Fall Festival Postponed

Fall Festival

As announced in early August, the annual DuBois Center Fall Festival has been postponed until the first Sunday in October 2021. This decision was made after careful and deliberate consideration. Our first priority is the health and safety of our campers, guests and staff. As COVID-19 cases rise steadily throughout Washington county, our region and across the nation, it is clear that to proceed with this event would not be the cautious or sensible approach. The amount of nearly constant disinfecting, crowd control and monitoring that would be required for a “safe” event, is not feasible.

THANKS to everyone who has already invested time and energy into this project. We are looking forward to celebrating together again in 2021.

Fall Festival Postponed

Fall Festival

Again, with a heavy heart, we announce that another major DuBois Center event is postponed. As you are hopefully aware, our priority is the health and safety of our campers, guests and staff. As COVID-19 cases rise steadily throughout Washington county, our region, and across the nation, it is clear that to proceed with this event would not be the cautious or sensible approach. As we examined the amount of nearly constant disinfecting, crowd control and monitoring that would be required, it became clear that to proceed was just not feasible.

THANKS to everyone who has already invested time and energy in this event. We are looking forward to celebrating together again in 2021.

The first Fall Open House was held in 1977; that was the beginning of our annual Fall Festival. This would have been year #43 for this important friend- and fund-raising event.

Our Decision – Fallow Ground

Labyrinth

Here in the Midwest, fallow ground is a familiar concept. It refers to land that has been plowed but not seeded for one or more growing seasons. It is a ritual that helps restore the land’s fertility.

Leaders of the Illinois South Conference and DuBois Center have spent the last month planning and preparing with great hope, while simultaneously reviewing current data to determine if we can safely serve children at camp this summer. The favorites bar on my monitor is littered with links to the Illinois (IDHP) and Missouri Departments of Public Health, John’s Hopkins University, the American Camp Association, the CDC and others.

Latest projections and models show that COVID-19 may peak as late as the end of June in southern Illinois, although no one knows for certain what the current staged lifting of restrictions might bring. Our #1 priority at DuBois Center is the health and safety of our campers, guests and staff. After long and careful deliberations, leaders of the Conference and DuBois Center have come to accept that we cannot provide our summer camping programs as planned. Try as hard as we might, we just can’t envision being able to offer a safe experience for children and youth this season.

At a regularly called meeting of the Illinois South Conference Council, after prayerful and tearful consideration, it was decided that this summer will be a season of fallow ground for DuBois Center. The vote was unanimous, though made with heavy hearts. Currently scheduled programs for June – August 9, 2020 are being postponed until summer 2021. The ground was plowed and harrowed as brochures were sent to eager families, potential staff were interviewed, and plans were set in place. But the seeds, our blessed campers and leaders, will not be sown at DuBois Center this summer.

The situation in our state and region may change, but we felt it was important to be proactive and make a decision sooner rather than later. New protocols for groups related to distancing, cleaning, safety in sleeping areas, food service, life-guarding and participation in cherished activities are being established, but they need to be in place and practiced before camp can open. This is just not possible for DuBois Center by June or even July.

We are taking some time to grieve this decision and the loss of a summer of joy at camp. During the coming weeks, a team of creative volunteers will be exploring ways that our campers and their families can stay engaged with DuBois Center. Watch for news by the end of May.

We realize that finances are tight for many right now. That was one of our primary reasons for implementing a Register without Risk policy. However, before making a decision about the fees you have already paid, I hope you will consider all the options outlined in the attached document. Yes, you may still request a refund, transfer to a DuBois Center event in the fall, or donate the fees paid to camp. In addition, you may also transfer your payment to Summer Camp 2021. There is no rush to decide, so please take your time. No actual refunds will be made until early June. We want to ensure systems are in place and avoid wasting valuable staff time.

As you may be aware, our spring and summer programs take significant effort and resources to create, much of which is expended months before the first camper or guest arrives. Some of the expenses continue regardless – insurance, basic utilities, animal care, and critical maintenance and office work. The loss of this year’s spring and summer seasons is tough on our hearts, but it is also challenging financially.

DuBois Center is resilient, but we do need your prayers and support. If you are able to make a donation at this critical time, it will go a long way to help DuBois Center withstand the loss of spring and summer revenue. Links to online giving can also be found at ISCUCC.org or DuBoisCenter.org and the mailing address for DuBois Center is included below.

In 2020, DuBois Center and the Illinois South Conference celebrate 55 years of ministry and our work has only just begun. We believe in an Easter God, a God of joy and hope and peace. We enter this summer of fallow ground giving thanks to our loving Creator who truly does make all things new again.

Sending prayers to you, your families and communities.

Peace,

Shirley Asmussen AKA Kayak,  Director of Outdoor Ministries

This letter is being sent with the full support of the Illinois South Conference Council.

Dr. Jill Baker, Conference Moderator
Rev. Christy Eckert, Conference Vice-Moderator
Mr. Dwight Asselmeier, Conference Treasurer
Rev. Ivan Horn, Conference Secretary
Rev. Shana Johnson, IL South Conference Minister
Rev. Rosemary Captain
Ms. Virginia Ilch
Rev. R.J. Morgan
Rev. Mike Southcombe
Ms. Barbara VanAusdall

For a printable copy of the letter and refund options, click here.

Father & Son Retreat – CANCELLED

Cancelled

We have been hoping and crossing our fingers, but with the number of COVID-19 cases in southern Illinois continuing to grow, it is time to cancel our annual Father-Son Retreat scheduled for April 24-26. Our staff and volunteers look forward to this weekend all year round! We are truly going to miss hanging out with everyone!

If you need help staying busy, contact Shirley at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202 for information about father-son projects that can be done at home to support DuBois Center and maybe even help us prepare for F-S 2021.

To donate, transfer or receive a refund for fees paid for this event, contact Julie our camp registrar at register@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-357-1809. See you in 2021!

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