Date published: September 27th, 2017 | By Matthew
Dear Longacre Friends,
I have important news.
Louise and I have sold Longacre Leadership Camp to three gentlemen named James, Jack and Doug.
I know this comes as a shock.
The past twelve months have been eventful. Let’s back up a bit.
2016 (two summers ago) was a really bad year for us financially — and not the first such year. After that summer, Louise and I were faced with a difficult decision: shut the doors, or throw a hail mary.
We decided to throw a hail mary.
At first, our gambit for 2017 seemed to be working. Enrollment was strong through last April. We were cautiously optimistic.
Then enrollment tanked.
Last May, we had to acknowledge a harsh reality: 2017 would be our final summer.
We didn’t tell anyone. We were determined not to let our decision influence the summer.
But keeping the secret was torturous.
Then, in August, something surprising happened. Three guys named James, Jack and Doug came out of the woodwork. They responded to an anonymous listing we had posted online, in a forum for buying and selling camps.
When James, Jack and Doug learned the listing was for Longacre, they were surprised and excited. They knew who we were.
They immediately scheduled a visit, and came during MiniCamp. They met the young farmers, helped out on crew and participated in Group. They fell in love.
Since then, the five of us have been working out the details of a sale.
Here’s the deal, basically:
- James, Jack and Doug have bought Longacre Leadership Camp, i.e., the business.
- Louise and Matt will retain ownership of the farm, i.e., the property.
- James, Jack and Doug have signed a 20-year lease to keep the camp on the farm.
- I am out.
- Louise is in.
James, Jack and Doug did not push me out. Last May, when I realized 2017 would be our last summer, my wife applied for a job in Wisconsin. In July, she got the job. After MiniCamp, we moved to Madison. She has started her new job. Our Pennsylvania home is for sale. We have left Perry County.
Of course, I may help out if called upon. But for all intents and purposes I am out.
Louise is in. She will continue in a similar capacity.
Also, Roger and Susan are leaving the farm, for Massachusetts. They will be gone by November.
I know this is sudden. I wish there were a more sensitive way to deliver the news.
There are further explanations forthcoming.
For now, James, Jack and Doug need your help. They are going to invest a lot of money to return Longacre to prosperity. And they will be looking to you, the greater Longacre community, for guidance.
From experience, I can tell you these gentlemen ask a lot of questions. Please be prepared to give your honest opinion about how to improve the Longacre experience.
If you’re interested in next summer, here are the dates, rates and discounts. Save 15% before October 15th.
As I said, there are further explanations forthcoming.
Matthew T. Smith
Former Owner / Director
Longacre Leadership Camp