Thanks for the Memories…

Cook out

…and all the digital cameras you donated! A couple months ago we asked for donations of small, point and shoot cameras – the ones that were pushed to the back of the closet when you upgraded your phone. Your trash; our treasure – these gifts are now being used by our camp “family groups.” Each has a camera and is encouraged to take pictures of their adventures throughout the week. They captured everything from cook-outs to barn chores, new friends to creek walks. Here are some of our favorites from week #1.

Camera donations are still being accepted. For more information contact DuBois Center at or 618-787-2202.











Meet our Summer Staff: Jordann


Welcome Jordann Sipe to our 2018 summer staff team! Jordann comes to us from Gordonsville, Virginia. She is a student at Virginia Tech and is double majoring in Dairy Science and Animal & Poultry Science with an emphasis in Livestock & Equine. This summer she will be serving as our Barn Coordinator. Jordann has been riding since she was five years old and is an avid foxhunter! In addition, she is an experienced lifeguard, swim instructor and coach. Numerous horse camps and 4-H camps are also part of her resume.

JordannAfter graduating, Jordann hopes to work with the 4-H program in her state, teaching young people about animal genetics and the importance of genetics in livestock production. She is very excited to be at DuBois Center this summer where her strong faith, love of horses, and passion for helping young people believe in themselves will intersect. Some of Jordann’s favorite things include Sour Patch Kids; southern fried chicken; and anything to do with cows, pigs, and horses. In fact, during the ten days between her last day of classes and heading to camp, she spent time in a dairy working on low stress handling of livestock before heading back to her home barn to help prepare for a rodeo.

We are excited Jordann decided to make the trek from Virginia to Illinois for the summer. This was her first big road trip, and she is looking forward to more in the future. Welcome Jordann!

Summer Camp Volunteers

Come Volunteer

Consider a week (or even a few days) at DuBois Center and join our Summer Camp 2018 team! Wanted: fun, engaging and caring volunteers to serve as nurses, cabin counselors, activity specialists and barn helpers. Minimum age is 18 for most positions; young adults and older adults are welcome. Give of your time and talent, make a difference and gain a wonderful sense of satisfaction!

For more information, go to the volunteer page of our web site or contact Shirley at or 618-787-2202.


It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

This common phrase is often used when referring to raising healthy children or families. It is also a great way to describe caring for a camp like DuBois Center. Without the support provided by scores of volunteers, the ministry of DuBois Center would be greatly diminished. Each year, thousands of hours are donated as volunteers care for campers and facilities, provide spiritual guidance and moral support, raise needed funds, and plan and prepare for today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.

Making repairs to the officeLast month, teams from St. Paul UCC in Belleville and Christ UCC in Dupo logged over 500 service hours. Currently a youth mission team from O’Fallon UCC is helping with final preparations for summer camp. On June 10, the first volunteer greeters, nurses, chaplains and counselors of the season will open their arms and welcome campers. Watch for pictures and stories highlighting volunteer efforts in coming editions of Weekly Connection.

Welcome Team – Join Us! June 10, 24, July 8, 15, 22

Welcome Team

On these five Sundays, scores of UCC campers will arrive at DuBois Center eager and excited to begin their time at camp. Twelve volunteers are needed for each of these Sundays plus summer staff to ensure the check-in process runs smoothly! Volunteers assist with greetings, parking, the camp store, registration, health screenings, dock duty and people-moving. They arrive by 1:15 pm and are done by 4 pm.

Please consider joining our Sunday Welcome Team on one or more check-in days. You are invited to wear a church t-shirt and show your spirit. Even consider bringing a team from your church! Let us know in advance when you can help; contact the DuBois Center office at or 618-787-2202.

Meet our Summer Staff: Marcus


Welcome Marcus Vaughan to our 2018 summer staff team! Marcus is returning for his third summer on staff and will be serving as our Waterfront Coordinator. He calls Llanfyllin, a small town in Wales, home but he loves to travel and has made good friends and has “homes” around the world – one of them in Marion, Illinois. In 2012, Rev. John Holst and his family hosted Marcus during his first week-long lifeguard certification class. They developed a strong bond and have stayed connected ever since.

