Wanted: Talent Scouts

With leaves and random snowflakes falling, summer camp seems eons away! However, planning is in full swing and summer staff recruitment kicks off over Thanksgiving weekend. We are in search of caring, hard-working individuals who enjoy the outdoors, love to have fun, and can embrace their silly side. They must have a passion for working with young people, and a heart for ministry and service. Paid and volunteer positions are available for Summer 2019. If you know someone who might be a good fit, either please complete the information on this form and return it or contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202. Full application packets will be available on our website on Nov 19.

Camp Nurses – Servants with Sunscreen

BandAid

Despite the falling leaves, it’s never too early to think about summer. One setting for ministry at DuBois Center is our health center. Volunteer camp nurses, most of whom are RNs, are a vital piece of our summer camp program. Many find serving at DuBois Center to be a rewarding mission opportunity, one that is quite different from their regular job. Responsibilities include reviewing camper medical forms, conducting health screenings, receiving & administering medications, providing first aid & basic medical treatment, and documentation. But when you really get down to it, nurses spend most of their time removing ticks, soothing rashes, distributing medications and providing extra TLC for homesick and nervous campers.

If you are an RN, please consider serving with us for a full or partial week. The living quarters do have AC and there is often time to join us for worship, explore the woods or just sit back and read a book. For more information, contact Shirley at DuBois Center by email or 618-787-2202.

Golf Cart – YES!!

Golf Cart

For over two years, a golf cart with four seats has been on our “Wish List.” This past spring, gifts to our Vehicle Fund from St. Paul UCC Belleville turned this wish into a reality. Our “new to us” golf cart looks great and runs like a dream. Summer camp nurses used it to check in with the villages, deliver medications and respond to situations throughout the grounds. Now when they need to transport someone, it’s easy for a third person to ride along – in keeping with our “safe camp” procedures. We opted for an electric model. It’s is so quiet you can approach a campfire or closing circle without disrupting.

A special THANKS to St. Paul UCC for their support!

Gift Certificates

Gift388

Looking for a unique gift for someone special in your life? Hate crowded malls and overwhelming online sites?

Gift Certificates for DuBois Center camps, events and items in the camp store might be just the answer to your shopping conundrum. Consider giving your child or grandchild the gift of a week at camp or your son and grandson a weekend together just for Fathers & Sons. Love your old camp t-shirts and sweatshirts? Share that love with all the grandkids, nieces and nephews. Certificates are available for any amount of $10 or more.

For more information contact DuBois Center at 618-787-2202 or dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org.

“Thank You” Christmas Party Rescheduled for March

Santa

This annual event is traditionally our opportunity to say THANK YOU!  Thank you for your prayers and support; your gifts of time, talent and treasure; and your partnership in our shared mission and ministry at DuBois Center.

This year we are certainly no less grateful, but we did take some extra time for reflection before sending out the invitations. Our lives are packed with holiday commitments… with family, church, friends, the crew from work, our social groups… We often have to choose between two, even three holiday gatherings on the same night. On top of that, it’s DARK outside, the weather is often questionable and the roads to DuBois Center are not the best – even in the daylight. This year the Outdoor Ministries Team would like to give you a different kind of gift – the gift of time, the gift of one less place to be, one less present to wrap, a free moment to… breathe.

We do hope you will join is March when we celebrate spring, new life and YOU! Thank you for a great year, and watch this space for details in January.

Stepping Outside the Classroom

Nature's Classroom

Every spring and fall, DuBois Center transforms into a giant outdoor learning environment. Over the past month, nearly 150 students from eight schools in St. Louis, Godfrey and Centralia traveled with parents and teachers to participate in Nature’s Classroom.

DuBois Center staff taught a wide variety of classes – some are exclusive to this outdoor experiential education program, and some are camp favorites with a learning focus. There was horseback riding and archery of course, well creek walks that explored erosion and stream ecology. Students discussed history and basic principles of physics before experimenting with soda bottle rockets and an egg drop. Time spent at the Teams Course built confidence, improved communication (and LISTENING!) skills, and observation-focused woodland walkabouts highlighted the beauty and wonder that fills DuBois Center. As we pack away class materials, we look forward to our spring Nature’s Classroom season.

Mother-Daughter Retreat

Mother Daughter Retreat
What a difference a week can make! The temperatures fell from near record highs for Fall Festival to 30 degrees cooler for our Mother-Daughter Retreat. It may have been chilly, but weather did not deter the generations of women who played, prayed, laughed, sang, used their creative juices, rode horses, shot arrows, tried new yoga poses, snapped photos and even canoed together!

The 2018 Mother-Daughter Retreat is now history, but the memories most certainly are not. Here are just some of the highlights noted on the end-of-event evaluations:
● Fellowship with other mothers and daughters
● Canoeing, the 1:1 time in God’s beautiful nature was a memory of a lifetime
● Every moment was special – snuggling & being together
● The photo scavenger hunt
● Coffee on the porch in the morning
● Snuggling under a blanket on the hayride
● Fun weekend away from life where we can spend quality time together

Start planning NOW for 2019. DuBois Center sponsors three great family retreats: Father-Son in the spring, Rainbow Camp in August and Mother-Daughter in October.

Fall Festival Thank You

fall fest music

We just want to say “thanks” to the volunteers, staff, vendors and guests who helped make Fall Festival 2018 such a success!

Watch our blog and upcoming editions of the Weekly Connection e-newsletter (sign up below if you haven’t already) to hear some of the fun stories from this event.

fall fest collage

Annual Meeting Worship Offering – DuBois Center Scholarship Fund

worship offering
In order for your church to prepare for the worship offering at Annual Meeting, we felt an explanation would be helpful. One of this year’s offerings will go to the DuBois Center Scholarship fund, which is used for children of families who cannot afford to attend camp through their own budgets.
Shirley speaks about it…
If we truly believe that children and youth need open space to laugh, sing, play and pray together; that meaningful connections with positive Christian role models make a real difference; that learning to respect and care for ourselves and our “neighbors” is a critical skill; and that faith grows as we learn, explore and ask tough questions, then a week at camp can be life-changing and no one should be turned away for an inability to pay.
Finances are one of the challenges being faced by most, if not all, not-for-profit camps. Experts urge organizations to charge what it actually costs to operate a program or a facility including ongoing maintenance, and then provide scholarships for those with financial needs. Groups that have not done this have faced dire consequences. You can look across the country for examples or right here in southern Illinois. Fees that cover direct costs and scholarships for those in need are critical pieces of the equation.
The Sweet Shoppe at Fall Festival raises $1,200 – $1,500 annually for scholarships. In addition, DuBois Center receives about $2,000 each year in gifts designated specifically for scholarships. Beyond that, the Center’s budget underwrites an additional $15,000 – $18,000 of camper and retreat fees for families with significant financial struggles.
DuBois Center participates in a Title XX (financial assistance) program through the American Camp Association. This program provides some reimbursement (approximately 25-30%) of a typical camper fee, and – more importantly – a way to spread the camp experience to children beyond our churches. Information on this program is sent to foster parents, families eligible for free and reduced meals at school, and those with crippling medical bills. Some of the campers utilizing this program come from UCC churches and programs, many do not. This is one way DuBois Center provides outreach on behalf of our local congregations to the wider community.

This year’s Annual Meeting worship offering will be used to build the scholarship fund which will be used to underwrite the 70-75% of camper fees not covered by Title XX reimbursement, and in doing so, reduce our annual deficit, and provide for continued outreach.