• Camp Pemigewassett
  • Milestones
  • Pemi History

Camp Pemigewassett 2020 Summer

Dear Pemi Families,

Every Saturday night during the season, we end our campfire with the song that asks, “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.” While our hearts are undeniably eager to open Pemi for 2020, everything we currently know and can reasonably project about the course of COVID-19 in the coming months tells us that opening this year risks being a grave mistake of the head. As a result, the Pemi Board and Managing Directors, informed by a galaxy of governmental, public health, and camping entities, have reached the very difficult but unanimous decision to cancel all camper sessions for 2020.

Throughout Pemigewassett’s 113-year history, we have never before failed to open for a summer season. We made it safely through two world wars, the Spanish flu, an outbreak of viral pneumonia, the polio siege of the 1950s, and, most recently, 2009’s swine flu. We have always felt confident that we could keep camp safe and healthy for our campers and staff, despite the many and varied challenges. 2020 is different. Without readily available point-of-care diagnostic testing, antibody testing, or an effective vaccine, we simply cannot be sure of keeping the novel coronavirus out of camp. Without an effective therapy, we cannot minimize the threat to any camper or staff member who might contract the disease and, consequently, threaten the families and communities to which they would have to return. Social distancing is the only effective response at the moment, and Pemi’s infrastructure and program are irreversibly based on the communal living that is at the center of the traditional camping experience.

This was obviously an extremely difficult decision for us to reach. Boys have never needed a summer of togetherness, accomplishment, and mutual support more than they do right now. We understand—and share to our core—the great disappointment that will be felt by the boys who have enrolled for this season (especially this year’s wonderful group of 15s), by their parents, by our excellent and eager staff, and by the thousands of Pemi veterans out in the world at large who know first-hand how much each successful camp season means to everyone who is part of it. Pemi has always been in the business of teaching boys and young men that success and happiness in life are founded on determination and resolve and the courage to identify what it is you want—and then the willingness to throw yourself, 100%, into making it happen. It’s that resilient spirit that animates us right now as we look forward with eagerness to the 2021 season. But we also teach Pemi boys that the fulfilling life is about careful planning and risk assessment and not allowing sheer will and strong desire blind you to hard realities. That’s where we are right now.

Looking ahead, we encourage you to adhere to all sensible, official guidelines for managing life in a time of COVID-19. But while you are safe at home or venturing cautiously out, we hope you will reach out to your Pemi friends, young and old, to share a kind word, whether on your own or in ways that Pemi facilitates. To lead the way, Danny and Kenny have prepared a video message so you can hear from them directly today. They look forward, in the days that follow, to checking in with all of you campers personally via phone.

Parents will be receiving an email from us laying out refund, rollover, or gifting options for the deposits and tuition you have paid.

Pemi missives traditionally end with our special banquet toast, Good Luck, Long Life, and Joy! We need to take some time to mourn our loss of the regular 2020 season. Let’s also, though, resolve to be our best selves at this trying moment, to be kind to one another, to stay healthy, and, finally, to find joy in all the unexpected places our new reality has opened up for us.

Tom Reed, Jr.
For the Pemi Board of Directors

You may enjoy these, as well

Johanna Zabawa – Assistant Director

I am excited to share the news that Johanna Zabawa has joined the directorial team ...

The Distance Swim

Generations of Pemi campers have swum their distance, helping to establish this camp tradition as ...

Pemi Hut Trips: Part Two

If you missed Part One of our hut trip series, focused on Greenleaf Hut, here ...

Pemi Hut Trips: Part One

From their earliest days as Juniors, Pemi campers take to the trails to experience the ...

Cans from Campers Program Receives National Award

New Orleans, LA – February 6, 2024 Camp Pemigewassett is proud to announce that our Cans from Campers ...

Defining Photos of 2023

As we count down to the end of 2023, we want to take a moment to ...

Alumni News & Notes – Winter 2023

Greetings, Pemi Family! As we steadily march towards the end of an eventful 2023, I’m ...

Pemi West 2023

Pemi West provides former and new campers alike with the opportunity to hone their wilderness ...

Community Service & Engagement at Pemi

The Pemi experience provides innumerable opportunities for boys to have fun, try new activities, improve ...

2023 Newsletter #7

Greetings from Pemi! Hard as it is to believe, we’re well into the final ...

2023 Newsletter #6

Camp Pemi and our friends from Camp Tecumseh on Lake Winnipesaukee have engaged in a ...

2023 Newsletter #5

Hello from Wentworth! The second session of Pemi’s 116th summer continues to benefit from ...

2023 Newsletter #4

Greetings from sunny Wentworth! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and it’s ...

2023 Newsletter #3

Hello from the shores of the expanded Lower Baker Pond! It’s been quite a ...

2023 Newsletter #2

Hello from the shores of Lower Baker Pond! On the heels of a wonderful celebration ...

2023 Newsletter #1

Greetings from Camp Pemigewassett! I’m thrilled to be sharing the first newsletter of the 2023 ...

2023 Pemi Staff

We’re under two days away from the opening of Pemi’s 116th summer! Our ...

Waiters & Camp Aides

As boys progress through their Pemi journey, the opportunities for new adventures and leadership increase. ...

Birthdays at Pemi

What could be better than getting to celebrate your birthday once a year, every year? ...

Reading After Taps

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever been around boys aged 8...

2022-2023 Pemi Board Updates

Last fall, Pemi’s Board of Directors welcomed two new members and also saw the ...

Defining Photos of 2022

As 2022 draws to a close and winter begins to rear its head in earnest across ...

2022 16s Trip

In many ways, the 2022 Pemi West trip could be described as a homecoming. Our first ...

Bertha Hofstra Fauver – September 23, 1920 – October 1, 2022

We are saddened to share the news that Bertha Fauver died on October 1, just one ...

115th Reunion Newsletter!

After a hugely successful 2022 season, including record attendance at our third annual Family Camp, members ...

fireworks at Camp Pemi

Welcome back Johanna Zabawa!

I’m thrilled to share that Johanna Zabawa, a veteran staff member and great-granddaughter of ...

Karl Grafton See – October 2, 1970-September 9, 2022

Karl Grafton See, consummate Pemi boy, counselor, and lifelong friend, has died in Duxbury, MA ...

banner image newsletter 8

2022 Newsletter #8

Greetings from Camp Pemigewassett! I’m writing, sadly, not from the placid shores of Lower ...

2022 Newsletter #6

Good afternoon from yet another beautiful day in Wentworth, The weather here at Pemi continues ...