Jodi Franke-Young, Executive Director, joined the Colorado Lions Camp team in December 2016. Jodi has spent the past 25 years working in the non-profit sector in executive management and administration. She is a graduate of the University of South Alabama, where she received her BS degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She began her camping career at an Easter Seals Camp in AL as a counselor, returned as the Sports Director, Program Director, seasonal staff member and completed her internship. After her first summer, she found her passion for her life’s work. During her college years, Jodi was contracted through Lakeshore Foundation in AL to start-up a wheelchair sports program for children age 6-18 with physical disabilities. In her role as the South Alabama Coordinator, she organized, facilitated and coached monthly adaptive sports clinics. Since that time, she has managed year-round camping programs in 5 different states serving children and adults with differing abilities. Her greatest challenge was the start-up of a therapeutic camping program for children with special needs & terminal illnesses in her hometown of Bradenton, FL. She designed and managed the program for over 8 years. Beyond her camp career, she has provided consultant services to like-minded non-profits. She is well versed in grant writing, government contracts, community outreach, program outcomes and organizational development. She was a Certified Case Manager in the State of Florida for a foster care program and an ARC group home manager in Illinois, as well as the Director of Child & Youth Services for the Department of Defense in Kwajalein, Marshall Islands.
Jodi is inspired by the campers she serves and the staff she has the privilege to work alongside. Jodi’s favorite quote from Bob Marley: “Live the life you love, love the life you live” resonates as she witnesses the magical moments camp provides. Seeing a camper try new activities and succeeding in developmental goals is just as inspiring as mentoring staff as they realize the love for their job as she did so many years ago.
Erin Newport, Camp Director, joined the Colorado Lions Camp team in December 2018. Erin is a Kansas native who attended Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. She earned a Bachelors degree in Recreation and Sports Management. Erin has spent the past 21 years in various roles throughout her camping career. She started as a counselor, then moved on to the Aquatics Director, Program Director and Camp Director. For the past 18 years, she has been in a Camp Director position for the Special Recreation Association and Camp Red Leaf in Illinois.
Erin has been involved in various boards and committees. She has sat on the ACA Illinois board for over 10 years and within that organization was the membership chair for ACA Illinois. She also served on the Mid States Camping Committee, where not only she organized the three day conference but lead sessions on raising a family in the camping world. She built her career as a director at Camp Red Leaf where she took the camp from 200 children and adults to 800 in her tenure there. She had the opportunity to make the camp more accessible by adding a tree house, sensory room and open floor plans for campers to get around better with no limitations.
Witnessing firsthand the impact camp has on the campers, it also has the impact on the staff as well. Camp allows you to experience what outside the box means and how you will be the world to one person. Erin lives by the quote, "to the world you maybe one person, but to one person you maybe the world."
Michelle “Radar” Werner, Executive Assistant, has been working at the Colorado Lions Camp for the past 14 years. She manages the bookkeeping and assists with camper registration, agencies and their families. Michelle began her career at camp as the Art Director and returned a year later to fill the role as the Executive Assistant. Michelle has an AAS in Business Administration with an emphasis on Administrative Support. She is also a member of the Nob Hill Lions Club and assists with fundraising efforts to help send campers with financial needs to camp.
Michelle’s greatest joys are her family and the campers that attend CLC. She has three children (two are grown and married) and has five amazing grandchildren. Michelle loves all things Disney and enjoys traveling, reading and knitting.
Food Service &
Kurt DuJardin, Food Service & Maintenance Director joined the Colorado Lions Camp team in June of 2013. Kurt has worked in the food service industry for the past 45 years and brings a wealth of knowledge to the kitchen with his gourmet meals and special diet menus. Kurt grew up in Osceola, Indiana and has spent the past 30 years as a Colorado resident. Prior to his role with the camp, Kurt worked as a Sous-Chef at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs for 11 years. In addition to managing the camp food service department, Kurt also oversees the maintenance of camp facilities throughout the year.
Kurt enjoys traveling, sports, fishing and playing golf during his leisure time.
Mary Hanahan, Housekeeping Services, joined the Colorado Lions Camp in September 2014. Mary grew up in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Colorado in 2012. Prior to joining the camp staff, Mary worked as a CNA in nursing homes for 5 years and worked as an Administrative Assistant for Park and Recreation programs for 9 years in Illinois. In addition to her role in housekeeping services, Mary also oversees rental groups and assists with weekend respite camps throughout the year.
During her off time, Mary enjoys hiking, camping and spending time with her family; including her husband, children and grandchildren.