Pemi’s 110th Reunion

2017 Rittner Runners

The 35th Annual Rittner Run kicked off the celebration of Pemi’s 110th Reunion. On Thursday, August 17, forty Rittner Runners departed Pemi at 6 AM, headed to Fryeburg Maine to begin the 75-mile relay run back to Pemi. The relay is divided into 30 odd legs, some measuring as long as 4.5 miles and others as short as 1. Vans shuttle runners to the exchange points while conversations and stories are shared between current staffers and Alumni, both reminiscing about the season that just concluded and other past seasons. During the 2017 run, Head of Swimming and triathlon enthusiast Charlotte Jones led the way with 34 miles, with many others tallying in the high teens. Once back at Pemi, the Runners paraded by Senior Beach towards the Rittner Fountain onto Pemi’s soccer pitch for their annual photo and ‘tis I, Spartacus!’ cheer. After a quick dip in Lower Baker, the group headed to the Mess Hall for the Rittner Banquet. A delicious meal from Tom Ciglar’s trusty hands, and libations from Peter Cowles’ Aspetuck Brewery greeted the runners, followed by announcements, stories about Fred Rittner, and information about the Rittner Fund and its impact. Fred Rittner’s fellow counselors in the early 80’s and his former campers offered memories and legendary anecdotes.

To learn more about the Rittner Fund, please visit their website, and mark your calendars for the 2018 Rittner Run on Monday, August 13, 2018.

Reilly McCue and Leif Dormsjo

A cloudy, rainy dawn on Friday resulted in a scattering few for Polar Bear. The weather eliminated the hiking and golf trips for the day, but a quick scheduling pivot resulted in a trip to the Museum of the White Mountains to see their exhibit on Summer Camps. Pemi, like many of our neighbor camps, contributed to the exhibit with artifacts and memorabilia demonstrating the importance of the Summer Camp experience. At Pemi activities in the Nature Lodge, Library, and the Senior Lodge with active fires allowed folks a quieter morning before the bulk of arrivals. Just before lunch, Bob Fetter, an alumnus from 1940, arrived with his Junior Nature Award and All Camp photograph that he had saved from his only Pemi summer in 1940. Two true gems for the Pemi archives, and more info on his fellow octogenarians later.

Reunion Ensemble

After lunch, hearty souls ventured to Junior Pointe for some waterskiing, others made their way out in sailboats, and a few climbed aboard the HMS Reilly McCue for some fishing. Charlie Malcolm led a group in a cutthroat game of croquet (ask Paul Fishback!), and then a rousing game of Frisbee Golf. The library was active with Pemi trivia, led by current Pemi staffers Steve Clare and Andy MacDonald, and the Junior Lodge was alive with music led by Ed McKendry (Uncle Eddie to some), Ian Axness, Henry Eisenhart, and Michaella Frank. This talented Reunion Ensemble would play for us during the Happy Hour, and then later again at Campfire. To cap off the rainy afternoon, Larry Davis led the first Pemi discussion group of the weekend. Larry, a Climate Reality Project trainee, led the group in a question and answer session on this increasingly important topic.


Now with more than 100 Alumni present, the Mess Hall filled with joy as Alumni greeted one another during Happy Hour, reminiscing and catching up. The rain tapered off, and we all enjoyed an outdoor Campfire on Senior Beach. A spectacular musical array ensued. Danny and Uncle Eddie serenaded us with Melissa by the Allman Brothers, Ian played the surpassingly lovely Boating Song on his glockenspiel, (You read the correctly!), Tom Reed and Michaella performed Ukulele Lady, the Reunion Ensemble played House of the Rising Sun, Parker Shiverick played the violin, and Eisenhart once again claimed the lake as his pillow with a saxophone solo. Larry Davis provided the classic story, Learning How to Shoot, before we all joined together for the Campfire Song. Undoubtedly, one of the best Reunion campfires we’ve ever seen.

A sunnier, albeit chilly morning saw more Polar Bears on Saturday. Shortly after breakfast, two hikes Mount Cube led by Nick Davini, and Mount Moosilauke led by Sam Papel departed in Pemi vans. Morning activities included Archery, a canoe paddle to the Lower Lake, doubles on the tennis court, open baseball on the newly improved Senior Diamond, tie-dyeing in the Art Building, waterskiing, and sailing. Just as our campers are offered a wide range of wonderful activities to choose, so too are our Alumni. In the library, the fourth generation (G4) of Pemi’s founders met with Alumni interested in learning more about the Reed and Fauver families. Of the 9 G4 members, five were present; Jonathan Fauver, Allyson Fauver, Megan Fauver Cardillo, Sarah Fauver, and Dan Reed discussed Pemi and shared their vision for the future.

Obie-Ivy Soccer

After a well deserved Rest Hour, afternoon activities began with Obie-Ivy soccer, an Environmental Exploration with Deb Kure for our 12 & Unders, a Wild Foods Extravaganza with Larry, a Spider Walk with former Nature guru Paula Golderberg, more Tie-Dye with Megan Cardillo, and the chance to swim your distance with the waterfront staff. Five swimmers made the distance from Senior Beach to Junior Camp under the watchful eye of former Head of Swimming, Paige Wallis in the rowboat, and current Head of Swimming Charlotte Jones donning the lifeguard buoy. Notable swimmers included current trip counselor, Nick Davini who, after 9 years at camp, owned up to never having swum his distance, Sarah Fauver, another first time distance swimmer, and taking home first prize, Scott Petrequin who, at age 86 (!), successfully swam his distance, making him the oldest Pemi person to ever accomplish the feat. Later at the Reunion Banquet, the cheer for ‘Distance Swimmer Petrequin’ was quite possible the loudest chant in 2017!

Free Swim

As Obie-Ivy ended, many players cooled off during Free Swim in Lower Baker, and enjoyed a well-timed, unplanned, landing by a sea-plane. Others decided to opt for a more intellectual pursuit, joining Alumnus David Spindler, a leading expert on the Great Wall of China, for the weekend’s second Pemi Discussion Group. David shared slides and stories about the Great Wall and his experiences traveling the monument.

Reunion Banquet

The Reunion Banquet was full of joy and cheer, with all the traditional pomp and circumstance of a Pemi Banquet. Alumni became waiters once again, marching the turkeys out of the kitchen as Axness performed his version of the Game of Thrones theme, Fire and Ice, on the piano. One lucky soul at each table claimed the carving knife to slice the birds. Tom Ciglar and his crew presented the turkey feast with mashed potatoes, stuffing, farm fresh corn on the cob, and freshly baked bread. Anyone who has tasted Tom’s bread is surely salivating.

During announcements, Pemi recognized the newest distance swimmers and honored Alumni by decade. We arrived at the 40’s – 1940-1949, and four gentleman, Bob Fetter, Bob MacBeth, Scott Petrequin, and Sandy Ross, stood to a rousing round of applause and standing ovation. Finally, in recognition of Alumni who are Pemi veterans of at least 10 years, Pemi gifted a 10-year tie. A new Pemi tradition!

Bean Soup, led by former editors Josh Fischel and Ian Axness, joined current editor Dan Reed for the special Reunion edition. Combining old classics, along with freshly written articles, this trio had the audience laughing away in the Mess Hall. Song re-writes like I’ve got Mike Pence (Sixpence), and a new “Reunion Edition” of the ever-popular Mess Hall announcement were highlights.

Betsy Reed Memorial

A beautifully crisp Sunday morning greeted Polar Bears for the final dip of the weekend. After breakfast, all gathered in the Senior Lodge for a memorial service in honor of Betsy Reed. Larry Davis and Ian Axness began the service with a lovely duet followed Zach See’s utterly moving Church Call on the bugle. I’m sure that the stirring music bellowing out over the lake set a tone that Betsy would have thought magnificent. Tom Reed Jr. eloquently shared stories and memories of his mother, as did Peter Fauver, Bertha Fauver, Dan Reed, Abby Reed (read by Allyson Fauver) and Dottie Reed. The service was beautiful, each speaker reinforced Betsy’s kindhearted demeanor, good will, humor, grace, and love of life.

Tom Reed, Jr.

Shout out to our spectacular Reunion Staff; Ian Axness, Paige Wallis, Ed McKendry, Larry Davis, Charlie Malcolm, Deb Kure, Harry Morris, Ben Walsh, Steve Clare, Charlotte Jones, Nick Davini, Sam Papel, Ned Roosevelt, Becky Noel, Kilian Wegner, Nick Hurn, and bartenders extraordinaire Andrew MacDonald and JP Gorman.

And, of course, a special thank you to the nearly 150 Alumni who returned to the shores of Lower Baker in honor of Pemi’s 110th season!



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

A Week in the Nature Program

The following comes from the desk of Larry Davis, now in his 48th summer of overseeing Pemi’s nationally-renowned Nature Program

Nature is one of four program areas at Pemi (the others are Athletics, Trips, and Music and the Arts). But what exactly do we do? Well, of course there is formal instruction that takes place during morning occupations, but there is much, much more. In fact, we operate from Reveille in the morning until, sometimes, after taps at night. Here’s a look at a typical week (week 3 of summer 2017) in the nature program.


Occupations are the heart of our teaching program. Each week we offer 14-16 different ones. Over the course of a summer, we might offer as many as 35 or so. Some, such as Beginning Butterflies and Moths, might appear every week, others, such as Aquatic Insects, might occur only once. During Week 3, we had a visiting professional, Chase Gagne, join our nature staff for the week. Chase is an insect expert and so we were able to take advantage of his being here and offer Aquatic Insects, along with an Insect Ecology occupation that looked at some of the research questions that he is working on in his graduate program at the University of Maine. Here are brief descriptions of Week 3’s offerings. Last year’s (2016) nature newsletter has more detailed discussions of some of these.

Beginning Butterflies and Moths

What is an insect? What are the differences between butterflies and moths? Basic butterfly and moth life history and ecology. How to capture, pin and preserve butterflies and moths. We asked visiting professional Chase Gagne to teach this so the boys in the occupation could be exposed to the way an entomologist “operates.”

