Meet Our Summer Staff – Laura


Welcome Laura Renken to our 2018 summer staff team! This will be Laura’s second summer on staff; she will again be serving as a Counselor/Activity Specialist and utilizing her skills as a seasoned lifeguard.

Laura hails from Hamel, Illinois and is an active member of Salem UCC in Alhambra. She is a student at Eastern Illinois University where she is studying elementary education. At school, she is active in a Bible study group that has helped her to grow in her ability to share and discuss her faith with others. They have also, “helped me a lot with being proud of my faith and not feeling like I needed to hide my faith in order to fit in. I can be proud of who I am and who God has made me to be.”

When asked about future plans, five years from now, Laura hopes to be teaching second or third grade. Not a surprise! Working with children has long been a priority for her. Before serving on our summer staff, Laura was a regular VBS volunteer. She also completed our Counselors in Training (CIT) Program and served as a camp volunteer.

Laura is returning this summer because, “Working with the campers was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.” Her favorite place at camp is Meditation Point. She loves seeing all the stars and the lake at night in a “very humbling place” where she feels “immersed in God’s presence.” In addition to starry nights, Laura loves swimming in the summer and biking whenever it’s warm outside. She likes to doodle, knit, crochet, sing and practice her ukulele and guitar. Her favorite foods are oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, watermelon and grapes – all staples at summer camp.

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Summer Job Opportunities!

summer job opportunities

Looking for a summer job that’s fulfilling as well as resume-building? Love being outdoors and working with kids? DuBois Center is hiring energetic, caring, fun and safety-focused individuals for our summer staff.

Out of our pool of Counselor/Activity Specialists, we try and hire at least seven to eight who are also lifeguards. Our waterfront program is based on the idea that the best fun is also safe, and our staff works hard to ensure that environment. Lifeguarding classes include the required First Aid and CPR training, and lifeguards are paid a little extra over the course of the summer to recoup the cost of the course.

For more information, check out our website page or email

Why International Staff?

International Staff

Have you ever wondered why we hire international staff? The answer is easy – because they’re great!

Each summer, DuBois Center recruits four to six international staff members, both through recruiting agencies and from Eden Seminary. Recently, they’ve journeyed from Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Poland, South Africa and the United Kingdom. With accents that make them easily approachable and stories about life in their home countries, it’s easy to see why our international staffers are much beloved by campers and American staff alike. We appreciate the perspectives they bring, the games and songs they teach us, and the unique opportunities they provide just by spending the summer at DuBois Center.

Meet Our Summer Staff: Troy

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Summer staff recruitment is in full swing, and we will be introducing members of our 2018 team through Weekly Connection and Facebook. First up is Troy Mcrae.

This will be Troy’s second summer on staff. He will again make the long trek from Western Australia to DuBois, Illinois. Troy grew up in the “Aussie countryside” in the small town of Manjimup. Active in his church youth ministry and camping programs, he grew from youth participant to young adult volunteer leader. Troy loves being outside and spent a year as a trainee and instructor at an outdoor school. Canoeing, lifeguarding, “bush walking expeditions,” food prep and equipment maintenance were all part of his experience there.

Thinking back to 2016 when Troy last served with us, his big smile, gentle nature and amazing height come to mind. Yes, he occasionally had to duck when going through doorways. When asked about his desire to return to DuBois Center, Troy commented, “I just felt drawn back to the overwhelmingly positive atmosphere at camp. It’s impossible to finish each day without a smile on your face.”

Troy brings skills as an effective canoeing instructor, accomplished guitar player and caring camp counselor. His long-term goal is to become a professional outdoor educator. Aussie meat pies are Troy’s favorite food. Two of his favorite hobbies are cycling and larping (think Lord of the Rings meets football, with a bit of theater improv thrown into the mix). He describes himself as a massive “pop culture nerd (in the best of ways).” Welcome back, Troy!

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Summer Staff – Laura


Welcome Laura Renken to the 2017 summer staff team! Laura hails from Hamel, Illinois and is a member of Salem UCC in Alhambra, where she sings in the praise team choir. She has also served as a Vacation Bible School volunteer for at least the last 5 years. Laura attended summer camp at DuBois Center for a number of years. She completed our Counselors in Training (CIT) Program in 2014 and last summer volunteered as a cabin counselor.

When not at camp, Laura is student at Eastern Illinois University where she is studying elementary education. She also works at the front desk of her dorm. Her favorites include: smell – spearmint, color – sky blue, food – tacos, and she loves to sing.

Her favorite childhood memories include summers swimming at her grandparents’ and coming to camp. “I loved coming to Camp DuBois growing up, and it was always a dream of mine to work here when I got older. I always felt that this was a place of love and acceptance where I could really be myself. I wanted to have the opportunity to make Camp DuBois that place for other people as well. I am excited to make memories with everyone and to be a part of such a loving community. I am excited to get to know my campers and to play games and sing songs. I am excited that God has granted me the opportunity to work in a place that means so much to me.”

