Meet Our Team

Since our beginnings in 1944, we have been committed to hiring excellent staff. The number one priority in selecting our staff is a strong committed relationship with Jesus Christ and their ability to share God’s word and love with campers. That’s not just true for our counseling staff, but also holds true for our leadership.

Bob and Debbie Strodel

Executive Director

Bob is a second-generation Camp Director and attended Brookwoods when his father “Uncle Miles” was Director. Bob and Debbie met when they were on staff at another Christian camp in the Boston area! In 2023, Bob will celebrate his 46th summer at Brookwoods and 30 years serving as the Executive Director. Debbie managed the Finance Office for 28 of those years, and continues to help out on a part time basis.   Bob has a degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as a MBA and a MS in Systems Management. Debbie has a degree in Business Administration. Bob’s favorite camp activity is rockets and you’ll find Debbie down at the Swim Beach when she can get out of the office. Bob and Debbie have two grown children who were both campers and served on staff. They also have 3 grandchildren attending camp this summer and 3 more future-camper-grandchildren!

Debbie and Bob

George Bowling

Conference and Tripping Director

George serves as our Conference Director, scheduling and facilitating conference groups of all sizes from late August through May. (Did you know we have over 6,000 conference guests every year?) When the snow melts and summer rolls around, George changes his camp hat to Tripping Director. He is responsible for a 7-person staff, and scheduling each cabin trip out of camp (which happens every two weeks) and the extended leadership trips. That’s a lot of trips and a lot of vans! George’s personal outdoor skills are legendary; he has even started a fire in the rain with a bag of Doritos! He’s famous for his backwoods cinnamon rolls and pizza both cooked in a dutch oven. George has a degree in Parkland Management and Master’s in Outdoor Education. George and Mary Beth have two grown daughters who have grown up at camp and served on staff. George’s favorite camp trip is the Allagash and if you like his famous Allagash cinnamon rolls, you’ll love this video.

George Bowling

Beth Walker

Deer Run Director

Beth has been a part of the Deer Run Family since 1997 and has spent a total of 19 summers at camp. In her many years at camp, Beth has served in a variety of different capacities including Counselor, Trip Staff, LDP Coordinator and Assistant Director. Camp is also a special place for Beth as she met her husband Carson while both serving on the Leadership Program staff. Beth has a BA in Psychology and Religion from Colgate University and a MA in Counseling from New York University. While spending many off-season years working as a teacher and a school counselor, Beth brings her expertise in child development and education to her role at camp.

Beth Walker

Michael Brigham


Michael has been part of our facility staff since 2000. He enjoys putting his kayaking in after work and hiking with friends, his favorite mountain is Mt. Eisenhower. Michael has two grown daughters.

Seth Coates

Moose River Outpost Director

Seth started working for CCCI in 2010. He is not just someone who knows how to run a camp, he also understands the heart of the ministry. He has a heart for Christian camping and the outdoors. From fly fishing, to rock climbing, to whitewater rafting, Seth enjoys it all. He grew up going to Deerfoot Lodge, learning from mentors, and encountering God in His creation. Seth and Cathy have four kids who love MRO as much as they do: Mayne, Brayden, Saydie, and Anders. Seth has a B.S. in Biblical Studies from Cairn University and a MBA from Plymouth State University. It’s hard for Seth to pick one thing that he enjoys the most…but fly fishing is right up there.

Seth Coates and his family

Jon Cooper

Food Service Director

Jon, a graduate of Cairn University, joined us in 2019 as our Food Service Director. He and his wife, April, have two children, Clara and Samuel. Jon and April have enjoyed working together in hospitality, including running a restaurant and catering company. Jon has worked in different fields, giving him a broad perspective on people and the workplace. From developing an ethics focused curriculum on occupational calling, to representing a chocolate company, they’ve always been happiest when they could make people happy with food. April is a talented baker and helps out in the kitchen when she can. Jon likes to make food that campers like and we can guarantee that it’s an awesome menu!

