Alfred Nye Fauver, August 15, 1915 – February 13, 2016

Al FauverWe are saddened to share the news that Al Fauver died on February 13, almost 6 months following his 100th birthday. Since passing the century mark, Al’s spirit has remained strong, though his physical decline has been steady, suggesting to his heart and mind that the time had come to move on. Al’s love for Bertha, his family, and Pemi have dominated his thoughts in his final months.

Al and Bertha were fortunate to spend the last several months at their home in Plymouth, rather than at their usual winter retreat in Vero Beach. This was a decision that allowed them to enjoy the peace of fires in the fireplace, a few snowflakes, and time with family and friends in the pastoral place where they have lived and loved for more than 50 years.

We look back on Al’s birthday celebration in August as a time when many had the chance to share thoughts and memories of the past, and to recognize and appreciate the Pemi connection that has enriched so many. Al, son of Pemi founder Edgar Fauver and his wife Alice, had a life-long connection. Pemi was his first home, where he arrived several days after his birth in August of 1915. He was later a camper, counselor, owner since the ‘40s, director from the ‘40s to the ‘80s, and an active board member until the time of his death.

In the ‘50s, Al moved his family to New Hampshire, to be closer to Pemi. Al was known for his kindness, wisdom, leadership by example, and selfless devotion to Pemi. There are many who are better for something Al might have done or said, in the times that their paths crossed on the shores of Lower Baker. The fondness Al felt for so many in the Pemi family is something that gave him strength and nurtured the good will in his heart until the end of his days.

There are no plans for an immediate service; it is expected that a celebration of Al’s life will be set for a later date. The Pemi family will be warmly welcomed to attend.

– The Fauver Family

Alumni Magazine – News and Notes

Welcome to the third installment of the Alumni Newsletter. This edition, Alumni News and Notes, is focused on updates from members of our Alumni community. Feel free to write your own update in the comments section below! Stay tuned for the fourth and final segment of our newsletter series, which will highlight Alumni events from this winter. To see the upcoming schedule of Pemi Alumni events, visit the Alumni events section of the website.

Pemi Encounters

Cory and Ian

Cory and Ian

Ian Axness wrote in, “As it happens, I met up with Dwight Dunston, Jake & Cory Fauver in the hip northern neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn! We walked around a bit, caught up on life stuff, and then just happened to walk by the Brooklyn Brewery just in time for a tour. Cory and I both answered questions on the tour correctly and were rewarded with free tokens!

Hilary Bride and Mike Sasso

Mike and Hilary

Across the pond in England, current Pemi camper Ian Hohman dressed like any other day for class at The American School in England. This particular day, his outfit included a Pemi blue t-shirt (smart kid!). Much to his surprise, one of his teachers, Matt Bagley, is a Pemi Alumnus, who was delighted to see the Pemi kid on Ian!

Mike Sasso ran into Hilary Bride at Camp Horizon in Luray, VA, where Hilary was working as a low/high ropes consultant. Mike brought a group of students from Browne Academy, where he serves as the Head of the Middle School. Hilary was thrilled, “I looked at my schedule for the week and he was listed as the contact person -it was awesome to catch up and his kids were a blast!” Hilary is living in NH for the winter, before she heads to Liberia in June to begin a stint with the Peace Corp. She will be teaching high school math and leading community programs for 27 months. “Let’s hope I still have some of those PEMI West skills and can still make a good lesson plan.” We’re confident you do, Hilary!

Congratulations

Owen

Owen

Peter and Tara Cowles opened their brewery, Aspetuck Brew Lab, in Black Rock, CT. All who have sampled Peter’s brews through the years at the Rittner Run banquets, know this is a dream come true. A few lucky Alumni were able to sample a few delicious libations back in December. Stay tuned for further information and stop by to say hi to Peter and Tara!

James Finley and wife, Kate, welcomed their son, Owen Gillen Finley (pictured left), on December 10, 2015.

Willy Friedman and his wife, Jess Smith, welcomed daughter, Ruby Max Friedman, on September 23, 2015.

Campbell Levy is engaged to Courtney Housam of Villanova, PA! The couple are new homeowners in Evergreen, Colorado.

Brian Mitchell and his wife, Alison, welcomed their second son, Rhett Patrick Mitchell, born on August 31, 2015.

In Memoriam

Frank Connor of Denton Texas informed us that his brother, Ron Connor died in December. Ron and Frank were both campers at Pemi in the early 1940’s. Their father, also named Ron Connor, attended Pemi around the middle to late teens.

Sports Round-up – News from the Gridiron

Zach Slafsky, a Senior linebacker for Dartmouth, earned second team All-Ivy League distinction. He netted 48 tackles, the fourth highest total for the Big Green Defense. Dartmouth finished the 2015 campaign with an overall record of 9-1, earning a three-way share of the Ivy League Title with Harvard and Penn.

Congratulations to J.J. Strnad, who was named to the MIAC football all-conference second team, after a stellar year rushing the ball for the Oles of St. Olaf College. In seven games, J.J. rushed for 729 yards and 10 touchdowns, including a memorable performance against arch rival Carleton; 226 yards and 4 touchdowns!

Updates

“As a Senior camper I (Bill Bradford) am well, active and still basking in the cordiality of our visit to Pemi two summers ago. The basics of character development with a great facility and staff are still present, although I note that there were no home practices scheduled for the 80 and under baseball team.  Duke Medical School has almost 8000 applications this year so I remain gainfully employed.”

Sandy Bryant is living in Sewanee, TN and working as the Assistant Director of Development at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School.

Saffer and Burnett

Brad and Phil at Seattle’s Pike Place Market

On a business trip to Seattle, Brad Saffer met up with Phil Burnett and the two had a wonderful time reconnecting after many years apart. Their friendship began over 25 years ago on the shores of Lower Baker. Phil moved to the United States in 2004 for a job with Microsoft and spent the following ten years working for various online teams including MSN, MSDN and Bing. He recently took on an exciting new role as a Group Manager at Nordstrom.com in Seattle, which he thoroughly enjoys.Phil and his wife Hilary live in Woodinville with his daughter Abi (16) and son Ethan (14). Abi loves art and Ethan is a keen left-handed pitcher for a local team, the Seattle Dodgers.

George Harrington Butts, a six year Pemi veteran camper and Assistant Counselor, is an actor in New York City. A lifelong performer, he cherishes his time acting in the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas at Pemi (his role as a sailor in HMS Pinafore remains his favorite role). After a couple of principal roles speaking Spanish in the 2014 telenovelas El Capo and La Gata, George starred with Game of Thrones’ actor Kristofer Hivju in the “Wyndham Rewards Wizard” national TV commercials last summer. “It definitely took a moment to adjust to the axe-bearing Tormund Giantsbane as a benevolent hotel wizard, but after that it was smooth sailing and an unforgettable gig!”  The Wyndham commercial and other television work can be seen on his page at the Internet Movie Database.

John Carman is still living in Little Rock, Arkansas and is serving as Director of the Boy Scout Council there. He and his wife of 37 years, Mary, became grandparents of a future Pemi Kid on January 6. Their two daughters and daughters’ families including grandson Harrison live in Louisville, Kentucky, where John and Mary will move upon retirement in 2018.

Chip Dayton wrote in, “It was because of Pemi that I always air out my wool blankets in the wind and sun. Simple, but I learned it at 10 years old and have kept the habit my whole life.” Chip was in Lower 2 and 6, and Upper 3 in the early sixties.

Bill Dougherty returned to Pemi this past fall for the Alumni Weekend. It was the first time since he visited since he last attended Camp in 1960; he reconnected with a number of folks and made several new friends. A highlight was the hike up Mt. Cube with his wife, Cynthia, under the guidance of TRJR, and a lovely evening dinner at the senior beach. He was disappointed at the absence of a dope stop on the way back from Cube, but intends to rally for next year with a remedy of his own. Bill’s younger son, Andrew, is awaiting the arrival of twin daughters any day, which will make 12 grandchildren for Bill.

