Meet Our Summer Staff: David

David 1

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.

David 2

Why International Staff?

International staff

Because they’re great! They provide a fresh perspective and are eager to experience life in the United States. Each summer, DuBois Center recruits 4-6 international staff members through camp-specific recruiting agencies and Eden Theological Seminary. This summer we are welcoming young people from Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa. With accents that make us smile, diverse vocabularies and stories from home, 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 for our campers. The cultural exchange they facilitate is educational and, at times, entertaining – a favorite “game” is to check for reactions to American breakfast staples such as coffee cake or biscuits and gravy! Please keep Alice, Hayley, Jack, Kurtwynn and Troy in your thoughts and prayers as they make the long trek form their home countries to southern Illinois!

Meet Our Summer Staff: Hayley

Hayley 1

Welcome, Hayley Bell to our 2018 summer staff team! Hayley is from Whakamarama, New Zealand and will be serving as a Counselor/Activity Specialist. Her experience working with children and youth is varied. She has assisted in primary school classrooms, babysat children of all ages, worked as a professional birthday party planner, and served as deputy house captain at school. In this last role, she organized and implemented activities for 50-100 students aged 12-18.

One of Hayley’s references wrote, “She has a genuine care for those around her and her warm disposition puts young people at ease. Hayley has a fun sense of humor and is full of enthusiasm.”

Hayley’s interests are as varied as her experience. She thoroughly enjoys acting and drama – one of her favorite subjects in school. Design, drawing, crafts and gardening are also at the top of her list. She is a self-proclaimed water baby and loves spending time “at waterholes or at the beach.” She also enjoys just spending time with her family and friends, and her favorite foods are Maltesers and Satay Noodles.

When asked why she wanted to spend the summer at a camp in the States, she explained that, after her first year at “Uni,” she realized that she should have taken a Gap year – as is the custom for many students in the UK (United Kingdom) and beyond. She wanted to find ways to give back and serve others for a year, before returning to school. She is also excited about traveling. When asked about one thing she would really like to see or experience in the USA, Hayley wrote, “The culture and landscape differences! Oh! and a large-sized meal where they give you the GIGANTIC cups for your drink!” Hopefully, when she returns home, Hayley will have so many amazing memories and new experiences that super-sized anything will be at the bottom of her list! Welcome, Hayley!

Hayley 2

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

Troy 2

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!

Troy 1