Summer 2012: Newsletter #1

It’s 10 in the morning, Tuesday, June 26th, and we’re now well into the third full day of Pemi’s 105th season. As we sit here in the “West Wing,” the sound of Owen Fried working through Pachelbel’s Canon under the attentive ear of Ian Axness drifts into the room, as Owen preps to perform at an upcoming Sunday meeting. Out on the courts, Jeff Greene and his staff run the twenty boys in tennis occupation through some lively drills – and off the lake come the sounds of Sunfish slapping through choppy waves while the ski-boat tows a wake-boarder through the same. All’s as it should be, despite some pesky gray weather we’re expecting to clear in a day or so.

2012 staff on Mt. Cardigan, preseason

It was good seeing many of you on Saturday as you dropped your boys off on Opening Day. That day’s showers actually broke a mild drought we’d experienced during staff training week so, on balance, it was okay to see Jupiter Pluvius roll back into our valley to green things up again. By Saturday, the staff was anything but green, having been through a week plus of orientation – and certification in everything from Red Cross Lifeguarding to Wilderness First Aid. We’re really excited about the group of young men and women who will be looking after your sons this summer, and hasten to refer you to the blog post detailing their backgrounds and interests.

One of the most gratifying developments so far is the quality and quantity of food coming out of the Pemi kitchen. We’re delighted to have hired a new chef, Stacey Saville-Moore from Richmond, Kentucky and she and her crew are most definitely living up to the Michelin-guide-style reviews that came from her references. The initial acid-test of any Pemi kitchen is, of course, the pizza turned out on opening night, and Stacey’s was right up there with Frank Pepe’s in New Haven. Stacey also pleasantly surprised us by lining up a source for the traditional first-night dessert – Hood Rockets. We’d been told they’d finally gone the way of the Edsel, but Stacey proved us wrong. She’s already confessed to loving this place. We’re already thinking we’re reciprocating.

Henry Eisenhart and Harrison Green

Saturday’s evening program featured our inaugural campfire, thankfully held outdoors as the skies cleared and left the pond laced with drifting mist fired to glowing pastels as the sun dropped in the west. First on the playlist was a spirited, all-hands-on-deck round about the Chicago Fire of 1871, featuring blood-curdlingly loud yells of “Fire, Fire, Fire!” Campers Phineas Walsh and Andre Altherr then calmed the crowd with a guitar solo of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” and an old British ballad, respectively. They were followed by a staff trio of Bridgid Ruf (also on mandolin), Zach Barnard, and Dorin Dehls with a stealthily-philosophical number about multiple voices becoming “one.” Ben Ballman stepped up boldly on his first Pemi day ever with a riddle that tested the geometrical acumen of the average camper, and then Robert Loeser returned triumphantly to the virtual microphone with an unaccompanied cover of “Somebody to Love” that left this correspondent sockless. In pursuit of his one-man campaign to preserve 90’s indie rock, AC Harry Eifler then brought in Peter Siegenthaler to accompany him on guitar on “The Aeroplane over the Sea” (“Oh, yeah,” you’re all saying to yourselves, “the song by Neutral Milk Hotel.”) After some quotable quotes from Jeff Greene on the importance of play and playfulness, a lakeside sax improvisation Henry Eisenhart (age twenty-two) and Harrison Green (age ten), and our annual visit from Maurice Gagnon, world-champion moose-caller (who, if truth be told, always looks suspiciously like Nature Director Larry Davis), it was “The Campfire Song,” back to the cabins, and a cozy tuck-in to freshly made beds as the crescent moon dropped quietly over Pemi Hill.

