Staff

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.

Emily Ferrell, Assistant Director

I am currently in my final semester of college at Mid-America Christian University. I will be graduating in May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Multidisciplinary degree in English. I have a passion for people and communication, and I can’t wait to use my skills to advance the Kingdom of God at Camp Challenge! 

I was a camper at Camp Challenge for twelve years, and during that time I also served as a volunteer counselor. I can confidently say that I would not be who I am today without the ministry of camp. I am honored to be able to serve at camp in a full-time role and give back to a place that has impacted me so greatly. 

A little bit about me is that I love reading, writing, and watching movies (basically anything that involves good stories and conversations)! I am a coffee enthusiast. I will drink gas station coffee, $7 lattes, and everything in between! On a typical day off you can find me in a hammock, playing games, or hanging out with friends! I love adventure, and I am so glad that God is continuing my adventure at Camp Challenge!

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!

Kaitie Thomas, Summer Program Manager

Hello! My name is Kaitie Thomas and I am so excited to be the Program Manager at Camp Challenge! Here are a few things about me! I just got married in March 2020! We live in my home town of New Castle, Indiana. I am currently a 3rd/4th grade teacher. I have served as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator for a 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 course of 9 summers, lead worship at some of the younger camps the 2 years after, as well as having had the amazing opportunity to get to co-direct one of the elementary school camps! All of this to say, Camp holds a very special place in my heart. I am so excited to have the 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! I cannot wait to see how God is going to work this summer at Camp!

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.

Maria Thomas, Food Service Volunteer

Larry Kurtz, Groundskeeping Volunteer

8914 US 50 East
Bedford, IN 47421
812.834.5159

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