7:30 – Wake up
8:00 – Breakfast
9:00 – Morning activities
12:00 – Lunch
1:00 – Rest hour
2:00 – Afternoon activities
5:30 – Dinner
7:15 – Evening activities
9:30 – Get ready for bed
10:15 – Lights out
On Sundays, we sleep in. The day officially begins at noon, and then the schedule resumes as listed above.
No such thing as a typical day
Because you get to choose your activities, there’s really no such things as a typical day. Instead, we’ve profiled a student to give you an idea what a day is like.
David likes burly work
Your name is David. You are 16-years-old and this is your first summer at Longacre. It’s a Wednesday.
7:00 > Wake-up
Time to wake up. You take 15 minutes to wash your face and brush your teeth.
Your crew today is showers and latrines so you meet your crew members at the shower house to empty waste baskets, clean sinks, replace toilet paper, and sweep. Done in 30 minutes and that’s it for crew today. Not bad. You still have 15 minutes before breakfast, so you sit on the deck with some of your friends and play a few rounds of spit.
8:00 > The breakfast bell rings
The breakfast bell rings. You check out the menu board and see that the kitchen crew has laid out a breakfast burrito bar, which you aren’t crazy about. You head for the cold cereal bar instead, which has yoghurt, granola, fresh fruit, the fixings for toast and whatever. After a slow meal, you bus your dishes and return to your tent because you want to do something burly for the morning period and you need work boots.
9:00 > The deck bell rings
The deck bell rings but you’ve already been there for a couple of minutes, hanging with some of the other students and a couple of staff. The staff say what they are doing for morning activity. John and Suzanne are pairing up to continue building new horse stalls in the barn at the bottom of the lane. Matt is teaching tractor school. Jamie and Louise are taking a bunch of beginning riders to the horse barn for an intro and some riding in the ring. Joan is taking a crew to the Perry County Council of the Arts to help with a mass mailing of their newsletter. Susan is going to be in the garden: the green beans are in and we need them for dinner. Sam and Alecia are taking a group to Shaffer’s Rock to go rock climbing. Johnny is building bluebird houses for a bit, then checking out the old bluebird houses to see if they are occupied by their intended residents. Frank is splitting wood with the hydraulic log splitter. Bonnie is painting signs that educate visitors about monarch butterflies, which she will put in fields with a lot of milkweed or nectar plants, which monarchs need during their migrations.
You opt to build the horse stalls.
You really like this activity and have already done it 3-4 times. Even though you’d never worked a chop saw before, Suzanne gave you a safety orientation and some tips and you took to it right away. Now that the old beat up horse stalls have been removed, you and your group are making bigger, better stalls that Louise has designed, using oak that another group bought at an Amish mill a few miles away.
You guys work well together. One student measures between posts and calls out the number. You measure and cut to length. Two other kids drill holes where the screws are going to go. And the last group screws the boards in place. The work goes quickly and you are pleased to note that at the end of the period your group has built an entire stall together.
12:00 noon > The lunch bell rings
The lunch bell rings as you get back to the dining hall. Fixings for BLTs are the main attraction, but there is also hummus, fruit, and potato salad. After lunch you and a couple of others toss a football around, but at 1:00 you head back to the tent to lie down. You listen to your iPod for a bit, but actually fall asleep for half an hour or so.
2:00 > The deck bell rings
On deck for the afternoon, it’s the same routine with a whole new set of options, but this time activities are a little more recreation-oriented. Once again, staff members describe what they are doing.
This time it’s swimming at the pool, ultimate frisbee, looking for crayfish by the creek, archery, pottery in the Art House, trail riding, journal and poetry writing, and editing pictures for the slide show. You went swimming yesterday—it’s always popular—and today you put your hand down to let other kids go. You and three other students picked pottery with Johnny in the Art House.
Since you’ve never done any work on the wheel before, Johnny starts from the beginning, kneading the clay, centering it on the wheel, and actually making the clay do what you want to do. By the end of the period, you have learned a lot, but aren’t terribly satisfied with what you’ve created, so it all just goes back into the raw clay pot. But you vow to come back again this week with the intention of making something you will be happy with.
You walk back from afternoon crew a little earlier than usual, so you have time to take a quick shower.
5:30 > The dinner bell rings
By the time you’re dressed, the dinner bell rings. The fixings are there to make your own meal just the way you like it: spaghetti, meat balls, pesto, Parmesan, and the green beans that the garden crew picked this morning. Dinner is leisurely, and blends right into another card game. After a while you drift back to your tent to get ready for the evening, which means long sleeve shirt and flashlight.
7:15 > The Group bell rings
Four nights a week we gather in the Group building, an octagonal structure that the students built years ago and can hold the entire community of students and staff.
Students and staff share some of their high points (or even low points) since you last met. You talk about how satisfying it was to finish the horse stall today, as no one expected the group to do it so quickly.
One of the exercises this evening: say thank you to someone who has made your experience at the farm easier or brighter.
By the time Group is over it’s dark. Everyone heads back to their tents and gets ready for bed. You choose to listen to music for about 20 minutes. Then it’s lights out. It’s not hard at all to get to sleep.