Here’s to 2014…

Summer 2014: Final Newsletter of the Season

It’s Sunday morning, August 17th, and a gentle rain is falling in the Lower Baker Valley. The clouds are low, and we have to take it on faith that the top of Pemi Hill is still there. Aside from the occasional call our local loon, the place is unbelievably quiet, having said farewell to 170 campers yesterday morning and currently bidding fond farewells to dozens of staff members this forenoon. We hope that our previous blog postings have conveyed something of the quality (and diverse activities) of the 2014 season, which we would certainly rank in the first echelon. For this, our last epistle of the summer, we’ll revert to our recent formula and conclude with a transcript of Danny’s toast at the final banquet this past Thursday evening and Clive Bean’s (that’s Clive Barnes’s New Hampshire second cousin, thrice-removed, on his aunt Petunia’s side) glowing review of this year’s Gilbert and Sullivan production, H.M.S. Pinafore. And so, with no more ado…

Danny’s Banquet Toast – August 14, 2014

May I propose a toast…?

Here’s to the summer of 2014 at Camp Pemigewassett, the 107th in Pemi’s rich and storied history, a summer that began seven weeks ago for campers, eight weeks ago for staff, nine weeks ago for counselors attending the Wilderness First Aid Clinic the Life Guard Training Clinic and the first ever shop clinic, and 14 weeks ago for the grey beards who met in Gloucester, Mass way back in May to begin sharing our dreams, ideas and inspirations for this 107th Pemi summer.

Danny Kerr, Final Banquet

Danny Kerr, Final Banquet

Here’s to a summer that concludes about as late in August as a summer at Pemi can end, with days growing shorter, leaves turning an autumn tint, and boys playing roof ball in the evening with barely a shred of daylight light, a summer that by all accounts has been a spectacular success, made possible by the collective efforts of the Pemi men and women in this room.

Here’s to the 259 campers who graced the shores of Lower Baker Pond this summer, 86 of whom were here for the full session, the largest number in my short tenure at Pemi, campers from 27 states of the United States and 8 countries around the world. And here’s to the new flags representing campers and staff from Poland, Colombia, Sierra Leon and Monaco that Larry added to our collection in the mess hall this summer. Here’s to the 81 campers who made the decision to attend sleep-away camp for the first time this summer; and, yes, Charlie Scott, Harry Tuttle, Per Soderberg, Ezra Nugiel, Patterson Malcolm and Andrew Virden, here’s to campers in their eighth.

Here’s to the talented and dedicated counselor staff at Pemi in 2014, to the cabin counselors and assistant counselors, ten of whom are former Pemi boys returning for their first summer back after a year or two or more away, the young men who shared closest quarters and become family with the boys, and who, for some magical reason, are able to inspire, mentor, and capture the imagination of their campers in ways even their own parents and we senior staff cannot.

Here’s to the influx this summer of young professionals and young families to our staff, to their wisdom, and experience, to their appreciation of community and also to their very young children who graced our community this season; is there anything more heartwarming, pure, and innocent to behold than watching those beautiful children explore the wonders of Pemi, dance unabashedly to Pemi songs, and remind us that camp is, after all, a child’s world.

Here’s to the hard-working crew that Reed Harrigan leads so vigorously and affably each day; Jeremy, Ruth, Sam, Kenny and Chris, the folks who allow us to take full advantage of this beautiful campus…to Office Manager extraordinaire, Heather, who never gets enough credit, and to Kim, who masterminded our ACA accreditation process this summer and deserves most of the credit for the 100% we received on those 200 plus standards. Indeed, no camp is perfect, but on August 5 Kim had us as close to perfect as you possibly can be for our ACA visitors.

Here’s to our magnificent kitchen crew—our blushing bride Stacey, Pappie, Nancy, Betty, Dale, Servacs, Bonifacs, Victor, Michael, Zybenek, and Micoh—who spoiled us with their herculean task of providing delicious and plentiful meals three times a day; something tells me we’ll have a chance to thank them again later this evening.

And a special shout out to our remarkable young nurses, Emily and Megan, whose enthusiasm, great cheer, and warm care was so vital in battling the virus that made its way through the ranks this summer. Thank you Emily and Megan for remaining so upbeat, positive, professional and resolute despite the unexpected curveball that was thrown your way in your very first summer as camp nurses…bravo!

Here’s to the amazing program at Pemi, to Kenny, the ”kid from Cleveland” who masterminds it all, to Laura down in Art World who proved to us that there really is life after Deb Pannell, to Charlie and all the coaches in the athletics’ program who always put values such as sportsmanship first….boom! To Tom and the trippies who sent us tramp, tramp, tramping each day out to the majestic mountains and the mighty rivers nearby, to Dorin and the beautiful music she and her staff helped us produce, to Olivia, Paige, and Emily and all the safe fun we had in the water, to Harry O in the shop, Chris on the courts, Larry and Deb in the Nature Lodge, Jonathan on the archery range, Sam down in Lax world, and all of the other teachers who brought major energy and mojo to occupation periods every day!

Here’s to Dottie – for anything and everything!

Here’s to the weather this summer, so many glorious and beautiful NH days, the crisp, quiet mornings, those blazing July and August afternoons, and the peaceful, golden haze across the Lower Baker Pond at day’s end that never gets old to behold.

Here’s to the things that made Pemi 2014 feel unique: “FAST” weeks and stick ball tournaments, a new Upper 4 and a newer Upper 5, ten-year ties, more barrel ball and chess than anyone can remember, sculling, Uncle Ed, the new path out of the Messhall, the morning sound of the “bangers and screamers” that kept the geese away, yogurt-gate, Lebron returning home, Jon Bernthal walking live for a visit, Pemi Westers being sent off by Pemi Easters, our new song book and the beautiful face lift in Senior Lodge that allows us to collectively gaze over the glassy, reflective lake beyond.

Here’s to all-camp events at Pemi, Bean Soup when we laugh at ourselves and anticipate “things to look for,” Campfire when we entertain ourselves to the setting sun, and to Sunday Meeting when we’re reflective and thoughtful about such things as the great Messhall fire of 1965, the flood of 1973, Roland, our knight with the unexpected star on his shield, and how one at-bat changed everything for the Red Sox Nation.

And of course, here’s to our 15-year-olds, to their three wins on Tecumseh Day, to the leadership they provided, and to the lifelong friendships that they have created. I know from personal experience that some day you’ll participate in each other’s weddings, be Godparents to each other’s children and, hopefully, become the next generation of counselors at Pemi.

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

And finally here’s to our firm belief that Pemi is a place where, with every new summer, campers have another opportunity to be the person they want to be, to meet challenges with success and pride, to thrive in an inclusive community, to learn independence, to gain confidence, to become fine young men and adults.

Here’s to Camp Pemigewassett 2014.

Good luck, long life, and joy!

 

Clive Bean Reviews Pinafore

The Wentworth, New Hampshire dramatic season came to a triumphant climax this past Tuesday and Wednesday evening with this year’s Pemigewassett Gilbert and Sullivan production, H.M.S. Pinafore. The directing debut of first-year Head of Music Dorin Dehls, the show was marked by strong ensemble singing and acting and exceptional performances from a number of talented leads. The first operetta ever produced at Pemi was this same Pinafore back in 1951. And, in answer to the Beatle’s timeless question, we can say with absolute certainty about G&S “Yes, we’ll still need you, yes, we’ll still feed you, when you’re sixty-four.”

