Why a Window?

Two years ago last week, Sixth Avenue United Church of Christ in Denver, where I directed youth programming, dedicated beautifully restored stained-glass windows. This window restoration project had lasted about a year. We were lucky to get a matching grant from the state’s historical fund in order to preserve these beautiful windows. The work had to be done at the right season, as glass expands and contracts with the weather, and the coloration can change based on the elements to which it is exposed. The money had to be secured up front. This day felt like a big, big celebration for our church family.

And yet, on the day of the dedication, I missed it because I was working with the youth in the fellowship hall instead of being in the sanctuary. I was watching the beautiful fall morning light stream in through unstained, unrestored windows rather than the newly restored stained-glass windows. At first, I had a sense of jealousy of all those in my church who would get to experience worship and the dedication of our restored stained glass.

And then, I realized a bigger truth: I’ve often encountered God in spaces where stained glass would be absurd, such as hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail, listening to a new album from my favorite artists or bands, the moment my wife proposed to me, stargazing at DuBois Center, meeting my cousin’s children. Often, our most sacred moments happen to us outside of the spaces we identify as sacred. God meets us at every window if we give God the opportunity. I remembered in my moment of jealousy what Mary Oliver said of prayer:


“It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”

And so, two years after this moment that changed the way I perceived what is sacred, DuBois Center has become my new sacred space. We are raising money for new projects and to fix up some of our existing buildings. One of the projects on the list is new windows for Oak Lodge, and new windows for the office. My heart is warmed when I think of our current windows – the gateway to the sacred or a great view of the lake for around 55 years now. However, eventually original windows need updating – whether they are stained glass or not. Replacing these original, single-pane windows in Oak Lodge with double-pane, insulted windows at the same time we update HVAC, our energy efficiency increases greatly, and it will help us lower a high electric bill. The cost of the Oak Lodge Windows is $17,650.00. These windows give us a view into something ordinary that has become sacred to so many over the last 60 years. To contribute money to DuBois 6.0 and help us replace these windows, visit our website. I look forward to the opportunity for many more sacred encounters in Oak Lodge.

Blessings, Hayley Elliott, Acting Director of Outdoor Ministries


Flower 1

The Star Party, Wrangle & Ride and the Lenten Work Day have been canceled. 


The Star Party on March 20, and Wrangle & Ride and the Lenten Work Day both scheduled for Saturday, April 4 have been cancelled. Please contact Julie, our camp registrar, regarding refunds for Wrangle & Ride at register@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-357-1809.

This decision was not made lightly. Leadership of the Illinois South Conference and DuBois Center agree that stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a priority. We have great concern for our communities and especially for those with age or health considerations.

This decision was made from a sense that we are called to be faithful in this time. By staying home, we can help stop the spread of the virus. This is an expression of loving our neighbors, as well as our own families and friends.

Father – Son Retreat

March 31 – April 2:

Fathers, Grandfathers and Uncles – bring your sons, grandsons and nephews to DuBois Center for a weekend of quality guy time! Fish, hike, canoe and just hang out together. Make cool wood crafts, share in vespers and work on your archery skills. Horseback riding is available for an additional fee. Lodging is in the cottages in main camp. All ages are welcome, though most activities are geared for boys age 5 and older. Families participate together. For more information, check out this flyer. Registration by mail is now open; online registration opens February 15. Early Bird deadline is March 10; final deadline is March 17.Bruce & Anders with art work - cr

Summer Jobs

Make a difference this summer!

Summer 2017 might seem like a long way off, but at DuBois Center we are already hard at work planning the summer camp schedule, the program and facility improvements. We are also kicking off the staff recruitment season! Energetic, child-focused, fun-loving – sound like you or someone you know? Check out the Summer of Service flyer and consider whether an amazing summer at camp might be just the opportunity to make a difference you have been looking for. Open positions include cabin counselors, barn staff and coordinators. FAITH. FUN. HARD WORK. GREAT FRIENDS. LONG HOURS. RESUME-BUILDING, PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE. AMAZING MEMORIES. Questions? Contact the DuBois Center office at program@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202. Application packets are available online.

Office Manager Position Open

DuBois Center is currently accepting resumes for the position of Office Manager. This position is part-time (20-28 hours per week) and includes some benefits, such as paid vacation and sick days. The individual filling this position will be a key member of our core staff team and play a vital role in helping DuBois Center achieve its mission. The office manager’s friendly greeting is often the first introduction to our ministry of hospitality for a new guest or camper family. It is vital for the office manager to truly enjoy working with people and have strong computer and organizational skills.

Click here for more information regarding the position and application process.

Fall Festival!

October 2, 2016

It is never too early to start thinking about and preparing for DuBois Center’s annual Fall Festival. Each October, this event attracts approximately 2500 church and community members. It is our biggest friend and fund-raising event of the year. Mark your calendar and plan now to participate! The first Sunday in October is the traditional day for this extravaganza; it would be great if you could steer other church events away from this date if possible.

Mother-Daughter Retreat

October 14-16, 2016

A family tradition for many… why not make it one for yours? Laugh, play, sing and maybe even dance! Relax and re-energize your relationship with your daughter, mother, granddaughter, niece, aunt or other special woman or girl in your life. This playful, faith-based, fun-filled weekend may be just the break you need from hectic fall schedules. Weather permitting, activities will include archery, engaging Bible exploration, canoeing, crafts, creative dramatics, a hayride and campfire, hiking, music, pontoon boat rides, yoga and worship. You can even opt for a horseback ride. Register online at the top of the page or print this registration form and mail us a completed copy.

For more information about Mother-Daughter Retreat and our other fall activities, check out this brochure.

Attention High School Campers!

Adventure Tree is coming back!

We’re super pumped for High School Week, and are excited to announce that Adventure tree will once again be a part of the fun!

This extra-special piece of programming does require an additional waiver, which you can find linked below. If you have problems with getting the electronic copy printed, let us know and we’ll drop a paper copy in the mail to you. Please bring the completed waiver (with PARENT/GUARDIAN signature for campers under 18) to check-in on SUNDAY, JUNE 26.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns you can get ahold of us at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202.


Have a great week, and we’ll see you soon!


More Horsin’ Around this Summer

boy with horse - SQ

Has your camper completed 5th, 6th, or 7th grade?  Are they interested in horse camp? Due to popular demand, we are adding an extra session of Horsin’ Around to June 12-17. This session will occur in addition to the already scheduled Outpost Lab and Saddle ‘Em Up sessions on the rustic side that week. If you are interested in signing up for this exciting week, contact Christy at register@duboiscenter.org or 618-654-4052.

Fun Sunday!

Pentecost flame

Sunday, May 15

Save the date and join us for all or part of the afternoon festivities. Yummy food, great fellowship, an orientation for parents and prospective summer campers, and family-friendly activities – all these and more! We’ll start the day with a worship service celebrating the birth of the church. Rev. Howard Self will be our guide. If you plan to eat with us, meal reservations are due by noon on Monday, May 9. Contact us at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618.787.2202. Check out this flyer for more information. Did you know that the new chapel can hold nearly 200 people and is wheel-chair accessible? Make a day of it and experience joyful worship in the heart of God’s creation! Bring your entire congregation!



11 am              Pentecost Worship in New Chapel

12 – 2 pm          BBQ Meal Served

12:30-3:00       Activities

2:30-3:30         Camp Orientation