Meet Our Summer Staff: David

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Welcome David Nirushikan Velupillai to our 2018 summer staff team! David was born in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Last fall, he traveled to the states to attend Eden Theological Seminary. This summer, he will be serving as a Counselor/Activity Specialist.

David grew up in a well-respected Christian family. Growing up, he participated in a variety of children’s programs sponsored by the church. In his youth, he joined the Scouts and participated in camps in different parts of the country. He enjoyed all these experiences, especially the campfires! While in seminary in Jaffna, he was involved in a number of outdoor activities, but especially enjoyed volleyball and cricket.

David has worked with children in a variety of settings. After seminary, he was the director of his church’s after-school program. In this role, he was able to provide young people with educational and cultural experiences that might not otherwise have been accessible to them. David wrote, “As a pastor, I would say that my goal is creating the community for the transformed community of the society.”

While in the USA, he would like to experience the culture of Americans, and see how we are involved in the ministry of children for a transformed community. David’s favorite foods are fried rice and spicy beef or chicken curry. He is hoping to have the opportunity to cook a couple of his favorite dishes for our summer staff sometime during the season. He is also looking forward to working with an international team. Welcome David! We can’t wait to learn more about you and your island home.

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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.”

2017 Counselor in Training Program

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Counselor in Training (CIT) is a great opportunity for young people who are interested in developing their leadership skills, working with younger children, and having a great time at DuBois Center! The program functions much like a “lab school” with discussion, training, practice and evaluation sessions. Skills gained will help participants grow as positive Christian leaders, respond to challenging behavior, create a safe, fun environment, and teach basic camp skills. Scheduled for June 25-30, CIT is designed for youth who have completed grades 10-12. Previous camp experience is NOT required.

NOTE: A special application is required – in addition to the Camp Registration Form. The CIT application packet is available online or by contacting the DuBois Center office at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618.787.2202.

Summer Camp Staff – Grace

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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

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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 – Kalie

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We are excited to announce Kalie Vyers as the 2017 Lead Counselor! From Belleville, Illinois, Kalie grew up as an active member of Damascus Road Fellowship, where her father is the pastor. She has always enjoyed working with children – having gone on mission trips to orphanages in Mexico, working with day camps, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, and currently working as a missionary with a preschool through a church program in Tahoe City, California.

Kalie’s relationship with DuBois Center began as a camper when she was 12 years old. She recalled, “I always looked up to my counselors and knew that one day I wanted to be just like them.” Kalie graduated from our CIT (counselor in training) program, volunteered at DuBois Center in 2011, 2012 and 2015. She dedicated her summers to being on summer staff in 2013, 2014, and 2016.

She says she is excited to be back again in 2017 because, “Being a counselor is the best job I have ever had. I enjoy getting to meet children with many different lifestyles and personalities. It feels great to be able to give them the wonderful camp experience that I always loved to have when I was a kid.”

This summer Kalie has agreed to be our Lead Counselor – a position that only appears occasionally when an individual has extensive experience and skills to share with newer leaders, but prefers to spend most of their time working directly with campers. When not at camp, Kalie loves to be outdoors – hiking, skiing, playing basketball and engaging in all kinds of water activities. She also enjoys painting, and playing cards and board games with friends and family.

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