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.
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.
After 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!
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.
In 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!
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.
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!”
Selena 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.
We welcome Rachel Hughes to our 2018 summer staff team! This will be Rachel’s first summer on staff, but she is no stranger to DuBois Center. In addition to attending numerous Mother-Daughter Retreats and ISC youth events, Rachel was a DuBois Center camper for many years, a CIT (counselor in training) and a volunteer camp counselor.
She has experience working with children in other settings as well. She was a mentor for kindergartners, Sunday School teacher and volunteer with Arts ‘n Autism (a non-profit for children and adults with autism).
This summer, Rachel will be joining us as a Counselor/Activity Specialist. She has dreamed about working at camp since she was young and is very excited to make even more amazing memories. Rachel hails from Freeburg, Illinois where she is an active member of St. Paul’s UCC. She studies business at the University of Alabama, is a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, and is on an Ultimate Frisbee team.
When asked about her “favorites” Rachel wrote, “I don’t know if this is my favorite food, but I’m always in the mood for ice cream. My favorite smell is brown sugar/vanilla. My favorite childhood memories are definitely from camp and also from travelling. I’m a huge TV and movie fan. I could go on forever and ever, but I think I like comedies the best. My favorite book is ‘Call Me by Your Name’.”
When asked about a mentor or someone who inspires her, Rachel talked about “Krazy,” her counselor for CIT. Rachel says, “She was just the funniest, coolest person ever. It showed me that even if I have a ‘grown-up’ job when I’m older, I can still volunteer at camp and make an amazing impact on the campers!” (Note: Krazy’s real name is Kristen Kniepkamp-Belcher. She is a high school science teacher in Alton, long-time UCC church member, and DuBois Center volunteer.) Welcome Rachel!