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Summer 2010: Staff bios

The 2010 Pemi staff atop Mt. Cardigan during pre-season training.

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, and this summer is no exception. While for a few of the staff this is their first summer at Pemi, the vast majority has years and years (and in some cases, years and years and years!) of experience on the shores of Lower Baker. We are grateful for their dedication and work ethic, impressed by their multitudinous talents, and humbled by their dedication to Pemi.

Cabin Counselors:

Zachary Barnard (J1): A former Pemi camper, Zach is entering his sophomore year at Boston University. He is from Savannah, Georgia, and he’s greatly looking forward to seeing new parts of the world, making new friends from around the globe, and pursuing a newfound passion in psychology.

Michael Zabar (J2): From New York City, Michael was a camper at Pemi for seven years. This is his first summer as a counselor. A rising sophomore at Tufts University, Michael will be instructing in soccer and basketball this summer.

Jeremy Keys (J3): A rising senior at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, Jeremy is from Downingtown, PA. A huge Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies fan, Jeremy runs track at Dickinson and has played the cello for over 10 years. “I heard about Pemi from one of my best friends (Dwight Dunston) who told me it was an amazing opportunity to have fun working with kids, build outstanding relationships with great people, and try new things. I am excited for my first season at Pemi and am looking forward to a memorable summer.”

Michael Benham (J4 and Junior Division Head): From Grafton, NH, Mike is a graduate of a five-semester program at the Collective School of Music in New York City, majoring in Electric Bass Performance. Mike took the winter off from school, save for studying privately on the upright bass. This spring, Mike completed a month of residency at the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, NY. He’ll be teaching jazz, bass, ensembles, and Zen meditation. “I aim to make myself a resource to juniors and camp staff and build a burnin’ quintet.”

Alastair Bowman (J5): Originally from Middlesbrough in the North East of England, Alastair has spent much of his life living abroad, including Nigeria, Oman, and Scotland. He has finished high school and taken a gap year before starting a course in Philosophy at St. Andrews in Scotland. “During my gap year I completed a charity trip to India and look forward to a summer at Pemi, where I hope to help the campers have as good a time as I am sure I will.”

Alexander Hadden (J6): From Weston, MA, Alex has just completed his freshman year at Elon University where he will be majoring in Communications. This will be his ninth summer at Camp Pemi, his third on staff. He will spend most of the summer on the waterskiing dock teaching wakeboarding and waterskiing.

Conner Scace (JT): From Mishicot, WI, Conner recently graduated from Elmira College where he majored in Biology. Conner will be teaching various nature occupations this summer. “I developed an interest in insects over the course of three visits to the Smithsonian. I will be moving to New Haven, CT, to start my master’s in Environmental Science with Larry Davis in the fall.”

Matt Wadge (L1): Hailing from Salisbury in the UK, Matt has just finished a gap year and will be heading to Bangor University in North Wales to study Marine Biology and Oceanography. “This is my first season at Pemi, and I am looking forward to having a great summer.”

Henry Eisenhart (L2 and Lower Division Head): Henry is a rising junior at St. Lawrence University. This is his eighth year at Pemi and his second on staff. This summer he will be teaching baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, and music. “I learned a lot last year, and now am ready to continue that learning and take on the role of lower-lower division head.”

Alex Reese (L3): This is Alex’s eighth summer at Pemi, his third as a staff member. From Wyomissing, PA, Alex studies psychology and economics at Johns Hopkins University. “This summer at Pemi, I hope to spend a lot of time on the baseball diamond and tennis courts preparing for Tecumseh Day.”

Erik Wiedenmann (L4): Hailing from Berlin, Germany, Erik moved to the USA to study Visual Arts and Literature at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University, respectively. After four years as a camper, this is his first year back as a cabin counselor. His interests include drawing, painting, and sports. “I am very excited to be back at Pemi, and am looking forward to another fantastic season.”

Will Clare (HT): From Manhattan, NY, Will is currently a student at Miami of Ohio, having previously attended The Loomis Chaffee School. “I will be teaching lacrosse and various other sports, and this is my tenth season at Pemi.”

Ted McChesney (L5 and Lower Division Head): From Richmond, VA, Ted is a rising senior at the University of Virginia where he double majors in history and French. This is his tenth year at Pemi, and this summer he will be teaching tennis, baseball, swimming, soccer, and basketball. “I am looking forward to another great summer on the shores of Lower Baker.”

