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!
Welcome Rachel Kinzinger, Catie Goetter and Georgia Agan to our 2019 summer staff leadership team! Rachel is returning for her 9th summer on staff and will be serving as our Program Coordinator. This will be Catie’s third and Georgia’s first summers on staff, and they will both be serving as Program Specialists with our riding program.
Rachel’s home church is St. John’s UCC in New Athens, where she is on the Board of Christian Ed and works with the youth group. She just completed her third year as a special education teacher at Marissa Jr-Sr High School. Rachel wrote, “Camp has always been home to me, from the time I was a young camper. It’s brought me friends, laughter and lifelong memories!” Her favorite things about camp include watching campers try new things, overcome their fears and homesickness, and fall in love with DuBois Center just like she did!
Catie just completed her junior year at Missouri State where she is majoring in elementary education. She is from Maryville, IL and grew up attending St. John UCC in Collinsville. She now regularly attends Schweitzer UMC in Springfield, MO. At school, Catie is a section leader for the MSU marching band and is a child care provider for the park district. When asked what she loves about camp, Catie replied “as a camper, I loved all of the activities, being in nature, and meeting new people. As a staff member, I love watching and helping kids overcome fears (because I still have some too), try new things, and become passionate about camp.”
Georgia is a local girl from Venedy, IL. She has experience working with children and youth in a variety of settings. Georgia studies general agriculture with a focus in equine at Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College, where she barrel races and is a member of the school’s rodeo team. Her mom had her on a horse since before she could walk, and she has been passionate about horses ever since. Georgia was blessed to find a wonderful faith community in Oklahoma. She attends Miami Friends Church which is a very small, close-knit congregation. Georgia is “so excited to work at DuBois this summer, because I remember my experience as a camper, and I had the time of my life!”
The annual DuBois Center ‘Thank You’ Party is scheduled for Sunday, April 28. Previously held during the Christmas holidays, this event is our opportunity to share our appreciation for your prayers and support, your gifts of time, talent and treasure, and your partnership in our shared mission and ministry at DuBois Center.
Together, we have touched countless lives over the past five decades through ministry in God’s great outdoors. Volunteers, staff, supporters and friends make it all happen. If you fit into any of these categories – then YOU are invited. Churches are encouraged to send representatives.
Enjoy a yummy meal, tour the grounds by tram or pontoon boat, take a nature hike, or just sit on a dock or porch and enjoy the day. DuBois Center is beautiful in the spring, so don’t miss this opportunity! Remember to dress casually and for the weather. Activities will begin at 2 pm, with dinner at 4:30 pm. We’ll conclude by 6 pm.
Looking for a rewarding summer job working with children and horses? How about hands-on experience managing a trail ride program? DuBois Center has openings for a dedicated summer barn coordinator and two barn assistants/cabin counselors. 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 staff utilize 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 staff also provides hands-on work experience for individuals considering a career in an equine-related field. For more information, check out the attached flyer or contact Shirley at 618-787-2202 or email.
Enjoy connecting with people and the outdoors? Fluent in computer-speak? Looking for a position that is more than just a job? DuBois Center is seeking an Office & Event Coordinator. This is a permanent, part-time position, the purpose of which is to organize, coordinate and implement office and event functions at DuBois Center, including camper, family and guest relations, data management (financial, camper, guest group and employee), coordination of office help, assistance with marketing efforts and occasional guest group hosting. The person filling this positions will be an integral part of the ISCUCC staff overall and the DuBois Center team.
This summer, our staff got a blast from the past – postcards from a former international summer staffer! Beth sent an envelope full of postcards all the way from Melbourne, Australia. The note she wrote to the staff as a whole reads: “Hi, my name is Beth. I was a counselor during summer 2004 & 2005. DuBois Center has many amazing memories that have stayed with me ever since. I hope you all keep in touch and have had an amazing summer. The Lord will use all you have sown and sacrificed these last few months. Thank you and please know that lives will be changed and kids’ lives will have become better by spending time with you this summer. God bless and have a safe trip home. Love, Beth Shanks (Reitenbach)”
The personalized postcards were a perfect pick-me-up for the end of the summer! Thanks Beth!
As we close the books on another season of summer camp at DuBois Center, we reflect fondly on the group of young adults that made up the 2018 Summer Staff. They came from near and far in hopes of sharing wonderful, life-changing experiences with their campers. Whether they drove to camp from right here in southern Illinois or journeyed from the other side of the country and globe, first-timers or veterans, they all added their own unique threads to the DuBois Center tapestry. We wish them luck as they return to school, “big kid jobs”, or other grand adventures!
Not pictured: Twig (Laura Renken)