“LongWalk is an excellent opportunity to spend time with and mentoring young men and women concerning their priorities and their focus on life.
“Camping provides an excellent opportunity for discussion because it takes students out of their normal secure environment and places them in an environment that is new and different. It gives them the ability to slow down and think without the distractions of computers and cell phones. They work together to hike in with the gear, set up the tents, and cook the meals.
“Leadership responsibilities are passed around and challenges of the outdoors have to be dealt with. I was very impressed with the Memorial men and really enjoyed my time with them. I hope that in my small way, I was able to serve as a good example as all of us dads hope to do. I fully expect and hope to continue my relationship LongWalk.”
Parent Chaperone/Sponsor, Veterinarian, Memorial High School Football Team
“This trip was like a final examination of my summer, and of the last five years that I’ve spent at Shepherd’s Fold being mentored and trained in various skill sets.
“Midway through the trip, Mike gave control of the group to me, and it was fun to walk in that. I was able to successfully lead and evaluate the group, along with Mike’s wonderful input. A continuing lesson the Lord has been teaching me this last year has been about the importance of others and sharing the life that has been sown into me.
“This trip was a testing ground of that, and I really enjoyed walking that out. The Lord never intended for us to go through life alone. He is with us, and ‘we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.'”
LongWalk Participant, OSU graduate & paramedic
“Just wanted to say thanks again, the kids had a great time. Thanks to you and your organization, our kids got to experience several new things. They got to experience camping and hiking, something most of them had never done. In fact, many had never even been in the wilderness.
“But I think the most important new experience they had was the chance to be leaders. Because of the socio-economic situation of our kids, they don’t have many good role models to emulate, and therefore don’t know how to be good leaders.
“You gave them a chance to be leaders and they responded! In fact, since returning they have taken ownership of our off-season program and have really stepped up the intensity – all on their own.”
Football Coach, Tulsa Public Schools
Don’t just take our word for it. Hear what LongWalk program participants and associates say about our programs. Hear their take on the positive impact we’ve had on lives in Oklahoma.
“Thank you, LongWalk, for challenging my teens to grow and expand their leadership skills on your awesome back-packing trips! The recent trip to the Colorado mountains certainly tested their mettle. In fact, I also grew as a youth leader, as a result of that experience.”
Director of Program Management, Youth At Heart
“Overall, my experience had me thinking about how I was going to carry myself after what I’ve learned. Before we arrived there, my whole thought process was to hurry up and get it over with.
“As soon as we got there, that all had changed, moreover it changed while we were riding on the way there. After I got to know all the others who were going, I had a feeling in my heart that the week was going to be great.
“It actually turned out to be more than great! What I learned was what God has been telling me before we went! As if he pretty much showed me how he would handle things (all my problems), on the contrary to enjoying his creations!”
LongWalk Participant, Camp Loughridge Counselor
“What I experienced from the trip was like a game of real life. There will be days in your life you will get frustrated, but if you continue fighting and trying, then things will turn out to be a blessing.
“I’ll use that experience on my upcoming basketball season this year. It might be tough teams we play, but if we play hard and finish strong, we will come out with a win. This trip also motivates me into talking to my teammates about how good we are this year and how we can be the national champion.”
LongWalk Student Participant