OTS Community

Carl Keller, Executive Director

A native Arkansan, Carl has actively pursued and enjoyed the wonders of the natural state nearly all of his life.  After becoming involved in Search and Rescue in 1993, he was introduced to man tracking, which drew him into an involved study of wilderness survival and nature observation skills that occupies him to this day. Currently he is pursuing a MA in Cultural Anthropology and seeks to further explore the relationship between the human experience and the mystery that is the natural world.

Johnny and Karen White, Facilitators, Kitchen Staff

Johnny and Karen run Barefoot Farm near Rose, OK and bring produce from their farm to the workshops. They both are knowledgeable naturalists in this area, and especially with local ethnobotany. Karen provides delicious, healthy and local meals for workshops.

Joshua Walters, Facilitator

   Joshua grew tall in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands hunting, fishing, wildcrafting and exploring with his uncles, cousins, father and grandfather, Pap. He has deepened his earth connection through many travels across the continent and spending most of his last fifteen years in Yellowstone country and the Selkirk Mountains of North Idaho. He is a life long
learner and student of Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School, Wilderness Awareness School, Regenerative Design Institute, and the Kamana Naturalist Study Course.

   An instructor with Twin Eagles Wilderness School since 2005, he finished three years of their instructor/mentor training intensive program. Joshua is an unforgettable mentor with children. He lives from the heart sharing his unique gifts of curiosity, humor, music, deep love for people, passion for community and plenty of fun! Joshua recently moved to the area excited to explore the natural world, community and self!

John Arnold, Facilitator

John Arnold’s love of the land goes back to childhood days of wandering on his grandparent’s farm in southern Missouri.  His wilderness teaching experience has encompassed a wide spectrum ranging from nature observation and tracking skills at church camps to a bird language course for senior citizens.  John is an ordained pastor of a church in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he lives with his family.  He especially enjoys exploring the spiritual growth people experience as they learn about the wilderness.


Tracking Program Facilitators

Dr. Jeff Jenkins


Jeff Jenkins is a physician from Stilwell, Oklahoma.  Jeff began his tracking journey in 2004.  About that time he met Carl Keller and Braden Flood at the Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School.  Jeff then went on to take over 70 courses in tracking, survival, and emergency medicine.  Since 2008, Jeff has participated in and supported many of the Nature Connection Mentoring programs run by the Ozark Tracker Society. Recently he has begun teaching Wilderness Medicine across the United States.  Jeff also holds both track and sign and trailing certifications from several organizations.

Mark Shortridge


Mark grew up camping, hiking, fishing and hunting in Southwest Arkansas.  He began to take a deeper look into the natural world around him after being introduced to Tom Brown Jr’s. book, The Tracker.  Mark was inspired to bring more wilderness and wildcraft skills to the area after participating in several Tracker School and OTS classes and a Wilderness Awareness School wolf tracking expedition in Idaho.

Mark holds a Cybertracker Track & Sign Level I certificate and a Wilderness Medicine Institute Wilderness First Aid certificate.  Mark is a member  of the Howard County Search and Rescue team, an active Ham Radio operator, and a trained Storm Spotter.