Youth development is Marcus’ passion. Since last at DuBois Center, he worked for two years at Camp Chief Hector YMCA in collaboration with the Canadian Rockies Outdoor Learning Centre. During his time there, his responsibilities progressed from canoe out-tripping leader to high ropes course director to outdoor school coordinator. After some time back in Wales, Marcus headed to Melbourne, Australia for a year of travel and work. There he served as a behavioral and welfare officer at a Christian boys college (high school to us Americans) working with students with behavioral challenges. Long-term, Marcus plans to work with youth in the correctional system, helping them to develop strategies and make long-lasting changes in their life situations.

MarcusIn addition to traveling and youth development, Marcus has a passion for soccer. In his late teens, he played professionally and coached youth teams. His family is also very important to him, and he is looking forward to spending quality time with his young niece after returning to Wales. Marcus is excited to be back at DuBois Center, to see all the familiar faces, make new friends and have another fun and rewarding summer.

We are excited for all the experience and energy he brings to our team. Welcome back Marcus!

Why Church Camp?

2018 Beyond Belief

Because church camp is joyful fun! It is a sacred place. It is intensely relational, and positive role models abound! Though an integral part of many congregations’ year-round faith formation efforts, church camp is different from Vacation Bible School or Sunday School. Campers and leaders live, work, play and worship together from early morning until late into the evening. They grow together through shared experiences in God’s amazing creation and form an intentional community. They hear our faith stories in new places and new ways, and find opportunities to share their own. The activities are fun, challenging and filled with opportunities to grow as part of a Christian community.

Click here to learn more.

What’s in a Name?

Meredith and Rachel

Twig, Sparkle, Pastor Skippy, Simba, Kayak, Nurse Bandit, Sparrow, Mr. T, Shark Bait – What’s with all the weird names? Since 2011, “camp names” have been the norm for summer staff and volunteers at DuBois Center. Some are silly and pulled from… who knows where. Others have stories and traditions behind them. To avoid inhaling pollen and dust, Nurse Bandit wears a bandana over her nose and mouth when driving around camp. Pastor Skippy, who loves Ryanpeanut butter, has been a camp chaplain for decades at a variety of different camps and his name has traveled with him.

We use “camp names” during the summer at DuBois Center because they are FUN, and because sometimes there are just too many Rachels and Ryans running around. Real names are shared on the last day of each camp, and they are listed on the sign-out sheets when parents pick up their children at the end of a session. If a counselor senses that a parent is nervous about not knowing their “real name,” the leader might take them aside and share that detail in advance.

What’s in a name – a lot of silliness and camp fun!

Summer Camp Volunteers


Our summer staff team has been hired. Chaplains are busy working on the curriculum for their sessions. Parents are making plans and campers are getting excited. What’s left?! Each week of the summer, 4-6 volunteers work hand in hand with paid staff members to provide our fun and faith-filled program. We hope you will consider a week (or even a few days) of service at DuBois Center.

Wanted: engaging and caring volunteers to serve as nurses, cabin counselors, activity specialists and barn helpers. Minimum age is 18 for most positions; young adults and older adults are welcome. Share your time and talent, make a difference, and gain a wonderful sense of satisfaction. Check out the photo above. Can you pick out the four volunteers?

For more information, go to the volunteer page of our web site or email or call 618-787-2202. If camp isn’t your thing, but you know someone who would be perfect, check out this form or send their contact information directly to Shirley.

High School Week at DuBois Center – June 17-22

High School Week

Older youth (completed grades 8-12) take over the Rustic Village. One week, two great options: Wranglers and X-Plore! It’s a week to be yourself, make good friends, find new adventures and grow with God.

SwingMeals on Rustic are back! Choice times are back! And with them more opportunities to hang with your friends and customize your week. Play disc golf – DuBois style; get super crafty; fish at Deer Run or ride horses in “the bottoms.” Play cricket or Aussie football with our international staff and check-out weird and wacky activities at the waterfront.

For details, pick up a brochure in your church office, check out the brochure online or contact DuBois Center at or 618-787-2202. Ready to register? Sign up today. Don’t delay – June is just around the corner!