The DuBois Experience

AmaniIn these tech-centered times, it is increasingly important for kids to unplug, get outside, play hard, get a little dirty and connect face to face. In addition to heaps of classic fun, activities that help campers build relationships and grow in their faith are woven throughout each day – whether exploring the creek, gazing at the stars or cooking over the campfire.

Cabin groups of 5-8 campers combine to form DuBois family groups. These family groups experience much of camp life together. On the first night, these campers and their leaders discuss and choose many of their adventures for the week. In addition to family group activities, older campers also have “choice times” when they select from a variety of options.

We offer a progression of activities based on the age group, program focus and the skill level of our campers. There are new challenges and experiences for the youngest of campers, as well as for older youth.

Lodging

DBunkuBois Center has three distinct lodging areas for summer campers:

Main Camp: Four cottages near the dining hall in Oak Lodge. Each cottage has a common room between two sleeping rooms. Each sleeping room has bunk beds for 8 and a bathroom with shower.

Rustic Village: Eight cabins split between two units with one centrally located shower house. Cabins have screened windows and doors, a ceiling fan, electricity, and sleep 8 in bunk beds.

Hickory Lodge: A lodge in main camp near the dining hall in Oak Lodge. Hickory has hotel-style sleeping rooms, bathrooms off the hallways and a meeting/activity room.

 

Meals & Dietary Concerns

Most meals are prepared and served in Oak Lodge. Some sessions do have cookouts or special meals in different areas of camp as part of their program. Campers are offered three hearty meals a day, plus snacks. Fresh fruits and veggies are served daily. There is plenty of food and usually enough options for even the pickiest eater. Please do not send any extra food with your camper UNLESS arrangements have been made in advance with the Program Office. Supplemental foods will likely be stored in the Health Center and distributed by the Health Care Provider, (i.e.: gluten-free desserts).

Dietary Restrictions: We are able to accommodate SOME special dietary needs. Please contact the Program Office at 618.787.2202 or email dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org at least three weeks in advance of the camper’s arrival, to discuss special dietary needs.

So Much to Explore!

Horseback Riding • Crafts Archery • 9-Square-in-the-Air • Ga-ga • Goofy Songs • Nature Discoveries • Campfires • Night Hikes • Faith Chats • Teams Course • Cook-outs • Kwik Cricket • Kayaking • Water Games • Shelter Building • Swimming • Beach Fun • Water Mat • Fishing • Creek Walks • Crazy Skits • Camp-Style Worship • Team-Building Activities • B.L.A.S.T. – Bible Learning And Spirit Time

Horses

ApacheNo doubt about it, our horses are the most popular kids in camp. Spending time with “the ponies” is a favorite activity for many. Campers receive instruction in basic barn etiquette and how to safely lead, mount, dismount and ride a horse. Our riding instruction is based on safety and recreation. It is not intended as instruction for horse shows or for competition.

Weather permitting, part-week campers have the option of riding once during their two- or three-day stay at camp. Campers attending week-long sessions have the option of riding twice during their stay. The first ride consists of time in the arena to get comfortable with the horse and practice basic skills. A short trail ride may also be included – if time permits. The second ride is usually a longer trail ride.

Rides are cancelled whenever there are heavy rains, storms, lightning or the heat index reaches 100° degrees. If rides are cancelled, we do our best to reschedule whenever possible.

Horse Campers spend significantly more time around the barn working on grooming and horse care, as well as riding daily. They also help feed the horses in the morning and muck out the stalls at the end of the day.

What if the camper does not want to ride? At DuBois Center, we believe in “challenge by choice” – the camper’s choice. While no one is forced to participate in any activity, each is encouraged to try at least a first step. In the case of the equestrian program, this might mean petting a horse with a leader nearby. SUCCESS! Often small steps lead to a child being more willing to try riding.

Alternatives for those choosing not to ride include: spending time with a small group and a leader and cheering on their family group; working on a craft or other horse-related project; or perhaps joining the riding staff in the arena and “assisting” with instruction. For those with significant allergies, check with your doctor regarding appropriate options.

Leading HorseSAFETY FIRST! Our summer barn staff have significant training and experience working with horses and young people. They know our trails and our horses. The safety of your child is their first priority.

Helmets, specifically designed for horseback riding, are required for all riders, as are long pants that are not slick (preferably jeans) and proper footwear, including SOCKS. DuBois Center supplies helmets and boots, and we have some pants available; however, campers are encouraged to bring their own jeans. Also, pack one or two pairs of taller/crew-height (above the ankle) socks since boots can rub on bare ankles. Horse Campers should bring extra pairs of jeans and long socks because theirs may get quite dirty and smelly.

Fall Festival Challenge Update

Winter Horse

Thank you for your most generous support of the DuBois Center 2020 Fall Festival Challenge. Being a major fundraiser for DuBois Center, we knew that the necessary cancellation of the annual Fall Festival due to COVID-19 safety concerns would produce a financial hardship. The negative impact was reduced thanks to the extravagant gifts of those of you who responded. A portion of the proceeds from this challenge has been used to purchase much needed helmets and saddle blankets for the vital ministry of our equestrian program.

Nancy Wagner, Outdoor Ministry Team Chairperson

Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Back in the Saddle

Dakota

This past weekend, DuBois Center and our horse volunteers welcomed the first guest group riders since March! It was a beautiful day to make new horsey friends and to be out and about. As you have seen in regular posts, the horse team has been busy caring for and tending to the horses, barn and trails, but THIS is why they logged all those hours! Four family groups took advantage of the great weather. In addition to riding, they brought picnic lunches, explored the hiking trails and played in the leaves.

