Prepping for Fall Festival

David Hoffmann was also busy re-building the stage at DuBois Center. The Fall Festival will be revitalized this year on Sunday, October 3. So to prepare for the entertainment scheduled there, David got busy to give the stage a facelift. What a difference it makes to the landscape at DuBois Center.

Stage beforeStage after







Flooring Update

Thanks to the Belleville St. Paul UCC Mission Team, ISC Property Committee (Priscilla Self, Roger Harris, and David Hoffmann), Nancy Wagner, and McCullough Flooring from Belleville, the floors of the DuBois Center office have been re-floored with beautiful flooring that continues throughout all rooms of the office.

Thanks to those of you who donated so generously (with time and money) to make it happen.


Come work for us! Now hiring Nature’s Classroom Instructors

Love the outdoors? Want to teach students in an experiential, meaningful way that they will remember for years to come? We are currently searching for instructors for our fall and spring Nature’s Classroom sessions! Instructors will work 3-5 days a week, teaching school groups team building, experiential science, and more!

A full job description is available on our website. Email Hayley ( or call 815-627-0595.

Plan your own retreat!

Would your church benefit from a night away for a family style retreat? Are you looking for a sweet spot to have a Sunday afternoon church picnic? Does your youth group want to get more involved with DuBois Center? Know of an organization looking for a retreat filled with teambuilding, conversations around the fire, and professional development? Want to come out for a day and ride horses? Plan your own retreat at DuBois Center this fall!

Email us at or call Hayley at 815-627-0595.

Mother-Daughter Retreat – October 15–17

Our annual Mother-Daughter Retreat is planned for October 15 – 17, 2021. Come and enjoy quality time with your family. Activities include archery, canoeing, crafts, a hayride, campfire, hiking, pontoon boat rides, and horseback riding. Registration information is coming soon, so start making plans to attend now!

Many thanks to our Summer Camp Coordinator Team

Thank you to our coordinator team – (first row left to right in photo) Olivia Cruthis, Bailey Avise-Rouse, Rylee Hodges-Stone, and Catie Goetter, and (second row left) Ryan Goetter for coming out to power wash, scrub, and move equipment. More importantly, we are grateful to them for making sure we could serve more than 350 campers this summer at DuBois Center! Without their hard work and dedication, this summer could not have been successful. Thank you for your many efforts!

Hayley Elliott (in photo second row right), Acting Director of Outdoor Ministry

Rainbow Camp and thoughts on marking a change in season

We were lucky to welcome the Sixth Rainbow Camp to DuBois Center on Saturday, August 7. From activities like horseback riding, archery, crafting and canoeing to conversations at a shared table, more than 40 of us enjoyed a day of fellowship, nature, the taste of the first honey from the DuBois Center bees, and camp fun. We look forward to welcoming even more people to Rainbow Camp in 2022 as we continue to draw the circle of God’s love ever wider.

HoneyTrail ride2

Rainbow Camp 2021

Our Rainbow Camp coincided with our coordinator wrap up of the season, where our summer leadership team comes to debrief and do the manual tasks associated with transitioning from summer to fall. These moments of transition are always bittersweet when you are a year-round camp director. On the one hand, you get to really sleep for the first time in almost three months. On the other, you are saying goodbye (for now) to people who have profoundly impacted you despite only knowing them for a short time. I’d like to share a brief excerpt from our closing circle at Rainbow Camp. While words fail to express my gratitude for your hospitality, I hope you hear it in the spaces between the words.

“One of my favorite things about outdoor ministry is that, over time as you move through a space, it begins to move through you. And so, Rainbow Camp is also the close of our summer season. It’s been 4 months and two days (but who is counting) since I started as Acting Director for Outdoor Ministry. I find it difficult to really put into words the way this space has moved through me this summer. In a large part, I find it difficult because in addition to the beautiful place, it is also these beautiful people who have had this profound impact on me. When you ask an individual to do all the things that are required to reopen a camp, the result is chaos and failure. But when you ask a team to do it? You experience a summer like the one we have had. Sure, things were often haywire; we were understaffed; things could’ve easily fallen apart at any moment; but instead, now we are here, in this beautiful moment, celebrating not only our camp community, but my community as well. I wasn’t sure as an out, loud, queer person what this job might be like, but with a staff like the one we have, who were endlessly supportive and adaptable, even the hardest moments felt joyful, peaceful, important. It is this sort of connectivity and love reflected in my staff that reminds me of the best experiences I have had as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. That moment when everything has fallen apart, but your chosen family picks up the pieces, that’s what camp, and being a queer person, is for me. So, I want to say thank you, whether you’ve shared this space with me for months, or you’ve just been here in this space today. I hope it moved you. I hope it changed you. And I hope you leave feeling a little better than you did when you got here.”

Hayley Elliott, Acting Director of Outdoor Ministry

More photos from the cabins at Deer Run

A few weeks ago, we reported how Tom Krueger chose DuBois Center to complete his Eagle Scout project on July 17-18.  Tom is part of the Troop 320 sponsored by Columbia St. Paul UCC, Scout Leader, Chris Neumann. Because of his efforts and 23 volunteers, the three cabins at Deer Run are now ADA compliant. Kudos Tom and friends. We thought you would like to see more photos of all the help needed to complete the project.

If you would like to volunteer time or resources to aid us in continuing to increase the accessibility of our property and program, please reach out or watch the Weekly Connection and the DuBois Center website/Facebook Page for information on how to volunteer in the future.

Deer Run Cabin 4Deer Run Cabin 6