Need for nurses and medical staff

As we close in on summer planning, we are still in need of very special staff members and volunteers! We need camp nurses and medics (RN, LPN, CNA, EMT, NP, and MD welcome) for several more weeks this summer, but especially the week of June 19 – 24 and June 26 – July 1. Camp healthcare staff can be a paid position if you can dedicate to a full summer, or a volunteer position for camp scholarship of someone you know.

Please reach out to Hayley via director@duboiscenter.org if you are interested in volunteering or working as healthcare staff this summer!

Join us for our Open Houses

We have two open houses scheduled for April 9 and May 15 and look forward to seeing you at one or both events! On April 9, we’ll consider all things DuBois Center: our ecological focus, how to be involved as a volunteer for workdays or summer camp, and of course, our horse barn. On May 15, we’ll celebrate all things summer camp with cabin tours, camp games, a smores station sponsored by our friends at Camp Phoenix, and a birthday party for our beloved horse Dakota, who was born at DuBois Center 20 years ago this May.

We can’t wait to see you at DuBois Center!

Registration is now open!

Registration for our summer sessions is NOW OPEN!

Spots in our summer sessions are filling up quickly, and we experienced a record number of registrations on the first day! Visit our website for Summer Camp details and to register for summer camp this year! Early Bird Pricing runs through April 6.

We can’t wait to see you under the summer sun at DuBois Center.

Come breathe the fresh air at DuBois Center

Come out and join the fun:

March 26-27 – Confirmation Retreat at DuBois
April 1-3 – Father & Son Retreat
April 9 – DuBois Center Open House
April 15 – Stations of the Cross at DuBois Center
April 22-24 – Wrangle & Ride
April 23 – Volunteer Workday at DuBois Center
April 29-May 1 – Women’s Retreat – NEW
May 13-14 – Photography Retreat – NEW
May 15 – DuBois Center Open House
May 21-22 – Volunteer Retreat

DuBois Center Is Hiring!

We are still hiring a few more people to round out our summer staff with a special need for additional counselors. Counselors must be 18+ and willing to work with kids in several age groups. Working as a summer camp counselor is a great way to get job experience, make some extra money, and have fun. Email Rylee at program@duboiscenter.org for an application packet!!

Spring Happenings at DuBois Center

Start planning now for all these Spring events:
March 4 Stargazing PartyNEW
March 26-27 Confirmation Retreat
April 1-3 Father & Son Retreat
April 9 DuBois Center Open House
April 15 Stations of the Cross
April 22-24 Wrangle & Ride
April 23 Volunteer Workday at DuBois Center
April 29 – May 1 Women’s RetreatNEW
May 13-14 Photography RetreatNEW
May 15 DuBois Center Open House
May 21-22 Volunteer Retreat
For more information, visit our retreat page.

DuBois 6.0 – On the Move

DuBois Center will get a facelift in 2022. The current donations are at $44,971 because of generous donors. Thanks! We’re on our way!

Here’s what we’re striving to do:

Round 1 – under way:

  • Oak Lodge Air Conditioning $15,740 — Completed!
  • Oak Lodge Replace Windows $17,650 — Windows should be arriving in February
  • Camp Office Replace Windows $4,500 — Windows have arrived and are ready to be installed
  • New Fish Ridge Cabin on the Rustic Side of Camp $10,400 — Foundation has been built.  Waiting on Roof Trusses

Round 2 – Spring 2022:

  • Oak Lodge Basement Sealed and Purchase Dehumidifier $6,000
  • Program Directors House Updates $7,000
  • Deer Run Shower House $10,300
  • Deer Run Lodge Repairs and Updates $4,500
  • New Archery Range and Bouldering Wall $10,000

Later this year:

  • New Hillside Cottage $77,000
  • Lumber Shed Roof $3,000
  • Temporary Infirmary: To be reaccredited by the American Camping Association, we need a multi-bed infirmary temporarily in half of Roadside Cottage $3,000
  • Road Repairs $18,500
  • Deep Water Solar Lake Aerator $6,000
  • Boat House Solar Power $1,200
  • New Hay Barn $30,000
  • Fence Painting $500

How You Can Help:

  • Sponsor a project.
  • Share your mandatory IRA distributions
  • Donate Stock or Bonds
  • Share Tax Refund
  • Dinners – Plan to attend two special Taste of DuBois Dinners in 2022
  • Share Cryptocurrency
  • Sweat Equity
  • Donate Online at www.iscucc.org and www.DuBoisCenter.org.
  • Prayers

DuBois 6.0 Capital Campaign Goal: $225,290

Note: Project order will be determined by availability of materials and funds.

Contact United Church Funds at 212-729-2628 or matt.wagner@ucfunds.org to learn how to donate IRA distributions and stock to DuBois 6.0. Dates and more information on the Taste of DuBois dinners will be coming in early 2022.

