Spotlight

Wade Kamphuis: Falconer

A peregrine falcon soars high in the sky, seeking out prey with its sharp eyes.  After hovering for several seconds, it swoops down at breath-taking speed, becoming a blur before disappearing into a patch of grass.  Several seconds later, it reappears, this time holding a mouse in its mouth.  It then flies a few yards to perch back on the outstretched arm of Wade Kamphuis, the falconer who had trained this bird.  As Kamphuis exults in his success, the sound of clapping erupts from behind him.  Sure that he had not rigged a clapping track to congratulate himself, Kamphuis turns around perplexed.  Standing before him, he sees a boy clutching a notepad who has just finished clapping.  The boy tosses him the notepad, which Kamphuis scans.  When he looks up to inquire about the questionnaire written on the notepad is, the boy has disappeared.

Sitting down on a nearby bench, Wade lets his falcon eat while looking over the questions with a pen.

List your name (or any nicknames)!  If you have a nickname, where did it originate from?

“My name is Wade Kamphuis. Although desperate siblings and friends have often tried to get me a nickname…. it never really worked. I mean, who wants to be called Wu or VanDerWade? The only one that really stuck was “The Camp-House” in World History with Mr. Mailand. I guess I kind of asked for it by telling the origins of my last name.”  The boy reappears to comment that nicknames usually only arise to shorten long names.  Since Wade is only one syllable, its hard to shorten it to less than one syllable.

How many years have you been with TPS, what grade are you, and how old are you?

“This is my fifth year with TPS; I’m in 11th grade (a junior as an American might say) and I’m 16 years old.”

What classes are you taking this year, if any, and why did you pick them?

I’ve got Theology Matters, Advanced Composition, and AP European History with TPS. I’m taking Theology after recommendation from my mom (and I’m thoroughly enjoying it), and I really love both English and European History, being half-Dutch myself. (I prefer saying that I’m fully Dutch and fully Canadian)

The boy comments again about how strange it is that Wade lives in Saudi Arabia, but considers himself Dutch and Canadian.

Something unexpected about you?  

Eh, I guess that I can be dead-serious one minute, and then humorous and cheeky the next. I don’t like to be in the middle. Either I’m a hero or a terrible tease.

What’s your passion, and why do you enjoy it?

I have two passions: sports and falconry. I could play sports all day, every day. Ice hockey is really fast and it’s a great team sport. Tennis is fun too, as an individual sport, and running, while not as fun, does have significant personal satisfaction. Falconry is really unique and also a lot of fun because you get to watch an apex predator really close up and get her to do whatever you want in-flight (that’s the goal, at least).

The mention of a unique sport piques the boy’s interest.  He asks Wade how falconers communicate with their falcons.  Wade responds, “I communicate with Azzam, our bird, by playing off of her natural instincts. Training, in the long run, looks like this: Azzam flies to my glove to eat the meat I’m holding. After she’s confidently flying back and forth between gloves, you use a lure (bird wings tied on a string, with meat tied on) and she grabs that and eats the meat. Later, when you call her to the lure, you pull the lure away and she flies past, turns around, and tries again. After she gets in shape with the lure, we let her go and scare pigeons and doves out of palm trees and she chases them. This whole process takes around a month, even though Azzam is already tamed.”

Favorite Quote and Bible Verse?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Couldn’t think of any favorite quote 🙁

If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?  Is there a part of your personality that influenced your answer?

Definitely a peregrine falcon. The fastest creature on earth and incredibly efficient and agile. And they look really cool. And, uh, I don’t think that there’s a part of my personality that supported my answer.

Inserting a bothersome comment, the boy muses on the way in which Wade’s answer of the peregrine falcon reflects his passion of falconry.

What is something you would like to do one day and why?

So many things… but I really would like to work in international affairs, either in government or for an NGO. That would be so cool.

What is your favorite word and why?

Bonanza. It kind of explodes off the tongue.

What is your MBTI type? 

I took an MBTI test and came up with commander, ENTJ-T, but I really felt that the description didn’t fit me. I much prefer my DISC assessment, which put me very near the middle of the circle, and as an Id. That means I have a quite moderate personality, but with more personal interaction skills and a little of the D dominance. I felt that the description fit quite well, too.

