Your Trash, Our Treasure

Trash - Treasure

DuBois Center is back with another list of random – or not so random – items we are collecting.

TEASPOONS (metal): Back in 2012 we switched from using plastic forks and knives on cookouts to using donated metal flatware. The change was great for the environment, and now our savory foil packs taste even better. Currently, we are looking specifically for metal teaspoons to add to our collection. Forks and knives will be accepted, but we really need spoons.

PIE TINS (non-disposable, metal type): When pie irons (think George Forman grill for the campfire) come out of the coals with pizza or grilled cheese oozing from the sides – they are HOT! Pie tins make the transition from iron to plate much safer. They also work great as eating plates for cookouts! If you have extras in the back of your cupboards or know of a restaurant that is replacing theirs… please send them our way!

BUTCHER PAPER: Know someone with access to roll-ends of butcher paper – the thick stuff? Making posters and banners is a favorite camp activity and large rolls of paper are THE BEST!

Thanks for the memories…

Thanks

and all the digital cameras you donated! Over the past 18 months, we have been collecting small, point and shoot cameras – the ones pushed to the back of the closet when phones were upgraded. These gifts are now being used by our camp “family groups.” Each has a camera and is encouraged to take pictures of their adventures. This past week, one group did an especially good job of capturing camp life on their digital. Here are some of our favorites shots. It’s obvious they loved their time with the horses and in the creek.

Donations of digital cameras – in good condition – are still being accepted. For more information contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202.

ThunderSelfieCreekWalk

THANKS to the Happy Quilters and St. John UCC in Mascoutah

Operation Shimmer

The Happy Quilters of St. John UCC in Mascoutah have done it once again! Each year this group creates a beautiful kid-friendly quilt to celebrate and raise funds for DuBois Center. But that’s just the beginning! Teams of quilters then hit the road and visit churches throughout the conference on Sunday mornings bringing goodwill and selling quilt tickets. Ticket sales raised $1760. St. John UCC matched this amount dollar for dollar, bringing the total donation to $3520. This year, the proceeds are designated for the spillway and AC projects that comprise Operation Shimmer.

Thanks so much to the Happy Quilters (Kay, Beth, Nancy, Marion, Muriel, Treva, Dorothy, Lou Ann and Kim) for all their hard work and to all the members of St. John UCC in Mascoutah for their support. Thanks also to the following churches for hosting the traveling quilt: Christ UCC in Dupo, Grantfork UCC in Grantfork, St John UCC in Trenton, St. Paul UCC in Lebanon, St Peter’s UCC in Okawville and Zion UCC in New Baden. The quilters have been known to go to great lengths to sell tickets. In fact, this year the winning one was purchased – not at a church or the Quilt Fair – but at a family Easter meal at which one salesperson sold $60 worth of tickets. Congratulations to quilt winner Ronald Ostrom of Fairfax, Virginia!

Spring Cleaning

Are you spring cleaning? Your trash could be our treasure!
Each year, DuBois Center has a seemingly-odd list of items we are collecting for use at camp, during retreats and more. If you have any of these objects gathering dust somewhere, we would love to give them a good home!
● Pool Cues: Ours are old and in disrepair. We have a table in the game room that is used by weekend guests and during inclement weather.
● Puzzle Pieces: If you have old puzzles with missing pieces of any size, we can put them to good use. They are fun additions to our stash of craft supplies. With a summer camp theme of “Peace Works” – the possibilities are almost endless.
● Scrabble Letters, Buttons & Ribbon: More great additions to our Craft Grotto!
● Glass Jars or Containers: We are looking for ones that are 16 ounces or smaller for a variety of projects.
Items may be delivered to DuBois Center or the Illinois South Conference office in Highland. If this doesn’t work for you, contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 619-787-2202 to make other arrangements. Thank you!

New Rain Barrels

Education and sustainability are two of the priorities of Green DuBois.
Just in time for summer camp, rain barrels were installed behind the Nature’s Classroom shed near the camp entrance. Instead of dragging full buckets from spigots at the office or elsewhere, campers and leaders will use rain barrel water for campfires, candle-making, science projects and other activities in that area. Convenient, educational and a great way to conserve tap water, the four-barrel system will hold more than 200 gallons when full. Each barrel has a spigot, and the last one allows for excess water to run down the hill away from the buildings. Blue barrels were used to reduce algae growth in the water. The shed was selected for the gutter, despite the pavilion roof having more surface area, because the shed has a metal roof and will provide cleaner water.
These food-grade barrels were graciously donated, and Green DuBois team members installed them. Next time you’re at camp, take a look!

Operation Shimmer

Operation Shimmer
Have you ever marveled at the sun across the lake at DuBois Center? You’re not the only one. Whether from a canoe, pontoon, bridge or beach, you can’t help but appreciate the shimmer that comes across the lake from sunrise to sunset. In many ways, the lake is the heart of our camp. It supports camp activities, as well as wildlife and plants. Stand still and listen to the water lap, and feel the pulse of the camp.

Just as human hearts sometimes need a little extra care, our lake needs some extra care right now, with some pressing improvements. The spillway pipe has outlived its lifespan. Temporary repairs bought time, but some Muskrat Love (for those of you old enough to remember the song) has hastened the need to make a major repair before summer camp this year. This means cutting the dam, replacing the pipe, rebuilding the dirt, and resurfacing the road. The only week out of the year when this is logically feasible is Holy Week, when there are no groups in camp.