Insect Ecology

Role of insects in the overall ecosystem. Different “lifestyles” of insects. Invasive insects and the problems that they cause. Techniques for conducting insect ecology research. Taught by visiting professional Chase Gagne. We included two members of our full-time nature staff in this occupation and in the one that follows so that they could learn too and then include the information in their own teaching later in the summer.

Aquatic Insects

Types of aquatic insects, their life histories and ecology. Techniques for capturing and preserving aquatic insects. Insects that spend their entire life in the water and ones that only spend part of their life cycle there. Taught by visiting professional Chase Gagne.

Ponds and Streams

Lakes and streams and their inhabitants. Fish, bottom dwellers, insects, etc. Life history of a lake. Exploration of our streams, our lake, and our marsh.

Beginning Rocks and Minerals

An introduction to geology. Rock types, rocks and minerals, mineral identification, rock identification, assembling and labeling a collection. Minerals used in our daily lives. Pemi geology, New Hampshire geology, plate tectonics.

Advanced Rocks and Minerals

Rock cycle, mineral hardness and toothpaste ingredients (they actually make some toothpaste). Iron extraction from Total® cereal. Analysis of sand from around the world, rock stratigraphy, concrete “recipe” experiments, North American geology.

Nature Poetry

This was a brand new occupation for us. It was created and taught by nature staff members Scout Brink and Will Raduziner. Campers read some famous poems about nature including ones by Walt Whitman such as A Noiseless, Patient Spider and A Clear Midnight. Later in the week they tried their hand at writing their own.

Trees, trees with green leaves
Tall and small, both will fall.
But when they stand in a forest,
They create a canopy

-Henry Ravanesi

Mosses, Lichens, Fungi

This is an advanced occupation designed to introduce older campers to these fascinating, non-flowering plants, although fungi, as we find out, are not really plants, nor are lichens, which are combinations of algae and fungi. Most of the occupation takes place in the field, with hand lenses. Mosses, especially, are everywhere that is even a little bit wet and campers can observe whole “forests” of them both in camp and on trips.

Moss “Garden” - This one is in New Zealand but we have ones like it here.

Moss “Garden” – This one is in New Zealand but we have ones like it here. Photo by Larry Davis


Environmental Sculpture

Scottish sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy popularized this form of art. We have all his books in the nature library and campers really enjoy looking at his amazing creations. In this occupation, they get to use their imaginations to create their own environmental sculptures. It is a quiet activity that rewards both observation and creativity. It is a good example, along with nature photography, nature poetry, and nature drawing, of a hybrid activity that fuses nature and the arts.

Environmental Sculpture at Pemi

Environmental Sculpture at Pemi

Junior Nature Book

A plant book for juniors and candidates for the Brave and Chief awards. It includes 55 plants that are common in our area. We collect leaves, nuts, bits of bark, and so on. Juniors must complete the book as part of the Junior Brave award. For the Brave and Chief awards, candidates must be able to recognize and identify all 55 plants in the field.

Nature Drawing

Drawing and sketching of “natural” scenes: landscapes, plants, animals.

Drawing by Ben Lorenz

Drawing by Ben Lorenz


Drawing by Augie Tanzosh

Drawing by Augie Tanzosh

Plant Survivors

Photosynthesis, the “plumbing” of a tree, plant adaptations for: obtaining food, water, gasses; defense; pollination processes; seed dispersal.

Wild Foods

Wild plants and animals that may be used as regular and emergency food sources. Identification, collection and preparation (including jams and jellies from wild fruits).

Advanced Nature Photography

We teach both digital and darkroom nature photography at Pemi. This advanced occupation included campers who had already taken the beginning versions of either of these. During the week, the focus was on taking photographs in nature in a wide variety of settings. These are described (along with samples of the results) in the next section of the newsletter.

Photographers Taking Pictures Inside the Ely Copper Mine (Deb Kure)

Photographers Taking Pictures Inside the Ely Copper Mine (Deb Kure) 

“Regular” Trips

During the course of a week, we take out frequent afternoon trips. Some are one-hour affairs to collect insects. Some, such as those to local mines, may last a couple of hours, and others might last through supper. Here are the trips that we took during week 3.

Palermo Mine

We are very fortunate that the owner of this world-famous mine allows us to visit and collect whenever we want. We even have a key to the gate. There are over 120 different minerals here, including 10-12 that occur nowhere else in the world. We generally visit once a week.

Campers Collecting Minerals at the Palermo Mine (Will Ackerman)

Campers Collecting Minerals at the Palermo Mine (Will Ackerman) 

Advanced Nature Photography

During the week we took special, afternoon-long trips to several locations which offered our campers a variety of features and settings to photograph. These locations included:

Rumney Cliffs Boulders – This is a well-known rock climbing locality. During glacial times, the intense physical weathering caused huge boulders to tumble to the bottom of the cliffs. Not only are these scenic, but this is also an historical site as the Town of Rumney kept its colonial era animal pound here amongst them.

Overview of Boulder Area (Will Ackerman)

Overview of Boulder Area (Will Ackerman)

Boulders Close Up (Will Ackerman)

Boulders Close Up (Will Ackerman)

Between the Boulders (Will Ackerman)

Between the Boulders (Will Ackerman)

Decaying Fly Amanita Mushroom (Will Ackerman)

Decaying Fly Amanita Mushroom (Will Ackerman)

“Inside Looking Out” Boulder Field (Will Ackerman)

“Inside Looking Out” Boulder Field (Will Ackerman)

Ely Mine– This old copper mine (closed in 1905) is one of our mineral localities. However, it is also an excellent subject for photography. There is easy access to the old mine entrance, which presents the opportunity for “inside looking out” images; there are also old workings, ruins, and other interesting subjects to photograph.

Entrance to Ely Copper Mine (Will Ackerman)

Entrance to Ely Copper Mine (Will Ackerman)

Inside of Ely Copper Mine (Will Ackerman)

Inside of Ely Copper Mine (Will Ackerman)

Acid Mine Drainage at Ely Mine (Will Ackerman)

Acid Mine Drainage at Ely Mine (Will Ackerman)

Inside of Mine Looking Out (Will Ackerman)

Inside of Mine Looking Out (Will Ackerman)

Schwaegler Property-The Schwaegler family (which includes alum Andy and current camper Paul) has kindly granted us permission to visit their land around Indian Pond. There are meadows, grasses, animal evidence (especially of small mammals), birds, insects, and grand landscapes here. All of these offer wonderful subjects for photography.

Landscape at Schwaegler Property (Will Ackerman)

Landscape at Schwaegler Property (Will Ackerman)

Geometer (Inchworm) Caterpillar on a Black-eyed Susan (Will Ackerman)

Geometer (Inchworm) Caterpillar on a Black-eyed Susan (Will Ackerman)

Spies Property – This is a location that we call “the two hundred”. It is 200+ acres of forest, brooks, waterfalls, meadows, and ancient sugar maples (150+ years old). The running water and waterfalls present our campers the opportunity to experiment with shutter speeds and depth of field. The forests, with their dappled light and shadow, present challenges for exposure. We are grateful to the Spies for granting us access.

Oyster Mushrooms (Will Ackerman)

Oyster Mushrooms (Will Ackerman)

American Toad Camouflaged Amongst the Dead Leaves (Will Ackerman)

American Toad Camouflaged Amongst the Dead Leaves (Will Ackerman)

Waterfall on the Spies Property (Will Ackerman)

Waterfall on the Spies Property (Will Ackerman)

Ancient Sugar Maples (150+ years old) Lining Drive to Spies House

Ancient Sugar Maples (150+ years old) Lining Drive to Spies House

Scouting Trip for New Insect Collecting Localities

We are always looking for new places where we can view, photograph, and collect insects, wildflowers, and other plants. Recently, we were told about several areas that were new to us. Of course, before taking lots of campers there, we need to scout them out. So, Deb Kure and Nick Gordon (Staff) took three expert bug collectors, Will Ackerman, Luke Larabie, and Quinn Markham to check out a possible new locality. They got a good look at it and agreed that it would be perfect for 1-2 hour afternoon trips. Hurrah! We will take our first “official” trip this week.

Special Trips

Pemi has been taking caving trips (note: it’s “caving” and NOT “spelunking”) for almost 30 years. This area of geology is my research specialty and there are wonderful wild caves to visit about 4 hours away southwest of Albany, NY. On Tuesday and Wednesday of week 3, I left with nine senior campers along with staff members Will Raduziner (he went as a camper) and Charlie Malcolm (I’ve been trying to get him to go for years). We did one cave on Tuesday afternoon, enjoyed a delicious chicken teriyaki dinner at my sister and brother-in-law’s home in Schoharie, NY (where we always stay) followed by a nice campfire with s’mores and stories. On Wednesday, we did two more caves before heading home. We stopped for our traditional dinner at the Royal Chelsea Diner in West Brattleboro, VT-highly recommended, before arriving home at about 10:30 PM.

Special Events

Twice a summer we participate in on-going scientific surveys. Both of these are annual censuses that provide valuable information on changing in bird and insect populations. These are crucial to our understanding of climate change effects, the effects of land use change, and the impacts of human activity.

The first of these is the annual “Fourth of July North American Butterfly Association Annual Butterfly Count”. This was our 13th consecutive year of participation. Ours is the only circuit in New Hampshire and our data has already been used by a researcher at Carleton University in Ottawa to document the northward movement of several species of butterflies that, until recently, have not normally been seen in our area. We conduct the survey with a group of scientists from the Smithsonian Institution, Plymouth State University, and local conservation organizations. This year, we had 8 campers and 5 staff members participating. Our final “tally rally” takes place at the Moose Scoops ice cream parlor in Warren and it is a chance for our campers to meet and talk with professionals in the field (and enjoy some wonderful ice cream).

