Your Tall Oaks Board
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Rev. Dr. Lara Blackwood Pickrel
Rev. Dr. Lara Blackwood Pickrel is an ordained minister in the CC(DOC) and has served congregations in the Greater Kansas City Region since 2009. Tall Oaks is her favorite holy ground and she is delighted to serve the communities who call it home.
John is a News and Sports Media Industry Executive of over 30 years. John and his wife, Karen, are members of the Liberty (MO) Christian Church. Karen serves on the Board of Trustees and also Assistant Treasurer. John serves as Stewardship and Finance Chair. John and Karen have two adult children, Ryan and Drew Sprugel. John and Karen credit Tall Oaks as serving a very meaningful part of Ryan and Drew's faith journey during their formative years and into adulthood.
Treasurer & Volunteer Coordinator
Reverend Lisa Engelken has been called to invite all to find their Sacred Spaces. The best place to start is "The First Body of Christ-Nature itself." (Richard Rohr) Lisa is excited to start this exciting new chapter with Tall Oaks by literally putting her hands and feet on this Sacred Ground. Will you join me?
Board Chaplain & Bylaws
Rev. Dr. Kevin Kelley
Kevin is a lifelong resident of Kansas City area and has served churches in the Greater Kansas City Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for nearly 30 years. He has served as a counselor at Tall Oaks for over a decade, and as an adult sponsor for the Regional Youth Cabinet. In addition to the Tall Oaks Board, Kevin serves on the Camp and Conference Committee and is the Chair of Ministry for Young Disciples in the Region.
Secretary & Marketing
Anna Godsey attended Tall Oaks as a camper starting in 2007 and has been a counselor, director, and chaplain at Tall Oaks camps since 2014. Anna graduated with a Master’s Degree in Human Development with emphasis on non-profit management in 2021. Tall Oaks has been Anna’s home since the minute she arrived for her very first camp
Rev. Clay McQuerry is an ordained Disciple of Christ minister who retired after serving 21 years as the Founding Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Kansas City. Tall Oaks first impacted his faith journey in 1977 when he was a counselor at a Junior Camp and more profoundly when he was involved in youth ministry for 14 years. Clay’s wife, Janel, and two kids, Bethany and Casey, were also heavily nurtured by and involved in Tall Oaks’ ministry.
Meet The Staff
Tall Oaks Executive Director
Dan Merrick has been attending camps at Tall Oaks for over three decades. He is excited about the role of Executive Director and looks forward to bringing his leadership and business skill sets to Tall Oaks so that it can grow and thrive. Dan enjoys the outdoors, despises bananas, and has a passion for restoring lawn mowers and other small engines.