Sunday dawned brilliantly, as more than a few of your boys awoke to what may have been the unusual stimuli of the sun pouring directly through an open window or doorway onto their pillows – and dozens of birds testing their chirps as they stretched their wings in trees mere feet away. A live bugle rendition of “Reveille” finished the job (thanks to Ryan Fauver in the Upper camp and Teddy Farkas in the Junior), and then it was a few calisthenics and into the pond for the season’s first polar bear dip. A busy day followed: swim tests, health checks, weight checks, all-camp photo, cabin photos (on both of which more later), letters home, team practices, group-building scavenger hunts, and 2012’s first free swim. Stacey and her crew get Sunday afternoons off, so supper was a cook-out run by the division heads, with the whole camp spread out on the lawns in front of the messhall. Trip Counselor Richard Komson played DJ, and more than a few barbecue chefs, food-servers, crowd-managers, and diners were seen to prance and gyrate to the likes of Freddy Mercury, The Boss, and the Supremes. Timeless stuff – and rock-solid fun for young and old (no pun intended). The first Sunday meeting honored our more personal past, with a look back at the first two generations of Pemi directors and the qualities that helped them make this camp what it is – all of which we hope were presented to the night’s audience as things that campers might find it worthwhile (and possible!) to emulate.  True history out of the way, the evening ended with a recently-recovered, seven-minute, b&w silent movie assembled here in the ’40s and ’50s – “Foolish Flashes” – depicting Pemi in ways more reminiscent of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin than the current camp recruiting video. Ask your sons for details – but the message (if there was one) is that one of the more underappreciated ways to guarantee that you accomplish something in life is not always to take yourself too seriously.

Helping, as always, with the task of greasing the skids of institutional progress with the lubricant of laughter was last night’s first reading of Bean Soup, now in its 103rd year as the opinion leader of Pemigewassett. A crowd of 240 gathered in the Lodge at 7:30 in the evening, eagerly awaiting the arrival of this year’s editors, Ian Axness and Peter Siegenthaler. When these two strode to the front of the room and mounted the table that is the traditional bully pulpit, no one was disappointed: BS got off to one of the strongest starts we can recall. We’ll spare you the details for now, confident that some of you will seize the opportunity to read the thing itself when it arrives at your homes next December, all tastefully printed and bound. If, that is, you can wrest the copy from your enthralled sons. (BTW, will Bean Soup ever be distributed for Kindle and Nook, we wonder? And are the Four Docs rolling in their graves even as we ask that question?) Suffice it to say that one of the most memorable features of the evening was a part of an initiative this year to enhance opportunities for leadership for our oldest campers. Halfway through the Soup, Ian and Peter invited Lake Tent denizen Harry Cooke to join them for the week’s “Senior Moment.” Harry delivered himself of a masterpiece of terse whimsy involving (of course) life-searching questions about pagodas and their placement – serving notice, in the process, that he himself is very likely to be a Bean Soup editor before too very long.

That brings us up to this morning – and, as we wrap this missive, we’re pleased to say that not a drop of rain has fallen in the whole forenoon. The forecast for the end of the week is a good one, and plans are already afoot to get some Lower and Upper Intermediate backpacking trips into the mountains on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Speaking of mountains, participants in Pemi West, our mountain leadership program in Olympic National Park, arrive in Port Angeles this afternoon, joining leaders Evan Jewett, Dan Reed, and David Paolella for what will surely be a transformative experience in their young lives. We half wish we could join Dan Fulham, Peter Montante, Alexander Dietl, Sam Papel, Nathan Tempro, and Sam Harrigan as they shoulder their packs and head off towards Mount Olympus. Then again, there’s plenty that’s equally exciting going on here. Stay tuned for further details.

— Tom and Danny

2012 Pemi Staff




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.

And now, the 2012 crew:

Danny Kerr (Director): I am happy to be at Pemi for my third summer and, though it is hard to believe, this is my 41st summer overall at summer camp. I still very much think of myself as a New Yorker, but my wife and I are now happily settled in Keene NH. While at Pemi, I look forward to once again coaching 15 and under baseball, sharing my dog Bodie with the boys, and supporting the staff and campers in every way I can.

Tom Reed (Director): I am the grandson of one of Pemi’s founders, in my 53rd summer as a camper or staff member. I head Pemi’s extensive Trip Program (and am known to write a Bean Soup article or newsletter or two). I took my degrees at Yale and the University of Virginia and, in my spare time, am Professor of English at Dickinson College.

Ken Moore (Assistant Director): Born and bred in Lakewood, Ohio, I teach 9th grade history at Lake Ridge Academy where I also serve as Director of Alumni Relations.  This is my twentieth summer at Pemi, some as a boy, counselor and Division Head, and more recently as Waterfront Head and now as Assistant Director. I organize and implement Pemi’s massive daily Program.  My BA is from Kenyon College and my MAED is from University School’s Teacher Apprentice Program through Ursuline College.  This summer I hope to continue our institutional goal of encouraging boys to try new activities as well as to build previous skills to a newfound level of excellence.

