Meet Our Summer Staff: Rachel

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We welcome Rachel Hughes to our 2018 summer staff team! This will be Rachel’s first summer on staff, but she is no stranger to DuBois Center. In addition to attending numerous Mother-Daughter Retreats and ISC youth events, Rachel was a DuBois Center camper for many years, a CIT (counselor in training) and a volunteer camp counselor.

She has experience working with children in other settings as well. She was a mentor for kindergartners, Sunday School teacher and volunteer with Arts ‘n Autism (a non-profit for children and adults with autism).

This summer, Rachel will be joining us as a Counselor/Activity Specialist. She has dreamed about working at camp since she was young and is very excited to make even more amazing memories. Rachel hails from Freeburg, Illinois where she is an active member of St. Paul’s UCC. She studies business at the University of Alabama, is a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, and is on an Ultimate Frisbee team.

When asked about her “favorites” Rachel wrote, “I don’t know if this is my favorite food, but I’m always in the mood for ice cream. My favorite smell is brown sugar/vanilla. My favorite childhood memories are definitely from camp and also from travelling. I’m a huge TV and movie fan. I could go on forever and ever, but I think I like comedies the best. My favorite book is ‘Call Me by Your Name’.”

When asked about a mentor or someone who inspires her, Rachel talked about “Krazy,” her counselor for CIT. Rachel says, “She was just the funniest, coolest person ever. It showed me that even if I have a ‘grown-up’ job when I’m older, I can still volunteer at camp and make an amazing impact on the campers!” (Note: Krazy’s real name is Kristen Kniepkamp-Belcher. She is a high school science teacher in Alton, long-time UCC church member, and DuBois Center volunteer.) Welcome Rachel!

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Summer Camp: Faith, Friends and Fun

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Studies show that opportunities for kids to just be kids are critical to their development as healthy and well-rounded children and youth.  Active, unplugged, joyful, connected and adventuresome are all words that describe the DuBois experience. It’s good old-fashioned fun, yet a modern classic. All this as well as an opportunity to experience God and each other in new ways, make new friends and have loads of fun.
It’s not too late to make a session of summer camp at DuBois Center a priority! Click here to view our online brochure, and here to register today!

Dreaming of Spring

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As we brave the cold, dark days of winter – even with the beauty of each unique snowflake and crisp starry night – our dreams are filled with visions of a more vibrant and colorful spring.

Bloodwort and Indian Pink are just two of the beautiful wildflowers that thrive at DuBois Center throughout the spring and summer.

Now is a great time to plan a trip to “your big backyard” for a retreat, Service Saturday or a group horseback ride and picnic. Contact us at dcinfo@duboiscenter.org or 618-787-2202.

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Father-Son Retreat – April 13 – 15

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Fathers, grandfathers and uncles – save the date and plan now to bring your sons, grandsons and nephews to DuBois Center for a weekend of quality guy time! Fish, hike, canoe and just hang out together. Make cool crafts, share in vespers and work on your archery skills. Horseback riding is available for an additional fee.

This is also a perfect opportunity for churches to extend their family or men’s ministries. Gather a group from your congregation and join us – engaging faith sessions led by Rev. RJ Morgan, our chaplain for the weekend, will be held throughout the event.

Lodging is in heated cottages and Hickory Lodge. Activities are planed from Friday evening through early Sunday afternoon, April 13 – 15. All ages are welcome, though activities are geared for boys ages 5 and older. Registration opens February 15. For more information and a paper registration form, click here.

Buddy to Buddy Mission Experience – June 30 – July 3

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This close-to-home mission experience June 30 – July 3 offers teens the opportunity to “live kindness, do justice and walk humbly.”

Youth (completed grades 8-12) buddy up with one or two young people from Hoyleton’s youth residential programs and share in crafts, nature hikes, dock swims, canoeing and more with their new friends. When the Hoyleton campers head home each day, buddies and their chaperones reflect on their experiences, plan for the next day and tackle a work project before relaxing, playing and enjoying their favorite camp activities.

Participation is by church or region group, as opposed to “open enrollment” like summer camp. Chaperones (age 21 and older) provide overall supervision for their youth. Click here to learn more or contact Shirley at DuBois Center at shirley.director@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202.

Mother-Daughter Retreat 2017

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Fall is just around the corner! School, sports, band, clubs and church programs are all picking up steam, making family time even more difficult to find.

