Penelope Reed Doob, August 16, 1943–March 11, 2017

Penelope Reed Doob

Penelope Reed Doob

Penelope Reed Doob died peacefully on March 11th, in Toronto, Ontario, after a long and brave battle with Parkinson’s disease. A member of Pemi’s Board of Directors, she was 73 years old.

Penelope was the granddaughter of Pemi co-founder Dudley “Doc” Reed and his wife Clara Jane, the daughter of Tom and Betsy Reed, and sister to Tom Reed, Jr. She spent all of her early summers at Pemi before going off to Camp Interlaken, first as a camper and then as a counselor. Pemigewassett was nevertheless her first love, and on her last visit to Wentworth in the summer of 2015, she made it clear that it was her favorite spot on earth – this from someone whose many travels had taken her as far afield as Australia. Aside from her role on the Pemi Board, she contributed directly to the camp program for decades, first helping Betsy with our annual Gilbert and Sullivan productions and then taking over as producer and co-director of the lively operettas.

Beyond the Baker Valley, Penelope was a Professor of Dance, English Literature, and Women’s Studies at York University, where she also served as Chair of the Department of Dance, Associate Vice President of Faculties, Associate Principal of Glendon College, and Academic Director for York’s Center for the Support of Teaching. Her teaching and research areas encompassed Medieval and Renaissance studies, dance history and criticism, sexual stereotypes in opera, literature, and dance, and non-fiction writing. She published three books: Nebuchadnezzer’s Children: Conventions of Madness in Medieval Literature; The Idea of the Labyrinth from the Classical Period through the Middle Ages; and, with Charlotte Morse and Marjorie Woods, The Uses of Manuscripts in Literary Studies. She also co-authored legendary Canadian principal dancer Karen Kain’s autobiography, Movement Never Lies.

Penelope’s reviews and feature articles appeared in publications such as the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, Dance Magazine, Ballet News, Performing Arts in Canada, and Ballet International. She developed more than 20 documentaries for the CBC Radio program, The Dance, and wrote extensive historical program notes for the National Ballet of Canada.

A graduate of The Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, Penelope went on to major in English Literature at Harvard University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She took her doctorate at Stanford University, her dissertation there becoming her first book, on medieval madness. Among her academic honors, she was the recipient of Woodrow Wilson, Kent, and Guggenheim Fellowships. Despite a lifelong fascination with the arts, she was also keenly interested in the sciences, and was a founding President of Reed McFadden, a medical research company focusing on HIV/AIDS.

Despite her singular academic abilities and professional accomplishments, Penelope was as proud of her family’s involvement with Pemi as she was of anything in her life. An aficionado of international opera and ballet, she was as happy to watch mealtime singing in the mess hall as she was to watch Placido Domingo or Natalia Makarova perform at Covent Garden. As brilliant and engaged as Penelope was, she was also patient and caring. She was principled but never doctrinaire, inspiring but never condescending, a most serious person who could, oh so often, be seen laughing on the very edges of bodily control. As her resume suggests, she was never afraid to try something new. If you are willing to imagine the Pemi Kid as a girl rather than a boy, she could easily have been the model. We are richer for her presence and will miss her greatly

Plans for commemorating Penelope are still taking shape. We will pass them along as they become clearer. The family has decided that donations in Penelope’s memory might be directed towards The Parkinson’s Foundation, The Humane Society, and Public Broadcasting (PBS or NPR). All were organizations in which she believed and which she supported over the years.

~Tom Reed, Jr.

 

Links to Articles and Videos of Interest – March ’17

Over the winter, Pemi’s facebook page offered updates on Open Houses, alumni gatherings, and chance encounters, as well as steady postings of photos both old and new that made us smile, laugh, reflect, and—more often than not—ache to be with our friends at camp. Interspersed throughout have been links to timely topics and bits of interest from a variety of sources. As we like to do every few months, here’s a select compilation of those links that should make for easy binge reading if you’re not a facebook user or if you missed one along the way…

When you come across articles that you think the larger Pemi community might find of interest, please send them our way so we can share them with others!

 

 

Allyson Fauver Joins Pemi’s Administrative Team

As reported earlier, Pemi’s Board of Directors and the nine members of the fourth generation of Pemi’s two founding families have met both in person and via phone on several occasions over the past couple of years to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition to Pemi’s future. While many of the third generation will continue to be presences at camp during the summer and serve both in supportive and hands-on ways year ’round, we are eager to make provisions for more practical experience for those who’ve expressed interest.

Allyson Fauver

Allyson Fauver

With that in mind, we’re delighted to introduce a newcomer to Pemi’s staff, though she is far from a rookie. As a “G4” member, Allyson Fauver spent many beloved summers at Pemi, living “up the Hill” along with her grandparents, Al and Bertha Fauver, while her father Fred was on staff and her brother Jon was a camper. In 1999, Allyson served as support staff for Pemi West. More recently, she’s worked behind-the-scenes as a board member and now serves as Treasurer.

With preparations for the 2017 camp season upon us, Allyson’s role is expanding to assist director Danny Kerr with numerous administrative tasks previously overseen by Dottie Reed, including supporting parents and staff through the crucial and involved process of submitting required forms. As a self-proclaimed “organization, paperwork, and details person,” Allyson couldn’t be better suited to serve Pemi in this central capacity. (In the meantime, Dottie and Tom are enjoying settling in to their new home in Sarasota, Florida, and look forward to being at Pemi for the summer!)

Allyson’s favorite memories of growing up on the shores of Lower Baker? I never wore shoes. The Nature Lodge was my favorite spot, especially the aquarium of mussels, frogs, and minnows, the rock polisher, and the bank of ferns out back. Cookout was my favorite meal of the week, and I loved helping deliver crates to cabins from the back of the big truck. (I’m sure I was a big help.) I always looked forward to the costumes of Gilbert and Sullivan, and was eternally delighted by Tom Reed, Jr’s, ‘I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.’” 

Allyson earned a BA in International Studies from Marlboro College in Maine and a JD from the University of Maine School of Law. She currently lives in Bozeman, Montana, where she is the founding partner of Solve, a team of three colleagues dedicated to supporting nonprofit and social profit institutions.

We’re thrilled to have Allyson in the trenches and know that our community will benefit greatly from both her professional skills and her deep love of Pemi.

~ Dottie Reed

 

 

 

 

Alumni Magazine – News and Notes – January 2017

Welcome to the next installment of the Alumni Newsletter. This edition, Alumni News and Notes, focuses on updates from our Alumni Community. We invite you to write your own update in the comments section below.

CONGRATULATIONS

Noah Belinowiz, Pemi’s 13th Chief, will head to Rochester University in the fall.

