Final Banquet Toast and Review of Iolanthe

2017: Newsletter #7

Incredibly, as we write this, the last day of Pemi Week is bringing the 2017 season to a close, and the camper population is organizing clothing and gear for some carefully supervised packing. It’s been a great season, the challenges of the July Deluge notwithstanding, and for all of their eagerness to be back in the cozy precincts of Home, the boys are already beginning to look a trifle wistful. It’s hard to underestimate the strength of the bonds that are formed up here and, for a good many campers, the dawning awareness of how much they will miss their cabin mates, compadres, and counselors lends all the more richness to the moment. This afternoon will feature the final ladling of Bean Soup (this edition always setting aside most of its edginess to celebrate with sincerity those among us who have given the most to Pemi this summer), and then comes the Final Campfire and cabin parties. As we throw arms over our companions’ shoulders and sway, for the last time this year, to the strains of the Campfire Song, we’ll be asking ourselves if “anyone’s better for anything we’ve done or said.” By all available evidence, many should feel extremely comfortable with the answer.

Traditionally, this last newsletter is comprised of Danny’s toast to the season at the Final Banquet and Clive Bean’s reviews of the year’s Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. We can’t think of a very good reason to alter formula.

Danny’s Toast to 2017

Here’s to the summer of 2017 at Camp Pemigewassett, the 110th in Pemi’s rich and storied history. A summer that has come and gone, as it always seems, in the blink of an eye, though in some ways it seems a lifetime ago when we all began to arrive in early June, back when campers and young counselors were still attending graduation parties, nine Pemi Wester’s were still breaking in their hiking boots for their trip to Washington, and those of us first to arrive were companions to the unlikely presence of a horde of cluster flies that reminded us that nature has its own course of action each spring. 

Danny's Final Banquet toast

Danny’s Final Banquet toast

Truth be told, the summer of 2017 really began before that, way back in October when scores of our returning campers and families sat by their computers until the stroke of midnight on Oct 14th to apply for Pemi’s 110th summer. Congratulations to Ben Herdeg, whose application was the very first one we received that early morning. Who will be the first camper to apply for 2018?

Here’s to a summer that concludes as the leaves on Route 25A are beginning to turn an autumn tint and Pemi boys are returning to their cabins for an 8:30 taps with barely a shred of day light left, a summer that by all accounts has been a wonderful success, despite the major curveball Mother Nature sent our way on July 1 when two steady days of rain caused the second “great flood” in Pemi history.

Here’s to the 260 (exactly) campers who graced the shores of Lower Baker Pond this summer, campers from 29 states (more than half of the states in the union) and from eight countries around the world; and here’s to the new Moroccan flag we added to our array of international banners gracing the Messhall. Here’s to the 91 campers, perhaps a new record, who made the decision to attend sleep away camp for the first time, the 19 who have, or will, collect their five-year bowls and yes, Phineas Walsh: here’s to campers in their eighth summer. 

Here’s to the talented and dedicated counselor staff at Pemi in 2017, to the cabin counselors and assistant counselors, the young men who share such close quarters with their boys, and who, by some magical means, are able to inspire, mentor and capture the imagination of their campers in ways even their own parents and we senior staff sometimes can not.

Cheers to the incredibly hard working crew that Reed Harrigan leads each day with such vigor, dedication and love; Frank, Dennis, John, Patterson, Aliza, and Jackson; to our Office Managers extraordinaire, Heather and Kim, who do so much more than manage the office, and here’s to Dottie who always seems to have time for us, despite attending to tasks both large and small and caring for campers and counselors with a large dose of maternal grace, wisdom, charm, and a heaping helping of love, as well.

Cheers to the chefs and kitchen crew this summer, led by our Dining Service Director Tom Ciglar, the crew that tackled the herculean task of providing a community of 260 with delicious meals three times a day and did so with a smile, a sincere desire to meet the needs of everyone in the community, and with freshly baked bread each day, too. And how ‘bout that day we had chocolate cake for breakfast!

Here’s to Kenny, our new father-to-be, whose love for Pemi is so evident as he oversees transportation, Pemi West, the daily and weekly schedule and so much more. Thank you, Kenny; we’d never want to do it without you!

Cheers to Deb Pannell and all the creative endeavors down in Art World (wow, what an Art Show!), to Charlie, our big-hearted Athletic Director and all the coaches in the athletics’ program who always put Pemi’s values of sportsmanship, improved skills and participation first. Boom! 

