Scenic view of trees at camp

Staff Profile: Brooks “Uno” Howard

by Karissa Pitaniello


Brooks is a Nashville native who grew up going to Pine Cove with his family since he was four years old! A lot has changed since then, but he’s been able to see the Lord use Pine Cove in every season of his life. Learn more about Uno as he shares what God’s teaching him as he prepares for marriage, get the inside scoop on how he got his camp name, and find out the best places to visit in Duluth! 

Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, specifically in Franklin! I’m the youngest of four boys, and we’re all two years apart. My mom and dad are awesome; they met at Dallas Theological Seminary. After getting married, they moved to Nashville where my dad went on staff with Search Ministries, which is a ministry that focuses on discipling men in cities. They have also worked for Family Life for 25 or 30 years, which included them traveling around the country speaking at different conferences as my brothers and I grew up, which was awesome. That’s also how I first experienced Pine Cove! My parents were speakers at the Bluffs for a few years, so I got to be a camper the first summer the Bluffs was open! Pine Cove was one of my favorite family traditions growing up—packing everything up and road tripping to Texas for camp. Growing up, I actually got to be a camper at every East Texas camp. A picture of me as a kid is even on one of the Pine Cove Transformed magazines! Pine Cove has been a part of my life since I was about four years old, so that played a cool part in my life and taught me how fun following God could be. 

After growing up, I went to University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (go Mocs!). And when I got to college, my mom pursued me to work at camp because she knew the impact of Pine Cove, and all my older brothers had also worked there. I ended up working at the Ranch and that first summer was the moment I tasted and saw the goodness of who God was. And once I tasted that, I didn’t want anything else. I’m going to sell the field to find a treasure. Freshman year of college, God was already doing a lot of cool things in my heart and making my faith my own. It’s crazy to look back now and see His faithfulness in all of it.

What different roles have you held throughout your time at Pine Cove?
I was a counselor my first two summers, and then my third summer I went back as a senior counselor. My first summer I was the only person from my school, but soon enough there was a whole group of us coming from Chattanooga. I remember after my second summer, the full-time Ranch team traveled all the way to Chattanooga to recruit, and that meant so much to me.

During leadership weekend my third summer, I remember Caleb Carter sitting our team down and telling us that he was leaving to start a new camp in the southeast called the Springs. Immediately I thought, “Oh boy, this feels like too good of a setup for me.” So after that senior counselor summer, the Springs opened and I followed Caleb there to be the program director.

Tell us about your fiancé!
We met in college at Chattanooga! My men’s group, BYX, had a date party coming up and I wasn’t really interested in going, but my friends convinced me. I had noticed Chance before and thought she was pretty, so I asked her. I asked her on a “pre-date” before to get to know her more and we ended up talking for over two hours. I remember leaving and loving how easy and enjoyable it was to spend quality time with her. After that the date party went well, so we kept dating and now here we are!


What’s your favorite skit character you’ve ever been?
Automatically I think of a skit that happened during my senior counselor summer at the Ranch. Brady Green was our head media that summer and helped plan skits, so a lot of this was his idea. Me and this other senior counselor were WWE fighters and I was a bad guy. We built the skit up throughout the week and it was pretty good, but we knew the ending was going to make or break it. Our final fight was coming up on Friday and we were thinking about what to do. We decided to turn the entire Ponderosa into a fighting ring. We moved the stage to the middle of the room, got chairs around it, made the ring throughout the rest of the room with string, and put in a spotlight and smoke machine. We did all of this within like two hours before lunch started, so it was a rush and no one thought we would be able to get it done, but we did and it was awesome. It was easily my favorite skit I’ve been a part of!

What are your go-to spots in Duluth?
We always go to this coffee shop called Break—it’s a great middle point for all of the southeast staff. Sometimes we’ll have meetings there and it’s just a cute, fun vibe. And then we go to a spot called Pure, it’s a Mexican restaurant. I feel like anytime it’s somebody’s birthday we’re going to Pure! 

What’s your ideal Saturday?
I think I’d wake up around 8:00 and it would be fall. Then I would drive to get some Chick-fil-A breakfast and go golfing with my friends! I’d get a round of 18 in and after we get done with our round of golf, we’d have a bunch of our friends go out to lunch. I love going out to eat, and eating with a group of friends is one of my favorite activities. After lunch we’d go back to somebody’s house because the Auburn football game would be on with a 3:00 kickoff. At the house, we’d have a bunch of appetizers. And then we’d watch Auburn beat Alabama. Afterwards, I’d play a few games of Fornite with my friends. Then to cap off the night, I’d go on a date with my lady to a nice Italian restaurant. We’d end our night with a game night, either playing cards or going to play at Dave & Busters!

Who at Pine Cove stands out when you think about people you admire and why?
Automatically I think of Caleb Carter. He is a servant-hearted man who always puts others before himself. The way that he carries the weight of the Gospel and is sensitive to the spirit is amazing. Something I really admire and I’ve grown in as I’ve watched him is how he walks with Jesus and talks about the Lord constantly. In a room crowded with people, he’s really gifted at seeing and seeking out specific people to engage and encourage them. He can read people and get on their level and know where they’re at and then just talk through things in a way I’ve never seen before. He’s also just actually the funniest dude—I think he could be a comedian, but then in a moment he can go from super high energy, fun and goofy to getting on a serious level and just knowing when to do that. Watching him as I grew up in my college years was a gift. I thought, “I want to be like that guy.” The way he pursues Jesus, the way he loves his family, the way he loves his wife is how I want to be as a man. He transitioned off staff this fall so we definitely miss the Carters a lot out in the Southeast, but I’m so thankful for all that I learned through him. 

What’s the story behind your camp name?
My full camp name is “He Went Number One” but I go by “Uno!” During my name game I was asked for an embarrassing story, so I told everyone about something that happened while I was in study hall in seventh grade. I was super focused on my homework that was due my next period. I had to go to the bathroom, but I had no time! I ended up letting go of some natural gas and coughing to cover it up, but this triggered me going number one. In the middle of the classroom. I also like Spongebob, and there’s a scene in Spongebob where he’s talking about a character who was number one. Put that together and you get “He Went Number One!”

What are some of your favorite things right now?
I feel like I have a lot of favorite things! I’m a big Dr Pepper fan, I love love love Dr Pepper. I’m also a big Dunkin’ Donuts guy because “America runs on coffee,” and that’s my go-to for iced coffee. I get an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich from there most mornings. I love Auburn. My mom was Miss Auburn and a lot of my family went there, so I love cheering them on. I’m also a big Tennessee Titans fan! I love playing golf and I’m loving a game called Qwixx—I learned it at our program staff retreat and have been playing it a ton. I also like playing Fortine with my friends and going skiing!


What is the Lord teaching you right now?
I would say the Lord is reminding me a lot about His grace right now. God’s using marriage and how He designed it to reveal to me a lot of my sin and my heart. In the most loving way, He’s pruning me and preparing me for marriage. Through that, I’m reminded of the sweetness of His grace and the blessing that it is to have a relationship with Him despite my brokenness.

Posted Mar 20, 2024

Karissa Pitaniello

Content Coordinator

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