This summer, our staff got a blast from the past – postcards from a former international summer staffer! Beth sent an envelope full of postcards all the way from Melbourne, Australia. The note she wrote to the staff as a whole reads: “Hi, my name is Beth. I was a counselor during summer 2004 & 2005. DuBois Center has many amazing memories that have stayed with me ever since. I hope you all keep in touch and have had an amazing summer. The Lord will use all you have sown and sacrificed these last few months. Thank you and please know that lives will be changed and kids’ lives will have become better by spending time with you this summer. God bless and have a safe trip home. Love, Beth Shanks (Reitenbach)”
The personalized postcards were a perfect pick-me-up for the end of the summer! Thanks Beth!
As we close the books on another season of summer camp at DuBois Center, we reflect fondly on the group of young adults that made up the 2018 Summer Staff. They came from near and far in hopes of sharing wonderful, life-changing experiences with their campers. Whether they drove to camp from right here in southern Illinois or journeyed from the other side of the country and globe, first-timers or veterans, they all added their own unique threads to the DuBois Center tapestry. We wish them luck as they return to school, “big kid jobs”, or other grand adventures!
Not pictured: Twig (Laura Renken)
Health care professionals are a key component of our ministry, but rather than starched “whites,” you are more likely to find them dressed in tie-dye and shorts, and maybe even toting a guitar.
Camp nurses deal with a variety of ailments – everything from ticks to homesickness, fevers to sprains. They provide special attention when a camper needs a little extra TLC or just a break from the action. Their’s is a ministry of compassion, presence and healing.
This past summer, we were blessed by the ministry of two volunteer camp nurses. A very special thanks to Donna Asbridge of St. Paul’s UCC in Freeburg and Jessica Nave, former DuBois Center staff member. This year, Nurse Bandit (Donna’s camp name) went above and beyond, as is often the case. In addition to her nursing duties, she studied our curriculum and helped the summer staff understand and engage with it. She has also started a guitar and ukulele revival at camp – playing herself and teaching others. Sumac (Jessica’s camp name) volunteered for 24-72 hour stints throughout July, in between her ER shifts. It was great to have this former camp counselor back at DuBois Center.
If you are an RN, please consider serving with us next summer. For more information, contact Shirley at shirley.director@DuBoisCenter.
Our last group of ISC summer campers departed last Wednesday with memories that will last a lifetime. There are so many individuals who make summer adventures at DuBois Center possible. Among these are the chaplains. They help pass the light and love of God from one generation to the next. They help make the curriculum come alive for our campers. They lead BLAST (Bible Learning and Spirit Time), prepare worship, and embody an amazing ministry of presence – walking with our campers and staff throughout a week of camp.
Our chaplains are a fun, inspiring, eclectic bunch. Some are ordained ministers; some are Christian educators. Some are teachers, and some are parents and/or former staff members who want to stay involved and give back. A special thanks to our 2018 summer camp chaplains:
Thanks, also, to the churches that supported their time at camp and sharing their gifts with ISC church family.
You’d be hard-pressed to name a more quintessential “summer camp” activity than cooking hot dogs (or pie irons or foil stew) over a campfire. Though it might not seem like much more than fixing dinner, each cookout is an almost sacred time. Through the smoke and sizzle, conversations often turn to faith and where we’ve seen God throughout the week. Cooking around the fire in community is a distillation of the unplugged relationship-building that forms the core of DuBois Center’s ministry. As we pack up another summer full of friendships, we take scores of warm campfire memories with us into the colder months ahead.
As DuBois Center’s summer camp season draws to a close, we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your support. Without the multitude of prayers, volunteer hours and financial support, the life-changing experience of a week at camp simply would not be possible for the hundreds of DuBois Center campers. Friendships built and renewed, faith nurtured, self-confidence bolstered, nature discovered – these experiences shape lives and develop healthier happier children. THANK YOU for being part of the ministry of DuBois Center!