Toes

Details, details…

Ms. Dehls was the emblem of patient persistence all season long as she brought both the “girls’” and sailors’ choruses up to a very high standard indeed. The whole show turns on a dramatic moment when Captain Corcoran finds himself as exasperated as Ben Ridley discussing the theory of general relativity with Alex Duval—and consequently lets out an explosive D-word. Both choruses are meant respond with a complex, syncopated expression of musical horror and, while this reviewer has been fortunate enough to attend upwards of 20 Pemi Pinafore’s, he can never remember the cast getting it perfectly right until Tuesday night. And, damme, if it wasn’t perfect Wednesday night as well. Sir Joseph’s band of adoring female relatives, featuring Graham Purcell, Eli Brennan, James Minzesheimer, Owen Lee, Walker Goodridge, Henry Moore, Matt McDonough, Tucker Jones, James Kemp, and Matt Cloutier, were as flawlessly musical as they were beautiful—especially once “Matilda” Cloutier had shaved off her Middlebury mountain-man beard. Opposite them, Alex and Jon Duval, Harry Tuttle, Pierce Haley, Hugh Jones, Michael Kerr, Theo Nichols, Will Katcher, Sam Seymour, and Fred Seebeck manned the Pinafore and courted the girls with all the energy and excitement of male pit bulls at a poodle fashion show. Strutting the boards for the first time this season was Director Danny Kerr, seeking temporary refuge from the stress and loneliness of all-camp command by fleeing to the nautical mosh pit that was the ship’s forecastle. We’re sure his wife Julia was happy to see that Danny’s tattoo featured her name and not something really silly—like “Uma.”

Sailors

Sailors

Sisters, cousins, and aunts

Sisters, cousins, and aunts

 

Nick Gordon as Bill Bobstay

Nick Gordon as Bill Bobstay

Tom Reed, Admiral;  Dan Reed, Captain Corcoran

Tom Reed as Sir Joseph Porter and Dan Reed as Captain Corcoran

This year’s leads were equally strong. Andrew DeGaetano turned in a solid performance as Carpenter’s Mate Bob Becket (no relation to Samuel), handling the bass line of the “British Tar” trio with singular volume and assurance. Nicholas Gordon literally rose from his hospital bed to give us a compelling Bill Bobstay, Boatswain’s Mate. Despite a fever in excess of 102 on Wednesday night, he sassed Dan Reed’s Captain Corcoran with the edginess of Lindsay Lohan back in traffic court again. Becky Noel was as winning on stage as she has been at campfires all summer, finally snagging Sir Joseph as a husband and proving that persistence gets you what you want, even if it involves a marriage so tight it would be illegal in any of the lower 48 states. Speaking of Sir Joseph, Tom Reed returned to the role he must have done ten times if he’s done it once. Never before, though, had he been able to bolster his dismissive attitude towards Captain Corcoran with all of the real-world frustration built up over the years trying to get son Dan to turn off lights in the Reed house in order to save the planet. Or at least trying to have everything else his own way.

Larry Davis as Dick Deadeye

Larry Davis as Dick Deadeye

Will

Will Henry as Little Buttercup

Larry Davis was never better as Dick Deadeye, especially on Wednesday night. Even though Larry finally has internet-access in the Nature Lodge and has every reason to feel blissfully happy, he managed to play with total conviction a character so dark and bitter he makes John Boehner seem like Kermit the Frog. Stealing the show more often than not, however, was Will Henry as Little Buttercup. From the time he first stepped out onto the stage to sell Gold Bond, Skittles, and Axe body wash to the amorous sailors, Will and his hairy chest were absolutely unforgettable elements of the production. So alluring was Mr. (or is it Ms.?) Henry that van driver Kenny Morrell confessed directly after Tuesday night’s show that he’d fallen in love with the dude. -Ette! Ah, the power of art!

Robert Loeser as Ralph Rackstraw

Robert Loeser as Ralph Rackstraw

Jacob Berk as Josephine

Jacob Berk as Josephine

Speaking of art, first-time leads Robert Loeser and Dan Reed were flawless in their roles as Ralph Rackstraw and Captain Corcoran. Robert managed to deliver with perfect clarity lines of dialogue as tangled as a junior cabin’s rope in the Woodsdudes’ Day bear-bagging event. The part of Ralph is fraught with notes most people would have to sit in ice water to reach, but Robert nailed them with the ease of a Pavarotti – proving that he’s a clone of more musical mega-stars than just Adele. Meanwhile, Dan Reed gave us the simple but well-meaning Captain with a singular dramatic flair, making the show especially relevant for Junior campers with short attention spans by making it clear that Victorian sailors, too, worried about things like yogurt rations and Tecumseh Day. Dan was onstage for the bulk of the second act, and his capacity to deliver number after demanding number with undiminished energy, precision, and dramatic flair speaks well to his potential for starring in the next Baz Luhrman filmic extravaganza, The Walking Dead Learn to Run. Rounding out the principals was Jacob Berk, for whom this was not actually the first lead. He had shared the role of Celia in last summer’s Iolanthe, playing the first night before being whisked off for an exclusive gig with Cher at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas. This summer, though, he had Josephine all to himself, and he positively owned the role handling his solos with dramatic flair and pinpoint musical accuracy and easily matching Robert/Ralph in their icy hot duet, “Refrain Audacious Tar.” It clearly hadn’t hurt that Jacob had previewed his performance at Greenleaf Hut for an enraptured audience from a local girls’ camp.

We have already mentioned rookie director Dorin Dehls remarkable job whipping the show into such impressive shape. One-man orchestra Josh Hess was masterful at keyboard, even though it was rumored that he had refused a thousand-dollar bonus had he been willing to sport a nautical tattoo on the back of his shaved hear. Deborah Fauver’s weeks of hard and creative work as wardrobe mistress and backstage manager contributed incalculably to the success of the show. And, perhaps for the first time ever, the set and lighting drew appreciative applause from the both nights’ audiences as soon as the curtain first opened. We understand that special thanks are owed to Reed Harrigan and Ken Morrell for their invaluable technical assistance in these to realms.

Will Clare and Dan Walder, guards

Will Clare and Dan Walder, guards

Finally, a special shout out to curtain-pullers and nautical bouncers Will Clare and Danno Walder, who somehow managed to steal the show by standing there and trying to look stern and impassive. There must just be something about these two guys that makes it absolutely ridiculous when they try to act serious. In any case, it was two nights truly to remember. Looking forward to the 2015 production of The Mikado, we advise you to book early. Tickets are bound to fly out the door as quickly as Mitch McConnell leaves a meeting with President Obama. Until then, happy theater going!

~ Clive Bean

With thanks to Clive, we’ll close the last official newsletter of the 2014 season. It’s been an excellent year, and as we begin (unbelievably) to put Pemi to bed for the winter, we thank as well all of you parents who entrusted your boys to us for the summer. We hope to see all of them who can return in June or July of 2015. To that end, look for applications to be made available to veteran families on or about October 15 (and to new families towards the end of the month.) For now, goodbye, and have a wonderful Fall.

