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CAMPUS Xtreme’s X-Tour Schedules Stops in Central Texas, California, Colorado

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CAMPUS Gets New Wheels
The CAMPUS team is excited about their new ride freshly outfitted with window decals displaying the proud logo!  This picture was shot in Marble Falls before the crew hit the road for an exciting weekend trip.
 
Why the Skaters
Thursday, 16 October 2008 04:55
 For some it’s a passion. For others, simply a favorite pastime. But make no mistake about it… the sport of skateboarding has made yet another comeback. You may recall the old-school activity. In the 70’s it was seen as a hippie thing by some. In California the activity even took the edgy spotlight off of the surfing community and shone it directly on the skater scene. Of course, back then, a “skater” was defined as someone who rolled on eight wheels, with four on each roller skate. Nobody really knew what to call those radical kids on skateboards, with their crazy hair and even crazier stunts. Moreover, few knew what to think of the growing fascination with skateboarding. Being edgy and maybe even a bit dark, the activity was seen as less of a sport and more of a movement. Thing is, it scared some people then and it still scares some today. But should it?

Some of the kids I’ve worked with over the past twenty years probably wouldn’t believe it, but I was once one of those hippies. No, not in the 70’s, necessarily. But in lieu of showing my age I’ll just say that back in the day, I was a skater, too. Did I skate the old empty swimming pools in California? No. But I was one of those in my generation with a skateboard and nowhere to go. Worse, nobody to take me. I would have given anything for an advocate of some kind, such as a youth minister, who would at least try and understand me.

Those days are, shall we say, long passed. I really hadn’t given much thought to that part of my past. Even as a younger youth minister in the 1990’s I could never have thought I’d be returning to those roots. While my skating days were limited, I have to wonder what might have been had there been anything like CAMPUS. Only a few years ago as I was coaching soccer, that was a ministry to me as well. But, the majority of those kids were a bit more advantaged. I can remember desiring to do more for them, which did sometimes happen, but when the game was over or when practice ended, the ministering to them was done for the day. It was at times very frustrating, as ministry sometimes is. But with the kids that CAMPUS has been blessed with in our ministry to skaters, it is quite different.

This past summer CAMPUS took a group of kids who happened to be skaters to several skateparks, beaches for surfing and also to some lakes for wakeboarding. It was only an idea just before the summer. Then, one weekend trip for surfing with a small group quickly caught on. What was to come would be quite an eye-opener. God quickly blessed this idea to reach out to the skater kids. Only months later we’ve been able to give them opportunities that neither they nor I had imagined. The CAMPUS X-Tour was born.
 

What we found as we began to focus on the skater kids for ministry was, as I mentioned, that many people still see these kids as scary… or bad… or out of control. Worse, nobody wants to approach them. They are harassed in school and commonly overlooked. Worse, they are regularly shunned by the church. While you often see the youth ministers at the mainstream sports activities of their mainstream youth group members, you almost never see them at the skateparks. And, “what’s the deal with the hair and the tight, dark colored shirts and jeans?” And the answer is, be careful not to judge… because the skaters are setting more trends today than any other segment of youth. If you look at the mainstream kids and their favorite brands of shoes and clothing, you’ll see that most of those brands were made popular by the skate culture. So, while it’s easy to judge “those weird skater kids”… you might need to consider that even your kids may be following them in one way or another. And, what’s funny about it all is this: The skaters are one of the most neglected group of kids ever… and most of the other kids pretty much think it’s cool. Why? It’s the old ‘bad boy’ thing. They’re known to be edgy and daring and are often doing things that mainstream kids would never do… and all this while mainstream parents frown and turn up their noses. No wonder! With the intolerance of some parents, of course thier kids think it’s cool. And guess who’s to blame… The very judgmental mainstream parents, who sadly are often Christian. Or, at least, they think they are. They would more likely be seen as the culprits… those who continually judge and push more and more people away from the church, as opposed to reaching out to them. This, of course, is the reason why there is a need for… CAMPUS… and other “para-church” ministries. So, I guess I owe a debt of gratitude to the judgy Christians.

I’m loving it. I really feel I’ve been led. Led away from the mainstream church. But, more importantly I’ve been led by God into a ministry to kids who are sincerely hungry. It’s funny How God works, huh?
 