Dates are available in November for family and small group rides. Minimum number of participants is 4. For more information contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202.

Sunny

The Great Escape

Great Escape

The horses at DuBois Center are the most memorable part of camp for many. Some past campers, who are now in their 40s and 50s, can remember the names of their favorites and even which ones they rode each year. We love them, but just like children, they can be mischievous.

Last Sunday morning, a neighbor called to alert us of “The Great Escape.” The herd was found enjoying a leisurely Sunday morning brunch in our north fields. The fields, which had been freshly cut and baled, presented a smorgasbord too tempting to resist. Calls were made to semi-local camp staff and volunteers, and the horses were soon back inside the safety of our fences.

THANKS to Josh, Ryan and Tom for their extra effort!

Doggie Day Care for Horses?!

Classy

Doggie Day Care is a familiar concept for many. Thanks to volunteer Sharon Schafer, we have a similar but enhanced version for our horses. During a typical season, summer staff work with our herd six days a week. The horses come into the barn daily and are assessed and fed. During a COVID year with limited staff, this amount of attention is just not possible. A couple of our horses were looking too skinny. They were tested for worms, medication was prescribed, and their diets enhanced. To be most effective, treatment and extra feed was needed daily, sometimes twice a day. Sharon and her husband volunteered to care for the horses at their home and provide the extra TLC needed.

Classy and Thunder returned to camp last week – healthy and happy. In their place Apache and Sunny headed to “the spa” for their tune-up. Thanks so much to all our equestrian volunteers for the hard work, and especially to Sharon for this extra TLC!

Thunder

Sixty Seconds of Solitude

Lexi

Today we share another edition of 60 Seconds of Solitude from DuBois Center. It’s often difficult to take time to breathe deeply, relax ones’ shoulders and back, and remember that God is always with us. We hope these short videos of sacred scenes from around camp will help.

Today we are joining the herd for some rest and relaxation. Since there are no rides scheduled at this time, our horses are spending some of their days soaking up the sun and enjoying fresh grass in the Deer Run pasture. Watch for our weekly solitude postings on our website and Facebook page. We hope you enjoy this and future mini relaxation reminders.

Horse Camps – Ready to Ride?

Cisco
Horse Campers spend more time with the ponies, but still have time for other camp favorites like swimming, 9-Square, vespers and crafts. If the weather cooperates, they have the option to ride each day. Some mornings, these horse enthusiasts are up and at ’em long before breakfast to feed, groom and tack the herd. An early morning ride – in the cool of the day – is a great reward for early morning chores! Later in the day, the stalls need to be mucked out. Horse campers take turns, and actually have fun while learning about the responsibilities of caring for horses.

 

Younger campers can hop aboard the Pony Express for an introduction to horse camp. Older ones can choose from a variety of sessions. Ready to register online? Click here. For more information, check out the brochure online. Contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202 to have one mailed to you.

 

PONY EXPRESS (completed grades 4-6)
            July 19-22
HORSIN’ AROUND (completed grades 5-7)
            June 7-12*, July 12-17
SADDLE ‘EM UP (completed grades 7-9)
            July 5-10, July 12-17
WRANGLERS (completed grades 8-12)
            June 21-26

 

* This session, June 7-12, is nearly full.

Wrangle & Ride — Saturday, April 4

Wrangle & Ride

Spring is a great time to be outside at DuBois Center… even more so when horses are involved! Join our equestrian team on Saturday, April 4 from 9 am – 5 pm for a full day of fun with the DuBois Center herd! Designed for both beginners and more experienced riders, this is a horse-intensive day of grooming, tacking, riding, instruction and other horse-related activities. Beginners will be introduced to basic skills, while experienced riders work on more advanced options.

The cost for this event is $65 with lunch included. Online registration is NOW OPEN. Click here for more information or to register by mail. Questions? Contact us at dcinfo@duboiscenter.org or 618-787-2202.

Summer Jobs — DuBois Center Equestrian Program

Taco

Looking for a rewarding summer job working with children and horses? How about hands-on experience managing a trail ride program? Spending time with the horses is a highlight for many of our campers and great barn staff make all the difference! In addition to caring for our 20-horse herd, staff utilizes basic riding instruction and time “getting to know the ponies” to help campers build self-confidence and learn to respect and care for God’s amazing creation.

We are hiring a Barn Coordinator and one or two Barn Assistant / Counselors. The salaries range from $280 – $360 per week, depending on the position, and the skills and experience of the applicant. In addition, meals and lodging are provided. These are great jobs for individuals considering a career related to education, equine, recreation or social services.

For more information, check out the attached flyer or contact Shirley at 618-787-2202 or shirley.director@DuBoisCenter.org.

SUMMER JOBS – DuBois Center Equestrian Program

Summer Barn Coordinator

Looking for a rewarding summer job working with children and horses? How about hands-on experience managing a trail ride program? Spending time with the horses is a highlight for many of our campers. In addition to caring for our 20-horse herd, our summer barn team utilizes basic riding instruction and time “getting to know the ponies” to help campers build self-confidence and learn to respect and appreciate God’s amazing creation. For those who have never experienced a horse up close, the first moments can be overwhelming. However, with nurturing guidance, campers quickly learn that they can overcome their fears and experience something wonderful. Tears often transform into giant smiles. The joy campers show is reward enough, but serving on the summer barn team also provides hands-on work experience for individuals considering a career in equine or social service related fields.

For more information, check out the attached flyer or contact Shirley at shirley.director@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202.