Fred Seebeck (Assistant Director): Having begun my Pemi career in J3 way back in 1963, I look forward to spending parts of yet another wonderful summer at Pemi during pre-season, pre-Tecumseh week, and Pemi Week.  The allure of some reminiscing with old friends during the 105th reunion offers a special incentive to be at Camp again this summer, as do the terrific staff and awesome campers that we always seem to attract.  Warm wishes to you all out there in cyberspace, and see you at the Reunion!

Dottie Reed (Head Administrator): I have the privilege of working year ’round for Pemi and am thrilled that the 2012 season is finally underway. During the winter, I live in Carlisle Pennsylvania with my husband Tom (little did I realize when we married 25 years ago what that would lead to). I coordinate a range of nuts ‘n’ bolts, from forms to photos. I also recommend that every parent read Homesick and Happy.

Judy Ireton (Accounts): this is my sixth summer at Pemi where I handle the camp bookkeeping, camper accounts, employee payroll, and support the office staff. During the winter, I work for Pemi from my Inverness, Florida home, where I also enjoy travel, reading, and spending time with friends.

Cabin Counselors

J1- Zach Barnard (Division Head): This past year, I was fortunate to spend ten weeks traveling and exploring Europe as well as the Alaskan wilderness. In between my travels, I worked at Pemi, back home in Savannah, Georgia, and in Oberlin, Ohio. I’m so lucky to finish up this incredible year on the shores of Lower Baker where I plan to teach in the Nature and Art & Music programs, and more importantly, to serve as the Junior One counselor for my third year, introducing the next generation of our youngest campers to the wonders of Pemi.

J2- Austin Blumenfeld: I’m from Chappaqua, New York and am a rising sophomore at Binghamton University.  This will be my sixth summer at Pemi and second on staff.  Some of the areas in which I will be teaching and assisting with include baseball, tennis, frisbee-running bases, and waterskiing.  As a former camper who spent a vast majority of time strictly on the athletic fields, I hope to encourage current campers to step out of their comfort zone and take part in activities that they wouldn’t typically participate in.  I look forward to seeing you and your sons up on Lower Baker and a great 105th summer at Pemi!

J3- Adam Sandler: I am 19 years old, from Westchester New York and am excited to return for my tenth summer at Pemi, my third on staff. I look forward to passing on my own enthusiasm to campers for fishing, lacrosse, the art program, frisbee, and waterfront activities.

J4- Jay McChesney: I am from Richmond Virginia and spent last year at the University of Vermont pursuing a political science major and playing on the club squash team and will be a sophomore next year at Sewanee: The University of the South. This will be my ninth summer at Pemi and I will be teaching mainly sailing and lacrosse but hope to explore some new things here as well.

J5- Ben Ridley: I am from north of England, and just finished my second year at the University of Leeds studying Graphic and Communication Design. This will be my second year as a counselor at Pemi and I really look forward to helping with the music and arts program.

J6- Henry Eisenhart (Division Head): I’m from Natick, Massachusetts, and just recently graduated from St. Lawrence University where I received in a BA in Environmental Studies and minored in music. This is my tenth year at Camp Pemi and fourth year on staff. This summer I will be the co-Division-Head along with Zach Barnard in the Junior Division. Throughout the summer I will spend my time teaching various athletics and music. I’m really excited to be back on Lower Baker for an awesome summer!

JT- Matt Bolton: I am a rising sophomore at New York University, where I am studying studio art and this will be my first year at Pemi. As an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, I enjoy hiking, canoeing, and everything outdoors. I will be teaching in the art and photo departments here at Pemi. I’m looking forward to a fun summer, and sharing my knowledge of the wilderness and my love of art with the boys.

L1- Mike Plecha: This is my second year at Pemi and I will teach basketball, baseball, soccer, and swimming, A capella, and anything else I am asked to help with.  During the academic year, I study Music Industry at Northeaster University. I am excited to return to Pemi and to work with the wonderful kids and staff that make this camp so special.

L2- Conner Scace (Division Head): I have finished my second year as a graduate student working with Dr. Larry Davis at the University of New Haven and currently live in West Haven, Connecticut. This will be my third year at Pemi instructing nature and basketball occupations. I am looking forward to another summer at Pemi, alongside a great staff. I want to encourage campers to try new things, make new friends, and have fun this summer.

