While the temperatures are cold and Cabin Fever is starting to set in, you can rest assured that we are feverishly planning our summer possibilities with full expectations to be able to serve you this summer!
We are currently making preliminary provisions to offer in-person summer camps complete with many, if not all, of your favorite activities! After having to take last summer off, we know that many of you are more than eager to get back to your camp!
After all, this is your camp. Since 1965, we have been here for you. Each and every one of us has memories deeply embedded in the fabric that ties DuBois Center together. Even when we weren’t able to be in person last year, we were still here for you.
For 2021, we have up to four, yes four, potential options that offer DuBois Center in different lights — all contingent on the needs of the people, state of the current health situations, and governing authorities.
First and foremost, our Plan A includes in-person summer camp options! If all goes to plan, we could begin welcoming summer campers the week of June 6. Exciting, right? Of course, we will have additional plans and protocols in place for enhanced safety measures. While our mission is to see all of our campers again, we need to be sure we can do that safely and effectively.
While we do have Plans B, C, and D on paper, we wanted to share with you now that Plan A is what we are aiming for and Plan A is in person!
Final details will be a bit delayed as we are having to adjust with the ever-changing climate, but please continue to look for emailed updates like this. Our website is also being revamped as we speak to ensure it has the most helpful and up-to-date information as possible. If we ever have to ‘toggle’ our focus from Plan A to anything else, our website will have the details you need.
If you are anxiously waiting for a mailed brochure, or at least something brochure-like, you are in luck! While we will be mailing summer promotions and schedules a bit later than normal, you should still receive mailed postcards from us in early spring! These postcards will highlight what we hope to offer and to provide you with something to stick on your fridge to remember us by!
Please follow us online, at www.DuBoisCenter.org for the most current information we have. Also, our Facebook and Instagram feeds are continually going as well. If you need to contact us, our phone number is the same at 618-787-2202, you may also email to DCinfo@DuBoisCenter.org.
Ever since I was a child, DuBois Center has felt like a second home to me. I started coming to Fall Festival when I was maybe one or two years old and, once I learned about camp, I couldn’t wait to become a camper! My dad and I started You & Me Camp the first year I was able to go, and I continued to be a DuBois Center Camper every single summer for many years until an injury in early high school sadly kept me from attending camp. I also attended multiple retreats throughout the school year and basically found every excuse I could to make it out to camp, even if it was just for the day.
I came back after high school as a staff member and I loved sharing my love of camp and my love for God with a new generation of campers. Now, I make an effort to volunteer multiple Sundays each summer for registration (come find me – I’m the loud red head!) and am trying to find time in my grown up work schedule to come back as a volunteer counselor.
I have never felt closer to God than when I stand on the dock of Lake DuBois in the early morning when all is still quiet, or when I take a seat in one of our outdoor chapels to worship with friends, or when I’m simply exploring the trails, enjoying God’s Creation. DuBois Center helped shape the person I am today, and I could not be more happy that I still get to call it my ‘second home.’
I was so impressed with how friendly everyone was at camp. From the MOMENT we drove in, staff members were greeting us with genuine smiles and waves. No matter where we were, people would wave, and I know this makes the kiddos feel like camp is a happy and safe place. As the parent of a first time camper, it brought me comfort. The counselors started learning names right away and were always engaging the children in conversation. We had the most interaction with Cheeto, Sparkle, and Bullseye, and I am 100% confident in their abilities. They made my child feel safe and welcome.
Pick-up for MOST sessions is 2:00 p.m. on either Wednesday or Friday. Please do not arrive early as your child WILL NOT be ready to leave. The last activity of each session is usually some kind of closing circle. This is a meaningful time for many campers, so we try to keep interruptions to a minimum.
When you arrive, a greeter will provide further instructions
A Pick-Up Authorization Form is required for all youth campers, even those being picked up by a parent. List ALL individuals who might pick up your camper – include yourself. Then bring the completed form to camp on check-in day. Campers will only be released to a person who is authorized on the form.