~ Tom and Danny

 

 

 

2014 Tecumseh Day

2014 Newsletter #6

This week’s newsletter comes from Charlie Malcolm, our longtime Director of Athletics. It was he who oversaw our recent competition with our arch-rivals (and very good friends) from Camp Tecumseh. This storied rivalry, dating back to our founding in 1908, is surely one of the most august in American camping, and predates some of the most noteworthy squarings-off in collegiate sports. For many years this was a twice-a-season, home-and-away affair, and the camps used to travel to each other’s shore via a combination of foot-travel (for us, a 4-mile hike to the Wentworth train station), rail (to Weirs Beach), and mail steamer (to Tecumseh’s scenic cove on the shores of beautiful Lake Winnepesauke.) In line with the current softening of the American lifestyle, we now travel door-to-door by van and bus. At the same time, the new once-a-year format, which finds half of each camp going to the other’s campus, allows us all to share meals together in our respective dining halls. The resulting hospitality and conversation has leant Tecumseh/Pemi Day an increasingly friendly tone. While the intense competitiveness of the early days lives on unabated, it is now balanced by ever-greater levels of good sportsmanship and respect. And with that as a general introduction, on to Charlie’s account.

__________________

6:30 AM, Lower Baker Pond….the bugle blows and it is quickly replaced by rock music as the Seniors wake up the Intermediate Camp. After camper-led calisthenics and a quick Polar Bear, the boys quickly make their way to the dining hall with their bags packed for a long day at Tecumseh. By 7:35, the buses are rolling with the 11’s, 12’s and 13’s age groups. At Pemi, the finishing touches are made on soccer, baseball, and tennis courts, while the 10’s and 15’s anxiously await the arrival of Tecumseh. By 9:15, the first serve, kick, pitch, and start were initiated. The day had begun.

The morning events were conducted in cool temperatures with very competitive matches on display at both camps.  At Tecumseh, the 13’s swim team—behind the strong efforts of Timmy Coe—paced Pemi to an exciting victory. The 12’s soccer team found themselves down by a goal two minutes into the game but battled their way back to a tie on a Dean Elefante goal. Sasha Roberts and Tate Suratt never stopped running for their teammates in this incredible match. Despite victories by Eric Bush in 4th singles and the doubles teams of Kevin Millar–Jaime Acocella and Felix Nusbaum–Graham Winings, 11’s Tennis lost a heartbreaker 4-3 on a decisive tiebreaker.

Pierce Cowels, 10s baseball

Pierce Cowles, 10s baseball

At Pemi, the 10’s baseball team fell to a very strong Tecumseh side 8-2. Pemi received outstanding pitching from Pierce Cowles, who settled down after a nervous first inning. Pemi enjoyed good hitting from Elliot Jones and Oliver Giraud but could not put together a big inning to get back into the game. The 15’s tennis team, winners of the Lakes Region Tournament earlier in the season, jumped out to an early lead when Jack O’Conner won his number two singles match, followed by Carson Hill’s surgical win at number one singles. Pemi would cruise to a 6-1 victory as the Duval brothers delivered singles victories followed by a doubles victory from Owen Fried and Robert Loeser. After round one in the morning, the day was tied 2-2-1.

At Tecumseh, the 13’s soccer team rode the wave of momentum from their impressive swim victory right into their soccer match. Last year, this particular age group was beaten quite handily 12-1. This year, however, was different. With Nick Bowman in net, Timmy Coe anchoring the defense, and the soccer gods in attendance, the Pemi 13s fought gallantly to a 0-0 draw, a spectacular result against a team loaded with academy-level players. The 11’s baseball team fell 8-3. The hero of this match was George Lerdal who came on in relief with the bases loaded and struck out the side. Finally, 12s Tennis cruised to an impressive 5-2 victory behind singles wins from Spencer Hill, Suraj Khakee, and Quinn McConnaughey, and doubles victories by Scott Cook–Dean Elefante and Eli Barlow–Ryan Bush.

15s baseball

15s baseball

At Pemi, one of the most inspiring contests of the day was turned in by the 10’s soccer team against a very deep and talented opponent. Despite facing heavy pressure from the opening whistle, Walker Goodrich flawlessly protected the Pemi goal with Elliot Jones and Luca McAdams shutting down the middle of the pitch until Isaiah Abbey raced behind the defense to give Pemi a 1-0 lead. The boys played their hearts out, but Tecumseh pushed home two goals in the last two minutes to win the game. While 10’s fell in glorious defeat, the 15’s baseball team defeated Tecumseh 5-3 behind the stellar pitching of Jack Wood and timely hitting by Patterson Malcolm and Will DeTeso. The highlight of the game was a bases-loaded, 1-2-3 double play to escape a critical first inning jam. With the day knotted at 4-4-2, the boys entered the Pemi and Tecumseh dining halls with energy and excitement.

5_Talbot

Danny Kerr and Jim Talbot

At Pemi, Danny Kerr presented retiring Tecumseh Director, Jim Talbot, with a canvas photographic print celebrating Jim’s role in the tradition of fine competition and sportsmanship between the two camps. Since 2001, Jim has been an outstanding ambassador for Tecumseh. He retires with record enrollment, a dedicated seasoned staff in place, and with the competition between our two camps as solidly grounded in sportsmanship and goodwill as it has ever been. We wish Jim well in his next adventure and will do our best to make sure this day of healthy competition remains cemented in friendship.

After lunch, amidst rising temperatures, Tecumseh brought their own heat to Pemi in the remaining afternoon contests. At Pemi, the 10’s tennis team was swept 7-0 and the 15’s soccer team also fell 3-0 to a Tecumseh team that simply played with more determination. Tobey Suratt played particularly well for the 10’s before eventually losing in a tiebreaker. For the 15’s soccer match, Patterson Malcolm, Elliot Britton, and Sam Berman did not back down while anchoring the Pemi defense, and netminder Will Harnard made several critical saves to keep the game close. At Tecumseh the results were similar as the 11’s soccer team fell 3-0 despite the scrappy efforts of Will Ackerman and Eric Bush. The 12’s baseball team ran into a terrific team boasting players headed off for the Little League World Series and were no hit. Fortunately, Suraj Khakee and Ryan Cowles held Tecumseh to three runs over six innings to give Pemi a chance to get back into the game. Despite winning efforts by Timmy Coe and the battling Andrew Kanovsky, who came back from a 5-1 deficit, the 13’s tennis team fell 5-2. By sweeping all five of the initial afternoon events, Tecumseh guaranteed a tie, and their clear momentum carried over to the remaining fixtures.

Oscar de Haut de Sigy; 10's swimmer

Oscar de Haut de Sigy; 10’s swimmer

At Tecumseh, the home team won both the 11 and 12 swim meets as both camps struggled to maintain their energy at the waterfront. Pemi’s 13’s baseball team also fell, 9-3, facing another Tecumseh side loaded with exceptional talent. James Minzesheimer led Pemi’s offense with two hits, but Tecumseh’s timely hitting was too much for Pemi. At Pemi, the 10’s swim team fell 33-27 as Simon Taylor delivered first place in butterfly and backstroke and anchored a free style relay victory. Oscar de Haut de Sigy also delivered first places in the free style and breaststroke. The 15s shook off their disappointment following their soccer game and delivered an outstanding effort, securing our only afternoon victory. The highlight of the race was Noah Belinowiz’s extraordinary leg in the Medley Relay where, despite his having recently been down with a stomach bug, he reeled in a half lap with an impressive breaststroke. With victories by Harry Tuttle in the backstroke, Andrew Digaetano in the butterfly, and Robert Cecil in the free style, the 15s finished the day with an impressive 32-28 victory.

