Meet our Summer Staff: Jordann

Jordann

Welcome Jordann Sipe to our 2018 summer staff team! Jordann comes to us from Gordonsville, Virginia. She is a student at Virginia Tech and is double majoring in Dairy Science and Animal & Poultry Science with an emphasis in Livestock & Equine. This summer she will be serving as our Barn Coordinator. Jordann has been riding since she was five years old and is an avid foxhunter! In addition, she is an experienced lifeguard, swim instructor and coach. Numerous horse camps and 4-H camps are also part of her resume.

JordannAfter graduating, Jordann hopes to work with the 4-H program in her state, teaching young people about animal genetics and the importance of genetics in livestock production. She is very excited to be at DuBois Center this summer where her strong faith, love of horses, and passion for helping young people believe in themselves will intersect. Some of Jordann’s favorite things include Sour Patch Kids; southern fried chicken; and anything to do with cows, pigs, and horses. In fact, during the ten days between her last day of classes and heading to camp, she spent time in a dairy working on low stress handling of livestock before heading back to her home barn to help prepare for a rodeo.

We are excited Jordann decided to make the trek from Virginia to Illinois for the summer. This was her first big road trip, and she is looking forward to more in the future. Welcome Jordann!

Meet our Summer Staff: Marcus

Marcus

Welcome Marcus Vaughan to our 2018 summer staff team! Marcus is returning for his third summer on staff and will be serving as our Waterfront Coordinator. He calls Llanfyllin, a small town in Wales, home but he loves to travel and has made good friends and has “homes” around the world – one of them in Marion, Illinois. In 2012, Rev. John Holst and his family hosted Marcus during his first week-long lifeguard certification class. They developed a strong bond and have stayed connected ever since.

Youth development is Marcus’ passion. Since last at DuBois Center, he worked for two years at Camp Chief Hector YMCA in collaboration with the Canadian Rockies Outdoor Learning Centre. During his time there, his responsibilities progressed from canoe out-tripping leader to high ropes course director to outdoor school coordinator. After some time back in Wales, Marcus headed to Melbourne, Australia for a year of travel and work. There he served as a behavioral and welfare officer at a Christian boys college (high school to us Americans) working with students with behavioral challenges. Long-term, Marcus plans to work with youth in the correctional system, helping them to develop strategies and make long-lasting changes in their life situations.

MarcusIn addition to traveling and youth development, Marcus has a passion for soccer. In his late teens, he played professionally and coached youth teams. His family is also very important to him, and he is looking forward to spending quality time with his young niece after returning to Wales. Marcus is excited to be back at DuBois Center, to see all the familiar faces, make new friends and have another fun and rewarding summer.

We are excited for all the experience and energy he brings to our team. Welcome back Marcus!

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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Meet our Summer Staff: Selena

Selena

Welcome Selena Wellenstein to our 2018 summer staff team! Selena hails from Seattle, Washington and will be serving as a Counselor/Activity Specialist. She is a city kid with a heart for the outdoors. Selena has worked with children and youth in a variety of settings – as a babysitter, child care provider at church and volunteer at a therapeutic riding center. Her love of the outdoors has been fed by her years as a Girl Scout and as part of the Cascade Leadership Challenge program. The summer of 2016 she spent 18 days in the Northwest Territories of Canada rafting down the Nahanni River with nine other people. She wrote, “That was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, but I grew and learned so much!”

SelinaSelena is studying Animal Science with a minor in Spanish at Washington State University in Pullman. When at school, she loves being a part of the Guide Dogs for the Blind club, through which she is learning to train dogs for the program. When at home, Selena enjoys spending time in the sun and taking her dog, Roxy, to the dog park. Horses, country music and sweets are some of her “favorites.” Her favorite smell is a horse barn and she loves the movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

So how did Selena find her way to DuBois Center? “The honest story is that I was praying for a summer job, and shortly after I received an email with a flyer for the DuBois Center. When I checked them out online, I loved their welcoming and open approach to faith as well as the down-to-earth, rustic style of camp. I can’t wait to work with all different walks of people this summer and am excited to hear their stories!” Selena’s faith is very important to her and she found a wonderful church, faith family and mentor while at school. One of her hopes for this summer is to pass on her mentor’s kindness and devotion to the staff and campers at the DuBois Center.

Welcome Selena!

Meet Our Summer Staff: Rachel

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We welcome Rachel Hughes to our 2018 summer staff team! This will be Rachel’s first summer on staff, but she is no stranger to DuBois Center. In addition to attending numerous Mother-Daughter Retreats and ISC youth events, Rachel was a DuBois Center camper for many years, a CIT (counselor in training) and a volunteer camp counselor.

She has experience working with children in other settings as well. She was a mentor for kindergartners, Sunday School teacher and volunteer with Arts ‘n Autism (a non-profit for children and adults with autism).

This summer, Rachel will be joining us as a Counselor/Activity Specialist. She has dreamed about working at camp since she was young and is very excited to make even more amazing memories. Rachel hails from Freeburg, Illinois where she is an active member of St. Paul’s UCC. She studies business at the University of Alabama, is a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, and is on an Ultimate Frisbee team.

When asked about her “favorites” Rachel wrote, “I don’t know if this is my favorite food, but I’m always in the mood for ice cream. My favorite smell is brown sugar/vanilla. My favorite childhood memories are definitely from camp and also from travelling. I’m a huge TV and movie fan. I could go on forever and ever, but I think I like comedies the best. My favorite book is ‘Call Me by Your Name’.”

