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

Transforming Deer Run

Deer Run
Yes, lots of deer do run at DuBois Center! In fact, this summer we have been blessed with frequent sightings of kids with their mothers… often running. But did you know that one of the most beautiful areas of camp is named Deer Run?
First established in 1975 as an area for tent and RV camping, Deer Run never quite reached its full potential. Currently, summer campers use it for evening games and camp outs. During Nature’s Classroom, a variety of activities are based there. Our horses appreciate the pasture and more advanced riders enjoy “Canter Alley.” The occasional scout troop camps there, but the area has so much more potential!
In terms of structures, there are three small cabins, a lodge that is frequented by more wildlife than human life, and a very rustic shower house. The centerpiece is a small three-acre lake that boasts giant lily pads in the summer.
Earlier this year, a team from Green DuBois was inspired by the possibility of transforming Deer Run into the intentional nature study and earth care hub of DuBois Center. Energy for this vision is catching! In early spring, two hives of bees were introduced and blessed by our conference minister. In May, a work crew from Christ UCC in Dupo and St. Paul UCC in Belleville removed the old, decrepit dock from the lake. Hoyleton Buddies from Region 2 re-established the boat landing – wading in hip deep to pull lily pads. Summer staff members recycled cardboard from the kitchen and moldy hay bales – making a “layer cake” out of them in the new composting area. And now, St. Paul’s UCC in Freeburg is breathing new life into the three cabins (article posted tomorrow).
The transformation won’t happen overnight, but it has begun!
   

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!

Meet Our Summer Staff – Ryan and Jack!

5_31 Staff 1
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.
5_31 Staff 2

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.

Are You Ready for a Full Week of Camp?

full week camp
If your child will complete grades 3-5 this spring or summer, then it may be time to step up to Settler camp – which includes a full week of fun!
New friends and lots of fun are just the beginning. Campers run, play, sing, eat, jump, act, create, splash, pray, hike, explore, build, ride and finally… sleep! Growing and playing together, exploring God’s creation, building a Christian community – that’s Settler camp at DuBois Center.
There are three dates from which to choose: June 9-14, June 23-28 and July 7-12. Sessions are filling quickly – so don’t delay. Pick up a camp brochure at your UCC church or download one here. To receive a brochure by mail, contact DuBois Center at dcinfo@DuBoisCenter.org or 618-787-2202. If you are ready to register, click here.

Peace Works – This Year’s Camp Theme

Peace Works

Merriam-Webster defines peace this way: “a state of tranquility or quiet: as a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom keeping the peace.” In the Bible, the word takes on a different tone. The Hebrew word for peace – shalom – relates to concepts of totality or completeness, success, fulfillment, wholeness, harmony, security and well-being. Every culture has its own ways of describing peace and the work it requires.

Throughout camp sessions this summer, Bible verses will be paired with words and stories from around the world to explore how “Peace Works” and how each of us can live more peace-filled lives. For more information view our brochure online.

Why International Staff?

International staff
Why do we bring in international staff members for our summer camp program? Because they’re great!
Each summer, DuBois Center recruits 4-5 international staff members through agencies like Camp America and from Eden Theological Seminary. With accents that draw you in and stories about life in their home countries, it’s easy to see why our international staffers are much beloved by campers and local staff alike.
We appreciate the perspectives they bring, the games and songs they teach, and the unique opportunities they provide just by spending the summer at DuBois Center. The cultural exchange they facilitate is not just educational – it can also be very entertaining: a favorite game is to check for reactions to breakfast staples like coffee cake or biscuits and gravy! It’s also fun to try eating like a Brit for a meal.
This summer, we will welcome Aleksandra from Poland, Elina from Finland, Jayde from New Zealand and Mtipe from Tanzania. We will also welcome back Jack AKA Chip from New Zealand.
Do you know, or can you guess which flag represents which country?
             

RSVP for the Thank You Party by Friday!

spring tree

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.

Click here for your invitation. Please RSVP to DuBois Center at dcinfo@duboiscenter.org or 618-787-2202 by Friday, April 19.