And So It Begins…The 2015 Season!

Summer 2015: Newsletter #1

A warm hello from our cool (and breezy) valley, where the sun is just re-establishing its celestial presence after a somewhat rainy Sunday. The campers have all arrived safely and are right now just finishing up their third hour of morning activities (long called, as some of you may recall, “occupations.”) This will be the first of our weekly Newsletters, with which we’ll endeavor to keep you in the know about goings-on at Pemi, 2015. We well know that, write home as they may every week, our campers aren’t always lavish with their epistolary details.

Bertha and Al Fauver with this year's staff shirt…"Al's Crew"

Bertha and Al Fauver with this year’s staff shirt…”Al’s Crew”

Staff Training began on Friday, June 19, with a meeting in the Lodge at which the entire crew introduced themselves to each other. Stealing the show were Al Fauver, son of one of our founding trio, Gar Fauver, and Al’s wife of seventy-four years, Bertha. Al will celebrate his hundredth birthday on August 15, so his brief word of thanks and encouragement to this year’s staff came with considerable impact.

Many present in the room had actually been around for more than an afternoon and welcome-to-Pemi supper. Chase Gagne, Thom Kelly, Sarah Crayton, and Matt Kanovsky had all participated in the five-day Pemi Nature-Education Clinic run by Program Head Larry Davis, a nationally renowned workshop for staff from many other camps and boasting full academic accreditation at the University of New Haven (where Larry teaches.) Archery Head Steve Clare and Head of Canoeing Tighe Burnham had been off to specialty clinics at other camps, and British Trip Counselor Kim Bradshaw had gotten her first taste of the White Mountains via the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Mountain Leadership School.

In the days following Al’s inspiring speech, the staff split their time between practical work in preparing the grounds and equipment (putting in the swimming docks, assembling the soccer goals and lining the pitch, weeding and lining the ball diamond, etc.), going over lesson plans and instruction techniques with the various program heads, and sitting through detailed and informative “classroom” sessions on everything from health concerns to cabin management and dealing sympathetically with inevitable bouts of camper homesickness. Hard as it is to believe, there was once a time (eighty or more years back) when the staff arrived in New Hampshire on the same train with the campers – and then proceeded to set everything up shoulder-to-shoulder with their charges, all of them hopefully learning in the hectic process to function together as part of a happy community. Whatever we may have lost in cultivating camper responsibility for creating and maintaining their own camp environment, we believe we have gained immensely in preparing the staff to be effective and supportive coaches, teachers, and surrogate parents. We trust it is reassuring to know, for example, that every single counselor leading a day hike over the next six weeks will have been up Mt. Cardigan on a model outing with Trip Head Tom Reed, Jr. – and that any staff member not already certified in Wilderness First Aid received that training during pre-season. (Our mass climb, incidentally, was spectacular, as we enjoyed a picnic supper on the bald 3200-foot summit with 360-degree views of the Presidential and Franconia Ranges of New Hampshire and Mts. Ascutney, Pico, Killington, Camel’s Hump, and Mansfield in Vermont.) Read bios of our 2015 staff members.

As many readers will have experienced first-hand, Opening Day this past Saturday went off without a hitch, with impending rains holding off until every last camper was tucked warmly into bed after the year’s first “Taps.” For the second year running, veteran campers re-joined us in the morning, giving everyone a chance to unpack and catch up with their buddies before lunch. As a result, when new boys arrived at 2:30, our veterans could turn their full attention to making them welcome, which they did with remarkable graciousness and good cheer. Within minutes, roof ball—one of the sports played few if any other places in the world than Pemi—was already beginning its season in the Senior Camp.

"Cans From Campers" collected well over 400 items for local food pantries.

“Cans From Campers” collected well over 400 items for local food pantries.

What looks to be a wonderful Opening Day tradition also got off to a spectacular start on Saturday – “Cans from Campers.” Brainchild of the fourth generation of Reeds and Fauvers (they being Pemi’s two founding families), the program garnered a remarkable total of 423 separate cans or boxes, each of them gratefully acknowledged by Dan Reed and Sarah Fauver and stacked in and around a roadside kayak which ended up looking like a cross between Noah’s Ark and a polyethylene cornucopia. Head of Art Laura Bubar had painted a 3×5’ sign for the occasion featuring our signature Pemi kid running with (you guessed it!) a can of Spaghetti-Os. On Monday or Tuesday, Dan will drive the haul down to the New Hampshire Food Bank, where we reckon it will provide well over a thousand servings for people a little less fortunate than we. As we said, it looks like becoming a wonderful tradition, and our neighbors at Camp Merriwood are already planning on emulating this plan for public service. Here’s hoping it catches on across the entire camping industry!

