Thanks to all the Fall Festival horse volunteers!

The ticket count shows that we provided 450 arena rides for our guests this year. That’s 1,350 laps of the arena over the six hours of Fall Festival. It takes a lot of people to make this happen smoothly and successfully. Our volunteers took tickets, fitted helmets, helped riders mount the horses, and walked the horses. We also have a volunteer monitoring the arena at all times to make sure our riders, walkers and horses are safe. Another assists with any issues that come up in the arena and helps swap out horses as needed. Hours before the gates open, volunteers bring the horses in, feed them, groom them and get them ready for the day.

And we can’t forget the horses. This is a long, probably boring, day of work for them and they all handled it very well and without any issues.

Many thanks to everyone who helped in the barn and the arena this year.

Hay is for Horses

On Friday afternoon, DuBois Center staff and volunteers worked along with a local farmer to bale some of the hay from our fields into square bales for our horses. In about three hours, the group baled, loaded, unloaded and stored 369 square bales. About a third of the bales were sent up our new (to us) hay elevator into the barn. The rest has been stored in the hay shed. Using our own square bales to feed the horses in the barn is healthier and saves us money.

Great thanks to Tom Karhoff for coordinating the cutting and baling of the hay. Thanks to Josh Meredith for working with the baler to load all those bales onto wagons. And thanks to the rest of the staff and volunteers who helped to unload and store the hay.

Photo above (l to r) Rylee Hodges-Stone, Sharon Murphy, Sandy Kuether, Scott Kuether

Group photo below (l to r): Meredith Malone, Mary Wagner, Tom Krueger, Tom Kahrhoff, Rylee Hodges-Stone, Josh Meredith, Jonathan Copple.

Larry Reeble also helped out, but didn’t end up in any of the photos. Thanks to all.

Volunteer Team Sign-up

Submit your name and email to be added to our 2022 Volunteers mailing list. Updates about upcoming work days will be sent to you directly. 

Now Accepting Applications for Summer 2022 Staff and Volunteers

Applications are open for Unit Coordinators, Barn Assistants, and Counselors. View our website in the weeks to come for updated employment information and job descriptions. Contact Rylee ( for an application. Please share the news far and wide! We are looking forward to summer 2022.

We are also now accepting volunteer applications to help with our summer 2022 schedule. Can’t come all summer but want to donate a week of your time? Contact Hayley ( for an application or to talk about how you can make an impact. Starting in 2022, volunteers at DuBois Center will need to complete additional diversity and inclusion training, so plan now to help us in the spring and summer!

Prepping for Fall Festival

Calling all Bakers

We are now accepting donations for our “Sweet Treat Shop” at DuBois Center for the Fall Fest held Oct 3, 2021. We accept all kinds of baked goods – cookies, cakes, pies, candies, all of the good stuff! . This will be a fundraiser for DuBois Center and goes directly into scholarships to attend camp. Please consider donating and contact Hayley at or 815-627-0595 to coordinate!

Pie a Pastor

Calling all Illinois South Conference Pastors! One way we’ll raise money for DuBois Center at this year’s Fall Festival is by collecting donations to “pie a pastor” – or Hayley. We’ll set out jars and the person with the most money in their jar toward the end of the day will be pied in the face. If you’re planning to be at the DuBois Center Fall Festival and would submit your name to possibly be pied in the face, please contact Hayley at or 815-627-0595.

Updates on DuBois Center’s COVID-19 mitigation strategy

As people of faith, we know intimately the importance of following the heart of the law. We were lucky this summer to have loose masking restrictions limited to inside our main buildings and when physical distancing could not be maintained. No COVID-19 cases were reported involving our summer programming. Our situation as the Delta Variant of COVID-19 spreads through the country is different than it was even just two months ago. As such, we plan to not only keep enforcing our indoor mask policy, we will also encourage a mask policy in our outdoor spaces at our larger fall events where physical distance can’t be maintained, such as Fall Festival.

DuBois Center cannot guarantee that we will have extra masks on site when you arrive, so please bring a mask with you when you are planning to visit. This small step from our community partners helps reduce the risk to our wider community and helps us stay open for events. We encourage everyone to be smart, safe, and well.

More photos from the cabins at Deer Run

A few weeks ago, we reported how Tom Krueger chose DuBois Center to complete his Eagle Scout project on July 17-18.  Tom is part of the Troop 320 sponsored by Columbia St. Paul UCC, Scout Leader, Chris Neumann. Because of his efforts and 23 volunteers, the three cabins at Deer Run are now ADA compliant. Kudos Tom and friends. We thought you would like to see more photos of all the help needed to complete the project.

If you would like to volunteer time or resources to aid us in continuing to increase the accessibility of our property and program, please reach out or watch the Weekly Connection and the DuBois Center website/Facebook Page for information on how to volunteer in the future.

Deer Run Cabin 4Deer Run Cabin 6

Thanks to our volunteers!

In a summer like no other, many folks stepped up to help us pull off the incredible camp programming we have accomplished this summer. Over 350 youth were able to come to camp this summer, many of whom did not get to go to a camp in 2020. So many folks have given one, two, three, and even four weeks of their time to support the mission of DuBois Center and support us in this unprecedented summer. It has truly been an honor to watch those who love this camp come through for our programs this year and choose to be here. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! Thank you for answering our calls.

If you or someone you know loves youth, nature, crafts, swimming, or horses, consider joining us as a volunteer or staff member in 2022!

Volunteers needed – July 11 – 16

We are still in need of a few more volunteers to make our summer at camp complete! For July 11 – 16, we need six female volunteers and three male volunteers to counsel. We are expecting an overly full house of campers next week, which is exciting but cannot happen without these additional volunteers. Volunteer counselors must be 18 or older!

If you or someone you know is interested in giving back to the youth of our churches and our region, please fill out our volunteer application, found here, and email it directly to Hayley at

We appreciate your support in our summer like no other!

An Excellent Start – Volunteers Still Needed

Already it has been a fabulous summer at DuBois Center. After a complete shutdown last summer, we all pulled together to be able to give over 200 children and youth the “DuBois experience” through summer camps. This would not have been possible without the extra networking support we received from you in regards to staffing for the summer season. While we have had enough staff to cover all of the responsibilities thus far, as we look to the remaining camps and retreats we will offer in the weeks ahead, we are still in need of additional volunteers to enhance the experience of our campers and guests.

Specifically, we would like to have some more volunteer counselors (both male and female) for July 11th through July 17th. We would also like to have a few more lifeguards for July 23rd through July 31st. Extra volunteers would allow certain staff and counselors to get more breaks than they have had. It would also alleviate the incredible workload of our new Director, Hayley Elliott, who has jumped in and moved mountains to make sure we were able to open the camp this summer and offer the life-changing camp experience to so many. Please help us share the word that these volunteers are still needed. All persons must be at least 18 years old for these positions.

For all who are interested in helping DuBois Center continue to be a place of extravagant welcome for all of God’s children, please reach out directly to Hayley Elliot at or call or text Hayley on her direct line at 828-707-4022.

Again thank you for your continued support of DuBois Center.
Rev. Shana Johnson, ISC Conference Minister