Home

Home

While we lost the day by a significant margin of 13-5-2, one only had to be at the Pemi waterfront to see the triumphs the day nevertheless involved. It’s hard to find words to describe how inspiring it was to watch our 15’s push aside their collective disappointment to swim their last races of the day with all they had—and, at the same time, enthusiastically cheer on their Junior little brothers to do the same. Any former 15-year-old Pemi athlete can tell you there is a hugely rich if bittersweet moment when the last race and competition of his camper days are finished and he has to come to terms with this own journey. Whether the last race is at Winnipesaukee or on the Shores of Lower Baker, the oldest boys sense something deep and transcendent as their formative boyhood days slip a little further away. As the buses return from Tecumseh and the camp community gathers in front of the Lodge, many of the fifteens are overcome with the emotion of the moment as they warmly greet their fellow campers after an incredibly long day. As in previous years, our fifteens rallied the camp in preparation for Tecumseh Day and went on to deliver victories in three of their four events, a noble accomplishment. It is with this momentum that these boys leave for their Allagash wilderness adventure in Maine, focus their final efforts towards a run at becoming a Pemi Chief, or practice for a culminating stage appearance in next week’s Gilbert & Sullivan H.M.S. Pinafore. Their determination can take your breath away.

Thanks to Charlie for this compelling account. Come back next week for Larry Davis’s latest word on Pemi’s celebrated Nature Program.

Tom and Danny

JimTalbotSM

 

 

Summer 2014: Newsletter #1

Rock Band on Junior Point

Rock Band on Junior Point

It’s 3:40 Monday afternoon, and we have just finished the last of the four daily instructional periods we call “occupations.” It is 84 degrees in Wentworth under partly cloudy skies, just warm enough that the thought of jumping into the lake for Free Swim (5PM) is most attractive. At the same time, there is a moderate northwest breeze coursing down the pond, and Olivia Walsh’s sailing class (Andre Altherr, Emmanuel Abbey, Jack O’Connor, Thomas Moore, Will Leslie, and Alex Marshman) has had plenty of wind in their sails to get their Lasers and Sunfishes bubbling briskly along. Overall, seventy separate sections of instruction have been offered today, covering everything from soccer and baseball – through Journal Making and Dragonflies – to Plaster Worlds, Chihuly, and Rock Band. Nate Kraus and the boys of Lower Seven will soon be headed across the lake to the Pine Forest for an al fresco supper, while Will Clare, Idrissa Bangura, and their Upper Four charges will be paddling to the “Flat Rock Café” for the same. Meanwhile, Bean Soup mavens Dan Reed and Harry Eifler have retreated to their editorial offices, sorting out the last spices before ladling up their first serving of Pemi’s comical “food for thought” at 7:45. The 2014 season is well underway!

Veterans and new campers

Cabin group with veterans and new boys

It was wonderful seeing those of you who drove your sons to camp on Saturday. The longer we do this, the more established and rewarding our partnership with you good folks seems to become. Reviews of our recently-modified arrival schedule—with veteran campers rolling in during the morning and new boys in the afternoon—continue to be highly positive. Perhaps the best part of it follows from Danny’s lunchtime invitation to the old boys to play a substantial role in welcoming and orienting the first-time campers in the afternoon. It’s also great hearing longtime camp parents like Tripp and Robin Jones speaking to the new moms and dads about the rigors and rewards of leaving their boys in the middle of the New Hampshire woods for three and a half or seven weeks. One relatively novel but charming experience for one of your correspondents—who was joined by his daughter in escorting the New York/Stamford bus up to camp—was witnessing two dozen coach-riding campers beginning to chant “Pemi, Pemi” as soon as they spied the waters of Lower Baker through the quickly-passing trees. Pemigewassett is never alive until the boys get here, and it is simply incredible how spontaneously and completely they can bring it back to life within seconds of their arrival.

At 7:45 on what was shaping up to be a perfect summer evening, two hundred and fifty of us joined the odd pesky mosquito around the campfire circle and waited expectantly as the veteran denizens of the Lake Tent – Hugh Jones, Will Jones, and Will Katcher (do you see any pattern in the names?) – lit the fire and wished one and all a happy and successful season. Speaking for all the other Seniors, they offered to help anybody reach that goal in any way they could, whereupon the inaugural campfire of the season moved ahead with all the pace and vigor of the Pemi Kid himself. The show kicked off with a best-ever performance by chanteur Robert Loeser, who soon had us spell-bound as he belted out Newley and Bricusse’s “Feelin’ Good” from The Roar of the Greasepaint and the Smell of the Crowd. In between his soulful phrases, you could have heard a pin drop – even on the sandy beach.

Next up was Alex Goldman, familiar to all veterans from last summer’s rendition of Neil Young’s Heart of Gold – most memorable, perhaps, when Alex added to Neil’s “and I’m growin’ old” the wry caveat “even though I’m only ten.” This year, at an august eleven, Master Goldman delivered himself of an extremely finished cover of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” that would certainly have brought the house down if we hadn’t been outdoors. Alex was followed by Junior Two counselor Wesley Eifler, one of whose winter projects had been to memorize the winningly grim Robert Service poem, “The Cremation of Sam Magee.” Adding immeasurably to the chilling effect of Wesley’s recitation was the thick billow of smoke wafting his way from the camp fire, very much akin to Service’s “greasy smoke in an inky cloak” that “went streaking down the sky” as the titular character cooked.

Wesley was followed by campfire regular Eli Brennan, who varied his customary tales from the Greek and Roman pantheon with an admirably succinct narrative about – as far as we could tell – the Egyptian sun-god, Ra. Eli was so succinct is was hard to tell. In any case, he quickly yielded the stage to staff members Max Livingstone-Peters, Maggie Boomgaarden, and Joey Gish who, to the dulcet strains of Max’s guitar and Joey’s fiddle, offered a spirited version of a longtime Pemi favorite, “Wagon Wheel.” Neither the Old Crow Medicine Show nor the song’s first Pemi performer, Christian Ruf, could have done a better job. Since we’re usually long on guitarists but short on fiddlers, it’s especially nice to have Joey with us this summer. When he’s not out leading overnight trips, we look forward to hearing many more tunes like this night’s “Lazy John,” a traditional old-time fiddle tune that Joey delivered with a singular briskness that suggested the handle “lazy” could never be fairly attached to Mr. Gish.

Nate's annual campfire act

Nate’s annual campfire act

Ezra Nugiel returned to the Pemi soundstage with a particularly finished cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” From his debut as one of our smallest Juniors, Ezra has performed with ever-increasing energy and assurance, and it’s clear this summer will see him adding to his past triumphs. Speaking of acts of long standing, Nate Blumenthal once again dazzled the crowd with his rare capacity to lick his own elbow – instantaneously inspiring scores of wannabe elbow lickers, whose efforts we’ll be sure to keep track of for your sake. And, longest-standing of all, Larry Davis cast off his urban sophistication and assumed the manner and accent of a Down East ironist, telling the wonderful tale of an aspirant hunter’s “Beginner’s Luck.” One Pemi West participant was heard to say, “I’ve heard Larry do that story for nine years now, and it never gets old!”  There are lots of forms of community, but listening as a group to a master story-teller working his magical way through a familiar tale is one of the best.

CampfireArms

Singing the Campfire Song

The evening ended, of course, with everyone rising from their seats, casting their arms over their neighbors’ shoulders, and joining together in singing Doc Reed’s moving “Campfire Song.” As we look forward to making the 2014 season one of the best ever, its timeless words equip us with the question and concerns that will keep our eyes on the prize for the next seven weeks: “I wonder if anyone’s better for anything I’ve done or said.”

