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El Camino High FCA: A Model of Excellence

When I came on staff last school year I jumped into the deep end not really sure what an ideal FCA Huddle would look like. I was learning how I could best support a campus ministry, help minister to and through coaches and how to try to infuse the love of Jesus on a public school campus. I inherited many amazing campuses including Carlsbad High School and La Costa Canyon High School, but El Camino High intrigued me beyond any other campus. When I came on staff, El Camino did not have an FCA Huddle, but a passionate group of young people who wanted to influence their campus. In taking the first step of contacting our San Diego director Colin Sinclair, the door was opened and El Camino has done nothing but grow on campus, grow in leadership and change the culture of their campus.

While the group is blessed to have many wonderful leaders, I want to use this time and space to highlight three of the club leaders who I believe are ideal leaders for the FCA model. Senior Kelly Chappell and Juniors Justin Williams and Kenny Kish accepted the call and challenge from God to step out on their campus and be not only a light but to use their athletic achievements to share about their faith in God. Kelly is involved with the El Camino Associated Student Body (ASB) on campus and continually uses her experience and opportunity to be in front of her peers to share about her faith. In addition, she’s one of the leading varsity cheer leaders for football and basketball. Justin is one of the starting running backs and linebackers on the football team. He’s been nominated for many awards and is on the radar of many college recruiting lists. Lastly, Kenny is the team’s starting quarterback and also plays basketball for the Wildcats. Using his status as an athlete on the two teams who garner the most public exposure, Kenny shares his faith confidently and boldly.

A student government officer/cheerleader, a two way football standout and a two sport athlete; the power and influence of these three are unparalleled on campus. Nate Wells, a youth pastor at Las Flores Church of the Nazarene in Carlsbad recently attended a Huddle to visit some of his youth group kids and see the leadership team in action. He asked his kids why the group was so successful and what they thought of the leaders. The student’s response was immediate: “they’re the most popular kids on campus”.

My boss Colin Sinclair is fond of starting conversations with, “Could you imagine…”. At El Camino High, it’s not “could you imagine if three of the most popular and recognizable kids led a Christian club on campus”, because it’s a reality. This group has its struggles like every other group and the leadership team is by no means perfect, but they are a model of what I strive for on every campus: kids who are leaders, kids who are athletes, and kids who put their faith first.

Being with them from day one also makes this group special to me. Now crowding 100 students in at their weekly Tuesday meetings just one year later, the club is growing roots on campus and is challenging young people in their faith. As the Huddle grows and years go by, I will always remember this group fondly. It will be cool to tell people I was there when it all got started, but even cooler that I had the pleasure of knowing Kelly, Justin, and Kenny.

9 comments (Add your own)

1. Cindy Johnson wrote:
What an inspirational post and I love the picture, thanks Matt!

Mon, October 17, 2011 @ 3:43 PM

2. Shannon Kish wrote:
Thank you Matt for a wonderful article. I am so proud of all three of them and are so excited to see how this will grow at ECHS!! Thank you for assisting them and guiding them through this amazing journey!! And thanks for the picture!!! :)

Fri, October 28, 2011 @ 9:39 AM

3. Kristen Rapp wrote:
Wow this is an amazing article :) it just brings me joy reading it !!!

Sat, October 29, 2011 @ 12:23 PM

4. Patti McKimmey Bowman wrote:
It is so wonderful to hear about friends whom you so miss over the years. I was so happy to hear about the opportunities that your school has offered these special kids. Loved hearing about their achievements. Good luck with your future drives. May God be with you always. Shannon and Joe Kish, my long lost friends - you are so lucky. Wish you all well. Love all Patti Jo

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