The pick-up person will need to present a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, to the camper’s counselor.
If plans change, and someone not listed on this form must pick up the camper, call the Program Office at 618.787.2202 and send signed WRITTEN PERMISSION with the person picking up the child.
Items found after campers depart will be held until September 10 and will then be donated to a charitable organization. If you are missing an item, check with DuBois Center by calling 618.787.2202 or by email at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org.
Your camper will likely be tired after their adventures at camp and may need additional rest after their stay. Try to ensure a lighter schedule for the next day or two after they return home.
Awesome low-tech fun is the essence of camp. Some of our activities (swim time & horseback rides) are pre-scheduled to ensure that everyone gets a chance to enjoy them. On the first night of a full-week session, campers and leaders discuss and choose the rest of their adventures for the week. We offer a progression of activities based on the age group, program focus, and skill level of our campers. There are new challenges and experiences for the youngest of campers all the way to more adventurous older youth.
Campers can try their hand at shooting a bullseye or play archery tic-tac-toe, after a thorough lesson on range safety led by qualified staff members. New skills can help build self-confidence! (completed grades 5+)
Bible Learning And Spirit Time is a daily hour of chaplain-led songs, crafts, games and reflections relating to the daily theme and Bible verse.
Many of the best conversations at camp happen as we wind down at the end of the day. Whether sitting around a small campfire with our family group or a single candle in the cabin, Candle Time is a moment for intentional and thoughtful reflection about the day and discussions about faith and life.
Campers grab PFDs (life jackets) and paddles, then gather for an interactive skills and safety orientation led by a trained instructor. Then it’s time to explore the coves of DuBois Center’s lake with a certified lifeguard. Depending on the day, campers might enjoy just hanging out, a lively game of noodle tag, or even a “dinosaur egg” hunt. (completed grades 5+ and adult/child pairs)
Hot dogs, foil stews, pie iron pizzas, s’mores – sound delicious? Cookouts are an integral part of our group-building focus, especially for our older campers. Outlanders have the option to cook out twice!
Get ready to get wet! Whether campers want to learn about stream ecology and erosion or just splash around, the creek is a great place to cool off.
Jump into the pit for this more humane version of dodgeball. Skill and luck play equal parts in this fast-paced game that anyone can win.
Large and small groups play a variety of fun and engaging games. These activities focus on active participation as opposed to winning and losing. Elbow Tag, Scream & Run, Ninja, Everybody’s It and Captain Midnight are only a few of our favorites.
Campers attending week-long sessions have the option of riding twice during their stay; part-week campers have the option of riding once (weather permitting). The first ride includes time in the arena to get comfortable with the horses and practice basic skills. A short trail ride may also be included. The second ride is usually a longer trail ride. Campers attending our Horse Camps spend significantly more time with the horses.
Whether on a dedicated nature hike or just walking to breakfast, DuBois Center is a great place to explore creation – deer, owls and beautiful native wildflowers are common sights! Habitat, Bat & Moth and Hug-a-Tree are favorite games that help campers explore the natural world.
Once the sun goes down and the lights go out, the world looks a lot different! Learning how our senses adapt to the darkness is just part of the adventure. It could be an evening of active games, or just quiet time soaking in the light of a starry night.
A mash-up between four square and volleyball that is played with a nine-square grid overhead – luck rules, and anyone can win!
Swim! Splash! Float! Play! Campers have the chance to hit the beach daily. The sand is perfect for sandcastle building contests or a game of beach volleyball! Our waterfront, supervised by certified lifeguards during each activity, is split into shallow and deep ends to accommodate different skill levels.
A series of engaging challenges that stress teamwork over individual achievement. Campers begin to recognize that when they think before acting, they can accomplish more together as a group. It’s simple cooperative games for younger campers, and more challenging initiatives for older campers.