Saturday campfire

Saturday campfire

campfire2

Drew Johnstone with Nico and Vinz’s “In Your Arms”

Following our traditional Opening Day evening meal of pizza and Hoods Rockets (how shamelessly can we cater to the universal tastes of boys 8 to 15?), the entire new camp family headed down to the Senior Beach for the inaugural campfire of the season. Masters-of-Ceremony Dorin Dehls and Steve Clare orchestrated a stylish launch to the dramatic and musical year, kicked off by the veteran guitar-vocal duo of Becky Noel and Dan Reed performing David Guetta’s “Titanium.” Mac Hadden kept up the musical momentum with a remarkably professional guitar number, followed by our own incarnation of The Riddler, Tanner Howson. Dash Paris impressed one and all with a flawless rendition of Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird,” although if Dash had picked up the tempo any more, he might have had a second fire going on his fretboard. Tom Reed, Jr., followed with a dramatic rendering of the 19th-century classic “Casey at the Bat,” although (having just retired as an English professor) he couldn’t be dissuaded from turning the Campfire Circle into a temporary classroom by evincing a moral: that you don’t need to swing for the fences to succeed at a place like Pemi. Just be a Blake or a Flynn and start off by getting on base. Next up was Jivan Khakee with a swinging jazz clarinet number and Drew Johnstone with Nico and Vinz’s “In Your Arms.” Speaking of axillary body parts, Noah Anderson then demonstrated that his thumb can bend absolutely anywhere in a 360-degree range (yikes!) and Nate Blumenthal reprised his long-notorious elbow-lick. First–year Brit Andy Calver proved that shaggy-dog stories thrive on the other side of the Pond as well this (the punch-line was something like, “It’s a knick-knack, Paddy Black. Give the frog a home”) and if there was ever any doubt that a slender twelve-year-old could deliver a rocking cover of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling,” Alex Goldman put it to rest. Wrapping it all up was Larry Davis with another of his classic Maine stories (the moral for this professor being that turpentine is not the tonic of choice for an ailing horse) and, finally, Doc Reed’s classic “Campfire Song.” As we swayed there with our arms tossed over our neighbor’s shoulders, and with Venus and Jupiter high in the western sky and a half moon dropping low over Pemi Hill, we could all feel the great potential of the summer lying before us.

2015 Pemi West participants

2015 Pemi West participants

Sunday, after lunch, we all bid a ceremonial farewell to the six veteran campers headed off to Washington State for the 2015 edition of Pemi West. Griff Barlow, Nate Blumenthal, Nick Case, Will Jones, Will Katcher, and Jack O’Connor left the mess hall and made their way down through a double line of two hundred well-wishers to the van in which Athletic Director Charlie Malcolm was set to drive them to Boston for an early morning flight. The intrepid half dozen arrived at Pemi five days ago and went through a rigorous two-day training program in Wilderness First Aid, their studies interrupted occasionally by an hour’s break on the tennis courts or out on the lake in kayaks. Former L7 counselor and Pemi West alum Nate Kraus is second in command for this year’s expedition in Olympic National Park, and he made the most of his time here with the boys ensuring that they were adequately equipped and briefed for the adventure to come. They join Pemi West Director Dave Robb at Seattle-Tacoma Airport on Monday afternoon and then fly on to Port Angeles for what is sure to be an exciting and educational wilderness sojourn. We will update you on their progress towards the summit of Mt. Olympus as details come in. Special thanks to Assistant Director Kenny Moore for having handled all of the details of recruiting, staffing, and preparing for this year’s program.

Well, it feels like we’re coming to a reasonable place to leave off. We’ll therefore say goodbye for now with the promise of more details on our adventures and accomplishments in a week’s time. Meanwhile, thank you all for entrusting your sons to us. We couldn’t be happier about having their energy and enthusiasm brightening our little corner of the mountains.

– Tom and Danny

Introducing Pemi’s 2015 Staff Members

2015 staff, Mt Cardigan

2015 staff, Mt Cardigan

Each pre-season we ask our staff members to submit a short bio for this first blog post of the season. Introducing Pemi’s 2015 staff…

Danny Kerr (Director): This will be my 6th year as director at Pemi and I am looking forward to another terrific summer. During the school year, my wife Julia and I live in Keene, NH. We have three boys aged 25, 23 and 20. When not doing the director thing, I very much enjoy coaching baseball at Pemi, playing the guitar and basketball with the boys, and recruiting any camper or counselor I can to join the legion of small, but dedicated, New York Met fans, seemingly a futile effort at this point. See you on the shores of LBP!

Tom Reed (Director and Head of Trips): I was brought to Pemi as a two-week-old child and I have been a camper, counselor, and staff member for well over fifty years—long enough to know I like the place. I am just wrapping up a thirty-eight year career teaching English Literature and film at Dickinson College—my ‘other job.’ I will be running the Trip Program at Pemi, writing weekly newsletters, leading messhall singing, and working with the ‘Mikado’ production…and likely a few other odds and ends as well.

Ken Moore (Assistant Director): Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I moved with my wife, Sarah, to New Hampshire in July of 2013 when I began working for Pemi year ’round, serving as Alumni coordinator, overseer of Pemi West, and point person for social media and general outreach. We live in Plainfield, near Kimball Union Academy where Sarah serves as the Director of Marketing/Communications. This will be my 23 summer at Pemi.

Dottie Reed (Head Administrator): This will be my 28th summer at Pemi. Though I work year ’round for camp with a range of responsibilities, during the summer I facilitate Pemi’s connection with the outside world with photos, newsletters, counselor reports, blog articles, and other such communications. My office window is always open for visits when I’m not out and about enjoying Pemi’s beautiful camp grounds. During the off-season, I live in Carlisle, PA.