Summer Staff – Olivia

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Welcome Olivia Cruthis to DuBois Center’s 2017 summer staff team! Olivia is an avid swimmer, lifeguard and horse lover – all helpful traits when serving as a Counselor /Activity Specialist. She is from Lebanon, Illinois and is a DuBois Center veteran, attending summer camp for nine years, including our CIT – Counselor in Training program in 2014. Last summer, Olivia returned to volunteer as a camp counselor.

A student at Illinois College, she is majoring in secondary English education, with a music and theatre minor. She is also on the swimming and diving teams there. Olivia loves gymnastics, reading, artistic endeavors and Mexican food. It’s not unusual to find her singing (perhaps even screaming) and dancing to Disney tunes in her dorm room.

An active member of St. John UCC in Mascoutah, Olivia credits Rachael Berth, Minister of Youth and Christian Education, with nurturing her on her faith journey. “[She] has inspired me since she walked into my life when I was a freshman in high school; we were in the church choir together. She has helped me strengthen my relationship with God as well as help me find who I truly am.”

Olivia can’t wait to spend the summer “praising God with all the kids and staff.” She applied for the position because she loved camp so much as a kid, and as she got older, she saw the impact that the DuBois staff had on the campers and she wanted “to be a part of this amazing group of people.”

Summer Camp Staff – Grace


Welcome Grace (Gracie) Allen to DuBois Center’s 2017 summer staff team! She will be serving as Counselor/Activity Specialist. Gracie lives in Maeystown, IL where she is an active member of St. John UCC and a PK (Pastor’s Kid). Gracie is new to our staff, but not to DuBois Center. She has attended Winter Weekends with her church and served as a summer camp volunteer. She has also participated in our Buddy to Buddy Mission Experience a number of times, working with young people from the residential program in Hoyleton.

Gracie loves to sing and perform in community theater productions. These talents, as well as her unique ability to sound like Chewbacca, will be put to good use at camp. Gracie is currently working part-time and studying for her associate degree in education at SWIC (Southwestern Illinois College). Her references all agree; she is kind, very responsible and has a great attitude. Gracie is very excited to be serving at DuBois Center this summer. When asked why she said, “When I had volunteered I had loved every aspect of camp… I am most excited about helping kids have a great time…”

Meet our Summer Staff – Pieter


Welcome Pieter Fourie to DuBois Center’s 2017 summer staff team! He will be serving as a Counselor/Activity Specialist. Pieter lives in Pretoria, South Africa and speaks both English and Afrikaans fluently. He currently works as a camp counselor at Sugar Bay Holiday Camp, where he has developed skills in a wide variety of camp activities. He has significant experience in child care, behavior and conflict management, team building and lifeguarding.

An aspiring actor, Pieter loves to entertain family and friends; he often plans games and activities for family gatherings. In his free time, he auditions for acting roles. He also enjoys traveling, learning about other cultures and soccer.

This summer Pieter hopes to “teach [campers] new skills, form bonds, grow true friendships and encourage others to do what they dream to do.” He is very excited to bring his skills and talents to DuBois Center and to gain many more while serving with us. Ask him about Poi Spinning! Pieter is a Christian who walks his talk, as reflected in these excerpts from one of his references: “He is a young man of upstanding character… Pieter is charming, honest and has a sound set of values. He is courteous and humble… He is principled and lives his life by Christian values.”

We are looking forward to Pieter’s arrival in May!

Meet Our Summer Staff – Ryan

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Welcome, Ryan Goetter, to our 2017 team! This will be his third season on summer staff. Ryan grew up near Collinsville IL, an avid member of his high school band and active member of St. John Evangelical UCC. He attended summer camp at DuBois Center for many years, including our C.I.T. (Counselors in Training) program in 2013. While in high school, Ryan volunteered as a teacher for 4-H groups. That experience has proven to be valuable as DuBois Center began partnering with 4-H of Southern Illinois for their summer camp program. This summer, Ryan will be coordinating our staff team for that endeavor. In addition to serving as a Counselor/Activity Specialist for DuBois Center, Ryan also counsels for Camp Phoenix, the summer camp for the Episcopal Dioceses of Missouri.

Ryan is a student at Missouri State University where he studies Instrumental Music Education. This has given him even more experience working with youth through practicum credit hours. On campus, Ryan works in the business office of the medical clinic and is actively involved in Lambda Chi Alpha. He is the Director for Drug and Alcohol Awareness for the MSU chapter of FSLSA (Fraternity and Sorority Leaders of Social Awareness).

Ryan is passionate about summer camp – from the magical “escape from the real world” to the wacky songs and the spirit-filled worship circles. The wonderful, often off-beat, interactions with campers and the enduring friendships with fellow staff members – he loves it all!

Job Opening – Summer Barn Coordinator

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Enjoy working with children? Have significant experience with horses and barn management? Apply NOW to be a member of the DuBois Center summer staff team. We are searching for a hard-working, early-rising, horse-loving individual to lead our summer barn team as Barn Coordinator. You’ll get to work hands-on with the horses all summer, and will also have the chance to lead campers as well as fellow staff members.

Click here for general information on joining summer staff, and download the position description for more details. Learn more by contacting the DuBois Center office at or 618-787-22202.