Exciting News

Hayley Elliot

The Search Committee and the Executive Committee are pleased to announce the Illinois South Conference has extended a two-year contract with Hayley Elliott for the position of Acting Director of Outdoor Ministry. After an extensive search process which included: Zoom interviews; submissions of candidates’ faith journeys and personal theology; a strategic plan of staffing, programming, finances, and partnerships for the coming year at DuBois Center; checking candidates’ professional references; and an onsite tour of DuBois, the Search Committee unanimously recommended Hayley to serve as the Acting Director of Outdoor Ministry.

Hayley Elliott was born and raised in West Virginia, where love of nature and earth were instilled in her from a young age. She spent most of her formative summers at church camp and has fond memories of learning to swim, making friends, playing games, and learning the importance of faith formation in this setting. As she grew up, she began volunteering at camp and eventually became a camp counselor.

Hayley received a B.S. in Business Administration from Mars Hill University. Her undergraduate capstone project was related to the digital and social marketing of camps and how to reach new audiences and form new partnerships. After completing undergraduate studies, Hayley entered Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, where she completed an MTS (Master of Theological Studies) degree. While in divinity school, Hayley furthered her commitment to youth education by working at a local elementary and middle school as the lead counselor in their afterschool and summer programs.

After graduating from Vanderbilt Divinity School, Hayley and her wife, Rachel, moved to Denver, Colorado so that Rachel could complete a yearlong CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) residency. During this time, Hayley worked full time as an anti-money laundering analyst while maintaining an additional role as a co-director for youth and children at Sixth Avenue UCC and sharing her gifts at LaForet Conference and Retreat Center, the Rocky Mountain Conference’s camp.

Hayley is very passionate about outdoor ministry within the United Church of Christ and excited about the future of caring for God’s creation and extending God’s extravagant welcome at DuBois Center!

Hayley will begin her new ministry with us on Monday, April 5, 2021. In the meantime, the Outdoor Ministry Team has done a phenomenal job creating staffing-, programming-, and safety-contingency plans to hold programming this summer in some form at DuBois Center with summer staff onsite to welcome children, youth, and adults to experience what makes DuBois Center such a special and sacred space.

The Illinois South Conference sincerely thanks the Search Committee for the time and energy they spent in prayerful and Spirit-led discussions, deliberations, and decisions.

Its members were:

  • Craig Bielke, Illinois South Conference member at large and leader of Conference-wide youth retreats held at DuBois Center
  • Hank Henderson, representative of the Personnel Committee of the Conference and member of St. John UCC, Trenton, Illinois
  • Rachel Kinzinger, representative of the Outdoor Ministry Team of the Conference and former staff member of DuBois Center
  • Nancy Wagner, current chairperson of the Outdoor Ministry Team of the Conference and member of St. Paul UCC, Lebanon, IL
  • Dr. Jill Baker, ex-officio member and Moderator of the Illinois South Conference
  • Rev. Shana Johnson, ex-officio member and Conference Minister of the Illinois South Conference

We can’t wait for you to meet Hayley soon!!

Rafiki

Labrynth

Rafiki: to agree (or promise) to one another to work together in oneness and unity. This concept, shared by a seminary student from Kenya a couple summers ago, is one that we continue to focus on at DuBois Center. We strive to provide a place to laugh, play, pray and break bread together, a place where faith grows. As a significant piece of the ministry and mission of Illinois South Conference, we work to build up God’s kingdom on earth… as it is in heaven. With the financial support of scores of individuals, churches and church groups, this work continues. Hopefully, you received a letter that highlights in words and pictures some joys from 2019. If not, or if it’s lost in a pile somewhere, click here for a digital copy or contact our office to have a letter mailed to you.

If you have not already done so, we hope you will consider a year-end gift in support of our shared ministry at DuBois Center. You may donate safely online, or if you prefer to mail your donation, use this form. With so many demands on your resources, we are truly honored by your prayerful gifts of financial support as well as offerings of prayer, time and talent. Thank you.

We Give Thanks to Our Staff!

2019 staff
This week we give thanks for our staff team! Almost all are part-time and most work limited schedules, only as needed. Despite this, they are the lifeblood of DuBois Center. They can be seen in the office and the kitchen, on the tractor and in a lifeguard chair. They care for our campers, guests, critters, facilities and grounds. Some tend to the horses in the bitter cold; others serve in the summer heat. Some clean dirty buildings; others bake up delicious meals. They are often found trekking through the woods with eager students, leading team-building activities, laying campfires for guest groups and plunging toilets. They work collaboratively with scores of volunteers to provide a ministry of hospitality and nurture, and to maintain and improve our facilities. Thanks to the staff team that keeps DuBois Center on a steady course day in and day out, throughout the year.

Save the Date for Father-Son Retreat 2020!

Father Son Retreat

Fathers, Grandfathers and Uncles – SAVE THE DATE and plan now to bring your sons, grandsons, nephews or another young man in your life to DuBois Center for a weekend of quality guy time! Our 2020 Father-Son Retreat will take place April 24 – 26.

Fish, hike, canoe or just hang out together. Make cool crafts, share in vespers and work on your archery skills. Horseback riding is available for an additional fee. Lodging is in heated cottages and Hickory Lodge.