Will Ackerman With a Tiny Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar on His Thumb (Deb Kure)

Will Ackerman With a Tiny Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar on His Thumb (Deb Kure)

The Butterfly Count “Tally Rally” at the Moose Scoops Ice Cream Shop (Deb Kure)

The Butterfly Count “Tally Rally” at the Moose Scoops Ice Cream Shop (Deb Kure)

The annual New Hampshire Loon count is in its 35th year. We have participated in all of them. On the 3rd Saturday in July between 8 and 9 in the morning, hundreds of volunteers are out on almost every lake in the state looking for loons and recording the numbers that are seen. As usual, we covered both Upper and Lower Baker Ponds. We spotted 2 loons on Upper Baker and none on Lower Baker. While this was disappointing, from a scientific standpoint, a count of “0” is just as important as a count of “10”. For most of the summer, we have had 1 or 2 on our lake, but they weren’t there during the crucial hour, so, we don’t count them.

Clouds Over Mt. Cube and former Bischoff House Taken from Upper Baker Pond (Will Ackerman)

Clouds Over Mt. Cube and former Bischoff House Taken from Upper Baker Pond (Will Ackerman)

Great Blue Heron Flying Over Upper Baker Pond (Will Ackerman)

Great Blue Heron Flying Over Upper Baker Pond (Will Ackerman)

Common Loon, One of Two Seen on Upper Baker Pond During the Annual Loon Count (Will Ackerman)

Common Loon, One of Two Seen on Upper Baker Pond During the Annual Loon Count (Will Ackerman)

SPECIAL EDITION: The Flood of 2017

All you really need to know about the impact on Pemi campers of the Saturday, July 1st Flood of ’17 is to hear that, when on Monday ’73 Flood Survivors Tom Reed Jr. and Larry Davis announced in the mess hall that this recent deluge was clearly worse than in 1973, the campers cheered! To work a variation on the old saw, what doesn’t wash you away evidently makes you proud and happy.

Saturday, July 1

One difference from ’73 was that, this time, we had far more advance warning, what with the various electronic weather vanes we in the Office were all carefully eyeing. The forecast had already called for rain that might well lead to flash flooding. So when, at noon of that Saturday’s inter-camp sports day, we checked the radar and saw a huge green blob with a lurid center of yellow and red oozing across the Connecticut River towards us, we sprang into action.

Rushing waters overflow the culvert

Rushing waters overflow the culvert

Even before the culverts began to overflow with run-off surging down the hill behind camp, we moved three of our vans to a safe spot across our bridge in case high waters made wheeled egress from the camp impossible. Staff were also advised to move their cars from the low-lying parking lot by the Senior Beach. There would be no repeat of 1973, when the locked VW bug of a counselor who was deployed that day for airport pick-ups had to be hand-lifted by a dozen of his colleagues and carried to higher ground.

Ushering junior campers to dinner

Ushering junior campers to dinner

By late afternoon, what had been intensifying rain gave way to electrical storms, and, alerted by the lightning siren, boys and staff retreated to their cabins for a spell. Those of us in the Office stayed glued to our computer screens, hoping that our power would stay on (though perhaps secretly hoping it wouldn’t, so as to give our powerful new propane-fueled backup generator its first practical test.) A clear gap in the storm system subsequently offered a brief window for us to scoot the boys up to the mess hall for supper, which Tom Ciglar and his dedicated crew had all ready and waiting for speedy service. Fortunately, one (and one only!) of the three bridges that span the stream dividing the camp was still not over-washed by the mounting torrent, and the boys were ushered carefully across on their way to a hot meal. Meanwhile, Assistant Director Kenny Moore and Waterfront Head Charlotte Jones took the opportunity to detach the floating sections of our new hybrid docks from their fixed complements, carefully anchoring them against the strong down-valley current that was even then beginning to make itself felt.

Senior campers asleep in the Mess Hall

Senior campers asleep in the Mess Hall

Once we’d all eaten, it was quickly back to the cabins for the night – no pre-announced campfire and no staff time-off for that evening. (I must admit that, had we had a good supply of phosphorous, it would have been both novel and thrilling to hold an underwater campfire in its traditional location. No such luck, though.) By 6pm, our devoted and heroic Head of Buildings and Grounds, Reed Harrigan, had cancelled his own weekend off and arrived back on location. On Reed’s recommendation, the boys of Seniors 1-3 grabbed their mattresses, sleeping bags, and toothbrushes and headed up to the dining room for the night. While the waters rushing down the road in front of the Office (after over-topping a failing culvert) didn’t ultimately erode the foundations of the cabins, it made perfect sense to be super cautious, so that’s what we did. As a result, our 14s and 15s slept in the very space in which we normally eat our meals and sing songs about beating Camp Tecumseh. Their lullaby? The very remarkable sound of boulders thudding down the stream-bed just to the north, twelve- to fifteen-inch rocks bouncing over each other in the tumbling waters like the numbered balls in a lottery machine. It’s not a sound you easily forget.

Sunday, July 2

"Pemi Island" - three feet of water over the entrance road

“Pemi Island” – three feet of water cover the entrance road

Sunday brought a mercifully sunny dawn, but a quick 5:30 AM walk around the grounds revealed in a trice that the erosion damage in camp surpassed both the rains of ’73 and Hurricane Irene. There were three feet of water flowing over the entrance road, and waves lapped just twelve inches below the floor of the Lake Tent. Following reveille – and the common-sense cancellation of Polar Bear dips – Dan Reed and various other staff took the first steps (or paddles) towards reconstruction by retrieving vagrant sailboats, paddle boards, and wake boards from all over the pond. Meanwhile, Tom Ciglar and our other chefs waded bravely to their stations and had a hearty breakfast ready at the appointed 8:30 time. Tom determined along the way that, with a few menu adjustments, we had adequate stores in place to feed the camp family well for four days, should our access to supplies be affected.

The mood in the mess hall was distinctly buoyant, as might be expected when a group comes through shared excitement in good order. Boys and staff alike listened with rapt attention when Head of Nature Larry Davis (whose day job is as a university hydrologist) reviewed what we had all witnessed. This was absolutely a classic flash flood, he explained. The preconditions of soil being completely saturated by earlier precipitation and, in turn, resting in a very thin layer over the underlying granite meant that the three-plus inches of rain we received over roughly eight hours had nowhere to go but downstream – in massive quantities, at great speed, and with terrific power. Since there was a lag-time in drainage of approximately eight or ten hours, we could expect the lake to keep rising for that length of time. After that, it would likely take three or four days for the waters to return to something like their normal level.

Campers and staff pitch in to put camp back together again

Campers and staff pitch in to clean up

Intent on controlling everything we could, we proceeded with inspection clean-up just as usual, after which the boys left their cabins for various organized activities and, for those who chose to help, general grounds clean-up. Reed Harrigan was seemingly everywhere on his John Deere tractor, while Athletic Director and Grounds maven Charlie Malcolm, co-owner Peter Fauver, and Assistant Director Kenny Moore all buckled down to various essential tasks, often joined by keen volunteers from amongst our paying customers. In a further nod to normalcy beyond the morning’s inspection, we still required the boys to write their routine Sunday letters home. We admit to some curiosity about what they may have told you all about the recent cataclysm. If you have any amusing examples you are willing to share, please do.

Water basketball, flood-style

Water basketball, flood-style

That afternoon – still beautifully sunny – brought more activities, including water-basketball for the Seniors. A reprise of one of ’73’s most memorable post-deluge entertainments, this bizarre combination of water polo and hoops proved hugely popular and was repeated the following day for Uppers. (Check out this video captured by drone of Pemi’s water basketball, by Red Dog Aerial Video!). Meanwhile, Commodore Emily Palmer manned the safety boat and, with the assistance of TRJR and the rest of the trip crew, ferried an entire camp’s laundry bags (~240) from their cabins to the other side of the flooded bridge, where they were loaded into our sequestered vans for a Monday pick-up. By 5 PM, ten hours into his day, Reed on his John Deere had most of the camp’s roads beginning to look normal; certainly navigable if need be.

Saturday campfire, on Sunday. New location.

Saturday campfire, on Sunday. New location.

Speaking of roads, following our traditional Sunday evening cookout and because the campfire circle was still under three feet of water, we held our traditional Saturday night gathering for the first time on Sunday night AND with the bonfire built on the road just in front of the mess hall. The Senior camp had teamed up to bring all the benches up from athletic fields to which they had been moved to avoid the rising lake waters, and they made a cozy little semi-circle for the camp family to gather. The setting couldn’t have been lovelier, with a back-drop consisting of our green athletic fields stretching out for hundreds of yards, framed on either side by the wooded slopes of our valley (already blued with the coming night’s shadows) and the sunlit ramparts of Mount Carr, all the way down past Wentworth, modulating, as the evening progressed, from flaming yellow to glowing orange to amber. The entertainment was as good as ever – including Dan Reed and Becky Noel’s sweet rendition of Jason Mraz’s “Lucky,” Will Weber’s second tour de force on classical guitar, and Peter Moody’s infectious group-sing extolling the virtues of Bazooka Bubble Gum. As we swayed, finally, to the timeless words of the Campfire Song – “I wonder if anyone’s better for anything I’ve done or said” – many present could pat themselves modestly on their backs for the efforts they had made over the past 48 hours to pitch in at a time of crisis.

Monday, July 3

Monday brought still more brilliant sunshine, and a new week of occupations kicked off with each and every activity that didn’t involve swimming (either purposeful or inadvertent) carrying on as usual. That afternoon, Juniors 3 and 4 headed off under gorgeous blue skies for Rattlesnake Mountain, the only oddity being that the campers were piggy-backed through shallows to rowboats by the longer-legged members of the 15-and-under tennis team, also waiting to leave camp (and assisted in their St. Christopherian kindnesses by office-staffers Kim Malcolm and Heather Leeds). The boys were then towed to the newly emerged bridge by Sam Dixon, Will Katcher, and TRJR. Rarely if ever have Pemi hikers begun their mountain ascents with a voyage by sea, such as Dantrell Frazier, Teddy Rose, Atticus Barocas, Henry Ravanesi, and their cabin mates enjoyed Monday last. Surf and Turf, would it be?