Balancing on wires, swinging through the air, climbing and crawling – all with the integral support of cabinmates. Groups build on the cooperative skills developed during Team Building and take on greater challenges. A trained leader facilitates effective communication and teaches advanced techniques which enable groups to safely support one another on our low-ropes teams course.
WALK ON WATER… or at least the water mat. Our water mat is a camp favorite! Campers jump, play and dance across our floating mat – some of the most fun you’ll see on water! PFDs are required, so all campers are able to participate, regardless of swimming ability.
It’s not always fun and games. Homesickness can be a typical reaction, especially for first-time campers and those with little experience being away from home overnight. Our staff is trained to handle these types of situations in loving and constructive ways.
You can help before your child’s camp session even begins. Please DO NOT SUGGEST to your child that he/she may call home or return home early if they are homesick. Many children never forget such a statement, and – in all honesty – it often leads to a child becoming more homesick, rather than less. It serves to keep them from fully engaging, which is key to a successful week at camp. This is one of many reasons campers are not allowed cell phones at camp.
It can be helpful to have a pre-camp conversation about homesickness, but it is important not to dwell on the subject. Encourage and support your child; let them know that you are CONFIDENT that they will do just fine. Send encouraging letters; ask about the activities and your camper’s new friends, without dwelling on how much you miss the camper. For example, avoid phrases such as, “We are SO SAD here without you.” or “Your cat misses you so much, she isn’t eating and just wanders the hallway all night.”
Campers who are able to work through a case of homesickness often develop a new sense of independence and self-confidence. We have received many calls and cards from parents thanking us for the patient nurturing that helped their child overcome this hurdle. On the other hand, we have also seen children who have left camp too soon, without having the opportunity to work through their homesickness. This can result in lower self-esteem and the camper feeling defeated.
Please know that in the case of an emergency or even significant homesickness, you will be contacted. If you have questions or concerns, please call DuBois Center at 618.787.2202.
We strive to provide a healthy environment and prevent the spread of contagious diseases. If, within the 24 hours prior to camp, the camper has an undiagnosed rash or open sores, a temperature at or above 101°, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a persistent cough or cold, he/she must remain at home until healthy. An elevated temperature must be back to normal for 24 hours before a child comes or returns to camp. Transferring to another session may be a possibility.
A trained health care provider is in residence at camp and arrangements for emergency care have been made with local facilities and transportation units. The camper’s personal insurance provides primary coverage. The medical payment insurance provided by camp is an Excess (or secondary) Plan, which means any claims must first be filed through the camper’s primary insurance.
Ticks are common in Illinois and, though rare, some may carry Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. If your camper has unexplained symptoms such as a rash, sore throat, nausea, head or muscle aches, and you have reason to suspect a tick bite, please see your doctor. If treated early, serious issues can be avoided.
Ticks are easier to spot on light-colored clothing with solid colors or simple patterns. Bringing bug spray is recommended, but please send pump spray or lotions and not aerosols.
We ask campers not to remove their own ticks, unless they can “flick” them away. This ensures they are removed properly, the area is disinfected, and the bite is logged. We keep all “logged” ticks in our Health Center for 6-12 months, just in case they are needed for testing.
Current data on mosquito-borne West Nile virus indicates that healthy children and youth are at lower risk, and, if infected, show minor or no symptoms. If the mosquito-borne infection concerns you, send your child with non-aerosol insect repellent, and talk about its use beforehand, as well as when it might be appropriate to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. If you think the camper might be at higher risk, please indicate this on the Health Profile.
We check voice mail in the office on a regular basis, so if we are out, please leave a message.
Please do not ask your child to call home. Such calls often promote homesickness. In the case of an emergency or significant issue, we will contact you. If you have concerns, please contact DuBois Center.
Arrival time for MOST sessions is 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Please do not arrive early. Gates will be closed and staff will be preparing for your child’s arrival. Hint: Lines are longest at 2:00 p.m. Consider arriving at 2:30 p.m. for less wait during check-in.
