Nikki Tropeano, Pemi’s new Alumni Community Coordinator, recently sent a letter to Pemi alums regarding her new role. Thank you, Nikki, for all you are bringing to this new initiative and for sharing your letter here.
I am thrilled to write to you as the new Alumni Community Coordinator for Camp Pemi. I first visited the shores of Lower Baker Pond at the age of 8 along with my mother Kay, my brother Grant, and my stepfather Scott Withrow. Pemi holds a special place in my heart like no other. The memories I have of working hard and playing hard at Pemi—with friends both new and old—are woven into the fabric of my life. One of my favorite memories is how Tom Reed, Sr. would introduce me at the annual opening staff meetings as the person who had held the most varied number of positions at Pemi – even though I was never “a boy.”
From its very first days when Gar and Win Fauver and Dudley Reed convinced a dozen venturesome families to entrust their boys to their care in the Northern wilderness, Pemi has always been a place that forged a remarkable sense of community for those who were fortunate to spend a summer (and in many cases, many summers!) at Pemi. I always enjoyed seeing an unfamiliar car drive slowly past the Senior Beach, park in front of the Lodge, and have men of all ages step out to introduce themselves…alums from the thirties, forties, and on, who have come back to Pemi to “water their nostalgia plants” (as my mother would say).
Pemi’s regular reunions have always allowed us to reconnect with our extended camp family, but I am particularly looking forward to the 105th, which is slated for August 17-19, 2012. We’re looking forward to celebrating the tried and true—vaudeville, sports, trips, campfires, etc.—but we’re also looking forward to adding a variety of workshops offered by visiting professionals (many of whom are already members of our community). Perhaps activities such as comedy improv, night photography, and fly-tying may find their way into the daily program of events.
Let us not forget Bean Soup, which even as I write is entering the 21st century. From the very first 1910 edition to the most current serving, Bean Soup will be digitized so that you might read them on your own computer. We also plan to further develop and expand the Alumni section of the Pemi website and the Pemi Blog to provide more opportunity to exchange information, announcements, and accomplishments. We really look forward to becoming a comprehensive resource for the Pemi family.
Other ideas? How about events held in cities far and wide? How about travel? Imagine descending into the Grand Canyon with Larry Davis, exploring historical London with Tom Reed, Jr., or participating in the Gilbert and Sullivan Annual Festival in Buxton England. Suffice it to say there is plenty of room for brainstorming, and I hope you will share your own ideas by sending an email to me at alumni.
I am eager to hear from you, to develop this new opportunity, and to support the extended Pemi community. As in the words of the Pemi Campfire Song, I wonder if anyone’s better for anything I’ve done or said, and whether good will in the heart may offset mistakes of the head. Perhaps when life’s mem’ries are gathered the camp ones will be with the rest…. Let us set out together to rekindle those memories and share in developing new ones for each new crop of the Pemi family.
Good luck, Long life, and Joy.
Nicole Wilkinson Tropeano