Greetings from the Camp Interns – Mary Cailin Wagner

Hi ya’ll! My name is Mary Cailin Wagner, and I am one of the DuBois Center Camp Interns! I grew up in Red Bud, Illinois, and my home church is the St. Paul United Church of Christ in Lebanon, Illinois. I am currently attending McKendree University to study Organizational Communications and Political Science. I started attending DuBois Center during Just You and Me camp in 2009 with my grandma, Nancy. I went to camp every summer until I finished high school. My favorite memory as a camper is tree climbing during High School Week in 2017!

I had the opportunity to become a camp counselor for the Summer 2022 session, and my favorite memory from this summer has to be starting my first campfire alone for my Splash kiddos! My favorite camp activity is, of course, the water mat and anything pertaining to the lake!

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, swimming, photography, and hanging out with friends. As a camp intern, I am most excited about continuing my professional relationship with the Illinois South Conference and working towards making DuBois Center a more welcoming and sustainable organization.

Greetings from the Camp Interns – Meredith Malone

Howdy! My name is Meredith Malone, or better known as Buckle by my DuBois family. I grew up in Lebanon, Illinois, with my childhood cat, Hershey. Outside of camp, I am finishing my degree in early childhood education. In my spare time, I like to go bother the horses, asking for hugs and selfies!

As a summer camp counselor, I got to spend every week on Rustic Camp with the horse campers, so I immediately fell in love with the barn. Riding horses on the Turtle Cove trail is my absolute favorite activity! One of my favorite memories from this summer was during a creek walk; I did not plan on getting my feet wet in the creek, but my campers were so encouraging! I got in and we explored the creek, looking for shale and small fish. Out of nowhere, I heard a small group of campers say, “ON THREE!” Without knowing the plan, the whole group counted, “one… two… three!” Everyone plopped in the creek at the exact same time; it was so funny! The laughter and joy was astounding! We could not believe that we all managed to read each other’s minds. The small moments, like these, make camp so, so special.

As a Camp Intern, one of the things I’m most excited about, is getting to join all DuBois Center committees! I love participating and learning about all of the hard work that gets put into camp, while also happy to see it bring others together.

I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to share my love of camp with people. I have always called DuBois Center my Home. Every year, I am always welcomed with open arms and accepted for who I am. I can’t wait to share the love this place has to offer.

Join the Fun – Camp Fare Dinner & Groundbreaking Celebration

On September 17, 2022, you can be a part of celebrating the groundbreaking for Hillside Cottage and taste some of DuBois Center’s favorite camp foods. Food will begin to be offered at 11 am using a fun menu of camper favorites. Then at 2 pm, everyone will have the opportunity to turn a shovel of dirt for DuBois’ new Hillside Cottage (Photo is its future home location).

Come and eat, walk the grounds, and/or groom the horses. The event is free but donations will be accepted on the day of the event for the meal. Please RSVP by September 12 to jriechmann@iscucc.org, so we can plan for food. See more.

DuBois Center Fall Festival – Sunday, October 2, 2022, 11am to 5pm

Be a part of the Fall Festival: Volunteer, promote the event, or come spend the day with us!

YOU Are Our BEST Volunteer

Our Fall Festival is only possible because of the efforts of countless volunteers. This is a great opportunity for families, confirmation classes, students in need of volunteer service hours, or, really anyone, to volunteer. Shifts can be as short as 30 minutes or as long as you want to help. If you’re interested in volunteering, sign up online or contact us by email at fallfestival@duboiscenter.org.

All Churches Can Promote the Event

If you would like to help promote the festival, promotional materials are in Weekly Connection and on the DuBois Center website. Any help to spread the word will be appreciated. Download this flyer or bulletin insert to help promote Fall Festival.

Hay is for Horses

On Friday afternoon, DuBois Center staff and volunteers worked along with a local farmer to bale some of the hay from our fields into square bales for our horses. In about three hours, the group baled, loaded, unloaded and stored 369 square bales. About a third of the bales were sent up our new (to us) hay elevator into the barn. The rest has been stored in the hay shed. Using our own square bales to feed the horses in the barn is healthier and saves us money.