Pemi West send-off

Pemi West send-off

Highlights of other sorts? No sooner had the first boys arrived on Saturday than the first Frisbee-Running-Bases and Roofball games formed up and took fire. Their excitement and energy has rivaled anything we have seen telecast from Brazil. By Sunday morning, as well, a dam had been constructed in the stream by the Lodge – in preparation for the “Pink Polar Bears” of those boys for whom 65 degree lake water is not sufficiently bracing. And finally, right after the Sunday Noon meal, this year’s Pemi West Participants left the messhall and ran through a “tunnel” of raised arms (the whole camp community’s) on the way to their van and Logan airport beyond. It was wonderful having Nick Bertrand, Ben Chaimberg, Matt Kanovsky, Zach Leeds, Will McNear, and Jackson Seniff with us for six days as they completed a Wilderness First Aid course and prepared for the trip. It will be even more wonderful to welcome them back in just under four weeks, after what is sure to be a life-changing experience.

Well, swim call is just about to blow (ably played by Atilla Petho, our first-ever bugler from Budapest.) We will restrain ourselves from suggesting that, on a day as warm as this, his summons to the waterfront will be a true Hungarian Rhapsody. (Well, we tried!) But it does feel like time to sign off for now. Until next week! We wish you all a healthy and happy Fourth of July.

                                                          ~ Tom and Danny

Wish you were here...?

Wish you were here…?

Meet Pemi’s 2014 Staff

2014 Pemi Staff

2014 Pemi Staff

 

Pemi’s greatest asset has always been the remarkable staff that dedicates itself, each summer, to making the Pemi experience rich, unique, and nurturing for each boy. We are grateful for their dedication and work ethic, impressed by their multitudinous talents, and humbled by their dedication to Pemi.

Each pre-season we ask staff to submit a short bio for this first blog post of the season. So, in their own words…

Danny Kerr (Director): This will be my 5th year as director at Pemi and I am looking forward to another terrific summer on the shores of Lower Baker. During the school year, my wife Julia and I live in Keene, NH. We have three boys aged 24, 22 and 18. 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, seemingly a futile effort at this point.

Tom Reed (Director and Head of Trips): If memory serves, this will be my 54th summer at Pemi, my 45th on the staff. Aside from overseeing the trip program, I write newsletters and the occasional Bean Soup article and lead singing in the mess hall. Winters find me in Carlisle, PA, where I teach English at Dickinson College.

Ken Moore (Assistant Director): The 2014 season marks my 22nd summer at Camp Pemigewassett and the conclusion of my first year as a year ’round Pemi guy.  I’ve loved working with Danny and Dottie this past winter on all things Pemi, with my primary focus being on Alumni Relations, Pemi West and our general outreach efforts (social media).  During the summer, I’ll continue to manage Pemi’s overall program, working to make sure our four program areas mesh together.  Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, NH is now home (still a Clevelander through and through), where my wife Sarah works in the Admissions Office, serving as the Associate Director. I am a proud Kenyon College alumnus, Sarah’s also an alumna!, and I have my Masters in Education from University School’s Teacher Apprentice Program.

Fred Seebeck (Assistant Director): I began my multi-faceted Pemi career as a camper in Junior 3 back in 1963.  This summer, very likely, will mark my final summer as a Pemi staff member, closing a 40+ year run of wonderful memories.  Planning for the next stages of life after teaching and camping is in the wind – ask me if you’re interested.  In the meantime, a thousand thousand thanks to all the Reeds and Fauvers, along with Rob Grabill and Danny Kerr, not to mention my many friends established over the years, for making Pemi such a central and meaningful aspect of my constitution.

Dottie Reed (Head Administrator): This will be my 27th summer at Pemi. Though I work year ’round for camp with a range of responsibilities, during the summer I facilitate Pemi’s connection with the outside world with photos, newsletters, counselor reports, blog articles, and other such communications. My office window is always open for visits when I’m not out and about camp grounds. During the off-season, Tom and I live in Carlisle, PA, with our toothless cat, Gil.

Heather Leads (Administrator): I’m excited to be working in the office for my 6thth year at Pemi! During the winter I live at Northfield Mt. Hermon School with my husband Greg and my three children. I also teach elementary school.

Kim Malcolm (Administrator): This is my 23rd 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

 J1 – Matt Cloutier: This past spring I completed my first semester at Middlebury College. Prior to beginning my courses, I took a gap semester in the fall, during which I worked as a research intern for an NGO that studies Costa Rican rainforest and marine ecology. This summer marks my 10th at Pemi and second on staff, and I relish the opportunity to contribute once more to the nature and athletic programs.

J2 – Wesley Eifler: I was born and raised in Connecticut and I am a rising senior at American University where I am studying Elementary Education and History. This summer will be my 11th at Pemi and my 4th on staff. This year in addition to my studies, I worked at the National Presbyterian School where I was a student teacher in the 4th grade and in their after school program. Throughout the summer I will be coaching baseball and instructing in other activities around camp. I am thrilled to be back at Pemi and cannot wait for the summer to begin!

 J3 – Mark Welsh: This will be my 2nd summer on the shores of Lower Baker, and I am looking forward to another great summer. I am entering my senior year at the University of Dundee where I study pharmacology, and I’m happy to be at Pemi for a fresh change to the hectic pace of university. I am excited to get back into the Nature Lodge and help campers rediscover all that Pemi can offer.

 J4 – Michael Mckeand (Division Head): I am from Scotland and a graduate from the University of Edinburgh, though I am currently applying to do a primary teaching degree (the UK equivalent of elementary). This will be my second year at Pemi. As well as coaching soccer and working in the nature programme, I will also be Junior Division head and will hopefully manage to coach an occupation in that most superior of sports, rugby. Having been unable to return last summer, I am very excited to be coming back this year and am looking forward to another great summer.

J5 – Matt Sherman: I come from Rye, NY, and just finished my freshman year at Northwestern University, where I am studying mechanical engineering. I’m very excited for my first year on staff at Pemi! I was a camper for 6 years, and I will be teaching baseball, soccer, and swimming this summer. I can’t wait to give back to the camp that has given me so much over the years.

J6 – Eoin Mullaney: My name is Eoin Mullaney and this will be my 2nd year on the shores of Lower Baker. I will be a rising sophomore at Oberlin College studying Neuroscience and Biochemistry. I will primarily be coaching baseball and ultimate frisbee this summer as well as helping out with basketball and soccer.

L1 – Attila Petho: I am from Hungary, Central Europe, and I will be the camp bugler this summer. This will be my first time at Pemi; in fact, my first time overseas as well. I am a third-year student majoring in English and American Studies at ELTE University, Budapest, and I have just finished with the department’s writing program as a specialization. In addition to my role as a cabin counselor, I will be helping campers to develop their musical skills. I am very excited about the summer, and will do my best to contribute to the boys’ great experience at Camp Pemi.

L2 – John Fauver: I am from Minneapolis, MN, and I am a rising sophomore at the George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C. This will be my 7th summer at Pemi and my first as a staff member.

L3 – Josh Hess (Co-counselor with Theo): I’m from Northern California. This is my second season at Pemi, where I teach piano and assist with the Gilbert and Sullivan production. This past year, I’ve worked at a gourmet restaurant, continued my studies at Oberlin College, and begun learning how to fix my car. I’m looking forward to another awesome summer at Pemi!

L3 – Theo Nickols (Co-counselor with Josh): I am from Northumberland, U.K, Hadrian’s Wall country, and I’m currently on my gap year. Earlier this year I worked as a volunteer in India for three months with children from local schools of all ages. I’m hoping to be in the University of Nottingham in the autumn to study Environmental Science. I’m very excited about coming to Pemi for my first summer, where I’ll be coaching tennis, basketball and drama. I’m looking forward to a great summer!

L4 – Harry Eifler: I will be attending RIT in the fall as a freshman computer science major. Here at Pemi, I instruct mostly in archery and the arts; however, I do know my way around the tennis court and baseball field as well. This will be my tenth summer at Pemi, and second on staff. I’m looking forward to another wonderful summer with the boys!

L5 – Dan Reed (Division Head): I’ve been at Pemi since the tender age of 3 months, and this year will serve as division head for the Lower division. I plan to teach photography, geology, tennis, and a few other odds and ends. I study Geology and English at Middlebury College, where I will graduate this coming January.  I look forward to spending my 22nd Pemi summer with the 2014 camp family.

L6 – Kevin Heynig: I’m from Marquette in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I am a senior at Northern Michigan University where I study the ecology of the Great Lakes and entomology. My passion and skills lie in natural history and aquatic insect ecology. I will be teaching occupations that provide campers the unique opportunity to see into the lives of aquatic insects and other wetland dwelling creatures.

L7 – Nate Kraus: This is my 8th year at Pemi. I’m going into my sophomore year at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, where I am majoring in anthropology and rowing crew. I’m excited to teach sailing, tennis, and music at Pemi. I can’t wait to be back on Lower Baker Pond for what should be another awesome summer!

U1 – Nathan Nacheff: I am from Short Hills, New Jersey. I am a rising sophomore at Hobart College, where I plan to study English and economics. This is my first year on the Pemi staff, but I have always held a special place in my heart for Pemi, as I was a camper for four years.

U2 – JJ Strnad: I’m from Palo Alto, California and I just finished my sophomore year at St. Olaf College where I play football and am majoring in math and computer science. I’m very excited to be back at Pemi for my 4th year and first on staff.

U3 – Fritz Windover: I grew up in Bennington, Vermont, and I just finished my first year at Bates College where I’m currently studying economics and politics. This is my first summer at Camp Pemi, and I am excited for the summer ahead. I will primarily be involved with the soccer program, though I hope to help with ultimate frisbee, along with new occupations.

U4 – William Clare (Division Head): I am from New York City and just graduated from Hunter College with a B.S. in Accounting. This is my 13th full summer at Pemi and I will be the Division Head for the Uppers, as well as teaching a wide variety of sports. I am extremely excited to have another summer at Pemi before returning to the “real” world!

U5 – Harry Norman: I am from Weymouth, England, where I play soccer for two teams. This is my first summer at Pemi. In addition to being an Upper cabin counselor this summer, I will also lifeguard and coach soccer.

S1 – Tighe Burnham: I’m from Fletcher, Vermont, and this will be my 2nd year at Pemi. I went to Northfield Mount Hermon, and recently graduated with a degree in Finance from the Isenberg School of Management. This summer I look forward to teaching various water sports, coaching soccer, and lending a hand wherever I can.

S2 – Dan Walder: I hail from Brighton on the south coast of Great Britain. This winter I’ve been working a number of odd jobs including tree surgery, scientific research, and landscaping. I’m very excited to be returning for my 2nd summer at Pemi. Throughout the season I’ll be working in the Nature Lodge, covering a variety of subjects and also lending a hand in the wood shop.

S3 – Ben Ridley (Division Head): I’m really excited to be back once again for my fourth summer at Pemi. I’m looking forward to once again bringing new ideas to the music, arts, and woodshop programs as well as preaching England’s continuing supremacy in the World Cup (who says you can’t be positive!). I’m really excited to see how the summer unfolds!

LT – Adam Sandler: This will be my 12th summer at Pemi. I’m from Pound Ridge, New York, and during the year I attend Saint Michael’s College in Vermont.  I am looking forward to teaching wood shop, fishing, and lacrosse this summer.

Assistant Counselors

J1 – Will Henry: I’m a local from Keene, NH. Next year I will be a freshman at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, where I will be studying political science, psychology, and joining the fencing team. This is my second year at Camp Pemi, where I will be teaching archery, swimming, canoeing, and possibly fencing. I’m looking forward to a great summer with all of the boys here!

J2 -James Kemp: I’m from Hailsham on the southeast coast of England. I have been working since I left school last year to earn some money to come to Camp Pemi. I am hoping to become an actor and will be looking for a placement at a drama academy when I return to England. I have been performing with local amateur dramatic societies. This is my first year at Camp Pemi and I am looking forward to meeting the campers soon. My hobbies are performing arts, rugby, rowing, athletics and cricket.

J3 – Nick Davini: I’m from Plainfield, New Hampshire, and I recently graduated from Lebanon High School. This is my sixth summer at Pemi, and my second year on staff. I will be working in the wood shop and various other places around camp.

J4 – Michael DiGaetano: I am Michael DiGaetano from Piedmont, California. I was a camper at Pemi for 5 years and am very excited to be working at camp. I will mainly be working on the waterfront and baseball field but I would also like to lead a few trips as well. I am very excited for the 2014 season.

J5 – Tobias Sengpiel: I am from Duesseldorf, Germany, where I recently graduated from high school. I am gladly looking forward to returning to the shores of Lower Baker Pond for the third time, the first season as a staff member. I know it will be a great season again and I am proud to be a part in this camp family.

J6 – Michael Kerr: This is my second summer at Pemi. I will be teaching sailing, soccer and archery. In the fall I will be a freshman at Champlain College studying psychology.

L1 – Max Livingstone-Peters: I’m from Middlebury, Vermont, where I just graduated high school. I am headed to Lake Forest College next year, north of Chicago. I was a camper at Pemi for six years and am excited to be back as an assistant counselor.

L2 – Jack Spellman: I am absolutely ecstatic to be able to enjoy this summer on the shores of Lower Baker Pond with the boys! It is my first year at Pemi, where I will be helping out in baseball, tennis, and music (drums). I am from Lakewood, Ohio, and in the upcoming fall I will attend the University of Michigan.

L4 – Will Pearson: My name is Will Pearson and I’m from Essex, England. I like playing sports, of which my favourite is rugby. I’ll also help with lifeguarding and swimming this summer.

L5 – Dana Wensberg: I am from Gloucester, MA, and just completed a post-graduate year at Deerfield Academy. It was an amazing experience and I will be continuing my education at Trinity College next fall, where I will be majoring in engineering. I spent eight summers as a camper at Pemi, and this will be my first on staff. I am an avid hockey player, and I’ve played competitive ultimate Frisbee for the past two years. I’m very excited to finally return to Lower Baker after a 3-year absence.

U1 – Teagen Burnham: I am from a small town called Fletcher located in northern Vermont. I graduated from Kimball Union Academy this spring, and will be attending Clarkson University in the fall to study Software Engineering. I am very thankful for my brother who encouraged me to work at Camp Pemi with him this summer. I look forward to working with campers and coaching lacrosse, tennis, and soccer.

U2 – TH Pearson: I am from Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, where I am a rising senior at Hastings High School. This will be my 9th summer at Pemi (my 10th including Pemi West) and my first year on staff. I am excited to teach sailing, photography, and lacrosse this summer. Carpe diem!

