East Bay Camp - Reservations and Inquiries
24248 Ron Smith Memorial Hwy
Hudson, IL 61748
Lea Schuler, the Office Manager, has the distinction of being employed the longest of anyone at East Bay. She has served the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, East Bay's parent organization, for 29 years, first in the treasurer's office and then at East Bay. When she took the position at East Bay, her intent was to work for the camp for only a year or two, but a passion for camping ministry wouldn't let her go.
Lea graduated from Lincoln College with an Associate Degree in Business and Sociology. She is certified in "old fashioned short hand" and also is a Notary of Public Service. In addition to a love for camping ministry she also has a passion for spreadsheets and anything involving numbers. She is valued in the camp office for her pursuit of details, among other things.
At East Bay Lea has found a second family that she loves to be with. She also enjoys watching the campers and staff grow up and become wonderful, loving Christian adults. Lea and her husband, Marty, like "all kinds of furry animals (except mice)," but especially dogs. They have had dogs that earned certification as therapy dogs that delight the elderly in nursing homes. Soon their cocker spaniel will have a certification allowing it to visit and comfort children at St Jude Hospital. Lea and Marty and have been married for 23 years and share their home with the precious dogs Magic and Wishes.
Coordinator of Camping and Retreat Ministries
Patric Newton is originally from Indiana where he experienced camp for the first time at the age of four. He began working at his childhood camp at the age of fifteen and there discovered that United Methodist camping was one of his great passions. It was at camp where he received his call to ministry and went on to Olivet Nazarene University to obtain a degree in Christian Education. Patric has served at a variety of camps and in a variety of roles around the country.
Patric is married to Brianne who he met at Blue Lake Camp in Alabama. They welcomed their daughter, Beatrice, into the world in 2017. For fun, they enjoy exploring nature, watching movies, reading books, playing board games and cheering on the Colts.
P.O. Box 19207
Springfield, IL 62794-9207
Associate Coordinator Camping and Youth Ministries
Curt Franklin is a program manager at East Bay, holding responsibilities, also, in conference-level youth ministries. He gives oversight to and provides training for other program staff and volunteers and leads a number of the activities, including team-building, tree-climbing, and archery.
Curt has been immersed in camping ministry since his brother "tricked" him into a summer leadership training event by dangling the prospect of fun in front of him. Curt was surprised to find that camping ministry was actually a good fit, offering him a place and purpose for his talents, including guitar-playing and worship leadership. As time went on, God gave Curt clarity about his call, and he moved into leadership positions in his local congregation and at camp. In college Curt applied for a position as summer staff at East Bay and the rest, they say, is history.
Curt is married to Kristin, who works at Crossroads UMC as the Director of Children's Ministries. Together they have discovered that God has a purpose and plan for their lives, that they can keep each other on track, and that side-by-side ministry strengthens them and their witness. A little known fact is that Curt grows his hair for periodic harvesting for Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. The beard is simply a conversation piece.
Camping and Retreat Administrative Assistant
Brenda Harris has been an administrative assistant in the Camping, Retreat, and Youth Ministries office of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference (IGRC) since 2003. Having attended summer camp herself, and then having the privilege of introducing her daughter to IGRC camps, Brenda personally knows the value of camping and has been enabled to focus on the “mission” of camping ministry. Her work includes assisting the camps sites with administrative duties such as registration for summer camp programs, confirmation retreats, youth retreats, and Bible bowls. She prepares payouts for the hundreds of invoices that pass through the camping office monthly, prepares materials for meetings, and assists with marketing and promotional materials, as well as updates to the camping website as needed.
Brenda is a transplant from coastal North Carolina and has lived in Illinois for over 16 years. She is married to Greg and has a daughter, Sarah.