This past fall, 17 members of the Camp Pemigewassett family* gathered near Boston to discuss Pemi’s past, present, and most importantly, Pemi’s future. The agenda – crafted as a result of in-depth, one-on-one conversations between facilitator Nat Follansbee and each participant prior to the weekend – was ambitious, relevant, and varied, and kept the group engaged for two full days and then some.
All of our conversations—whether in the meeting room, during coffee breaks, or over group meals—were energetic, informative, positive, and productive and were often (not surprisingly) laced with good humor. But perhaps the most critical dialogue took place when the group, ranging in age from 17 to 67, tackled the task of articulating Pemi’s mission. Why do we exist? Who do we serve? How do we do it? What are the key words that best define Camp Pemigewassett? Part of the exercise involved looking back at our long history, considering what it is we’ve traditionally tried to do and why we’ve done it. Part of it involved looking forward and thinking about how Pemi might best respond and contribute to a rapidly changing world. We knew that an objective look at ourselves and clear identification of our mission would provide an invaluable roadmap for all future decision-making.
Below is the result of that session. It is posted on our web site and serves as a touchstone for all of us at Camp Pemigewassett as we move towards this summer and beyond.
Since 1908, Camp Pemigewassett’s abiding mission has been to inspire and support boys aged 8 to 15 as they find their own distinctive paths in becoming self-reliant, caring, and successful young men with a passion for all that they do.
For over a century, Pemi has balanced tradition and innovation to fulfill our mission in the context of an evolving world. Today, we continue to realize that mission in the following ways:
CAMPERS of differing backgrounds from all over the world live simply in small and inclusive cabin groups. These close-knit camper families meld with the larger Pemi community in ways that foster key civic values, such as respect for others, integrity, responsibility, sustainability, and generosity of spirit. Our varied program teaches and nurtures practical skills while it encourages the self-challenge, creativity, and resilience that develop a boy’s self-confidence. From the beginning, Pemi’s culture has been one of good humor and joy.
Pemi recruits STAFF members who are dedicated to the development of the whole camper, and we train them carefully with an eye to the most informed thinking on the social, physical, and emotional well-being of boys. Our staff’s enhanced leadership, mentorship, and communication skills serve our campers and parents well and become vital traits for staff to carry into future roles and relationships.
For PARENTS at home, Pemi offers support and guidance, sets clear policies, and communicates honestly and dependably as parents navigate the profound challenge of “letting go” – a crucial aspect of their partnership with Pemi and one that is essential to launching their sons on the first stages of their own life journeys.
Pemi serves as a practical and inspirational resource for ALUMNI of all ages as they carry “Pemi” back into their schools, communities, professions, and ongoing involvements. Alumni in turn form a vital network of kindred spirits and lifelong friends who welcome and support our “graduates” as they find their own way in the world beyond our mountain valley. They are our most potent and inspiring examples of the enduring benefits of the Pemi experience.
Special thanks to Nat Follensbee, of The Loomis-Chaffee School, who guided the discussions. Participants included Board members Penelope Reed Doob, Peter Fauver, Fred Fauver, Danny Kerr, Roger McEniry, Tom Reed, Jr., Fred Seebeck, and Ander Wensberg, joined by Deborah Fauver, Dottie Reed, and 7 of the 9 members of the fourth generation of the founding Reed and Fauver families, Megan Fauver Cardillo, Sky Fauver, Jonathan Fauver, Alison Fauver, Abigail Reed, Sarah Fauver, and Alex Fauver.