Our organization has been blessed with executive leadership stability having only 3 Executive Directors in 30+ years. Tom Lehman launched Camptown in 1991 with a passion to reach out to youth through outdoor adventures. He grew the organization’s impact until his unfortunate passing in 2004. At that time, the board of directors was committed to see the mission continue and searched for the right leader. As a volunteer and someone already connected to Camptown, Don Schafer answered the call leaving a successful career in the private sector. Under Don’s leadership, Camptown continued Tom’s mission and now reaches over 3,000 youth a year. Camptown’s board of directors along with Don prayerfully and thoughtfully worked through executive succession planning. We saw God’s leading and believe we have followed His will for Camptown and everyone involved. That process led us to Brent Freeman, another leader already connected to the mission of Camptown as he worked on staff as a Program Director from 2007 to 2009.
Brent rejoined Camptown in January 2021 and became our Executive Director August 2021. Brent has worked as a teacher, school leader and district administrator in the heart of Indianapolis over the past 12 years. His experience in education and passion for youth and the outdoors will work for the benefit of the youth of Camptown. As for Don, he is continuing with Camptown part time as an advisor and doing what drew him to Camptown in the first place: working with the kids.
As Camptown’s programs have evolved, our core purpose of mentoring youth through outdoor adventures has never wavered. From our past to our future the common thread is a commitment to leading youth to a better path. Remarkably, since 1991 Camptown has impacted over 40,000 youth in Central Indiana. Together with your help, we look forward to writing this next chapter of Camptown’s story and impacting even more lives over the next 30 years.
-The Camptown Board of Directors
When you get to a certain age, people begin asking when you are going to retire. While I believe you never retire from missions, I knew that the day would come when it was time to step back and let someone else take the lead. Through God’s leading, I believe now is that time. Almost from the first day I met Brent, I knew he would be the next generation of Camptown. He is a godly family man, and I have seen his passion for youth first hand. He is also an intelligent, honest, and thoughtful person who will represent Camptown well. I look forward to working with Brent to help youth right here in Indianapolis. During these uncertain and challenging times youth need an organization like Camptown even more than ever. – Don
It’s an honor to step into this role at Camptown and continue the legacy Don and Tom have built by investing in our next generation. Personally, I’m deeply grateful that my formative years were filled with caring adults who shared with me the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. That helped shape me into the person I am today and is why Camptown’s mission and values align so closely with who I am. God willing and with the help of Camptown’s many friends and supporters, we will continue building on the powerful impact of nature to help young people grow. – Brent