Kim Malcolm Kim Malcolm (Administrator): This is my 24th year at Camp Pemi. During the offseason I live at Northfield Mt. Hermon School with my husband Charlie and 2 children. I am also a physical therapist.

Heather Leeds (Administrator): I’m excited to be working in the office for my 7th year at Pemi! During the winter I live at Northfield Mt. Hermon School with my husband Greg and our three children. I am director of Full Circle Elementary School where I also teach.

Cabin Counselors (CC) and Assistant Counselors (AC)

J1 – Andy Calver (Co-counselor with Sam): Hello! I’m from London and this is my second time in the states, first time on the east coast, and my first year as a Pemi staff member where I’ll be spending a lot of time on the soccer field. I’m looking forward to meeting all of the Pemi boys and to doing my very best to make it a marvelous summer for all.

J1 – Sam Papel (Co-counselor with Andy): This will be my first year on staff, but I spent 8 years as a camper on the shores of Lower Baker and one on the slopes of Mt. Olympus with the Pemi West program. I was born and raised in Nashville TN and I am well used to being the resident Southerner at camp. I have just completed my freshman year at Vanderbilt University where I am studying mechanical engineering. I have been looking forward to my return to New Hampshire, and I am very excited to experience Pemi from a new perspective!

J2 – Teags Burnham (CC): This will be my second summer at Pemi. I am from Fletcher Vermont and attend Clarkson University in Potsdam New York. I enjoy cooking, playing hockey, and guitar as well. This summer I will be teaching various athletic activities such as soccer, lacrosse, tennis, archery, and water sports.

J2 – Jackson Seniff (AC): My name is Jackson Seniff and I am from Coronado, California. I am 17 years old and entering my junior year at Coronado High School. I swam and played water polo for Coronado for 7 years and am currently coaching rugby and throwing the discus and shot put for the track team. I was a camper at Pemi for 2 years and was a part of the 2014 Pemi West Program. While at Pemi this summer I plan to teach and coach in both waterfront and rugby occupations.

J3 – Ridley Wills (CC): I am an upcoming sophomore communications major at TCU. I am from Nashville, TN and I was a camper for 8 years. At Pemi I participated in everything from nature to baseball. I cannot wait to give back to this place.

J3 – Matt Kanovsky (AC): I am from Briarcliff Manor, New York, and am currently a rising senior at Regis High School in Manhattan. This will be my 10th season at Pemi, including Pemi West, and I am eager to get back into the camp community. I am excited to teach nature, photography, and “how to have fun”…!

J4 – Wes Eifler (CC; Division Head): I was born and raised in Connecticut and I am a senior at American University where I am studying Elementary Education and History. This summer will be my 12th at Pemi and my 5th on staff. This year I worked in the 4th Grade at the National Presbyterian School. Next year I will continue my student teaching and finish my teaching degree. Throughout the summer I will be coaching baseball and instructing in other activities around camp. I am thrilled to be back at Pemi for another summer!

J4 – Andrew Appleby (AC): My name is Andrew Appleby and I’m from Houston, Texas. I am originally from Darien, Connecticut but moved to Houston 3 years ago. This will be my 6th year at Pemi and my first year on staff. As a camper I enjoyed sailing, swimming, hiking, all the sports camp offers, as well as the great nature and wildlife all around camp. I am outgoing and love working with kids. I am excited to be back on the shores of Lower Baker Pond.

J5 – Will Henry (CC): My name is Will Henry and I’m a rising sophomore at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, where I am currently studying politics, religion, and linguistics. This is my third year on the Pemi staff, and I’m looking forward to teaching canoing, archery, and waterskiing. I’m also going to get out on as many trips as I can, and maybe even try my hand and voice at a little theater.

J5 – Zach Leeds (AC): This will be my 8th summer at Pemi (including Pemi West) and first summer on staff. I live at Northfield Mount Hermon School where I will be a Senior next fall. I am looking forward to coaching soccer and baseball this summer.

J6 – Max Breschi (Co-counselor with Gus): I am from Carlisle, Pennsylvania and I just finished my first year at Bates College in Maine. This will be my first summer at Pemi where I mainly will be with the lacrosse program. I am looking forward to a great summer with everyone!

J6 – Gus Walsh (Co-counselor with Max): After a brief absence from Camp Pemi, I’m glad to be returning this summer. While I’ve been away, I graduated from St. Paul’s school and had an amazing gap year experience. My travels led me to an orphanage in Tanzania, a marine conservancy in Madagascar, Chinese language institute in China, and a memorable trip to the Middle East. I’m excited for my first semester at Macalester College this fall. Boom.

L1 – Luke Raffanti (Co-counselor with Thomas): I’m from Northern California. I am excited for my first summer at Pemi, where I will assist with this year’s Gilbert and Sullivan show, The Mikado, and teach piano. In May I graduated from Oberlin College, where I studied piano and environmental studies.

L1 – Tom Strnad (Co-counselor with Luke): I am from Palo Alto, California and am currently heading into my junior year at Penn State University where I study Energy Business Finance. This summer will be my fifth at Pemi and first on staff. I’m looking forward to coaching sports, archery, and everything in between. It’s going to be a great summer and I can’t wait!