Henry Eisenhart was thrilled to travel from Boston to Scotland this past November to see his cousins and their young children. In true form, it rained continuously from arrival to departure, but that didn’t deter him from getting in his first round of Scottish golf. More recently, Henry enjoyed catching up with familiar faces at the Fairfield Pemi Open House, hosted by Henry’s cousin Ted Orben and family.

Nick Gerard graduated from the University of Michigan in May, and spent the summer traveling. Nick traveled in Hong Kong and hiked throughout the New Territories. This past August, Nick moved to Seattle to work for Microsoft.

Former Associate Head of Nature, Paula Goldberg, provided the following update from the Goldberg family. “I am running a little non-profit called City Wildlife in the District. It is the first organization devoted to the care and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife in DC. Jeff is still working and playing tennis. Daniel is in his third year of a general surgery residency at Brown and Julia is at Superiority Burger in NYC. She had a recipe published in the New York Times last summer. Jonny is working for a non-profit in DC and has plans to climb Mount Rainier in May. Nate Erwin and I are planning to return to NH this summer for the annual NABA butterfly count and look forward to the participation of Pemi boys!”

Celian is looking forward to gracing the shores of Lower Baker Pond. The Campfire Song has been a great lullaby.

Celian is looking forward to gracing the shores of Lower Baker Pond. The Campfire Song has been a great lullaby.

Andy Judd still lives in Chester, NJ with wife Jennifer and his seven year old son, Robbie, and 3 year old daughter, Katie.  Following in Larry Davis’ geologic footsteps, Andy is celebrating his 20th year as a geologist with CH2M HILL (environmental consulting) in Parsippany, NJ.

Jonathan Lesieur, wife Maud, and son Celian recently moved back to Toulouse, France after living in Virginia for 3 years. Jon works for Airbus in their sales and marketing department.

Charlie and Kim Malcolm visited with Sam Martin and his family in North Carolina, en route to a family vacation in Puerto Rico. Sam teaches Middle School Social Studies at Charlotte Country Day School.

Malcolm and Martin

Charlie and Sam

Dave Nagle recently changed jobs, and now works at Constellation Technology Corporation, an independent test and research facility, in Largo Florida. Dave has two new grandchildren, a boy and girl, which brings the grandchildren count to four.

Walt Newcomb, middle member of a third generation Pemi family, now lives in Nashville, TN. Walt and his wife Bendy, will celebrate their 40th Anniversary in April. They feel settled in Nashville, after moving 12 times, including stops in Manila, Kuala Lumpur, New Orleans, and Idaho. Most of their travel was linked to Walt’s job as a geologist, which he credits to Pemi. “My Pemi years in the White Mountains directly contributed to my choice of profession. The assignment to the Philippines in 1975-1976 is the VERY BEST piece of good luck I’ve had, and I feel blessed by the experience in every way.” Walt and Bendy thoroughly enjoy the musical, dramatic, literary, and intellectual opportunities that their new home city, Nashville, provides.

Walt also provided an update for his son, Alumnus Charles (Chuck), who is an investment banker in Manhattan, and his daughter Virginia, who graduated from Kenyon College (one of our nation’s finest institutions) and practices law. Walt’s father attended Pemi in 1921.

Harry Norman, a member of the counseling staff in 2014, recently returned from Thailand where he completed his SSI diving training. He has started a job in banking and is working his way back to Australia.

After graduating from St. Olaf College in 2008, Matt Norman, has been living in the Twin Cities, and working at U.S. Bank as a Card Sales Support Manager. In this role, he supports credit card sales in retail branches and districts on the Community Banking side of the bank. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Manager of a branch in St. Paul, MN for almost 4 years. Matt met my wife, Sarah, while attending St. Olaf, and got married in September 2012 in Minneapolis. They currently live in Inver Grove Heights, a suburb of St. Paul. “I came back to visit Pemi in June 2013, as Sarah and I were heading to a wedding on Lake Winnipesaukee. It was awesome to show her the camp that means so much to me. She really enjoyed her visit, and it was great to connect with so many familiar faces. I think of Pemi often, and I hope to visit again sometime soon!”

Dylan O’Keefe is a freshman at the University of Virginia along with former S-3 cabin-mate Jack Cathcart! Over winter break, Dylan decided to go backpacking in Asia, stopping in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and several parts of Thailand. He has connected with another Pemi Alumnus, Jack Hannah, who is spending a gap year in Asia, and the two have traveled together.

Stephen Funk Pearson – “My brother (another Pemi Alum), Timothy Funk Pearson, is the Finance Director for the town of Tilton, NH, and with his wife Maria (technology integration specialist for the Winnisquam School District) and their 3 kids. They recently moved into a new home in Tilton where we celebrated Thanksgiving. As for me, this unusual weather has facilitated tree/brush trail cutting and road maintenance preparing my Cabins on the Cove rental property in Belmont, NH for summer guests. I recently split 7 cords of wood for this and future winters. Otherwise, I’m writing songs and gigging with my rock band “Pretentious Fools,” and shooting a new music video.

“Some of my sailing students may remember Cap’n Bob (Reed) from the late 1980s. Or, fellow baseball and tennis players of the early 1920’s. Now I’m 97 and don’t move easily. Pemi is a great alma mater and I relish all memories.”

Sam Seymour is completing a Masters degree through the Translational Medicine program at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, and will graduate this coming June (just in time for Pemi 2016!). Starting this program prompted a move across the Bay, from San Francisco to Oakland and Sam loves the new neighborhood – especially the proximity to Pemi alums Cory Fauver (2 blocks away), Ryan Fauver, and Jake Kring!

From Head of Woodshop – “Papa Jerry (Jerry Slafsky) is alive and well, spending his winters fishing in Okeechobee, FL and his summers in Freedom, NH; still woodworking.”

Eli Stonberg, a ten year Pemi veteran, lives with his girlfriend, Leah, in Los Angeles.  Eli is part of an interactive filmmaking team called Fourclops.  The team recently joined the roster of directors at PRETTYBIRD, an industry leading commercial production company. Their latest project was a holographic music video for Dave Gahan, the frontman of Depeche Mode.  The hologram video was featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Entertainment Weekly, Fast Company and more.  With Fourclops, Eli’s goal is to create new forms of entertainment by combining technology and video in unusual ways.

After attending Pemi in 1946 and 1948, John Trimble’s memories of Pemi are varied, some are snapshot sharp while others are faded like negatives. “We lived in Northern NJ, so we joined the mob scene at Grand Central Station. The first year I’m sure it was the longest train ride either of us had taken, up through New Haven to switch engines and then along the CT River through White River Junction to Fairlee, VT to debark. We’d never ridden in a truck before either, much less the open back on one (I’m sure verboten today!). We were introduced to the Reed and Fauver clans that summer, and I do remember the Oberlin connection. The vivid memories include, mounting butterflies and moths and learning the difference, up the hill at the owners’ house with its beautiful gardens and seeing a hummingbird for the first time, the Mess Hall, baseball, tennis, archery, shooting a 22 rifle, trips to Winnipesaukee, playing games there and at Camp Moosilauke, climbing Mt. Cube. And then there were the swimsuits we were forced to wear. What masochist created these awful itchy wool briefs that tortured our bodies as we attempted our mile swim and other fun things. But learning to canoe was worth the itch! I still manage to drive by at least once a year in the off-season and am always delighted to see the lake and then the cabins across the way, knowing that the camp remains.”

Erik Wiedenmann started working at an advertising agency in Berlin, Germany, after leading the Senior Division in 2015 as the Division Head. The agency is relatively small, focusing in corporate design and branding, which he finds quite fun and rewarding. Erik’s thirst for education remains, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return to the teaching world in some capacity.