Kudos to Tom and the trippies who sent scores of trips tramp, tramp tramping over the mountains. I can’t imagine the Pemi trip program without you at the helm, Tom, but after 40 plus years of overseeing the program, I guess we’ll just say thank you for your magnificent work in managing over 4,000 trips since you began the task, with an eye for detail, safety, and a love for the mountains that will be very hard to replace.

Here’s to Reese, Amy, Deb Fauver and Becky for another remarkable G & S performance and to Becky and her staff for a summer of beautiful music at Pemi.

To Emily, Charlotte, Harry, Alan, and Molly, and all the exhilarating, yet safe, fun we had in the water, to Lianne in the shop, Chris (and family!) on the tennis courts, Larry and Deb in the Nature Lodge, Steve (and his many titles) on the archery range… oosh!…and all of the other instructors who brought major energy and mojo to occupation periods every day. And let’s not forget Head of Occupations, Dan Reed, for overseeing the schedule of 172 boys this summer… with the proficiency, thoughtfulness and positive vibe one rarely sees in a man his age; thank you Dan!  

And a special thank you to our nurses, Amy and Kaitlyn who, despite their tender years, created a model for great camp nursing this summer.

Here’s to the things that were unique at Pemi in 2017; eight beautiful new Mad River canoes, “Games Day” at night and a “Feature Movie” in the afternoon, helicopter birthday rides, the new floating docks down on Senior Beach, canoe rides for our Manor residents to get to work, two new baseball backstops and a new senior diamond lovingly crafted by Pemi’s own Dave Mellor, Charlie Malcolm.

Here’s to all-camp events at Pemi, Bean Soup when we laugh ourselves and anticipate “things to look for” (Thanks Dan and Wes!), Camp Fire when we entertain ourselves to some of the most majestic sunsets one will ever see (Thanks, Steve and Kim!), and to Sunday Service when we reflected on such matters as the 110 year history of Camp Pemigewassett, Living in the Moment, and the Miracle Mets of 1969.

And here’s to the beauty of Camp Pemigewasett: the mist on Lower Baker Pond each morning, the stunning reflection we enjoy off of the lake each evening, the spectacular sunsets . . . and that mesmerizing sound of the water lapping up against the shore as campers fall into a warm and deep sleep each night.

Here’s to our eighteen 15-year-old campers, to their combined 92 summers at Pemi (yes, you heard that right!) and to the lifelong friendships they’ve created. I know from personal experience that some day you’ll participate in each other’s weddings, be Godparents to each other’s children, and hopefully become the next generation of counselors at Pemi.

And of course, here’s to the Fauver Family and the Reed Family who, in their loving, wise and supportive way, continue to expect nothing short of excellence from each of us every summer and who see the stewardship of Camp Pemigewassett as their chance to make the world a better place, one boy at a time.

Here’s to Camp Pemigewassett 2017.

Good Luck, Long Life, and Joy! 

~ Danny Kerr

Clive Bean Reviews Iolanthe

Camp Pemigewassett’s dramatic season reached its pinnacle last Tuesday and Wednesday nights with a brace of fine performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. The quaint 1882 operetta, which has been performed at Pemi since 1979, turns on some eerily contemporary themes – untraditional marriage matches and functionally-challenged forms of government. We can only hope that the happy resolution of the play taught everyone in the cast and audience something about the values of social open-mindedness and hard and honest work in governance.

Cole Valente and Larry Davis

Cole Valente and Larry Davis

Enough earnest pontification. The show is a delightful froth of wit and whimsy, and Lower Baker’s sub-division of D’Oyle Carte played it with infectious energy and joy. Leading the way was Cole Valente, strutting the boards for the first time as the Fairy Queen. He was as coolly imperious as Maggie Thatcher and as buff as Wonder Woman, something that a tuft of carefully unshaven facial hair did much to augment. Delivering his lines and songs in a powerful falsetto and with impeccable comic timing, Cole brought down the house when his/her sudden desperate need to find a spouse led him to snap up Larry Davis’s Private Willis like a female Praying Mantis devouring her mate. (Larry, incidentally, was marvelous as the dutiful and willing Westminster guard.)

Scout and Weston

Scout and Weston

Equally compelling in delivery and comic acting alike was Scout Brink as the fetching shepherdess Phyllis, beloved by all but hopelessly devoted to the half-fairy, half-mortal Strephon, who was played most convincingly by Weston Delehanty. Bedecked in spectacular costumes (and looking more or less like Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI slumming on a rural picnic), Scout and Weston performed a series of lovely duets with all but professional finish. 

