Press Attention

Below you will find excerpts of articles that cite Longacre Leadership Camp. The excerpts are listed by date. If you are a member of the press looking for comment, please contact Matthew Smith at 717-567-3349 or [email protected]


Historical sleuths mine Clarks Ferry Tavern site | PennLive

During a dig on July 11, a group of campers from Longacre Leadership came to learn under the guidance of Hart. They staked out some ground and sifted through buckets of dirt in hopes of finding little pieces of history. "I like discovering things that were lost so long ago," said camper David Powers. "This is really neat."

Camper Charlotte Larson, said, "I enjoy learning about everything. I think it's really cool to find things and piece together history from certain times." So far the project has yielded Native American arrowheads, clay pipes, broken pieces of ceramic dishware, iron nails and a few other miscellaneous items.

Perry County Food bank garden thrives in third season | PennLive

"We are so grateful for the involvement," said Shull. "This is a community project and we can usually use anything we can get." Volunteers from Carson Long, Longacre Leadership, West Perry High School and Greenwood Elementary School have donated time to the project.

Roam free: The case for digital detox at camps | The Globe and Mail

Summer camp traditionally gives kids a chance, once away from home, to make decisions for themselves, and some institutions have decided not to ban smartphones, instead choosing to factor them into a lesson in self-control. In 2013, the Longacre camp near Newport, Penn., started giving fortnight campers full use of their cells after their first week at the property. According to director Matthew Smith, feedback from parents revealed that many supported a device ban to give kids a break from their tech toys and to help them moderate their behaviour. “But what they found was that banning phones exacerbated these problems because their kids were so excited to get their devices back when they got home,” he says.

Longacre’s policy actually teaches responsibility and moderation, he adds. “The first day the kids get their phones back is miserable, but after that it really tempers. For every kid who is happy to have theirs back, there’s another who is worried they’ll lose what they had in that first week. As soon as I heard that, I knew we’d be okay. They use their devices less, and by the end of the second week, it’s really a non-issue. It’s the adults who make it an issue.”

Should Cell Phones Be Allowed at Camp? | Van Winkle's

“We’re not suggesting that this is the way camps should go, or it’s right for other camps,” Smith said. “But as it pertains to us, we are trying to help them develop skills in a camp environment that they can apply to home, school, college and beyond.”

Smith has nothing but respect for his fellow directors who ban phones. Nonetheless, he still imagines a future of smartphone-free sleepaway camps.

“Traditional camps are going to be this sort of last bastion, technology-free zone,” Smith said. “And there’s a lot to be said for not having technology. It’s like meditation, almost. You see some of these kids that don’t have technology, and it’s like they’re thinking thoughts they’ve never thought before.”


New Tech City: 4 Parenting Strategies for the Digital Age | WNYC

What to Expect When You’re Raising Digital Natives | Brooklyn Based

The kids discussed the experience together during one of the camp’s evening meetings, and Smith became visibly choked up when recalling how some of the teens were frightened by the way their fellow campers disappeared in their own virtual worlds, unable to hang out with friends they had just bonded with.

Parenting in the Digital Age | The Greene Space

Between tablets, cell phones, video games and computers, the minutes of daily screen time the average child logs in can quickly add up to hours. But is there a way to limit screen time while also giving kids the tools to compete in a global economy? Where do tech gadgets and digital media fit into effective and caring parenting? Is there a way to protect kids from online predators and cyberbullies? Join New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi in conversation with Dr. Susan Linn, Joel Levin, a representative of Rudolf Steiner School, and Matt Smith.

Mindful Summer Camps | Mindful Magazine

As Smith explains, many kids felt a sense of trepidation -- not wanting to spoil their growing connection to nature, to each other, and to the camp experience: “For every kid who was saying, oh, it’s so nice to have it back, I’m really happy to be able to talk to my friends, there’d be another kid who’s like, I’m really nervous because we’ve built this great thing in this first week, and I love this place, and I’m afraid that with our technology we’re going to ruin this experience.”

How To Raise A Teenager Without Losing Your Mind | Modern Mom

Luckily, as a 13 year old, I ended up at a summer camp in Pennsylvania called Longacre Leadership. Six idealistic high school teachers bought a 350-acre farm in the mid-1970s and turned it into a haven for teenagers to learn leadership, community responsibility, communication skills, and how to drive a tractor, pick tomatoes, and milk a goat. I went there for five years, including three as a counselor, and my kids spend the summers there today. The Farm celebrates teenagers, and all the chaos that goes along with their need for experimentation, rebellion, and adult guidance. Longacre Leadership formed me as a teenager and helped me see what a magical, powerful time adolescence is in a kid's -- and a parent's -- life.