Our #1 priority at camp is the health and safety of our campers and leaders, so the check-in process is very important. Please allow 45-60 minutes to escort your camper through the stations.
When you arrive, you will be directed to the Registrar to double-check registration forms and fees, then on to browse at the camp store and pick up your FREE t-shirt. Next is a health check, during which you will be asked about any updates to the Health Profile since it was submitted, then a precautionary lice check for the camper. Note: This process is much easier and more effective if the camper’s hair is not braided.
The final step of our screening process will be a short visit with the nurse. Here you will be asked about the camper’s current health and turn in any medications. Then you are off to your camper’s lodging to meet the counselors and help your camper get settled. Please plan to stay with your camper throughout the entire process.
We recommend bringing older, less expensive clothing and gear – items that your child recognizes as their own, not new ones they won’t remember as theirs. It’s best to LABEL EVERYTHING since found items that are identifiable are easier to return.
Please leave clothes that are too short, tight or revealing at home; they are not appropriate for church camp.
To avoid cuts and other injuries to feet and ankles, campers wear sturdy shoes with closed toes at all times, except at the beach or in the cabin and shower areas. Sturdy shoes also make walking and hiking safer and more enjoyable. See the packing list for details.
Detailed packing lists are available in the Summer Camp Information Packet.
The items listed below detract from the camp experience and Christian community we work to build. Prohibited items brought to camp will be collected and returned at the end of the camper’s stay.
Leave sandals, wedge / platform & flimsy shoes at home. Flip flops may be worn as shower/beach shoes only. “Crocs” may only be worn at designated times.
Do not bring valuable, breakable or dangerous items. This includes guns, knives, weapons of any kind, matches, lighters, fireworks, illegal substances, smoking and vaping products, or any items containing alcohol, cannabis or tobacco.
Do not bring candy, soda, gum or food. The bugs love it all. Snacks are provided each afternoon and evening, so there is no need to send additional food. The exception to this is in the case of medical and dietary issues, for which supplies will be kept in the Health Center for appropriate distribution.
Aerosols are not allowed at camp. Insect repellent, sunscreen and deodorant must be in the form of lotion, wipes or pump spray. Aerosols are safety hazards in faces and eyes, and around campfires and candles.
ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES should be left at home. This includes (but is not limited to) electronic games, cell phones, i-pods, tablets, e-readers and cameras. Bad attitudes can be left behind as well. Camp at DuBois Center is joyful, LOW-TECH fun. This is the perfect time and place to unplug from electronic technology and connect face to face with people.
NO CELL PHONES. At DuBois Center the safety of your child(ren) is our first priority. This is the primary reason campers are not allowed to have or use cell phones while at camp. While this might sound backward, even our insurance company recommends such a policy. Cell phones can be used as a safety tool, but they can also be used to contact potentially negative influences outside of camp (non-custodial parents, boyfriends and girlfriends, etc.). Phones can be used to take inappropriate pictures and post them on platforms such as Snapchat, which leaves little trace, but can cause significant damage.
We understand concerns about the use of cell phones for emergencies, however, when weighing all the safety factors – we have decided against campers having them at camp. If you have questions about this policy, please contact DuBois Center at 618.787.2202.
NO CAMERAS. Again, at DuBois Center safety is our first priority. Sometimes young people make decisions without considering the consequences. In addition, cameras can get lost or broken. Each family group will have a camp camera to capture great memories. We’ll collect the pictures regularly and post the best ones to Facebook.
NO SPENDING MONEY. There are no additional fees for activities or snacks, so spending money is not needed. The Camp Store is only open on the FIRST DAY of each camp session during the check-in process while parents are present. It carries a variety of clothing items, stuffed animals and other logo items.
Information packets will be available after April 1. Packets include the Parent & Camper Guide, Health Profile form, a packing list and directions to camp.