L2 – Theo Nickols: I am from Northumberland, U.K, Hadrian’s Wall country, I am coming back to Pemi for my second season. I am currently studying Environmental Science at the University of Nottingham and I cannot wait to be coaching tennis and basketball again; its going to be another fantastic summer!

L2 – Zach Popkin: I’m from Washington, DC and I’m excited to be returning to Pemi where I was a camper for five years. This will be my first year as a staff member. I just graduated from the Maret School and will be attending Dickinson College in the fall. I’m an avid sports fan and look forward to working this summer with the nature program and coaching various sports occupations.

L3 – Thom Kelly (CC): I’ve just completed my second year at Cardiff University (Wales, UK) studying biotechnology and genetics. I am taking a training year this September in Germany, so you may well see me hurriedly trying to cram the German language into my head! I have experience with ecology in the UK, and I really look forward to working alongside staff and campers to experience all the Pemi nature program has to offer this summer!

L3 – TH Pearson (AC): I am from Hastings on Hudson, NY, and this will be my second year on staff. I recently graduated from Hastings High School, and I will attend Sewanee: The University of the South in the fall. I am excited to help the campers with sailing, photography, and lacrosse this year.

L4 – Nathan Nacheff (CC; Division Head): This will be my sixth year at Pemi, second year as a counselor, and first year as the Division Head of the Lower Division. I am from Short Hills, New Jersey, but I go to school at Hobart College where I am currently a rising junior. I spend my time at school studying English and Economics, as well as writing for the school website. I plan to be in the wood shop quite a bit this summer, as well as on numerous sports fields. I am eagerly looking forward to another wonderful summer at Pemi!

L4 – Michael DiGaetano (AC): Hello my name is Michael DiGaetano and I am from Piedmont, California, which is in the heart of the bay area. This will be my 7th summer at Pemi and my 2nd as a counselor. I love swimming, basketball, hiking and pretty much everyone that Pemi has to offer. I will be mainly working by the waterfront as a lifeguard and swim coach.

L5 – Chase Gagne (CC): I am from Goffstown, New Hampshire. This spring I completed my sophomore year at the University of Maine where I study wildlife ecology, and this year will be my first at Pemi. My passion lies with insects, both aquatic and terrestrial. I am thrilled to be able to teach occupations that will help campers develop a knowledge and appreciation for bugs of all shapes and sizes!

L5 – Ned Roosevelt (AC): This summer will be my seventh on the shores of Lower Baker Pond and my first year as an Assistant Counselor. I’m from New York City, and am currently a rising senior at Northfield Mount Hermon School. I play Varsity Tennis (2 years) and am the manager of the National Prep Basketball Champion Team (3 years). I look forward to meeting you all and extending the same warm welcome to you that I received back in the day. I’ll be helping out with the sports programs, mainly tennis and baseball. See you on the courts and on the fields!

L6 – Max Livingstone-Peters (CC): This will be my eighth summer at Pemi. I’m from Middlebury, Vermont, and attend Flagler College in Saint Augustine, Florida. This summer I’ll be heavily involved in the waterfront and swimming program, as well as a bit on the soccer pitch and in the ski boat. I feel very lucky to be at Pemi again and am looking forward to another amazing summer.

L7 – Nick Davini (CC): I’m a rising sophomore at the University of New Hampshire, and this is my seventh year at Pemi, third on staff. I’m a recently declared Anthropology major, and plan on being a Spanish major or minor in the future as well. This year, I’ll be a cabin counselor, focusing mostly on the woodshop, archery range, and various athletics.

U1 – Dylan Quigley (CC): I am originally from Hopewell, New Jersey. I spent my high school years at a boarding school north of Boston. I lettered in soccer, basketball, and baseball. After high school I went to college out in Minnesota, and have spent the past two years living and going to school there. I spent five years as a camper at Pemi and haven’t been back in six years, and am looking forward to returning as a counselor.

U1 – Michael Kerr (Trip Leader): This will be my third year as a counselor at Pemi, and my first summer as a Trip Leader, a position I’m especially looking forward to having attended Pemi West. I spent last year as a student at Champlain College studying psychology. I look forward to leading hikes through the Green and White Mountains of New England.

U2 – Jed Cutler (Co-counselor with Toby): I live in Shoreham-by-Sea, which is on the south coast of England. I am interested in music and play a number of instruments mainly of the stringed variety. I have recently been teaching myself the piano and trumpet. This will be my first year at Pemi and I will be teaching guitar. I’m looking forward to this summer.

U2 – Toby Pilkington (Co-counselor with Jed): I’m from Manchester England and this is my first summer at Pemi. I study Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science and I’m really excited to coach tennis, teach guitar, and to get involved with the Nature Program.

U3 – Andy MacDonald (CC): I reside in sunny Scotland in a city near Glasgow called Stirling. I’m a massive sport lover and will hopefully be showing the boys how it’ done when it comes to tennis and soccer. I’m currently at University in Dundee studying Sport & Management. I look forward to the summer ahead and I’m sure I’ll love my 1st year at Pemi.