Apparently having never heard of DISC, the boy inquires what the acronym is for.

Wade responds: “DISC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness. I scored Id, so that means that I’m mostly influence, then dominance. However, I’m quite moderate. DISC has a circle, and every person has a dot on that circle. The closer to the outside and center of a part of the circle, the more extreme you are in your personality type.

If you could be a color, what color would you be and why?

Orange. Dutch national color, Oilers’ color, and just a vibrant but not too bright color.

What’s your favorite movie and book and why?

The Lord of the Rings has to be my favorite movie- I loved the plot, the characters, and the battle. If only they hadn’t messed up Faramir, my favorite character in the book. In general, my favorite books are G.A Henty’s historic novels. They have so much action and the historical setting is really cool and instructive. Warning: after reading a couple of his books the plot kind of gets repetitive- didn’t deter me but might bore you.”

After researching about the G.A. Henty novels, the boy is surprised to find that they were written in the 19th century.

Do prefer dogs or cats?  

Dog, every day of the week. They’re fast, strong, playful, and useful. Not lazy, sluggish, allergy causing. Sorry cat fans.

Favorite subject, and why?

Ughhhhh. So torn on this one. I really like AP European History because I love history in general and the course is great. However, Comparative Government and Politics is so cool and insightful and Advanced Comp has Mrs. T, and I’m in her favorite section (yes, I’m sure of that. Section 5 all the way).

Fiction or non-fiction?  Why do you like one of them more?

As a history guy, I hate to say fiction, but I really do like it better. Historical fiction especially.

What is an interesting story from your life? 

I’ll go with a humorous story. When I was in AP World History with Mr. Mailand last year, I opened the mic to pray, and then…. forgot to turn it off. I turned around and shouted “Hey, Joel (my younger brother), don’t forget to bring me some food!” Immediately, the chat box exploded with comments of “bring the man some food” and “food for the Camp-House”

Which holiday is your favorite?  Was there a specific incident in your life that influenced your preference?

I guess it’s kind of lame, but summer holiday. It’s the longest, we always travel either to Canada or the Netherlands (we live in Saudi Arabia), and I don’t even have to think about school. Besides, living overseas, I just had a short Christmas break and then summer, so the rest aren’t really a big thing for me.

Do you have any other sentiments that you would like to share?  

I think that it’s really important for us as Christians to remember that we’re all on the same team. No matter how set in stone my ideas about economics, politics, or EVEN sports are, I shouldn’t let those ideas tear me apart from relationships with other Christians. The main division in this world isn’t Republicans against Dems, Marxists against Liberals, or Canadians against Americans (however close that might be), it’s Christians against the rest.

Having concluded with an interesting thought that all of us should keep in mind, Wade turns around to give his answered questionnaire to the waiting boy.  However, the boy is gone yet again.

After thinking for a moment, Wade signals to his falcon, which takes the scroll and flies up into the sky, presumably to deliver it to the boy.

15 Comments

  1. Jessie Jiang

    Awesome! Falconry seems like an really cool Hobby! Also Mr. Mailand is just awesome. XD

  2. Beren Erchamion

    YEAHHH LOTR is awesome
    I like GA Henty’s books too, though I do agree about the plot getting repetitive lol

  3. Congrats Wade for making it to the spotlight!

  4. Emmeline Arehart

    Oh, yes, G.A.Henty’s are really good!
    Also… Pippin’s full name is Peregrin. 😀

  5. Grace Thomas

    GO ADVANCED COMP. SECTION 5!

  6. Levi Battaglia

    Awesome! Peregrine Falcons are fascinating. So cool that you actually get to work with them
    They’re the type of thing you often just read about in a book

  7. Puffin McNugget

    That falcon in the picture is the cutest thing on earth. It looks so intelligent.

  8. Lord of the Rings and G A Henty are awesome!

  9. Dogs < Falcons < Cats

  10. Yeeesss!!! Dogs are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than cats!!!

  11. cool! but i didnt know peregrine falcons fly

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