An Invitation to Volunteer

Many of you have known me my whole life, but allow me to introduce myself. I’m Rylee Hodges-Stone and I grew up at DuBois Center. I’m now serving as Program Director and I’ve spent the off-season months reevaluating, revamping and creating programs. We’re now offering updated versions of popular middle-school specialty camps for high school age campers, we’re bringing some beloved camp themes back out of retirement, and we’re finding every way we can to better utilize our magnificent site with every activity.

Here is a picture of me at DuBois Center as a brand-new half-week camper. I was granted special exception to attend camp a year earlier than my grade level would allow. I begged my pastor, the late Gretchen Sterrett of New Baden Zion UCC, to write a letter explaining that I was the oldest kid in my class, and that I was certainly “mature enough to go.” She cut a deal with me: if I would work the chili and fish dinners to earn my camp scholarship, she’d get me in. I kept up my end of the deal, serving lemonade and helping with dishes at what must have been ten thousand dinners, and she kept up her end and got me into my home, The DuBois Center, just in the nick of time.

From deal-cutting half-weeker to dedicated horse camper to barn assistant to coordinator and now to Program Director, I’ve never lost my drive to serve all the lemonade it takes to get the job done. In this new position of management, I’ve created a goal for my staff: to better utilize staff training time, with a clear focus on establishing relationships, creating a strong love for DuBois Center and learning how to work as a team. This time needs to be spent fully devoted to certifying our staff on the key skills that are required every day of summer session. It’s crucial that we spend this limited time facilitating our staff’s familiarization with the site, the equipment, the job and the team – and maintain the flexibility to adapt to our diverse staff’s needs.

Even after this densely packed training ends, for seven weeks straight our staff members spend an average of 130 of the 168 hours in a week at DuBois Center. This leaves less than 48 hours for all personal needs to be met between sessions – this is a huge ask of every summer staff member and we owe it to them to do all we can to set them up for success. Our staff deserves excellent support because they work hard to create excellent experiences for our campers: summer camp is often the best week of a camper’s entire year.

2020 was not only our first year out of operation in decades, it also marked the departure of Shirley Asmussen, the long-serving director I had known as a camper. With all the chaos, it’s no wonder that many tasks have piled up – and they have piled up higher than our staff can handle without your help. Our summer staff arrive ready to fully commit to facilitating a safe and fun experience for each and every DuBois Center camper – your assistance with these tasks in the coming months means directly supporting our staff’s ability to keep their attention focused on the campers. I am asking for your help. Volunteer assistance with site preparation is needed before we can open for the 2022 Summer Session. 

I’ve scheduled a volunteer day and a volunteer retreat for the spring of 2022:

  • April 23rd – Volunteer Day
  • May 21st – 22nd – overnight Volunteer Retreat

All of the work can be done at an entry-level skill set, no special expertise or tools necessary – if you can push a broom, pull a weed, or dust a cobweb, we need your help! Ready to pitch in?

I love DuBois Center. I loved being a camper, and it means the world to me to be able to welcome new generations of campers, and even second and third generation campers back to our camp for fun, adventure, worship, and growth. We all need each other, and right now we need you. DuBois Center is so unique among area camp facilities for its strong legacy of families, communities and congregations working together to “pay it forward” and keep our doors and arms open.

I invite you to remind yourself why DuBois Center is a part of your life, to be in God’s place and help set up another generation of great camper experiences. Anyone that wants to help DuBois Center is welcome.

Best, DuBois Center Program Director, Rylee Hodges-Stone

Do You Receive an Automatic IRA Distribution?

If you receive an automatic IRA distribution that you don’t need for living expenses, perhaps from an inherited IRA, please consider donating it to the DuBois 6.0 capital campaign this year.

We have already received close to $39,000 of the $225,290 needed to complete the 17 projects included in this campaign. The Oak Lodge air conditioning project is almost finished, and three other projects are just waiting on some materials and volunteers to finish them. The second round of projects needs to start soon, some of which includes work on the Deer Run shower house and lodge, moving the archery range and building a new bouldering wall. These projects will add tent camping capacity and programming activities to the 2022 summer camp season. Your donations will make a big difference in getting these done in the first quarter of the year.

If you would like to donate an IRA distribution to DuBois 6.0, please contact Matt Wagner with United Church Funds at matt.wagner@ucfunds.org for more information.

Our prayer for 2022

God of Creation,

In this new year we pray that optimism and hope springs forth from winter’s quiet evenings.

We look forward to the laughter of children that is to come on our grounds this year. We look forward to fellowship, discipleship, simplicity, and community.

We pray for Your guidance as we endeavor on new efforts and navigate change.

We also understand the truth written by Meister Eckhart long ago: “God is not found in the soul by adding anything but by subtracting.” May we all find You in a distractible world by taking the time to subtract – distractions, egos, and all that stands in the way of knowing and loving You, and knowing and loving our neighbors on Your earth.

We seek to serve You and to serve others well.

And we pray for all those who come into contact with our ministry this year. May they see You in our work and in our hearts. Amen.