The weekend is geared for those age 5 and older, and families participate together. Rev. RJ Morgan will be returning as our chaplain for the weekend.

Registration opens January 15. Watch for details. Questions? Contact us at 618-787-2202 or dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org.

Year-End Support for Ministry at DuBois Center

support

This time of year, we are more mindful of giving thanks – for family, friends, our church community and God at work in our lives. At DuBois Center, we are also thankful for stories, especially ones of connection, challenge and transformation.

These stories tell of new-found confidence for first-time campers, deepening parent-child relationships, faith discussions that come alive, individuals transformed into communities, unlikely friendships built on respect and so much more. Scores of dedicated volunteers, staff members and donors together make DuBois Center a place of welcome and hospitality, a place to connect, belong and grow… a place where faith is nurtured and lives are transformed. With your financial support this work continues.

Click here to read our annual letter which highlights aspects of our shared ministry in the outdoors at DuBois Center in 2019. This is your ministry, the work of your congregations, the work of the Illinois South Conference. We hope you will consider a year-end gift. You may donate safely online or, if you prefer, use this form and mail your donation. With so many demands on your resources, we are truly honored by your gifts of financial support as well as offerings of prayer, time and talent. Thank you!

Send Us 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 scholarships – helping children and youth from families 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. Items may be brought directly to DuBois Center on Saturday, Oct 5 or by 10 am on Oct 6. Need more info or assistance with delivery? Text/call Kristen at 618-567-6863 or Melissa at 314-440-6646, or connect with Angie at angiezapp1@gmail.com or 618-599-9277.

Thank You to our Volunteer Chaplains!

chaplains
In June and July, we served over 400 young people in camps sponsored by the Illinois South Conference. It was an amazing summer and we are especially thankful for all the volunteer chaplains that helped make the PEACE WORKS theme come alive for our campers.
It was especially fun to see “Messy Church” techniques at play at camp this summer. Chaplains led BLAST (Bible Learning and Spirit Time), prepared vespers and provided an amazing ministry of presence – walking with our campers and staff throughout each week.
Our team was quite an eclectic bunch. Some are ordained ministers, one an in-care student. Some are school teachers, some are former campers and summer staff members. Some are retired, and some took time off work to serve with us.
Thanks so much to all the 2019 volunteer summer camp chaplains and the churches that supported their efforts. They truly had a significant impact on the faith lives of our campers and staff!:
Nicole Avise-Rouse – Epiphany UCC, St. Louis & St. Paul UCC, Waterloo
Craig Bielke – St. Paul UCC, Belleville
Rev. Katie Jo Bielke – St. John UCC, Collinsville
Joan Daab – St. Paul UCC, Columbia
Rev. Christy Eckert – St. John UCC, Trenton      
Audrey Hicks – St. Paul UCC, Waterloo
Rev. John Holst – Zion UCC, Marion
Rev. Todd Mushaney – Christ UCC, Dupo
Rev. Patrick Poole – St. John UCC, Maeystown & Zion UCC, St. Joe, Waterloo
Alaina Scherle – St. Paul UCC, Waterloo

Prayers for our Camp Staff

summer-camp-staff

On Wednesday, May 29, our summer camp program staff officially arrived for nine days of intensive training covering topics such as health and safety, faith formation, activity leadership, behavior management and so much more! They came from local Illinois South Conference churches and from communities of faith around the world.

Please keep the leadership team, program staff and site staff in your thoughts and prayers. They have an awesome task in front of them! We also ask that you keep our international staff and their families close to your heart. These staff members have traveled from Finland, New Zealand, Peru, Poland and Tanzania, and will be far from their homes for three months and even longer for some. Thank you!

We Still Need Volunteers!

Photographer
Volunteers are the heart of strong and healthy outdoor ministry programs. At DuBois Center, volunteers serve throughout the year on committees and teams, at the barn, in the office, on work projects, as retreat leaders and fund raisers. During the summer, there are a variety of ways to be involved and make a difference in the lives of the young people we serve. Join us for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, a couple days during the week, or a full session of camp. Volunteers work hand-in-hand with paid summer staff to provide our fun, engaging and faith-filled program.
Summer 2019 opportunities include:
● Cabin Counselor
● Chaplain
● Nurse
● Barn Helper
● Sunday Welcome Team
● Activity Specialist
● Photographer

Contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202 with questions. More information and volunteer applications can be found here. We hope to see you at DuBois this summer!

Welcome Work Campers!

Work Camper

A team from Christ UCC in Dupo, with a neighbor from St. Paul in Belleville, rolled into camp yesterday morning and got straight to work. Here for most of the week, they have a full slate of projects including safety enhancements in the cottages, screen and door repairs in the rustic cabins, new brighter lights for the rustic shower house and elsewhere, an extended deck for the chapel in main camp, as well as a number of other smaller, less glamorous projects.

Pictured are Larry Godare (above) and Marvin Doerr (right) building openings to make the Ga-ga pit more accessible.

THANKS to this crew and all volunteers that make a difference throughout the year! Watch for updates on Facebook.