A 'Multi-Year' Growth Experience

Date published: October 19th, 2016 | By Matthew


We've made a small edit to our mission statement.

It used to be, "to offer a growth experience, with a focus on communication".

Now it's, "to offer a multi-year growth experience, with a focus on communication". We've added the word "multi-year".

I think there's a tendency in our society to chase quick fixes. Here at Longacre, we wouldn't want to feed into that by frivolously throwing around the term "growth experience".

I sometimes wonder if parents, when they're looking at Longacre, overestimate the potential impact of one summer here. That's not to say one summer can't be transformational — it can. Our colleague Maddie, for example, was a farmer for only one summer and she took a ton away from it.

But my guess is Maddie's in the minority. If a child attends camp for one session, one summer, that's just not a lot of time — especially when comparing it to 13 years or whatever came before it.

As I imagine it, a parent being unrealistic sounds like this: "First you're doing field hockey camp, then SAT prep, then that growth experience in Pennsylvania we talked about, then family vacation, and then it will be time to head back to school." Like the child's in a video game collecting points or something.

Louise and I aren't doing this for families to be with us for one summer. We want the child to come to camp, have fun, develop some skills, and then go home and practice; then the following summer come back to camp, have fun, develop some skills, and then go home again and practice; and so on and so on. That's the growth experience. 

Doesn't that seem more realistic than one summer that magically adjusts a child's trajectory?

A growth experience — as we understand it, as we have seen it, and as we have experienced it ourselves — is a multi-year process.

Now, in an attempt to make that point clear, we have added the word multi-year to our mission statement. Thought you should know.