• Athletics
  • Daily Life at Pemi
  • Nature
  • The Arts
  • Waterfront

Pemi’s heartbeat: daily occupations and activities

Photo by Rob Verger
Photo by Rob Verger

One of my favorite parts of being a camper at Pemi was the mornings spent in occupations, hustling from one activity to the next. “Occupations” is the word Pemi uses to describe the organized activities that occur every Moday through Friday and some Saturdays; each activity is 55 minutes long. Campers sign up for new occupations each week, giving them the consistency of five or more days in a row of doing the same activity, but also a change each week, too. This allows the instructors to develop lesson plans that build day-to-day; occupations are where the most structured teaching happens at Pemi each day.

As a camper, I loved any occupation on the water: waterskiing or canoeing, for example. Lower Baker Pond is more than big enough to host lots of activity on it simultaneously and feel far from crowded. I’ve also always loved the chance to take a canoe or kayak under the bridge into camp and explore the quiet lily pad and reed-filled lower lake, or “swamp,” as it’s sometimes called, with a group of campers and staff. (All campers at Pemi are always very closely supervised by staff on the water, both on the lake and lower lake.)

But most of all, when I was a camper, I loved taking sailing occupations. I loved time on the water in a small Sunfish sailboat, and later, in a larger boat called a Puffin. (Now, the Puffins have been upgraded to more modern multi-person sailboats called Capris.) In my years on staff at Pemi, I taught sailing more than any other activity, and I liked the circularity of it: as a camper, I learned how to sail, and as a counselor, I taught it.

Pemi offers all the occupations you might expect: baseball, soccer, tennis, basketball, wood shop, music, and nature occupations galore. If you were to drive into camp on a busy morning, you’d see the fields and the lakes alive with activity, and maybe pass a fifteen-passenger van driven by Larry Davis for a quick outing to the nearby butterfly field. But there are also occupations you might be surprised to hear Pemi offers—night photography, for example, and other arts occupations, like rock painting.

What were your favorite occupations to take or teach when you were at Pemi, and did any of them influence the direction your life took? I know that I can’t pass a sailboat now without thinking happily of Pemi.

Rob Verger

You may enjoy these, as well

Johanna Zabawa – Assistant Director

I am excited to share the news that Johanna Zabawa has joined the directorial team ...

The Distance Swim

Generations of Pemi campers have swum their distance, helping to establish this camp tradition as ...

Pemi Hut Trips: Part Two

If you missed Part One of our hut trip series, focused on Greenleaf Hut, here ...

Pemi Hut Trips: Part One

From their earliest days as Juniors, Pemi campers take to the trails to experience the ...

Cans from Campers Program Receives National Award

New Orleans, LA – February 6, 2024 Camp Pemigewassett is proud to announce that our Cans from Campers ...

Defining Photos of 2023

As we count down to the end of 2023, we want to take a moment to ...

Alumni News & Notes – Winter 2023

Greetings, Pemi Family! As we steadily march towards the end of an eventful 2023, I’m ...

Pemi West 2023

Pemi West provides former and new campers alike with the opportunity to hone their wilderness ...

Community Service & Engagement at Pemi

The Pemi experience provides innumerable opportunities for boys to have fun, try new activities, improve ...

2023 Newsletter #7

Greetings from Pemi! Hard as it is to believe, we’re well into the final ...

2023 Newsletter #6

Camp Pemi and our friends from Camp Tecumseh on Lake Winnipesaukee have engaged in a ...

2023 Newsletter #5

Hello from Wentworth! The second session of Pemi’s 116th summer continues to benefit from ...

2023 Newsletter #4

Greetings from sunny Wentworth! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and it’s ...

2023 Newsletter #3

Hello from the shores of the expanded Lower Baker Pond! It’s been quite a ...

2023 Newsletter #2

Hello from the shores of Lower Baker Pond! On the heels of a wonderful celebration ...

2023 Newsletter #1

Greetings from Camp Pemigewassett! I’m thrilled to be sharing the first newsletter of the 2023 ...

2023 Pemi Staff

We’re under two days away from the opening of Pemi’s 116th summer! Our ...

Waiters & Camp Aides

As boys progress through their Pemi journey, the opportunities for new adventures and leadership increase. ...

Birthdays at Pemi

What could be better than getting to celebrate your birthday once a year, every year? ...

Reading After Taps

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever been around boys aged 8...

2022-2023 Pemi Board Updates

Last fall, Pemi’s Board of Directors welcomed two new members and also saw the ...

Defining Photos of 2022

As 2022 draws to a close and winter begins to rear its head in earnest across ...

2022 16s Trip

In many ways, the 2022 Pemi West trip could be described as a homecoming. Our first ...

Bertha Hofstra Fauver – September 23, 1920 – October 1, 2022

We are saddened to share the news that Bertha Fauver died on October 1, just one ...

115th Reunion Newsletter!

After a hugely successful 2022 season, including record attendance at our third annual Family Camp, members ...

fireworks at Camp Pemi

Welcome back Johanna Zabawa!

I’m thrilled to share that Johanna Zabawa, a veteran staff member and great-granddaughter of ...

Karl Grafton See – October 2, 1970-September 9, 2022

Karl Grafton See, consummate Pemi boy, counselor, and lifelong friend, has died in Duxbury, MA ...

banner image newsletter 8

2022 Newsletter #8

Greetings from Camp Pemigewassett! I’m writing, sadly, not from the placid shores of Lower ...

2022 Newsletter #6

Good afternoon from yet another beautiful day in Wentworth, The weather here at Pemi continues ...