U3 – Eric Groenloh: Well, born and raised in Germany, I was the luckiest person to have my grandfather send me to Pemi as a camper from 2006 until 2010. I will graduate with the German A-level next year. I love sports, especially soccer, and have been coaching kids for four years already. I’m looking forward to my 6th summer at my second home, where I will coach sports as well as conditioning.

U4 – Idrissa Bangura: I am from Freetown, Sierra Leone. This fall I will attend Boston College and will be part of their soccer team. I hope to major in Biology with the goal of becoming a doctor. My dream is to build a homeless shelter or hospital in Sierra Leone to help those in need.

Trip Leaders

U5 – Juan Jose Vela: My mission as a trip counselor is to make this summer a memorable time for the campers. For me, it is a great opportunity and I am excited to lead Pemi trips. During the last few years I have been studying law at the University of los Andes in Colombia, where I also had the opportunity to be part of a scout group.

S1 – Harry Morris: I am from West Hartford, Connecticut. I am currently a rising senior at Wofford College, which is down in South Carolina. I am studying religion and philosophy there.

S2 – Joey Gish: Hello! I am Joey Gish from the wild, wild, West aka the North Olympic Peninsula! I am a recent college graduate with a Bachelors of Science degree in biochemistry, and I have a deep love for old-time fiddle music (which I play), bicycles, and the great outdoors!

S3 – Matt Bolton: Hello! My name is Matt Bolton and I’ll be returning to Pemi for my third year on staff, and my second year as a trip counselor. I currently attend New York University where I am majoring in Fine Arts and German. I’m looking forward to exploring the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire with your boys this summer, and hopefully with better weather than last year.

Program Staff

Trey Blair: This will be my 3rd summer at Pemi, and 2nd exclusively working with the baseball program. I am a Kentuckian by birth, but proudly call Fort Worth, Texas, my home. I have been in education for 9 years, starting as a kindergarten teacher and now serving as Assistant Head of Lower School at Fort Worth Country Day. I was a collegiate baseball player and have coached varsity baseball for 7 years. My wife, Katie, and daughter, Nathalie Mae, are excited to come to Pemi just in time to escape the Texas heat.

Maggie Boomgaarden: I’m from Milwaukee Wisconsin. I’m going to coach basketball, baseball, and volleyball and manage the front room of the Messhall. In my life outside of Pemi, I teach Spanish, am a dorm parent, and coach volleyball, basketball, and softball at a high school boarding school.

Laura Bubar (Head of Arts): This is my first summer at Camp Pemi and I will be the Head of Arts. I am an artist, photographer and K-12 art teacher from Maine. I’m so excited to bring in a load of fun, new art projects to Pemi this summer!

Larry Davis (Director of Nature Programs and Teaching): This is my 45th season as Director of Nature Programs and Teaching. I hold AB and AM degrees in Earth Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD. in Geological Sciences from the University of Rochester. In the off-season, I am Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Head of the Undergraduate Program in Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven. I love to cook (and am the chef for the Wild Foods occupation), tell long stories featuring Mainer Orrin Tucker, root for the Red Sox, and collect waterfalls.

Dorin Dehls (Head of Music): I joined the Pemi family in 2008 and I can’t wait embark on another fantastic summer! I teach music during the school year for grades K-8 in Wallingford, Connecticut. I am excited to step into the role of Head of Music and Drama this summer and I look forward to directing our production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore.

Angel Ekstrom (Head of Waterskiing): As an outdoor educator with a doctoral degree in Education, I have been a field instructor for NOLS and Outward Bound, a programmer and field instructor at university outdoor programs, and a wilderness therapeutic counselor working with adjudicated males. Currently, I am an instructor in Adventure Education, manage the indoor climbing wall, and coordinate the Outdoor Center at Plymouth State University. I’ve taught rock climbing, paddling, mountaineering, snow orientation, canyoneering, backpacking, adventure skills, ropes facilitator courses, orienteering, wilderness first responder, lifeguarding, CPR, first aid, AED, oxygen administration at both undergraduate and graduate levels. I live in Rumney, NH, just down the road from Pemi.

Maddie Fried: I am excited to be spending my first summer here at Pemi! My hometown is San Francisco, and I am a rising junior following my passion of art and pursuing a BFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. I will be teaching hands-on projects in the art program and in the woodshop, as well as working on the beautiful waterfront teaching wakeboarding and swimming.

Emilie Geissinger: This is my third year on staff. I am from Darien, CT, and graduated from Bates College in the spring with a BS in Biology. At Pemi, I teach swimming, canoeing, and other waterfront activities. In the fall, I will be teaching Biology at Nobles and Greenough.

Stevens Hill: I was born in Rochester N.Y. I graduated from Union College in N.Y. with a B.S. in Industrial Economics. I was a partner in an import auto repair shop in Rochester N.Y. I am married and have one son, Christopher. I have been living in Gilford N.H. for 30 years where I have been working in the marine industry. I like to sail, ski and walk with my wife Adele.

Simon Jarcho (Assistant Athletic Director): I live in Vermont and am a boarding school teacher during the year. At Pemi, I will be the assistant athletic director, coaching soccer and tennis. I can’t wait to eet all of the Pemi campers and settle into my first summer here!

Chris Johnson (Head of Tennis): I am very excited for my first year at Camp Pemi! I have taught 4th grade in Lakewood, Ohio, for the past 13 years and coach both girls’ and boys’ tennis. My boys’ teams have won the league title 3 of the past 5 years and I have coached my girls’ team to 2 state championships and 2 top 3 finishes. Also joining me at camp will be my wife, Ashley, and my two kids, Clayton who is 4 and Lauren who is 2.

Deb Kure (Associate Head of Nature): Since studying Geology at the University of Rochester, I’ve loved teaching outdoor science through camps, museums, and trips programs throughout the US. During the school year I’m an Educator with Quarrybrook Outdoor Learning Center, in southern New Hampshire.  Glad to now be in The Granite State year-round!

Harry MacGregor (Head of Shop): This will be my 4th summer at Camp Pemi and I look forward to passing on my knowledge of woodworking. I grew up in Lowell, MA, and for the last 30 years have lived in Canaan, New Hampshire. I have had a long career in commercial, industrial, and residential construction and have owned my own business focusing on custom woodworking.

Charlie Malcolm (Director of Athletics): I’m entering my 31st season on the shores of Lower Baker, and my 26th as Pemi’s Athletic Director.  During the school year at the Northfield Mount Hermon School, I teach history, coach soccer and baseball, and lead travel abroad programs. I hold a Premier License from the National Soccer Coaches Association and have recently led NMH’S Boys’ Varsity soccer team to two New England Class A Championships. My wife Kim and our two children, Patterson and Victoria, join me at camp.

Jonathan Merrin (Head of Archery): I am from London, England, and this will be my 3rd summer at Pemi where I am returning to be the Head of Archery. After the last 2 years I could not wait to come back and join the camp community once more. After camp this year I will be heading back to Canada for another season on the slopes.  I hope to have another great summer at Pemi, and can’t wait to have lots more fun with campers both old and new!

Becky Noel: My name is Becky (Becks), coming from Hampshire, UK, to New Hampshire for the first time. I can’t wait to share my love of singing and violin-ing through the music programme as well as working at the waterfront. I’ve recently returned from 3 months voluntary work in Sierra Leone and after camp I’ll be starting my studies at Manchester University in Anatomical Sciences.