Patrick Clare married Holly Lagasse on August 13, 2016 supported by a strong contingent of Pemi men. Pat and Holly currently live on the campus of Avon Old Farms in Avon, Ct where Pat teaches history and economics, coaches, and supervises in the dorm. Holly works as a production assistant at ESPN as a part of their NFL Live Staff.

Fauver Wedding

Jameson and Catherine accompanied by Jameson’s parents Jon Fauver and Janet Duchaine.

Jameson Fauver married Catherine Gallagher on October 1, 2016 in Nantucket. Pemi Alumni, Josh King, Critter Tamm, Geoff Curfman, Kyle Avery, and Ben Jonson aided in the celebration. Jameson and Catherine live in Boston’s South End; Catherine is in her second year at Boston University Law School. Jameson, the Director of Business Development for Kashable, a financial technology company based in Manhattan, commutes to New York a couple days a week for work.

Bryce Grey will head to Dickinson College this fall.

Porter Hill and his wife Holly celebrated the arrival of their first child, Campbell, on October 25. Everyone is happy and healthy, and they look forward to Campbell’s first season at Pemi in the summer of 2025!

Chris McKendry married Kendra Gladieux on October 1, 2016 in Toledo, Ohio. Chris’ cousin-in-law, Kenny Moore, served as the officiant. After meeting as undergraduates at Ohio Wesleyan University, Chris and Kendra moved west in 2009 to Long Beach, California where Chris is the Creative Manager for Method Wheels and Kendra is the Head Chef at Frosted, a cupcakery.

Miller Wedding

Conor Shaw helping lift Jeff Miller during the horah.

David Miller married Charlotte Quilain this past summer with celebrations in Paris and New York. Having moved to Berlin, Germany in 2014, David works for BMG and is now the Senior Director of Business Development, responsible for their international Expansion. He has seen Erik Wiedenmann a few times and attests that the Pemi connection does indeed exist overseas!

Jeff Miller wed Michelle Hirsch on May 29, 2016 in New York. Pemi Alumni, Chris and Michael Bryant, Jake Fauver, Conor Shaw, Critter Tamm and Will Edwards were in attendance. Jeff is entering his final semester at NYU’s Stern School of Business graduating in May with a focus on product management. He’ll soon be looking for a full time gig in technology in New York City. Michelle is an investment associate at Greystone Development.

Johanna Zabawa married Nick Salay on October 8 in St. Anthony, Minnesota. Johanna works with the Washburn Center for Children as a school based mental health therapist. She is currently working in the Bloomington public schools. Nick is an emergency physician at Saint Cloud Hospital. The happy couple now resides in Maple Grove, MN.

Sky Fauver, Anne Lucas, Zabawa! Abby Reed, and James Bischoff. Sky's sons Leo, Philip, and Oliver in front.

Sky Fauver, Anne Lucas, Zabawa! Abby Reed, and James Bischoff. Sky’s sons Leo, Philip, and Oliver in front.

ALUMNI NEWS

David Adams, originally from Cleveland, OH splits his time between Virginia and Florida. David spent his career in the legal profession, 47 years in total, with almost 16 years as a Federal Judge. He winters just a mile from his brother Peter in North Palm Beach, Florida.

Mike Benham attended Pat Clare’s wedding in August, and saw a bunch of alumni there. In March, his company moved into the new Renaissance Hotel on 35th street in Manhattan where he runs a delivery only food concept as well as handling banquets, room service, and VIP services for the hotel. Mike has taken on the role of General Manager, and still finds time for music.

Sandy and Hunter

Sandy and Hunter

Sandy Bryant and Hunter Mulligan rang in the New Year together at the Hillsboro Club in Hillsboro Beach, Florida, a place their families have gathered for years.

John Carman writes in, “I’m planning to retire sometime in 2018 after turning 62 and a very rewarding 35 year career in the Boy Scouts of America. Upon retirement, my wife Mary and I will move to Louisville, Kentucky where we already own a house in which our daughters lived while attending grad school. Our eldest daughter gave birth to our first grandchild in January, 2016 so we have been spending a lot of time there during the past year. I plan to attend the 110 year anniversary and more Pemi events on a regular basis after that.”

“Anyone out there from years 1943-1946, lower and upper intermediate?” asks Frank Connor. “I’m in Denton ,TX and have been retired from being a math professor for over 20 years. Not sure all what I do nowadays, but I sure feel busy. I think one simply takes a lot longer to do anything when they’re old. I am still involved with water polo but had to quit playing at 69 due to a cervical spine problem. Although Pemi didn’t have that sport when I was there, Pemi is where I started my swimming career, so in a major way that was the start of my water polo career (years later), which got me into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame. Certainly, as far as a philosophy of life and how to act toward others, Pemi was the most influential experience in my life, and for that I am forever grateful.
If you read this and remember me (well, maybe vaguely), I would enjoy hearing from you. Cheers to all!”

Larry Davis, having spent years and years caving, hiking, geologizing, and reffing, has worn out his knees and will be getting them replaced. The right one is scheduled to be done on January 23, the left in the fall. Should be good for another long stint after that! Larry just returned from ten days on San Salvador Island with a class.

John Evans, camper from 1990 to 1993, moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Orange County, New York. He and his wife Virginia own an environmental consulting firm. They enjoy traveling, cooking Italian food, and spending time with family.

ISO bicyclists! Fred Fauver is planning a two-week self-designed, self-supported bike trip in Bulgaria, taking place in early September 2017.  Why Bulgaria?  Well, as Fred says, “because I’ve never known anybody who has explored there, and the people, the terrain, and the history sound amazing. We’ll start in Sofia and head to the Black Sea with diversions into the mountains. Max group size will be six, and we have four, so far.” Let us know if this is of interest!

Emilie Geissinger moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland for graduate school, where she is earning her masters in Fishery Ecology at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Payne Hadden moved to Atlanta, GA after graduating from Colgate in May of 2016. He is working for a commercial real estate firm and has enjoyed it thus far. This past summer, he went on numerous hikes in Northern Georgia, some on the Appalachian Trail, and found it rewarding to compare the trails to his past experiences on the northern sections as a camper and counselor at Pemi.

For the last twelve years, Scott Hansen has lived in Bethesda, Maryland, and is working at Marriott International Headquarters overseeing guest technology. He is frantically working to incorporate newly acquired Starwood Hotels and travels frequently, with a recent trip to South Korea.

Andrew Heath ran into Porter Hill while walking in a park in Cos Cob, CT, where Andrew and his wife, Sandra, just purchased their first house.

Jameson, Josh, Chris, and Jon

Jameson, Josh, Chris, and Jon

Eric Kampmann, a second generation Alumnus, 1952-1953, credits Pemi for inspiring his love of hiking and the outdoors in his later years. He finished section hiking the entire Appalachian Trail in September of 2011, and continues to find ways to return to the trail whenever he can. “Pemi led me to the trail, which is a journey I still have not completed.” Eric’s father attended Pemi in the 1930’s, and Eric’s children, Alex, Peter, and Arthur were campers in the 1990’s. Eric is the CEO of Midpoint Trade Books in New York.

Josh King turned 30 this fall, and celebrated with an all Pemi game of paddle tennis with Jameson Fauver, Chris Ward, and Jon Weigel.

Michael, Leif, and Dan

Michael, Leif, and Dan

Michael Morrell, Leif Dormsjo, and Dan Kasper pictured at Game One of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. The Kasper family is happily residing in Denver, Colorado. Dan, Carrie, Dylan (now 3 ½ years old and a Junior Camper in the making) welcomed Rosalie Claire Kasper on June 29, 2016. Dan’s parents Anne and Tom Kasper, relocated from DC to Denver this past summer to join the clan on the edge of the Rocky Mountains.

Ted McChesney moved back to Richmond, Virginia and works for the CMG Foundation. CMG is a non-profit that does court ordered mediation for juvenile and domestic court. Ted is looking to go back to school next fall.

Erik Muller is still living in New York City with his wife, Christina. They just celebrated two years of marriage last September. Erik works for TubeMogul, which is an ad-tech company that was recently acquired by Adobe, as a software sales director. Christina and Erik love to stay current on Pemi news and are hoping to make a trip up next summer for another visit. They stopped in for a night two summers ago, and Christina fancies herself a ‘Pemi Kid’ now.

Dave Nagle recently changed employment. As of June 2016, Dave is a Process Engineer for Brycoat Inc, a coatings company in Oldsmar, FL.

Harry Norman, a member of the staff in 2014, is currently backpacking in Asia, traveling first in Thailand and then to Vietnam. He recently caught up with Teagen Burnham and Becky Noel in the UK.

Stephen Funk Pearson writes, “I’ve moved full time to my 1767 farmhouse (Butternut farm) in Belmont. I quit my Cambridge, MA home after 30 years, quit my Cambridge tv show (Psychic Fashion Show), quit my rock band (Pretentious Fools), quit my publishing biz (Pingibookstore) and will take life easy now, living and renting my lake cabins (cabinsonthecove.com) planting a garden, and enjoying country life year round again.”

Peter Rapeyle retired in 2012 as Headmaster of Princeton Junior School after 40 years in education. Currently, Peter is serving on four boards, teaching part-time at the Princeton Adult School and auditing courses at Princeton University, where his wife, Janet, is in her 14th year as Dean of Admission.

Victoria, William, Deckard and St. Nick!

Victoria, William, Deckard and St. Nick!

Austin Richards is living in Santa Barbara, CA with wife Victoria and his two sons William and Deckard. Austin thinks about Pemi quite a lot, reminiscing, “it’s the least changed place from my childhood, which I am so grateful for. I hope to send my boys when they are ready. Deckard is named after the protagonist of Blade Runner, a film I first viewed on Hanover Day, 1982. I recall that the only two Pemi folks that loved the movie that night were me and Andrew Harrison, and that many others complained about the incoherent plot! You were in good company: Harrison Ford, who played the Deckard character, famously hated the film.”
Austin continues, “my investigations into things I learned about at Pemi continue even in my professional life, as a research scientist at FLIR Systems, the infrared camera company. Years ago, Larry Davis took some of us lucky folks to the nearby Palermo Mine to prospect for fluorescent uranium minerals at night with black lights. They glow with green light. I recently came across an old Smithsonian research paper, which describes how certain minerals can fluorescence with infrared light when stimulated with blue-green light. I tried it with a sample of golden topaz and it works, though the fluorescence is very weak and you need a special camera to image it.”

Jake and Leif

Jake and Leif

The Sargent family hosted a rain-soaked Toast to Fall Bluegrass party in Blue Ridge Summit, PA on October 1. Leif Dormsjo, once a trip counselor, always a trip counselor, dressed appropriately for the weather. Future campers as well as Pemi Alumnus Jonas Beals joined Leif and Jake Sargent at the gathering.

Jack Stratton is the leader of a band called Vulfpeck, a popular American funk group that is gaining a wide-spread following. They have performed on the Colbert Show, Central Park’s Summer Stage, and the Brooklyn Bowl. Check the 2017 Tour dates, 2 shows in Brooklyn were just added, to see when Vulfpeck travels to your town.

Rob Verger has started going on camera regularly for FoxNews.com to talk about science and technology. He’s also a freelance contributor to FoxNews.com. Check out this recent clip!

If you made it thus far, you’re deserving of good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny

Defining Photos of 2016

Each fall, photos from the previous summer are compiled to create a picture book for prospective campers, current families, and alumni. Below are a few favorites that are worth sharing, enjoy!

Aerial Shot - Drone!

Thanks to Alumnus Ted Orben for capturing this image via drone!

A beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

A beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Butterflies and Moths continues to be a popular occupation at Pemi and relatively new to the schedule, the equally popular Digital Photography occupation.

Learning how to control the wakeboard with a picturesque backdrop.

Wakeboarding with a picturesque backdrop.

Hydration above tree line

Hydration above tree line

A Weird Science creation, the Nature Lodge always up to something.

A Weird Science creation

15 & Under Baseball shaking hands with Camp Tecumseh after their annual game.

15 & Under Baseball shaking hands with Camp Tecumseh after their annual game.

A spectacular image from Pemi West.

A spectacular image from Pemi West. Click here to see another favorite!

Slalom skier with good spray rounding the outer buoy.

Slalom skier finishing the course with good spray.

Mabel leading the Chorus of Wards in 2016's Pirates of Penzance.

Mabel leading the Chorus of Wards in 2016’s Pirates of Penzance.

...and finally drops in the West.

…and finally drops in the West.

Alumni Profiles

Greetings! Welcome to the next installment of the Alumni Newsletter, Alumni Profiles, highlighting two Alumni who each spent a number of years as campers and as counselors at Pemi. As we look forward to the next issue, Alumni News and Notes, I love to include information about you; did you start a new job? Move to a new city? Randomly ran-into another Pemi person? E-mail [email protected] to share today, and stay tuned in the next few months.

John Ravenal

In 1969, a ten-year old John Ravenal arrived at Pemi for his first summer as a member of Junior 4. After six years as a camper, John joined the staff in 1977 and would later serve as the Junior 1 Counselor for three summers in 1978, 1979, and 1981, with the later two summers being the Head Counselor or Division Head of Junior Camp. John distinctly remembers the familiar sights and sounds of being at Pemi. “Tattoo in the Junior Camp – the long bugle tune winding through the dusk, as campers dashed to their cabins and back out again to brush their teeth. Or looking through the low-burning campfire on the Senior Beach across Lower Baker Pond while singing the last lines of the Campfire Song.” Other memories include the camp traditions of Bean Soup and Gilbert & Sullivan, and more personal memories of long canoe paddles with friends and the bonds forged with cabin-mates in the cabin.

Senior 1 - 1973

SENIOR 1 1973 From L-R, on roof – Brett Raimondo & Will Moffett, in cabin – Mark Hansson & Jeff Hoyt, on chimney – Doug Winston & John Ravenal, on ground – Bill Bernhard, Ian Fox, and Stuart Grey, seated – counselor Peter Barnett

John attended Wesleyan University during his years as a counselor, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Art History. He followed his undergraduate degree with a Masters in Art History and a Masters of Philosophy in Art History from Columbia University. His education prepared him well for his career as a Museum curator. John was elected as the President of the Association of Art Museum Curators in 2009, and served in that position through 2011.

After serving as the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, John became the Executive Director of the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts in 2015. DeCordova is the largest park of its kind in New England, covering thirty acres with over sixty works as part of the sculpture park. Providing year round activities and rotating exhibits, DeCordova is vast resource worthy of a visit.

John credits Pemi for his love of nature and the outdoors, “especially hiking and camping, comes straight from Pemi trips, starting with Junior Camp overnights up Pemi Hill to five-day trips in the Rangeley Lake area and the Mahoosucs.” Other individual, specific memories are clearer for John, for example “when Tom Sunshine and I beat two senior counselors, Pete Barnett and Thom Brough in horseshoes, instantly becoming heroes among our fellow campers. Or when Dan Walker, Ken Troyer, and I tipped and swamped a Puffin during a sailboat race, something that’s nearly impossible to do, by forgetting to untie the jib sheet when coming about in a stiff wind.”

John acknowledges important lessons learned during his years at Pemi that have impacted his life and career. “The importance of civility, honesty, respect, and teamwork in creating and sustaining a well-functioning society. This was ever on view at Pemi, and those lessons have stayed with me.”

Campbell Levy

Campbell Levy works for Turner Public Relations, directing media relations on behalf of the agency’s travel portfolio. Working in tandem with major news outlets, such as the New York Times and Outside Magazine, along with freelance journalists, Campbell ensures that his clients receive top-notch media placement. “I get to visit all of the destinations and resorts we work with to personally research and vet new stories, oftentimes traveling with journalists to make sure they get their story.” A few of his clients include The Bermuda Tourism Authority, Hyatt properties, and Travel Alberta, where he will soon spend ten days of adventure focused travel.

Top Row (l-r) Counselor Kevin O'Brien, Jacob Wolkowitz, Max Linsky, Michael Sasso, Justin Fischer, James Finley, Taylor Morgan, and Tom Luders. Bottom Row (l-r) Chris Gillick, Dae Soon Acker, Porter Hill, Campbell Levy, and Jeff Wells.

SENIOR 3 – 1996 Top Row (l-r) Counselor Kevin O’Brien, Jacob Wolkowitz, Max Linsky, Michael Sasso, Justin Fischer, James Finley, Taylor Morgan, and Tom Luders. Bottom Row (l-r) Chris Gillick, Dae Soon Acker, Porter Hill, Campbell Levy, and Jeff Wells.

Growing up in Colorado, Campbell journeyed to Pemi as a first time camper in 1993 when he was twelve years old. The Levy family learned about Pemi from legendary Tennis Head Mac Dunlap, who was Campbell’s grandfather’s roommate at Dartmouth College.  That first summer at Pemi, Sky Fauver was Campbell’s counselor in Lower 4, and harnessed his constant energy by categorizing him as the ‘Energizer Bunny.’ After four remarkable summers as a boy, Campbell joined the staff as an Assistant Counselor in 1998, earning both his silver Fiver-Year-Bowl, and helping to bring bronze back to Lower Baker. Memories from that summer have been permanently etched in his mind. “Pemi shaped me immensely and continues to do so to this day. It taught me independence and confidence, I’m not sure I would have gained otherwise.”

Before beginning his career in Media Relations, Campbell enjoyed work in the outdoor/adventure industry as a backcountry ski, climbing, and rock guide, arborist, and park ranger. This work directly related to his experiences at Pemi. “Overnight trips at Pemi were the introduction that led me to becoming a backcountry guide. I attribute this in no small part to people like Riley McCue. I do maintain a healthy obsession with nature, including a continued passion for butterflies and moths via Larry Davis and Russ Brummer. I know I would not have become as enamored with nature and the outdoors as I have without Pemi.” Campbell continues to be an outdoor enthusiast, bicycling in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near his home in Evergreen with his brother, and Pemi Alumnus, Christian.

Campbell was quick to recall many vivid memories of his time at Pemi. “Who can forget Senior life with Kevin O’Brien as my counsellor, and trips to the Pagoda with Max Linsky. I’ll also never forget the year as an Assistant Counsellor while hanging out with James Finley, Porter Hill and Chris Gillick.” Campbell offers some final advice, “Pemi is a rare place where you can start anew in an incredible variety of pursuits. You might find love for something entirely unexpected. Keep in touch with fellow campers, there’s nothing I love more than reminiscing with friends, and even those who I was not as close with at camp. Above all else, Pemi provided me with friends in surprising locations the world over.”

Thanks to John and Campbell, and remember, send in your Alumni News.

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Links to Articles and Videos of Interest

Back upon request! Every several months or so we pluck a sampling of links to articles and videos of interest from Pemi’s Facebook page that have been posted among our steady updates. Several of the links below were brought to our attention by Pemi parents and friends. Read all or sample some, but above all, enjoy! (Especially the final link; you just can’t help but smile).

Teens say they’re addicted to technology. Here’s how parents can help   Washington Post

I send my kids to sleep-away camp to give them a competitive advantage in life  Washington Post

Bean Soup Special Edition – May 2016  Pemi Blog

I Love My Kid — That’s Why I Send Him Away For the Summer   Popsugar

‘Forest bathing’ is latest fitness trend to hit U.S. — ‘Where yoga was 30 years ago’  Washington Post

The Business of Fun: How this 108-year old summer camp stays relevant   US Chamber of Commerce
(a 2015 article featuring Camp Pemi that resurfaced on social media this summer!)

Why Camp Counselors Can Out-Parent Parents NY Times

Alumni Magazine – 2016 Preview  Pemi Blog

Trying (and failing) to model bravery for my child  Washington Post

IMG_3789What Hiking Does To The Brain Is Pretty Amazing  Wimp

The Importance of Free Play for Kids Outside Magazine

Hey parents, just stop: Overnight camps are cracking down on care packages  Washington Post

My Favorite Vacation: Summer Camp  NY Times

Overnight summer camps are better for your kids than SAT prep classes  Toronto Star

What’s the Right Age for a Child to Get a Smartphone?  NY Times

Lessons from Camp: Free From School-Year Demands, Summer Camps Are A Key Venue For Social-Emotional Learning  Research from Harvard Graduate School of Education

How to raise successful kids – without over-parenting  TED Talk

Indians’ belief in Terry Francona shown in magical World Series run  Sports Illustrated, by Pemi alum, Ben Reiter)

Summer 2016 weekly newsletters From #8 through to #1, in case you missed one!

And finally, the best feel-good link of all!…2016 Slideshow

 

Betsy Mook Reed, May 15, 1917–June 13, 2016

Here, after a busy but excellent summer at Camp Pemi, is the follow-up promised in our earlier post noting Betsy Reed’s death on June 13th.

Betsy died at the Thornwald Home in Carlisle, PA, where she had been living since May, 2014. She was literally only four blocks from Tom and Dottie’s house in town, and she announced within a day of first arriving there that she felt “so safe” amongst such “lovely people.” “Aren’t we lucky?” was for months and months to come her most frequent utterance, always delivered with a twinkling smile. Betsy quickly became the establishment’s songbird, spontaneously breaking into lilting melodies at all hours, for all present – residents, staff, and visitors alike. Even on the morning of June 11th, two days before she died, she brought our visit to a close with her final song – wordless, without any real identifiable melody, but offered with an unmistakably brave and generous spirit, as though to say in the only way she could manage, “Let my last message to you be wrapped in a joyous air.”

Betsy Mook ReedFollowing Tom’s passing in July of 2010, Betsy had spent her winters in their beautiful apartment in Oberlin, Ohio, to which they had moved from Providence twenty-one years earlier. For decades, they relished the remarkable musical and cultural offerings afforded by the College and Conservatory, and Betsy had learned to embrace the Cleveland Indians at least as warmly as she had the Red Sox. (Tom, by the way, always maintained his boyhood loyalties to his White Sox.) After Tom’s death, she was lovingly looked after both in Oberlin and at Camp Pemi by John Peck and Phyllis Rothemich, dear friends from Warren, New Hampshire, who became family in every important way. All the while, she kept Tom’s ashes on a gate-leg table near her dining room chair, labeled with this handwritten note in which you might catch a whiff of her pragmatic whimsy: “The ashes of Thomas L. Reed, Sr. To be sprinkled at Camp Pemigewassett, Wentworth, New Hampshire, along with those of Betsy Mook Reed – when available.”

Betsy Mook ReedBetsy was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 15, 1917, the daughter of DeLo Emerson Mook, a prominent Cleveland lawyer, and Vivian Maynard Mook, a former grade school teacher. Vivian died when Betsy was only three, and for a number of years, she and her older brothers Emerson and Maynard were looked after by a series of housekeepers, not all of whom were, in Betsy’s estimation, perfect Mary Poppinses. After a number of years, though, DeLo married Lois Tuckerman, who became an almost ideal stepmother for the three children: brilliant, attentive, and forever determined to live a life of intellectual fulfillment in an age when women weren’t always afforded that opportunity. Lois’s one shortcoming, according to the ever-stylish Betsy, was that she didn’t care very much about the principles of fashion. (One of the most remarkable things about Betsy, as some of you will remember, was her startling adeptness at climbing one moment into painter’s clothes and transforming a room from ceiling to floor and then, ten minutes after cleaning her brushes, emerging from her dressing room looking prepped for an Richard Avedon portrait). Among the joys of Lois and Betsy’s life together, though, were the summers they spent at DeLo’s wilderness hunting camp in Quebec, where Betsy remembered fishing with First Nation guides and eating wild rice that they had harvested in the bottoms of their birch bark canoes.

As a graduate of Harvard Law School, Betsy’s father wanted her to attend Radcliffe, but Betsy had her sights set on a completely co-educational institution, and Oberlin College, some thirty miles from the Mook homestead in Cleveland Heights, became their compromise. Once at Oberlin, Betsy continued the involvement in choral music she had begun in High School, and she soon decided that a major in English best suited the love of the classics she had cultivated with a very literate father and stepmother. She was also quickly noticed as one of the most beautiful young women on campus, and when it emerged that she and the dashing Tom Reed (four-letter athlete and stellar English major in the class just above hers) were seeing each other on a regular basis, it was widely deemed a match worthy of Hollywood.

Tom and Betsy were married on May 17th, 1941, with Tom’s longtime best friend and Camp Pemi compatriot Al Fauver standing as his best man. Tom had begun his graduate studies in Art History at Harvard, but the war led him to enlist in the U.S. Navy, where he served on the medical staff in the Induction Center in New York City. Their daughter Penelope was born in August of 1943 – in New Hampshire, Betsy having retreated to her in-laws’ house at Pemi during one of the hottest summers on record. Son Tom Reed, Jr., followed in June of 1947, after which Tom, Sr., took a position on the Art History faculty at Brown University.

Betsy Mook ReedAs their years in Providence unfolded, Betsy’s love of working with children (together with a remarkable talent for woodworking that she had picked up who-knows-where?) led her to jobs, first, at The Gordon School and, then, at Providence Country Day School, teaching what was then quaintly dubbed “Manual Training.” Summers, of course, were spent at Camp Pemi, where in the summer of 1951, Betsy and Scott Withrow were the motive forces behind the first-ever Gilbert and Sullivan production at our camp, HMS Pinafore. The show featured Betsy as Josephine and the future mayor of Indianapolis, Bill Hudnut, at Ralph Rackstraw. She thereafter kept that ball in the air for well over half a century, making Pemi an incalculably richer place as a result.

Betsy’s later involvements in Providence included her taking an apparel design course at the Rhode Island School of Design (to which Tom had moved in the mid 1950’s) and then teaching the same at Providence’s storied Handicraft Club. Her circle of friends and former students in Providence was huge and appreciative, so when she and Tom moved to Oberlin in May of 1989, some of us were worried that she would miss the connectedness involved. Always outgoing and gregarious, though, she and Tom quickly established themselves as dynamic members of Oberlin’s community of cosmopolitan seniors. They continued to love and indulge in European travel, something they had begun with Penelope and Tom, Jr., on Tom, Sr’s year-long sabbatical in 1953-54. It was then, in fact, that Betsy first and indelibly established her capacity to travel with a modestly-sized suitcase yet emerge every day as though Edith Head and a dozen wardrobe assistants had seen to her apparel.

Betsy Mook ReedEffortless grace. That, whether it was apparent or actual, was Betsy’s essence. Her kindness flowed from her soul – instinctually, it seemed. She was willing to tackle absolutely anything and, by the time she had thought about it for a moment or two, her impeccable planning flowed into speedy execution and, thence, into most satisfactory completion. She was beautiful, but in a modest way that never called attention to itself. She sewed, and entertained, and built as though a needle and thread, Amy Vanderbilt’s books on etiquette and cuisine, and a hammer and Skil-saw had been the equipage of her cradle. In another age, she could have been anything. In her own, she was happy and fulfilled attending to the world she found around her – as an adoring but sometimes skeptical wife, a loving yet challenging mother (to hundreds of camp boys as well as Penelope and Tom, Jr.), an inspiring teacher, and a spirited fellow traveler to all who knew her. “Hurricane Betsy,” is what Tom, Jr. liked to call her – “wreaking order wherever she goes.” Order and joy.

A celebration of Betsy’s life will be held some time in the coming year, perhaps in conjunction with Pemi’s 110th Reunion next summer. In the mean time, contributions in her memory may be sent to Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, where Betsy volunteered; The World Wildlife Fund; or The Fred Rittner Pemi Campership Fund.

~ Tom Reed, Jr.

Final Toast, G&S Review, and on to Pemi 2017!

2016 Final Newsletter (#8)

Remarkably, as I write this, Pemi 2016 is within a whisper of its concluding hours. As we sit here on Friday afternoon, the mercury is pressing 90, but a brisk breeze from the west keeps conditions entirely bearable. The bulk of your sons are in the cabins putting the last touches on packing (which we dearly hope you will find to be satisfactory), but Timmy Coe, Spencer Hill, and a few other hardened tennis players are enjoying an impromptu last-minute doubles match, and there are queues at the ping pong tables as there have been all year long. So, in some ways, the last day of the season is like all the rest – hot and dry, but happy and active. The seventh ladling of Bean Soup will take place in just an hour, and we’ll dine a bit early (at 5:30) to leave room for the final campfire, which we hope an impending cold front will allow us to hold in its traditional spot on the Senior Beach. Then it’s cabin parties, perhaps another glimpse (weather permitting) of the spectacular Perseid meteor shower that many of us witnessed last night, and an all too hasty night’s sleep as visions of home-town sugar plums dance in everyone’s heads. It’s been a wonderful year, as Danny’s toast at last night’s Final Banquet made very clear.

Final Banqust toastHere’s to the summer of 2016 at Camp Pemigewassett, the 109th in Pemi’s rich and storied history – a summer that has come and gone, as it always seems to, in the blink of an eye, though in some ways it seems a lifetime ago that we all began to arrive in early June, way back when campers and young counselors were still attending graduation parties, fourteen Pemi Westers were still breaking in their hiking boots for their trip to Washington, and LeBron and company were finally hoisting an NBA championship trophy, making Cleveland the new “city of champions.” 

Here’s to a summer that concludes so late in August that leaves on Route 25A are already sporting a slight autumn tint, the Abbey boys are two weeks into their school year, fall athletic teams have begun to practice, and, as Pemi boys are returning to their cabins for an 8:30 taps, there is barely a shred of day light left – a summer that by all accounts has been a wonderful success, made possible by the collective efforts, wisdom, and care of the Pemi men and women in this room.

Here’s to the 258 (exactly) campers who graced the shores of Lower Baker Pond this summer, 86 of whom were here as full session campers – campers from 25 states of the United States and 7 countries around the world. Here’s to the 79 campers who made the decision to attend sleep-away camp for the first time, the 22 who have or will collect their five-year bowls, and (Yes, Henry Jones, Reed O’Brien, Andrew Kanovsky, and Dash Slamowitz!) here’s to campers in their eighth. 

Here’s to 2016’s talented and dedicated counselor staff at Pemi – to the cabin counselors and assistant counselors, the young men who share such close quarters with their boys, and who, for some magical reason, 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: Tess, Tawnya, Dennis, and Chris; to Office Managers extraordinaire, Heather and Kim, who do so much more than manage the office; and here’s to Dottie, who “does the Dottie” each day, attending to tasks both large and small and caring for campers with her maternal grace, wisdom, charm, and a large helping of love, as well.

Cheers to the chefs and kitchen crew this summer, led by Tom and Judy, who tackled the herculean task of providing a community of 260 with delicious meals three times a day and reminded us that it can be done with a smile, a sincere desire to meet the needs of everyone in the community, and with freshly baked bread each day, as well.  

Here’s to Kenny, the “kid from Cleveland,” who masterminds our four-pillared program (with a hand this summer from Dan Reed), oversees transportation, Pemi West, the daily and weekly schedule, and so much more. Thank you, Kemosabe. I’d never want to do it without you! 

Cheers to Laura and all the creative endeavors down in Art World; 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…. Double boom! 

Thank you to Tom and the trippies who sent scores of trips tramp, tramp, tramping over the mountains and paddling on the mighty rivers; to Dorin (and Maestro Luke) for another remarkable G & S performance and to her staff for a summer of beautiful music. 

To Emily, to Paige, and to Molly and all the exhilarating, yet safe, fun we had in AND ON the water; to Harry O in the shop; Chris (and family!) on the tennis courts; Larry and Deb in the Nature Lodge; Steve (and his collection of flies) on the archery range; and all of the other instructors who brought major energy and mojo to occupation periods every day. And let’s not forget Head of Staff Ben, aka Senor Stacks, for overseeing his charges with such proficiency, thoughtfulness, and humor every day. 

Here’s to the things that were unique at Pemi in 2016; the Birthday Bell, spike ball, the Lake Thing, blue water skiers and green water skiers, “Sting” rockets, Ru-tu-tu, O-At-Ka championship trophies, and a July 18th storm that was a stark reminder of the power of Mother Nature and the infinite – yes, infinite – capacity of one very good man and a chain saw.

Here’s to all-camp events at Pemi, Bean Soup when we laugh at ourselves and anticipate “things to look for,” Camp Fire when we entertain ourselves in front of some of the most majestic sunsets one will ever see – especially in 2016 – and to Sunday Meeting when we reflected on such matters as short cuts and short circuits, “old school” Pemi, and the extraordinary gifts Al Fauver gave to Pemi throughout his many decades on the shores of Lower Baker Pond.

Here’s to our 27 fifteen-year-old campers, to their many years at Pemi, and to the lifelong friendships they have 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 perhaps become the next generation of counselors at Pemi.

And of course, here’s to the Fauver and Reed Families 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 2016. Good luck, long life , and joy!

And now, as in past years, the top drama critic of the award-winning Wentworth Times takes his measure of one of the highlights of Pemi Week and, indeed, of the entire season.

Clive Bean Reviews Pirates of Penzance 

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“Police” directing traffic

The Pemi theatrical season reached its apex this past Tuesday and Wednesday nights with 2016’s Gilbert and Sullivan production, The Pirates of Penzance. As one of our contributions to the town of Wentworth’s 250th birthday celebration this summer, we issued an open invitation to the local citizenry to attend this year’s show. Upwards of 40 did, and they enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining evening. Reading the Argument to the crowd prior to the first act, Tom Reed, Jr. pointed out that, fifty-one years ago, when a mess hall fire ruled out our performing Pirates at camp, Wentworth generously offered us the use of their town hall stage. In commemoration of that event, this year’s chorus of Policeman again directed incoming traffic in their Victorian “Bobby” costumes, as their predecessors had done over fifty years back out on NH Rt. 25. (How impressed unknowing motorists must then have been by the apparent sartorial traditionalism of New England constabulary!)           

Pemi Pirates of Penzance, Owen Lee

Pirate Lieutenant Samuel, Owen Lee

Tirelessly and flawlessly directed by Head of Music Dorin Dehls, this year’s show was as good as any in recent memory. Manning the keyboard once again was master pianist Luke Raffanti, a one-man orchestra whose remarkable ability to cover for minor vocal miscues amongst the cast was very much in evidence. The show opens, of course, with the male chorus copiously “pouring the Pirate sherry,” and this year’s buccaneers (Jamie Acocella, Will Adams, Harry Cooke, Whit Courage, Zacc Dwan, Michael Kerr, George Lerdal, Cam McManus, Kevin Miller, Braden Richardson, and Phineas Walsh) downed their imaginary Captain Morgan as avidly as fraternity brothers at a Fort Lauderdale bash. Fortunately, their lusty singing was in no way impaired by their overindulgence, and they carried the whole show on their broad and tattooed shoulders. 

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Wards of Major General Stanley

Far more modest and, we would assume, innocent than sorority sisters at the same Fort Lauderdale bash, the Ward’s chorus absolutely charmed the audience from their first appearance. Ted Applebaun, Julian Berk, Jonathan Ciglar, Andrea Geffert, Mac Hadden, Keiran Klasfeld, and Henry Moore looked positively ravishing in their gingham frocks, and their animated acting and spot-on singing easily matched the energy and impact of their “male” counterparts. Initially submerged in the coy ensemble were Christopher Ramanathan (as Edith), John Kingdon (as Kate), and Lucas Gales (as Isabel), but all three soon stepped up as soloists and positively wowed the crowd with their dramatic and melodic flair. (So charming and difficult to choose between were they that the Pirate King [played by Larry Davis] did his utmost to secure the favors of both Christopher and John – before being summarily reminded that even a nautical monarch couldn’t both have his Kate and Edith, too. (Apologies for a horrendous pun!)

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Rob, as Ruth

As the Pirate Lieutenant Samuel, Owen Lee was thoroughly professional (and accordingly earned this year’s Johnnies Plaque for Dramatics!), while real-life Brit Rob Leftwich played the infamous working-class cougar Ruth as though he had studied for decades with Betty White and Demi Moore. Rob’s powerful falsetto truly shone both in solos and in a series of dramatic duets and trios. If we ever stage Jersey Boys at Pemi, he is a shoe-in to play Frankie Valli. 

As mentioned, Larry Davis reprised his role as the Pirate King, combining bluster, braggadocio, and bathos in a way that only he can manage. Opposite him was Tom Reed, Jr. as Major-General Stanley, clearly relishing a role in which he had something close to a dozen children. “Given the Reed family’s historical under-production of offspring,” he was heard to say after the show, “it’s always tons of fun to play a man with a reproductive profile closer to that of the Fauver clan.” 

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George Cooke

Pemi police_smAlthough they appear only in the second act, the Policeman’s chorus of Eli Brennan, Dan Reed, Wesley Eifley, Ben Walsh, and Nelson Snyder stole the show. They got so quickly and deeply into their parts as inept and cowardly constables that this reviewer worries that, for weeks to come, they may all suffer severe cases of post-dramatic distress disorder. The same can be said in spades for George Cooke, whose Sergeant of Police came close to surpassing 2012’s Best-Ever Mike Plecha – and garnered George 2016’s Gilbert and Sullivan Award. In any case, if the show had been flagging in its second stanza (which it most assuredly was not), this half-dozen lads in blue would most certainly have dragged it, all by themselves, up to the level of truly memorable light opera.

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Oliver Giraud and Michaella Frank

If Pirates begins with the failed romance of Ruth and Frederic, it ends with the totally fulfilling match of before-her-time feminist woman-of-will Mabel Stanley and pirate-against-his-will-and-conscience Frederic. Playing the former with true musical accuracy and impressive dramatic flair was Oliver Giraud, whose off-season job as grade-school student on Florida’s Gulf Coast clearly leaves him feeling extremely comfortable advancing his personal interests in a seaside setting. And Michaella Frank, Pemi’s first-ever female cast in a male role, was arguably the best romantic lead a Pemi Pirates show has ever seen. She mastered the tenor range with the assurance of Andrea Bocelli, and combined her vocal brilliance with unequalled dramatic flair. Look for her to be in the running the next time Hamilton looks to replace its lead.

In sum, 2016’s Pirates of Penzance was a singular success, marked by great energy, musical precision, and singular playfulness. Special thanks, finally, to Producer Deborah Fauver, whose scores of hours ordering and organizing costumes and props made the show look as good as it sounded – and to the set crew of Reed Harrigan and Dennis Thibodeaux, who gave the cast the Cornish seacoast on which to have their loony fun. All in all, it was a spectacular team effort, easily one of the highlights of a wonderful camp season, and certainly a most appropriate treat for a White Mountain hamlet celebrating a quarter millennium of civic life and culture. As to anyone who knew and loved the Founding Director of Pemi G&S shows who took her grand earthly curtain call just this past June – we could most assuredly hear Betsy Reed crying “Bravo!” from on high.

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Producer Deborah Fauver, flanked by the leads of 2016’s “Pirates of Penzance”

On that distinctly beatific note, we’ll close our books on Pemi 2016. To those of you who entrusted your sons to us for the summer, thank you so much for sharing their energy, charm, and good natures. We look forward to spending another seven weeks with many of them in 2017. And for this year’s “graduating” fifteens, let us dangle the temptation of Pemi West in the coming summer – and, in the years to follow, the prospect of an actual paycheck just for hanging out with us in the snug little New Hampshire valley where so many memorable things always seems to happen.

— Tom

 

Pemi Remember this in the depths of February. Until 2017...

Remember this in the depths of February and March. On to 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proof is in the Pudding

2016 Newsletter # 7

Greetings from the sun-drenched shores of Lower Baker Pond! As we begin the last week of camp, the most oft-heard words from campers and counselors alike is, “I can’t believe this is the last week of camp! Wow! The summer has gone so quickly!” Indeed, another summer is reaching its final days, and we will be extremely sad to bid the boys adieu in just three day’s time. In the blink of an eye, the leaves will begin to turn red and gold, the evenings will become cooler, and we will all rejoin our families and reconnect with our home-away-from-Pemi.

As I type this note from the West Wing of the Senior Lodge, I can hear the yells of excitement and encouragement down at Senior Beach, telltale signs that Pemi Week is in full swing. Swimming, sailing, and archery championships, Games Day, Woods Dudes’ Day, two evening performances of Pirates of Penzance and, of course, Final Banquet are all on the week’s schedule as our summer climaxes with a crescendo of events. Pemi Week is a wonderful opportunity for the boys in each cabin to work, play, and bond together, and for all of us in the Pemi community to celebrate what has been a particularly sunny, active summer in the Baker Valley.

When I consider all of the things to be thankful for in the summer of 2016, right at the top of my list is the well-prepared, delicious, and bountiful food we have enjoyed this season. We consider excellence in food to be at the very top of our to-do list in preparing for each summer, and this year we have not been disappointed!

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Tom Ciglar

While I will mention others who have helped to tackle the Herculean task of feeding a community of 250 hungry souls three times a day, credit begins at the top, and my first “shout out” goes to Tom Ciglar, our Director of Food Services. As you may recall from the email we sent last fall, part of our reshuffling of the staff deck included dividing responsibilities in the Mess Hall in a new way and creating this new position. The world of food service has become infinitely more complex at summer camps, schools, and even at our own family tables than it was twenty of thirty years ago. Tom was hired for this newly constructed position last October with the idea that he would concentrate his efforts on creating the menu, ordering the food, managing the front room where the campers and counselors eat, and overseeing individual dietary requirements. While, of course, Tom has also seen plenty of time at the stove this summer, we recognized that having a single head chef oversee all of the responsibilities of the kitchen, and do all of the cooking, is an antiquated model that needed to be updated to attend to all of the demands of a modern camp kitchen. Creating this new position was the first step in rethinking how we prepare food and manage the dining operation at Pemi.

To say that Tom has hit it out of the park in his new role this summer would be an understatement! The reviews from boys and staff alike have all been overwhelmingly positive, and Tom’s love and aptitude for cooking and managing others has been at the top of the list of reasons why the boys have been so happy with the food this year.

When asked about his goals for this summer, about the things he thinks are important in cooking for a boy’s summer camp, and also about his love of baking bread in particular, here’s what Tom had to say:

Pemi bread“This summer has been a very satisfying one for all of us in the kitchen. My goal for the season was to take care of everyone and serve meals where all of the pieces come together so I see a whole community well fed. This is tremendously satisfying for me. A few years ago, Pemi helped me attend a baking class at King Arthur Flour Company, in Norwich, Vermont, where my love for baking really took off. The bread baking started as a way to supplement the meals and it just took off from there. The rest is history, I guess you could say.” Tom calculates that he has baked 1,000 loaves of bread this summer, or about 50 pounds a day, and that he has used a ton of flour! Wow!

When I asked Tom about the most exacting demands involved in cooking for 172 boys each day, he replied, “The biggest challenge is to serve a healthy meal three times a day, but with a good variety of things that the boys love to eat. Our boys love their meat, potatoes and bread; the test is not just serving the food, but also planning for variety in the menu and seeing that they enjoy what we serve.”

I also asked Tom if anything had been a surprise this summer. “Well, it’s not my first rodeo, so it’s hard to surprise me at this point. I guess if I had to identify something that I have been especially pleased with, it’s been the very positive reception we’ve received from the dining room this summer. The support and great feedback have been amazing and have been another example of Pemi’s big heart.”

Finally, I asked Tom if there was a dish he had served this summer that was especially satisfying. “The pot roast we had for Sunday lunch. The pieces all came together, and the Mess Hall was actually quiet for a few minutes!” Well, that silence spoke volumes about everyone’s appreciation of Tom and the kitchen staff’s efforts and skill. Silence in the Mess Hall is about as common as the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series!

Well, the proof is in the pudding as they say, so I asked a few of our campers if they had any thoughts about the food this summer. As you might guess, they had plenty to say!

Braden Richardson in Lower Six said that he really loves “the mashed potatoes and meat loaf. They’re so tasty they remind me of my mom’s cooking, and she’s the best cook in the world”! (Tissues for Lisa Coleman, Braden’s mom, please.)

Gray Klasfeld in Lower One said, “I love how diverse the meals are. There’s always great variety. My favorite meals are the soups, the pasta, and especially the chicken fingers!”

Ian Hohman in Upper Three, noted that, “Tom spends so much time making sure we are all happy and full. I really love the BBQ chicken!”

Luke Bass in Lower Five really loves, “the Sunday Sleep-in pancakes. The toppings are amazing, especially the chocolate, strawberry, and fruit syrup.”

Jonah Reay in Lower One said he loves, “having Tom’s bread at so many meals because it’s homemade and tastes so fresh!”

Grady Boruchin in Senior Two thinks that, “the “food this year has been so healthy, with lots of vegetarian options.”

Judy Harrington

Judy Harrington

Obviously, feeding the boys three times a day is not a solo task. Tom has a crew of ten others helping him in the kitchen, including six young men from overseas (four from Poland and two from Turkey), two early-morning sous chefs, assistant chef Rachel Preston who works at Tilton Prep in the winter, and Tom’s second-in-command and main chef Judy Harrington, back for her second summer in front of the ranges at Pemi. Judy offers not only excellent food preparation but also a maternal warmth for the boys as well. “I love feeding my boys,” she says. “The look of joy on their faces when I described Sunday dinner, roast pork and potatoes, is the kind of thing that makes all the preparation worthwhile.”

While there are many aspects of the Pemi program and the Pemi day that we feel offer excellent experiences for the boys, it is particularly satisfying to include the Mess Hall meals among them. The food at camp is an important part of everyone’s day, and the rich experience of our dining together is enhanced by the delicious, plentiful, and nourishing food we have enjoyed in 2016. We look forward to continued success and happy days for Tom and his crew this summer and beyond, and we feel grateful and extremely fortunate to have this particular crew bringing us such consistently scrumptious and plentiful meals this summer.

Danny Kerr

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