Little Grassy Camp - Reservations and Inquiries

Office: 618-457-6030
1 Methodist Camp Road
Makanda, IL 62958

Site Manager

Cassie Leitzen

(618) 457-6030

Cassie comes to Little Grassy by way of east central Iowa.  She received her B.S.S in Kinesiology and Secondary Education from Cornell College in 2008.  After spending time substitute teaching, she was encouraged to consider working at a local summer camp, which is where she found her passion in camping ministry.  She spent several years at Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp in Iowa while also serving as Youth Leader at her church.  In her free time Cassie enjoys rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, and reading in her hammock.  She is joined by her cat, Storm, bearded dragon, Toothless Rex, and newest addition adventure dog, Skye.

Coordinator of Camping and Retreat Ministries

Patric Newton

(217) 529-2646

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.

Patric Newton
P.O. Box 19207
Springfield, IL 62794-9207
Office: 217-529-2646

Associate Coordinator Camping and Youth Ministries

Curt Franklin

(217) 494-0417

Curt Franklin is an Associate Coordinator of Camping and 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.

Camping and Retreat Administrative Assistant

Brenda Harris

(217) 529-3007

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.  She maintains an extensive camper and retreat database, as well as working with regulatory compliance company to ensure compliance is maintained for Payment Card Industry and Data Security Standards.  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 20 years.  She is married to Greg and has a daughter, Sarah.