New Life and Firm Foundation

Deer Run Collage
St. Paul’s UCC in Freeburg has a unique approach to mission work, one aspect of which is a rotating two-year commitment to study, prayer and service in partnership with DuBois Center, Hoyleton Youth & Family Services and Kindercottage. In 2019 and 2020, DuBois Center is again blessed to be the focus of their energy.
Six years ago, the congregation designed and built the new chapel in main camp and made a significant donation towards the new docks. This time around, they have taken on a variety of projects – including the renovation of the three Deer Run cabins.
Over the coming months, in collaboration with Green DuBois, these buildings will be transformed into an environmental education library and resource center, a nature blind for observing and photographing wildlife, and a day-use retreat space. First on the list – shore up the building foundations, then double the size of the decks, next upgrade the electric.
The last two Saturdays, teams from St. Paul’s have been hard at work – despite the heat. Most of the foundation work is complete and the decks are taking shape. Everything looks amazing! THANKS so much to St. Paul’s for all their hard work and support. They are truly breathing new life into the Deer Run cabins!

Transforming Deer Run

Deer Run
Yes, lots of deer do run at DuBois Center! In fact, this summer we have been blessed with frequent sightings of kids with their mothers… often running. But did you know that one of the most beautiful areas of camp is named Deer Run?
First established in 1975 as an area for tent and RV camping, Deer Run never quite reached its full potential. Currently, summer campers use it for evening games and camp outs. During Nature’s Classroom, a variety of activities are based there. Our horses appreciate the pasture and more advanced riders enjoy “Canter Alley.” The occasional scout troop camps there, but the area has so much more potential!
In terms of structures, there are three small cabins, a lodge that is frequented by more wildlife than human life, and a very rustic shower house. The centerpiece is a small three-acre lake that boasts giant lily pads in the summer.
Earlier this year, a team from Green DuBois was inspired by the possibility of transforming Deer Run into the intentional nature study and earth care hub of DuBois Center. Energy for this vision is catching! In early spring, two hives of bees were introduced and blessed by our conference minister. In May, a work crew from Christ UCC in Dupo and St. Paul UCC in Belleville removed the old, decrepit dock from the lake. Hoyleton Buddies from Region 2 re-established the boat landing – wading in hip deep to pull lily pads. Summer staff members recycled cardboard from the kitchen and moldy hay bales – making a “layer cake” out of them in the new composting area. And now, St. Paul’s UCC in Freeburg is breathing new life into the three cabins (article posted tomorrow).
The transformation won’t happen overnight, but it has begun!