Sam Seymour (Head of Staff): After graduating from Vassar College and taking some time to explore the “real world,” I’m excited to return to Pemi for my 8th summer (4th on staff). My last summer was in 2010 as the counselor of Upper 4. Since 2010 I’ve been working in research science – first at immunology lab in San Diego, followed by a stint at a pharmaceutical company in San Francisco. As the Head of Lacrosse this summer, I’m excited to coach Pemi’s laxers to success. I’ll also be contributing to basketball, the nature program, and soccer goalkeeping.

Paige Wallis (Head of Swimming and Waterfront): I’m from Norwich, Vermont, and this is my fifth summer at Pemi. This past winter I worked at the Dartmouth Skiway and was able to help plan the first Pemi Ski Day, sure to be an annual event! This summer I’m looking forward to another wonderful season at Pemi.

Olivia Walsh (Head of Sailing): I currently live in New Canaan, CT, but I have moved around quite a bit. I just finished my freshman year at Kenyon College (after spending a gap year living in Madagascar, Belize, and Ghana).  At Kenyon I play on the varsity soccer team and I am most excited about cross-cultural studies. This is my 4th summer at Pemi and I look forward to another summer as the Head of Sailing.

Amy Watt: I am from London and I have just graduated from Nottingham Business School. This will be my second year at Pemi working in the art program. I am looking forward to seeing some old and new faces! After Pemi I will make my way down to South America to work for an NGO; I am then moving to Canada to work within research.

Caretakers of our Physical and Mental Well-Being

Megan Brockelsby (Nurse): I am from the state of Washington and will be joining Pemi to be part of the nursing staff. I work at a university health center during the school year, which has allowed me the time to come for the summer.  I am looking forward to working at Pemi!

Szervac Halmai (Kitchen Staff): I am from Hungary. This is my second time in Pemi because I spent my last summer here as a kitchen worker. It was a hard job but I was very satisfied when we finished. I came back because it was a great time in my life and I met a lot of interesting people here. I come here with my brother and my friend. I invited them because I want them to discover the A merican culture.

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 procured a job 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 six seasons ago, first as a bus driver and maintenance person, then as an instructor in canoeing and kayaking. This is my second year as year-round Facilities and Grounds Director. I am excited for everyone to see the newly-expanded Lodge and two new cabins that were built over the winter.

Pappy Hayes (Assistant Chef): I was born and raised in the bluegrass state of Kentucky. I have over 25 years of experience in the culinary field and excited about being here at Camp Pemi for summer 2014. When not at Camp Pemi assisting Chef Stacey I live in Bowling Green, KY, and am Executive Chef at Deer Creek Lodge in Sebree, KY (a hunting and fishing lodge). I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and helping to make it an exciting summer for all.

Emily Martyn (Nurse): I grew up in Brattleboro, Vermont, and earned my BA from Kenyon College. I am currently pursuing my Masters of Science in Nursing in nurse midwifery at Yale University, where I also received my certificate in nursing. In the years between undergrad and grad school I worked as an assistant special education teacher and in healthcare research. I’m excited for my first summer as a Pemi nurse!

Stacey Saville (Head Chef): I’m originally from New York but currently live in Pensacola Florida where I teach young mothers (and fathers!) how to prepare balanced, healthy meals for their families. I have 28 years’ experience as a chef with a special passion for baking. For my third summer at Pemi, I’ll continue to incorporate produce and fresh foods from local farms into the menu. I’m delighted with my hardworking and energetic 2014 kitchen crew, made up of representatives from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.

Zbynek Nemecek (Kitchen Staff): It’s my first year at Pemi and first time in the US. I come from Czech Republic, which is famous for Antonin Dvorak, Vaclav Havel, etc. At university I study technology and mechanical engineering. I love music, because I play clarinet and I am a singer in a choir.

Michal Przybylski (Kitchen Staff): I come from Poland, where I live in Katowice. I study finance and accounting at the University of Economics in Katowice. I am 23. My biggest passion is music so I play trumpet when I have some free time. At Pemi I work as a member of the kitchen staff.

Viktor Sandor (Kitchen Staff): I am Viktor from Hungary. I am studying social pedagogy. It’s my first time in the USA and also at Pemi. Everybody is very kind and I like working in the kitchen.

 Values and Beliefs: Music at Pemi

Every May, ten to fourteen senior staff members meet for a weekend of planning and goal-setting for the summer ahead. During this most recent gathering, director Danny Kerr led a lively conversation on the role of music at Pemi.  Below is a compilation of the wide-ranging input that resulted…

I. Music is at the center of the Pemi experience both enhancing and creating our sense of community.

Music is inclusive at Pemi; everyone can participate and feel a part of the Pemi community, resulting in a sense of belonging to something greater than oneself, even for our newest campers.

We enjoy music as a community in a number of venues: in the Messhall, at Campfire, at Sunday Meeting, in occupations. In each of these settings, campers and staff make music together, no matter what their background in music might be.

Music is spontaneous; it allows the community to “gather” at any time of the day or night. On trips, in cabins, on the lake, music always has a seat at the table.

Music is a part of Pemi throughout the year, not just in the summer months; countless stories are told of campers singing Pemi songs during the winter: parents singing Pemi songs as lullabies to their children and Pemi music being a part of significant events, weddings, tributes, alumni gatherings both formal and informal, within Pemi men and women’s lives and family.

Music is part of the shared language at Pemi, be it words to camp songs, the hand motions that go along with these songs or melodies we all recognize and love.

II. Music is a vibrant example of presentations for the community at Pemi.

Offering music is a gift to the Pemi community. It honors and celebrates our commitment to, and belief in, excellence at Pemi, showcases expertise at the highest level and reminds us what commitment to one’s craft can allow.

Musical presentations are diverse; we are exposed to a wide variety of music at Pemi, which accentuates our varied backgrounds, interests, eras and tastes in music.

Musical presentation at Pemi is another opportunity for individuals in the community to shine; we rejoice in accomplishments in all areas of the Pemi program, music offers a chance to appreciate campers and staff alike from many places, walks of life, periods of time and interests.

III.  Music at Pemi helps us connect generations and celebrate the history of Pemi.

Music, be it Messhall singing, lyrics to tunes written by early founders at Pemi or G & S performances, connects young and old, new and veteran, grandfathers, fathers and sons, grandmothers, mothers and daughters.

Lyrics to Pemi songs tell the story of Pemi’s founders, its athletes, its characters, and the world in which previous generations of Pemi boys lived and grew.

Singing of the Rahill triplets, the Fauver twins, the Land of the Boston and Maine allows for images of those who came before us.

Music at Pemi is timeless in a way that few things are, it rarely changes; it affects and creates the same emotions for us as for our forebears.

IV. Music brings joy to the Pemi community; we celebrate with music.

Be it hand motions, the humor we find in song or ways to greet each new summer or bid adieu at summer’s end, music is always at the center of Pemi celebration.

Music at Pemi has a humorous side to it; it’s a vehicle for healthy camp humor and a chance to laugh at ourselves, or with others.

V.  Music is one of the many ways that the boys and counselor staff gain confidence and independence during the summer.

Music empowers us to express ourselves artistically and as individuals.

The collective voice is greater than the individual one. Being a part of a greater effort enhances one’s confidence in whatever musical undertaking we are a part of.

We take risks musically at Pemi, and the supportive community encourages us to take our music to levels we weren’t aware we could reach.

We find our own direction when performing, define ourselves as individuals, and grow in ways we never knew possible.