Kevin O’Brien (L6): Hailing from Potomac, MD, Kevin was on the Junior Olympic archery team for Maryland and Virginia before heading to Kenyon College, where he is a rising junior. An avid rugby player, Kevin is a neuroscience major with a focus in bio-psychology and comparative neuroscience. This is his first summer at Pemi, where he is the Head of Archery.

Nick Ridley (L7): A returning counselor from North East England, Nick will be a third year chemistry student at Edinburgh University this fall. “I spent my first season at Pemi last year and since then, having had a wicked summer with the guys in Lower 7, I’ve been desperate to get back out here. I’m really looking forward to catching up with some of the faces from last summer over the next seven weeks.”

Ben Walsh (U1): Ben is returning for his ninth year at camp (his third on staff) after spending a gap year in the Middle East. In the fall he will be a freshman at Carleton College. This summer, he will spend the majority of his time coaching baseball and soccer.

Fitz Stueber (U2): Currently at Washington and Jefferson College, Fitz is an international business major who also plays varsity soccer. This is Fitz’s sixth year at Pemi, his first on staff. This summer he will be teaching soccer and woodworking.

Mark Winter (U3): This is Mark’s first year at Camp Pemi. From Newcastle, UK, Mark is in his second year at Leeds University in England. This summer he will be teaching percussion.

Sam Seymour (U4 and Upper Division Head): A rising senior at Vassar College, Sam has spent seven years at Pemi. This will be his third year on staff. Sam is looking forward to working with this year’s very strong lacrosse staff and continuing the program’s winning tradition, as well as teaching basketball, goalkeeping, and nature occupations. “My exposure to the nature program at Pemi has been very exciting. I’m hoping to continue learning under the guidance of our stellar nature staff while passing that knowledge along to the campers.”

Cory Fauver (S1 and Senior Division Head): This will be Cory’s eleventh season at Pemi, including Pemi West. He will be the head of the windsurfing program this summer, in addition to coaching soccer and ultimate Frisbee. Cory is a rising junior at Carleton College. “This year I hope to assist the senior campers in taking leadership roles across camp.”

Alexander Buteux (S2): Zander hails from Madison, NJ, and attends the University of Denver, studying engineering and business. A goalie on the Division 1 men’s lacrosse team, Zander will be instructing lacrosse, soccer, and windsurfing. This is his eighth summer at Pemi, and first as a counselor. “I took five summers off in between and I’m very excited to see the other side of the camp experience.”

Dwight Dunston (S3 and Senior Division Head): Dwight just graduated from Dickinson College where he majored in English and minored in Poetry. This fall he will be entering a Master’s program in Poetry at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Here at camp, he will be teaching basketball, track & field, poetry, and comedy improv. “In my second year here at Pemi, I hope to once again provide a safe and exciting atmosphere for the campers where they can grow and learn new things from the counselors and also from each other.”

Chris Dollman (LT): A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Chris is a rising junior at the University of St. Andrews where he studies Financial Economics. Chris will teach sailing and soccer this summer. “This is my second year at Pemi – the Pemi bug got me! I plan to build on the really enjoyable year I had last year and make the 2010 season memorable.”

Assistant Counselors:

Austin Blumenfeld (Assistant Counselor J1): This is Austin’s fifth summer at Pemi. In the fall, he will be a senior at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, NY. Austin will be teaching baseball, track, and tennis. “I look forward to having a great summer with the campers.”

Willy Rittling (Assistant Counselor J2): From Brookline, MA, Willy graduated from Brookline High School this past June and will be attending Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, this fall. A three-year Pemi veteran, Willy will be teaching running, windsurfing, and other water sports this summer.

Adam Sandler (Assistant Counselor J4): This will be Adam’s eighth summer at Pemi and his first on staff. Adam will be teaching lacrosse, swimming, and fishing. “Pemi has been my home away from home since I was nine years old and I am really excited to be a part of the staff that makes this place so special.”

Richard Komson (Assistant Counselor J5): From New York City, Richard is a rising senior at the Loyola School in Manhattan. He spent six summers as a Pemi camper and attended Pemi West last summer. This summer Richard will teach nature occupations as well as athletics.

David Bowes (Assistant Counselor J6): David is entering 11th grade at Mercersburg Academy in PA. Originally from Stamford, CT, he now hails from Washington, DC, along with his brother Daniel (a camper this summer). “I love sports and competition, and hope to play college lacrosse. I currently swim as well, and will be playing football for the first time in the fall. Pemi is a long tradition in my family (my grandfather and father attended), and I am very excited to join the Pemi legacy this summer.”

Aidan Daniell (Assistant Counselor L1): Aidan just graduated from Brooks School and will be heading to Wesleyan University in the fall. Aidan will be teaching waterskiing, lacrosse, and soccer. “I decided to be an Assistant Counselor here at Pemi because I loved it here so much as a camper. I hope this summer I can help to create the best experience possible for the campers and counselors.”

William Sargent (Assistant Counselor L2): A recent graduate of the Westminster School, Will will be a freshman at Union College next year. This summer at camp he will teach tennis, lacrosse, and various waterfront activities. “I also hope to go on a couple of camping trips throughout the summer.”

Andrew McChesney (Assistant Counselor L3): Andrew is a rising senior at Millburn High School where he plays both hockey and lacrosse. A six-year Pemi veteran, this is Andrew’s first time on staff. This summer he will be spending most of his time on the lacrosse field or at the boathouse.

Wesley Eifler (Assistant Counselor L5): A rising senior at Choate Rosemary Hall, Wesley is from New Canaan, CT. He was a camper at Pemi for seven years and, after taking one year off, he is back as an AC. This summer he will be teaching baseball, photography, and sailing. “Over the course of the summer I would like to bring back occupations like improv and guerrilla theater.”

Cody Ladden (Assistant Counselor U1): From West Boylston, MA, Cody just completed his junior year at West Boylston Middle/High School. Passionate about nature, weather, and the outdoors, Cody will be teaching nature, archery, and swimming this summer. “I hope to make many excellent friends during my first summer at Pemi.”

Jay McChesney (Assistant Counselor U3): Hailing from Richmond, VA, Jay is a rising senior at St. Christopher’s School where he plays squash and lacrosse. This is Jay’s seventh summer at Pemi, and he will be teaching lacrosse, swimming, and sailing. “Pemi is the place where I first learned how to sail and it is something I really enjoy now. I hope I can pass my love for sailing on to Pemi campers.

Bridgid Ruf (Assistant Counselor): This is Bridgid’s second summer at Pemi. Hailing from Southport, CT, Bridgid just graduated from the Lawrenceville School and will be attending Wellesley College in the fall. Bridgid also plays viola and piano. “I am looking forward to teaching music lessons, performing at campfire and Sunday meetings, as well as participating in the Gilbert and Sullivan show this summer.”

Olivia Walsh (Assistant Counselor): From New Canaan, CT, Olivia is a rising junior at Northfield Mount Hermon School. For the past eight summers Olivia has been a camper at the Aloha Camps, but she is excited to spend this summer at Pemi with three of her brothers. A varsity rower and soccer player, Olivia will be spending most of her time this summer teaching swimming and sailing. “I am really looking forward to these next seven weeks.”

Program Staff:

Jamie Andrews (Trip Counselor): Jamie has returned for his twelfth summer at Pemi and fourth year on staff. He is looking forward to sharing the pristine beauty of the White Mountains with campers. Jamie is a rising junior at Kenyon College, majoring in Political Science. In camp he will be instructing at the waterfront and on the rugby pitch.

Ian Axness (Head of Music): After moving to NYC last September, Ian is currently working with various arts institutions as a freelance accompanist, music director, and intern. This will be his fourth summer at Pemi. He will be teaching piano, instrumental group improvisation, and Gilbert & Sullivan occupations, in addition to performing/accompanying throughout the season. Also very excited to serve as Co-Head of Campfire and Bean soup editor!

Anna Ciglar (Head of the Arts Program): Anna is back for her eleventh summer at Pemi. She teaches middle and high school science at a small private boarding school in Rindge, NH. She plays the bagpipes and competes all over New England as a piper. She is also an instructor in Scottish Highland Dancing. “At Pemi I teach things like Ukrainian eggs, temari balls, and duct tape crafts. I can usually be found in the company of my 4-year old son, Jonathan, who wants to be a Pemi kid when he is bigger.”

Larry Davis (Director of Nature Programs and Teaching):  A geologist, caver, flautist, and former NCAA soccer referee, Larry has spent 41 years on the Pemi staff. He received his AB from Washington University in St. Louis and his Ph.D in Geological Sciences from the University of Rochester. During the off-season, Larry is a professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven.

