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2022 Newsletter #6

Good afternoon from yet another beautiful day in Wentworth,

The weather here at Pemi continues to spoil us as we enjoy a perfect mix of warm sunny days and cool nights that are perfect for sleeping. We may see a few scattered late summer storms now that the calendar has turned to August, but on the whole it’s been a banner summer for weather at camp. Thanks to that assist from Mother Nature, Pemi’s boys have been going non-stop, with activities, games, trips, and exploration of the world around us. We’re in the middle of our last activity week of the summer, but there’s absolutely no sense of anything slowing down as we speed through the penultimate week of Pemi 2022. The last week saw much of our energy directed towards Tecumseh Day, which is recapped in great detail below. As we transition away from that intense focus, week 6 instead tends to highlight the incredible breadth of the Pemi program, with five overnight trips going out, daily musical rehearsals, preparations for the end-of-summer art show, and a number of special programs from the Nature Lodge, plus additional athletic competitions still to be played! The boys continue to do it all here at Pemi, and I’m excited to share all these details both today and over the course of the final two newsletters!

With the aforementioned focus on our day of competition with our friends at Camp Tecumseh, I’ll turn this newsletter over to Pemi’s athletic director and tennis coach extraordinaire Chris Johnson for a recap of the day:

Metal Boy in the Pemi messhall
Metal Boy inspires the entire camp

After a three-year hiatus, Pemi and Tecumseh renewed the nation’s oldest camp rivalry on Friday. The buzz and excitement leading up to the contests resulted in raucous cheers in the Mess Hall and intense practice sessions on the athletic fields. Metal Boy led the cheers on Thursday night, while Oliver Phillips gave a passionate speech that sent everyone into a fervor. The evening ended with one of the more spectacular sunsets in recent memory, leading many to believe it was a sign of good things to come. Friday morning arrived with the senior camp rousing the remainder of Pemi from their slumber and leading them in a sprint for Polar Bear in Lower Baker. Following an early breakfast, the vans and buses carrying 11s, 12s, and 13s in their Pemi blues departed for the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee while the 10s and 15s donned their Pemi whites to await the long-anticipated arrival of Camp Tecumseh.

10s Baseball Nico
Nico dominates the mound

The day kicked off with 15’s tennis on our beautiful red clay courts. Pemi doubles set a great tone with wins by PJ Reed and Matt Staub at second doubles and Austin Greenberg and Blake Riley at third doubles. Despite the strong start, Tecumseh’s consistency proved too much for Pemi to overcome, falling 5-2. Over on the Little League diamond, the 10’s baseball team started strong, taking a 5-0 lead behind the stellar pitching of Nico Aponte-Rios. With Pemi on the verge of winning, Tecumseh made a late push in the final inning to tie the score at 5. Down to their last at bat, Pemi loaded up the bases and Heyward Hodge came up clutch with a walk off hit for the 6-5 win as all of Pemi rushed the field in a mass of exhilaration.

15s Baseball T-Day
Blake scores to tie up the game

After their dramatic victory in baseball, the 10’s soccer team took to the pitch. Despite the standout efforts of Ozzie Baugher and great team play, Tecumseh squeaked out a 1-0 victory. The 15’s went from the tennis courts to the baseball field. The dynamic battery of Matt Staub and Giacomo Turco baffled Tecumseh hitters all game. Tecumseh used a lapse of focus from the Pemi defense to take a late 2-1 lead. Pemi, however, would rally with cunning baserunning and timely hitting to take a 3-2 lead. With a runner on third and only one out, Staub got out of trouble and finished it off with a clutch strikeout to send Pemi to lunch with a much-needed triumph.

11s tennis T-Day Patchett
Patchett excelled in tennis and baseball

Over at Tecumseh, the very strong Pemi 11’s tennis team won 4 dominant matches to start the day off strong. The team was led by singles standouts Toby Dubner and Patchett Grant. 12’s soccer took the pitch under the strong guidance of coach Luca McAdams. Despite a strong game plan and tough play by Miles Waitskin, Alvaro Otaolaurruchi, and Bennet King, Tecumseh proved too much, winning 7-0. The shores of Lake Winnipesaukee were active as well as Tecumseh took the first swim meet of the day in the 13’s age group. Rohin Shah and Sam Herdeg were strong in the water while Tristan Souchaud won the individual reaststroke and Nick Vitale claimed victory in the individual backstroke.