If you registered online, you may simply download the packet from your camper’s dashboard. If you registered by mail or by email your packet will be emailed to you. Information packets will also be available online.
A FULLY COMPLETED Health Profile is an absolute requirement for every camper, including adults. The Health Profile does not require a physical exam, but must include current medical information, immunization dates, details about medication and an authorization for treatment. Complete Health Profiles ONLINE! Parent/Guardian signature is required.
Some churches and organizations pay a portion of the camp fee. The part of the fee to be paid by the family (Family Share) is the amount due a minimum of two weeks prior to the camp session. Early payments are welcome.
We stock a number of over-the-counter medications, so it is not necessary to send these items. A list of stock medications can be found on the Health Profile.
Be sure to fully complete the medication sections of the Health Profile in detail. ALL medications brought to camp must be in ORIGINAL PACKAGING or PRESCRIPTION CONTAINER. Prescription containers must include the camper’s name, dosage, frequency and times of administration. ALL MEDICATIONS, including ibuprofen, vitamins, etc., must be turned in to the Health Care Staff when checking in on the first day of camp. Do not pre-pull medication or pack it in the camper’s luggage. Put all medications in a sturdy zip-lock bag labeled with the camper’s name.
If your camper requires special accommodations for a successful camp experience, please contact DuBois Center a minimum of three weeks in advance of the first day of your camper’s session. This allows time for us to strategize together.
We make every effort to serve campers with special needs who are within the scope of our training and staffing capabilities. Because we are a “general” camp, as opposed to a “specialized” camp, we do not have the benefit of extra staff to serve as inclusion specialists.
Within our cabin and activity groups, we maintain a minimum of one leader per six younger campers, and one leader for each seven or eight older campers. To have a successful summer camp experience at DuBois Center, campers must be able to function within this type of staffing structure.
The more information we have about the circumstances, the better able we are to provide appropriate support. Again, please contact us in advance!
Campers LOVE to receive mail and it is important for them to receive letters from home. Please send cheerful, upbeat notes. Avoid mentioning how much you miss your child. Statements like this can encourage homesickness.
Avoid writing about all the fun you might be having on vacation or at home while your child is at camp, and don’t dwell on negative happenings either. You can discuss real problems in person with your camper when he/she returns home.
It is tempting to send lots and lots of notes. This can be tough on campers who receive little or no mail. A letter per day is a great compromise. Mail is generally distributed at lunchtime.
Packages from home are intended to be symbols of love. For DuBois Center, however, they create problems. Eating and storing food in the cabins and cottages attracts insects and critters. In addition, campers not receiving such treats can feel left out. Please send letters instead. If packages are sent, in most cases, they will be held until the end of the session and sent home with the camper.
Campers will be encouraged (but not required) to write a letter home. Don’t be alarmed if letters are brief and sporadic – campers are busy while at camp. Be aware that a letter you receive early in the week could sound somewhat negative, but usually by the time you receive it, the camper has adjusted and has often even forgotten what he/she wrote. If you are concerned, please call DuBois Center at 618.787.2202.
Hint: You are more likely to receive mail from your camper if you pack pre-addressed, stamped postcards or envelopes.
The quickest and easiest way to sign up for camp is to Register Online. Just follow the link to the registration website and follow the directions. Online registration requires online payment.
Complete BOTH sides of the Camp Registration Form thoroughly in DARK INK. Print or type one form per camper.
Mail to ISC DuBois Center with a minimum, non-refundable deposit of $50 per camper. You may also scan and email forms to: register@DuBoisCenter.org and then call the Registrar at 618.357.1809 with credit card information. For Just You & Me only one form per pair is needed.
Call the Registrar at 618.357.1809 and use a credit card to make a minimum, non-refundable deposit of $50 per camper. You must still complete the Camp Registration Form and submit it to the Registrar postmarked within one week of reserving.
