Giving Thanks!


For many, November 1 kicks off a month of daily thankfulness. Reasons to give thanks are plentiful at DuBois Center. God’s creation is majestic – the plants, the critters, the people, the seasons. Enjoy this autumn sunset at DuBois Center. In the words of Don Moen, “Give thanks with a grateful heart; give thanks to the Holy One.”

In addition to this sunset, we are celebrating and giving thanks for God’s creation with some of our favorite 60 Seconds of Solitude from this year. Get comfortable; relax your neck, shoulders and back; breathe in deeply; and know that God IS.


Family Time at DuBois Center


Family Camping is becoming a new norm at DuBois Center, with housing and programming based around small, intact groups. Families come for the day or stay overnight in a cottage or a side of a cottage. Most activities are done in these same small groups. For other activities, masking up and frequent hand washing or sanitizing are the norm. Everyone tries to use only the restroom in his/her own cottage or another assigned area, except in an emergency. Families carry their own hand sanitizer and take their trash directly to the dumpster.

Dr. Jillian Mayer, Director of Christian Education & Faith Formation at St. Paul UCC in Waterloo was the first to organize a true overnight family camp at DuBois Center during this season of COVID. She planned grab-and-go and cookout meals for the families as well as a variety of small group activities. Horses were a part of the mix, but riders and leaders masked up when appropriate and gear was cleaned between riders.

As the OMT (Outdoor Ministry Team) continues planning for spring and summer – watch for a variety of family-oriented events. Distance when you can, mask when you can’t, and enjoy quality family time at DuBois Center.












It’s Back!


The fence across the dam is back! Actually, a new and improved version replaced the section removed for spillway upgrades. A SPECIAL THANKS to the team from Grantfork UCC for their installation work and to all the individuals and groups that painted…and painted… and painted. There are additional boards and posts ready to go when the Grantfork team returns in 2021 to work on other sections of fencing.

Rake & Roast


Service! Fellowship while Distancing! Quality Time Outdoors!

It’s snowing leaves at DuBois Center, and that means it’s time to rake, blow and burn. Many hands make the task easier, faster and more fun. So, gather your youth, family or fellowship group and spend an autumn day, morning or afternoon at camp. You are welcome to bring a picnic meal or roast hot dogs and marshmallows over a campfire. If you have rakes or leaf blowers – bring them!

COVID safety procedures will be place. Contact DuBois Center for more information or to reserve a time: or 618-787-2202. Current permission and waiver forms required.


The Season of Giving


Throughout the year, we give thanks for gifts that support ministry at DuBois Center. Some give in response to special request or projects, such as replacing mattresses, installing a new spillway, adding new docks. Some give in thanksgiving for gifts received. For example, a church or individual receives an unexpected gift and then shares some of that gift. Some designate memorials and even estate gifts. Some give annually. All of these are wonderful ways to support our ministry.  Another option is through budgeted monthly or quarterly gifts.

We would like to extend a SPECIAL THANKS to the following churches for their regular, ongoing support: St. Paul’s UCC – Freeburg, St. Paul UCC – Nashville, St. Peter UCC – Red Bud and Zion UCC – Marion.












Ongoing Support

Girl Power!

Historically, St. Peter’s UCC in Okawville has had strong ties to DuBois Center. This has been evident over the years through their support of summer campers, and their participation in workdays, Fall Festival and special fundraising efforts. They put on a great Shrimp Boil to support the new spillway and HVAC in Oak Lodge! Members have served and currently serve on ISC committees related to DuBois Center, on our summer staff, as chaplains and volunteers in other capacities.

Each spring they kick off recruitment efforts with a Camp Sunday and from there they provide significant support for their young people to attend summer camp. This year, with no summer camp, there were no campers to support. Instead, church leaders decided to allocate the $3500 that would have typically paid for summer camp fees to support DuBois Center directly. This gift will help to ensure the Center’s viability during these challenging times.

A SPECIAL THANKS to St. Peter’s UCC in Okawville!

It’s a Family Affair


Over the last couple of weeks a number of different small groups have been at DuBois Center for work days. Three hard workers from the Sullivan–Zbinden family spent part of their fall break from school lending a helping hand. Both Aralynn and Bailey were campers in 2019 and were planning to return in 2020, along with other family members. This year, they got their dose of DuBois in October instead of June or July. They hauled brush, painted and moved rocks for the pollinator gardens… and kept on smiling! They also took time to enjoy a picnic lunch and to visit the horses.

St. Paul UCC in Waterloo was back at camp for a second day this fall. This time, youth group members enjoyed trail rides in the morning, lunch in the back of a pick-up truck, and then an afternoon of work projects. This crew raked and raked and raked, then they moved 455 pieces of wood – first into the truck and then into the wood shed. A SPECIAL THANKS to these members of DuBois Center’s extended family! P.S. No, they did not ride on the back of the truck wVolunteers3hen moving the wood.










Sixty Seconds of Solitude

Deer Run

Fall has arrived and with it all the beauty of the season! A carpet of leaves covers the ground and the air is fresh and crisp – especially on windy days. Today’s edition of 60 Seconds of Solitude features an early fall view of the lake at Deer Run on an especially windy day. Sit comfortably, relax your shoulders, breathe deeply and let the winds refresh you from afar. John 3:8 Only God’s Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. (CEV)

Watch for occasional solitude postings on our website and Facebook page.

Fall Festival Challenge


If you have already contributed to the Fall Festival Challenge – THANK YOU! If not, there is still time! To date, nearly $1500 has been given! Norma Borgmann, Nancy Wagner and the Outdoor Ministries Team (OMT) are challenging friends of DuBois Center to keep the spirit alive. This would have been the 44th year for some version of this event. It is typically a major friend-raising and fund-raising event for the Center.

We hope you will consider donating $1, $2, $3 or more each year of Fall Festival.
$1 per year = a Yellow Leaf giver at $44
$2 per year = a Red Leaf giver at $88
$3 per year = an Orange Leaf giver at $132
Anything above this amount would be at the Gold Leaf level.

If you are a Fall Fest “regular,” it might be fun to consider what you would have spent at or for Fall Festival 2020 – either as a participant or as a volunteer or a provider of goods to be sold.  You may donate online or send a check to DuBois Center; 2651 Quarry Road; DuBois, IL 62831. Please be sure to note that your gift is in response to the Fall Fest Challenge.

Thank you for keeping the ministry of DuBois Center in your thoughts and prayers.


Back in the Saddle


This past weekend, DuBois Center and our horse volunteers welcomed the first guest group riders since March! It was a beautiful day to make new horsey friends and to be out and about. As you have seen in regular posts, the horse team has been busy caring for and tending to the horses, barn and trails, but THIS is why they logged all those hours! Four family groups took advantage of the great weather. In addition to riding, they brought picnic lunches, explored the hiking trails and played in the leaves.

Dates are available in November for family and small group rides. Minimum number of participants is 4. For more information contact DuBois Center at or 618-787-2202.