John Kingdon excelled in the title role of Iolanthe, Strephon’s fairy mother, who got the dramatic ball rolling years before the action starts when she broke the quintessential fairy rule of not marrying a mortal. John’s stage presence set a high standard for camper and staff participants alike, and he delivered his songs and dialogue with accuracy and feeling. Other staunch camper leads were Owen Wyman as Celia, Oliver Giraud at Leila, and Jake Landry as Fleta – a trio of charming ladies-in-flitting worthy of Tinkerbelle and absolutely crucial to the play’s loving resolution. 

John, Oliver, Owen, Jake

John, Oliver, Owen, Jake

Eli and Nick

Eli and Nick

Matching this trio was the inseparable duo of Nick Davini and Eli Brennan as Lords Mountararat and Tolloller, a couple of over-privileged and under-educated peers who spar for the affections of Phyllis but ultimately realize that friendship can sometimes be more important than success on the dating scene. Eli played the sycophantic lord with the oily extravagance of a White House lackey, while Nick’s pinched gyrations with a monocle would have gone down wonderfully in a Monty Python sketch.

The most remarkable of the leads, no doubt, was Nick Gordon as the eminent Lord Chancellor, once-and-future husband to Iolanthe and father to Strephon. Nick literally awoke in London on the day we opened and jetted across the Atlantic for his date with dramatic destiny. He had been away from Pemi for two weeks on a pre-arranged music program and had never rehearsed the show with the entire cast. Stepping onto the stage at midnight, body time, Nick managed to get through a powerfully difficult role with stunning composure and skill, earning arguably the loudest applause of the night with his brisk rendition of “The Nightmare Song.” Kudos to the lad for turning what came close to a nightmare of travel and lack of practice into a virtual triumph!

Nick Gordon

Nick Gordon

A G&S show is only as good as its choruses, and this years Fairies and Lords were rock solid. Ted Applebaum, Charlie Bell, Julian Berk, Harry Cooke, Tommy Gorman, Jaron Josephs, Luke Larabie, Henry Moore, Sam Papel, TRJR, Braden Richardson, and Augie Tanzosh managed to drown their longstanding Whig vs. Tory differences in a tsunami of affection for their fairy fiancées. And as their Fairyland femmes fatales, Nate Broll, Jon Ciglar, Lucas Gales, Andreas Geffert, Austin Greenberg, Jackson Heller, Andrew Muffett, Becky Noel, Christopher Ramanathan, Nelson Snyder, and Sam Young, were as fetching and fascinating as any “girls’” ensemble in recent memory. 

Chorus of Fairies

Chorus of Fairies

Chorus of Lords

Chorus of Lords

HMS Pinafore

2018! H.M.S. Pinafore

Special congratulations go out to Director Reese Eifler, Music Director Becky Noel, Wardrobe Mistress Deborah Fauver, and Pianist Extraordinaire Amy Comparetto. Under their dedicated and patient direction and care, the most difficult of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in Pemi’s repertoire came to life with a vibrancy that left both nights’ audiences craving for more. Stay tuned for 2018, when H.M.S. Pinafore sails up the Pemigewassett River into Lower Baker Pond for a reprise of the inaugural Pemi G&S of 1951. Book your boxes now!

With that, we’ll officially close the blogging book on Pemi 2017! Thank you to all you parents who entrusted their boys to us for the year. We hope we’re sending them home to you a little wiser, a little more confident, a little more grateful for the opportunities you have afforded them, and a little more determined that others should profit in the future from the things they do and say. We also hope that, in one way or another, that future finds them returning to our valley with fond recollections of this sometimes soggy year.

–TRJR

 

 

 

 

 

Tecumseh Day 2017…as Seen by Our 10s

Newsletter #6: Tecumseh Day 2017

The following comes from the desk of Charlie Malcolm, now in his 27th year as Pemi’s Athletic Director.

For over a hundred years, Camp Pemi and our friends at Camp Tecumseh have engaged in one of the more entertaining and pure sporting events in the country. Five age groups lock into an intense competition in four sports—a total of twenty contests—with each event having the potential to bring out the very best in our respective campers and communities.

Two years ago I wrote a blog article from the perspective of our fifteen-year-old seniors and how they come to grips with their last Tecumseh Day, the meaning of the day, and ultimately, the closure of their competition as boys at camp. I’ve watched boys walk up from the Tecumseh waterfront, pause at the top of the hill, and look back with tears in their eyes as they witness the end of something deep and special.

