HATS OFF to our Volunteer Nurses!

nurse hat

Health care professionals are a key component of our summer camp ministry, but rather than starched “whites” you are more likely to find them decked out in camp tees, shorts and sunscreen. Camp nurses deal with a variety of ailments – everything from ticks to homesickness, fevers to sprains. They provide special attention when a camper needs a little extra TLC or just a break from the action. Theirs is a ministry of presence, compassion and healing.

This past summer, we were blessed by the ministry of two volunteer camp nurses. A very special thanks to Donna Asbridge from St. Paul’s UCC in Freeburg and Kathy Asselmeier from St. John UCC in Maeystown. As usual, Nurse Bandit (Donna’s camp name) went above and beyond. She was present for every Sunday and Wednesday check-in day – all nine of them, whether she was the nurse for the week or not. She was always ready to jump in with her ukulele or guitar and assist with worship, or provide wise counsel for our leaders. This was summer #8 for Donna – at least in recent history, and each of these summers she has volunteered for multiple weeks. Nurse Stitch (Kathy’s camp name) was new to her role at camp, but definitely not new to nursing! She was a great addition to our team with her winning smiles and calm demeanor. Her motivation? A heart for service and hugs from her grandchildren, one of whom was attending camp on her own for the first time. Thanks to both of these amazing women!

If you are an RN, please consider serving with us next summer. For more information, contact Shirley at shirley.director@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202.

Sunday Welcome Team – THANK YOU!

Welcome Team

Each Sunday of our summer camp season, DuBois Center buzzes with scores of excited campers and their families. Extending gracious hospitality and ensuring a smooth check-in process with as few delays is a tall order – one made possible ONLY with the help of 12-15 volunteers each week. Our Sunday Welcome Team braves the humid summer temps with smiles on their faces as they direct parking, greet families, check heads for critters, screen health forms, catch and drive pontoon boats, operate the camp store, and direct the flow of traffic through the check-in process. This summer we set a NEW RECORD with 49 different volunteers! Many served on multiple Sundays; all made a HUGE difference! Eleven of these volunteers were part of “head check” teams from St. Paul UCC in Waterloo – THANK YOU so much!

On behalf of the Outdoor Ministries Team (OMT), DuBois Center staff, parents and campers, we would like to extend a hearty and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who assisted this summer: Kim Altmansberger, Donna Asbridge, Kathy Asselmeier, Casey & Nicole Avise-Rouse, Craig & Katie Jo Bielke, Debbie Clinebell, Joan Daab, Sue Davis, Yvonne Dehner, Christy Eckert, Aaron, Harmon & Susan Fuchs, Julie & Roger Harris, Audrey Hicks, Wendy Hill, John, Sara & Torrie Holst, JT Iorio, Anne & David Jackson, Leah & Wendy Juenger, Don Kaiser, Sandy & Scott Kuether, Cara Magee-Johnston, Judy Matzenbacher, Vaughn Mavers, Sam Morgan, Sharon Murphy, Todd Mushaney, Jason Petry, Sharon Schaefer, Alaina Scherle, Joe & Kara Schmid, Carol & David Shanks, Bill & Kay Theobald, Nancy Wagner, Darline Weihl, Sandy Westbrook and Angie Zapp. Please forgive us if we missed anyone; everyone’s efforts are greatly appreciated!

Thank You to our Volunteer Chaplains!

chaplains
In June and July, we served over 400 young people in camps sponsored by the Illinois South Conference. It was an amazing summer and we are especially thankful for all the volunteer chaplains that helped make the PEACE WORKS theme come alive for our campers.
It was especially fun to see “Messy Church” techniques at play at camp this summer. Chaplains led BLAST (Bible Learning and Spirit Time), prepared vespers and provided an amazing ministry of presence – walking with our campers and staff throughout each week.
Our team was quite an eclectic bunch. Some are ordained ministers, one an in-care student. Some are school teachers, some are former campers and summer staff members. Some are retired, and some took time off work to serve with us.
Thanks so much to all the 2019 volunteer summer camp chaplains and the churches that supported their efforts. They truly had a significant impact on the faith lives of our campers and staff!:
Nicole Avise-Rouse – Epiphany UCC, St. Louis & St. Paul UCC, Waterloo
Craig Bielke – St. Paul UCC, Belleville
Rev. Katie Jo Bielke – St. John UCC, Collinsville
Joan Daab – St. Paul UCC, Columbia
Rev. Christy Eckert – St. John UCC, Trenton      
Audrey Hicks – St. Paul UCC, Waterloo
Rev. John Holst – Zion UCC, Marion
Rev. Todd Mushaney – Christ UCC, Dupo
Rev. Patrick Poole – St. John UCC, Maeystown & Zion UCC, St. Joe, Waterloo
Alaina Scherle – St. Paul UCC, Waterloo

Camp Lost & Found

Rustic Chapel

Gone are the days when every mother meticulously sewed printed labels into her child’s camp gear and school clothes. Good for moms, not so good for lost and found!

