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.”