L3- Ryan Fauver: I’m from Chatham NJ and will be a sophomore at Skidmore College in the fall. This is going to be my tenth summer at Pemi. I’m the camp bugler and am looking forward to spending long hours in the Junior Lodge working with the Silver Cornet Band and other music occupations.

L4- Max Nugiel: I have just finished my sophomore year at the University of Vermont pursuing a degree in Political Science and Economics. My first time back since my six year run as a camper, I cannot wait to have an amazing summer on the shores of Lower Baker once again. I will be coaching soccer and track and also helping out in the music program and will encourage campers to explore everything Pemi has to offer.

HT- Mike McKeand: I am from a small village called Biggar in Scotland but originally from the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebridees. I come from a very rural background and so have a natural love of the outdoors, as well as sport with rugby being my real passion. I will be helping mainly with the nature program but also with soccer and woodworking. This will be my first time at camp and so I am looking forward to new challenges and new experiences!

L5- Will Clare (Division Head): I am from New York City where I currently study accounting at Hunter College. I am returning to Pemi for what will be my 12th summer, seven as a camper and now my fifth as a staff member. I will be one of the division heads for the lowers and will teach lacrosse, tennis, and a variety of other sports.

L6- David Bowes: My name is David Albright Bowes, from Washington D.C. I just graduated from Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania where I was President of the Student Body and played football, wrestled, and played lacrosse during my senior year.  In the fall I am going to be at Bowdoin College, where I will proudly be playing lacrosse for the Polar Bears. I am excited for a great summer at Pemi!

L7- Willy Rittling: I just finished my sophomore year at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY where I am majoring in Business Financial Information and Analysis. I currently live in Brookline Massachusetts. This summer I will help in the woodshop and also will teach windsurfing and rugby.

U1- Andrew McChesney: I am from Short Hills NJ and am a rising sophomore at Trinity College in Hartford Ct. This will be my eighth summer at Pemi, third on staff, and I can’t wait to get back! I plan to be teaching lacrosse, sailing and other occupations. My goal for the summer is to create a fun and welcoming community for all the boys.

U2- Sam Ubersax: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Pemi as a camper for two summers. I just finished my freshman year at Amherst College where I play on the Men’s Tennis Team and will be a Resident Counselor for “First Years” next fall.  I look forward to helping out with the tennis program and any other athletic activity that may require assistance.

U3- Charlie Shiverick (Division Head):  After graduating from Colgate University in 2010, I have spent the last two winters in Vail, CO working as a Snocat operator and for the Vail race department. This will be my seventh summer at Pemi, and third on staff. I am the head of waterskiing and also will teach some baseball and help out wherever else I’m needed.

U4- Galen Ryan: I am 20 years old, from Riverside, IL, and am a rising junior at Carleton College in Northfield, MN where I am a Psych major. I play for the Carleton Ultimate Team and plan to go to medical school. This is my second summer at Pemi and in addition to being a cabin counselor I look forward to teaching Ultimate frisbee and swimming.

S1- Ian Steckler: I’m from Chevy Chase, MD and am a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis.  This will be my fifth summer at Pemi, my first as a counselor.  I’m looking forward to coaching basketball and baseball as well as instructing sailing and guitar.  I can’t wait to get after it, and I hope to encourage campers to make the most of each day.

S2- Thomas Scarf: I’m currently studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Hull in the north east of England, with an aim to work in the British Civil Service upon graduation. Coming from an international family and having lived and travelled across the world has given me a unique set of experiences that I believe will benefit the boys at Camp Pemi. I am looking forward to coaching soccer and getting involved in other outdoor pursuits, especially hiking, sampling the spectacular views found in New Hampshire.

S3- Ben Walsh (Division Head): I am excited to spend my eleventh summer at Pemi; this will be my fifth on staff. I am a rising junior at Carleton College where I enjoy everything, so make sure to have your kid look there. This summer I hope to make sure fingernails get dirty and later cleaned.

LT- Peter Siegenthaler (Division Head): Originally from Millbrook, NY, I am a freelance photographer and gardener when I am not at Pemi. This will be my fifth summer on staff, during which I will be a head of the Senior Division. I will be instructing occupations in the nature and arts program, and I will also be a co-editor of the infamous Bean Soup.