There’s one other improvement needing to happen before summer, and that’s air conditioning in Oak Lodge. Can we get an Amen? The shimmer of the lake in late July would look so much prettier if we all were shimmering a little less in the summer heat. It also will make the camp more attractive and accessible for campers and guests. Some dedicated AC funds are waiting to be used, and they will cover a portion of the cost.

So welcome to Operation Shimmer. These expenses are larger than our typical improvement, and they need to happen over the course of the next four months. Based on estimates for both projects, our goal is $60,000, with $10,000 already received. The first money in goes to repair the spillway so the work can happen in April. Air conditioning will go in second, but still before camp fills in June.  It’s a tall order in a short time, but these projects require immediate attention.

DuBois Center has tackled sudden expenses in the past with support from across the Conference. This time is no different. We need your donations, your Lenten fundraisers, your pop-up yard sales and trivia nights to meet the $60,000 goal by the end of May. These repairs just can’t wait. Help us keep our aquatic heart healthy and keep the shimmer on the lake.

Donations can be sent to the Illinois South Conference labeled Operation Shimmer, and they’ll go to this project. Thank you for your unwavering support of DuBois Center.

Click here for a flier or here for a bulletin insert.

Annual Meeting Worship Offering – DuBois Center Scholarship Fund

worship offering
In order for your church to prepare for the worship offering at Annual Meeting, we felt an explanation would be helpful. One of this year’s offerings will go to the DuBois Center Scholarship fund, which is used for children of families who cannot afford to attend camp through their own budgets.
Shirley speaks about it…
If we truly believe that children and youth need open space to laugh, sing, play and pray together; that meaningful connections with positive Christian role models make a real difference; that learning to respect and care for ourselves and our “neighbors” is a critical skill; and that faith grows as we learn, explore and ask tough questions, then a week at camp can be life-changing and no one should be turned away for an inability to pay.
Finances are one of the challenges being faced by most, if not all, not-for-profit camps. Experts urge organizations to charge what it actually costs to operate a program or a facility including ongoing maintenance, and then provide scholarships for those with financial needs. Groups that have not done this have faced dire consequences. You can look across the country for examples or right here in southern Illinois. Fees that cover direct costs and scholarships for those in need are critical pieces of the equation.
The Sweet Shoppe at Fall Festival raises $1,200 – $1,500 annually for scholarships. In addition, DuBois Center receives about $2,000 each year in gifts designated specifically for scholarships. Beyond that, the Center’s budget underwrites an additional $15,000 – $18,000 of camper and retreat fees for families with significant financial struggles.
DuBois Center participates in a Title XX (financial assistance) program through the American Camp Association. This program provides some reimbursement (approximately 25-30%) of a typical camper fee, and – more importantly – a way to spread the camp experience to children beyond our churches. Information on this program is sent to foster parents, families eligible for free and reduced meals at school, and those with crippling medical bills. Some of the campers utilizing this program come from UCC churches and programs, many do not. This is one way DuBois Center provides outreach on behalf of our local congregations to the wider community.

This year’s Annual Meeting worship offering will be used to build the scholarship fund which will be used to underwrite the 70-75% of camper fees not covered by Title XX reimbursement, and in doing so, reduce our annual deficit, and provide for continued outreach.

Donate Your Sweet Treats

sweet treats

Cookies! Cakes! Pies! Breads! Snack Mixes! The Sweet Shoppe at Fall Festival is still in need of donations. Each dollar raised in this area goes directly to providing scholarships and enable children and youth from families that are struggling financially to attend camp. This team is doing a great job, but they need YOUR help! So apron up and bake on!

For more information, check out and share this flyer or text/call Melissa at 314-440-6646 or Kristen at 618-567-6863.

Pallets Needed!

Hay

We’ve got HAY! After a very dry end to the 2017 growing season, our supply was running low. Now, in preparation for heavy summer rains, additional sturdy wooden pallets on which to set the bales are needed.

Storing hay off the ground keeps it out of the mud. The drier the bales remain, the more able we are to reduce the growth of mold. Mold contributes to large amounts of waste. In addition, moldy hay is not healthy for our horses. Keeping the hay drier also helps to retain its nutritional content throughout the year.

Approximately 30 additional new or gently used sturdy pallets are needed. If you have or can find any that meet these specs, contact Scott Kuether at sekuether21@gmail.com.

Thanks to the Happy Quilters and St. John UCC, Mascoutah

Quilt

The Happy Quilters of St. John UCC in Mascoutah have done it once again! This year their efforts even made the local paper. Each year this group creates a beautiful kid-friendly quilt to celebrate and raise funds for DuBois Center. But that’s just the beginning! Then teams of quilters hit the road and visit churches throughout the Conference on Sunday mornings bringing goodwill and selling quilt tickets.

“We All Scream for Ice Cream” is the name of this colorful work of art, and the border actually features ice cream trucks. Adorable! This year ticket sales raised $1,700. St. John UCC matched this amount dollar for dollar, bringing the total donation to $3,400 – designated specifically for the enhancement of our summer camp program.

Thanks so much to the Happy Quilters for all their hard work and to all the members of St. John UCC for their support. Thanks also to the following churches for hosting the traveling quilt: Grantfork UCC Grantfork; St John UCC Trenton; St. Paul UCC Lebanon; St Peter’s UCC Okawville; and Zion UCC New Baden. The winning ticket was drawn at the conclusion of St. John’s Annual Quilt Show, on April 7. The lucky winner was John Hinkle of Mascoutah.