Zach Wolf recently edited a new horror film called “Condemned,” directed by Eli Morgan Gesner and starring Dylan Penn. It’s out on iTunes and VOD. He was also part of the editing team for “Sophie and the Rising Sun,” which is premiering at Sundance 2016, and “The Breaks,” which premiered on VH1 January 4. Stay tuned for the upcoming Zach Braff film, “Going in Style,” starring legends Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin, which Zach also had his hands on in the editing process.

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny

AP Cites Pemi in Two Stories

Camp Pemigewassett in the News…

We like to think that with over 100 years of experience, Camp Pemigewassett has come to learn a thing or two. How especially nice for two Associated Press writers to consider Pemi as a resource for topics near and dear to us and to our camp parents, and for their stories to have been picked up—so far—by ABC News, Yahoo News, the Washington Post, and several regional online sources…

Visiting Day at Summer Camp Can Be Hard on Parents and Kids by Beth Harpaz, Associated Press Travel Editor

Old-Style Letters to Campers Can Be Tricky for Parents by Leanne Italie, Associated Press Entertainment and Lifestyles writer

Share the News

Pemi is a word-of-mouth camp, so please feel free to post, share, email, etc. these recent news stories. Thank you!

Want to Read More?

Pemi’s website provides extensive information to guide parents before, during, and after the summer camp experience. Read more about Visiting Weekends and Communication.

Cans From Campers: A Community Service Effort

Let’s Start a New “Season of Giving” with Cans From Campers

In June 2015, Camp Pemigewassett launched Cans from Campers, a food drive on the opening day of our season, an initiative in response to a growing interest in community service among our campers. Our focus was timely. We learned through the process that food pantries suffer a significant decline in donations during the summer months since food drives typically are held in November and December, the “season of giving.” Additionally, according to “Summer Shouldn’t Mean Hunger” in November 2015’s US News & World Report opinion section:

During the school year, approximately 22 million kids count on the nutrition they need from school meals. At the close of the school year, access to those meals ends and for far too many kids, summer break means struggling with hunger.

Cans from Campers was simple to implement. A conversation in the spring with the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester helped to identify a local food pantry, and a call to the head volunteer at the location provided us with the information we needed to coordinate our schedule with theirs.

In a pre-season email to our families and staff, Dan Reed and Sarah Fauver, members of the fourth generation of Pemi’s founding families, suggested they add a canned good or non-perishable when they packed camp gear for the coming weeks. As a fun twist to the idea, they also suggested that campers and staff consider bringing a can for every year they’d been at Pemi. (For several campers, that could mean 6, 7, 8, or even 9 items. And for one of our staff members, 46!)

Cans From Campers took place on our opening day in June and again in mid-July when our Second Session boys arrived. After being warmly greeted by Director Danny Kerr and Assistant Director Ken Moore, campers arriving by car came upon Dan and Sarah, who had staged a collection site near the office—a bright yellow kayak—just in case our campers came with a donation in hand. It didn’t take long to see that the food drive idea had been embraced enthusiastically by campers and parents alike. Even boys who came by bus and plane managed to wedge a can of tuna or a box of mac ‘n’ cheese into their luggage. By the end of the day, the kayak “looked like a cross between Noah’s Ark and a polyethylene cornucopia” (to quote that week’s summer newsletter).

Cans From Campers at Pemi

Many boys (and Dads who are alums) brought a can for each year they’d been a camper at Pemi

As the window of time for arrivals came to a close, eager helpers stepped in to count, sort, and organize the soups, cereals, canned vegetables, beans, and rice that filled and surrounded the vessel. Two days later, five campers—selected from 30 who volunteered—hoisted dozens of loaded boxes and bags into a camp van to personally deliver the bounty to the local food pantry during their open hours.

Cans From Campers at Pemi

Pemi campers load the goods into a van via assembly line and deliver them to a local food pantry

After our boys unloaded the goods, Ted, the head food pantry volunteer, gave an informative talk about the services they provide and the 351 families they serve in fourteen surrounding counties. Another volunteer referred to charts on the wall to illustrate how servings are calculated. Two refrigerators and a freezer hummed in the background, ready for the possible donation of soon-to-expire meat and produce—staples needed for a nutritious, balanced diet—from two local grocery stores. We learned that, unfortunately, one such dependable store had recently started to sell these items at deeply discounted prices rather than donate them.

Cans_talk

A volunteer at the food pantry gives a talk on the families they serve; a chart illustrates how to calculate servings

By all measurable means, our inaugural food drive was a tremendous success—with our modest camp community of 254 campers (from our two arrival days), plus staff donating over 800 cans and other non-perishables, serving well over 100 local families ranging in size from one to nine members and providing an appreciable contribution to the 3,052 meals served by the food pantry during the month of July.

While our goal was to provide a basic need for those less fortunate in our surrounding area, the opening day endeavor also had an extremely positive impact on our own camp community. A single camper’s simple and kind gesture upon his arrival quickly grew into a visually stunning, cumulative effort, achieved only when many work together. The spirit of generosity and community-mindedness and of respect and empathy in action—a culture that we aim to build each and every summer—was launched in a yellow kayak in the center of camp for all to see and consider.

Pemi boys and food pantry staff

Pemi boys and food pantry staff

When asked about his experience of going to the food pantry, Matthew McDonough, 12, said, “I’ve done food drives before at home (New Jersey) so I know it feels good to help. Mostly I was surprised to hear how many hungry families there are. When I think of New Hampshire, I think of going to camp and how rural it is.”

This coming June we’ll do our part and will host Pemi’s 2nd annual Cans From Campers. But just think; if food pantries regularly see a decline in donations starting in June, and if summer camps are gearing up at exactly that time, imagine the potential impact that summer camps across the country could have in fighting hunger in the rural or urban communities that surround them merely by adopting this simple tradition. After all, every summer camp has an opening day, and camps with multiple sessions have multiple “opening days” throughout the summer. All it takes is the suggestion that campers pack a can of food along with their bathing suit and sunscreen.

To that end, we’ll reach out to other camps in our area to relay our experience…the camps we typically see on the soccer pitch or baseball diamond, or camps that many of our campers’ sisters attend. If they’d like to host their own opening day food drive, perhaps we can coordinate efforts. The NH Food Bank stands ready to serve as a resource for camps that join in.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the idea catches on with summer camps all across the country? Camps could very well be a key player in helping to reduce the spike in summertime hunger experienced in the communities around us all. Perhaps Cans From Campers could even establish a new “season of giving.”

~ Dottie Reed

Cans_From_Campers_KayakLinks to further reading:
Feeding America
No Kid Hungry
NH Food Bank

Find your local food bank:
http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/

 

 

 

 

Alumni Magazine – June Edition

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

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

Facility Update

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

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

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

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

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

Enrollment

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

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

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

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

Second Session

Second Session Legacies

First Session

First Session Legacies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Staff Profile – Erik Wiedenmann

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special Event – Al Fauver’s 100th Birthday!

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

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

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny Moore

Finally, A BETTER BEAN SOUP by Josh Fischel

Veteran Bean Soup editor, Josh Fischel, offers up a tasty serving of the Soup as only he can, recalling his years as an editor during the 2000’s…

___________________

Greetings from the Bean Soup Emeritus Lodge on the sunny shores of Lower Baker Key in sunny southern Florida!  Here, every Sunday night through Monday afternoon, the gathered editors all curl ourselves into small, fetal balls and rock gently back and forth until the waves of post-traumatic stress recede.

What could still cause such anxiety in a group of otherwise stable and reasonable people: captains of industry, perpetual students/layabouts, and independent school teachers?  If I had to guess, it was the pressure of making the tenth decade of Bean Soup funnier and more inventive than the previous nine combined had been.  We had to make the audience forget the illustrious efforts of TRJR, Rob Grabill, Karl See, and Justin Thomson-Glover (oh, T-G, the man who could read a phone book entirely of people named Smith and make it funny, so we were told over and over).  It wasn’t enough to be merely as funny as our ancestors; we had to be funnier.

Our introductory remarks each week were required to be three times as long as normal.  We had to write and perform songs.  We were “strongly encouraged” to have TRJR win Director of the Week for nine consecutive weeks, or until Dottie convinced him to start wearing deodorant again.  There was the infamous ‘poop’ quota: the number of times we had to say that execrable word each week to ensure, it was said, that juniors would stick around through Things to Look For.  We could mention poop, sure, but we had to lay off any number of other actionable areas: age, weight, baldness, hobo killers, secret caches of candy hidden like horcruxes by Jon Fauver.  Even with all those proverbial hands tied behind our backs, we had to keep butts in the seats, so there was often a rotating cast of guest editors who had to appear just as funny as the regulars were.

A night of Bean Soup in 2003.  Editors Ben Olding, left, Josh center, and guest editor? Porter Hill, right

A night of Bean Soup in 2003 with Editors Ben Olding (left), Josh (center), and guest editor? Porter Hill (right)

Who knows if we succeeded.  The twelve editors of the 2000s—Sky Fauver, Roso, me, Ben Olding, Grabill Junior, Frilly Weidman, James Finley, Rob Verger, Conor Shaw, Ian Axness, Jack Stratton, and Dwight Dunston—did their best to answer the call and overcome the long odds, week after week, to make the ten years compiled in this part of the annals of history at least a tiny bit funnier than the previous ninety, admittedly funny years had been. There was an entirely musical week.  There was the annual positive spin on Tecumseh Day (“Our hair is intact!” “Our sportsmanship was without parallel—again!” “At least we don’t have to watch each other poop!”).  We edited a ton of superlative contributions, too. Among my favorites was Christian Ruf’s article about the Mess Hall Flood and the time that Lake Tent burned to the ground, set to the tune of a mash-up of ‘Wagon Wheel’ and ‘Gin & Juice.’ There was also Penelope Reed Doob’s infamous top ten of the bottom ten Gilbert & Sullivan musicals (Utopia Limited, anyone?); Rob Stenson’s incredible trip report about Upper 3’s 2-day hike up Mt. Guyot and down Mt. Mansfield; Sam Seymour’s diary entries from when he was the Power Table waiter; and who could forget Dan Bendett’s game report from ’06, ostensibly about the 15 & under hoops team’s performance against the chillboys of Lanakila, that wound up being a meditation on meditations and mediations and what the media shuns and meaty shins? During that time, our writing space—where we wrote each panicky Monday afternoon—shifted nearly constantly, because our overlords didn’t want us getting complacent.  We began in the Small Dining Room, shifted to the Sky Box, and from there to the Garden House, the Thunderdome, Rob’s House, the Satellite Lounge, the Clearing, the Landing, the Gravel Pit, Gummi Glen, Publisher’s Clearinghouse, Downton Abbey, and the Manor (not the one on 25A—the Aaron Spelling Estate).  We were angry about our nomadic existence, but we didn’t let that be widely known.  We kept our most biting humor vague, as misinterpretable as a Kosuke Fukudome jersey.

Really, though, in the end, all you’re left with is your deeds.  One can’t control how history will judge…one.  But let’s hope history has a broad and generous sense of humor.

Don’t worry about us; we’ll be fine.  Editors don’t lose sleep over whether you thought they were funny.  See, the secret of Bean Soup is that we thought we were funny.  Every article that made it to the Monday night table was one that made at least its author laugh.  Real belly laughs, I’m talking here.  (Verger’s high-pitched giggles counted, too.)    Egotism is what makes the Soup truly tasty, after all.  Deniers gonna deny and haters gonna hate, but I speak the truth.

Josh with his entourage, former campers and counselors who spent summers with him as a counselors.  Taken in 2000.

Josh with his entourage, former campers and counselors who spent summers, 1997-2001, with him as a cabin counselor. Photo taken in 2001.

Ben just reminded me that I’m on foot massage duty this evening, one of the perils of living for any length of time in the Bean Soup Emeritus Lodge. (Ethan—sorry, Dr. Ethan—likes to have his bunions planed, which is almost as unpleasant as wintering in Cleveland.)  The others are always planning to decamp, but then they wonder what cruel lessons the world has for them once they wander from the cocoon of like-minded comedians bouncing punchlines off each other, and they stick around.  Time will tell if any of this was useful or worth it.  Each time we think we were funny, we are reminded by higher powers than us that Justin Thomson-Glover was funnier, and we throw darts at his likeness, which Ian affixed to our front door with a hatchet. Really, though, it is you who can (and should!) read our efforts and decide if our Sundays and Mondays would have been better spent cleaning the toilets in the Intermediate Pagoda from 2001 to 2010; at least then you would have had a clean place to sit and contemplate what is truly funny, if not us.

Good luck, long life, enjoy.

– Josh Fischel

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The Bean Soup digitization project nears completion, with some of the earliest editions, 1910-1915, being carefully preserved this winter.  If you are interested in receiving one or more issues from your time at Pemigewassett, please let me know.  I will be happy to send you any given issue or issues in PDF form. Please contact me at alumni and stay tuned for future releases.

-Kenny Moore

September at Camp Pemigewassett

September was a spectacular month at Camp Pemigewassett; blanketing morning fog that eventually gave way to clear warm afternoons, and the leaves turning towards their powerful autumn glow.   Pemi as a physical place has never looked better and should be enjoyed by all.  Please enjoy a walk through camp with our first photo blog. Stay tuned for further updates this fall, winter and spring!

Crossing the bridge into Pemi

Crossing the bridge into Camp Pemigewassett

 

Down the lower lake from the Camp Pemigewassett bridge

Down the lower lake from the bridge

 

The morning view of the pond from the campfire cirlce

Morning view of the pond from the campfire circle

 

The fog rises from the athletic fields

Fog rising from the athletic fields

 

The view of Senior Beach from the Senior Lodge

View of Senior Beach from the Senior Lodge

 

The rest of Lower Baker Pond

Lower Baker Pond

The Senior Cabins

Senior Camp

 

From the bottom of the Mess Hall steps, towards Mt. Carr

From the bottom of the Mess Hall steps with Mt. Carr hidden in the morning fog

 

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Intermediate Hill

 

One remaining sunfish in Lower Baker

One remaining sunfish in Lower Baker

 

A yellow canopy forms over the road past Upper 4

A yellow canopy forms over the road by Upper 4

 

The Junior Point with Mt Piermont looming in the background

Junior Point with Mt. Piermont looming in the background

 

Junior 6 basking in the afternoon sun

Junior 6 basking in the afternoon sun

 

The view of Camp Pemigewassett from the Public Beach

View of Camp Pemigewassett from the Public Beach

 

 

Ander Wensberg’s Next Chapter of Pemi Involvement

AnderWensbergSm

Ander Wensberg

As things wind down at the end of a highly successful season, we would like to take a moment to extend our profound thanks to Ander Wensberg for four years of energetic and productive service on the Pemi Board of Directors. Ander is not leaving us but will now assume a central role conceiving and creating a new Pemi Advisory Committee, broadening the scope of counsel and experience on which camp is able to draw. Ander joined the Board in 2009 at a key time of transition and he served a vital role ushering Pemi into a new era. His expertise in media and especially video was instrumental in upgrading the Pemi website. He also masterminded and oversaw the process by which Bean Soup has been digitized and made available to Pemi alums in electronic form.

Along with his brother Peter, Ander arrived at Pemi as a camper in the 1970s and proceeded up through the ranks to cabin counselor as one of the truly charismatic leaders of camp. Aiding and abetting him was longtime friend Fred Rittner, whose campfire and vaudevilles skits with Ander still set the bar for Pemi lunacy and laughter. Ander and wife Lisa’s son, Dana, was also a longtime Pemi camper, and their daughter Kelsey a staff member for multiple summers.