In the second morning session at Tecumseh, the Pemi 11’s baseball team asserted their dominance early and often in an 11-1 romp. Patchett Grant pitched 4 innings, recording every out via strikeout to finish with an impressive 12 K’s! Tecumseh recovered to win 12’s tennis, despite strong wins by Alvaro Otaolaurruchi and the doubles team of Bennet King and Adam Aronis. The final morning event was 13’s soccer. Sam Herdeg, Gabe Cadena, Josh Lawson, and Luke Myre battled to keep Pemi in the game, but a few timely goals led to a Tecumseh 3-1 win.

15s Soccer T-Day
Oliver on his way to scoring the first of his two goals

Following lunch, Pemi came out strong to serve notice to their rivals that they were in it to win it! 10’s tennis used relentless energy and focus to come up victorious, 5-2. Pemi won all three doubles and used a strong performance at singles by Ozzy Baugher and an epic comeback by Danny Follansbee to cap the win. Over on the pitch, Owen Whitcombe and Ethan Smith had stellar play while Oliver Phillips scored both goals to bring victory for the 15’s soccer team 2-1.

Over at Tecumseh, the 11’s soccer team used goals by Sam Chapin and River Morgan to claim the 2-1 victory. Tecumseh showed dominance on the mound in 12’s baseball, holding Pemi to only one hit. The duo of pitcher Clayton Johnson and Bryce Madom were very strong for Pemi, but ultimately not enough in their 9-0 loss. The day turned back to the tennis courts, with Pemi hopes riding high with a strong 13’s squad led by Robert Dorros. Despite Pemi’s best efforts, Tecumseh sent out one talented player after another to overwhelm Pemi 7-0.          

13s baseball at Tecumseh
Sam allows only one earned run

With the overall score of the day 8-7 in favor of Tecumseh going into the final events, The Day would be decided in the water. Over on the Tecumseh waterfront, the hosts proved too strong in the 12’s swim meet. Alvaro Otaolaurruchi and Johnathan Thibault were the standouts in the water for Pemi. The 11’s swim meet started out very hopefully with Pemi building a big lead with Evan Robicheau capturing the individual medley. Tecumseh proved their mettle in the end, winning the freestyle relay and taking the meet in the final event. The final land event of the day was 13’s baseball. Sam Reed pitched a gem, allowing only 1 earned run. With Pemi down 3-1 in the last inning, we loaded the bases with Luke Young at third, but Tecumseh shut down the rally with a big strikeout to end the game.

10s swim T-Day
Pemi 10s dominate the water

Over on the shores of Lower Baker, the 15’s swim team set several personal bests, but it was not enough as Tecumseh was too strong. For Pemi, Max Weber took 8 seconds off his personal best time in the individual medley relay. The relay team of Teddy Rose, Inigo Otaolaurruchi, Lucas Vitale, and Boone Snyder shaved an incredible 30 seconds off their time during the week. The final event of the day was the 10’s swim meet. The mighty 10’s swim team proved they are Doc Nick’s Wonders in the water with an overwhelming victory. Henry VanDerzee won the individual medley while the medley relay team crushed it, claiming both top spots. Connor Pike, Gabriel Gleiser, Ozzie Baugher, and Hudson Eng also proved dominant in the water.

As a wonderful day of competition and tremendous sportsmanship came to a close, the camps gathered to reveal the final results. Despite the valiant efforts by Pemi, Tecumseh retained The Hat with the final score being 12-8. As the buses pulled back onto the shores of Lower Baker, the Pemi family bond was stronger and the camp community whole once again as everyone gathered to share stories of triumph, despair, and humor of a day that means so much to so many people. The friendly rivalry is alive and well, and Pemi is a better place because of it.

Many thanks to Chris, not only for this recap, but for the countless hours of work that he, the coaches, the kitchen staff, and so many others quietly put in behind the scenes to make this incredible day happen! To wrap up on the topic, I’ll just add my two cents from what I observed over at Tecumseh: Pemi’s boys played with incredible passion and desire, but never let that overwhelm their sense of sportsmanship and camaraderie. It was a day of athletics at its finest, and I was so glad to see this rivalry back in action. While we love striving to beat Tecumseh, we recognize that the day itself is about so much more than the pursuit of victory, and it was heartwarming to see Pemi boys live up to the best ideals of amateur competition. A moment that will stick in my mind for years to come took place down on Tecumseh’s waterfront at the end of the day. With the result still fully up for grabs, a group of 12-year-old swimmers from both camps stood out on the dock waiting for their next race. Throughout the meet Tecumseh swimmers had waited on the left-hand side and Pemi’s on the right, but when I looked over at one point, I saw both groups on the right-hand edge looking into the water and talking together. It turns out the Pemi boys had spotted a water snake, mentioned it to the Tecumseh boys, and next thing you know, both groups were mesmerized by this aquatic reptile. With everything still to play for, boys from both camps still joined together to marvel at the natural world. It was a beautiful reminder of the simple joys that can take place on such a special day.

