One of the most gratifying aspects of working in summer camping is seeing real, tangible change in the young people that come here. We recently had the opportunity to work with Jonathan, who left behind city life for three weeks to join us on the Farm. Each year we work to bring young people in from all over the country (and the world) – people with different life experiences, gifts, and challenges – to help them come together in community and grow alongside one another. I love how Jonathan describes how powerful the experience was for him, and would love for you to read about his experience in his own words. Enjoy!
“When my mom first approached me and told me about Longacre Leadership, I have to admit; I was skeptical. I was not excited about going for fear of bugs and wild animals. When we arrived, the campsite blew my breath away.
The great parts of Longacre were the activities, the leadership skills I acquired, and the freedom. Every day we would have activities that were fun but also taught us various lessons along the way. For example, an activity that I went to was horseback riding. The first thing I expected to do was saddle up and ride! I found out that before we could ride we had to shovel horse manure, groom the horses and feed them! Not exactly what I was looking forward to. But I realized that in order for the horses to be comfortable, healthy and in good shape, these things needed to be done. We learned a lot of leadership skills as well, such as how to solve disputes when they arose and how to mediate a situation. While all this happened, we were free to live and grow. We went on field trips to Hershey Park and other places, and the camp gave us the freedom of walking around with just one other person. We explored the camp by ourselves and were given the responsibility to do the right thing.
All of these factors contributed to me not only having a good time at Longacre but growing as a person as well. I left home as a child and came back as an almost fully mature young man. My mom continues to tell me how she sees a change in me and that she hopes that I keep up the good work. I loved Longacre and I deeply appreciate A Better Chance for what they did to help me take advantage of that awesome opportunity. With Longacre’s help, I have conquered my city mentality, my fear of bugs and wild animals and picked up leadership skills that can not only be utilized in school but in my day to day life.”
- Jonathan, age 12.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Jonathan, and to all of our partners that help kids come out to summer camp each summer.
So what do you think? If the transformative experience Jonathan describes is something you’re interested in, we still have spots available for this summer. We hope you’ll join us.