It’s a Family Affair


Over the last couple of weeks a number of different small groups have been at DuBois Center for work days. Three hard workers from the Sullivan–Zbinden family spent part of their fall break from school lending a helping hand. Both Aralynn and Bailey were campers in 2019 and were planning to return in 2020, along with other family members. This year, they got their dose of DuBois in October instead of June or July. They hauled brush, painted and moved rocks for the pollinator gardens… and kept on smiling! They also took time to enjoy a picnic lunch and to visit the horses.

St. Paul UCC in Waterloo was back at camp for a second day this fall. This time, youth group members enjoyed trail rides in the morning, lunch in the back of a pick-up truck, and then an afternoon of work projects. This crew raked and raked and raked, then they moved 455 pieces of wood – first into the truck and then into the wood shed. A SPECIAL THANKS to these members of DuBois Center’s extended family! P.S. No, they did not ride on the back of the truck wVolunteers3hen moving the wood.










Waterloo St. Paul UCC for the WIN


On Saturday, a mighty crew from St. Paul UCC in Waterloo arrived at DuBois Center eager to serve. They departed with sore muscles and a well-deserved sense of satisfaction! After dividing into work groups, they got straight to it. One team’s primary task was priming and painting; the other team worked on storm clean-up – both priority projects. With chainsaws, goggles and masks in place, they cut and hauled fallen trees and branches from the heavy winds in early August. They primed and painted 25 posts for the fence on the road across the dam. Now all the needed fencing materials are ready for installation!

After enjoying a picnic lunch together – physically distancing of course – the teams joined forces. They hauled and stacked wood from trees cut previously near Coveside Cottage and set up the 9-Square for an upcoming guest group – both tasks that are better done with many hands.

THANKS to this hard-working crew from St. Paul UCC! Your efforts truly do make a difference! There is always lots to be done to help maintain your outdoor ministry facilities and grounds and you can help! For more information, contact us at or 618-787-2202.












With a Little Help from our Friends!

Rebedding stalls

The last two weeks have been busy ones at DuBois Center with eight different teams in motion – in addition to St. Jacob UCC, which we reported on last week. Neighbors John & Terry cut up and removed 5,000 pounds of wood from a dead tree off the Hickory Lodge patio. They did a great job with clean-up! Carol & David Shanks spent a day painting and repairing. Carol touched-up the entrance sign and painted more boards for the fence on the road across the dam. David replaced some rotted floorboards at the lumber shed and built new steps for it – no unstable cement blocks to contend with anymore! Margie & Mel Lindhorst continued working on the shade pollinator garden at the front of the office.

A crew from Grantfork UCC arrived with their mini-excavator and worked on one of the horse trails. They removed two old culvert pipes and cleaned up the area. They also worked on straightening the fence line at Deer Run. Teams from St. Paul UCC in Freeburg are making good progress on the cabins at Deer Run. Last week they installed windows and screen doors. The Horse Team stripped and re-bedded the horse stalls at the barn this past weekend. Watch for more about their efforts next week. In addition, two members were out earlier to check on the horses and help move round bales of hay. The Bee Team was back at camp on Sunday to check on the hives and the health of our bees. And last, but not least, Scott Schubert checked the lines and replaced the old phone on the front of the office. Guests without cell service can again make emergency calls after office hours.

THANKS to everyone for your hard work! It truly does make a difference. There is always lots to be done to maintain our outdoor ministry facilities and grounds. For more information, contact us at or 618-787-2202.











St. Jacob UCC – Stack, Paint & Haul!


On Sunday, a small but mighty crew from St. Jacob UCC headed to DuBois Center for a day of service. They unloaded and stacked 350-400 bales of hay, primed 43 boards and painted a number of posts, and moved and stacked wood. The hay is for the horses – obviously – but this year we had more than ever, and the team filled the hayloft in the barn and the hay shed. The boards and posts are for fencing – 300 feet of old fence was removed for the spillway renovation. The wood came from two precariously placed trees on the lake side of Coveside cottage which were removed earlier. All three projects were on our priority list, and the efforts of this group saved our staff many hours of work and speeded up the fence project significantly. It’s amazing what five people can do!

THANKS to the crew from St. Jacob for your hard work! It truly does make a difference. They also did a great job wearing face coverings and physical distancing when appropriate! There is always lots to be done to help maintain your outdoor ministry facilities and grounds and you can help! For more information, contact us at 618-787-2202 or


Doggie Day Care for Horses?!