U3 – Matt Bolton (Trip Leader): Hello all! I’ll be returning for my 4th summer here at Pemi and my 3rd as a Trip Leader. I use my summers in New Hampshire as a beautiful excuse to escape the daily grind of New York City, where I work as a part-time grocer, part-time freelance designer while studying Fine Art at New York University. I can’t wait to spend another season sharing the beauty of the White Mountains with the boys!

U4 – J.J. Strnad (CC; Division Head): I’m from Palo Alto, California and I just finished my third year at St. Olaf College where I play football and am majoring in math and computer science. I’m very excited for my fifth summer at Pemi and my second on staff. In addition to being a division head, I will be helping out with the many sports that Pemi offers.

U4 – Harry Morris (Trip Leader): Hello! I am from West Hartford, Connecticut. This will be my seventh summer at Pemi and my second year on staff. I have just graduated from Wofford College and I am looking forward to spending another summer leading trips through the mountains!

U5 – Will Meinke (CC): This is my 9th year at Pemi and 3rd on staff. I’m a rising senior at Fairfield University, majoring in Environmental Studies. I’m excited to help out in waterskiing, soccer, and more.

S1 – Ty Burnham (CC): I’m from Fletcher, Vermont, and this will be my 3rd year at Pemi. I went to Northfield Mount Hermon, and graduated with a degree in Finance from the Isenberg School of Management. This summer I look forward to teaching canoeing, coaching soccer, and helping out wherever I can.

S2 – Fritz Windover (CC): Hello! My name is Fritz Windover and I am returning to Pemi for my second summer. While I call Bennington, Vermont home, I currently reside in Lewiston, Maine while attending Bates College. I’m excited to get back to coaching soccer and ultimate frisbee.

S3 – Erik Wiedenmann (CC; Division Head): I was born in Berlin (Germany)—the son of an American mother and German father. After completing high school in Berlin, I moved to the United States and enrolled in a five-year Dual Degree Program (BA/BFA) between Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, majoring in Comparative Literature and Illustration. Since completing the program in 2014, I spent the past year traveling around South America and Asia as part of an artist research project. I was a camper at Pemi for four summers (2002-2005) and also went to Pemi West (2006). I returned to Pemi as a counselor in 2010 and am delighted to be back once again this year.

LT (CC) – Jesse Pritchard: My name is Jesse Lee Pritchard and this is my first year at Pemi. I graduated from Yale University in 2014, where I played varsity basketball for four years and majored in English. This past year I began teaching American Literature and coaching basketball at Northfield Mount Hermon. I have heard only great things about Camp Pemi and am excited to join such a strong community.

Program Staff

Kim Bradshaw (Trip Leader): I’m from Nottingham in the UK. My interests at home and away are football, hiking, camping out, being an adult instructor in the ACF and having lots of fun and making memories. This is my first year at Pemi and I intend to make it as fun & memorable as possible. I am going to be a trip leader so walking, enhancing team work, sight-seeing and exploring is going to be what I will be doing this summer. Let the memories begin.

Laura Bubar (Head of Art): I’m back for my second summer at Camp Pemi as Head of Art. I am an artist, photographer, and middle school art teacher in Freeport, Maine the land of L.L.Bean. I can’t wait to dive into new and exciting art projects this summer!

Tom Ciglar (Messhall Manager): Happy to be returning to Pemi after 5 years away, this will be my 14th year at Pemi. I’ll be helping to manage the Messhall and teaching various occupations. I live in Rindge, NH with my wife Anna and son Jon. During the school year I’m an administrator at a small boarding school.

Steve Clare (Head of Archery): I live in Cornwall in the UK. I’m a self-employed substance misuse teacher & support different schools with specialist lessons. I coach kids soccer & run two under-11s teams. My interests include Everton Football Club, Formula 1 motor racing & DJ’ing. I have a 14-year old son called Morgan—I’m a little older than most overseas staff!! This is my first year at Pemi and I’ll be instructing archery & helping with footie (soccer!). I can’t wait to join the team & help ensure the boys have a great summer.

Sara Crayton: Hi! I’m very excited to join the Pemi staff this summer as part of the Nature Program! I’m from Farmington, Pennsylvania, and just graduated from Washington & Jefferson College with a biology degree. I’m passionate about ecology and can’t wait to share that with the campers this summer.

Larry Davis (Director of Nature Programs and Teaching): This is my 46th year at Pemi. My ‘day job’ is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven where I teach geology courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level. I have AB and AM degrees in Earth Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD from the University of Rochester. In the past, I was an intercollegiate soccer referee. I enjoy playing the flute, chasing waterfalls, and teaching geology in the field

Dorin Dehls (Head of Music): I can’t wait to start another fantastic summer! This will be my seventh year at Pemi. During the school year I teach as an elementary music teacher and chorus director in West Haven, CT. I greatly look forward to beginning production of the Gilbert and Sullivan show The Mikado, hearing the sounds of Silver Cornet, Rock Band, and A cappella rehearsals throughout camp, filling the Mess Hall with singing, and watching the performances at Campfire and Vaudeville once again.

