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Staff

Kaitie Ferrell, Program Manager

Hello! My name is Kaitie Ferrell and I am so excited to be stepping into this role as Program Manager! Here are a few things about me! I currently live in my home town of New Castle, Indiana. In 2016, I graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Special Education and now am a licensed teacher who works as an instructional aide in a high ability 5th and 6th grade classroom. I recently served as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator for a local church and worked summers for a regional Christian campground.  I grew up in the Church of God, my dad being a worship pastor (Yep! I am a PK!), which is how I got connected with Camp Challenge!

Camp Challenge is one of my FAVORITE places on Earth! I was a camper every summer for 10 years, and I have come back every summer since. As a high schooler, I helped with younger camps as a CIT. I have been a counselor at various age group weeks over the past 9 summers, led worship at some of the younger camps the last 2 years, as well as having had the amazing opportunity to get to co-direct last summer! All of this to say, Camp holds a very special place in my heart. I am so excited to have this new opportunity to serve at Camp! I want to continue to help cultivate and nurture the community that is Camp Challenge. I have seen and continue to see God do amazing things here: lives are dedicated to Christ, calls to ministry are received, hearts are transformed, lifelong friendships are made. Camp has had such a huge impact on my life and I want to be a part of providing that for future campers!

 

Alec Kern, Physical Operations Manager

I am originally from here in Bedford, Indiana, and Camp Challenge has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I am fortunate to have a lot of my family close by here in town, both of my parents and my sister live just a few minutes away. For my whole life I have attended Bedford First Church of God, who for a long time, and to this day, is very involved in the ministry here at camp. It was through my annual church retreats in the fall that even at a young age I discovered the power that this place has to bring people together in Christ. I graduated from Bedford North Lawrence high school and studied media at Indiana University for a couple of years. Now while I take a break from school I am so honored to take on this new role here at camp, and bring that power of togetherness to so many old and new camp folks.

I came to camp for the first time after I finished 3rd grade, and I attended most summers afterward until I graduated. Somewhere during those summers here I felt the call to give my life to Jesus, and camp only strengthened my relationship with Him in the years following. I became a CIT the very first year I was able to, and I was hooked. I returned to CIT for a few years before the summer of 2017 when I joined Summer Staff for the first time, and I was blown away by the experience. This year I joined the staff again, and it totally exceeded all my expectations simply because of how I saw Christ move through this camp this year. From being a camper to CIT, Summer Staff to now my year-round role, I have made so many life long friends, and connections to so many special people I have met along the way. I hope you can come and experience this place for yourself!

 

Brian Klein, Executive Director

I began my work at Camp Challenge in 2013 and I LOVE working and living here! I first came to Camp Challenge when I was 10 years old and attended nearly every year after that. I went on to be a CIT and counselor, then served on the Board of Directors before being hired as the Executive Director.

I am originally from Vincennes, Indiana, went to South Knox, and attended the Vincennes First Church of God. I graduated from Anderson University with a degree in Finance and then Indiana Wesleyan with an MBA. After college I worked for an insurance company for 16 years and also did some real estate work.

I live at camp with my wife, Maria, and our two kids Max and Meryl. Sheriff is our puppy and she oversees the rest of animal population at Camp: our cats Trooper, Deputy 1, and Oreo.

In my spare time I love to hike in the woods, ride my ATV, play a little Madden, read about the Appalachian Trail, and dream about hiking the AT.

 

Maria Klein, Director of Engagement

I am originally from Fountain City, Indiana, and grew up attending Park Place Church of God in Connersville. I majored in Youth, Adult, and Family Services at Purdue University, and received a Master’s in Public Administration at IUPUI. I worked and consulted for the Indiana Youth Institute before staying home full-time with our children, Max and Meryl. In my free time (?), I love to read, go to Zumba and other exercise classes, and do home improvement projects.

Camp Challenge is a precious place to me. The first time I remember feeling the undeniable pull of the Holy Spirit was during a service at Amity; like so many others before and after me, I prayed outside on the balcony with a counselor. I love working here because I get to help create an environment for others to hear God calling. My main responsibilities at Camp include communications and registration, but I try to help wherever I can!

 

Larry Kurtz, Buildings and Grounds

 

Jay Thomas, Food Service Manager

I grew up in Virginia Beach, VA. While attending community college, I met my wife Maria and started attending church with her family. This was the beginning of my walk with Jesus as young man. Maria and I were married in 1987 and began our lives together living in Shreveport, LA where I started my career as an air traffic controller. In 1997 my career path had us move to Avon, IN with our 2 small children Andrew  and Shelby. Andrew, now a corrections officer for the state of Indiana lives in Plainfield and Shelby is married and lives and works in the medical field just outside of Chicago.

We became involved with Camp Challenge in 2014 as our church home (Christ’s Community Church in Fishers) began partnering with Camp Challenge. As Maria and I transitioned into our lives as empty nesters, we felt God calling us towards doing some form of mission work while enjoying our hobby of RVing. Prior to working for the FAA, I was in the food service industry and love cooking for large groups. It quickly became apparent that this was the type of mission work that God had been preparing us for. In May of 2018 we sold our house and most of our stuff and purchased a new RV that we live full time in. We plan to spend our summer months at Camp Challenge and winters in Texas.

 

 

 

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