Meet Our Summer Staff: Rachel

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!

Rachel 1

Save the Date – Mother & Daughter Retreat October 12-14

Last Sunday, we celebrated our mothers and all the women who nurture and support us. Let the celebration continue with DuBois Center’s annual Mother & Daughter Retreat! Get away and re-energize your relationship with your daughter, mother, granddaughter, niece, aunt or other special woman or girl in your life. Enjoy a playful, faith-based weekend together, one packed with engaging activities, inspiring God times, meals without cooking and wonderful fellowship. All ages are welcome, but most activities are geared for girls and women age six and older. SAVE THE DATE! Registration opens July 10. Space is limited to 50.

Mission Week 2018

St. Paul UCC in Belleville has a long history of reaching out locally and around the country through mission trips. Since 2010, DuBois Center has been blessed to be their mission site on even-numbered years; on odd-numbered years they travel further afield. In 2014 they were joined by members of Christ UCC in Dupo, and the collaboration continues today. This year they have been joined by other friends of DuBois Center.

The priority projects for this week include: constructing and installing a new boat dock, upgrading the electric in the Rustic Village cabins, removing and replacing the siding on one side of the office, building changing stalls in the Beach House, and lots and lots of painting. Work began bright and early this morning and will continue through Friday! Please pray for the work team’s safety and hydration this week!

Watch our Facebook album for updates throughout the week.

Registration for the 4th Annual Rainbow Camp Is Open!

Rainbow Camp is a day filed with activities and fun, where everyone is recognized as a child of God. Come play in the water, take aim with archery, try your hand at crafts, or just take in the outdoors from horseback or pontoon. We have activities for all ages. We will gather on Sat, Aug 18 from 9 am to 7 pm, at DuBois Center. Rainbow Camp is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer singles, couples and families. Straight allies are welcome too.

If there are at least 15 people interested, we can stay Friday night as a group at Hickory Lodge. If you want to register for just the day, select Rainbow Camp. If you want to stay Friday night and attend camp the next day, select Rainbow Camp Overnight. Register now to get the early bird rates. See this flier for more details. Click here if you’re ready to register. Got questions?  Contact ISC Pride at

Why 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!

Volunteer NURSES Needed – Spend 3-6 Days at DuBois Center

Share your skills and make a difference! Camp Nurses, most of whom are RNs, play a key role in providing safe and fun experiences during DuBois Center summer camps. It can be a very rewarding opportunity for ministry. Camp nurses review camper medical forms, conduct health screenings, administer medications, and provide first aid, basic medical treatment and extra TLC for homesick campers. The nurse’s living quarters are air-conditioned, and it’s not all work and no play. There is often time to sit back and read a good book, take a hike or dip your toes in the lake. For more information about this ministry opportunity, contact Shirley at 618-787-2202 or

Camps for Younger Youth – Completing Grades 5-9

Whether your camper prefers the Main Camp cottages or the Rustic Village cabins, there are great options on both sides of the lake. Hang out with the ponies, make a big splash, enjoy a “classic” camp, or try roughin’ it.

For details, pick up a brochure in your church office, click here for the online version or contact DuBois Center at or 618-787-2202.

If you’re ready to register click here. Or go to DuBois Center website.  Don’t delay; some of these sessions are nearly full!

Session &
GradesCompleted       Dates   
Horsin’ Around (5-7)       6/10-15, 7/8-13, 7/15-20
Splash! (5-7)                      7/22-25
Base Camp (5-8)               7/15-20
Trekkin’ It (5-8)                6/10-15, 7/8-13
Outlander (6-9)                6/24-29, 7/15-20
Saddle ‘Em Up (7-9)        6/24-29, 7/15-20

Thanks to the Happy Quilters and St. John UCC, Mascoutah

The Happy Quilters of St. John UCC in Mascoutah have done it once again! This year their efforts even made the local paper. Each year this group creates a beautiful kid-friendly quilt to celebrate and raise funds for DuBois Center. But that’s just the beginning! Then teams of quilters hit the road and visit churches throughout the Conference on Sunday mornings bringing goodwill and selling quilt tickets.

“We All Scream for Ice Cream” is the name of this colorful work of art, and the border actually features ice cream trucks. Adorable! This year ticket sales raised $1,700. St. John UCC matched this amount dollar for dollar, bringing the total donation to $3,400 – designated specifically for the enhancement of our summer camp program.

Thanks so much to the Happy Quilters for all their hard work and to all the members of St. John UCC for their support. Thanks also to the following churches for hosting the traveling quilt: Grantfork UCC Grantfork; St John UCC Trenton; St. Paul UCC Lebanon; St Peter’s UCC Okawville; and Zion UCC New Baden. The winning ticket was drawn at the conclusion of St. John’s Annual Quilt Show, on April 7. The lucky winner was John Hinkle of Mascoutah.

Meet Our Summer Staff: 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!

Why Church Camp?

Because church camp is joyful fun! It is a sacred place. It is intensely relational, and positive role models abound! Though an integral part of many congregations’ year-round faith formation efforts, church camp is different from Vacation Bible School or Sunday School. Campers and leaders live, work, play and worship together from early morning until late into the evening. They grow together through shared experiences in God’s amazing creation and form an intentional community. They hear our faith stories in new places and new ways, and find opportunities to share their own. The activities are fun, challenging and filled with opportunities to grow as part of a Christian community.