Recognizing our Kitchen and Maintenance Staff

Kitchen staff

In the world of summer camps, there are often very public personalities, but it’s the behind-the-scenes jobs that keep us all afloat. We could not have had a successful summer season without our kitchen staff, led by Jason Pauley our Food Service Coordinator, and our maintenance team, Tom and Josh. We are so grateful for those that choose to serve our camp with their various talents and skills.

If you would like to send the kitchen staff or the maintenance team a thank you card, mail can be received for them at our camp address.

Eagle Scout Project Complete

Deer Run Cabin

Thanks to Tom Krueger for choosing to complete an Eagle Scout Project on site – building ADA ramps at the Deer Run Cabins! Continuing to increase the accessibility of our site is just one way we live out our call to welcome all people to enjoy God’s creation here at DuBois Center! Tom and a crew completed this project on Saturday, July 17. Thank you, Tom!

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

Thanks to our volunteers!

Volunteers

In a summer like no other, many folks stepped up to help us pull off the incredible camp programming we have accomplished this summer. Over 350 youth were able to come to camp this summer, many of whom did not get to go to a camp in 2020. So many folks have given one, two, three, and even four weeks of their time to support the mission of DuBois Center and support us in this unprecedented summer. It has truly been an honor to watch those who love this camp come through for our programs this year and choose to be here. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! Thank you for answering our calls.

If you or someone you know loves youth, nature, crafts, swimming, or horses, consider joining us as a volunteer or staff member in 2022!

Praise for Our Summer Staff’s Efforts

Sawdust

When you become a part of a new organization, it is often difficult to determine what the “backbone” of support for that organization is. Often, the backbone shifts depending on the situation. In an unprecedented time, a small but mighty team of 13 individuals said, “I’m in!” to making summer camp happen for our campers this year. Faced with the challenge of being about 7 staff members too short, and many other challenges that come with reopening a facility after almost two years, they have maintained incredible attitudes, displayed remarkable flexibility, and perhaps most importantly, displayed God’s Kindness, Love, and Inclusion to the youth of our churches and area.

Joined by many volunteers, they have served over 200 youth at our camps, helped secure new business by extending welcome and kindness to guest groups on site, and even done many manual labor tasks around the property as needed. They have done this all while following our guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread at our facility and helping keep our campers and their families safe. If you know someone who is on our 2021 summer staff or has given a week of their time to volunteer and assist us in pulling off this unprecedented summer, please send them your gratitude! They have taught me many lessons this summer in having grace under pressure and living into our most flexible natures. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

Photo shows counselors from left to right Kermit (aka Leah Hill), SharkBait (aka Ryan Goetter), and Minnow (aka Bailey Avise-Rouse). They are shoveling sawdust to replace dirty sawdust which had been removed from the barn stalls.

Blessings,

Hayley Elliott, Acting Director of Outdoor Ministries

Volunteers needed – July 11 – 16

Creek Walk

We are still in need of a few more volunteers to make our summer at camp complete! For July 11 – 16, we need six female volunteers and three male volunteers to counsel. We are expecting an overly full house of campers next week, which is exciting but cannot happen without these additional volunteers. Volunteer counselors must be 18 or older!

If you or someone you know is interested in giving back to the youth of our churches and our region, please fill out our volunteer application, found here, and email it directly to Hayley at director@duboiscenter.org.

We appreciate your support in our summer like no other!

Rainbow Camp 2021 registration is open!

Rainbow Camp

Camp will be Sat, Aug 7 at DuBois Center, from 9 am-7 pm. It’s a full day, and you can be as active or as relaxed as you like. We’ve got everything from horseback riding and archery to pontoon rides and crafts in the craft grotto overlooking the lake.

Rainbow Camp was started for LGBTQ+ folks and straight allies. This year, we extend a special invitation to neurodivergent folks to join us, too. Everyone is welcomed as a whole child of God at DuBois Center.

Register by going to www.DuBoisCenter.org, click register, and search under Day Camps. Secure the early bird rate by registering before July 18.

Rainbow Camp is a whole lot of fun in the sun – come join the party. Click here for a flyer.

An Excellent Start – Volunteers Still Needed

Amani3

Already it has been a fabulous summer at DuBois Center. After a complete shutdown last summer, we all pulled together to be able to give over 200 children and youth the “DuBois experience” through summer camps. This would not have been possible without the extra networking support we received from you in regards to staffing for the summer season. While we have had enough staff to cover all of the responsibilities thus far, as we look to the remaining camps and retreats we will offer in the weeks ahead, we are still in need of additional volunteers to enhance the experience of our campers and guests.

Specifically, we would like to have some more volunteer counselors (both male and female) for July 11th through July 17th. We would also like to have a few more lifeguards for July 23rd through July 31st. Extra volunteers would allow certain staff and counselors to get more breaks than they have had. It would also alleviate the incredible workload of our new Director, Hayley Elliott, who has jumped in and moved mountains to make sure we were able to open the camp this summer and offer the life-changing camp experience to so many. Please help us share the word that these volunteers are still needed. All persons must be at least 18 years old for these positions.

