Directors

Longacre Leadership Camp has three directors (Susan, Louise and Matt) and one program director (Maddie). During the summer, they run the show. During the offseason, they're in the office to answer your calls, interview you on Google Hangout, and send you stuff in the mail (cool stuff, not annoying stuff). 

SUSAN SMITH

The Idealist (New Families and Admissions) Susan will show you how to eat tomatoes and string beans right out of the garden. She is happiest when she is planting, weeding, watering and harvesting. She can also teach you how to knit! Susan has taught loads of teenagers before. She can help you knit a hat, a stuffed bear, or a sweater. We send all of our knitted sweaters to Knit for Kids, an organization that collects sweaters and then distributes them to children in-need all across the world.

Susan is active in her community. She is a Master Gardener. She is on the board of directors of the American Chestnut Foundation, Pennsylvania Chapter. She is a member of Monarch Watch. She is active in the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.

Raised outside of Boston, Susan received her Bachelor’s from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. Before Longacre, she worked as a camp counselor, a restaurant server, a convention center laborer, a real estate manager and a real estate appraiser.

Susan’s husband of 45 years (!!) is Roger. They met at Skidmore College.

Longacre was founded in 1975, and they were one of three couples in the original partnership. Susan and Roger have three children, Matthew, 35 (below), Alex, 32, and Courtney, 23.

Susan and Roger live at Longacre Farm in the original farm house, a house once owned by the Long family, from whom the farm was purchased in 1975. (Long-acre, get it?)

During the summer, Susan’s job is to make sure you get everything you need.

MADDIE FORTELKA

The Organized One (Social Support and Group) Maddie grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She was a farmer at Longacre several years ago and she considers that summer to be one of the most life-shaping experiences she has had. In 2011, Maddie returned to the farm as a big kid, wanting to facilitate growth and build community with teens, the same way she experienced it at Longacre years prior.

Maddie graduated from Colby College in 2012 with a bachelor’s in Human Development, which combined her passion for developmental psychology and education. After college, she headed west from Maine to Jackson, Wyoming where she skied, hiked, enjoyed the many splendors of the rocky mountain wilderness, and was the nanny of four wonderful children.

One year later, Maddie returned to New England to get her Master’s in Education from Antioch University New England. She is certified in both elementary and special education. She loves to cultivate learning environments where each child feels safe and accepted and believes that in this manner, children can better challenge themselves and experience growth.

After nearly eight years away from home, Maddie longed for the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania, so she and her husband Mark (who you will probably encounter around the farm) bought a house one mile from the farm.

Maddie now works full time at Longacre. In the summer, she runs social support and leads Group with Matt.

When she is not involved in those two things, you can probably find her sneaking in a cuddle with a pig, a horse or a chicken, or tagging along on a hiking trip. One of her favorite things just might be teaching farmers about the many rare and intriguing behaviors of chickens or ... perhaps taking a farmer on a hiking tail for the first time or ... there are just too many fantastic things to choose.

LOUISE WARNER

The Engine (Operations and Finance) Louise owns Longacre Leadership Camp with Matt. They bought the camp in 2016 from Susan, Matt's mother. Chances are pretty good you’ll find Louise with the horses. Louise runs our natural horsemanship program. She has 16 horses, two mini-horses (Rosie and Little Mo), and two horse barns.

Louise learned to ride when she was a little girl growing up in Nottingham, England. At Longacre she gets to combine her two passions, horses and education.

Louise has taken every opportunity to work with children in many settings, from an orphanage in Nepal to teaching English in Guatemala.

Louise is a great admirer of Pat Parelli, a man who teaches natural horsemanship. Natural horsemanship means “expertise and success with horses based on the way horses relate and communicate in their natural world”.

A few years ago, through the Humane Society of Harrisburg, Louise had an opportunity to rescue a horse that was living in a deplorable situation. She was able to rehabilitate it and find a good home for it here in Pennsylvania.

It was such a rewarding experience that she continues to partner with the Humane Society. Now she has eight rescue horses, and she works hard to nurture them to good health and then find them a good home.

Louise received her Bachelor’s from the University of Gloucestershire (England). During college she was as an exchange student at Juniata College, where she met her husband of eight years, Jake Warner. During the summer, Louise is the director of operations.

MATTHEW SMITH

The Thinker (Communications and Strategy) Matt owns Longacre Leadership Camp with Louise. They bought the camp in 2016 from Susan, Matt's mother. Matt grew up on the farm, left after high school for ten years, and then came back. Now he and his wife, Alecia, live on the farm.

Matt moved back to Perry County in 2008 after ten years away. During his time away, he lived for five months in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where he volunteered at an orphanage. Then, he went to Connecticut College where he received his Bachelor’s in economics. During college, he traveled to India, Nepal and Tibet with the School for International Training. After graduation, he worked at Fifth Avenue Committee, a community-based organization in Brooklyn.

Matt is involved in the Perry County community. Over the past few years, he's been secretary of the Perry County Economic Development Authority, chairman of the Advisory Board of the Cumberland-Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission, and president of the Rotary Club of Perry County.

Matt is in charge of Longacre's strategic direction. He likes to read and write and Google stuff. He is also co-leader of ACA Raise the Bar, a community of practice for camps measuring outcomes.

During the summer, Matt makes sure Susan, Maddie and Louise have everything they need.