Meet our Summer Staff – Ryan Goetter

Ryan Goetter

Welcome Ryan Goetter to our 2018 leadership team! This will be Ryan’s fourth summer on staff. He will be serving as a village coordinator – supervising and supporting our counselors and campers, as well as coordinating activities and special events. Ryan grew up near Collinsville IL; he was an active member of St. John Evangelical UCC and an avid member of his high school band. He attended summer camp at DuBois Center for many years, including our CIT (Counselors in Training) program.

Ryan currently attends Missouri State University where he studies Instrumental Music Education. He has especially enjoyed his recent practicum experiences. During the school year he works at the Taylor Health and Wellness Center. His focus is student wellness programming, including coordinating a variety of special events. Ryan is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi – an honorary band service fraternity and a founding member of Lambda Chi Alpha. He has served his fraternity as the Director for Drug and Alcohol Awareness for the MSU chapter of FSLSA (Fraternity and Sorority Leaders of Social Awareness). Ryan has a great mentor in his father who is always involved in whatever Ryan and his sister Catie are doing.

Ryan loves the smell of fast food and the taste of hot wings. All his favorite childhood memories are from his adventures at camp. When asked why he has such a passion for working at DuBois Center, Ryan wrote, “I grew up at camp! It’s such an amazing and magical place and I wanted an opportunity to give the kids a great experience like I had!” The wonderful, often off-beat, interactions with campers and the enduring friendships with fellow staff members (his camp family) – he loves it all! One more important thing you should know about Ryan – he absolutely loves Pentatonix Christmas music and chances are he’ll be heard humming those tunes throughout the summer.

Meet our Summer Staff!

Alice

Oftentimes, due to the visa application process, international staff are hired long before our local summer staff. This week, we would like to introduce another of our 2018 team members from overseas… Alice McKinnon from Carlton, Australia. Alice is very excited to be joining us as a Counselor/Activity Specialist and is looking forward to learning more about our country and culture.

She is passionate about being outdoors, staying fit and a variety of land and water sports. Alice camps, plays netball and volleyball, studies dance – ballet, jazz and contemporary, bikes and swims. She has experience working with children and peers in a variety of capacities – babysitter, coach, mentor and teacher assistant. One of her references wrote, “Alice is an enthusiastic dynamic young woman. She lights up a room with her happy disposition.” She attended Catholic schools growing up and embraces and practices the “mercy values” she was taught. She believes that faith helps you to be “the very best version of you.”

Alice considers herself very lucky to have traveled a fair amount with her family. Their adventures include Bali, Thailand, Fiji, Tasmania, the United States and Canada. She has also traveled around coastal and inland Australia. Did you know that Australia is about the same size as the continental USA, but with a population closer to that of Texas? Favorite foods? Fresh fruit “and of course chocolate.” She absolutely adores dogs and loves watching American TV series.

Welcome to the team, Alice!

Alice

Summer Staff – Kalaba

Kalaba
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.”

See ya, Leah!

Leah Image

Our sixth Outdoor Ministry Intern, Leah Juenger, has come to the end of her internship. Leah Juenger fell in love with DuBois Center as a part-week camper when she was very young. She attended summer camp each year growing up, graduated from our CIT program, worked as a camp counselor in 2013 and 2014, took on more responsibility as a village coordinator after graduating from college in 2015, and then moved into the internship in September 2015.

All these experiences have left Leah with what she knows will be a life-long passion for DuBois Center and the ministry it provides. Over the past 18 months, Leah has gained skills in program development, staff supervision, and administrative duties such as writing and proofing promotional materials and using Excel. Throughout the internship, she also integrated her love of yoga into DuBois Center programming – which she assures us she will continue for retreats whenever she’s available. On the last day of her internship, Leah packed up and headed to Chicago for a yoga conference, where she will complete her journey to become a 200-hour certified yoga instructor.

In the coming months, Leah will be leading yoga classes, serving a few hours a week at DuBois Center and training for her summer assistantship with a company called Bricks 4 Kidz. She admits that spending the summer months somewhere other than DuBois Center is a foreign concept, but she feels prepared for this next adventure. Although, we will miss working with her on a daily basis – especially her welcoming smile, attention to detail, focus on summer staff recruitment and training and willing spirit – we know this isn’t goodbye; it’s “See ya later!”