You are invited to breathe, slow down and spend quality time with the girls and women in your life at DuBois Center’s annual Mother-Daughter Retreat, which will take place on Oct. 13 – 15 this year. Engaging activities, inspiring God time, great fellowship, meals without cooking – all are part of this weekend escape. Participate in everything or choose a more relaxed weekend with board games, knitting and leisurely strolls. Either way, the focus of this retreat is on building relationships and making memories with loved ones.

All generations and groupings are welcome: mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, aunts and nieces. Save the date – more information will be available soon!

A big thank you to our volunteers!

Welcome Team

Three Summer Camp Sundays down – three to go. A special thanks to the 16 volunteers who have already stepped up to greet and welcome campers and parents on the opening days of camp sessions – Bre Beisiegel, Norma Borgmann, Aaron Fuchs, Becky Harrison, Angie Hausman, Audrey Hicks, Leah Juenger, Wendy Juenger, Sandy & Scott Kuether, Arline Magee, Cara Magee Johnston, Todd Mushaney, Jason Petry and Joe & Kara Schmid. Many hail from local Illinois South Conference congregations; others are “friends” of DuBois Center. UCC churches represented include Christ – Dupo, St. Paul – Columbia, St. Paul’s – Freeburg, St. Paul – Lebanon, St. Paul – Waterloo, St. Peter’s – Centralia.

We still need volunteers for the remaining Camp Sundays – July 9, 16 and 23. On these Sundays, scores of campers will arrive at DuBois Center eager and excited to begin their time at camp. A minimum of 12 volunteers each of these Sundays, plus summer staff, are needed to make the check-in process run smoothly! Volunteers assist with greeting, 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 dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202

 

There’s Still Space for Campers in July!

July Camps
July is a great month to experience a summer adventure at DuBois Center! While many sessions in June had waiting lists, there are plenty of openings in July. See below for a full list of camp sessions remaining this summer, and their dates. Help us spread the word and tell your friends and family. Remember – you save if you bring a friend new to DuBois Center!
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Curious about what we do at camp? Check our great pics from the first week of camp at www.facebook.com/DuBoisCenter to learn more about all of the fun we’re having this summer! Click here to register online or contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202 to receive a brochure.
 
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  • Mad Science (completed grades 4-6)
  • Horsin’ Around (completed grades 5-7)
  • Base Camp Unleashed (completed grades 5-8)
  • Outlander (completed grades 6-9)
  • Outpost Lab (completed grades 6-9)
July 16-18
  • Discovery Camp (completed grades 1-3)
July 16-21
  • Settler (completed grades 3-5)
  • Horsin’ Around (completed grades 5-7)
  • Trekkin’ It (completed grades 5-8)
  • Saddle ‘Em Up (completed grades 7-9)
July 19-21
  • Boy Meets Camp (completed grades 1-3)
July 23-26
  • Girl Power (completed grades 1-3)
  • Pony Express (completed grades 4-5)
  • Rustic 101 (completed grades 4-6)
  • Splash! (completed grades 5-7)

Camp Names Explained

Finch, Sparkle, Pastor Skippy, Kayak, Nurse Bandit, El Padre, Banana, Squeak, 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.

Banana (Daisy Mercer) was first introduced to a new way to open bananas during summer staff training. To avoid inhaling pollen and dust, Nurse Bandit wears a bandana over her nose and mouth when driving around camp on a Gator. Pastor Skippy, who loves peanut butter, has been a camp chaplain for decades at a variety of different camps and his name has traveled with him. It’s a tradition!

We use “camp names” during the summer at DuBois Center because they are FUN, and because sometimes there are just too many Ryans and Merediths running around. Real names are shared on the last day of each session and they are listed on the sign-out sheets when parents pick up their children at the end of a camp. 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!

The DuBois Center Herd Grows by One

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After traveling hundreds of miles, members of the DuBois Center equestrian team found a horse that seems to be a perfect fit for our program. They are excited to introduce the newest member of the DuBois Center herd – Lexi! She is a seven year-old Haflinger who stands 14 hands tall. She is shorter than many of our horses, but very sturdy, which makes her an ideal ride for a variety of campers and guests.

Volunteers spent the last two weekends working with her in preparation for summer – introducing her to the herd, riding the trails and getting her settled in the Deer Run pasture for a week with her new friends. By all accounts, Lexi is a gentle, easy-going horse who is quick to make new friends. She already seems like “just one of the herd” – which is often not the case initially for new horses.

NOTE: After recent retirements, the equestrian team is still looking for one more “perfect fit” to round out the herd. If you have any recommendations, contact Scott Kuether at sekuether21@gmail.com.

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