Assistant Counselors

J1- Buck Baskin: I am from Glastonbury, Connecticut, just outside of Hartford. I am going to be a senior at Choate Rosemary Hall, a high school in Wallingford, Connecticut. I am an Assistant Counselor at Pemi. I spent three summers at Pemi, and I spent last summer with Pemi West. I’m looking forward to sharing the Pemi experience I had as a camper with the campers who are coming this year.

J2- Teddy Farkas: I am from New York, NY and just graduated the Trinity School and will be heading to Kenyon College, in Ohio, in the fall. This will be my seventh summer at Pemi and my first year on staff. I hope to be teaching water polo, swimming, and lacrosse while at camp this summer. I’m very excited to come back to camp after a few years away and hope to show the campers as great a time as I had as a camper.

J3- Gus Walsh: My family lives in New Canaan, Ct but I go to boarding school in Concord, NH (St. Paul’s School) where I just finished my sophomore year. This is my eighth summer at Camp Pemi and my first year as an assistant counselor. I look forward to spending time playing sports and creating art masterpieces.

J4- Juan Gallardo: I am from Los Angeles, CA, and recently graduated from prep school in western Massachusetts. Next year I will be a freshman at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. I will be teaching both Track and Soccer; also, I will be an assistant counselor in Juniorville where I will hopefully have tons of fun and make lots of new friends with the campers.

J5- Harry Eifler: This summer will be my ninth at Pemi and my first on staff after one summer away. All three of my older brothers also attended Pemi in summers past. These sentences make me sound like I’m making an e-harmony account; I’ll try to be a bit less formal. This coming year I’ll be heading into my senior year at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, another home away from home. On a personal note, I enjoy playing the piano, singing, and taking long walks on the beach.

J6- Will Meinke: I am 17 years old, from Westport, Connecticut. This coming fall I will attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva NY, and will major in economics.  This is my seventh summer at Pemi, and my first on staff. I look forward to contributing to the soccer program, on the waterfront, and much more!

L1- Sam Maher: I am eighteen years old from Sheffield, MA. I graduated from Berkshire School this spring. This fall I will be a freshman at Bates College. I was a camper at Pemi for four summers, and this will be my first summer as an Assistant Counselor. I love acting and singing in chorus, and I have also loved rowing crew. I look forward to having a great summer at Pemi and meeting all of the campers.

L2- Owen Ritter: I am from New York, NY, entering my senior year of high school at the Dalton School, where I play varsity football and lacrosse and participate heavily in the music program. This will be my seventh summer at Pemi, and I look forward to helping with music as well as sailing and lacrosse.

L4- Payne Hadden: I am from Weston, MA and am returning to camp for my tenth summer on the shores of Lower Baker. I just finished my senior year at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH and will be attending Colgate University in the fall. I will be teaching soccer, basketball, swimming, wakeboarding and lacrosse as well as helping out in many different programs areas at camp.

L5- Nate Kraus: I’ve been a part of the Pemi family for four years now (five if you include Pemi West.) I live in Williamstown, MA. I’m a rising senior at the Millbrook School in Millbrook, NY, where I play varsity tennis and act as Vice President of the student body. I like to play tennis, sail, play music, and do just about everything else Pemi has to offer. I’m thrilled to be back at Lower Baker Pond this summer.

U1- Andrew Brummer: I’m from Chatham, New Jersey and I just graduated from Newark Academy in Livingston, NJ. I am looking forward to attending Colgate University in the fall, where I will be a freshman. This is my ninth summer at Pemi, and I hope to continue my work on the tennis courts, soccer pitch, and waterfront.

U3- Stan Barlow: I’m from Belmont, MA, and I am a rising senior at the Brimmer and May School in Newton, MA. This will be my third year at Pemi, not including the Pemi West trip I took last summer; but my first year on staff. I look forwards to assisting with basketball, soccer, and most of all baseball; and perhaps even teaching beginner’s guitar. I look forwards to getting back into the amazing community that Camp Pemi offers, and I would love to see a victory on Tecumseh Day!

Trip Leaders

Jamie Andrews (Head of Trips): I’m from Columbus Ohio, and just graduated from Kenyon College. This will be my fourteenth summer with Pemi, and my fourth season leading trips for camp. Outdoor experiences are few and far between for kids these days, so I think the opportunity to get out in nature is important and enlightening for many Pemi campers. I’m also incredibly intelligent and good looking, please hire me for a job.