In this newsletter, I want to travel with our youngest campers to Camp Tecumseh. Let’s explore the Ten-and-unders, “Doc Nick’s wonders,” and reflect on their perceptions of the day and maybe shed some light on the value of this experience. Does this day create a positive energy and bind our community more tightly? What important lessons and experiences provide growth, and is this appropriate for our junior campers? I’ll cover the day from the Ten-and-under perspective, weaving together their experiences and the words that shaped their understanding of Tecumseh Day.

The Build-up

There were 32 Ten-and-unders living in the Junior Camp at the beginning of the season, and of those, 24 left us in mid-season, leaving our eight full-session boys to welcome their second-session teammates a mere ten days before Tecumseh Day. Even with eight seasoned veterans, it still takes thoughtful work by the Junior Camp staff to pull the age group together. Junior Camp Division Head Wesley Eifler and his incredible counseling team masterfully foster a kind and supportive community, foundational for a successful competition. It is the cementing of these relationships that anchors a given age group’s success on a long and challenging Tecumseh Day.

The majority of the boys sign up for team occupations/practices during the week leading up to Tecumseh: baseball, soccer, tennis, and swimming. Over the course of the week, the cheers in the mess hall grow louder with each passing day, and the juniors, along with the seniors, are often the loudest and most enthusiastic. Some of the boys who were experiencing homesickness are drawn into the camp’s collective enthusiasm and begin to feel fully present at camp. While the cheers occasionally chase Head of Nature Larry Davis out of the mess hall, the reverberations of “Beat Tecumseh!” cascade out of our communal dining room, bounce off Dead Man’s Hill and Victoria’s Peak, and split Mt. Carr. One skips through Plymouth and Center Harbor, sending tremors through Moultonborough, while the rest of the cheers bounce through the Franconias and Presidentials and end up on the porch of Orin Tucker somewhere north of Millinocket, Maine. All true….

While the mess hall rocks most evenings leading up to Tecumseh Day, the Ten-and-unders work tirelessly on their strokes in swimming, their ability to land their first serve in tennis, their willingness and ability to combine on the soccer field, and their ability to hit and play defense in baseball. The beauty of Tecumseh Day is that many boys play sports that they only do at camp, leaning a little further out of their comfort zone for the good of their team and community.

On Friday morning, the juniors wake to the bugle and to a group of seniors who cheer the boys as they rise from their cabins. After a quick polar bear in the lake and an expedited breakfast in the mess hall, the boys are loaded on the buses and leave camp by 7:35 AM. All praise to Assistant Director Kenny Moore, master of logistics, as the buses leave on time and allow ample time for the boys prepare for their matches when they arrive at Tecumseh.

10s Baseball: Setting the Tone

Shep Griffiths

Shep Griffiths

Shep Griffiths returned to Pemi this summer after taking a year to travel with his family. The fire-baller from Rye, NY, straddled the mound, took a deep breath, and looked into his catcher’s mitt. “I was really nervous, but once the game started I was really into it.” Well, Shep certainly was up to the challenge as he proceeded to mow down the Tecumseh batters from the opening inning. He struck out thirteen batters and fielded four bunts for a total of seventeen of a possible eighteen outs. He did this with a pitch count under seventy, a stunning feat at any level.

Twice, Pemi loaded the bases but could not deliver the key hit to break open the game. With the contest still tied 0-0 in the bottom the 6th inning, Shep issued a one-out walk and Tecumseh’s next batter laid down another bunt. Shep fielded the ball and fired to second base, only to find no middle infielder covering. Fortunately, Jake Landry backed up the play at second and literally saved the game with his heads-up, well-coached baseball play. (Editor’s Note: Phil Landry, Jake’s Dad, is a Fauver Baseball Trophy winner, played numerous seasons for me, and became a great baseball coach at Pemi for six seasons.) With runners at first and third and one out, the Tecumseh fans were making some serious noise, and Shep needed to respond with Tecumseh’s heart of the order at the plate.

With laser focus, he struck out the first batter for the second out and the atmosphere was electric. Cheers of, “Let’s go, Pemi!” resounded in spite of an incredibly loud Tecumseh crowd. According to Shep, “This is Tecumseh Day; I’m going to throw it my hardest.” The batter swung and the foul tip landed firmly in Giacomo Turco’s mitt for the final out of a thrilling 0-0 game. “We all ran onto the field and hugged Shep,” said Philip Fauver. “Seeing him pitch like that really set the tone for the day.”

