Meet the outdoor education staff

We have assembled an experienced and enthusiastic team to carry out the mission of connecting people with nature

Meet The Team



Eliana Brochu was born and raised in Vermont. She spent the last two years attending the University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine studying tourism and hospitality with a minor in environmental science. Eliana was a summer camp counselor and also worked in an after school program. She is currently taking a gap year traveling and working in Hawaii and other destinations. Eliana joined the OEC in 2022.

Barb Burbank is a long time staff member of the Outdoor Education Center. Currently she portrays Ada "Ma" Merrill in the Pioneer Cabin living history program, a dorm counselor and a kitchen staff member. She was a Garden Guide, Summer Bearcat Instructor and a para pro at Springfield Middle School. Barb has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

Esther Darling was born and raised in Florida and moved to Michigan in 2019. She has worked at different summer camps for the past 7 summers. Some of her favorite hobbies are hammocking by the lake, being creative with art or music, watching Disney movies, and hanging out with friends and family. Esther is really excited to teach different camp activities and songs. She started working at OEC in fall 2023.

Jordan Green is a native to Battle Creek. He went to Battle Creek Public Schools and graduated from Battle Creek Central High School. Jordan was in a host of activities in high school ranging from tennis to being the Drum Major for the marching band. After graduating in 2010. He went to Western Michigan University studying music education and computer technology. In his free time you can find him on a tennis court, playing his tuba or even playing a video game. Jordan remembers his time as a camper here at Clear Lake Camp. Working here is a dream come true.

Hannah Hazewinkel grew up in Mason, Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Environmental Biology/Zoology. Since graduating, she has followed her calling as an Educator down many different paths, from museum education, to 4-H, to being a public school teacher. She is happy to be returning to the OEC after a six-year hiatus to serve as an Instructor while working on her Master's degree in Sustainability and Environmental Studies. When she's not teaching or studying, Hannah enjoys strumming the ukulele, and reveling in the wonder of nature. 

Craig Madden spent 24 years in the military. He served in the US Coast Guard and US Air Force. He has a degree in Hospitality and Fitness Management. He spends his free time hunting, fishing, watching sports and spending time with his grandchildren. Craig portray Harlow "Pa" Merrill in the Pioneer Cabin living history program. 

Paula Michels graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Wildlife Information & Education. She has lived and worked in Wisconsin, Texas, and now Michigan. Paula worked in conservation education at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose, Texas. Paula led school groups on adventures through the farm and nature preserve at Stratford Ecological Center, Delaware, Ohio. She adores animals of all kinds, especially wildlife. Paula enjoys hiking and visiting zoos. Paula started working at the OEC in the fall of 2017.

Justin Pinero grew up in Florida. He graduated from Stetson University, Florida with his Bachelors of Science in biology. After moving to Michigan, he graduated from Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan with his Masters of Science in biology. He researched focused on the effects people have on brown bear stress in Alaska. Justin is passionate about wildlife and spending time outdoors and is excited to share his knowledge.

John Spearow came to the OEC with a love for wildlife and the outdoors that started even before his time as a boy scout in California. John has a degrees in both illustration and computer animation from Lansing Community College. He has extensive experience developing graphics for online training courses. His hunger for adventure has taken him from volunteering with at-risk kids in the slums of Kenya to hiking the canyons of Utah, exploring the islands of Japan and the jungles of Peru. He is certified in Wilderness Survival and Tracking from Tom Brown Jr.'s famous Tracker school.

Riley Van Bibber graduated from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio with a degree in recreation management. Building things and teaching others how to build has been one of his hobbies since childhood. Riley hopes to one day own his own woodshop. During the summer, Riley was the Evening Program Director at Camp Highlander in western North Carolina. Riley joined the OEC in 2022. 


Building Engineer/Maintenance



Kitchen Staff

Meghan Anders

Amber Arnolds

Barb Burbank 

Candace McCrackin has two children Tylor and Elizabeth and one granddaughter Kalaiah. Candy loves golfing with Rocky, throwing large gatherings friends and family. She has raised exotic and unique goldfish for over 30 years. She is also a Chicken enthusiast who has raised many different breeds. Candy has one Maine coon cat, Harry, and two black Labradors, Cooper and Izzy.

Skyler Teske

Keri VanDenberg