In these tech-centered times, it is increasingly important for kids to unplug, get outside, play hard, get a little dirty and connect face to face. In addition to heaps of classic fun, activities that help campers build relationships and grow in their faith are woven throughout each day – whether exploring the creek, gazing at the stars or cooking over the campfire.
Cabin groups of 5-8 campers combine to form DuBois family groups. These family groups experience much of camp life together. On the first night, these campers and their leaders discuss and choose many of their adventures for the week. In addition to family group activities, older campers also have “choice times” when they select from a variety of options.
We offer a progression of activities based on the age group, program focus and the skill level of our campers. There are new challenges and experiences for the youngest of campers, as well as for older youth.
Main Camp: Four cottages near the dining hall in Oak Lodge. Each cottage has a common room between two sleeping rooms. Each sleeping room has bunk beds for 8 and a bathroom with shower.
Rustic Village: Eight cabins split between two units with one centrally located shower house. Cabins have screened windows and doors, a ceiling fan, electricity, and sleep 8 in bunk beds.
Hickory Lodge: A lodge in main camp near the dining hall in Oak Lodge. Hickory has hotel-style sleeping rooms, bathrooms off the hallways and a meeting/activity room.
Most meals are prepared and served in Oak Lodge. Some sessions do have cookouts or special meals in different areas of camp as part of their program. Campers are offered three hearty meals a day, plus snacks. Fresh fruits and veggies are served daily. There is plenty of food and usually enough options for even the pickiest eater. Please do not send any extra food with your camper UNLESS arrangements have been made in advance with the Program Office. Supplemental foods will likely be stored in the Health Center and distributed by the Health Care Provider, (i.e.: gluten-free desserts).
Dietary Restrictions: We are able to accommodate SOME special dietary needs. Please contact the Program Office at 618.787.2202 or email dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org at least three weeks in advance of the camper’s arrival, to discuss special dietary needs.
So Much to Explore!
Horseback Riding • Crafts Archery • 9-Square-in-the-Air • Ga-ga • Goofy Songs • Nature Discoveries • Campfires • Night Hikes • Faith Chats • Teams Course • Cook-outs • Kwik Cricket • Kayaking • Water Games • Shelter Building • Swimming • Beach Fun • Water Mat • Fishing • Creek Walks • Crazy Skits • Camp-Style Worship • Team-Building Activities • B.L.A.S.T. – Bible Learning And Spirit Time
No doubt about it, our horses are the most popular kids in camp. Spending time with “the ponies” is a favorite activity for many. Campers receive instruction in basic barn etiquette and how to safely lead, mount, dismount and ride a horse. Our riding instruction is based on safety and recreation. It is not intended as instruction for horse shows or for competition.
Weather permitting, part-week campers have the option of riding once during their two- or three-day stay at camp. Campers attending week-long sessions have the option of riding twice during their stay. The first ride consists of time in the arena to get comfortable with the horse and practice basic skills. A short trail ride may also be included – if time permits. The second ride is usually a longer trail ride.
Rides are cancelled whenever there are heavy rains, storms, lightning or the heat index reaches 100° degrees. If rides are cancelled, we do our best to reschedule whenever possible.
Horse Campers spend significantly more time around the barn working on grooming and horse care, as well as riding daily. They also help feed the horses in the morning and muck out the stalls at the end of the day.
What if the camper does not want to ride? At DuBois Center, we believe in “challenge by choice” – the camper’s choice. While no one is forced to participate in any activity, each is encouraged to try at least a first step. In the case of the equestrian program, this might mean petting a horse with a leader nearby. SUCCESS! Often small steps lead to a child being more willing to try riding.
Alternatives for those choosing not to ride include: spending time with a small group and a leader and cheering on their family group; working on a craft or other horse-related project; or perhaps joining the riding staff in the arena and “assisting” with instruction. For those with significant allergies, check with your doctor regarding appropriate options.
SAFETY FIRST! Our summer barn staff have significant training and experience working with horses and young people. They know our trails and our horses. The safety of your child is their first priority.
Helmets, specifically designed for horseback riding, are required for all riders, as are long pants that are not slick (preferably jeans) and proper footwear, including SOCKS. DuBois Center supplies helmets and boots, and we have some pants available; however, campers are encouraged to bring their own jeans. Also, pack one or two pairs of taller/crew-height (above the ankle) socks since boots can rub on bare ankles. Horse Campers should bring extra pairs of jeans and long socks because theirs may get quite dirty and smelly.