Soccer: Resiliency

After the thrilling end to the baseball game, the Ten-and-unders walked confidently up to Grant Field to prepare for their soccer match. One of the great challenges of Tecumseh Day is to transition from one sport to the next event over the course of a long day. It takes focus and mental fortitude to keep the enthusiasm going or to dust off after a difficult defeat. Tecumseh quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first ten minutes of play as their speed and competitive spirit put the Pemi Tens on their heels.

Jackson Davies, Keiran Klasfeld, Oliver Phillips, and Charlie Bowman celebrate goal

Jackson Davies, Keiran Klasfeld, Oliver Phillips, and Charlie Bowman celebrate goal

Jackson Heller fought tenaciously at midfield while Shep’s defensive clears bought Pemi time to solve Tecumseh’s defense. With better tactical commitment to attacking the flanks, Pemi was able to turn the outside backs of Tecumseh and serve balls into the middle where the hustling and opportunistic Oliver Philips jumped on a loose ball and buried it to cut Tecumseh’s lead to 2-1. After scoring, Oliver dashed to the Pemi bench and ran the gauntlet of high fives getting everyone excited to play. Coach made some changes in the defense and sent out Philip Fauver, who’d not started the game, to left back. Philip jumped into the game. “I was disappointed not to start and I thought I wasn’t going to play. But once I got in there, I stopped my wing and blocked a lot of shots. I wasn’t afraid.” The ability to overcome initial disappointment and to embrace an opportunity embodies the personal resiliency that makes a team successful.

Pemi started to play more confidently but Tecumseh struck again just before halftime, pushing their lead to 3-1. A late goal can be fairly demoralizing, but Coaches Kim Bradshaw and Sam Dixon rallied the boys. The defensive trio of Shep, Jake Landry, and Philip Fauver held their line for much of the second half and, with great support from cheering seniors on the sideline, a fired-up Ten’s team made a commitment to combine on the flanks and avoid the middle of the pitch. Kieran Klasfeld, Merrick Chapin, and Oliver united to beat several defenders and Oliver once again drew Pemi within a goal. Tecumseh, always a relentless opponent, then pushed their lead to 4-2. Pemi nearly scored when Shep’s penalty kick whistled by the cross bar. “After I missed my penalty kick, no one was mad at me. They told me to keep my head up and make the next one.”

With Shep off the field, Charlie Bowman stepped up and converted a free kick to pull Pemi to just a 4-3 deficit with the fans of both camps urging the boys forward. With under a minute left to play, Pemi received one last free kick from just outside the penalty area. Bowman’s kick just missed the upper corner and Pemi lost a hard-fought match 4-3.

It was a tough loss, but the gritty determination of our youngest Pemi boys to keep fighting back was one of the defining moments of the day and an important lesson for athletes and spectators alike on the critical importance of resiliency. The Tens received great support from their Pemi fans, especially with the cheers of the Fifteens urging the team forward, and they repeatedly responded with courage and fortitude. Kieran summed up how he felt about the loss: “When the game was over, even though we lost, we never put our heads down. The Fifteens watching our game came over and told us we did a great job and they were proud of us. I was bummed out, but we had tennis next, and I decided to make up for it in my doubles match after lunch.”

Tecumseh Dining Hall: Friends in the Zoo

Dining at Camp Tecumseh is one of the highlights for our boys. They hear stories about the cheers and banging on the tables as the dining hall is a source of great fun and energy for the Tecumseh community. While Pemi sings songs about cans of beans and bloomer girls, our friends from Tecumseh have a series of interactive cheers and spoofs that make for a lively environment.

In the back of the dining hall is an area known as the “zoo,” where the more colorful entertainment pulsates and drives the rest of the dining hall. Philip Fauver described it this way: “A senior told me to sit in the ‘zoo.’ It was really fun and really odd. A bunch of middle-aged men and kids whacking the table and singing chants about bananas, coconuts, and the olé chant you hear at soccer games. They even sing and do the hokey pokey. It was fun, but yes, a little awkward, too.”

Shep enjoyed the mess hall, but what he most enjoyed was meeting the boys from Tecumseh. “I sat with a kid who played baseball and tennis. He was a really nice kid and we shared stories about our camps. He told me about the blue/grey competition they have each week in all different sports.” At the end of the lunch, the boys went up to the tennis courts to continue their battle. They had tied their baseball game, lost a competitive soccer match 4-3, and now needed to muster their energy to play tennis and swim in the afternoon.

