First and Second Sessions at Pemi provide a full experience within each three-and-a-half-week timeframe. However, events and opportunities differ with each session, whether they are First Session’s extra week of instructional occupations, 4th of July festivities, and Birthday Banquet, or Second Session’s Tecumseh Day, special trips, and Pemi Week, and it is luck of the draw as to when our Visiting Professionals are with us. About half of the boys each summer (around 85, ages eight through fifteen) are at Pemi for full season, joined by 85 in First Session and 85 boys in Second Session. Full Session boys enjoy all that Pemi offers, and rarely does a boy choose to scale back to a half season after experiencing Full Session. However, many campers happily return year after year for either first or second session out of preference, or because school, family, travel, and/or finances make it impossible to do Full Session. The three-and-a-half-week session is a solid camp experience and boys who have acclimated to camp routines are able to take advantage of every minute.
That being said, as with a college year abroad versus a half year abroad, there is no doubt that Full Session allows boys—who by the fourth week have fully settled into Pemi and feel comfortable with routines and friendships—to step further out of their comfort zones to try more new things and/or to refine expertise in a given area. Though this is counter-intuitive, a Full Session is an excellent choice for first-time campers. Transition from our familiar surroundings and routines to another setting takes time—even for those of us who return year after year—and can be all the more true for first time campers. The extra few weeks of Full Session lead to increased development in confidence and self-management skills in an almost magical, exponential way. For this reason, we strongly suggest that a family consider a full session, if schedule and finances allow.
Pemi’s educational mission is to help boys develop into independent, good citizens and to fully-support parents as they navigate the essential skills of “letting go.” We like to think we do so by providing excellent mentoring and instruction, with the hope that campers will return for several summers, each summer building upon past accomplishments, whether that is for seven weeks or three-and-a-half.