Every summer, a mountain of towels, socks, shorts and water bottles accumulates at DuBois Center. This year was no different. Much of our 2019 collection has already been returned, but even more is waiting to go home. If you or your camper, or someone you know, lost something at camp – let us know. Send an email to dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org with a detailed description and we’ll check the boxes and bags in the office. Give us a week or two to check and get back to you!

Unclaimed items will be held until September 10 and are then donated to charitable organizations.

Camp Counselor – So Much More than ‘Just a Summer Job’

2019 staff
They’re off – some to school, some on family vacations or traveling with friends, some back home to another country. Most barely had time to eat, sleep and do laundry before heading off on their next adventure. In their wake, DuBois Center is now a much quieter place. We will miss all the energy and enthusiasm, but mostly we will miss their hearts and spirit.
It’s always hard to explain the ethos, or “magic,” of camp to those who have not experienced it, but Georgia, better known as Croc, does a nice job of describing it in a recent Facebook post:
“Earlier this year I applied for a job at a summer camp… and while I was nervous about spending my summer away from home and having almost no free time, I’m so glad I made the decision to work here. The amount of love that this small camp has to offer is incredible. The people I worked with are some of the most loving and caring people I’ve ever met. I am so grateful that God guided me in this direction and I will always be thankful for the experience this summer offered me. DuBois Center: you will always hold a special place in my heart.️ Also, I’d like to give an individual shoutout to my OCD, V8 loving, horse crazy, barn chore fanatic friend, Catie Goetter. Working in the barn with you this summer was so much fun and I’m so glad I had you by my side the whole time. Even though we’re polar opposites and definitely tested each other’s patience a few times, I appreciate you and love you lots.”
May God bless them all on their journeys!

PEACE, LOVE & KITTENS

Kittens

As our summer camp season draws to a close, some of the very best memories are of new friends made amid the mud, bug bites and late night adventures. These campers likely had no idea that while they were exploring the creek or playing on the water mat, they were growing together through shared experiences in God’s amazing creation and forming an intentional community. They were breaking down barriers and building relationships with people very different from themselves. They were building Christian community.

Peace, love and kittens…. it’s more than just a slogan.

Rainbow Camp Registration Deadline is July 26!

Rainbow Camp Photo

The 5th Annual Rainbow Camp will be held at DuBois Center on Saturday, Aug 10.  It’s a full day of fun in community, where everyone is recognized as a whole child of God. Anyone can attend, regardless of denomination, and all ages are welcome. Rainbow Camp is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer singles, couples and families. Straight allies are welcome, too!

See the informational flyer for more details. To register online, click here.

Memory of the week

Big feet

Big Foot sighting at DuBois Center! These Outback campers and leaders had a great time at the beach one evening. They danced, they sang, they played in the sand. Gotta love it when being goofy is the new cool!

This sneak peek into camp life is brought to you through the lens of a “family group” camera. Over the past 18 months, we have been collecting point and shoot models. These donations have been a big hit all summer and are gifts that keep on giving as they capture amazing moments each week.

Donations of small digital cameras – in good condition – are still being accepted. For more information contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202.

WEATHER at DuBois Center

Kwik Cricket

This was a week of weather extremes for campers and leaders at DuBois Center – rain, lightning and heat. So how do we adapt when the weather throws us a curve-ball or two? First, we switch to the weird & wacky weather schedule. We are up at 6:30 for activities before the heat and storms. Then it’s time for breakfast and more activities. BLAST (Bible Learning and Spirit Time) and a relaxing “siesta” are reserved for the heat of the day. Next, round up extra fans and water jugs, and make sure plenty of frozen treats and beverages with extra electrolytes are on hand.

So that takes care of the heat. What about the rain? Many camp activities are just as much fun under soggy skies! This group thoroughly enjoyed their rain-soaked game of Kwik Cricket!

So please keep us in your prayers as the temperatures rise, but know that plans are in place to keep campers hydrated, healthy and happy.

WELCOME TEAM for the WIN!

Welcome Team

This is a big week at DuBois Center – lots of campers, lots of NEW campers, lots of volunteers and an amazing turnout for the Sunday Welcome Team. A total of 19 volunteers – in addition to those staying for the week – hit the field to welcome campers and their families. That’s a new record!

The parking lot was packed, but with additional volunteers giving directions – it wasn’t as issue. There were lots of heads to be checked and medications to be reviewed, but again – not an issue. Non-stop pontoon boat shuttles to the landing in the Rustic Village – easy!

This short-term service opportunity makes a HUGE difference, especially for first-time campers and their parents. Watch for a list of our 2019 Welcome Team volunteers in upcoming Weekly Connections.