First provisions arrive since the flood

First provisions since the flood

Monday afternoon also saw Tom Ciglar making a trip to the local grocery to top up provisions and supplies in the kitchen, and by 5PM Reed Harrigan had safely driven one of the camp pick-ups through hub-deep water to the bridge. It boded well for a dry roadway the following morning and, along with that, full communications with the outside world – Sysco food deliveries, FedEx, and the friendly UPS man alike. By 7:30, the weekly ladling of Bean Soup had begun in the Lodge, and the staple Pemi “Clam Song,” with its macabre narrative of a mollusk-sliced foot, was presented in re-written form to celebrate recent events – its infamous choral “Blood! Blood! Blood!” of course now altered to “Flood! Flood! Flood!” And so, as often happens, the wry and resilient human spirit responds to adversity with exultant laughter. Thanks, Wes Eifler, Harry Cooke, and Dan Reed, for lending your imagination and wit to the Pemi recovery.

Back to camp as usual

A few odds and ends of that recovery remained to be achieved, most notably a program of laboratory testing of our lake water to make absolutely certain that it was safe to let the boys swim in the pond. One week following the flood, we received the all-clear from the lab technicians, and at 5 PM Saturday the 8th, Charlotte Jones and her lifeguards oversaw the first swim since the storm clouds rumbled into our valley just a week before. Overall, not a bad rebound after a fifty-year deluge!


Videos and images of the 2017 Flood:

Junior Camp

Junior Camp

Junior Squish

Junior Squish





























Visitors arrive by boat

Visitors arrive by boat













Ferrying 240 laundry bags to the bridge for Monday morning pick-up

Ferrying 240 laundry bags to the bridge for Monday morning pick-up

View from the Library

View from the Library



















Volunteer clean-up crew!

Volunteer clean-up crew!


Rebuilding the road

Rebuilding the road


Reed Harrigan

Reed Harrigan

From Experiment to Trend to Tradition

2017: Newsletter #3

The following comes from the pen of director Danny Kerr…

Greetings from the sun-drenched shores of Lower Baker Pond! As we begin our third week of occupations, energy abounds and the boys are looking forward to a wonderful week of program, trips, and competition, as well as next weekend’s Birthday Banquet, our traditional, celebratory send-off for our first-session campers. Boy do these camp days fly by!

Over the course of its storied 110-year history, Camp Pemigewassett has developed countless traditions. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that traditions are both ubiquitous and gratifying for the entire Pemi community. Campers and counselors who take part in these customary rites and activities know that by doing so, they become part of Pemi’s history. In many ways, the camp experience here is still a great deal like when Teeden Boss’ father was at Pemi in the 1980’s or when Charlie Broll’s grandfather was a camper in the 1940’s. Visiting alumni often remark with a smile that things seem just like they did when they were at camp, however long ago that was. They are reassured, along with every year’s returning campers and counselors, that Pemi still provides a reliable and familiar environment in comparison to an outside world that constantly demands and presents change.

Seven-year senior camper Eli Brennan and I joke that when we try something new at Pemi, it’s an “experiment”; when we do it twice, it’s a “trend”; and when we do something for a third time, it’s a “tradition.” The idea of “new” traditions may seem like an oxymoron, but the truth of the matter is that some traditions do eventually go by the wayside and others become a familiar part of the Pemi year. With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the traditional activities that are a part of the Pemigewassett experience in 2017, and also hear what the boys see as especially valuable about those rites and customs.

Variation: "Pink polar bear" dip in the stream

Variation: “Pink polar bear” dip in the stream

Certainly a traditional and signature part of the Pemi experience is the morning “Polar Bear” swim, the quick dip right after reveille that everyone in camp, be they camper or counselor, young or experienced, Yankee fan or Red Sox fan, participates in for at least the first week of each session, and is something most campers choose to do every day of the summer. Truly, one of my favorite moments of the summer is the first day of Polar Bear, as 40 juniors dash with unbridled enthusiasm towards Junior Beach and their first Polar Bear plunge of the session. I asked a couple of our veteran campers, Teddy Foley and Suraj Khakee, both of whom have done Polar Bear every day of each of their summers (seven for Suraj, six for Teddy), why they still choose to hit the pond each dawn after so many icy plunges over the years? Suraj said he “love[s] the routine of doing the same thing each morning and bonding with the other campers who Polar Bear.” Teddy said that Polar Bear not only “wakes me up in the morning and makes me feel fresh and ready to go for the day,” but also allows him, on a daily basis, to enjoy “one of the most beautiful natural gifts at Pemi, Lower Baker Pond, with friends in a big group.” The Polar Bear plunge really becomes a crucial part of one’s picture of being at Pemi, such that when alums come for a visit, a work weekend, or a reunion, they invariably gravitate towards Lower Baker Bond upon waking, knowing this is really the only bona fide way to start a Pemi day!

FRB in Junior Camp

FRB in Junior Camp

Jacques Barzun, the social commentator, wrote more than a quarter of a century ago, “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.” Well, one could almost say, “whoever wants to know Pemi had better learn about Frisbee Running Bases (FRB),” which has become the unofficial favorite pastime at Pemi. Kenny Moore, our local Camp Pemi historian, says the game was introduced in the mid 1980s and quickly overwhelmed the previous crowd favorite, Capture-the-Flag. Well, that makes for over three decades worth of summers of mad dashing from one of three bases as campers try mightily not to be “tagged” by either a flying (and specially soft-built) Frisbee, or a counselor carrying said “kryptonite.” Nothing elicits a more boisterous cheer in the Messhall than an announcement that FRB is on the docket after dinner, and there is hardly anything more entertaining than witnessing the thundering herds run from base to base as they try to claim the title of “last tagged” for that game before all who suffered the fate of being caught are invited to rejoin and another game begins. I asked a couple of campers why they love FRB, and here’s what they had to say: Duke Hagen in Upper 2 said he loved playing games with counselors who “are trying their hardest but still can’t get us most of the time,” because “we’re fast and they’re not!” (Some staff might disagree!) Luke Larabie, a first-year camper and hence new to FRB, said he loves the “thrill of not getting caught and being one of the last few in the game.” Luke especially loves the last two minutes of each round, when the safe haven of being on a base is no longer in play, because then it’s “even cooler to survive.” I’ve never seen FRB played at any other camp or school I’ve known, so it truly seems to be a Pemi original. Perhaps we should challenge our storied rivals at Camp Tecumseh in a round on July 28th?

Another favorite tradition here at Pemi is counselors reading aloud to their boys each night, choosing from the many volumes of child and teen literature we have here in the Pemi library, or perhaps reading a favorite childhood story they themselves have brought from home. The quiet that descends on the divisions as this nightly ritual begins is heartwarming, and the cabins are filled with the tales of adventurous characters from beloved classics, old and or less old. As a follow -up this morning, I asked a few of the campers what they were reading and what they enjoyed most about the nightly ritual. Nate Broll said that Lower 1 was enjoying Candy Makers, by Wendy Mass, and that he loves fiction generally, and especially the fact that the story is told from the perspective of four boys about his age. Nate said that the reading at night helps him fall asleep, and that it offers the kind of comfort he “get[s] at home with Mom and Dad.” I had the pleasure of putting Upper 3 to bed one night last week; they quickly quieted down as I began the opening chapters of Dickens’ Great Expectations. Teeden Boss in Junior 2 said that Wes is reading them Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl (a favorite of mine as a boy, too), and that it reminds him of “when [he] was young and Mom and Dad read to me!” Finally, Luke Gonzales in Junior 1 said they are reading Big Friendly Guy, also by Roald Dahl, and that he loves the reading because he’s always “really, really tired at night” when he gets into bed, and the reading “makes me go right to sleep and makes the morning come so quickly!”

Singing in the Messhall

Singing in the Messhall

Singing in the Messhall just before the dessert course at every lunch and dinner is a tradition that everyone looks forward to. The songs we sing range from Pemi originals, many of them written by one of Pemi’s Founders, Doc Reed, to songs of Americana, college fight songs, and more. Pemi prides itself on being an inclusive community, and singing is about as inclusive an activity as there is. Ty Chung, in Upper 5, said that singing in the Messhall was great, in part because it’s “been happening for so long and is such an essential part of being a Pemi camper.” “Everyone can sing,” Ty pointed out. “It’s so much fun and adds to the group camaraderie and spirit of Pemi.” First-year camper August Matthews says the singing at meals is “fun because they’re all such great songs. I love the cheers and claps in them, and they make me laugh.” It is hard to keep from smilingl, or even laughing out loud, when we sing songs like “The Man on the Flying Trapeze,” “Mabel,” or “The Marching Song,” as the whole community sings with hearty enthusiasm, swaying to the beat, doing the sometimes crazy motions, or clapping along.

Traditions, whether they are as old as Camp Pemi itself, like singing in the Messhall, or relatively new, like FRB, are an essential part of a Pemi summer. They offer a familiar rhythm and a sense of being connected not only to the present community but also to people and times long ago. Of course, this is not to say that we are not keeping up with modern times, but that is a topic for another newsletter! Campers grow up and become adults, counselors leave for year-round jobs and to raise families, and we all change, year after year; but when we come back to Pemi, we can relive through these traditions all of the wonderful memories of our own camp days, whenever they happened to be. As the world changes in what often feels like a relentless way, Pemi is enduringly Pemi. What a comforting thought.


Hello, 2017! Introducing Pemi’s Staff

2017: Newsletter #1

Greetings from Wentworth, NH, where Camp Pemigewassett’s 110th season is well underway. Opening Day on Saturday went extraordinarily smoothly, despite a few showers in the morning. As usual, veteran campers rolled in prior to lunch and were ready to greet boys new to Pemi in the increasingly sunny afternoon, showing them around the camp before guiding them up to the mess hall for our customary first meal of pizza. The evening’s entertainment was our inaugural Campfire of the season, featuring talent aplenty from both campers and staff – among the most memorable of the acts being Will Weber with a truly spectacular performance on classical guitar.

