St. Mark Youth Enrichment Excited to Again Offer Field Trips and Fun Learning Experiences for Kids in Western Dubuque This Summer

Public Registration Now Open for Summer St. Mark Heroes Camp 2022: Read Beyond the Beaten Path, Registration Closes April 4.

Openings are available for grades 3-5. Limited openings for K-2.

DYERSVILLE, Iowa–As the first signs of spring are in the air, St. Mark Youth Enrichment already has summer on the mind.

The group is already hard at work planning experiences for kids in Dyersville and the surrounding area that will immerse kids in new adventures, new experiences, and reading and STEAM skills, and social-emotional learning. Public registration is now open at

While this year’s experiences are still being planned, St. Mark plans to keep local kids engaged again. Last year’s experiences included a visit to local favorite Chad’s Pizza, a trip to the National Farm Toy Museum and a visit to the Four Mounds Ropes Course, a favorite for Aubrey Bussan-Kluesner, a student last summer.  

“I liked how we had to climb, that was fun,” said Aubrey in a recorded video. The field trips were her favorite part.

At the end of summer, Beth McGorry, St. Mark Director of Donor Relations, joined the group on a fishing trip. For some, it was the first time any of these kids were able to cast lines and experience catching a fish.

“That’s one of the beautiful things about this experience and about our summer program,” says McGorry. “It’s learning; it’s fun; it’s experiencing things you’ve never experienced before. That’s what so many of the kids I talked to loved the most. Doing new things and having fun.”

In addition to working with certified teachers in the classroom, St. Mark works with a number of local partners to add to those learning experiences. Mel Dill, Curriculum and Enrichment Specialist, shares she’s already spoken to more than a dozen area groups about summer already. So far those experiences include the Field of Dreams, ISU Extension Literacy/STEM, Four Mounds, James Kennedy Library, and Swiss Valley Archery.

“We have a very good working relationship with partners in this area, and every year I approach them about working with us, whether it’s for the summer or in the school year they get excited,” she says. “I can really tell that working with our kids brings them just as much joy as it does us.”

The theme this year is Read Beyond the Beaten Path, aligning with the National Collaborative Summer Library Programs. The weekly themes incorporate community service, social and emotional well-being, and health and wellness into our Literacy and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, and Music) curriculum. Students will receive a weekly book and a t-shirt to keep by the end of the program.

Western Dubuque (hosted in Dyersville) will run 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students entering grades K-5th in the Fall of 2022 are eligible. This summer program will be offered for 5 weeks, beginning June 20th through July 22nd with no program on July 4th (Monday). The cost for all 5 weeks of these programs is $375 with limited scholarships available for families in need. The program is also open to families in Dubuque. Deadline to sign up is Apr 4, 2022


Last summer, 118 children participated in the St. Mark summer program in Dubuque & Western Dubuque. 88% increased their literacy skills* and 90% demonstrated strengths in social-emotional skills**.

“This program brought smiles and joy to our kids and all of us at St. Mark,” said Executive Director Dawn Cogan. “Together we engaged in days filled with fun, learning, friendship, and adventure.”

To register or learn more, visit or contact Ron Paar at 563.582.6211 x108 or

*measured by QuickPhonics Screener

**measured by Deveraux Student Strengths Assessment

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St. Mark Youth Enrichment (formerly St. Mark Community Center) is a non-profit organization that has served the Dubuque Community for more than 30 years. St. Mark provides before and after school programming in Title 1 elementary schools in the Dubuque Community School District as well as programs in Dyersville and Peosta. To learn more, visit

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A gallery of photos from last summer are available here: Captions and identifications are available upon request.

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The YouTube video referenced in this article can be viewed in its entirety here: