We believe that Camp Pemigewassett is the oldest summer camp in the country under the same continuous family ownership and management. Founded in 1908 by Edgar and Edwin Fauver and Dudley Reed, Pemi has thrived for well over a century through the vision and commitment of four generations of Fauvers and Reeds.
Pemigewassett’s singular history of devoted management continues today with Danny Kerr at the helm. Our year ’round director and point person for parents and staff, Danny joined Pemi in June 2010. A dedicated and experienced career educator, Danny was director for nine years of Horizons Day Camp of the Aloha Foundation, one of the nation’s leading camping organizations. Prior to assuming the fulltime position at Pemi, he was a member of the history faculty and varsity baseball coach at George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania, having taught earlier at both the Indian Mountain and Long Trail Schools. Danny and his wife Julia have three sons, Christopher, Robert, and Michael, two of whom have been on the Pemi staff.
Pemi’s Founders: The “Four Docs”
Three close friends, Drs. Edgar Fauver, Edwin Fauver, and Dudley Reed, founded Pemi in 1908. All graduates of Oberlin College and Columbia Medical School, they had worked as counselors at a nearby camp and ultimately decided to start their own. After a long search throughout the Northeast, they chose the present site on the shores of Lower Baker Pond. While serving on the faculties of Wesleyan University, the University of Rochester, and the University of Chicago, respectively, they remained as Pemi directors until their deaths in 1946, 1949 and 1955. Dr. John H. Nichols, also an Oberlin graduate, joined them in 1910, serving first as a counselor, then as a director until his death in 1979. “Doc Nick” was also a college educator, first at Ohio State and later at Oberlin, where he headed the department of Physical Education for decades. The high standards set by these “Four Docs” still prevail at Pemi today.
Directors In The Years Since
Beginning as campers in the 1920′s, Al Fauver (son of Edgar Fauver) and Tom Reed (son of Dudley Reed) served as counselors and Assistant Directors, becoming Directors and owners in the 1950′s. Al earned a B.A. from Oberlin and a Master’s degree from Wesleyan. He continued as a director until his retirement in 1980, and is still active in Pemi affairs, along with his wife, Bertha. Tom Reed also graduated from Oberlin and received a Ph.D. from Harvard, serving on the Art History faculties of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. He was Director until 1988, and continued his involvement in the day-to-day life of camp in a number of roles until his death at age 94 in July, 2010. His wife Betsy continues to enjoy summers at Pemi.
Rob Grabill was Director of Pemi from 1988 through our Centennial Celebration in 2007. He graduated from Oberlin College and earned an M.S. from University of New Hampshire. A 37-year veteran of the Pemi staff, beginning in 1970, Rob served as counselor, division head, and then assistant director before succeeding Tom Reed, Sr. as Director.
Jonathan Fauver was Founding Director of Pemi West in Colorado in 1997 and subsequently served as Director at Pemi through the 2008 season. His long association with the camp includes experience as a camper, division head, program head, and associate director. A graduate of Brown University, Jon received an M.B.A. from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business, and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut Law School. Jon and his wife Janet Duchaine are the parents of Jameson, a Pemi veteran camper who also served as counselor and division head.
Tom Reed, Jr has been at Pemi for over 50 years as a camper, counselor, division and program head, head of Pemi’s trip program, and director. A graduate of Yale University, he is Professor of English at Dickinson College. Tom is joined on the Pemi staff by his wife Dottie, Pemi’s head administrator. Their daughter Abigail worked in Pemi’s kitchen, as a swimming and nature instructor, and served as co-head of the junior camp. Their son Dan has been an assistant counselor, counselor, co-leader of Pemi West, and trip leader.
Now with a 5th-generation camper, the Fauver family continues to be very much involved as Board members, officers, and in filling other key roles as needed.
Learn about Pemi’s staff