Mike Morris: Founder and Executive Director
After a career of helping build better schools, he is now part of a team helping build better students. Mike’s college training focused on adolescent development with a degree in psychology and sociology. As a single father to two sons, much of his time was spent coaching various sports, helping with high adventure Scouting programs and leading wilderness trips with friends.
After starting a high school rugby league and heading the Jenks Rugby Club, Mike saw the value of giving teens the opportunity to “run the show” all without him suffering profuse bleeding and orthopedic damage. Using wilderness adventure and public service to provide a level playing field, the opportunity to provide coed interaction with teens from all socioeconomic backgrounds became possible. Today, Mike leads our Level 1 and Level 3 trips and enjoys the time watching our future leaders deal with the challenges of leadership.
Mike is happy to report, there have been no discipline problems in the field once the students learn they are sleeping in bear country.
Greg Kohlbacher: Program Director
At the heart of his being Greg is an educator, with twenty years as a guide for Camp Takatoka, fifteen years a teacher, four years a Student Council Sponsor and lifetime an outdoorsman. Greg grew up exploring, having adventures, and learning about the fields and forests of south Tulsa. He always lived on the edge of what many Tulsans referred to in years past as “out there”, this being 36th street during the 50s, 60th street during the 60s, and 72nd Pl during the 70s. Tulsa certainly looks much different today, but Greg reminisces about a time when Tulsa had unscathed woodlands and opportunities for exploration of the natural world. “Long before I heard about frogs, or flowers, or insects in school I learned about them by watching and holding and being with them in the wild,” Greg says. “Kids today miss out on valuable learning about themselves and about the natural world when they spend their lives in the artificial world of TV, video games and computers.” Greg believes LongWalk is an opportunity for adults to take action and help young people of today have a fulfilling childhood. He sees LongWalk as a way to reintroduce our kids to the wild, and all the benefits to be found there, while living in today’s world.
Greg brings a powerful resume to LongWalk as a guide and mentor a la twenty years with Camp Takatoka, starting in 1972: leading trips out of camp; including overnight trips on wilderness sites on Lake Ft. Gibson; overnight river canoe trips; and eight day Colorado backpacking trips. Three years full time at Camp Takatoka helping to develop and lead group building programs on the ropes course back in the early 80s when the ropes course was a new and powerful tool as well as many weekend rope course programs during the 80s and early 90s. And years of outdoor education experience at Camp Takatoka, University of Georgia outdoor education facility in the North Georgia Mountains and guiding wildflower hikes for the national park service.
With her new found freedom, she has taken small hikes with kids and family. In the Summer of 2015, Kat developed a passion for larger scale hikes. She has since added backpacking to the mix. With hikes in Arkansas, Utah, Arizona and Colorado, as well as her home state of Oklahoma under her belt she is eager to share the amazing experience of hiking with teens.
Kat knows that hiking is not only beneficial physically, but psychologically as well. Hiking is great for relieving mental fatigue and helps soothes the mind. This is what she discovered on her hikes and hopes others will find it equally rewarding.