TWO campers may request to bunk together. However, they must be within one year of age AND both request each other on their Camp Registration Forms. All written requests are considered, but not guaranteed.
It’s fun to share a week of camp with old friends, and it may be easier for first-time campers to come with a buddy. Campers are encouraged to recruit their friends (and receive a discount for their efforts). However, if numerous friends are recruited, not all can be in the same cabin.
We avoid putting more than two friends together because it can be overwhelming for the rest of the cabin, especially for those who come without a buddy. We also avoid putting siblings together, allowing each to have their own unique camp experience.
Camp provides great opportunities to make new friends and build new relationships. It is our responsibility to assign campers in the way we feel is in the best interest of the whole camp family.
If your camper has significant health or dietary issues, contact the Camp/Program Office at 618.787.2202 before registering AND describe the issues on the registration form. We partner with parents to accommodate special needs whenever possible.
Register early to Save $30 on full-week sessions and Save $15 on part-week sessions. Non-refundable deposit and Registration must be mailed (postmarked) or submitted online by Wednesday, April 1.
When two or more children from the same immediate family attend summer camp at DuBois Center, take $25 off each child’s camp fee!
Invite friends who are new to DuBois Center or have not attended since 2017 and SAVE! When they register, you receive $30 off your camp fee for each of the friends you invited who attends a full-week camp and $15 off for each one who attends a part-week camp. More friends, more savings!
Many United Church of Christ congregations in the Illinois South Conference offer to pay a portion of the camp fee for their members. Check with your church!
There are several financial assistance options available. First, we recommend checking with your church. Many UCC congregations pay a portion of the camp fee for their members.
If church assistance is not available, or more support is needed, call DuBois Center at 618.787.2202 to receive a financial assistance application. Assistance is available for families receiving state assistance (SNAP, TANF, medical services or other DCFS benefits), as well as others with significant financial needs.
We will email your confirmation within 10 days of receiving your registration and payment.
If you register online, it’s easy to make payments to your account at your convenience. If you register by mail and would like to set up a payment plan, contact the Registrar at 618.357.1809 for assistance.
The $50 deposit is non-refundable.
If a registration is cancelled at least 30 days in advance of the start of the camp session, the full camp fee (minus the $50 deposit) will be refunded. When notification is received between 14 and 29 days, up to 75% of the total camp fee will be refunded. When less than 14 days’ notice is received, no refund is given.
In cases of sudden illness, accident or emergency, we can transfer your registration to another session if space is available. If all sessions are full, then a full refund is given.
We are excited to have your child camping with us this summer. We hope the experience will be both enjoyable and meaningful. Attending camp can be exciting and challenging for campers and parents. It’s natural for your child to be a bit anxious about leaving the comforts of home, adapting to new daily routines and meeting new people. We hope this Parent & Camper Guide will help to familiarize you and your camper with our procedures and minimize “first-day anxiety.” If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.
Our staff works hard to help campers feel comfortable and welcome. To do the best job possible, we need your assistance as well as that of the campers. Respect & Cooperation are top priorities at DuBois Center, and there are expectations for the behavior of each camper and leader. Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Each week of the summer, a primary focus for camp leaders is creating an environment in which everyone feels safe and secure – campers and leaders alike. RESPECT is Rule #1 and COOPERATION is one of our primary goals.
To help us achieve this goal, we ask each camper to:
Please understand that if a camper is unable to live within these guidelines and a positive resolution cannot be reached, the camper will be sent home.
Our leaders work hard to create a special place that is “removed” from many of the stressors and distractions of everyday life. Many of the items campers are asked not to bring are items that can detract from the achievement of our goals and the Christian community we work to build.
We ask for your assistance. In addition to talking to your child about Respect and Cooperation, please ensure that all items on the DO NOT BRING list are left at home.
Thank you for helping to make DuBois Center a safe and special place for all our campers – a place to unplug, slow down, laugh and enjoy being a kid.