Brock Ellis: G’day America! This will be my first time visiting your beautiful country. I’m a primary school teacher and taught grade 5 last year, in Sydney. I’ve taken this year off teaching to travel and have the best time I possibly can. This is obviously my first time at camp, and I can’t wait to get in and have a go doing anything and everything. I studied at the University of Notre Dame Sydney, a product of your Notre Dame University. I’ve spent the earlier part of the year backpacking across Europe, and can’t wait to be in North America.

Dan Willard: I am from Cranberry Township, PA, and I have just finished my freshman year at Bucknell University, where I am studying Chemical Engineering with an Environmental Concentration and minoring in Engineering Geology.  After five years as a camper, I am very excited for my first year on staff as a trip counselor.  The trip program was a huge part of my camp experience, and I can’t wait to share a love for the outdoors with the campers this year.

Program Staff

Ian Axness (Head of Music): Born and raised in Los Angeles, enlightened at Oberlin, I now live in New York City where I freelance as a pianist and theatrical music director.  I will be teaching piano, improvisation, songwriting, and Gilbert & Sullivan occupations this summer, in addition to writing/editing Bean Soup and generally avoiding physical exertion. This is my sixth summer at Pemi.

Larry Davis (Director of Nature Programs and Teaching): A.B., A.M. in Earth Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis. PhD in Geological Sciences University of Rochester. Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven. This is my 43rd year on Pemi’s staff. Flutist, caver in chief, wild foods chef, collector of waterfalls, lover of all things “natural.”

Dorin Dehls: I am from Woodstock, Connecticut. I am please to say that this will be my fourth year returning to Pemi. I recently graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a degree in Music Education and I am excited to return as part of the music staff. I can’t wait to get started on this year’s production of Pirates of Penzance, and I look forward to seeing some bright new faces along with Gilbert & Sullivan veterans in the cast this year!

Dwight Dunston (Head of Staff): This will be my fourth year at Pemi and I am very excited for another wonderful summer on Lower Baker Pond. This past year I worked at Friends’ Central School right outside of Philadelphia as a Communications Assistant and Track & Field coach. While in this new position, I lost count of how many times I found myself talking about my life in the summer. Needless to say, it is so great to be back at this place, surrounded by all these wonderful people.

Emilie Geissinger: I am from Darien, CT and will be going into my junior year at Bates College.  This is my second year working at Pemi.  I am majoring in Biology and am a member of the Bates swim team and water polo team.  I will be teaching swimming and am excited for another summer here in New Hampshire.

Jeff Greene (Head of Tennis): This is my fourteenth summer at Pemi as Director of Tennis. During the non-Pemi season, I coordinate and direct an adult tennis program on weekends and an after school children’s tennis program for the town of Harrison, NY. This is the 50th anniversary of my first summer sleepaway camp experience.

Deb Kure (Assistant Associate Head of Nature): Since studying Geology at the University of Rochester, I’ve loved teaching outdoor science through camps, museums, and trips programs throughout the US.  During the school year I work for Camp Fire USA in Austin, Texas, leading students and families in outdoor programs.  Delighted to be back in the Northern Forest, for my fifth summer in the Nature Program!

Harry MacGregor (Head of Shop) – I grew up in Lowell, MA and for the last 30 years have lived in Canaan, New Hampshire.   I have had a long career in commerical, industrial and residental construction.   I have owned my own business focusing on custom woodworking.  My focus at Camp Pemi will be to bring my knowledge of woodworking to the campers, and I am happy to be returning for my second summer.

Charlie Malcolm (Director of Athletics): I have spent close to thirty summers on the shores of Lower Baker as camper, pagoda boy, counselor, and Athletic Director. I teach at the Northfield Mount Hermon School in the History Department and live in a boys’ dorm. I lead trips abroad and coach soccer and baseball at NMH, as well. My soccer team has won two New England Prep Class A Championships and I hold an Advanced National Coaching License. My father attended Pemi, I met and married my wife Kim at Pemi, and our two kids, Patterson and Victoria, have been blessed to spend all of their summers at Pemi.

Jonathan Merrin (Head of Archery): I am from London, England and this is my first summer at Pemi, where I am going to be Head of Archery.  I hope to have a great summer at Pemi, and can’t wait to meet the campers and have lots of fun.

