Alumni Newsletter – 2017 Preview

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

2017 CAMPERS

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

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

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

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

PEMI STAFF

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

Don Webster instructing Pemi boys on the art of bunting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACILITY UPDATE

A new cross section joins together the traditional twin piers.

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

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

A new superb playing surface for baseball and lacrosse.

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

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

Alumni Magazine – News and Notes – January 2017

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

CONGRATULATIONS

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

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

Fauver Wedding

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

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

Bryce Grey will head to Dickinson College this fall.

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

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

Miller Wedding

Conor Shaw helping lift Jeff Miller during the horah.

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

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

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

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

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

ALUMNI NEWS

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

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

Sandy and Hunter

Sandy and Hunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jameson, Josh, Chris, and Jon

Jameson, Josh, Chris, and Jon

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

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

Michael, Leif, and Dan

Michael, Leif, and Dan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria, William, Deckard and St. Nick!

Victoria, William, Deckard and St. Nick!

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

Jake and Leif

Jake and Leif

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

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

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

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

Kenny

Alumni Profiles

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

John Ravenal

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

Senior 1 - 1973

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

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

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

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

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

Campbell Levy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck, long life, and joy!