Executive Director (ED)

Jodi Franke-Young

Professional Bio

Jodi joined the team at Camp Idlewild of Florida as the Executive Director in March 2020. She is thrilled for the opportunity to share her expertise and experience on this project, while playing an active role in the development of their new camp program. Jodi has spent the past 25 years working in the nonprofit sector in programs, executive management and administration. She is a graduate of the University of South Alabama, where she received her 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 had found her passion for her life’s work. During her college years, Jodi was contracted through a rehab center in AL to start-up a wheelchair sports program for children age 6-18 with physical disabilities and impairments. 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 4 different states serving children and adults with special needs and varying abilities. Her greatest challenge was the start-up of a therapeutic camping program for children with special needs and 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 nonprofits focusing on grant writing and organizational development. She was a Certified Case Manager in the State of Florida for a foster care program, an ARC group home manager in Illinois and the Director of Child & Youth Services for the Department of Defense in Kwajalein, Marshall Islands.

As continuing education is critical to maintaining standards for programs serving those with differing abilities, Jodi stays current in the field through courses available by the nationally recognized American Camp Association and other related fieldwork. She has managed the camp accreditation process from the beginning stages to attain full certification. She is well versed in many areas related to nonprofit management, including: organization operations, program design and outcomes, risk management, financial strategies, grant writing, government contracts and ropes course facilitation through direct experiences and professional training. She is inspired by the campers she serves and the staff she has the privilege to work alongside. Jodi’s favorite quote is by Bob Marley: “Live the life you love, love the life you live”. It resonates as she witnesses the magical moments and the powerful impact that camp provides to others. 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. Witnessing first-hand the growth, development, joy and accomplishment from campers, staff, and volunteers keeps her living the life she loves.