Michaella Frank: I am so excited to be working at Camp Pemigewassett! I am from Avon Lake, Ohio. My interests include basketball, reading, swimming, hiking, singing, and playing the saxophone. Basically if it’s fun then I’m game for it! This will be my first year at Camp Pemi and I will be assisting in several activities but my main activities will be basketball and vocal and instrumental music. I am so happy to be given the chance to work at Camp Pemi and I can’t wait to meet new people and make friends with everyone.

Chris Johnson (Head of Tennis): I am thrilled to come back for my second year at Camp Pemi as Head of Tennis. I am a proud resident of Cleveland, Ohio and a huge, but long suffering, Cleveland sports fan. During the year I teach fourth grade, coach boys and girls tennis, and coach a little basketball as well. I hold a Masters Degree in Administration and serve on the Executive Board of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association. My wife, Ashley, and my two kids, Clayton and Lauren, are looking forward to joining me again this summer at camp.

CJ Jones: Hi! My name is Charlotte, but most of my friends at home call me CJ. I come from Salisbury, in the south of England and this will be my first visit to America. I am a triathlete and love to swim, so I was thrilled to see just how big a lake Pemi has to offer. I am looking forward to exploring the beautiful countryside surrounding Camp and am very excited to join the Pemi team as a lifeguard, getting to know all the children and staff and to working with you all this summer.

Nate Kraus (Pemi West; Trip Leader): I can’t wait to be on the shores of Lower Baker for what will be my 9th summer at Pemi! I’m a rising Junior at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, where I am majoring in anthropology and minoring in Management & Business. I’ll be spending the first four weeks of the summer hiking with 16-year old Pemi alumni in Olympic National Park. Upon my return I’ll lead hikes as a trip leader at Pemi back in New Hampshire. It should be a great summer!

Deb Kure (Associate Head of Nature): Studying Geology at the University of Rochester sparked my love of Field Trips, and of learning and teaching outside! I’ve led outdoor science programs since then, through camps, museums, and trips programs throughout the US. During the school year I’m an Educator with Quarrybrook Outdoor Learning Center in southern New Hampshire. We are excited to be celebrating the Nature Program’s 90th season this summer!

Harry MacGregor (Head of Shop): I am a longtime resident of Canaan, New Hampshire with a professional background in commercial, industrial, and residential construction. I also owned my own business focusing on custom woodworking. I’m looking forward to my 5th year at Pemi.

Molly Malone (Head of Waterskiing): I am from Chippewa Falls, WI where I am the high school orchestra teacher. My passion in life is waterskiing, and I am so excited to be the Head Waterski Instructor at Pemi! In my free time I ski as much as possible (water, cross country and downhill), run and lift, travel, play violin in our local symphony and piano at church. I am looking forward to a fantastic summer!

Becky Noel: I’m so excited to return for my second summer at Lower Baker Pond, to get back into Pemi’s music programme and onto the waterfront. This past year has been my first at the University of Manchester, UK where I study anatomical sciences, play for the water polo team and have been involved in musical theatre. I can’t wait to have another wonderful summer with the boys!

Emily Palmer (Head of Sailing): I am originally from Hampshire, England but spend most of my time either in Canterbury at University learning history or in Minorca, where I spent my last three summers. This year however, I feel it is time to move on to bigger and better things and am very excited to be at Pemi. I’m first and foremost a lover of sailing and windsurfing so will be spending most of my time teaching these areas, this said I thoroughly enjoy all sports so hopefully will get to teach a range of activities. Can’t wait to meet everyone and begin this epic summer!

Paige Wallis (Head of Swimming and Waterfront): I am originally from Vermont and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2012 with a degree in English and History. This past year I worked in Waterville Valley, NH as a dorm parent at the Waterville Valley Academy and as the Freestyle & Snowboard Coordinator for WVBBTS. This will be my 6th summer at Pemi and I am looking forward to another great season!

Ben Walsh (Head of Staff): I will be returning to Pemi for my twelfth summer following an exciting first year as a teacher at Forman School in Litchfield, CT. I hope to provide the staff with well-coordinated, fun options as they look to find things to do outside of camp on days off. This summer I hope to perform for the first time ever at campfire, be a true contender in the ‘What is it?’ contest, and craft something yet to be named in the shop. I look forward to helping throughout the athletic program and around camp in general.

Caretakers of our Physical and Mental Well-Being

(We’re missing a few entries…they must have been busy care-taking!)

HBA Akinci (Kitchen Staff): I was born in 1992 in Istanbul and attending in Bosphorus University in Teaching Physics Department. This is my first year at Camp Pemi and first trip to US. I am thrilled to have a chance to meet different people and culture. I believe that it will help a lot to improve my English. I will be working as kitchen staff. I like to play basketball and swimming. I believe that I am really good with children and students. I did teaching physic and math to the students at mid school level. Also, I love to be in the nature especially catching fish and I like to travel with my friends.

Viachesla Barshchevskyi (Kitchen Staff): I’m from Ukraine, city Kyiv (this is the capital) that will be my first year in Pemi. In fact my first time overseas as well. I will be working as a Kitchen staff and I have some experience in this kind of work from my Local camp in Ukraine! I’m a second year student of Kyiv national lingustic University and my major is tourism. I so glad that I will be working at Pemi and will do my best to contribute to the boys’ great experience.

