Summer camp experience is all about finding God's calling.
Every summer at Barcaly College in Haviland, students have the opportunity to be part of a Kaleo Academy experience. Kaleo is a national Friends youth training activity that exists to help create young leaders and give guidance to high school students to find their calling.
The program spans 10 months and is kicked off by a week-long theology camp help on the campus of Barclay College. This summer the camp was June 16 - June 22. Each student who attends camp brings along a mentor from their home church. Barclay College students join the team by being peer leaders, who help drive discussion in small groups.
“Kaleo Academy’s theology camp was an incredible opportunity for students to explore and develop leadership,” said Jenna Easley, Mentor Director. “Students were invited into an active learning environment and given space to reflect, practice, and ask, ‘how might God be calling me to participate in His Kingdom.’
“I loved that they were never given a test to see what career their gifting fit into, rather students were taught that their vocation and calling is much larger than their career and might not be something they are paid for. I loved watching students sit with hard questions and mentors coming alongside of them and asking good questions. All in all I think everyone who participated was challenged and that’s a huge success in my book.”
This year mentor/mentee pairs traveled from parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Iowa, Texas, and California to come together to jump start this program.
Cindy Dawson traveled from Texas to teach Biblical Interpretation, Josh Bunce, a Barclay College professor taught a Christian Leadership class, Nathan Martin is a missionary in Cambodia, he is on furlough and came to teach a class on Social Justice, and Chuck Orwiler, a retired pastor from Denver made the journey to teach about Quaker History.
These classes were held in the morning and were accompanied by an afternoon lab that was more activity based, which allowed students to put their newly discovered knowledge into practice. Each night someone shared their story about how they discovered their calling, all in hopes that students would be able to find theirs. The mentors received training to help guide their mentees over this program; how to be a better listener, how to give good advice, and how to shape them into a better leader.
After leaving Haviland, students embarked on a 10-month journey that will take them through a book, all in hopes that it will help them discern what they are called to do in their life. This is capped off by the student’s released project, which is a project students and mentors brainstorm about, and stay in contact with the leadership from their church about.
“The Kaleo Academy released project is an opportunity for our students to use their giftedness and passions in their local community, church, yearly meeting, or around the world. The goal being to find a need in their community or church and use their gifts and calling to meet that need, whatever it may be,” Easley said.
Kaleo is the English transliteration of the Greek word for “calling.”
Barclay College is a private Quaker college in Haviland, Kansas. It is known for ministry degrees but the school offers other professional degree fields. Average total enrollment is 210 students, with a full-tuition scholarship is available to students who live on campus.