The entire Pemi community joins the Fauvers and Reeds in thanking Ander for his many contributions of spirit and effort over the years, and we look forward with great expectations to this next chapter of his Pemi involvement.

As we envision an Advisory Committee comprised of members whose skills and expertise are targeted to meet the current and ongoing needs of running a top-flite and well-rounded boys’ camp, we invite alumni to contact us with their suggestions and insights. Ander and we are keenly interested in your thoughts.

 

Newsletter # 7: Pemi’s Nature Program

Matt

Matt Kanovsky, 8-year Pemi camper

Most people who are new to Pemi are struck by the breadth of opportunities offered. Indeed, we encourage our campers to stretch their boundaries of experience by exploring our four program areas: Sports, Nature, Music Art & Drama, and Trips. However, we like to think that equally impressive is the depth of instruction that an older camper can enjoy should he choose to hone his skills in a particular area. This past Sunday, several of our 15-year old campers spoke on the role that Pemi has played in their lives. Matt Kanovsky, in his 8th and final year as a camper, reflected on his experience with Pemi’s Nature Program and how he was able to dig deeper and deeper as his interest in the natural world grew. How fitting, then, to have Larry Davis, Director of Nature Programs and Teaching, offer this week’s newsletter, in which he describes how this particular program area has responded to the “thirst for more” from campers who develop passion and focus.

Pemi’s Nature Program encompasses a wide range of activities including collecting trips, day-long excursions to places such as Crawford Notch, informal outings, and overnight caving trips. But the heart of the program is our formal instruction, which takes place during the occupation periods. Each week we offer 14-16 different activities over a range of “skill” levels, from beginning to advanced. For example, during Week 6 we taught at the beginning level: Rocks and Minerals, Butterflies and Moths, Ponds and Streams, Junior Nature Book, Birding, and Nature Drawing; at the intermediate level: Wild Foods, Digital Photography, Rocks and Minerals, Darkroom Photography; and at the advanced level: Mosses, Caddisflies, Butterfly and Moth Field Studies, Reptiles and Amphibians, and Bush Lore, for a total of 15 choices. Over the course of the summer, we offered a total of 37 different activities. Some appear every week, others appeared a couple of times, and a few appeared only once.

In this newsletter, I want to tell you a bit more about our occupations. While I will describe a range of these, I want to focus especially on some new, advanced ones that we developed this year. Our hope was not only to offer some challenges to the campers who spend a lot of time with us in the Nature Lodge, but also to give everyone a chance to explore aspects of our environment that they might not have noticed in the past.

Traditional Occupations

Some of our boys come to us with extensive experience in nature field studies. However, most do not. So, we want to offer attractive activities, in a variety of areas, that will allow them to begin their exploration of nature. While time and space do not allow a detailed description of these, I can discuss some of the characteristics that these “introductions” share.

(1b) Per at StreamFirst, our overarching objective is to get the boys to look at and observe the world around them. We want to help them “see.” This idea is stated in our Mission Statement for the Nature Program (modeled after one written by Allen H. Morgan of the Massachusetts Audubon Society):

To capture the attention of the inquisitive mind, bring to it an affection for this planet and all of life, and to foster an intelligent understanding of man’s position in the natural balance of things.

In order to do this, we have to take them out into nature, not just talk about it. We want to show them, not just tell them. Our 600 acres provide us with a wonderful variety of plants, animals, rocks, and more to look at, and we can easily access most of what we need to see during an occupation week of five, 50-minute periods.

(2) R&M Deb:Plate T (D)Second, all our beginning occupations have set, detailed lesson plans. Our objectives include introducing the boys to the “nature” of the subject matter. For example what “makes” an insect or a butterfly or a moth. Or, “what’s” a mineral? We also want them to learn how an animal lives, how a mineral is formed, why some plants like shade and others like full sunlight…. We want them to learn about basic collection and preservation techniques. Finally, we want them to become familiar with some of the basic terminology that scientists use to describe things, not too much jargon, but enough so that they can read further if they wish (and many do).

Lastly, we hope to bring them to the point where they will formulate their own questions. “Why do moths fly toward light?” “Why are the leaves on the seedlings in the forest so big?” “Why can’t the piece of coal that I found in Mahoosuc Notch come from there?” Science is about questions, not memorization of facts. You must seek answers directly from nature and only observation of what’s “out there” can lead you to them. This gets us back to the first objective that I mentioned, getting the boys to look at and observe the world around them. If they do this then the questions (and maybe, the answers) should follow.

Staff

If we are successful in our introductory occupations, then we leave the campers wanting more. In order to provide this, we need staff with specialized knowledge. Beyond that, they also need to understand about teaching in the outdoors and that is one of the reasons why we run a pre-season Nature Instruction Clinic.

This summer we worked hard to find staff that could fill some of the gaps in our knowledge base. As most of you know, both Deb Kure (Associate Head of Nature Programs) and I are geologists. While we have extensive knowledge of most things natural, it is generally of the self-taught variety. We have always had a “bug person” too, most recently, Conner Scace (who was back with us as a visiting professional this year). His bug “specialties” are ants, wasps, and bees, along with dragonflies and damselflies. We wanted staff with formal training in ecology, wetlands, other insect groups, and related areas such as nature photography. We were very fortunate to find excellent people to fill our gaps. I’d like to reintroduce them to you.

Daniel (“Danno”) Walder has a degree in conservation biology from Plymouth University in England. He has done research on bracken in the British Isles and has also worked on projects in Mexico and Spain. Prior to arriving at Pemi, he spent many weeks trekking in Sri Lanka. He comes from a farming family. His knowledge of ecology and wildlife is extensive.

Kevin Heynig is studying for a degree in biology at Northern Michigan University, with an ecology concentration. His interests focus on aquatic insects and their environments. He has done research on caddisflies in Lake Superior and field research on other aquatic insects.

Mark Welsh is studying biomedical science at the University of Dundee. Besides his abilities in biology, he is also a serious photographer who works with both film and digital media. He said in his application materials, “Photography is a great passion in my life and I would relish any opportunity to pass it on to anyone, be they young or old!”

Matt Cloutier will be entering Middlebury College this year, studying for a degree in biology with an emphasis on entomology. Matt became passionate about butterflies and moths as a Pemi camper and, in 2011, was the 12th recipient (since 1974) of the Clarence Dike Memorial Nature Award.

Conner Scace (Visiting Professional) just completed his M.S. degree in environmental science at the University of New Haven. He did thesis work, with me, on fish populations in interior ponds on San Salvador Island, Bahamas. In the fall he will be entering a one-year-long program that will end with his becoming a certified biology teacher in Connecticut. As I said above, his passion is ants and related insects. We were very fortunate that he was able to join us for three weeks this summer.

Stephen Broker (Visiting Professional) is newly retired from teaching ecology in New Haven Public Schools. He also taught wetlands ecology at the University of New Haven. He is the Connecticut State Bird Recorder and an expert in “reading the landscape,” that is, reading the record of human occupation from characteristics of the landscape as seen in the field. Steve’s father was waterfront director at Pemi in the late 1930s so his week with us was, in a way, a homecoming for him.

New Occupations

While we have always had “advanced” level occupations in butterflies and moths, geology, and various insects, and specialty occupations in non-flowering plants, wild foods, photography, and wilderness skills, the backgrounds of our staff allowed us to offer many new and even more advanced activities this summer and to substantially update some that we have offered occasionally in the past. It is worth listing them all below before I use the rest of my time and space to describe a few of them.

Caddisflies
Bees and Wasps
Ants
Aquatic Insects
Dragonflies and Damselflies
Butterfly and Moth Field Studies
Ecology
Animal Homes and Signs
Reptiles and Amphibians
Wetlands Ecology
Bush Lore
Reading the Landscape
Mosses
Advanced Darkroom Photography
Mushrooms

Caddisflies

caddisflies

Caddisfly larvae cases and adults

Caddisflies are aquatic insects with a two-stage life cycle. The larvae are fully aquatic and most build cases out of twigs, stones, or leaves. They feed on detritus, small insects, and plants. The cases serve as both camouflage and protection. But, since they have to drag them around while foraging, the construction material depends on how heavy they need to be to keep the larva from being washed away. So, if the habitat is a stream, then sand or small pebbles are used. If a shoreline or quiet pool, then leaves or twigs might be the choice. In fast-moving streams, the cases are attached directly to rocks and, rather than foraging, the larvae wait for the stream to bring food to them. The case construction and design is specific to a specific species (which in turn is adapted to live in a specific habitat). The adults are the reproductive stage and, as is common with many aquatic insects, they do not feed. All of this forms the background for this specialized occupation. Both adults (they fly readily to light) and larvae (along with their cases) can be collected and observed. Most important, however, is the observation of how they adapt to their preferred habitat and the questions about why they have those specific adaptations. This can lead to thinking about trade-offs between protection and energy expenditure for foraging versus the energy obtained from the food. We have at least 30 different kinds of caddisflies here (maybe more as we are just beginning to look at them) so the possibilities for study are wide.

Ants

Ants

collecting ants

Of course, anyone who’s ever had a picnic, knows about ants. They are everywhere. At Pemi, we have at least 10 kinds and some, such as carpenter ants (they tunnel and bore into wood) and Appalachian Mound Builders (they bite) are troublesome. Regardless they all display a sophisticated level of social organization that can be observed both in the field and in captivity. Our ant occupation includes study and discussion of social organization, observation of foraging behavior, collection of examples, collection of queens, and temporary establishment of captive colonies for observation in the Nature Lodge (later released back into the environment). Sometimes we get to observe ant “wars” where two separate colonies battle over territory. The questions that can be generated are legion. How and why did ants develop the social structures that they have? What are the advantages of this structure? Why are almost all ants female and almost all sterile (except the queens)? As always, we try to generate answers to these by observation in the field (which includes the uncertainties) rather than by looking up the answers on the internet (which, of course, are always right).

Ecology

Quadrat

Ecology quadrat

Ecology is, of course, a very broad field of study. The main purpose of this occupation is to teach the campers about data collection techniques, analysis, and interpretation. This summer, we looked at plant distribution and diversity in several Pemi habitats including grassy fields, open meadows, and the forest floor. The basic tools for this work include a “quadrat” (basically a one-meter-square “frame” that can be placed anywhere), a hand lens, and identification books. The quadrat is used to “select” areas of equal size and all plants and animals within it are counted and catalogued. Our grassy fields are, of course, manmade habitats. Forest floors are in deep shade while open meadows are usually in full sunlight. This selection of habitats provides starkly contrasting examples of diversity (the number of different species) and population (the number of individuals of each species). What we found was that the manmade habitat was the least diverse (we prefer to have our grassy areas just grass and spend hundreds of millions of dollars assuring this result). The open meadows were the most diverse, with the forest floor in between (although with generally low diversity). These are, however, just facts and the fun comes from asking “why?” and then testing the possible answers to see what fits best. This is, of course, the scientific method. But, instead of just talking about it, in our ecology occupation we are actually doing it. Beyond that, this is no canned laboratory experiment. We are generating questions to which we really don’t know the answers.

Butterfly and Moth Field Studies

fieldWe have been collecting butterflies and moths at Pemi since the beginning of the Nature Program in 1929. Of course, back then, this is how nature was “done.” While we continue to collect butterflies and moths, we have tried to modernize it. We limit collection to just one of each species. We teach proper collection and preservation techniques. We strongly encourage the labeling of collections not only with the name of the species, but also with information about when and where it was collected. Still, this is only one of the ways that these insects are studied today. One important newer technique is to capture, mark, and recapture. This is a way of estimating population numbers. It works particularly well with butterflies. A location is chosen and butterflies are captured. But, rather than killing them, their wings are marked (using an indelible pen) so that the individual can be identified. Then, they are released. The key is to return to the same site on successive days. Of course, some of the captured butterflies will be ones that are already marked. In fact, the more days you do this, the more greater the percentage should be of marked butterfly recaptures. Through a series of arithmetical manipulations of the data, it is possible to estimate population numbers based on the proportions of new captures to recaptures. The real power of this technique is when it is used in successive years to observe population changes (and we intend to do this). The questions generated from the data (again, just “facts”) might include why different species have different relative populations, how populations change over time, how populations change with changing plant succession (could be coupled with the techniques of ecological quadrat studies), and much, much more.

Bush Lore

BushLoreBesides natural history studies, our program also includes some introduction to wilderness and outdoor skills. Bush Lore was first introduced by Nuwi Somp in the 1990s. Nuwi brought the bush savvy that he gained in the jungles of Papua New Guinea to us here in New Hampshire. He built, with the campers, fish traps, snares, fish spears, and other tools using age-old techniques and patterns from his homeland. His only rule was that you had to eat whatever you caught. It turned out, however, that what worked in PNG did not necessarily work with our animals here—a very interesting lesson. This year we instituted a new version of this. It included map and compass reading, tracking, a discussion and simulation of hunting skills that would have been used by Native Americans here in northern New England, a discussion and simulation of field dressing of animals, shelter building, tinder bundle firestarting, and more. In other words, we tried to present, in five days, as complete a snapshot of ways to survive in the woods while living off the land as we could. This could also be followed by more advanced activities where we actually try to build skills in some of the shelter building, wayfinding, and tracking techniques.

Conclusions

I hope that you have enjoyed this foray into our new, expanded list of occupations. We instituted these because we wanted to offer our campers a chance to go beyond introductions. Older campers need new challenges as they continue to return. We need to be able to keep the interest of both the boy who wants to specialize and the one who has been here for seven or even eight years and who wants something new. I believe that we have succeeded. We will continue to refine the occupations that we have instituted this summer (along with those that have been in place for years and years) and, I hope, produce new offerings in years to come.

~ Larry Davis
Director of Nature Programs and Teaching

Summer 2013: Newsletter # 6

[For those of you who missed the special segment on SportsCenter, here is Athletic Director Charlie Malcolm’s overview of Pemi-Tecumseh Day 2013!]

The day arrived with great anticipation for the lads of Lower Baker and Winnipesaukee.  From the date the “hat” made the long drive from Moultonborough Neck Road to the friendly confines of the Baker Valley, our friends at Tecumseh have been busy recruiting athletes and exploring ways to get as many athletic boys as possible to remain or return for the big contest against Pemi. Here at camp, last week’s cheers were loud in the mess hall, the preparation was moderately frantic, and the sunsets were spectacular.  Each Pemi team practiced for four days, though many campers still took advantage of opportunities to climb mountains, chase butterflies, and perform at campfire.

As always, the Tecumseh Day bugle sounded at 6:30 AM, with the morning mist gliding through the valley to meet the boys.  The seniors blasted rock music and led the Juniors and Intermediates in exercises and a charging Polar Bear before heading up to breakfast for a quick meal before the buses carrying the 10s and 15s left camp at 7:37 AM.  This year, Tecumseh sent advanced vans with each starting unit ahead of their buses and arrived earlier then usual.  You immediately got the sense that Tecumseh was particularly serious about this year’s contest.  Over the last three seasons, Pemi has actually won two more total events than Tecumseh, so clearly, Tecumseh was determined to get back to their winning ways of the Blue and Grey.

Morning Events at Pemi:

SurajThe 11-and-under tennis team stepped onto the courts in the first time slot and played a very competitive match.  Spencer Hill won his number-one singles match 8-0 as did four singles Quinn McConnaughey 8-5. Unfortunately, Suraj Khakee lost in a tie breaker 9-7 at number-two singles, demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship throughout the match.  Number-one doubles of Scott Cook and Ryan Bush won their match-up, though Pemi 11s eventually fell 4-3 in their opening match.

The 12’s soccer game was the most challenging event to watch on many levels and exemplified Tecumseh’s singular determination to make a statement that this year would be different.  Pemi’s footballers were playing Tecumseh’s strongest unit loaded with newly recruited club-level talent.  Timmy Coe fought tenaciously for Pemi at midfield but to no avail as Tecumseh skillfully possessed the ball.  The boys from Winnipesaukee scored early and often and by half time Pemi was down 4-0.  In the opening moments of the second half, Tecumseh scored a 5th goal and coach Roberts made the wise move of pulling many of his top players, most of whom would be playing tennis in the next contest.  Tecumseh chose to keep the ship moving full speed ahead, adding seven more goals in the second half.  Coach Roberts did a remarkable job subbing in players and keeping the boys engaged despite the difficult circumstances.

The 13’s swim team kept the contest close in the early stages before falling to a deep and talented Tecumseh team 33-17.  The highlights of the meet was the work of Ezra Nugiel, Kevin Lewis, Lyle Seebeck, Noah Belinowiz, Lucas Janszky, and Robert Cecil as they swam their hearts out.

From the opening pitch, Tecumseh was also off to the races in the 11’s baseball game.  Charles DeVos and Ryan Cowles made some nice plays in the field while Suraj Khakee delivered Pemi’s only two hits on the day.  The team’s character and mettle were tested throughout the contest as Tecumseh poured it on during a 13-0 rout and our boys had difficulty handling the set-back.

On the tennis court, a strong Pemi 12’s team received victories from Timmy Coe, Gavin Sultan, and Ben Ackerman. With the overall score knotted 3-3, the doubles team of Lucas Gaffney and Ben Burnham fought back from a 7-2 deficit before falling short.  It was this effort by Pemi that provided a glimmer of hope that the boys could begin to rally and meet the challenge of the day.

PattersonThe 13’s soccer team played an aggressive Tecumseh group in what would be a highly competitive match.  Pemi took control of the first fifteen minutes of the match, as Carson Hill, Patterson Malcolm and Ted Orben combined to create a dangerous attack. Tecumseh gradually began to put Pemi back on their heels, but the tenacious play of Lyle Seebeck and Nick Toldalagi denied Tecumseh quality scoring opportunities.  Throughout the match, Sam Berman played well in the net for Pemi.  Ten minutes into the second half, Ted Orben sent Malcolm in on a partial breakaway, but the Tecumseh keeper bravely came off his line and stuffed the play for a game-saving play, even though he was injured on the play.  As the second half wore on, Tecumseh’s overall fitness and desire to win eventually wore down Pemi and they pushed home three quality goals late in the contest for a 3-0 victory.  The 13’s soccer team and the fight and determination from Gaffney and Burnham suggested Pemi could compete if they were willing to embrace the challenge.

The Morning at Tecumseh:

The Doc Nick’s Wonders ten-and-unders found themselves facing a very talented baseball opponent.  Tecumseh’s side-arm pitcher mowed down the Pemi bats while he and his teammates delivered a blistering offense.  Defensively, Jamie Acocella and Whit Courage made great plays in the field as Pemi fell 13-0.

Fortunately, the 10s left their disappointment behind on the little field as soccer coach Bryce Wallis skillfully regrouped the troops and focused their efforts on the challenge ahead.  Tecumseh scored ten minutes into the game, but Pemi answered when Charlie Howe picked a ball out of a scrum near the 18 and chipped the ball over the Tecumseh keeper for a 1-1 tie at half.  After numerous spectacular saves by Gordon “Banks” Robbins in the Pemi net, Tecumseh seized the lead six minutes into the second half, but Pemi kept pushing forward as Eric Bush and Max Blohm worked tirelessly on Tecumseh’s massive soccer field to create scoring opportunities.  With the time running down, Pemi gave up a late goal for the 3-1 final score, but the boys deserved tremendous credit for their extraordinary effort.

MaxArthurThe 15 tennis team garnered victories from the Duval brothers at number-one doubles and Bill O’Leary at third singles, while Arthur Root and Max Pagnucco, and Jack O’Connor and Will Jones delivered doubles triumphs for the 4-3 victory.  However, the 15’s baseballers found themselves down 5-1 early despite outstanding defense from Ben Chaimberg in center and a Zach Leeds at short.  With Pemi trailing 6-2 in the last inning, Hugh Grey hit a triple to deep left center to ignite a Pemi rally.  Pemi narrowed the score to 6-4 with key base hits from Julian Hernandez-Webster, Arthur Root, Will DeTeso, and Bert Oberlander.  With the bases loaded and one out, Leeds hit a sharp comebacker to the mound that resulted in a game-ending double play. It was a frustrating loss, given Pemi had ample opportunities to score but hit the ball hard at people and just couldn’t deliver that one timely hit to break open the game.  As the Tecumseh team stormed the field, Pemi made the long walk back to the mess hall knowing they had gone 1-3 in the morning events at Tecumseh. The news from Pemi would be even worse.

Lunch at Pemi and Tecumseh: “We can still win!!!” and “I’m not going to sugar coat this!”…

After Tecumseh left the dining hall, Pemi gathered around the piano to briefly discuss the morning and re-calibrate their efforts for the afternoon.  Pemi clearly was facing a very prepared and motivated opponent, clearly out to send Pemi a message that last year’s victory was not well received in the Tecumseh community.  I spoke to the Boys about our commitment to each other and importance of being great teammates, especially when the contests were not going well.  There was a brief moment of silence when, all of the sudden, a voice blurted out, “We can still win!”  Well, down 9-1, Las Vegas would make that a historic long shot. Nevertheless, there was something in that young voice that broke the somberness of the situation and inspired all of us to rake a little harder, and perhaps, not take ourselves so seriously.

At Tecumseh, Kenny brought together the boys under the big oak tree overlooking Winnipesaukee.  “I’m not going to sugar coat this,” he confessed. “The results from this morning were disappointing. We can mail it in now — or we can choose to play for something that matters to us.  We have this choice before us.”  With Pemi trailing 9-1 at lunchtime on the road with our youngest campers in tow, the fifteen-and-unders had to come to grips with a very tough situation and respond.

At Pemi, when the 11’s arrived at the Dining Hill, they were an age group in turmoil.  They had let a winnable tennis match slip away and had been creamed in a baseball game.  Some of the lads weren’t necessarily handling the adversity and pressure of the day with the grace and determination necessary to move forward.  This is when excellent counseling could come in, as Payne Hadden, Will Meinke and the rest of the 11’s staff refocused the boys and guided them to one of the best performances of the day on the soccer pitch…

The Afternoon at Pemi:

…From the opening whistle, Pemi outhustled Tecumseh to every 50/50 ball, and seized a 1-0 lead when Sasha Roberts sent Ryan Bush in alone for the score.  In the second half, Tecumseh pushed forward but the defense of Will Laycock, Owen Lee, and Henry Seebeck held strong until Pemi goalie Jasper Nussbaum made an incredible save on a penalty kick to preserve a much needed victory.

The 12’s baseball team stepped onto the diamond to face another very talented side from Tecumseh. Tecumseh quickly shut down the Pemi bats while their talented short stop from Philadelphia delivered a 3-4 effort as our rivals built a 6-0 lead.  Noah Hooper and Jack Elvekrog pitched well for Pemi to keep us in the game and James Minzesheimer broke up the shut-out in the sixth inning with a clutch base hit for the final 7-1 score.  Despite the loss, Pemi played eighteen boys in this game while keeping the game close.

OwenFriedAfter Carson Hill delivered steady victory over an overtly frustrated Tecumseh opponent for Pemi’s 13’s tennis team at first singles and Jackson Trevor and Ketan Parekh won handily at first doubles, Pemi found themselves down 3-2 and needing some clutch victories to defeat the Tecumseh line-up.  After Robert Loeser defeated his gritty opponent with his own unyielding determination at fourth singles, the doubles teams of Owen Fried and Ted Orben at third doubles clinched the match when they chose to play aggressively at the net. With victories in 13’s tennis and 11’s soccer, Pemi appeared to restore some of their missing mojo.

The 12’s age group had lost all three contests heading into the swim meet.  The team came together and fought hard in the water to get a result.  Pemi won the medley relay (Elvekrog, Mangan, Boruchin, and Silver) and received first-place finish in the breast stroke (Byron Lathi) while taking second place finishes in the breast (Jack Elvekrog) Butterfly (Grady Boruchin) and free style (Luke Silver).  To win the meet, Pemi needed a second and third place finish in the free relay.  Coach Payne Hadden wisely broke up his first relay team to share some speed with his second team, and the decision was a splashing success as Pemi took first and third place to win the meet 27-25!  Well done, coach!  Well done, boys!

The 11’s mermen team swam hard but didn’t quite have the horses to deliver the victory. Frank Applebaum won the butterfly while Henry Seebeck took the breaststroke. Scott Cook actually came out of the Health Center and swam well, taking third in the IM (which Pemi won.) Medley Relayers Spencer Hill, Seebeck, Applebaum, and Ryan Bush came in ahead of their rivals, but overall the team came up short at 24-31.

OscarThe 13’s baseball team, fresh off their well-earned victory in tennis, came out and played a flawless baseball game.  Oscar Tubke-Davidson stymied Tecumseh’s bats with outstanding pitching while the defense of Patterson Malcolm at short, Jivan Khakee at third, and Grady Nance in center closed the door on any potential big innings.  Key hits by Nance and Billy Rudnick pushed Pemi to a 3-2 victory – and a 2-2 split on the day for the thirteen-and-under age group.

The Afternoon at Tecumseh:

The 10’s tennis team fell 5-2 to a very strong Tecumseh squad.  Even with Whit Courage winning fourth singles and Jamie Acocella and Eric Bush taking second doubles, Pemi unfortunately came up short in two tie-breakers in what was a very close match. Nevertheless, it was clear to everyone that the ten-year -olds had given it their all.

While the 10’s were playing tennis, the majority of both camps came to watch the fifteen-and-under soccer match.  Without much fanfare, but with a quiet determination, Pemi’s 15’s stepped onto the pitch determined to win this match.  Historically, the 15’s game is one of the most watched and hotly contested fixtures of the day.  Tecumseh rolled out a physical, kick-and-run side against Pemi’s smaller, more technical team.  In the center of the pitch, Julian Hernandez-Webster and Nick Bertrand controlled the ball and built Pemi’s attack down the flank where, Theo Long, Arthur Root, and Brandon Somp worked their magic.  When Tecumseh did hit long balls over the top, Ben Chaimberg shut down and denied any significant opportunities. Zack Leeds, shaking off his disappointment from the 15’s baseball game, delivered an incredible effort on the left flank, fighting through many hard Tecumseh challenges.  Twenty minutes into the game, Leeds pressed forward to keep the ball in Tecumseh’s half and was fouled, creating a free kick.  It was from this restart that Charlie Scott opportunistically redirected a ball home for the 1-0 Pemi lead.  Later, Hernandez-Webster, working off a set-piece corner kick carefully crafted by Coach Mark Baddeley, volleyed home Scott’s serve for the 2-0 victory.

Any past Pemi fifteen-year-old who has swum his last race at Tecumseh after a long day knows something about this coming-of-age experience on the Tecumseh waterfront.  This year’s fifteen-and-unders arrived at the waterfront feeling proud about their efforts and the result on the soccer pitch, and they channeled those feelings towards their junior companions.  Facing an historically deep and talented team with little prospect of victory, the 15’s put their total big brother energy behind Doc Nick’s wonders.  The tens, who had gone down in defeat in each of the previous contests, needed this boost of support.  The 10’s swim contest was easily one of the best of the day.

The Junior Camp Boys immediately seized control of the meet when Jack Griffiths, Charlie Howe, Grady Burke, and Kevin Miller delivered a first place in the Medley Relay.  It was all Pemi from that point forward, as Finn Lincoln, Peter Dunkel, Whit Courage, Harrison Tillou, Max Blohm ,and Ted Applebaum all delivered points for Pemi.  These boys worked hard all week, and it was impressive to see them deliver an effort and performance when swimming for pride.

Returning the Hat:

With the ring of the Mess Hall bell at Pemi, the dining hall quickly quieted for the anticipated transfer of the hat.  Danny Kerr reminded the participants to review their preparation and performance after the fashion of ski racer Bode Miller, telling them that as long as they felt they had done everything they could to play their best, they should let go of any disappointment over the result.  If they came up short on this checklist, he said, then they should make adjustments and move forward.  Mark Luff, the Tecumseh Program Director and long-time ambassador forn all things Tecumseh-Pemi (he also directs Tecumseh’s G&S), reminded us all of the unique combination of friendship and competition between these two camps.  He declared that the closeness of recent year’s contests had increased the rivalry between the two camps, yet not at the expense of the relationship.

After Danny and Mark spoke, it was my turn to give The Hat back to Tecumseh.

“Over the years, I have asked several Tecumseh campers if they knew the story of The Hat – what actually happened in early August of 1967.  They replied, “Yeah, your Director said he liked George Munger’s hat and Mr. Munger said if you beat us, you could have the hat.”  Well, knowing Tom Reed Sr.’s values and purpose in life and the deep respect George Munger likely had for competition and the work necessary to achieve at the highest levels, I can guarantee you that exchange didn’t happen. You see, back in 1967 Pemi and Tecumseh played home-and-home matches, and when Pemi lost 9-3 on the initial day, the Pemi community was upset with their performance and dedicated their remaining summer to beating Tecumseh – which, after an amazing weeks-long preparation effort, they managed in the second meeting of the year (hyper link to History of the Hat) It was Munger’s deep appreciation for Pemi’s effort that led to the tradition of The Hat.”

“Last year you lost to Pemi, and your camp community made a similar commitment to each other to reverse the result.  Your baseball teams were incredibly prepared, your soccer teams ran through the ball, your tennis players delivered clutch performances in numerous tie-breakers, and your swimmers hit the water with purpose.  In the end, winning the hat represents all of your commitment and journey together. The actual score of the day is a bi-product of hard-work and dedication to each other – and in this spirit of respect for your efforts, Camp Pemi returns this Hat to Camp Tecumseh.”  The Pemi community then rose and delivered the traditional cheer, and both camps filed out for flag lowering and a few more handshakes.

So in the end The Hat was lost, but perhaps more important life lessons were gained in the day’s journey as Pemi had to get off the mat and compete.  Counselors stepped up and delivered high quality coaching and counseling, Pemi athletes learned the importance of commitment in times of adversity, and the boys found opportunities to lead when times were challenging.  All of these learning experiences and the ranges of emotion one experiences on Tecumseh Day make up one of the many great chapters over the course of seven weeks on the shores of Lower Baker.  By the time you have read this newsletter, a group of seniors will have climbed Katahdin or the Presidential Mountain range.  Another group of uppers will have completed the Mahoosucs, and another the Kinsmans. Dozens of boys will have completed their distance swim, taken their first nature occupation, performed at campfire, or finally mastered their part in this year’s G&S, Iolanthe.  (Good seats are still available!)  Life goes on, and we are all a little richer for our annual testing with our ancient rivals. Win or lose.

Charlie Malcolm