CatRock Ventures, formerly called the CatRock Gang, was created by child psychologist Dr. Mike Harris in 1985. The program was created as an alternative to street gangs in order to support troubled teens who struggled to find stability and self esteem within their schools and communities.
The name CatRock was inspired by a huge boulder that offered a scenic view of Dutchess County Valley on the Appalachian Trail. This spot was the summit of many hikes where students would share their challenges and set goals for the future.
After Dr. Harris passed away in 2008, Craig Meisner stepped up to continue running the CatRock program. Craig worked closely with Dr. Harris and has over 25 years of youth development and outdoor leadership experience. Under Craig’s leadership, the program has expanded to include the CatRock Youth Leadership Academy and CatRock Lodge - home of our Adventure Makerspace & Design Lab and College & Career Advisory programs.