Pre-Camp Email #8 — What's New and Different for 2017

Date published: May 4th, 2017 | By Matthew

Hello 2017 Parents!

This is email #8 in our pre-camp series. I wanted to give you a heads up about what's new and different for 2017.

We Renovated the Main Barn

We've renovated the main barn and will be using it heavily, mostly for the arts. The bottom level is still home to the cows, but the two upper levels will be for activities. Plus, after after we sold the drama barn last fall, we needed a new space for the Square Dance and the Talent Show. This will be it.

Hello Cabins

Bye bye tents, hello cabins. Beginning this summer, all farmers will sleep in cabins. This is a project we began two years ago and have finally completed. The only tents remaining are for staff. Cabins are the same size as tents, about 16' by 16'. They sleep six, including two bunk beds. The accommodations are still very basic: no electricity, no running water.

Moving to Four Activity Periods

We're switching from two activity periods per day to four activity periods per day (two in the morning and two in the afternoon). This accommodates a shorter attention span, enables the Big Kids to develop better lesson plans, and allows the farmers to sample a wider range of activities. Activity periods will last one hour.

We've Revised the Activity-Choosing Process

Previously, farmers went to morning Deck to choose morning activities. Beginning this summer, farmers will go to morning Deck to choose afternoonactivities — already knowing their morning activities because they will have chosen those the day before, at afternoon Deck. In other words, we'll stay two activity periods ahead.

We've Cut Back Kitchen Crew

We are cutting back Kitchen Crew (one of the mandatory responsibilities in our daily rotation of chores) from three meals to one meal — just breakfast. In recent years, there has been a growing tension between a) giving farmers a valuable cooking experience and b) cranking out great food. Last fall, we finally acknowledged a difficult truth: we cannot do both simultaneously. Here's the compromise: Kitchen Crew will still cook breakfast, which is relatively easy, while lunch and dinner will become regular activities that farmers can choose during Deck, allowing those farmers who enjoy cooking to spend more time there.

Breezeway Crew (a separate responsibility in the rotation) will still do dishes after breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A Developmental Progression

Developmental progression means "a program that evolves based on a child's age". Last summer, there was almost nothing a 17-year-old could do that a 12-year-old couldn't. This summer, that will begin to change. Our 7th- and 8th-grade farmers will sleep separately from the older kids, and enjoy more oversight and attention from our staff. Here's our rationale behind developmental progression.

Big Kids Include Junior Counselors

Junior Counselors will primarily be the ones giving the 7th and 8th graders their extra oversight and attention — living in their cabins and making sure they're taking proper care of themselves. Junior Counselors will be 19- and 20-years-old.

That's it! There's lots that's new and different this summer. If you have questions about any of it, 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.