A Gift to the Community; a Gift to Camp

Bailey

CocoaSince 2017, Zion UCC in Addieville has been extending a hand of welcome and encouraging young people to make new friends, grow in their faith, and experience the joy of DuBois Center. Each spring, the church sends an “Every Door Direct” mailing to their community through the postal service inviting families to give their kids the gift of camp. The church pays for all but a small portion of the camp fee for everyone who applies.

Over the years, this has been a great way to support DuBois Center with new campers and good PR, while spreading the word about Zion’s family-friendly ministry. This year, with no summer camp, there were no campers to support. Instead, church leaders decided to allocate the $5000 that would have typically paid for summer camp fees to support DuBois Center directly. Their gift will help to ensure the Center’s viability during these challenging times.

A SPECIAL THANKS to Zion UCC in Addieville!

No major Storm Damage

Chapel Tree - CR

Today we were able to check out the damage around camp. We had heavy winds for 20-30 minutes, but miraculously, there appears to be no major damage to any buildings or facilities… at least not that we have found so far.

The bees are buzzing and their hives appear untouched. The horses were in the Deer Run pasture which suffered less damage and also appear to be fine. We’ll check on them again tomorrow.

We did, however, lose a number of trees, and the ground and roads are littered with branches of all sizes. There is some delicate work needed. There is a tree gently leaning onto the roof of Coveside cottage. The chapel in Main Camp has much less shade now, but the benches are mostly intact. Some work will be needed when the remains of a large tree are removed.

Thanks for keeping DuBois Center in your thoughts and prayers.

Coveside 1

 

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Chapel - CR

Sink Holes & Donors

Sink Hole 1

Late last fall, a “sink hole” was discovered in the Rustic Village and theories about its origin were flying. Old records were examined, and calls were made to past staff members to determine the cause. Early in 2020, volunteers from Grantfork UCC arrived with their mini excavator. They gently dug around the collapsed area and confirmed our worst suspicions. The 50-year-old septic system had caved in on itself.

Then came meetings, bids and state reviews. The work was scheduled to begin in mid-May, but heavy rains and a surprise backlog of projects for the contractor delayed the project. The work began in early July and was nearly completed. There are now new pipes from the Rustic Shower House to the new septic tank and then on to the new sand filter.

This is all good news, except that there was nothing in the budget for this surprise expense.  Fortunately, late in 2019, DuBois Center received two sizable gifts. The Legacy Gift from the members of St. Peter Evangelical UCC in Granite City upon the closing of their church and the subsequent sale of their facility totaled a donation of $12,000 to DuBois Center. The other gift of $10,000 was an anonymous gift from a UCC church member. Both were undesignated with the intention that they would be used to support the ministry of DuBois Center. The ISC Conference Council decided to set aside a portion of the funds for deferred maintenance and major projects at DuBois Center. Within the next month or two, the sink hole emerged. The timing of these gifts could not have been better!

A special thanks to the former members of the Granite City St. Peter Evangelical UCC and the anonymous donor for their critical support.

Sink Hole 2Sink Hole 3

Sixty Seconds of Solitude

Rustic Chapel

Today we share another edition of 60 Seconds of Solitude from DuBois Center. It’s often difficult to take time to breathe deeply, relax, and remember that God is always with us. We hope these short videos of scenes from around camp will provide the inspiration needed.

Today we are sitting in the Rustic Chapel – this summer, a site of fallow ground. If you really listen, you can almost hear the songs of joy, heart-felt prayers, and words of inspiration, challenge and forgiveness. The Rustic Chapel nestled lakeside among tall oak trees truly is a sacred space.

 

Fall Festival Postponed

Fall Festival

Again, with a heavy heart, we announce that another major DuBois Center event is postponed. As you are hopefully aware, our priority is the health and safety of our campers, guests and staff. As COVID-19 cases rise steadily throughout Washington county, our region, and across the nation, it is clear that to proceed with this event would not be the cautious or sensible approach. As we examined the amount of nearly constant disinfecting, crowd control and monitoring that would be required, it became clear that to proceed was just not feasible.

THANKS to everyone who has already invested time and energy in this event. We are looking forward to celebrating together again in 2021.

The first Fall Open House was held in 1977; that was the beginning of our annual Fall Festival. This would have been year #43 for this important friend- and fund-raising event.

