NEEEA Presents 2018 Educator Award to Larry Davis

New England Environmental Education Alliance presented their 2018 Non-formal Environmental Educator award to Pemi’s own, Larry Davis. For decades, hundreds of Pemi boys have enjoyed learning about our natural world and the environment under Larry’s direction as Head of Nature Programs. His commitment to teaching is second to none and has inspired generations to become more engaged with—and take greater responsibility for—their natural surroundings. Below is the citation for the award. 

Dr. Laurence ‘Larry’ Davis is Director of Nature Programs and Teaching at Camp Pemigewassett (“Pemi”) in Wentworth, NH. He has held this position since 1970 and, in 2019, he will be entering his 50th year. He is also Professor Emeritus of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven where he taught Geosciences and Environmental Education for 27 years. His approach to teaching has always been “hands-on,” in the field with observation of nature being the foremost skill taught. This not only leads to good science but also provides enjoyment, understanding of the world we live in and, for many, a spiritual element. He has worked with thousands of campers and dozens of nature staff members at Camp Pemi, and hundreds of students at the University of New Haven. Many campers have ended up in environmental fields and many others from both camp and the University, in environmental education.

Larry is largely responsible for the exemplary quality of education in the nature program at Camp Pemigewassett, which is considered to be one of the best in the country and has been nominated for the New England ACA’s Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence. Larry fosters enthusiasm and creativity in the campers and counselors. Many of the children at this camp grow into life-long nature enthusiasts who go birding, press plants, and collect rocks during their school year as well. Some of them have gone on to pursue careers in ecology. Larry’s  devotion extends to training environmental professionals as well by running a week-long training program for nature educators every year.

On behalf of NEEEA, thank you, Larry,  for your dedication to the field of environmental education.

Larry offered the following note in response to the award. “This award really reflects the hard work, dedication, and great ideas of all those wonderful environmental educators who have worked in our program over the years, especially Deb Kure and Russ Brummer who both continue to teach our Nature Instructors Clinic. I am also grateful to the first head of the program, Clarence Dike, who handed me a healthy, going concern to build upon. Finally, a huge amount of credit goes to the Reed and Fauver families who, along with Directors Rob Grabill and Danny Kerr, have supported the development and expansion of ‘Pemi Nature’ since its inception in 1926 and my arrival at Pemi in 1970.”

Pemi thanks Larry for his absolute commitment to teaching and we look forward to celebrating his 50th summer at camp with a celebration on Sunday, August 18, 2019!

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny Moore

7 thoughts on “NEEEA Presents 2018 Educator Award to Larry Davis

  1. Congratulations Larry!
    Your guidance was a big influence on me at Pemi in the 70’s and my love of nature and the outdoors endures, as it does with so many other former and current campers. I was especially a big fan of the “What Is It” contest which fostered intrigue, curiosity and research, without the help of Google!
    After 40+ years ago, thank you and all the best to you!

  2. Congratulations to R. Laurence Davis, for all of his excellent and informative dedication to Pemi. And the Nature Program. This will be his 50th summer at Pemi, and he says he won’t be anyplace else.

  3. I can’t think of a more deserving person for this award. Larry has offered generations of campers, including myself, a unique and in depth nature experience, fostering a lifelong love and appreciation of nature. His skills as a New England naturalist are second to none. I can say that the nature experience at Pemi, guided by Larry and Russ Brummer (whom Larry humbly acknowledges) [sorry to say I never worked with Deb Kure], played a big role in solidifying my career path in science and education.

  4. Congratulations, Larry, on such a richly earned recognition. It is telling that in your response, you graciously acknowledge Clarence Dike and his legacy. It would have been easy, it seems to me, after years of enduring frustrating (and, perhaps, inevitable) comparisons to Mr. Dike and suffering a 1970’s decade’s worth of Bean Soup barbs on the subject, to have basked in the glow of your accomplishments without reference to your predecessor. Thank you not only for fifty years of unparalleled commitment and service but also for your grace and humility. You have become another Mr. Dike to multiple generations of Pemi boys, including me and my son, and we are most grateful. Congratulations again, and thank you!

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