Exciting News for DuBois Center and The Illinois South Conference of the United Church of Christ

Noah McCarn

The Search Committee for the Executive Director is pleased to announce that Noah McCarn has accepted the position of Executive Director for DuBois Center.

After an extensive search process which included: Zoom interviews; submissions of a case study of how they would envision staffing, programming, finances, and partnerships for DuBois Center; checking candidates’ professional references; and an onsite tour of DuBois, the Search Committee unanimously voted to hire Noah as the next Executive Director of DuBois Center.

As the committee continued to be engaged in interviews and conversations with Noah, as well as conversations with those who knew him through our intensive reference checks, we discovered that Noah possessed the qualities we were most looking for in a leader who could help us live into a vision he has of DuBois Center, to be “A gathering place to experience community, unlike other places. A place where people can experience the kin-dom of God, in large and small ways, that they can take back into their lives.”

Noah is a calm, non-anxious presence who brings a team approach to his leadership, as he highly values collaboration and the personal well-being and development of the staff he leads. Noah is a deep thinker and person of faith who is deeply invested in eco-justice and the work of dismantling oppressive systems which do not allow all of God’s beloveds to be seen, heard, valued, and believed. Noah is a get-it-done kind of person, taking the incentive to do the research on how to get things done so that personal and shared deadlines and goals can be met.

Here is what Noah has to say about beginning his ministry at DuBois Center:

“It is an exciting and humbling experience to serve as the next Executive Director of the DuBois Center. As I begin to learn about the camp and talk with people about their camp experiences, I am continually amazed by the passion and love folks have for the DuBois Center.

My love and passion for camp began at a young age in my home state of North Carolina. I attended summer camp at Johns River Valley Camp, the camp associated with the Southern Conference of the UCC, located in the mountains of North Carolina. There, I first felt God’s presence in the company of fellow campers and the wild beings, and it has served as an experience foundational to my being.

After graduating college with degrees in Math and Computer Science and working as a software developer, I decided that working in a cubicle was not for me, so I moved to St. Louis to attend Eden Theological Seminary. While in seminary, I remembered my own camp experiences and became curious about the intersections of faith, Earth, and justice.

In the spring of 2020, I graduated from Eden Seminary in the early days of the pandemic and found jobs as a handyman and then at Human Support Services in Waterloo, IL, at one of their residential mental health facilities serving clients with mental illness.

While I greatly appreciate those experiences, I am grateful to be able to return to the work I am most passionate about. I am committed to creating an inclusive community where we all may grow together in our faith and know God knows us and is connected to one another and all that is.”

The Illinois South Conference sincerely thanks the Executive Director Search Committee for their time and energy in prayerful and Spirit-led discussions, deliberations, and decisions.

Its members were:

  • Priscilla Self, an at-large member of the committee, served as a co-chair of the Search Committee
  • Nicole Avise-Rouse, the current chair of the Conference Outdoor Ministry Team, served as a co-chair of the Search Committee.
  • Rev. Joan Mier, a current member of the Conference Personnel Committee, served as the chaplain of the Search Committee.
  • Rev. Philip Barbier, a current member of the Conference Outdoor Ministry Team, served as the secretary of the Search Committee.
  • Dr. Jill Baker, the current Moderator of the Conference, served as an ex-officio member of the Search Committee.
  • Rev. Shana Johnson, the Conference Minister, also served as an ex-officio member of the Search Committee.

Noah will be moving on-site soon and will officially begin his ministry on Monday, January 23, 2023.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Noah McCarn, the new Executive Director of DuBois Center, to the Illinois South Conference.

Our New Acting Director of Outdoor Ministry Is Here!

On Friday, April 9, Hayley Elliott, our new Acting Director of Outdoor Ministry officially moved into the Director’s House at DuBois Center. She and her wife were greeted by members of OMT and the Property Committee when they arrived. When they began to get settled, they also discovered many hearts and hands had come together to make the house feel like home.

A big thank you to everyone who served as the welcoming team. A special thank you to Mueller Furniture in Belleville, Illinois, and Dave and Sue Hoffman for providing a new couch, a kitchen table with chairs, and two recliners for the Director’s House at DuBois Center.

CouchTable and chairs

 

 

 

 

 

Chair1

Staff

Our outstanding staff make all the difference. We strive to provide a “Ministry of Hospitality” in all aspects of our work – whether leading an activity, cleaning a cabin or preparing a meal.

Interested in joining our staff team? We’re recruiting for Nature’s Classroom staff, Summer Camp residential staff as well as filling our support roles.

Core Team

Noah McCarnExecutive Director – Noah McCarn

In the spring of 2020, Noah graduated from Eden Seminary in the early days of the pandemic and found jobs as a handyman and then at one of the residential mental health facilities at Human Support Services in Waterloo, Illinois, serving clients with mental illness.

While he is much appreciative of those experiences, he is filled with gratitude to be able to return to the work he is most passionate about at DuBois Center. He is committed to creating an inclusive community where we all may grow together in our faith and realize we are known by God and connected to one another and all that is.

director@duboiscenter.org

 

 

IMG_3518_squareProgram Director – Rylee Bernhardt 

Rylee grew up in southern Illinois and initially heard about DuBois Center from her home church, Zion UCC in New Baden, and started attending in the summer of 2006 as a half-week camper. She grew up going to summer camp every summer, while also attending retreats and festivals at DuBois Center. Rylee recently graduated from the Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. She joined DuBois Center’s Core Staff Team in September 2021. In Rylee’s free time, she goes boating, goes horseback riding, and hangs out with her family.

program@duboiscenter.org

 

Facility Caretaker – Tom Kahrhoff

Tom joined the DuBois Center Core Staff Team in September of 2016. Tom lives locally, works around his own property and owns a couple horses. This paired with over 20 years of experience in maintenance at a local hospital, make his skill set a great fit for DuBois Center. Tom retired from the local hospital, but after a couple years decide to go back to work part-time – and we are very glad he did. Tom loves working outdoors and considers himself quite the handyman. When not at camp, Tom enjoys hunting, working with horses and spending time with his grandchildren.

Summer Program Staff

Our summer camp counselors and coordinators are a caring, energetic and dedicated bunch! Each member of our summer program staff has experience working with children and are committed to the personal and spiritual growth of our campers. Most, if not all, are certified in First Aid and CPR. Many are also certified lifeguards. They participate in an intensive 9-day staff training program to ensure they are ready to serve our campers and families.

All staff members meet strict standards related to the application process, and reference and background checks.