Doggie Day Care is a familiar concept for many. Thanks to volunteer Sharon Schafer, we have a similar but enhanced version for our horses. During a typical season, summer staff work with our herd six days a week. The horses come into the barn daily and are assessed and fed. During a COVID year with limited staff, this amount of attention is just not possible. A couple of our horses were looking too skinny. They were tested for worms, medication was prescribed, and their diets enhanced. To be most effective, treatment and extra feed was needed daily, sometimes twice a day. Sharon and her husband volunteered to care for the horses at their home and provide the extra TLC needed.

Classy and Thunder returned to camp last week – healthy and happy. In their place Apache and Sunny headed to “the spa” for their tune-up. Thanks so much to all our equestrian volunteers for the hard work, and especially to Sharon for this extra TLC!


Volunteers are the Heart of DuBois Center

heart hand

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.

For more information contact DuBois Center at or 618-787-2202. Volunteer applications are available online.

Summer Opportunities Include:

●  Barn Helper
●  Cabin Counselor
●  Chaplain
●  Nurse
●  Photographer
●  Resource / Activity Specialist
●  Sunday Welcome Team

Wanted: Talent Scouts

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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 2020.
If you know someone who might be a good fit, complete the information on this form and return it or contact DuBois Center at or 618-787-2202.
Full application packets will be available on our website on Nov 27.

Thank You

Fall Festival
It rained, but it didn’t pour! The skies were overcast, but the sun did peek out every once in a while. Through it all the tractors kept rolling, the musicians kept singing and smiling faces and umbrellas were everywhere. The rain may have dampened the turnout, but not the spirit. Thanks to the Volunteers, Staff, Vendors and Guests who made Fall Festival 2019 a success!
Watch upcoming editions of Weekly Connection to hear some of the fun stories from this event.

Sunday Welcome Team – THANK YOU!


Each Sunday of our summer camp season, DuBois Center buzzes with scores of excited campers and their families. Extending gracious hospitality and ensuring a smooth check-in process with as few delays is a tall order – one made possible ONLY with the help of 12-15 volunteers each week. Our Sunday Welcome Team braves the humid summer temps with smiles on their faces as they direct parking, greet families, check heads for critters, screen health forms, catch and drive pontoon boats, operate the camp store, and direct the flow of traffic through the check-in process. This summer we set a NEW RECORD with 49 different volunteers! Many served on multiple Sundays; all made a HUGE difference! Eleven of these volunteers were part of “head check” teams from St. Paul UCC in Waterloo – THANK YOU so much!

On behalf of the Outdoor Ministries Team (OMT), DuBois Center staff, parents and campers, we would like to extend a hearty and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who assisted this summer: Kim Altmansberger, Donna Asbridge, Kathy Asselmeier, Casey & Nicole Avise-Rouse, Craig & Katie Jo Bielke, Debbie Clinebell, Joan Daab, Sue Davis, Yvonne Dehner, Christy Eckert, Aaron, Harmon & Susan Fuchs, Julie & Roger Harris, Audrey Hicks, Wendy Hill, John, Sara & Torrie Holst, JT Iorio, Anne & David Jackson, Leah & Wendy Juenger, Don Kaiser, Sandy & Scott Kuether, Cara Magee-Johnston, Judy Matzenbacher, Vaughn Mavers, Sam Morgan, Sharon Murphy, Todd Mushaney, Jason Petry, Sharon Schaefer, Alaina Scherle, Joe & Kara Schmid, Carol & David Shanks, Bill & Kay Theobald, Nancy Wagner, Darline Weihl, Sandy Westbrook and Angie Zapp. Please forgive us if we missed anyone; everyone’s efforts are greatly appreciated!



This is a big week at DuBois Center – lots of campers, lots of NEW campers, lots of volunteers and an amazing turnout for the Sunday Welcome Team. A total of 19 volunteers – in addition to those staying for the week – hit the field to welcome campers and their families. That’s a new record!

The parking lot was packed, but with additional volunteers giving directions – it wasn’t as issue. There were lots of heads to be checked and medications to be reviewed, but again – not an issue. Non-stop pontoon boat shuttles to the landing in the Rustic Village – easy!

This short-term service opportunity makes a HUGE difference, especially for first-time campers and their parents. Watch for a list of our 2019 Welcome Team volunteers in upcoming Weekly Connections.