Jon Cooper

Bob Rathbun

Facility Director

Bob joined our team in the fall of 2021. He has an extensive background in Christian camping including as a camper at Northern Frontier and Camp Spofford. He has also been a Counselor/Instructor at various sports camps, and most recently has been the Maintenance Director at Camp Spofford for a dozen years. Bob’s background will be welcome at Brookwoods as we continue facility projects based on The Next 75 Years Capital Campaign, in addition to the existing summer and conference ministries. Bob and his wife Karen have two adult sons, Jack and Scott.

Ann Higgins

Development Director

Ann Higgins is the Director of Development for Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost. Ann works with our extended camp family and the generous donors that support our mission. Ann went to Mercer University in Macon, GA, where she met her husband, Craig. She has a degree in Math and English. Her favorite things to do at camp are looking for loons while kayaking around the cove and snowshoeing on the lake once it’s frozen over. Ann and Craig have three children who were all part of the camp program, a combination of campers, LDPs, and staff! Ann works from her home office in Rye, NY and spends the summers on location in New Hampshire.

Ann Higgins

Corey Porter


Corey joined our team in May 2021 as the Registrar for Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost. She has enjoyed a career working with various organizations and providing great customer service. She is currently working through her degree in Software Engineering and is on target to graduate in 2023. She lives in Barnstead with her family, and is a BIG Star Wars fan! She is happy to answer all your camp questions and make sure that your camper’s paperwork is completed correctly.

Tim Nielsen

Ministry Services Director

In 2019, Tim joined the CCCI team, but he is not new to Christian camping, or to Brookwoods. For the last 30 years he directed Camp Sandy Cove in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. As a child, Tim attended Brookwoods for a few summers and has maintained a connection with us ever since. Tim graduated from Houghton College (NY) and a Masters Degree in Christian Education from Columbia International University (SC). Tim loves the recreational elements of the camp experience and values the impact that they can have on the camper, staff member, and guest. Tim likes to be out on the climbing wall. Tim’s wife, Adina, is also passionate about camp (yep, they met at Sandy Cove). They have two young daughters, Dagny and Tilba, who are growing up as Deer Runners!

Tim Nielsen

Ben Tabone

Brookwoods Director

Ben joined the Brookwoods team in 2018. He spent many summers at Northern Frontier Camp in New York’s Adirondacks and more recently on staff at Camp Spofford in Keene, NH. Ben received his Bachelors of Arts in Adventure Education from Messiah College. As part of his undergraduate experience, he studied at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) where he gained professional experience. Additionally, Ben spent a semester at CAMP-of-the-WOODS in the LIFT program and gained leadership and discipleship training. Ben spends his free time outside, most likely whitewater kayaking and rock (and ice climbing in winter!). Ben and his wife, Alexa, met at Camp Spofford in Keene, NH.

Ben Tabone

Melissa Yonan

Alumni Director

Melissa has been a part of the camp family since 1982 and has been the Director of Alumni Relations since 2005, though she had a lot of camp jobs before then! She is responsible for our alumni network and serves as The Weathervane editor, our bi-annual camp newsletter. She also organizes our annual Alumni Camp weekend held over Labor Day weekend. She works from her home office in Central PA, and spends the summer on location in New Hampshire. Melissa has a bachelor’s in Education and a Master’s in Higher Education and Administration. She’s married to Mark Horn and all six Horn kids have spent time at camp. Her favorite camp trip is Chibougamau. If you’d like to share your camp stories, she’d love to hear them, or have an idea for a Weathervane article, or The Friday Blog, email her.

Melissa Yonan

Deb Gagne

Director of Finance

Deb is currently working as the Director of Finance, and has been staff here since 2013. In 1991 she received her BA from the University of New Hampshire, and in 1993 she completed an Associate of Business Science in the Public Accounting Program at McIntosh College.

Deb and her husband Ken have been long time Alton residents, and all three of their children have attended Brookwoods and Deer Run. They are members of Saint Katherine Drexel in Alton, and her values are those of Christ, woven into the fabric of her relationships with her family and those she serves.


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