The Amazing People of Illinois South Conference…

Vents1

On Friday, May 20th, a group of amazing Illinois South Conference people answered the call to install new ridge vents on 10 cabins on the rustic side of camp. These roof vents will improve the air circulation and air quality in the cabins for campers coming for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to Roger Harris, Belleville St. Paul UCC; David Shanks, Cahokia Bethel UCC; and Judy Doerr, Marvin Doerr, Cliff Goodfellow, Larry Godare, Rusty Portell, Dupo Christ UCC. DuBois Center appreciates your quick efforts prior to opening the camp to visitors.

Vents2Vents4Vents3

Summer begins

Kitchen

Our coordinators were on site last weekend to make preparations for our staff training, which begins May 26. Thanks to Ryan Goetter, Catie Goetter, and Olivia Cruthis for their incredible hard work that makes summer camp possible! We will welcome our summer staff on Wednesday to train to lead activities, cabin groups, and do the necessary ground work and set up to make this summer happen.

If your church would like to sponsor a meal for our summer staff, please call Hayley at the office or her work cell – 815-627-0595. We will feed them approximately 28 meals before the camp kitchen opens.

Registration Updates!

Zephyr

We were blown away by the response to our summer offerings this year! Some camps are already at capacity, and there is still room in quite a few others!

You asked, so we listened: YES you CAN visit us more than once this summer!  Campers can now be registered for multiple camp sessions!  We were limiting registration to one camp per camper, but now that we are closer to summer, all of our available slots are open to all!  Our full listings are found online.

Remember, we have two extra options this year: Family Camp and DuBois Delivered!  We are excited to offer a mailed version of our summer program to you — and we are certain you will enjoy it!

COVID-19 Precautions 

As guidelines and requirements rapidly evolve, we continue to monitor and adapt our protocols to ensure the level of safety and diligence you have always expected from us.

DuBois Center will be opening under the strict safety protocol recommendations of the Outdoor Ministry Association, the American Camping Association, the Center for Disease Control, and State of Illinois guidelines and restrictions. We are closely following the guidelines and tracking new information as it becomes available.

We recently released our plan for this summer, and can be found in its entirety on our website.  The overall plan may change as requirements continue to evolve, but rest assured that we are dedicating the needed time, energy, and resources into making this summer both fun and safe.

Continue to check in! 

As the summer kicks off, be sure to continue to follow us on Facebook , Instagram, and www.DuBoisCenter.org for pictures, updates, and stories!

We hope that you are as excited to return as we are to have you back!

Here’s What We Need

Counselor

Just as nature is resilient, DuBois Center is also resilient. And part of being resilient is asking for what it is you need. In order to provide the programming we want to provide this summer, DuBois Center needs to hire at least four more summer camp counselors and at least one more camp cook.

Our camp counselors run our activities during the day and stay with our campers at night. This is an excellent opportunity for college age people and young adults, with all meals and housing provided from May 26 until July 31, training opportunities, and starting pay at $275-$300 a week. If you or someone you know would be interested in this position, please contact us at dcinfo@duboiscenter.org or view the website. We will also be asking for volunteer counselors to help us achieve safe ratios, so please consider if God might be calling YOU – volunteer of any age, to spend a week at camp and see our website. In order to complete our reopening plans, we need all hands on deck this summer!

Our cooks make our camp meals legendary. We are looking to round out our meal preparation staff with at least one more cook. While hours are more consistent in the summer, there are opportunities for work in the non-summer season as well. As part of the kitchen team you will cook meals, prep cookouts, and be an integral part of an amazing team. Starting pay range is $12-$14 an hour, and up to 40 hours a week are available during our summer season. This is a great opportunity for someone in chef school or interested in the food industry. Email dcinfo@duboiscenter.org or see our website for the application.

Please consider if you, someone you know, or someone in your congregation would be a good fit for a position at DuBois Center. This summer at camp is more vital to the youth of our area than ever, and we need YOU to help make it happen!

New DuBois Center Resident

Eagle

Last week while running around DuBois Center making preparations for summer camp, I was stunned to find an eagle sitting above our lake for the third time in about three weeks. Perhaps due to being closed down last summer, our lake seems to have maintained its own healthy ecosystem, which in turn invited this new friend to our property. I am reminded of nature’s resiliency – the beauty of our planet is that it is able to return itself to balance.