A Salute to Week #6 and all our 2019 Staff and Volunteers

Staff

We are celebrating DuBois Center 2019 campers and leaders from Week #6, as well as our staff and volunteers from throughout the summer!

We MISS EVERYONE who would have made DuBois Center come to life this summer. We have a bunk or apron or lifeguard tube reserved for you and hope you’ll make plans now to meet back at DBC next summer! A big thumbs up to our Girl Power and Pony Express campers, and all the amazing staff and volunteers who make camp possible!

If you haven’t already done so, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to see more photos and stay connected.

Girl Power!Pony Express

Fall Festival 2020?

Fall Festival 2020

Do we know for certain that on Sunday, October 4 we will be able to throw open the gates and welcome guests, vendors and volunteers to Fall Festival 2020? Sadly, the answer is NO. There is no way to know this far out if large gatherings will be safe to offer. We all hope and pray that our communities will help to control the spread of COVID-19, but we can’t predict the future or the behavior of our friends and neighbors, much less strangers.

The date is reserved and volunteers are beginning their preparations. No commitment of funds is needed until early September, so for now we wait and prepare and pray. Any word of postponement will come approximately six weeks in advance of the event. This is a short time frame for final planning and preparations, so be thinking NOW how you might be able to assist.

Sixty Seconds of Solitude

Lake

Today’s edition of 60 Seconds of Solitude from DuBois Center features the bigger lake in main camp. This video was taken from the dock at Oak Lodge. Water is one of the basic elements of God’s creation and is essential for life. Lakes, oceans, creeks – for many they have a calming effect.

We encourage you to take sixty seconds to relax your shoulders, breathe deeply, gaze upon the waters and remember that the God who created renewing waters is with us always. Watch for weekly solitude postings on our website and Facebook page.

 

Mystery Cleaning Crew

Bryozoa

Ever wish for a cleaning crew that would quietly and quickly take care of your home – at no cost? We think we may have just such an anomaly at DuBois Center. Due to uncertain finances and difficulties finding a new lake treatment contractor, the decision was made to either not treat the lake this summer or significantly limit the number of treatments.

As usual in late spring, algae growth was evident; along the shoreline, it was reaching out about eight feet in places. Surprisingly the algae never grew much beyond that. The lake did “turn over” a time or two, but still there is typically always algae, and now – in the heat of the summer – there is almost none. Yes, that’s right – almost none! On closer inspection, what we did find was a multitude of Bryozoa, a mysterious moss animal.

We first noticed these creatures a couple summers ago and did some initial research then. We learned that they are not toxic, venomous or harmful to humans. They do have an “ick” factor because they appear to be gelatinous blobs and attach themselves to docks and ladders. The biggest issue, of which we are aware, is their tendency to occasionally clog underwater screens or drainage pipes – much like algae and mushy leaves.

Bryozoa are tiny colony animals, which means they live in community with each other – sounds very camp-like! Thousands of individual moss animals, typically only .02 inches in length, make up the one blob pictured here. Here’s the mystery cleaning connection – they have little “arms or fingers” with tentacles that strain food particles out of the water and in doing so, help to clean our lake water. Are they the reason for our nearly algae-free lake? We don’t know for certain, but if not – it is a strange coincidence.

AlgaeClean Lake

Virtual Campfire – Tonight, July 23rd

Campfire

We hope you will join us TONIGHT at 7pm Central Time for the last DuBois Center virtual campfire of the summer! Everyone is welcome!

This week we are saluting our 2019 campers and leaders from week #6 with lots of great photos – Girl Power and Pony Express. It was only a three-day week, but there are lots of great photos! We are also celebrating all the staff and volunteers who made summer 2019 such a success! There are lots of great, and some silly, photos of them as well.

This edition is again packed with fun. No bad jokes, but you’ll see lots your favorite camp leaders and sing lots of silly and serious camp songs. I’ll be hosting the campfire with special help from Minnow, Shark Bait and Sparrow!

If all goes as planned, you’ll be able to join us via the chat function during the initial viewing. After tonight, the video will still available to view, but the chat feature won’t be activated.

Hope you can join us tonight!

If you have questions about tonight, contact DuBois Center directly at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618.787.2202 BEFORE 5pm or dbcprogramoffice@gmail.com AFTER 5pm.