Camp Counselor – So Much More than ‘Just a Summer Job’

2019 staff
They’re off – some to school, some on family vacations or traveling with friends, some back home to another country. Most barely had time to eat, sleep and do laundry before heading off on their next adventure. In their wake, DuBois Center is now a much quieter place. We will miss all the energy and enthusiasm, but mostly we will miss their hearts and spirit.
It’s always hard to explain the ethos, or “magic,” of camp to those who have not experienced it, but Georgia, better known as Croc, does a nice job of describing it in a recent Facebook post:
“Earlier this year I applied for a job at a summer camp… and while I was nervous about spending my summer away from home and having almost no free time, I’m so glad I made the decision to work here. The amount of love that this small camp has to offer is incredible. The people I worked with are some of the most loving and caring people I’ve ever met. I am so grateful that God guided me in this direction and I will always be thankful for the experience this summer offered me. DuBois Center: you will always hold a special place in my heart.️ Also, I’d like to give an individual shoutout to my OCD, V8 loving, horse crazy, barn chore fanatic friend, Catie Goetter. Working in the barn with you this summer was so much fun and I’m so glad I had you by my side the whole time. Even though we’re polar opposites and definitely tested each other’s patience a few times, I appreciate you and love you lots.”
May God bless them all on their journeys!

Neither Rain, nor rain, nor rain…

Rain
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these camp leaders from the swift completion of their appointed duties. Whether greeting parents on a stormy afternoon or creating engaging indoor or undercover options, summer staff at DuBois Center serve with smiles on their faces and a lot of enthusiasm. Sure, sometimes they get a little down… it’s a tough job, but your prayers sustain them and the special stories of the lives they have touched keep them going.
Recent Facebook comment from a Parent: God placed it on my heart to let you guys know, that what you’re doing with all the kids, is simply amazing! Just know that you’re making changes in these kids’ lives daily! Thank you for all you do!”

Meet Our Summer Staff – Ryan and Jack!

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Welcome back to Ryan Goetter from Collinsville and Jack Lockhart from Motueka, New Zealand!
Ryan – AKA Shark Bait – is returning for this fifth summer on staff. We celebrate his recent graduation from Missouri State University with his bachelors degree in music education and his new teaching position at DuQuoin Middle School. Another highlight – the designation of Ryan’s chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha as “Chapter of the Year.” An honor in itself, but even more so because Ryan was a founding brother early in his college career. Ryan is an active member of St. John UCC in Collinsville and long-term DuBois Center camper. His favorite childhood memories are from his adventures at camp. When asked why he has such a passion for working at DuBois Center, Ryan wrote, “I grew up at camp! It’s such an amazing and magical place and I want an opportunity to give the kids a great experience like I had!”
Jack – AKA Chip – is returning for his second summer on staff. He had such an incredible time last year, he couldn’t wait to return! Jack is a certified lifeguard, and volunteers with the rural fire department back home. Serving others is in his DNA. Jack is excited to be back at DuBois Center because he loves the “family atmosphere” and wants to gain more experience working with young people and families. His goal after completing university is to work with youth in the criminal justice system to make a difference while there is still an opportunity for significant life changes. Jack enjoys all camp activities – especially those involving water or horses. He was a rookie last summer, but quickly grew his grooming, tacking and riding skills.
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Meet Our Summer Staff – Kristian, Laura and Bailey

      

Welcome Kristian Avise-Rouse, Laura Renken and Bailey Reichert (pictured above, left to right) to our 2019 summer camp leadership team! This will be Kristian’s fourth and Laura’s third summers on staff – both will be serving as Village Coordinators. Bailey will serve as our Waterfront Coordinator during her second summer on staff this year.
Kristian is from Waterloo, IL and attends Epiphany UCC in St. Louis. He is a student at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he is focusing on music education. His goal is to become a high school choir director. Growing up, Kristian looked forward to going to camp every summer. His favorite part now is “watching kids build lifelong friendships like I was able to do during my many years as a camper!”
Laura studies elementary education at Eastern Illinois University; her goal is to teach second or third grade. She is from Hamel, IL and is an active member of Salem UCC in Alhambra. Laura loves working with children and was a regular Vacation Bible School and summer camp volunteer before joining our staff. Camp has been a second home for Laura since she was a young camper. “It is a safe place where I feel free to explore my faith and be myself. My favorite part of camp is the people that you make connections with when you come together.”
Bailey grew up in Columbia, IL and her home church is St. Paul UCC in Columbia. She is also a student at Illinois Wesleyan University, where she studies biology and psychology. After graduation, she has her sights set on graduate school and a career as a Physician’s Assistant. Some of her favorite things are coffee, swimming and female empowerment. Bailey volunteered for two summers at camp before joining our staff. Bailey loves “watching campers learn to love camp just as much as she does and seeing the impact it has on them!”
Welcome back Kristian, Bailey and Laura!

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? 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.

Wanted: Talent Scouts

With leaves and random snowflakes falling, summer camp seems eons away! However, planning is in full swing and summer staff recruitment kicks off over Thanksgiving weekend. We are in search of caring, hard-working individuals who enjoy the outdoors, love to have fun, and can embrace their silly side. They must have a passion for working with young people, and a heart for ministry and service. Paid and volunteer positions are available for Summer 2019. If you know someone who might be a good fit, either please complete the information on this form and return it or contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202. Full application packets will be available on our website on Nov 19.

