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.”

Summer Camp Staff – Catie

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Welcome Catie Goetter to our 2017 summer staff team! Catie will be serving as a Barn Assistant / Counselor. She grew up in Maryville, IL as an active member of St. John Evangelical UCC and is no stranger to DuBois Center. She attended summer camp for years. During the school year, weekend horse retreat and volunteering at the barn kept her busy. In 2015, she successfully completed our CIT (Counselor in Training) program, and in 2016 she volunteered for four weeks of summer camp.

When asked about a goofy camp memory Catie wrote, “My parents sent me to camp when I was 7 for a half week session thinking they would pick me up never wanting to go back. When they got to camp to pick me up, I was hiding in the bathroom of Lakeside because I didn’t want to leave.”

Catie attends Missouri State University where she is majoring in special education. She is actively involved in student ministry and marching band. Marching season is her favorite season! She also volunteers with a therapeutic riding program. Catie is very excited to be a member of our 2017 Summer Staff, she says she “can’t imagine [her] life without spending the summer at DuBois.” Catie’s favorite thing about summer camp is “getting to see the campers grow from the beginning of the week to the end whether it was just coming out of their shell or trying something new or something they were scared of, like canoeing or horseback riding!” She is also very excited to be on staff with old camp friends, to make new camp friends and work alongside her older brother, Ryan.