follow Him faithfully in day to day life. I am also stoked to share my love for celebrating the small victories in life.

5 things that would be involved in my best day ever:
1. Swedish fish
2. A car full of friends on a road trip
3. My cat patterned shoes
4. Live music
5. Mexican food

What's your thing about ozone so far?
I absolutely love going to school lunches.

What's one of your favorite camp memories?
My favorite camp memories always involve the oldest girls campout. There is always lots of laughter, good food from the campfire, and every better conversation.

If you could create any new special event for Camp War Eagle, what would it be?
I would also create a cat appreciation special event where everyone dresses up as cats and dance to songs with meows instead of lyrics.