Summer Camp FAQs

Whether for the first time or the fifth, preparing for summer camp can be overwhelming – we hope that some of these answers to frequently asked questions are helpful. 

For matters of registration please contact the registrar  at 618-357-1809 or

Our Parent and Camper Guide document is a handy, printable resource with tons of key information. Click here to view a printable PDF of our Parent and Camper Guide.

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YES! Some UCC congregations offer scholarships or financial assistance to their members.

Additionally, DuBois Center has an camp scholarship application which can be viewed here. For more information, contact our registrar by emailing or calling 618-357-1809.

DuBois Center is located at 2651 Quarry Rd, Du Bois, IL 62831

The closest gas station and Dollar General is in Tamaroa. Your best chances for a supermarket, restaurant meal or ice cream cone are DuQuoin, Nashville, and Mount Vernon. The village of DuBois does not have any services.

Everyone! We welcome campers age 5-18 from any area or cultural background. First time campers are welcome. Campers from non-Christian and non-religious backgrounds are absolutely welcome.

We are a United Church of Christ (UCC) camp, and our Christian values inform our leadership and programming. We do not require campers to be Christian, and we are not a conversion camp. Our summer residential camps are open to all.

For a camper who is new to a church camp, they can expect silly songs of gratitude before meals, quiet time to reflect on the day before bed with cabinmates, and daily activities with our clergy team that are focused around themes of growing into strong adults and good stewards of the Earth. Summer camp can be a whirlwind of new experiences, and we have found that campers from any background benefit from structured daily time to reflect and connect with others.

Our ecumenical approach is developed by the National Council of Churches.

We welcome campers that are facing challenges, but we cannot provide dedicated caretakers or one-on-one aides.

Our staff and Health Center team are prepared to support campers in managing insulin dependent diabetes, orthopedic injury recovery, chronic bedwetting, orthodontic appliances, anaphylactic allergies, and more.

DuBois Center campers need to be able to walk every day, carry a backpack, use the bathroom and shower independently, sleep in a shared cabin, remain quiet during rest time, follow instructions from leadership, participate in group activities on a daily schedule, and handle long, busy days of hot weather, high energy, new experiences and fun!

Whatever your camper’s needs may be, please alert us as soon as possible so that we can be sure to meet their needs as best as possible.

At DuBois Center we believe in challenge by choice. We give all of our campers the chance to choose to participate, and the option to say no. We supervise safety closely and offer alternatives to challenging activities. Your picky eater will not starve, your shy camper will be welcome as-is, your weak swimmer will shine in beach volleyball and shallow-water games.

We do not require proof of vaccination to attend camp. We DO require campers and staff to wear masks during some activities. We perform health screenings during check-in. Our admission policy:

If, within the 24 hours prior to camp, the camper has an undiagnosed rash or open sores, a temperature at or above 101°, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a persistent cough or cold, they must remain at home until healthy. An elevated temperature must be back to normal for 24 hours before a child comes or returns to camp. Transferring to another session may be a possibility.

Click here for more information about health, safety and covid at camp – and some tips to ensure that your child is ready to pass their health screening.

When you register, you will have the chance to list a “cabin buddy” request. We can almost always accommodate two or three cabin buddies – groups larger than that usually need to be split up for fairness in cabin groups.

Please know that campers registered to the same session will see a great deal of each other even if not in the same cabin, and even campers in separate sessions in the same week will see each other more than once each day.

We know that close siblings and friend groups being unable to attend the same session can be stressful, and that school grade is not always the most accurate metric for ability and maturity.

Even articulate and otherwise confident campers can struggle to navigate being the very youngest in a large group, with or without friends from home. We create our age limits with activity plans, physical strain, social dynamics and childhood development in mind. Consider splitting your group between separate sessions that meet the same week for a compromise.

We cannot make any promises, but we consider exceptions in the following circumstances:

  • Campers in different grades were born in the same calendar year and plan to attend the same session as cabin buddies.
  • Campers born before June 1st and September 1st who ended up as the oldest in their grade.

Campers in one of the above situations who ALSO submit letters certifying their ability to operate above their age level written by educators or church leaders are most likely to receive exceptions.

All exception requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We give session registration preference to those within the designated age group.

Yes! All camp sessions can expect time with horses – arena and trail rides are the goal, but on poor weather days we still offer plenty of hands-on time with our herd of well-socialized and friendly horses. Our dedicated horse team takes excellent care of all our horses year round, and coordinates with ferrier and veterinary care to ensure every horse is ready to meet your camper.

Riders with no experience are welcome – DuBois Center is a great place to meet horses for the first time. Riders with lots of experience are encouraged to sign up for our horse camps: Saddle Em Up, Wrangler, and Horsin’ Around are dedicated to all things horse and are in the barn every day.

All of our summer camp counselors and leadership team have training not just in their jobs, but in mandated reporting, diversity and inclusion, restorative justice, are first aid certified, and in 2022, many will be certified in Mental Health First Aid for the first time. If you have questions about how our training may impact your camper, please contact the office.

At camp, we have a lot of rules. These rules are aimed at camper and staff safety and, when followed, contribute to the health of our community, our grounds, and your camper. We follow a restorative justice approach to disciplining when a rule is broken. By following this approach, we recognize that the number one way to avoid problems is to build the camp community each week. Trust and respect for each other go a long way in preventing problems before they arise. When a rule or trust is broken, we make every effort to come to a solution collectively between parties. Our number one goal is reconciliation with the community after conflict, and we recognize this as a growing edge of our program. Our camper parents can partner with us in this approach by explaining rules and the community aspect of camp to their camper prior to their time at camp.

We have a new camper mail system! To ensure that your mail reaches your camper while they are here on site, please bring any camper mail with you to Sunday registration. During the registration process, you will have the chance to deposit the mail in a box for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday delivery at lunchtime. Please do not enclose any food, candy, glitter or money – a simple note from home is always enough! Please keep things brief and positive and avoid “your cat Stuffy sure misses you” – rephrasing to something like “Stuffy’s doing well and can’t wait to hear all about the new things you’re trying at camp!” prevents a lot of anxious feelings. We cannot guarantee delivery of any mail sent through the post office. We are no longer offering our email service. Camper mail can be cards or letters in a sealed envelope, and a sheet of paper folded in thirds and firmly taped shut is also acceptable. Please address your camper mail clearly with the camper’s name and session name.