When asked about a mentor or someone who inspires her, Rachel talked about “Krazy,” her counselor for CIT. Rachel says, “She was just the funniest, coolest person ever. It showed me that even if I have a ‘grown-up’ job when I’m older, I can still volunteer at camp and make an amazing impact on the campers!” (Note: Krazy’s real name is Kristen Kniepkamp-Belcher. She is a high school science teacher in Alton, long-time UCC church member, and DuBois Center volunteer.) Welcome Rachel!

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Meet Our Summer Staff: Bailey

Bailey

Welcome Bailey Reichert to our 2018 summer staff team! Though this will be Bailey’s first summer on staff, she is no stranger to DuBois Center. Bailey attended summer camp and Conference youth events regularly while growing up. The past two summers, she volunteered for multiple weeks when conflicts prevented her from serving for the full summer. She is “so excited to finally be on staff,” and will be joining us as a Counselor/Activity Specialist. Bailey’s favorite thing about camp is “watching her campers go out of their comfort zones and try new things.”

Bailey2Her home base is Columbia, Illinois where she is active at St. Paul UCC. She attends Illinois Wesleyan University, and is working on a degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology. Bailey’s goal is to become a Physician’s Assistant. She is currently a Teaching Assistant and grader for General Chemistry. Bailey thoroughly enjoys acting and dancing, and has been seen off/off Broadway in a number of productions. A dancer for many years, she has also taught classes in jazz, ballet and tap. Coffee is Bailey’s beverage of choice, and this past year she worked as a barista at the university’s coffee shop. When asked about her favorite movie, Bailey replied, “Anything Disney, especially Peter Pan!” Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time and The Office are some of the shows Bailey tries to catch in her nonexistent free time. Her favorite food is chocolate and she loves the smell of citrus fruit.

Welcome Bailey!

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!

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Meet our Summer Staff – Kristian Avise-Rouse

Kristian

Welcome back Kristian Avise-Rouse! This will be Kristian’s third summer on staff, and he will be serving in two capacities – Worship Coordinator and Counselor/Activity Specialist. He will be working closely with our volunteer chaplains to ensure that we have good music, engaging spaces and lots of support for worship and other faith-focused times.

Kristian is from Columbia and a member of St. Paul UCC. He attends Illinois Wesleyan University, where he studies Music Education and participates in a variety of music related activities – from vocal jazz to opera. Kristian served as a delegate from the Illinois South Conference to the UCC General Synod. His selection is an honor and a significant responsibility. Kristian attended summer camp at DuBois Center while growing up. He attributes much of who he is as a person to his weeks as a camper and his first summers as a counselor. In addition to finding mentors at camp, another mentor at school has made a significant impact on this life. Kristian wrote, “Every day this semester I have been more and more inspired by my choral director… He overcame a great deal of adversity to pursue his passion. He struggles with anxiety every day and has been open about how this affects his life. He reminds us every day to feel lucky to be alive and able to make music. His humility and passion for inclusion have taught me many important lessons to help me when teaching in the future.”

Kristian’s favorite foods are sushi and Raising Cane’s chicken; his favorite smell is brownies baking! One of his favorite memories from camp was the first time he was able to climb the now retired iceberg. “Many kids had trouble climbing (it), myself included. I felt like the king of the world once I made it!” In closing, Kristian wrote, “I grew up looking forward to my time at DuBois Center every summer, and I still feel that way. It is always exciting to meet new people and grow in experience and faith!”

Meet Our Summer Staff: Jack

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Welcome Jack Lockhart from Motueka, New Zealand to our 2018 summer staff team! Jack will be serving as a Counselor/Activity Specialist and is looking forward to working with young people in another country, making friends from around the globe and gaining new skills.

Back home, he is passionate about serving his community and does so as a volunteer rural fire fighter and a member of the local community patrol. The most important things in Jack’s life are his “friends and family, moral values & respect for others.” Fitness, health and sports are also near the top of his list. He swims and plays soccer, basketball, rugby and cricket.

Jack’s experience with children is varied; he has served as a coach, referee, babysitter, mentor and leader. As a fire fighter, he spends time in and with the community. One of his favorite “kid memories” is actually from a fire prevention expo. At these events, kids climb through the fire trucks and use the giant hoses to put out controlled fires. One child with a disability was watching from the side. Jack helped him try on the gear, maneuver through the truck and even manage the powerful fire hose.

Being able to connect with and include this child was golden and comes as no surprise. One of Jack’s references wrote, “Jack just has a wonderful way he connects with others – be it adults or children.”

Jack’s favorite foods are typical barbecue foods – sausages, burgers, steak and fresh seafood.  His favorite memories of times outdoors were from primary and high school camps at Abel Tasman National Park. (Check it out!) His long-term goal is to either go into law enforcement or police work, and a summer at camp is great experience for both.

Summer Jobs – Apply Now!

Summer Staff

Is this the year for more than just another summer job? DuBois Center is searching for fun-loving and child-focused individuals with a heart for ministry to serve on our summer staff. Amazing memories + resume building skills = a summer to remember. Check out the Summer of Service flier and consider whether serving outdoors with a dynamic team might be just the opportunity for you. Open positions include cabin counselors, barn staff and coordinators. Lifeguard certification is a plus for all positions.

Questions? Contact Shirley at  shirley.director@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202. Application packets are available online or can be sent by email or mail.

Lifeguard