Deb Pannell (Head of Arts): I live with my husband, Jim, and our two sons in Tiburon, a small town north of San Francisco where I teach fifth grade. I am delighted to return to Pemi for my second summer!  My son Ethan (14), is a Pemi camper. We have many new, exciting projects in store as well as old favorites. My goal this summer is to involve as many boys as possible in the creative fun that will take place in the art building!

Bridgid Ruf: I am from Southport, CT and just finished my second year at Wellesley College, where I am studying economics. I am thrilled to be back for my fourth summer on staff, and I am looking forward to teaching music and waterskiing occupations as well as spending time in the junior camp.

Megan Smart: I graduated from Durham University with a degree in Biology in 2010, and since then have been working in Genetics in a hospital in Cambridge. I am looking forward to being amongst the views and mountains of Pemi, given that Cambridge is possibly the flattest place on earth. Not only is this my first time working at camp, this is also the first time I have been to the US, and I am very excited about teaching Nature here this summer!

Paige Wallis (Head of Swimming): Originally from Norwich, VT, I just graduated from the University of Vermont in Burlington with a dual degree in English and History. This is my third summer on the shores of Lower Baker, where I will be the program head of swimming and one of the main lifeguards in camp. In addition to working on the waterfront, I will continue to help out in Junior Camp.

And those who take care of all of us…

Kitchen Folk

Dan Atkinson: I’m from Sunderland in the north east of England, which isn’t the most exciting place in the world I’ll admit. I thought the experience of coming to Pemi would not only give me an enjoyable summer, but also give me the opportunity to experience a difference culture and a way of life I’m not familiar with. Working in the kitchen will be an interesting time, as I’ve never done anything like it before, but in the long run I feel it will be very beneficial and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Sean Colclough: I am a British university student currently studying graphic design in Plymouth. I hope to gain some new skills and experience in the kitchen. This will also give me the opportunity to experience a new environment and culture. Making new friends from a different country is also something I am looking forward to.

Kristen Cole: I am a graduate of University of Vermont, where I focused on Environmental Studies and Education. I am from Greenwich, CT, and I spent the last year skiing and working out at Snowbird, UT. After visiting Pemi for the past three years, I am thrilled to join the staff managing the Mess Hall and helping incorporate local produce into the meals.  I will also be working in the Nature Lodge and wherever else I am needed!

Kristn Higson: I’m from Manchester England! The heart of football (soccer), so as you could imagine I am a huge football fan! My experience at Pemi will help me so much; I’m really excited to get to know the different culture and the different people. The kitchen will be difficult but very rewarding in terms of life experiences. I am hugely looking forward to the challenge of Pemi and the different way of living, so bring it on!

Stacey Moore (Head Chef): I’m originally from New York but currently live in Richmond, KY. I’m married with four grown children and now am delighted to be feeding the big Pemi family. I have 26 years experience as a chef with a special passion for baking, and aim to incorporate fresh produce, fruits, and dairy goods from local farms into our menu.

Gabriel Southren-Burns: I am currently studying the Built Environment at Sheffield Hallam University. I am from a small village called Corbridge, Northumberland, approximately 30 minutes drive from Newcastle, England. I will be working as a member of the kitchen staff, helping to set up and clear away all meals.

Health Staff

Monica Mangan: I’m excited to be in cool, green New Hampshire instead of sunny and hot Tucson were I live the other ten months of the year with my husband Rich and our son Darren (a camper at Pemi). This will be my third summer as one of the dynamic Nurse-duo of Pemi’s Health Center.  I have 25 years as a pediatric nurse and, at summer’s end, will start a new chapter in my nursing profession where I will work as a School Nurse in Tucson.

Laura Patterson, RN HNB-BC CCAP: I am returning to Camp Pemi for my third year as one of the two staff nurses.  During the academic year, I work in the Health Center at Colby College in Waterville Maine.  I am certified as a holistic nurse and as a clinical aromatherapist and I enjoy blending complementary modalities with traditional methods of health care to provide the campers with the best of both worlds while at Pemi.





Packing for Pemi: Learn from Dr. Piles

More than a few parents have mentioned a son’s struggle with organization, his inability to keep track of things, and their general hope that he will be more responsible with his belongings while at camp. There are simple ways that you can set him up for success in this quest, which, a little like the case of a picky eater who learns to try new foods when away from mom and dad, can be a great outcome of the camp experience.

