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.
Nine Square in the Air
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 & Mosquitoes
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.
In Case of an Emergency
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.