Leading into every summer, the founders of Stomping Ground and I find ourselves inevitably drawn to the ACA “camps for sale” forum, since we are interested in buying a facility. We’ll typically kick the tires on a few listings to little or no results, but in reaching out to a few listings this year, something unexpected happened.
We got an email back that indicated that a camp that was for sale was Camp Longacre in Newport, PA. I had been a big fan of Longacre for quite some time after it came on my radar for its forward thinking technology policy and its unique take on campers and staff taking responsibility for everything from maintenance of the site to the care of its animals. As someone who has attended uncountable camp conferences, met even more summer camp directors, consulted for many camps, and worked at a few myself – it takes a lot for a camp that I have no affiliation with to catch my eye. Longacre did just that.
While the facility wasn’t right for Stomping Ground due to its location, I had to know more. I visited with two of my best friends (and camp folks) Jack Schott and Doug Norrie during one of Longacre’s last sessions of the 2017 camping year to see if my impression of the camp matched the reality. Sure enough, it did – the camp was a vibrant, unique place with ambitious plans and a rich history. Young people were not only taking goats for walks as though they were dogs, they were discussing their feelings and emotions better than people twice their age. They were taking ownership over helping with the thankless tasks that made the camp tick, and gushing with enthusiasm about what it meant to them to be a part of that community.
We went ahead and took a step I never imagined we’d take: we bought the thing. Our team has had success in starting camps from scratch, in helping camps turn around, and even working as consultants and trainers for others. While we haven’t bought someone’s camp from them and tried to help it grow, we’re damned excited to try.
So we’re ready for step 1: Finding someone to run it for us.
While I’m excited to get back in the trenches of helping a camp thrive, none of our team is interested in directing the camp on a day to day basis. That’s where you come in.
Maybe you’ve seen one of us talk at a conference. Maybe you’re a fan of what we’ve done with Camp Stomping Ground, or read our posts on Go Camp Pro, or maybe you followed Jack and Laura’s tremendous journey with Camping Coast to Coast. Or maybe you’ve never heard of us, but this post has you intrigued for some reason.
A long story short – we want to add someone to our camp family. We’re hiring a person to be the Camp Director of Camp Longacre. This person will work directly with us to help Longacre catapult into the next phase of its existence. We’ll serve as teammates and mentors, but ultimately camp’s success will be up to you. You won’t have to do everything, but you’ll have to make sure it gets done. Our success will be your success as we grow Longacre to the point where the business is successful as the mission already is.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR IN A DIRECTOR
As someone who’s been on both sides of the table when it comes to hiring camp directors, I’ve given a lot of thought as to what the ideal candidate looks like, and it turns out that I’m often looking for something different than most people are.
We don’t care about your age. We don’t care about your education. Even camp experience isn’t a must.
We want someone who wakes up every day and thinks about the things they are passionate about. We want people who sometimes have trouble falling asleep because they are so excited about some project they are working on. We want someone who sometimes hops out of bed – just for a second! – to write down an idea they just don’t want to get away from them.
We want someone who is willing to do whatever it takes, but wise enough to know what they are best at. We want someone who isn’t afraid of dreaming huge, but is practical enough to do every last little thing necessary to make this thing a success.
We want someone as fiercely dedicated to improving how the world interacts with kids as we are. We want someone confident enough to tell us when they disagree with us, but humble enough to accept direction when necessary. We want someone who understands that they’ll be a lot better at running camp a year from now than they are today because of how much work they’ll put in.
Interested in learning more, or applying? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to hearing from you.