Sunday’s weather was perfect for most of its span, allowing for the full array of swim tests, medical checks, weekly activity (“occupations”) sign-ups, and a range of amusing diversions for the various age groups. A very brief shower converted our cook-out into a cook-in, but the sun was out once again when the camp community filed into the Lodge for an illustrated talk on Pemi History from Tom Reed, Jr.

Today (Monday), occupations got off with a bang under skies of brilliant blue, graced now and again by fair weather cumulus scudding down the valley on a moderate breeze. Having signed up for anything from Baseball to Yoga, Rock Band to Steam Punk Metal Boxes, your sons kept themselves supremely busy through four hours of instruction and fun. Many will have grabbed a moment or two to respond to this week’s prompt from the editors of Bean Soup – our Pemi equivalent of The Daily Show and dating back to 1910. Come 7:45, we will all hear what respondents imagine red-bearded trip leader Nick Davini spent his days doing over the winter. We suspect there may be some alternate facts sprinkled in with plausible likelihoods.

Now, for a more dependable account of what Nick and the other members of our superb staff bring to Pemi this summer, we turn to the bios they scribed prior to arriving at Lower Baker. We trust you’ll be as impressed as we with the range of their experience, talents, and points of origin.

Pemi’s 2017 staff during pre-season, on the summit of Mt Cardigan

Danny Kerr (Director):
This will be my 8th year as Director at Pemi and my 45th at summer camp and I’m only 39! This fuzzy math aside, I am looking forward to another terrific summer in 2017. When not doing the Director thing, I very much enjoy coaching baseball at Pemi, playing the guitar and basketball with the boys, and recruiting any camper or counselor I can to join the legion of small, but dedicated, New York Met fans. I also enjoy spending time with my wife Julia 🙂

Ken Moore (Assistant Director): This will be my 25th summer at Pemi, starting first in 1992 as a ten-year old camper in Junior 5, and now as one of Pemi’s year ’round staff. Over the course of the year, I oversee the Pemi Program, Alumni Relations (Pemi’s 110th Reunion is this August!), Pemi West, and our general outreach efforts. Four years ago, my wife Sarah and I moved from Cleveland, OH to Plainfield, NH, and are excited for what 2017 has in store.

Tom Reed (Consulting Director and Head of Trips): The grandson of a Pemi founder, I have lived on Lower Baker all but a handful of summers since 1947. My ‘day job’ was teaching English literature and film at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, but I retired in 2015 and have recently moved to Sarasota with my wife Dottie. It’s true what they say: there are no mountains in Florida. Otherwise, though, there’s a lot to like, at least on the West Coast. I’ll be running the trip program again at Pemi this summer, as well as writing newsletters, leading mess hall singing, and helping out with the Gilbert and Sullivan show.

Dottie Reed (Administrator): This is my 30th summer at Pemi! After the 2016 camp season, Tom and I moved to Sarasota, Florida where our daily life includes walking, swimming, biking, and/or kayaking. Evenings often see us at concerts, movies, great restaurants, or catching up on some TV binge-watching (which for us means two episodes at a time). This freedom is a delightful result of having handed over a significant portion of my off-season Pemi administrative responsibilities to Allyson Fauver (have I said thank-you today, Allyson?). This summer, I’m back in the saddle (or more specifically, the Pemi office) where I’m happily involved with Pemi’s daily communication and administrative efforts and constantly charmed by our campers.

Allyson Fauver (Administrator): I’m so excited this year to be helping Danny, Kenny, and Dottie with forms and parent support! I live in Bozeman, MT (great backcountry skiing), but I grew up in New Hampshire and Maine and return every chance I get. I spent most of my childhood summers at Pemi, and have worked behind-the-scenes as a board member for several years (currently serving as Treasurer).

Heather Leeds (Administrator): I have been teaching and working with children for over 25 years. I am currently the co-director of a rural elementary school in western Massachusetts, and live at Northfield Mount Hermon with my husband and 3 children. For the past 10 years, I’ve enjoyed spending the summers working in the Pemi Office.

Kim Malcolm (Administrator): This is my 26th year at Camp Pemi. During the offseason I live at Northfield Mt. Hermon School with my husband, Charlie, and 2 children. I am also a physical therapist.

Cabin Counselors (CC) and Assistant Counselors (AC)

J1 – Harry Cooke (CC): This summer will be my eighth on the shores of Lower Baker Pond and second as a cabin counselor. I am a rising junior at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, set to study abroad next year at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. I look forward to working in the music and nature programs as well as assisting on the camp waterfront.

J1 – Nicholas Gordon (AC): I am from Princeton, NJ. I am so happy to be returning to Pemi for my 9th summer! I have loved taking part in the nature program as a camper and can’t wait to work in the Nature Lodge as a staff member. I am also very excited to take part in this year’s G&S production. As I start this new chapter in my Pemi career, I am very excited to continue to learn new things and challenge myself as a counselor.

J2 – Wes Eifler (CC / Division Head / Bean Soup editor): I’m originally from New Canaan, Connecticut. For the past 6 years I have been going to school and now living/ working in the DC. Currently I am a 5th Grade Teacher at Bells Mill Elementary in Potomac, Maryland. I just finished my first full year of teaching and I am excited to be back at Pemi for my 14th Summer where, in addition to my other roles, I plan to be a staunch force on the baseball diamond.

J2 – Jon Duval (AC): After six years as a camper at Pemi, this will be my first year on staff. I am from the Washington D.C area, and will be a Freshman this fall at Cornell University. I enjoy athletics and competing in sports of all kinds, but my favorite sport is tennis. At Pemi this summer I am looking forward to helping campers to be themselves and to teaching tennis.

J3 – Sam Dixon (CC): Hello! I’m from a place called Newcastle in the north-east of England. This will be my first summer at Pemi and I can’t wait to get started. My interests are mostly sports, and being outdoors keeping active. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at camp and teaching you all some Geordie words and phrases!

J3 – Kai Soderberg (AC): I live in Sarasota, FL. I’m a high school senior and enjoy running and archery. I lifeguard year round at a local Sarasota pool. This summer I will be helping out on the archery range and with the running programs at Pemi. I also hope to start a XC team at Pemi and lead the boys in some local races. I have been a camper at Pemi for eight years and this will be my first time as a staff member. I’m very exited about being on the staff and look forward to another wonderful summer.

J4 – Will Katcher (CC): I’m from Needham, MA, and this coming year I’ll be a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Honors College, where I’ll be studying Journalism. In high school I ran Cross Country and Track, which I hope to continue in some form in college. This will be my 7th summer at Pemi and second on staff, after four years as a camper and one on Pemi West. I’m looking forward to helping out all around camp and I can’t wait for another great summer!

J4: Will Raduziner (AC): I am a rising senior at Fairview High school in Boulder Colorado. This summer will be my eighth summer at Pemi and my first year on staff. Last year I went on Pemi West and participated in CAP (Counselor Apprentice Program). This year I plan on helping in the nature lodge, on the archery range, and with sailing.

J5: Pete Moody (CC): Hi. I’m from Milford, Connecticut. This is my first year at Pemi and I am excited to be at Pemi this summer. I have an interest in video games, movies, frisbee, and golf. I look forward to getting to know my campers very well over the coming weeks. I was a Boy Scout for most of my life and hope to share my experiences with them.

J5: Ezra Nugiel (AC): I’m thrilled to be returning to the shores of Lower Baker for my tenth summer, which include nine years as a camper and this year, my first on staff. I hail from right outside Philadelphia in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and I’m a rising freshman at Middlebury College in Vermont. I plan to help out with all Pemi has to offer, especially in the music department and down at the ski dock. I can’t wait for the incredible summer ahead!

J6 – Per Soderberg (CC): My name is Per Soderberg. I’m from Sarasota, Florida and this will be my 10th summer at Pemi. Some of my hobbies include drawing, painting, woodworking and other crafts. I aspire to be a mechanical engineer and this fall I will be a freshman at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana. This summer I look forward to teaching arts and crafts, wood shop and archery.

J6 – Ben Ross (AC): I am a rising senior at BB&N in Cambridge, MA where I row, wrestle, and play soccer. I was a camper at Pemi for four years, and I went on Pemi West last year. I am excited to be back as an assistant counselor this year.

L1 – Matt Kanovsky (CC): I am from Briarcliff Manor, New York, and just finished my freshman year at Harvey Mudd College in Southern California studying computer science. This will be my 12th summer at Pemi and my third year on staff, as I finally get to fulfill my lifelong dream of being a cabin counselor. This summer, I am excited to teach nature and photography, and use my years of experience to be the most thorough inspector to ever have stepped foot on the shores of Lower Baker.

L2 – Daniel Bowes (CC): I live in Washington DC; however, I went to a small boarding school in south central PA called Mercersburg Academy. I plan to attend Lehigh University next year, where I will study in their undergraduate business school. I spent 7 amazing summers at camp and I am very much looking forward to my first year on staff. I plan to help out with sports, mainly basketball and lacrosse.

L2 – Sam Berman (CC): Hi all; this summer will be my eighth at Camp Pemi. I’m from New York City, where I’m a rising senior at a small public school in the Bronx. Outside of school I play soccer for Downtown United Soccer Club and figure to be spending most of my summer working out on the pitch.

L3 – Chris Carlin (CC): I’m From Paisley, a town on the outskirts of Glasgow in Scotland. I’m currently studying Environmental Management at Glasgow Caledonian University with the intention of going into renewable energy or conservation. I have always been interested in the environment and the wildlife in it, so I’m glad to be working in the nature programme at Pemi this summer. I’m also very interested in music, which I will also be working in at Pemi. This is my first year at Pemi and I’m very much looking forward to it!