Arianna Huffington | Twitter

Longacre Camp's all-devices policy helps teens balance technology usage w/ interactive activities @christinachaey

At Summer Camp, Teaching Kids How to Control Their Tech Usage | Fast Company

Rather than banning electronics, the camp's director hoped that implementing a free-usage policy would help teens learn how to balance their technology usage with the rest of their life activities. At Longacre, Zomorodi says teens eventually began self-policing each other when their music-listening and texting got out of hand -- one girl even voluntarily gave up her smartphone altogether.

Experiments with a Tech-Free Summer Camp | The Takeaway

New Tech City: Teens and Smartphones, A Summer Camp Experiment | WNYC

New Camp Policy Promotes Technology Balance for Teens | PennLive

Hoechstetter agreed with Wamae that Longacre’s technology policy was helping her peers learn balance. “It’s really rare that we’ll ever go through a period of time without technology in our lives, so this is one of those times when we can see what our relationship is with it, and make it easier to have a not-so-dependent relationship on technology, because I feel like many teens are dependent on it.”

New Tech City: Smartphones and Sleep-away Camp? | WNYC

Encouraging Leadership Qualities in Teens | New York Parenting

Matthew Smith, owner and director of Longacre Leadership, a summer leadership camp for teens in Newport, Pa., urges parents to give their teens freedom and responsibility. “Kids should be given responsibility well before adolescence. This builds work ethic and self-confidence. If parents want to encourage leadership qualities in their teens, they must build their teen’s self-confidence.” If parents nurture self-esteem and confidence while providing opportunities to lead in social situations, their teens will develop invaluable life skills and learn to believe in themselves.

Devices Dilemma: Technology at Camp? | Alberta Camping Association

This article, undoubtedly, spread like wildfire in the camping community in North America and was soon shared by the Canadian Camping Association. Many organizations thought allowing devices all the time during camp programming was ... not a great idea.

Women Step to the Fore at Some Local Businesses | PennLive

Staff at Longacre focus a lot of attention on helping youths learn to express themselves, give and receive feedback and other communication skills important for leadership. They also encourage the values of a simpler yet rewarding way of life. “It’s a break. The kids take a break from some of the assault on our psyches of the world and how fast it moves,” Smith said. “The culture’s very confusing ... I think it’s nice to have a less pressurized place.”

Creating Happy Campers: Tips for Helping Parents Choose the Right Summer Program for Their Children | Los Altos Town Crier

“Look for testimonials,” said Matthew Smith, owner and director of Longacre Leadership, a Pennsylvania-based educational summer program that teaches teens leadership through responsibility. “A good website is; they refuse to take down negative reviews. Also, you can request references from the directors; they often have a list of families in your area you can call.”

How Can Parents Help Their Kids Develop a Good Work Ethic? |

When kids see work as a normal part of life, they spend less time grumbling. "Make it a habit," says Matthew Smith, director of Longacre Leadership, a summer camp for teens in Newport, Pennsylvania. "Our kids are split into crews, and each crew has a different responsibility every day. The regularity manages their expectations. It makes the work seem normal, routine and doable."


Volunteers Take on Project to Beautify Millerstown | PennLive

The joint effort sprang from a meeting last year between Matthew Smith, Longacre Leadership program director, and Kathy Magill, Project MOVE coordinator. Project MOVE’s goals were in line with Longacre Leadership’s community service initiatives. “It’s been great working up here. We’re happy to assist Project MOVE any way we can in beautifying the Millerstown square,” Smith said.


Campers Brave the Heat to Fix Newport Sidewalk | PennLive

Last week’s heat was oven-like, but Smith said all involved came through like champions. “They’ve been pounding water back like it’s their job,” Smith said. The weather didn’t bother camper Mai Vo, 16, of Seattle. “I like it. In Seattle, it’s just on and off rain, so it’s a nice break.” Samuel Smith, 13, of Richfield, Conn., agreed. “It’s just been a nice change from the normal.”

Find a Eco-Friendly Summer Camp | Growing a Green Family

Each summer, Longacre Leadership Program gives teenagers the opportunity to develop leadership skills and build community on their 200-acre organic farm. Participants proudly gain new skills related to cooking meals and feeding animals, to taking out the trash, harvesting vegetables and more.