10s Tennis: Evening the Score

I’ll let Coach Jon Duval describe the tennis match and then give you the juniors’ take on it:

Oscar Andersson

Oscar Andersson

The Tens took the court following lunch at Tecumseh and a brief rest hour. The team came in confident after their dominating performance at the 1st-session Baker Valley Tournament, where they went 9-1 in matches played. The first match to finish was #2 doubles, where Norwood Davis and Kieran Klasfeld quickly dispatched their opponents, identical twins, 8-1, giving Pemi a 1-0 lead in the match. After a quick start, Sam Young and Jake Landry finished their match at #1 doubles 8-4, widening Pemi’s lead to 2-0. Tecumseh responded to being down by winning #3 doubles against Thomas Ruhanen and P.J Reed 8-4. Despite a massive comeback after being down 5-0, Giacomo Turco also fell to a tough opponent at #4 singles 8-5, evening the match at 2-2 with only 1, 2, and 3 singles left to finish. After leading the whole match, Shep Griffiths won #3 singles 8-5. In a heartbreaker, Oliver Philips lost a tough match to a very good Tecumseh opponent 7-6 (9-7) in a tiebreaker at #1 Singles. With the match tied 3-3, everything came down to Oscar Andersson at #2 Singles. Oscar clutched out the match 8-6 after a great effort from his opponent, securing the 4-3 win and giving Tens tennis an undefeated season.

With the victory in tennis, the Ten-and-unders brought their overall record to 1-1-1 with only swimming left to go. The boys felt proud of their accomplishments and appreciated all of the support from their coaches, cabin mates, and seniors.

Swimming: The Last Race

As the boys walked down to the waterfront, they were immediately struck by the inspiring view of Lake Winnepesauke. The massive lake with the Ossipee range in the background and dozens of boats buzzing by the waterfront can be quite disorienting for the Pemi boys from Lower Baker Pond.

Shep walked down to the waterfront having pitched in the baseball game, played centerback in the soccer game, and won his singles tennis match. He had no idea of the overall score of the day. “When I got down to the docks, I started thinking about the story of Metal Boy and how, for him, whoever won the event won the day. Charlotte reminded us of our strokes and we began practicing. The water was awesome, cold, and you could see the bottom. It was weird having the beach be so public with boats driving by and the lake was so big.”

Lucas Vitale

Lucas Vitale

Pemi led for most of the meet as Boone Snyder won the breaststroke and Lucas Vitale won the ‘fly. Merrick Chapin finished second in the breaststroke and Ben Cavenagh delivered a second in the freestyle. Unfortunately, Pemi would eventually lose the meet when Tecumseh took 1st and 2nd place in the final freestyle relay for a 33-27 victory. “I was standing on the docks and I looked over and saw all of the Pemi people cheering,” said Shep. “When they announced the results at the end of the meet we were kinda down. No one was crushed, but I felt a little bad for the seniors.”

After a long day, the Tens and Fifteens came together for one last cheer to celebrate the race and salute Tecumseh’s victory. Our fifteen-year-olds faced the end of their camp competitive days while our ten-year-olds pulled together their feelings about what this meant to them.

Home: Understanding a Bigger Picture

As I write, the van is waiting to take Sam Papel, me, and six boys for a four-day backpacking trip through the Mahoosuc Range, so I’ll let Philip Fauver and Shep Griffiths share their final thoughts on the day.

Welcome home

Welcome home

Shep described returning back to Pemi and the community he felt when he arrived. “When we returned home everyone was waiting for us and clapping. It felt good. The seniors brought us together and said they were proud of us and how we had came together. They all said ‘Pemi on three,’ and then everybody cheered together. In my two years of competing, it is definitely my favorite day at camp. Tecumseh had great sportsmanship. They were never negative, they always hustled, and they were really fast. However, I kinda felt like we won the day, not in terms of points or wins, but in teamwork.”

As for Philip Fauver, he had some advice for future juniors. “It’s a really hyped-up day, but don’t get too cocky. Tecumseh is a sports camp; we are not. We still believe we can do it, but don’t be crushed if we don’t. Give us another week of preparation and I think we can beat these guys. I’m excited to prep for another Tecumseh Day again, but next week I’m going hiking, working in the wood shop, and going on a nature hike because camp isn’t just about sports. There are so many things to do.”

And on those final words…I’m taking Philip’s advice and getting into that van to hike some gnarly mountains.               ~Charlie Malcolm

Off to the Mahoosuc Range! Charlie Malcolm, right

Off to the Mahoosuc Range! Charlie Malcolm, right