Meet Our Summer Staff: Rachel

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Welcome Rachel Kinzinger to our 2018 summer staff team! Rachel is returning for her eighth summer on staff and will again be serving as a Village Coordinator. From New Athens, Illinois, she is an active member of St. John UCC and serves on the Board of Christian Ed there. Rachel has a degree in special education and is currently teaching at Marissa Jr/Sr High School.

No stranger to DuBois Center, Rachel was first a camper here in 2002, then a CIT, a counselor beginning in 2011, and a coordinator since 2014. She also works throughout the year hosting groups, life-guarding and preparing for our summer season.

Outside of camp, Rachel enjoys reading, watching Netflix, spending time with her adorable one-year old nephew and relaxing in her hammock! Her favorite foods are anything Mexican, gummy bears, Ski and Ranger cookies – a camp favorite. Her favorite movies are Toy StoryMoanaHerculesWilly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and her favorite smell is the air after it rains.

Rachel grew up on a farm and one of her favorite childhood memories is of showing cattle through 4-H. She started showing when she was nine and continued through high school. That experience brought great friendships, enduring memories, and numerous life lessons.

One of Rachel’s role models is Mr. Hull, her high school science teacher. Mr. Hull was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when she was a senior. She was amazed by his dedication to his students. He even visited them weekly in the midst of chemo treatments, and kept his promise to attend their graduation – even though he was sick from chemo. Mr. Hull’s teaching went beyond the textbooks. Rachel wrote, “He taught us about the importance of laughter, about dedication, and about learning through mistakes. He passed away a few years ago, and he still inspires me every day to be involved in my students’ lives and show them the same love that he showed me as a student.”

Welcome back, Rachel!

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Meet Our Summer Staff: Troy

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Summer staff recruitment is in full swing, and we will be introducing members of our 2018 team through Weekly Connection and Facebook. First up is Troy Mcrae.

This will be Troy’s second summer on staff. He will again make the long trek from Western Australia to DuBois, Illinois. Troy grew up in the “Aussie countryside” in the small town of Manjimup. Active in his church youth ministry and camping programs, he grew from youth participant to young adult volunteer leader. Troy loves being outside and spent a year as a trainee and instructor at an outdoor school. Canoeing, lifeguarding, “bush walking expeditions,” food prep and equipment maintenance were all part of his experience there.

Thinking back to 2016 when Troy last served with us, his big smile, gentle nature and amazing height come to mind. Yes, he occasionally had to duck when going through doorways. When asked about his desire to return to DuBois Center, Troy commented, “I just felt drawn back to the overwhelmingly positive atmosphere at camp. It’s impossible to finish each day without a smile on your face.”

Troy brings skills as an effective canoeing instructor, accomplished guitar player and caring camp counselor. His long-term goal is to become a professional outdoor educator. Aussie meat pies are Troy’s favorite food. Two of his favorite hobbies are cycling and larping (think Lord of the Rings meets football, with a bit of theater improv thrown into the mix). He describes himself as a massive “pop culture nerd (in the best of ways).” Welcome back, Troy!

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Summer Camp Staff – Catie

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Welcome Catie Goetter to our 2017 summer staff team! Catie will be serving as a Barn Assistant / Counselor. She grew up in Maryville, IL as an active member of St. John Evangelical UCC and is no stranger to DuBois Center. She attended summer camp for years. During the school year, weekend horse retreat and volunteering at the barn kept her busy. In 2015, she successfully completed our CIT (Counselor in Training) program, and in 2016 she volunteered for four weeks of summer camp.

When asked about a goofy camp memory Catie wrote, “My parents sent me to camp when I was 7 for a half week session thinking they would pick me up never wanting to go back. When they got to camp to pick me up, I was hiding in the bathroom of Lakeside because I didn’t want to leave.”

Catie attends Missouri State University where she is majoring in special education. She is actively involved in student ministry and marching band. Marching season is her favorite season! She also volunteers with a therapeutic riding program. Catie is very excited to be a member of our 2017 Summer Staff, she says she “can’t imagine [her] life without spending the summer at DuBois.” Catie’s favorite thing about summer camp is “getting to see the campers grow from the beginning of the week to the end whether it was just coming out of their shell or trying something new or something they were scared of, like canoeing or horseback riding!” She is also very excited to be on staff with old camp friends, to make new camp friends and work alongside her older brother, Ryan.