Welcome to the June Edition of the Pemi Alumni Newsletter, giving you a glimpse of the summer ahead. It’s been a busy, active off-season for Pemi, and the details follow. Enjoy!
Work on Pemi’s facility begins immediately after closing day in August, and this past year, Reed Harrigan and his Buildings and Grounds team began the project of restoring the Senior Cabins.
Re-pouring the fireplace hearth, updating the interior of the cabins with fresh bunks and shelves, refinishing the historic floors, adding necessary electric updates, and power washing the exterior brought new life to these iconic structures. Inside, we re-configured the bunks to allow additional space around the fire-place, creating a communal area for each cabin to use during the evenings.
Many of the electrical lines around Pemi have been buried, enhancing our natural views throughout camp. In Junior Camp, the cabin porches received an additional banister to aid in drying bathing suits and towels, and an upgrade on their bunk beds. B&G also converted the Junior Lodge Porch to be the center of the Waterskiing World, with specific storage areas for skis and wakeboards, and lifejackets.
This spring, the team devoted time to improving the Small Dining Room in the Mess Hall; replacing the ceiling and electrical work, and adding new bathrooms for our visitors and female staff members off the back. The trained eye will also noticed new shingled roofs on the library and Senior Lodge.
As you can see, it’s been an incredible busy year for Reed and his team. We are so so thankful for their energy in maintaining the facility, making it one of the best in New England!
Over the winter, wonderful enrollment leaves Pemi primed up for the 2016 season. Of those able to return this summer, 82% chose to do so, a spectacular statement to the fun had on the shores of Lower Baker in 2015.
For 2016, we have 85 boys for the Full Session, and 86 for each 1st and 2nd session, totaling 257 boys. Seventy-six campers will enjoy their first summer at Pemi, approximately 29% of the camper population, whereas fifty-five boys will be in the fifth or more summer, or 21%. We love that ratio, allowing our savvy veterans the chance to spread the Pemi love to a new era of boys. We are also thrilled that we have sixty-eight legacy campers this summer. In addition to Pemi traditions, it is beautiful to see camping as a family tradition for so many.
Our campers come to us from 25 states, in 129 separate communities, and 8 different countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Venezuela, France, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Papua New Guinea. We have more than 10 boys coming to Pemi from at least 8 states, including New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, California, and Vermont.
It has been a banner year for Pemi West enrollment too, with a total of 14 participants heading to Olympic National Park for their 4.5 week outdoor adventure. This will be the first time in ten years that we have a co-ed trip and two groups participating at the same time.
Pemi West participants now begin and end their journey in New Hampshire, arriving a few days before the boys to become certified in Wilderness First Aid. They then fly together to Seattle, where Dave Robb, Pemi West Director, is on site to pick them up. We are very excited to reinstitute rock climbing into the Pemi West curriculum this summer.
In 2014, we added a Counselor Apprentice Program for Pemi West participants, offering a two-week option for those interested in experiencing Pemi life from the staff perspective. We have 8 participants in the program this year, who will be capably guided by veteran Staff member, Sam Seymour.
Pemi Board Update
Camp Pemigewassett is governed by a Board of Directors, charged with the general oversight of the operation of Pemi, both programmatic and fiscal, ensuring that camp fulfills its mission.
Pemi’s Mission – See further specifics here
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.
The group is comprised of up to 11 members, representing both of Pemi’s founding families (including the fourth generation of owners) and non-family members. Current board members include: Tom Reed (President), Fred Seebeck (Vice-President), Allyson Fauver (Treasurer), Penelope Reed Doob, Peter Fauver, Fred Fauver, Jameson Fauver, Dan Reed, Roger McEniry, and Greg Bowes.
Board members serve three-year terms, with the possibility of serving up to three terms before cycling off. They meet six times annually, twice in person, and four times telephonically addressing large, big picture topics and strategic issues. Work is also done through a variety of sub-committees addressing specific strategic areas, including Governance, Recruitment, Scholarships, and Capital Improvements.
A number of recent projects, including the refurbishment of the Senior Cabins, the extension of the Senior Lodge, and the new staff house, are examples of Pemi’s Five Year Capital Improvement Plan. This plan, crafted by the board, is strategically identifying ways to maintain and improve the physical plant long into the future.
Staff Profile – Henry Pohlman
Almost every summer there are a few former campers who return to Pemi after years away to serve in the counselor ranks for the first time. This summer, after five summers away from the shores of Lower Baker, Henry Pohlman is back, and we are thrilled to have him.
Henry’s first summer was in 2006, as an 11 year old in Lower 2 with Jack Bierwirth as his counselor. Pemi was not a new concept to Henry, as his father John attended camp in the late 70’s and served on the staff in the early 80’s. In fact, John’s brothers Bill and Bruce also spent time at Pemi, following in their fathers’ footsteps, Jim Pohlman, who was the family’s first connection with Pemi. Dock Nick recruited Jim through an Oberlin College connection; Jim attended Oberlin and played tennis for the Yeoman.
Henry’s cousins (Bill’s sons), Neal and Carl also attended Pemi as campers in the 2000’s, adding to the impressive tally of summers under the Pohlman family name, Thirty-four summers now in total for this 3-generation Pemi family.
Henry is a rising Senior at Denison College in Ohio, double majoring in Biology and Neuroscience. After taking a Neuroscience class during his Sophomore year, Henry became fascinated with the field, finding the many intriguing parallels with other sciences; psychology, biology, chemistry and even philosophy. This next semester, Henry will participate in a directed study in neuroscience focused on public outreach. “I’ll be designing a series of presentations over the semester tailored to different communities, such as the neuroscience of aging to a retirement community, or concussions to high schools coaches. I’m very excited to undergo this project, as presenting is one of my greatest academic joys.”
Beyond the classroom, Henry is a member of the Mens’ Soccer team at Denison. Next season, he will be one of the captains, hoping to lead the Big Red to the NCAA Tournament. Henry, a defensive midfielder, guided Denison to a 13-3-1 record in 2015, consistent placing in the top 25 national rankings. He is also a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity serving as the philanthropy chair.
This summer, Henry is excited to coach soccer and to help out on the waterfront. He can’t wait to hike again in the White Mountains, with a newfound appreciation for these experiences. “As a camper, I did not give the hikes we went on nearly enough credit, one of the coolest places to go hiking in the country.” One of his most memorable moments was a day hike up Mt. Washington, experiencing the infamous wind on the summit, and great camaraderie with his fellow cabin mates.
Henry also fondly remembers his 2009 Upper 4 Cabin, led by his counselor Sam Seymour. Henry remembers Sam as always in a good mood, making sure that every camper got the most out of every day. “As a counselor, I’m hoping to emulate that same mentality, and push my campers to not waste a day, because looking back, the summer does fly by.”
Stay tuned to the first newsletter of the 2016 summer, which will include more details on all of Pemi’s 2016 staff.
As always, we encourage our extended Alumni family to swing by to see Pemi firsthand, should your travel plans point you towards the shores of Lower Baker. We’d love to stay connected in person, or virtually, and I invite all Alumni to actively participate in our growing Alumni network. Please submit Alumni Notes, attend Alumni Events, and help connect us to ‘lost’ Alumni.
Interested in being featured in the fall’s newsletter? Let me know! Have personal or professional news to share? E-mail me, and you will be included in the Winter release of Alumni News.
Good luck, long life, and joy!