Meet our Summer Staff: Jordann

Jordann

Welcome Jordann Sipe to our 2018 summer staff team! Jordann comes to us from Gordonsville, Virginia. She is a student at Virginia Tech and is double majoring in Dairy Science and Animal & Poultry Science with an emphasis in Livestock & Equine. This summer she will be serving as our Barn Coordinator. Jordann has been riding since she was five years old and is an avid foxhunter! In addition, she is an experienced lifeguard, swim instructor and coach. Numerous horse camps and 4-H camps are also part of her resume.

JordannAfter graduating, Jordann hopes to work with the 4-H program in her state, teaching young people about animal genetics and the importance of genetics in livestock production. She is very excited to be at DuBois Center this summer where her strong faith, love of horses, and passion for helping young people believe in themselves will intersect. Some of Jordann’s favorite things include Sour Patch Kids; southern fried chicken; and anything to do with cows, pigs, and horses. In fact, during the ten days between her last day of classes and heading to camp, she spent time in a dairy working on low stress handling of livestock before heading back to her home barn to help prepare for a rodeo.

We are excited Jordann decided to make the trek from Virginia to Illinois for the summer. This was her first big road trip, and she is looking forward to more in the future. Welcome Jordann!

Meet our Summer Staff: Marcus

Marcus

Welcome Marcus Vaughan to our 2018 summer staff team! Marcus is returning for his third summer on staff and will be serving as our Waterfront Coordinator. He calls Llanfyllin, a small town in Wales, home but he loves to travel and has made good friends and has “homes” around the world – one of them in Marion, Illinois. In 2012, Rev. John Holst and his family hosted Marcus during his first week-long lifeguard certification class. They developed a strong bond and have stayed connected ever since.

Youth development is Marcus’ passion. Since last at DuBois Center, he worked for two years at Camp Chief Hector YMCA in collaboration with the Canadian Rockies Outdoor Learning Centre. During his time there, his responsibilities progressed from canoe out-tripping leader to high ropes course director to outdoor school coordinator. After some time back in Wales, Marcus headed to Melbourne, Australia for a year of travel and work. There he served as a behavioral and welfare officer at a Christian boys college (high school to us Americans) working with students with behavioral challenges. Long-term, Marcus plans to work with youth in the correctional system, helping them to develop strategies and make long-lasting changes in their life situations.

MarcusIn addition to traveling and youth development, Marcus has a passion for soccer. In his late teens, he played professionally and coached youth teams. His family is also very important to him, and he is looking forward to spending quality time with his young niece after returning to Wales. Marcus is excited to be back at DuBois Center, to see all the familiar faces, make new friends and have another fun and rewarding summer.

We are excited for all the experience and energy he brings to our team. Welcome back Marcus!

Meet Our Summer Staff: David

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Welcome David Nirushikan Velupillai to our 2018 summer staff team! David was born in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Last fall, he traveled to the states to attend Eden Theological Seminary. This summer, he will be serving as a Counselor/Activity Specialist.

David grew up in a well-respected Christian family. Growing up, he participated in a variety of children’s programs sponsored by the church. In his youth, he joined the Scouts and participated in camps in different parts of the country. He enjoyed all these experiences, especially the campfires! While in seminary in Jaffna, he was involved in a number of outdoor activities, but especially enjoyed volleyball and cricket.

David has worked with children in a variety of settings. After seminary, he was the director of his church’s after-school program. In this role, he was able to provide young people with educational and cultural experiences that might not otherwise have been accessible to them. David wrote, “As a pastor, I would say that my goal is creating the community for the transformed community of the society.”

While in the USA, he would like to experience the culture of Americans, and see how we are involved in the ministry of children for a transformed community. David’s favorite foods are fried rice and spicy beef or chicken curry. He is hoping to have the opportunity to cook a couple of his favorite dishes for our summer staff sometime during the season. He is also looking forward to working with an international team. Welcome David! We can’t wait to learn more about you and your island home.

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Meet our Summer Staff: Selena

Selena

Welcome Selena Wellenstein to our 2018 summer staff team! Selena hails from Seattle, Washington and will be serving as a Counselor/Activity Specialist. She is a city kid with a heart for the outdoors. Selena has worked with children and youth in a variety of settings – as a babysitter, child care provider at church and volunteer at a therapeutic riding center. Her love of the outdoors has been fed by her years as a Girl Scout and as part of the Cascade Leadership Challenge program. The summer of 2016 she spent 18 days in the Northwest Territories of Canada rafting down the Nahanni River with nine other people. She wrote, “That was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, but I grew and learned so much!”

SelinaSelena is studying Animal Science with a minor in Spanish at Washington State University in Pullman. When at school, she loves being a part of the Guide Dogs for the Blind club, through which she is learning to train dogs for the program. When at home, Selena enjoys spending time in the sun and taking her dog, Roxy, to the dog park. Horses, country music and sweets are some of her “favorites.” Her favorite smell is a horse barn and she loves the movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

So how did Selena find her way to DuBois Center? “The honest story is that I was praying for a summer job, and shortly after I received an email with a flyer for the DuBois Center. When I checked them out online, I loved their welcoming and open approach to faith as well as the down-to-earth, rustic style of camp. I can’t wait to work with all different walks of people this summer and am excited to hear their stories!” Selena’s faith is very important to her and she found a wonderful church, faith family and mentor while at school. One of her hopes for this summer is to pass on her mentor’s kindness and devotion to the staff and campers at the DuBois Center.

Welcome Selena!