campfire with ollie, Max and Porter
Max, Oliver, and Porter

Tecumseh Day behind us, the weekend saw us wrapping up Week 5 activities, enjoying another campfire down on Senior Beach, and partaking in a day of lighthearted fun on Sunday. Toby Dubner continued to wow the community with his double-act of a saxophone solo followed by a card trick. Oliver Phillips, Max Weber, and Porter Hutchinson offered a polished performance in both ukulele and voice. Standing in a circle, arms wrapped around each other, singing The Campfire Song 24 hours after many boys, especially the older ones, were teary-eyed and heartbroken over defeat, you could feel the sense of fellowship created over the last few weeks. The bonds formed at Pemi this summer will endure for years to come, and there’s no doubt that this group of boys and staff have created something magical yet again on the shores of Lower Baker.

Tarot Cards Nick Paris
Nick Paris uses tarot cards to offer fortunes to willing victims

That magic carried over to Sunday, when Pemi’s counselors and staff put together an afternoon of pure fun for the boys! With many of the full-session boys out of camp for family visiting day (it was so nice seeing so many of you here on Sunday!), those still around were treated to the 2022 Carnival Extravaganza which consisted of a variety of land and water events for all ages. Juniors and Seniors joined together for a spirited shallow-water water polo match on Senior Beach, Charlie Malcolm set up a wiffle ball stadium complete with a full homerun fence, lawn games littered the outfield of the big diamond, a face painting station sat off in the shade near the outfield, Nick Paris told ridiculous fortunes that he divined from tarot cards, and boys whizzed across the lake in a sailing regatta. From the porch of the Mess Hall, Pemi’s music staff provided live entertainment all afternoon, which included both genuine musical offerings and humorous color-commentary of the events they were looking down upon. Seeing boys of all ages lost in simple fun seemed the perfect ending to the week.

On Monday morning a group of 15-year-olds –Matias Trinca, Blake Riley, Kai Stone, Lucas Vitale, Oliver Phillips, Merrick Chapin, Ethan Smith, David Kriegsman, Barrett Bachner, and Will Silloway – loaded into a van bound for Maine and Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail and tallest mountain in Maine. This is one of the most breathtaking trips that Pemi offers, and we’re sure the boys are enjoying it immensely. Today saw several trips depart: Samson Charron, Jake Landry, Noah Hess, Isaiah Johnson, Josnell Duarte, Jayden Davis-Smith, Cyrus King, and Manny Smith left for a trip to the Carter Notch Hut and a hike along the Carter Ridge; a group of Uppers – Andrew McCullough, Tomas Yafar, Luke Gonzalez, Nick Vitale, Tristan Souchaud, and Sam Reed – set off on a four-day hike to the Mahoosuc Range in northern New Hampshire and western Maine; and Lowers Sam Wasinger, Marcus Vitale, Miles Waitzkin, Jonathon Thibault, Zach Pierson, Jud BoulaabiBerkowitz, Wynn Wilfrid, and Trip McNulty headed to the Kinsmans for a three day expedition. All of these promise to be inspirational experiences that will hopefully spark a lifetime love of outdoor adventure. As trip counselor Alice Riley told the Pemi community during her Sunday Meeting this week, the peacefulness and altered perspective that come with climbing a mountain can work wonders for the mind and spirit, and we hope that all these boys fully enjoy their time spent out in the mountains.

The coming week will see the end of our activities program for the summer, as this Saturday kicks off Pemi Week – our week of cabin vs. cabin competition in everything from plant identification to egg toss to a triathlon. Cabins compete within their divisions for the coveted title of “Pemi Week Champions” (with accompanying coveted T-shirt) and it’s always a fun-filled way to finish off the summer. It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached that point already, but there’s no doubt that it’s been a summer for the ages so far. I look forward to sharing more stories and highlights next week before turning our attention to the final days of Pemi 2022.

– Pat Clare

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