These have been times for human resiliency, too. As Illinois announced last week that we are in the “Bridge to Phase 5” – with the promise around the corner of life as we remember it provided COVID-19 numbers continue to decline, I am thankful for all the ways we have persevered as the church through this year.

Still some openings for the first two weeks of Summer Camp

Waterfront

Week one – June 6 – 11

  • Camp Quest (completed grades 1 – 3) – this half week camp has room for several more girls
  • There are still some open spots for Settler Camp (completed grades 3 – 5)
  • Trekkin’ It (completed grades 5 – 8) on Rustic has a number of open slot, too

Week two – June 13 – 18

  • Outback (completed grades 6 – 9) – there’s room for a number of boys on this rustic adventure

To review all our Summer Camp options, check out this summer’s schedule.

DuBois Center needs YOU!

male counselor

It’s no secret that the challenges of this last year have hit the outdoor recreation industry especially hard. This has made staffing across ALL camps difficult for the summer 2021 season, but DuBois Center STILL HAS JOB OPENINGS in a variety of areas, so if you or someone you know would be a good fit, please reach out to us!

Specifically, we are in need of counselors/activity coordinators, without whom we will not be able to open this summer. All counselor/activity coordinator jobs come with lodging and meals while you are on site, a competitive salary, and paid staff training so you can learn the ropes! We can provide First Aid/CPR training to those who need it before camp begins and can help connect interested candidates to a lifeguarding course.

Visit our website or email dcinfo@duboiscenter.org for more information! Consider joining us to change the world during a summer unlike any other!

Reconnecting, Rebuilding Relationships, and Centering Ourselves

Campers

I am, thankfully, lucky enough to have a sister who lives close to the beach in Florida. This last weekend, after more than a year of not being able to see each other due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, my whole family was able to be together to witness my sister’s graduation, celebrate my dad’s birthday and Mother’s Day, and my and my wife’s anniversary. This was made possible, of course, by all of our measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, vaccines, and commitment to ongoing prevention methods. As my family and I sat on the beach, soaking up the sun and each other’s presence, I no longer had to dwell on the absence we have felt in the last year. It was great to be reconnected in person and be able to enjoy one of God’s most magnificent creations together.

It dawned on me that this summer will be a lot like these precious moments – a time of reconnecting, rebuilding relationships, and centering ourselves in God’s love. I hope you can find a way to be a part of what is cooking up for this summer at DuBois Center! We are still hiring a number of positions, especially counselors/activity coordinators, without whom we cannot provide the programing we desperately want to provide this summer! Please consider if there is a way you can join us, and email the office at dcinfo@duboiscenter.org for more information on volunteering and/or applying!

I hope you and your family experience God’s abundant love this week!

Hayley Elliott, Acting Director of Outdoor Ministry

Green DuBois News

Beekeepers

The Green DuBois team is happy to be out of hibernation, and back at camp. At the recent DuBois Center Open House, we welcomed and blessed a new hive of bees. Our two previous hives were hit with American Foulbrood disease, and did not survive the winter. We are in the process of adding 3 new hives to replace them, in two new locations. During the Open House, our new Acting Director of Outdoor Ministries, our Conference Minister and two of our beekeepers all suited up to bless the first of the colonies to arrive. Above, pictured left to right, are Shana Johnson, ISC Conference Minister; Beekeeper John Pawloski; Hayley Elliott, Acting Director of Outdoor Ministries; and Beekeeper Julie Kies. Two more colonies should arrive in the next few weeks.

OrchidLast week, the invasive species removal team was able to get out in the woods for the first time in more than a year, and they did extensive work around and behind the bathhouse on the Rustic side of camp. They removed in the neighborhood of 500 Japanese bush honeysuckle in one morning, and in the process came across some wonderful finds, including a mother dove on the nest, a few skinks, frogs, a native orchid and a whole log colonized with devil’s cup mushrooms. The orchid, a Wister’s Coralroot (or Spring Coralroot,) is of special interest. It’s not particularly rare, but it does indicate a healthy forest. This orchid grows about a foot tall, has no chlorophyll, and its tiny white blooms only stay open a short time. It grows where it finds specific compatible fungi in the soil. Three specimens were found across the slope going down to the lake. Sections of the woods where the team had previously worked had very few new bush honeysuckle, and that’s a sign we’re making progress in removing this plant.

If you’re interested in being part of the Bee Team, helping with invasive species removal, or want to be part of another branch of Green DuBois, send an email to GreenDuBois@aol.com. More activities will be announced through the summer.