Reed Harrigan (Head of Buildings and Grounds): I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and graduated from Frostburg State College with a degree in Parks and Recreation. I decided that New England was where I wanted to be and took a job as recreational director at Waterville Estates, a resort community in Campton, NH. I then worked at a local high school, working with special education students and as a seasonal Forest Ranger in the White Mountain National Forest. I began working at Camp Pemi six seasons ago, first as a bus driver and maintenance person, then as an instructor in canoeing and kayaking. This is my third year as year-round Facilities and Grounds Director. I am excited for everyone to see the new staff house and other changes that have taken place since last summer.

Emily Martyn (Nurse): This is my second summer as a Pemi nurse, and almost certainly the first time Pemi has employed a midwife! In May I received a Master of Science in Nursing from Yale University to become a nurse-midwife. (I am not planning on using those skills at camp). My certificate in nursing is from Yale as well, and I also have a BA from Kenyon College. I look forward to a happy and healthy summer!

Debbie Spencer (Nurse): I am a native Floridian, transplanted to New Hampshire 2 years ago. I have spent many summers on Great Pond in Maine and on NH’s Lake Winnipesaukee. I have been a nurse for 36 years with experience in trauma, procedural, and school nursing. This will be my 1st year at Pemi, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to keeping you all healthy so you can spend your days having fun, fun, and more fun. I am ready to help in anyway I can. You will also see me in my free time working on a quilt.

Elaine Kiessling (Head Chef): I have three children, one granddaughter and another grandchild due in October. I also have four rescue dogs. I am originally from CT and have lived in NH for eleven years. I spent over 20 years in Emergency Medicine before I returned to my first love, cooking! I work as a head chef for Woodsville High School during the school year. Summer camp is my happy time though. I love cooking from scratch and working with local foods. This is my first year at Pemi. I hope everyone will let me know some of their favorite foods so I can incorporate as many as possible into our menus.

Tomasz Gapczynski (Kitchen): I’m from Poland and I’m 24. In Poland I study history (mainly medieval times) and help my parent at running their company. At Camp Pemi I will work as a Kitchen Assistance and this my first time at Pemi. This is going to be a great time here. I love nature, so the localization of the camp is just perfect.

Mert Turan (Kitchen): I am from Izmir and I am studying at Sabanci University in Istanbul. This will be my 1st year at Pemi. I enjoy playing tennis and soccer. Also, I like to travel anywhere. I look forward to being part of kitchen.

Visiting Professionals

Andy Bale: I began making photos 27 years ago as a sophomore in high school. My career has taken many forms, with the most rewarding one in 2001 when I was given a chance to teach a photography course. I was totally hooked. Currently I teach at Dickinson College in Carlisle PA. Most recently I’ve been working with the Ese Eja, a small marginalized indigenous tribe in Peru and in late 2016 a hardcover book will be published through a generous grant from The Genographic Legacy Fund of National Geographic. I have some wonderful projects planned for campers, including pinhole photography, cyanotypes, and light painting. I will be running an occupation called Location Photography where we leave camp each day in search of new and exciting places to photograph.

Stephen Broker: My career in science education included 25 years teaching physical and life science courses in the New Haven, CT Public Schools and 8 years in university graduate administration at Wesleyan University and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. I also taught as adjunct lecturer at Yale College, University of New Haven, and Quinnipiac University. My academic interests center on ecology and evolutionary biology. My field research is on breeding Peregrine Falcons and Common Ravens in Connecticut and marsh birds at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

 

 

 

Alumni Magazine – June Edition

Welcome to the first quarterly installment of the Pemi Alumni Newsletter. Our aim is to connect Alumni to camp and each other with updates throughout the year. A particular thank you to the Alumni who completed the communications survey distributed earlier this year. Your feedback was invaluable!

This first edition comes just before the launch of Pemi’s 108th season, and will give you a glimpse of the summer ahead. It’s been an active off-season at Pemi, and the details follow.

Facility Update

Pemi’s buildings and grounds team is supremely talented. Reed Harrigan, Head of Buildings and Grounds, and his crew’s diligent work throughout the harshest of New England seasons is truly inspiring, and while many of the projects are out of sight, literally below the surface, the B and G team’s efforts allow the Pemi program to enrich hundred’s of boys lives.Pemi Road

Last fall, the team spent substantial time beautifying the Intermediate cabins to make them look as sharp as the now one-year-old Upper 4 and Upper 5. Many of Pemi’s electrical and phone wires received upgrades and were placed underground, allowing unobstructed natural views throughout camp.

Over a record-breaking winter this year, the main area of focus for Reed and crew was building a new staff residence, in the Junior Camp. This cabin is placed strategically in the hillside where the Junior Tent once stood. IMG_3015Ken Morrell, Pemi’s in-house master builder, created this two bedroom, lofted cabin with a screened-in porch overlooking the Junior Stream. It has quickly been highlighted on Zillow as the most sought after housing option in the town of Wentworth.

Those lucky to be with us this summer will quickly notice improvements in Pemi’s water system, with new accessible water fountains dotting the DrivewayPemi landscape. A new roof for the Rittner Fountain, a new waterski dock, and new kayaks will greatly enhance our program. And cars and joggers alike will experience jaw-dropping awe with the newly paved entrance off of Route 25A.