So, while the skaters still seem scary to mainstream society, and especially the church, I guess it’s fine with me. What an opportunity. It’s like being the only salesman in a brand new market, where the commissions are as endless as the prospects. All I have to do is demonstrate. (sigh) Umm… so pray for CAMPUS… as we continue to reach out to the skaters. And pray for me. I really need to be able to demonstrate… Jesus.


 

 
CAMPUS Equips Local Skaters for Greater Purpose
Thursday, 16 October 2008 04:45

CAMPUS Equips Local Skaters for Greater Purpose (Skateboard Drive)
Highland Lakes – Skate parks are growing in popularity, but some kids are more at risk than others.  While its arguable that the skater kids are possibly the most “at-risk youth” segment of kids today, one local group has big plans for them.

CAMPUS, or Civic And Ministry Professionals United for Students, has begun a Skateboard Drive.  Donations of new or used skateboards and parts are now being collected.  And, why?  In order to reach them, CAMPUS hopes to equip them.

Some of the team’s own members have had injuries that were due in large part to older skateboards or boards with faulty parts.  Sometimes the wheels are old or have bad bearings or trucks that wind up creating spills on the pavement.  Still other kids have no idea how to care for their skateboard, which we are also helping with.  CAMPUS hopes to equip them with better boards, but this would not only benefit the team.  They are planning a Skate-Mission.

Since the spring CAMPUS has been visiting Texas skateparks with its growing clientele of kids interested in action sports.  In addition to skating, the CAMPUS X-Tour has made stops at several lakes for wakeboarding and has regularly frequented Texas beaches for surfing.  The sky seems to be the limit when it comes to the number of underprivileged kids that may benefit from the tour.  CAMPUS plans to continue visiting skateparks in several cities, but not just for a skate demonstration.

The term “Skate Mission” was actually coined by one of the members of the CAMPUS X-Team.  While on tour this past summer, the team stopped in Brenham, where the local kids surrounded them with inquiries about the team.  Thirteen year old Chris Ammerman of Sunrise Beach, having witnessed a life-changing event of one of the Houston kids spiritually impacted by the CAMPUS leaders, told his younger admirers that his team was “On a skate mission.”

It was at that very moment that the little ‘X-Tour’ took on a whole new meaning.  The team was realizing their impact on the kids they skated and surfed with during the Houston/Galveston leg of the tour.  Even the excitement of having surfed the swells of Hurricane Dolly was surpassed by the spiritual impact they were having.  Upon returning home from his time with the CAMPUS X-Tour, Ammerman and his other team members were more excited to talk of their spiritual impact.  Now, the group plans on making a similar impression on as many skater kids as possible.

Cable television’s Speed Channel has a program entitled, “Drive.”  On this program a pro skater visits skateparks throughout the world.  Usually unannounced, upon his arrival at these parks he just jumps in and skates with the locals.  But in the end, he also often gives skateboards to them.  While Drive has major sponsors for the giveaways and the expenses, the CAMPUS “Skateboard Drive” plans to do the same with donations.  Their tour will take on more of a local flair, however, as CAMPUS visits Austin and Central Texas area skateparks.  Several local skaters will travel with them.  Applications are being accepted for CAMPUS X-Team membership, which will be required for local skaters to travel or participate.

In the coming months the CAMPUS group will visit the skate parks in these cities:  Austin, Lake Travis, Round Rock, Georgetown, Burnet, Temple, Killeen, Marble Falls, San Antonio.  Other stops are possible upon invitations for such.

Donations of skateboards and parts OR monetary sponsorship donations can be made by contacting CAMPUS at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or by visiting their website at www.campusoftexas.com .

 

 
CAMPUS Making Headlines
Friday, 29 August 2008 06:24

A trio of Kingsland teens made headlines in July when their CAMPUS Surf and Skate X-tour took them beyond Houston to surf waves kicked up to the northeast of Hurricane Dolly.

Chris Ammerman, Cody Hunt and his brother Mazier (Dakota) Banjabbasi recently were joined by Jayme Wood as the first local members of a new organization in the area called CAMPUS Xtreme.  Read more by visiting the Llano News web site where his article was originally published http://www.llanonews.com/news/photo/5970