Christ UCC Dupo Provides TLC

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Cabin doors – check! Cabin screens – check! Cabin steps – check! Recently, a work team from Christ UCC in Dupo spent several days at DuBois Center helping prep the grounds and facilities for summer camp. Most of their time was spent in the Rustic Village. They repaired screen windows and doors, built steps, installed fascia and more. In addition, stumps throughout camp were ground into sawdust.

Volunteers are the heart of DuBois Center and mission is the heart of local congregations. This team is a great example of church mission in action. Now a tradition, this group’s first work experience at DuBois was in 2014 when they joined with an established team from St. Paul UCC in Belleville. They have been back each spring since, and have also taken on segments of the set-up and tear-down for Fall Festival. Please help us in recognizing this great group of workers and the church’s commitment to our shared ministry.

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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!

Summer Staff – Kalaba

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Welcome Kalaba Kapunda to the 2017 summer staff team! Originally from Kitwe, Zambia, Kalaba lived in South Africa for the last nine years and is now a student at Eden Theological Seminary. After a successful career in community development in the private and non-profit sectors, he felt a call to ordained ministry. That call led him to study for his Masters of Divinity at Eden.
Back home, Kalaba was actively involved in his home church – Jerusalem United Methodist Church. Through his church and other organizations, he has facilitated youth groups, served as a soccer coach and worked as the youth choir director at an orphanage. Kalaba also did a short stint as a high school teacher – one of the options for mandatory government service. He is the father of his three young sons (seven, four and two years old). His family will be joining him at Eden in the fall.
In his free time, Kalaba enjoys sports, particularly soccer and volleyball. He also enjoys walking, being outside, participating in community work, singing and reading. Kalaba likes all kinds of food, but especially Pap – a favorite from South Africa, fish, rice, goat meat and vegetables. Kalaba is excited to exchange ideas and explore diversity with the campers and staff while at DuBois Center this summer. He believes “diversity can help us respect and celebrate our lives.” He is looking forward to building a team, meeting new friends, and playing together “in an attempt to create understanding, trust, and respect.”

Meet Our Summer Staff – Meredith

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Introducing Meredith Ellis, one of our returning Counselor/Activity Specialists! Meredith grew up in Glen Carbon, IL and is an active member of Troy United Methodist Church. She first came to DuBois Center for summer camp with a friend when she was in the sixth grade. She instantly loved it and returned year after year as a camper. In 2013, she participated in our CIT (Counselor in Training) program and then volunteered the next year. She dedicated the summer of 2016 to serving on our summer staff.

She has “wanted to be a counselor ever since [she] was a camper” and had an amazing experience in that role last summer. She is looking forward to “being back in such a beautiful place” and seeing her past campers again! Meredith’s experience, beyond camp, includes working with family programs and teaching youth tennis lessons at the YMCA. When not at camp, Meredith studies Political Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. At school, she is a student worker at her university library and is involved in campus ministry, a campus sexual assault education program and Alpha Delta Pi. In her free time she likes to read and drink tea. Welcome Meredith to our 2017 summer staff team!

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