Great thanks to Tom Karhoff for coordinating the cutting and baling of the hay. Thanks to Josh Meredith for working with the baler to load all those bales onto wagons. And thanks to the rest of the staff and volunteers who helped to unload and store the hay.

Photo above (l to r) Rylee Hodges-Stone, Sharon Murphy, Sandy Kuether, Scott Kuether

Group photo below (l to r): Meredith Malone, Mary Wagner, Tom Krueger, Tom Kahrhoff, Rylee Hodges-Stone, Josh Meredith, Jonathan Copple.

Larry Reeble also helped out, but didn’t end up in any of the photos. Thanks to all.

Camp Fare Dinner & Groundbreaking Celebration

On September 17, 2022, you can be a part of celebrating the groundbreaking for Hillside Cottage and taste some of DuBois Center’s favorite camp foods. Food will begin to be offered at 11 am using a fun menu of camper favorites. Then at 2 pm, everyone will have the opportunity to turn a shovel of dirt for DuBois’ new Hillside Cottage. Come and eat, walk the grounds, and/or groom the horses. The event is free but donations will be accepted on the day of the event for the meal.

Please RSVP by September 12 to jriechmann@iscucc.org, so we can plan for food.

New (to us) Hay Elevator for the Barn

The hay elevator at the barn isn’t used weekly or even monthly. But when we need to load hundreds of bales of hay into the hay loft it is invaluable. Our old hay elevator had been on its last leg for a while – rotting tires, rusting supports, broken gears, etc. Our wonderful maintenance staff nursed it along for close to a decade. By the Fall of 2020, we decided it was time to look for a replacement before it fell apart completely.

Steve McClay from our Outdoor Ministries Team offered to help us with the search. He monitored auctions and in February of 2021 found a used elevator that might work. Unfortunately, we were outbid this time around. Another possibility was found in July 2021, but it would have needed too many repairs. This February, Steve won the bidding on a used hay elevator for camp!

There is even more good news. Steve spoke with his church council, and they agreed to cover the cost (over $800) of the hay elevator and donate it to camp. Many thanks to Steve for his dedication and perseverance and to the members of Addieville Zion UCC for their support for DuBois Center!

Honoring Sue Reeble

On Saturday, August 6, a Celebration of Life was held at DuBois Center for Sue (Larry) Reeble, who was a long-time volunteer with the horse program there. Sue and Larry spent much time sharing their love of the horses and DuBois Center, so it was the perfect place to honor her life and the time she donated to DuBois Center. In lieu of flowers, Sue requested that donations be given to DuBois Center by check to Illinois South Conference, 1312 Broadway, Highland, IL 62249 or online. Please note that the donation is in memory of Sue Reeble.

Volunteers like Sue and Larry Reeble have made DuBois Center a place to find the love of God through nature.

DuBois Center will be open for summer camp next week (July 17-22)

Camp Update: DuBois Center was closed to campers last week July 10-15 due to COVID exposure the week before. Our staff responded properly to this and are taking the necessary measures to have a healthy week of camp.

We feel comfortable welcoming back campers for the camp sessions starting Sunday, July, 17–as the PCR test results for our staff have been negative.

Our staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks during check-in and when indoors with campers not in their cabin groups.

Similar to last summer, cabin groups will form a pod or family unit for the camp session. At this time, we recommend masks for campers, but it is not required. If we were to require masks for campers, masked time daily would be MINIMAL as almost all activities are outdoors or with cabin groups only. For safety reasons, masks are NOT to be worn while sleeping.

Potential COVID exposure during summer camp week 5 (July 6-8)

We recently learned a staff member and a volunteer tested positive for COVID-19. Both were around campers and staff during last week’s summer camp from July 6-8, and have since reported experiencing flu-like symptoms. Further details and recommendations have been shared with our campers’ parents and guardians. Summer camp has been cancelled this week. We are still evaluating whether we can safely move forward with summer camp next week.

We are committed to transparency about our response, and to protecting the privacy of all those involved. We appreciate your patience as we continue to follow our safety protocols and evaluate the situation going forward.