Here’s to Reed and his team, for a job well done!

Enrollment

Pemi experienced a strong enrollment season, hitting capacity in January. We are thankful for the families who continue to place their trust in us; we take the care of their boys seriously and we strive to provide the best environment for young men to thrive. Special thanks to current Pemi family members who shared a kind word about the magic of camp to their friends and family. Our word of mouth network is strong due in large measure to our parents and Alumni.

Two hundred fifty-seven boys will make Camp Pemi their home away from home in 2015, with eighty-seven boys staying for the full season.

Of those boys eligible to return from 2014, 86% chose to do so. Sixty-six boys, roughly 25% of our campers, will be in their first season at Pemi, and on the other end of the spectrum, another 25% of campers will be in their fifth or more summer.

We also have a great balance of legacy campers, those who have had a family member who spent a summer on the shores of Lower Baker as a camper or staff member.

Second Session

Second Session Legacies

First Session

First Session Legacies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our camper population represents 9 countries and 23 states, and of those states, over 120 different municipalities are the winter home to a Pemi boy.

Staff Profile – Erik Wiedenmann

In just a few short weeks, the traditional staff introduction newsletter (now available through this blog) will shed light on the entire Pemi staff for 2015. We are very excited about this year’s staff, which offers a great balance of Pemi veterans mixed with newcomers, each one bringing a keen interest in working with boys and, together, a myriad of talents.

70% of Pemi’s program staff from 2014 will return, and nearly 80% of our cabin counselor staff have spent at least one summer at Pemi. Three program heads, Archery, Sailing, and Waterskiing, are entirely new to Pemi, and will infuse fresh ideas and teaching techniques to their program areas, continuing our standard of excellence.

It seems that every year a Pemi alumnus, after years away from Lower Baker, decides to re-join the staff and 2015 is no different. Erik Wiedenmann is returning after five summers away and will serve as the Division Head for Senior Camp. We’ve decided to share his story, a unique and engaging one, for the entire Pemi community to enjoy.

Erik, a native of Berlin, Germany, was a camper at Pemi for four summers, before joining the counseling staff in 2010 as the counselor of Lower 4. He attended Tufts’ five-year, Dual Degree program (BA/BFA) with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, studying Comparative Literature and Visual Arts (Illustration and Animation). After this summer at Pemi, his plan is to move to New York to work in publishing with the goal of writing children’s books.

After receiving a grant from Tufts in the fall of 2014, Erik took to the road to write a children’s book based on traveling throughout South America. He intended to travel for seven weeks, but stayed several months, becoming immersed with the local culture and practicing his Spanish. Erik took advantage of his surroundings, including a trip to the Chilean Patagonia with new friends. “Because I was the most experienced of all of us, I basically became a trippie, taking charge of packing lists and food supplies. Pemi instilled a certain appreciation for nature in me.”

07 - hiking in nepalNear the end of his stay, Erik began teaching English as a second language in Buenos Aires and discovered a newfound passion. “It was very fulfilling. I had never really studied education and teaching before, and I found myself really enjoying the new material at a deeper level.” Erik’s thirst for travel continued well after the grant money disappeared, and he decided to continue his year of travel with a second trip, now to Asia.

The first stop on his Asia trip was India, followed by Nepal, which Erik loved, finding peace hiking through the Himalayas. His hiking continued in Thailand, where he made his way from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, in order to catch his flight to Japan where he would spend the last seven weeks of his journey.10 - teaching at conversation club, japan

In Japan, Erik also taught English as a second language to both adults and children. “Though the Japanese are said to be fairly reserved and shy, the students were so warm-hearted and enthusiastic, it was truly such a pleasure to teach them. I also learned so much about Japanese culture in speaking to them. Of all the countries I visited, it is perhaps the one that left the greatest impression on me.”

His trip re-affirmed his conviction to work with children, a passion first felt back in 2010 as a counselor at Pemi. And with the 2015 summer ahead of us, Erik is thrilled to be returning to the place where it all started. Keep your eyes out for his first (hopefully of many!) children’s book that is currently a work in progress. To follow Erik on his journey, visit his website, www.erikwiedenmann.com, and to meet this fine young man, visit Senior Camp in 2015.

Special Event – Al Fauver’s 100th Birthday!

Al and Billy HopkinsEach and every Pemi summer is memorable, yet 2015 offers a genuine “once in a lifetime” event. On August 15, current Pemi board member and former director, Al Fauver will celebrate his 100th birthday! Alumni are invited to join the grand celebration the following day, Sunday, August 16. For further details, click here, or to RSVP.

As always, we encourage our extended Alumni family to swing by to see Pemi firsthand, should your travel plans point you towards the shores of Lower Baker. We’d love to stay connected in person, or virtually, and I invite all Alumni to actively participate in our growing Alumni network. Please submit Alumni Notes, attend Alumni Events, and help connect us to ‘lost’ Alumni. Interested in being featured in the fall’s newsletter? Let me know! Have personal or professional news to share? E-mail me, and you will be included in the winter release of Alumni News.

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny Moore