L3 – Charlie Scott (AC): I will be a senior at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro New Hampshire. I am originally from Hanover, but have lived overseas for the past 15 years. I have been a part of the Pemi family since I was 8, however, this will be my first summer working at Pemi. I enjoy being outdoors and playing soccer. I am very excited to be an assistant counselor and look forward to helping coach soccer and being very helpful to the kids in my cabin and all throughout camp.

L4 – Nicholas Pigeon (CC): This will be my 7th summer on the shores of Lower Baker Pond, and I’m ecstatic to be returning to Camp Pemi as a counselor. I’m from a host of places, growing up in Guatemala, China, Ukraine, Italy, and Chile. Currently I am a rising sophomore at American University in Washington D.C., studying international relations. I’m looking forward to helping campers improve their jumpshot, hone their skills on the soccer field, and appreciate the natural world. I can’t wait for another incredible summer and hope to pass on my love for Pemi to the campers!

L5 – Andy MacDonald (CC / Division Head): I hail from Scotland and I’m about to start my 3rd year at Pemi. I’m known best at Pemi for constantly having random Shrek quotes thrown at me, as well as performing the greatest campfire act of all time last summer. I’m wondering if the kids will change it up this year and have new Scottish based insults for me :p. I love playing sport, hiking, reading and organizing events. I’ll be involved in soccer, tennis, and canoeing occupations. I can’t wait to see some familiar faces this summer. Bring it on!

L5 – Sam Seaver (AC): Hi. I am from Norwich, Vermont and I am currently a sophomore at The Millbrook School. I was a Pemi camper for 4 years and I loved every second that I was at Pemi; Pemi was my home away from home. This will be my first year on staff and I plan to help coach tennis and soccer and to help out with the waterskiing program.

L6 – Ned Roosevelt (CC): This summer will be my ninth on the shores of Lower Baker Pond. I am a rising sophomore at Wheaton College where I am on the tennis team. I look forward to meeting you all and extending the same warm welcome to you that I received back in the day. I’ll be helping out with the sports program, mainly tennis and baseball. See you on the courts and on the fields!

L7 – Cole Valente (CC): Hello! I’m from Princeton, New Jersey and I’m a rising sophomore at Dickinson College. This will be my fourth summer at Pemi, my first as a counselor, and I’m so happy to be back. I enjoy reading, playing water polo, doing improv, eating, and being outside, and I can’t wait to teach some of these this summer. If college doesn’t work out for whatever reason, I plan to secretly spend my winters at Pemi, living in the Messhall. I’m ready for a great summer and can’t wait to be back at Pemi!

U1 – JP Gorman (CC / First Session): My name, JP, is short for John Peter. I was born and raised in Ireland where I studied Music and Mathematics at University College Dublin. This will be my second year on staff at Pemi. Last year I was a Trip Leader. This year I’ll be a Cabin Counselor 1st half until Nick Hurn joins the cabin at which point I’ll shift to the role of Trip Leader for the 2nd half. Apart from hiking I love soccer, kayaking, and playing piano.

U1 – Nick Hurn (CC / Second Session): This summer will be my second year at Pemi, and although I can’t be on the shores of Lower Baker for the whole summer, I’m excited to be returning for all of second half! Last year I was the cabin counselor for J4 and taught/instructed a range of activities…if I wasn’t in Art World you’d probably find me on the waterfront or in the woodshop. During the not-so-exciting part of the year I go to Medical School at the University of Manchester in the UK. By the time I reach the White Mountains this summer I will have completed my fourth of six years, and I’m looking forward to taking a holiday!

U2 – Nick Davini (Trip Leader): I’m an anthropology major and rising senior at the University of New Hampshire. This summer will be my ninth at Pemi, and my fifth on staff. I look forward to being a trip counselor again this year. I feel at home in the woods, and love Pemi trips in the White Mountains. I also have experience instructing in the woodshop, archery range, and Art World at Pemi.

U2: Benjamin Potter (CC): Hi there. I am 21 years old and I come from a small seaside town called Margate in the South East of England, UK. I enjoy a number of sports, including soccer, ice hockey, and my passionate sport, Rugby, which I have played for over 6 years for my local team. Besides sports, I also enjoy and have a huge passion for music such as classic rock, blues, heavy metal, and a mixture of genres. I’ve played the bass guitar and the drums for a number of years and can also play basic guitar chords. This is my first summer with Pemi and I am really looking forward to teaching soccer and beginning guitar and drums. Bring on the summer!!

U3 – Will Meinke (CC / Division Head): I’m from Westport Connecticut and I’m excited to be back for my eleventh summer on the shores of Lower Baker. This year I will mainly be working in the Waterski and Soccer program areas. I’m looking forward to another amazing summer at Pemi.

U3 – Ted Orben (AC): Returning to the shores of Lower Baker Pond for my seventh summer, I am stoked to be a staff member for the first time! I live in Fairfield, Connecticut during the school year where I’m a rising senior at Fairfield Warde High School, and in the summer I’m either at camp or traveling. I’m looking forward to an unforgettable summer filled with water skiing, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and more!

U4 – Julian Hernandez-Webster (CC): I am from New Jersey. I love playing soccer, going hiking, and trying new things – a habit I picked up in my five summers as a camper at Pemi. I am looking forward to returning to Lower Baker and taking part in all sorts of activities unique to Pemi! Favorites of mine include frisbee running bases, barrel ball, and wakeboarding.

U4 – Sam Papel (Trip Leader): This will be my 12th summer at Pemi, my third on staff, and my first as a Trip Leader. I’m excited to get back and lead some great hikes, as well as coach Ultimate Frisbee. I’m from Nashville Tennessee, and I am a rising senior at Vanderbilt University where I study Engineering.

U5 – Nick Bertrand (CC): I just finished my first year at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where I was a member of the men’s soccer team. I am a biomedical engineering major with a focus in biomechanics. I live just 40 minutes away from camp in Hanover NH, and will be returning for my eleventh year with Pemi. I am looking forward to another great summer of coaching soccer and baseball.

S1 – Jack Stoker (CC): I have just finished 3 years at Northumbria University studying sport science and coaching in addition to business studies. I am eager to come to Camp Pemigewassett and contribute my enthusiasm and energy towards the camp. I hope to meet lots of new friends for life and to have a positive impact on the children’s lives. I am very sporty and competitive and willing to meet any challenge.

S2 – Kilian Wegner (CC): Hey! I recently graduated from Communication Studies in DCU, Dublin. Although it was my final year of college and there was a heavy workload, I made sure to keep up Soccer and Trampoline on the side. This will be my second fun-filled summer at Pemi and I’m looking forward to teaching lots of the same fun occupations as last year, with a few new ones too! With a year under my belt, I’m excited to be an even better counselor now that I know the ropes. I’m enthusiastic and driven, and I found that at Pemi I was really able to bring my passion and instill that same energy into the campers whether it was for birdwatching, soccer, photography, or art!

S3 – Tommy Gorman (CC): I am a first-time counselor from Metuchen, New Jersey and I am currently enrolled at Bucknell University and will be a Junior this fall. I am a former camper and I went to Pemi for two summers. I will be helping out with swimming, basketball, and lacrosse during my time at Pemi this summer.

LT – Dan Reed (CC / Division Head / Head of Occupations / Bean Soup editor): I return to Pemi in 2017 for my 17th summer as camper or staff, and am thrilled to return to my 2007 home: Lake Tent. I’ve just finished my first year teaching English and coaching squash and tennis at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT.

Program Staff and more…

Kim Bradshaw: Hi! It’s my 3rd Summer at Pemigewassett. I’m from Nottingham in England where Robin Hood originates from. I have been involved with numerous areas at Pemi and my favourite sport is definitely soccer (however, I seemed to misplace my bright pink cleats from last year) and I cannot wait for Polar Bear!!! Bring on the Summer 2017!!!

Scout Brink: Hello! I am from upstate New York. This is my first full summer at Camp Pemi, and I will be part of the Nature staff. Hiking is my favorite thing to do in the summer time, and in the winter I participate in winterguard. Many people don’t know what this is, so don’t be afraid to ask about it, and you can even try yourself! Most of my free time will probably be spent on the archery range.

Steve Broker – Visiting Professional: I have worked in science education for the past 47 years, including teaching high school physical and life science in New Haven, CT for 23 years, also serving as associate director of Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies Program, director of programs at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and adjunct lecturer at several CT universities. My father, Tom Broker, was waterfront director at Pemi during 1933-38. This is my fifth year as visiting professional at Pemi. I teach the study of birds in the first week of occupations.

Alan Brown: I’m from Jacksonville, Florida. I’m super excited to embark on my first year at Camp Pemi and can’t wait to meet all of the staff and campers that I’ll be spending the summer with. I’ll be overseeing waterskiing during the first session and helping out wherever needed throughout the season. I’ve been teaching school and working at camps for over 20 years now and truly believe that it is my recipe for staying young!   I spend all of my free time with my wonderful wife, Ashley, and my two young children, Landon and Teagan. We enjoy doing outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, hitting the beach, and tubing down rivers.

Steve Clare – Head of Archery: I live in Cornwall, a rural county in the UK’s SW. I have my own teaching practice supporting schools with specialist lessons. I also freelance for a charity and work as a substitute teacher through agencies. I coach two under-13s football (soccer) teams and help coach an under-16s team my son, Morgan, plays for. I also run a weekly community football programme for younger players. This will be my 3rd year at Pemi as Head of the Archery Department & 13s soccer. I’ll also be camp fire MC & cook-out chef. I’m looking forward to returning & playing my part in the Pemi family for another summer, whilst beating Wes in the ‘What Is It?’ competition – again!!!

Amy Comparetto: I’m excited to spend my first summer at Camp Pemi this year! I live in Concord, NH. I spend my work hours teaching, practicing piano and cello, and performing. When I’m not working, I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, and spending time with friends. I’ll be in the music department at Camp Pemi. I can’t wait to meet everyone!

Larry Davis – Director of Nature Programs and Teaching: This will be my 48th consecutive summer on the staff at Pemi. I am a geologist with AB and AM degrees in Earth Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Rochester. During the winter, I am Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven. I play the flute, was an intercollegiate soccer official, collect waterfalls, and love to travel. I have been to 47 US States, 7 Canadian Provinces, and 9 other countries. I am very active in the Children in Nature movement and believe that no child should be left inside!

Hawk Dunston – Visiting Professional: Though I can only come to the shores of Lower Baker Pond for a week this summer, I’m so excited to be returning to Pemi as a visiting professional, helping out with hoops, playing some music, doing some improv, and whatever else is needed of me! I’ve spent 3 full summers at Pemi, worked as the Head of Staff for a month in 2012, and supervised the Counselor Apprenticeship Program in 2015. When not at Pemi, I am teacher and play music in a few groups in Philadelphia.

Reese Eifler: This is my first year back to Pemi since I was a camper in ’98, and I look forward to directing our Gilbert & Sullivan production of Iolanthe for the first time. I graduated from NYU with a BFA in Theatre/Acting in ’08 and will be teaching guitar and contributing my experience as a lifelong musician, vocalist, pianist, and songwriter. I’ll also get to coach baseball and lacrosse and join my brother, Wesley, on staff. Outside Pemi, I use all that alongside programming as an independent PC game developer in Manhattan, where I currently make a real time strategy simulation game about yellow taxis.

Michaella Frank: I’m so excited to returning to Camp Pemi! I am from Avon Lake, OH and I recently finished my second year at Cleveland State University studying Music Therapy. This will be my third summer at camp. I’m looking forward to meeting new campers, seeing older ones, and making everyday an adventure. As a staff member I will be teaching vocal and instrumental music, and coaching basketball. I can’t wait to see what this camp year has to offer!

Chloe Jaques: This is going to be my first year at Camp Pemigewassett and I am very excited to be joining this summer! I am from London and am currently in my second year at the University of Nottingham studying history. I am a very eager sportswoman and therefore looking forward to participating in all of camp’s activities. This year at camp I will be both a swim instructor and lifeguard at Pemi, as well as helping out in Canoeing, Kayaking, Track and Field, and Arts.

Chris Johnson – Head of Tennis: I am very excited to be back at Pemi as Head of Tennis for my fourth summer. I reside in Cleveland, Ohio where everyone is still fired up about the Cavs championship and the Indians World Series appearance. I just finished my 16th year teaching fourth grade and I also coach boys and girls high school tennis. My girls team won their third State Championship this past fall. I also serve as Vice President of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association. My family and I look forward to an amazing summer on the shores of Lower Baker!

CJ Jones – Head of Swimming: I’m Charlotte from Salisbury in the UK and this will be my third summer working at Pemi! I’m so excited for the season to begin and to take on more responsibility as head of swimming. It’s going to be great to see how the boys have grown as people over the last school year and to help them gain in confidence during Pemi 2017. This will be the perfect end to a very difficult year for me. Pemi is such a wonderful place to be with amazing people and a noble ethos. Can’t wait to see everyone!!

Deb Kure – Associate Head of Nature: Studying Geology at the University of Rochester sparked my love of Field Trips, and of learning and teaching outside! I’ve led outdoor science programs since then, through camps, museums, and trips programs throughout the U.S. During the school year I’m an Educator at Quarrybrook Experiential Education Center in southern New Hampshire, leading science field classes with pre-K through graduate students, and family groups. I’m grateful to be in my 10th Pemi Summer!

Lianne Lariviere – Head of Shop: Hello Everyone! I am pleased to be joining the Pemi staff for my first year. I am from Thetford, Vermont and am currently going to school perusing a BFA in wood/furniture design. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and having fun this summer. When I am not in the wood shop, I can usually be found reading a book or working on another art project.

Charlie Malcolm – Director of Athletics: I’m entering my 34th season on the shores of Lower Baker, and my 29th as Pemi’s Athletic Director.  During the school year at the Northfield Mount Hermon School, I teach history, coach soccer and baseball. I hold a Premier License from the National Soccer Coaches Association and have led NMH’S Boys’ Varsity soccer team to two New England Class A Championships.

Molly Malone – Head of Waterskiing (2nd Session): I am from Chippewa Falls, WI and this is my 3rd year at camp. During the school year I teach high school orchestra, play violin in the local symphony and piano at churches in the area. My passion in life is water skiing, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to ski every day (that there isn’t ice on the lake)! At camp I will be working on the ski boat teaching water skiing – something I absolutely love!

Hattie McLeod – Bugler: I’m excited to spend my first summer at Pemi assisting in swimming, music and canoeing as well as being camp bugler! I’m 20 years old, and grew up near Windsor, UK (where the Queen lives some of the time!) and I’m currently studying Geography at Oxford University.

Harry Morris – Head of Staff / Canoeing: I am super excited to be back for my 9th summer at Pemi! This year I will be the Head of Staff and the Head of Canoeing. I am ready to help out both my fellow staff and campers in each position to the best of my abilities. I hope to lead the Allagash Trip again this summer for my 4th consecutive year. Along with that, I hope to make this a fun summer for the staff by showing them all the wonderful things that a summer in New Hampshire offers!

Becky Noel – Head of Music: I can’t wait to be back for my third summer at Pemi! This year I’m excited to be Head of the Music programme and look forward to seeing all the wonderful talent we have at camp. I have a love of water polo which I’m excited to be teaching also. I will be graduating from the University of Manchester, UK (in the middle of summer) with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences After Pemi, I will be returning to Manchester for a research masters in reproduction and pregnancy.

Emily Palmer – Head of Sailing: I am from Hampshire, England and this will be my third summer at Pemi leading the Sailing and Windsurfing programme. I graduated in 2016 from the University of Kent, Canterbury after spending three years studying History. Since leaving University I have spent many a month skippering a private yacht in Greece and travelling around Italy. I am very excited to be returning to Pemi and enjoying another great season on the shores and waters of Lower Baker Pond.

Deb Pannell – Head of Art: I live in California, just north of San Francisco, and during the school year, I teach fifth-grade at Mark Day School in San Rafael. I taught art at Pemi for three years previously, and I took the past two years off to participate in some amazing professional development opportunities. I am delighted to be returning this summer! When teaching math, literature, history, science, and writing, I know my students benefit from opportunities to express their knowledge and understanding through a variety of modalities, especially art. Some of my students’ most brilliant artwork is completed in response to a science, literature, or math prompt. Students’ artwork gives me a perspective into their interests and understanding that is often broader that what I can see in their writing, computations, or oral presentations. Rather than emphasizing realistic drawing (an exercise that leads many students to dislike art), I design art lessons to emphasize choice, experimentation, growth mindset, and fun. I look forward to being a part of the Pemi community this summer!

Caretakers of our Physical and Mental Well-Being

Reed Harrigan – Head of Buildings and Grounds: I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and graduated from Frostburg State College with a degree in Parks and Recreation. I decided that New England was where I wanted to be and took a job as recreational director at Waterville Estates, a resort community in Campton, NH. I then worked at a local high school, working with special education students and as a seasonal Forest Ranger in the White Mountain National Forest. I began working at Camp Pemi seven years ago, first as a bus driver and maintenance person, then as an instructor in canoeing and kayaking. This is my fifth year as year-round Facilities and Grounds Director.

Kaitlyn Jackson – Nurse: Hello. This will be my first year at Pemi. I am from Rhode Island and graduated this past May with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH. Throughout college I was a member of the rugby team but I have also played most other sports at one point in my life. I also enjoy spending time outdoors and love camp fires.

Berkan Ersen Kabadayi – Kitchen Staff: I was born in Manisa. My family and I went to Rome and lived there for 3 years and then we moved to Izmir in 2002. Now I’m studiyng at Kocaeli University. I’m 19 years old. I have a sister who’s 5 years older than me. My mother is a housewife. My father was a Police officer but he passed away this year. I miss him and I will make his last wish come true by coming America this summer. I’m a person who wants to discover a new meaning of life. I love travelling, learning new things, making new friends and sharing my experinces. I teach Mathematics and science to people who are between 10-16 years old. I do a lot of things while I’m free. For example, I always prefer to travel on foot, I sing songs, I draw portraits, I do karate that I’ve been trained for 7 years and obtain a black belt. I practice and train with my friends and kids. I also love swimming. All of those are much more fun when I have friends around me.

Michal Kostrzewski – Kitchen Staff: I was born in 1993 in Czestochowa. My mum is a doctor. My father owns a company. They live in Czestochowa. I have an older sister named Daria. She is 27 and she’s married. She works in a court. Her husband Piotr works in sales at an IT company. They live in Warsaw. I grew up in an apartment block in Czestochowa. Now my family owns a house in the suburbs. I moved from Czestochowa to study, first in Wroclaw, then in Warsaw. I moved from Wroclaw to Warsaw because I wanted to study in the capital. Currently I rent a room in Warsaw with three people. My hobbies are bicycling, skiing, and swimming. I’m interested in fitness and travelling.

Jakub Litkowski – Kitchen Staff: Hi! My name is Jakub. I come from a city called Poznan, which is located on west of Poland. I am 23 years old, and right now I am, a student of ecological power engineering. In the future I’m planning to run my own company which will be working at renewable sources of energy. I have never been in America before, so I feel a litlle bit nervous and excited about the journey.

Patterson Malcolm – Buildings and Grounds: This is officially my 11th summer at camp, but I actually have spent every summer of my life at Pemi. I just graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School and will be taking a gap year before joining Swarthmore College class of 2022. This summer I will be working in maintenance at Pemi as well as interning at Senator Shaheen’s office in Manchester, NH.

Rachel “Sunshine” Preston – Kitchen Staff: This is my second year at pemi. I will be in the kitchen. I love art and cooking.

Frank Roberts – Buildings and Grounds: I am a native of New Hampshire and currently live in Groton, NH. I am an avid organic gardener, hobby guitarist and a lover of the outdoors. Spent many years in the Boy Scouts of America as a camper and am looking forward to participating in the tradition now as an adult.