For all who are interested in helping DuBois Center continue to be a place of extravagant welcome for all of God’s children, please reach out directly to Hayley Elliot at director@duboiscenter.org or call or text Hayley on her direct line at 828-707-4022.

Again thank you for your continued support of DuBois Center.
Rev. Shana Johnson, ISC Conference Minister

The Magic of DuBois Center

St. Paul Lebanon Jr Sr High Youth outing

by Becky Harrison, Secretary at St. Paul UCC, Lebanon

It was scheduled for Sunday, May 2, 2021. A Jr/Sr High Youth outing to DuBois Center. Lot’s of planning and effort went in to picking a date (no small task), coordinating with DuBois Center staff, deciding on a mission project (thank you, Nancy Wagner), gathering supplies, and coordinating a worship and communion service with Pastor Don. Kids and parents alike were so looking forward to getting back to DuBois, or going for the first time. Weather forecasters predicted a comfortable, sunny day, so all was right with the world . . . until a few days later. The forecast changed dramatically from warm and sunny to cool, overcast and rainy. All the planning in the world couldn’t keep the weather from changing. Then, a couple of people had to cancel. Drat!

When the day finally came, I felt excited, but anxious. Had I remembered everything? Were we going to get all the way down there and get rained out? Were the kids going to bored? Were the adults going to be bored? Could the weather have cooperated—at the very least? Was any of this worth the effort? Should I just stay home and take a nap?

After a 1/2 hour delay getting started due to a miscommunication on my part (another sign, perhaps?) we pressed on, and forty-five minutes later we pulled into the entrance of DuBois Center and saw the sign above welcoming our group. We parked, unloaded our haul and made the short walk to Oak Lodge. Inside the lodge, we parked the wagon full of cleaning supplies, our coolers full of goodies for lunch, and I gave a brief rundown of the plans for the day, still wondering what important items I surely had forgotten. Everyone took a moment to get settled in and visit the facilities before we got ready for lunch and the rest of the day’s activities.

BubblesAfter taking a moment to let out a big sigh of relief, I walked through one of the back doors of the lodge leading out to the huge covered patio. As soon as that screen door “whapped” shut behind me and I had a moment to look out over the lake, it happened. With each step I took, it felt like 50 lb. weights fell off of my shoulders. The anxiety fell away, my aggravation at local weather forecasters fell away, if I forgot something—who cared? That, my friends, is the magic of DuBois Center—in the nutshell. No matter how stressed and anxious I am, no matter how irritating highway drivers were on the trip down, no matter all of the other unpleasant things going on in life, it all just melts away when I step on that back porch!

Read the entire article

Camp Schedule

Apache

Days at DuBois Center are filled with fun, laughter and a variety of activities. Our camp sessions have lots in common, including many classic camp activities. A number of these can be adapted for different age groups. Some however, such as archery and canoeing, are reserved for older campers.

Click here to see the schedule.

What Pride Month and Camp Have in Common

This Is Our Prayer

Every year in June, we celebrate Pride month, a special time to recognize the lives, achievements, and history of the LGBTQIA+ community. I first attended a pride event in 2014, when I was not quite “out of the closet” and was longing for a place to be included – a theme we explore in our summer camp curriculum “This is Our Prayer”. What I found at this event was shocking to me – I learned that I was part of a community that was celebrating their wholeness, accepting people wherever they were on their journeys, and telling the world that they would no longer be treated as second class citizens simply for being who they were created to be. For many years, I had struggled with a cognitive misperception of Pride, believing fully that “pride goes before the fall”. What I have learned in my continued journey as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community is that the Pride we celebrate has nothing to do with arrogance, but instead is about rejecting the shame that many of us were taught to feel about the people that we are. Pride is about celebrating our stories, and the immovability of our community.

At my first pride event, I realized that feeling of acceptance for being exactly who I am had been rare in my life up until that point, but that the first place I had ever felt it was summer camp. Camp allows kids the space to bring their goofy, whole selves to every activity, conversation, and cabin. In a world that can sometimes shame kids for their curiosity and behavior that does not conform to a societal “norm”, camp is a place where we celebrate each other’s quirkiness.

I am forever grateful that I stumbled into that first pride event in 2014, and that I found open and affirming churches shortly thereafter with whom to attend Pride events every year since. I am also grateful to spend Pride month in 2021 at DuBois Center, celebrating every camper that comes through our gate.

At DuBois Center, we are working each day to build a more comprehensively inclusive environment. From frank conversations including subjects from the way things have been named in the past that may create exclusion to planning for a busy Rainbow Camp on August 7, we are looking forward to leveling up our inclusive practices.

I am looking forward to joining you all in the journey toward celebrating the wholeness of God’s human creations!

Hayley Elliott, Acting Director.