Pre-Camp Email #12 — Getting in Shape, and The Hilly Mile

Date published: May 18th, 2017 | By Matthew

05-07-15_Longacre22-4-2 (1).jpg


Hello 2017 Parents!

Let’s talk about getting in shape.

A summer at Longacre Leadership Camp is physically demanding for a certain portion of our farmers.

But which portion, you ask.

The one that doesn't play sports at home.

If your child plays two or more organized sports at home, a summer here will likely be easier than what he or she’s used to.

If your child plays one organized sport at home, a summer here will likely be comparable to what he or she’s used to.

But if your child plays zero organized sports at home, a summer here will likely be more physically demanding than what he or she’s used to.

How do we know? Because we asked. Last summer, on our farmer evaluations, we included these two questions:

  • Is camp more or less physically demanding than life at home?
  • How many organized sports do you play at home?

The results were pretty straightforward: farmers who don't play organized sports at home think a summer at Longacre is more physically demanding than life at home.

If your child fits that description, this post is for you. (Exceptions for those recovering from injury.)

You don’t need to be athletic to succeed here — it’s not that kind of camp — but they do need to be in shape. A sedentary lifestyle at home does not properly prepare them for an enjoyable farm experience.

The exercise I’m recommending is called The Hilly Mile. The Hilly Mile will get your child in shape. Also, it will prepare him or her mentally for what life on the farm is like.

Please help your farmer with the following: (1) find a one-mile loop (or out-and-back) that’s not flat, and (2) walk it. Not once. Not twice. But multiple times. As many times as it takes.

It’s the simplest preparation you can give your child.

Life on the farm equals walking. Walking up. Walking down. Walking on lanes. Walking through the grass. Walking with things in hand. Walking without things in hand.

It’s not running long distances. It’s not sprinting short distances. It’s not quickness. It’s not jumping. It’s not pushups. It’s not lifting heavy objects.

It’s just walking.

And I don’t mean miles upon miles upon miles. I don’t even mean one mile at a clip.

But to get in shape, your child should walk The Hilly Mile.

The following are normal responses to The Hilly Mile: breaking a sweat, breathing heavily and being thirsty.

The following responses should be red flags: gasping for air, regular stops, heavy complaining, and a reluctance to repeat the exercise.

Your farmer should be able to complete The Hilly Mile in 25 minutes. If they can do it 15, they’re a rock star.

We want to give your child an amazing experience this summer. Being in shape will help make that possible.

Any questions? We’re here to help. You can always reach me at 717-567-3349 or



Matthew T. Smith
Owner / Director
Longacre Leadership Camp

Here are all the links to the Pre-Camp Email Series and CampMinder.