Marc “Papa Bear” Rogers – Kitchen Staff: I’m from Greenville, New Hampshire where I am a sous chef at Southern New Hampshire University. This is my first summer at Pemi, but I’m a seasoned “community” chef as I’ve worked for years at summer camps. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and playing the bagpipes.

Luke Solms – Visiting Professional: I am from Bedford, NH and was a 6 year camper at Pemi. I am an art and global community initiative teacher Cardigan Mountain School, a junior boarding school in Canaan, NH. I also coach Lacrosse, Mountain Biking, and Hockey. I plan on coaching lacrosse at Pemi this summer after I wrap up my summer coaching commitments!

Amy Van Loon – Nurse: Hello all! This is my first year at Pemi and I am very excited. I am originally from Vermont, went to college in upstate New York and I am now in graduate school at Yale to become a Certified Nurse Midwife. My favorite activities include hiking and swimming, and I have a weakness for peppermint stick ice cream. Can’t wait to meet you all!

Fiona Walker – Trip Leader: I hail from Portland, Oregon and recently completed my Sophomore Year at Kenyon College where I am currently studying Psychology and English as well as running cross-country and track. This will be by first year at Pemi and I’m excited to be a Trip Leader as well as to help out with track&field on the side. I’ve always been an outdoor enthusiast and look forward to exploring the White Mountains with everyone this summer!

HBA Akinci – Kitchen Staff: I spent a wonderful time when I came to PEMI 2 years ago and had an opportunity to recognize new culture and people. My department is teaching of physics at university because of this I am curious. Also I like to engage in sports activities like basketball, fitness, swimming, trekking and canoeing. I want to work in kitchen again and I like food preparation and cooking.

Tom Ciglar – Director of Food Service: This is my 15th season at Pemi. During the school year I am the Director of Operations for Hampshire Country School in Rindge, where I live with my wife, Anna, and son, Jonathan.

Cass Cross – Kitchen Staff: I’m originally from New England but for last few years have been living in Florida. I am an elementary teacher and artist. I hope to enjoy my first year at Pemi.

Nancy Cushman – Kitchen Staff: My name is Nancy Cushman. I am the breakfast cook and baker at camp. This will be my 11th summer at Pemi.

Wojtas Gorzynski – Kitchen Staff: Hi. I’m 23 years old. I’m from Poland and I live in Wroclaw where I study Telecommunication in University of Technology in Wroclaw. My hobby are sports and music. I prefer soccer and basketball. I like spend time with my friends too. On a camp I would like to meet new people and spend a great time with they. At Pemi I will be working on dinning hall serices.

Bartek Hac – Kitchen Staff: I’m 21 and I’m studying on Warsaw School of Economics in Poland. I’m a person of lots of interests – I play in an academic theatre. What is more, I play piano – my biggest musical love is Chopin. I listen to the majority of music genres, however. One of my biggest dreams is working in the radio. I also take pictures and make videos – I wrote, recorded and edited many of them. I am going to work in the kitchen at Pemi for the first time and can’t wait to do that!

Serif Haras – Kitchen Staff: I am from Eskisehir, Turkey. I study at Eskisehir Osmangazy University and my department is electrical electronics engineering. My first year. I worked for short times before as a waiter and support staff in electric shop. I want to learn other cultures and make new friends from other countries in Pemi. I believe that, when I come Pemi, I will learn working principle in another country and I will provide my English.



Alumni Newsletter – 2017 Preview

Welcome to the next installment of the Pemigewassett Alumni Newsletter. In this edition, we will preview the upcoming summer giving one and all an update on the 2017 Pemi campers, staff, and our gorgeous facility.


In 2017, two hundred and sixty two boys will attend Camp Pemigewassett with eighty-one campers enrolled for the full seven week session. Eight countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Spain, and Venezuela) will send boys to Wentworth this summer. Within the United States, twenty-eight states are represented, with boys from Rhode Island, Mississippi, and Minnesota joining the ranks for the first time in a few years. Seven states have double-digit representation, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and Chicago also have strong contingents. Should make for great banter in the Mess Hall.

Thirty-four percent of the boys will be in their first season at Pemi, and on the other end of the spectrum, thirty percent are in their fourth or more summer. Eleven boys are in either their seventh or eighth summer! We enjoy having these savvy veterans and camp leaders to help the youngest and newest boys along. Mentorship between the campers is always a hallmark of the Pemi experience, and recent efforts have furthered mentorship opportunities.

Photo from 2015 – Ezra Nugiel, middle, with his Junior buddy, D. Johnstone (left), and also pictured is Ezra’s Senior buddy from 2010, Ridley Wills, completing a cycle!

For example, the Junior – Senior buddy program, which began a few years ago, pairs each Senior camper with a Junior counterpart. A few scheduled campfires allow the boys the chance to get to know each other, and begin building a connection. During the day, and throughout all informal times in between, these pairings form meaningful relationships, as the Senior becomes a role model for the Junior camper. Just recently, our earliest junior buddies have now become Seniors and have completed the cycle with first hand experience of the program.


We are fortunate to have a slew of Pemi veterans back on staff in 2017. More than seventy percent of our counseling staff were once Pemi campers, and roughly the same number are returning staff members from 2016. Every year, we are excited for new staff to join the ranks, to infuse the institution with new ideas and ways of thinking. Coupled with our great retention rate, the 2017 Staff is sure to be stellar. Stay tuned for the next blog posting to read further details about each staff member.

Don Webster instructing Pemi boys on the art of bunting.

To wet your appetite, we’d like to highlight one Pemi counselor who is returning to camp after a few years away. Julian Hernandez-Webster is back on the shores of Lower Baker, and represents three generations of Pemi. His grandfather, Don, started back in the late 1950’s, serving as the Head of Senior Camp, and also a baseball and tennis coach. No surprise to our avid readers, but Don was a graduate of Oberlin College. Steve Webster, Don’s nephew, was next in line, spending ten summers at Pemi. Then, Don’s two sons, Jake and Andy joined the ranks in the late 70’s. Andy, Julian’s father, learned a trio of water sports (sailing, canoeing, and waterskiing) during his camper days, and later coached soccer and baseball when as a counselor in Senior Camp.

After five years as a camper, many with older brother Max also in attendance, Julian is set to begin his first year as a counselor and looks forward to his new role at Pemi. Julian remembers his own counselors well, Ted McChesney and Ben Ridley specifically, and aims to model his own style after them. “Ted was great as my first counselor, he did an excellent job of encouraging me to try all sorts of new activities, a value that is one of Pemi’s best. And it was a privilege to have Ben Ridley as my Senior 3 counselor. I hope to bring the positive energy that I saw in Ben, and I hope I can consistently brighten the moods of the boys in my cabin.”

Julian is a rising Junior at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, majoring in Sociology and contemplating adding a second major in Spanish. The study of Sociology, analyzing the way societies operate, is an important field to Julian, and he is eager to pursue research opportunities including studying abroad in South America. He is active at Bucknell outside the classroom by playing club soccer, he serves as a member of LACOS, the Hispanic/Latinx student organization, and Speak UP, an organization advocating against behaviors and ideas leading to sexual misconduct.

Julian, bottom row, second from left, with his Senior 3 cabin-mates in 2013. Four others will join Julian on staff this summer!

Pemi has had a huge impact on Julian and his family, and they have been vital in  continuing the traditions of the institution. When asked about a favorite Pemi story or memory, Julian thoughtfully responded with an eloquence that deserves to be shared in full.

After the final campfire when I was 15, my cabin-mates were lamenting the end of our Pemi careers as campers. There were tears after the campfire, during the walk back to the cabin, and then quiet as none of us wanted to say goodbye to each other. Ben Ridley walked into our cabin and decided to take us out to the baseball field. It was after taps and the camp was dark and silent, but the sky was stunning. We laid on the grass in the outfield of the baseball field, staring out into the cosmos, and took turns swapping stories and laughing about our journeys at Pemi. Ben told us that even though we were done as campers, the bonds that we forged were special enough that they would last until we saw each other next. I looked around and in my cabin-mates I saw brothers, and I know that what Ben said was true. I have met up with most of the boys from the outfield that night and each time it was as if no time had passed, and our friendship continued just as strong as it was when we were 15.


A new cross section joins together the traditional twin piers.

Our facility is in excellent shape, and weathered an unusual New England winter and spring that offered a host of challenges. Guided by Reed Harrigan, Pemi’s Head of Buildings and Grounds, vast improvements can be seen as soon as you cross over the bridge to paradise. Looking to your right, you’ll immediately notice a new dock system for Senior Beach and two new floats beyond. These modern, easy to install floating docks accommodate the unpredictable water levels that have become the norm, and most importantly, the docks ensure increased water safety and support improved swimming instruction.

As you continue down Pemi’s road, you’ll notice to your left, the field-leveling project. Starting in the fall of 2016, these new flat playing fields allow lacrosse and baseball to co-exist in Senior Camp, much to the chagrin of those ardent admirers of the national pastime. The Mess Hall looms large over the grassy surface, with a newly paved driveway leading to the loading dock. Behind the Mess Hall now lives a generator to provide electricity to the building and to the office, allowing Pemi operations to continue unfazed in the event of a power outage.

A new superb playing surface for baseball and lacrosse.

Back on the road, now to the Boat House, two new rowboats flank the pride of the Pemi fleet; eight fresh, strikingly sharp, green Mad River Canoes. These gems immediately enhance our growing Canoeing Program, and support better canoeing instruction to venture beyond Lower Baker for river canoe trips. Other improvements dot the landscape and continue to enhance the program opportunities for the boys.

Stay tuned for upcoming summer Pemigewassett Newsletters that will be distributed via the blog. We hope you’ll subscribe to stay up-to-date with Pemi news and information. In the meantime, find us on your favorite social media platform for daily summer updates.

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!



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.


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.


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 ( 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 to talk about science and technology. He’s also a freelance contributor to Check out this recent clip!

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


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.