Porter Hill (Assistant Administrator): This is Porter’s twentieth summer at Pemi, his thirteenth on staff. Currently a third-grade teacher at Greenwich Country Day School, Porter will spend the first few weeks of the summer at Pemi teaching soccer, baseball, and nature.

Evan Jewett (Head of Shop): Evan has spent the last several years working as a cabinetmaker, furniture crafter, and finish carpenter. “I am excited to pass along my skills to Pemi campers. Along the way, I hope also to impart my great appreciation for finely crafted wooden pieces, be they artistic, decorative, or purely functional.”

Deb Kure (Associate Head of Nature Programs): After studying Geology at the University of Rochester, Deb attended the first Nature Instructors’ Clinic at Pemi in 1993. That led to seasonal outdoor science teaching and trip-leading jobs at outdoor schools, ranches, and camps across the US. After five and a half years as an Outreach Instructor with the Education Division of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, a move to New Hampshire brought Deb back to Pemi in 2008. “I’ve been delighted to be involved with such an in-depth nature program. Trips to area mines and geology hotspots of the White Mountains are an especial treat to enjoy with campers! A move this year to Austin, Texas, has made returning to the North Woods and the Pemi family each summer all the more mandatory!”

Noble Macfarlane (Trip Counselor): A native of San Francisco, Noble just graduated from Brown University. This is his tenth summer at Pemi. While not on trips, Noble will be instructing campers in competitive swimming, piano, and nature. Noble is also a lifeguard, Wilderness First Responder, organist, and mathematician.

Brian Mitchell (Head of Staff): This is Brian’s eleventh year at Pemi and his seventh on staff. This summer he will be the Head of Staff, overseeing counselor and assistant counselor responsibilities. He currently lives in Baltimore, MD, where he teaches upper school math at the Boys’ Latin School of Maryland. He is also the 9th grade Dean and a coach of JV boys’ soccer and lacrosse.

Ken Moore (Director of Water Activities): From Rocky River, OH, Ken is the Head of Waterfront and has also helped coordinate staff hiring for the past two winters. This is Ken’s eighteenth year at Pemi. During the school year Ken teaches history in the Upper School at Lake Ridge Academy and has recently been named Director of Alumni Affairs. Ken received his BA from Kenyon College and his Master’s in Education from the TAP Program in Cleveland.

Abby Reed (Co-Head of Junior Camp): From Carlisle, PA, this is Abby’s fifth summer working at Pemi (although she’s been around for many more summers!). In January Abby will graduate from Middlebury College, where she studies English literature and art history. “This summer I’m excited to be Co-Head of the Junior Camp, and I’m also looking forward to teaching swimming and nature.”

Dottie Reed (Head Administrator): This is Dottie’s twenty-third summer at Pemi, and the first as a year-round staff member. Though she’ll spend a few hours a day in the office, she hopes to be out and about with campers, enjoying art projects, conversations, and being a surrogate mom to anyone who might want one. “It has been a fascinating off-season, working on the new website, blog, and online capabilities. I hope you have enjoyed the results!”

Peter Scheuermann (Trip Counselor): This is Peter’s second year at Pemi. He is a rising junior at Carleton College, where he studies geology. Peter will spend the first session at Pemi before heading to Lima, Peru, in August for a study abroad program. “I hope to lead some great rain-free trips this summer.”

Fred Seebeck: Fred joined the Pemi family forty-seven summers ago, when he was in Junior 3. During the off-season he is a teacher and coach at the Loomis Chaffee School. “Since my first summer at Pemi, my experiences as a counselor and coach at Pemi have led me to a very fulfilling 34 year career in secondary education. I cannot fully express my gratitude for these gifts.”

Paige Wallis (Instructor): This is Paige’s first summer at Pemi. A rising junior at the University of Vermont, Paige studies English and history and will be teaching swimming and life guarding this summer. “I can’t wait to experience all that is Camp Pemi.”

Kelsey Wensberg (Childcare): Kelsey is returning as a second year staff member at Pemi. From Darien, CT, Kelsey attends Portsmouth Abbey School in Rhode Island. This summer she will be looking after staff children. “I’m looking forward to making many new friendships as I did last year. Pemi truly is a blessing and I’m so excited to be back once again.”

Johanna Zabawa (Co-Head of Junior Camp): This is Johanna’s sixth year at Pemi. From Afton, MN, Johanna works as a family social worker at Moreland Elementary School. This summer she is excited to be co-heading the Junior Camp and coaching baseball.

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