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A.A.Milne

No matter how old your son is, he can and should be involved with packing for camp. If he’s not at the age where he refers to the packing list and packs by himself, then he ideally should lay eyes on and/or touch every single item that goes into his duffle(s). The process might take longer than if you pack for him, but being centrally involved—especially in his familiar home setting—makes him aware of what it is that you (and we) hope he’ll keep track of far better than if he sees it all for the first time when he’s unpacking in his new camp setting, when he is far more likely to be distracted. You can always guide and simplify his decision-making with a little behind-the-scenes prep. For instance, the packing list says “6 T-shirts” beyond the “Pemi Blues” and “Pemi Whites.” So you might pull out 10 or 12 T-shirts that are possibilities, but then step back and let him decide on the 6 that he will bring. (You can do this with anything that comes in multiples: from underwear to sets of sheets to flashlights). What if the six T-shirts he chooses are all green? What if he insists on his “favorites” that he won’t let you give away in spite of that cool-aid stain or the stretched out collar? What if the new T-shirts you purchased especially for camp are in the reject pile? Just bite your tongue, smile, and roll with it, knowing that the very process of his deciding which among many to bring just might imprint the items on that soon-to-be distracted brain, leading to his better oversight of them. In addition, wearing old favorites can provide a bit of comfort and familiarity during an adjustment time and you’ll be a step ahead in back-to-school shopping with those untouched new purchases. It’s a win-win without a battle.

Who needs Dr. Phil when you’ve got Dr. Piles?

Give your son a leg-up by learning from Dr. Piles. Known for 363 days a year as Charlie Malcolm, Pemi’s Director of Athletics morphs in mid-July and at the end of camp into Pemi’s own Dr. Piles, delighting the assembled camp community in the messhall with his lesson on efficient packing. “Do NOT put a single thing into your duffle until you make piles!” he explains. “Put similar items together: your shirts in one pile, your shorts in another pile; your bedding in one pile, your underwear in another pile; your sports equipment in a pile, and your shoes in yet another pile. Put everything you own in piles and in piles that make sense! This way you can see what you have and what you might be missing.” Good advice, Dr. Piles. Providing a staging area at home for camp preparations will allow your son to see everything he is taking and will need to be responsible for. He’ll see how much space it takes up and, with all his belongings in logical piles, he will see the sense of it all. This will make the packing at the end of camp more efficient too. On a side note, a longtime Pemi camper, now a counselor and division head, just posted a photo on the staff facebook page of his packing to return to the states from a year in Peru. The picture showed his piles of clothing and other belongings, neatly organized, with the caption “Dr Piles rolled through earlier this morning.” THIS is what you want for your son!

A name is a kind of face whereby one is known. Thomas Fuller

When everything going to camp is laid out in piles, and before anything goes into the duffle(s), have your son check to see that each and every item has his name on it. Perhaps you ordered Pemi logo wear from the Camp Spot and had them sew in name tags for you, or perhaps you have ironed in name tapes or have taken a sharpie to the inside collar, waistband, etc., of each item of clothing. If you haven’t, now’s the time to get out your needle and thread, your iron, or your permanent marker. But don’t stop with clothing. Label everything that comes to camp. Shoes and athletic items often are unidentified orphans in Lost-and-Found, and many a mom and dad is dismayed when a new tennis racquet or new cleats remain at camp long after parents have reclaimed their sons. Consider this like going through travel security: if you’re flying and you have your ID ready, the process goes much more smoothly and you won’t make the security staff grumpy. Now consider the packing process as if each and every item has to go through travel security. Nothing pleases you, us, and the Lost and Found camp aide more than finding the left cleat, Pemi sweatshirt, beach towel, water bottle, tennis racquet, Crazy Creek chair—you-name-it—and reuniting it with its owner, thanks to pre-camp labeling.

Keeping it all together

While he’s at camp, your son will be supported in his organizational efforts through daily cabin inspection and by the ritual of “packing” each morning—according to his day’s occupations—in the drawstring bag or backpack or sports duffle that he brought from home. This simple routine of looking ahead, planning on what will be needed for each activity, and keeping it all together in one bag cuts down on cleats stranded on the ski dock, a tennis racquet perched on the Nature Lodge porch, or piano music abandoned under the bench by the lax field, and can lead to good, lifelong habits. Of course cabin counselors and staff are always there to help your son and are as involved as each boy’s level of need requires.

And Finally…

The item most often forgotten at home? A pillow. You’ve been forewarned!

~Dottie Reed