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2022 Newsletter #7

Hello from the tropics of Wentworth!

water canon sprinkler Camp Pemi
Pemi’s water cannon

The last week has seen an unusual run of hot and humid days here at Pemi, but that hasn’t slowed us down one bit. We’ve mixed in some Gatorade with our water coolers at event locations, added extra dips in Lower Baker, and fired up our water cannon to help boys cool off, but through the heat, we’ve been continuing with all that we do, and the boys have been having a blast! The end of week 6 saw us wrap up much of the regular programming for the summer – activity hours, hiking trips, and intercamp sports – as we transitioned into Pemi Week. This final week of the summer revolves around a series of cabin competitions in a wide range of activities, with one cabin from each age group earning the highly coveted title of Pemi Week Champion. It’s a fun and lighthearted way to wrap up seven weeks of bonding, growth, and community building. Read on for more details below and check back in to next week’s final newsletter for the full recap and winners. The final newsletter will also include a rundown of our closing days which are chock-full of events such as the opening of the art show, Newsies, Final Banquet, end-of-season awards, the last Bean Soup and Campfire, cabin parties, and so much more. I’ll express feelings on Pemi 2022 more fully then, but for now let me just say that this has been a remarkable summer on every front. The spirit at camp has never been higher thanks to the tireless work of the staff and the unbridled joy that the boys have brought to every Pemi day. Pemi’s 115th summer will undoubtedly go down as one to remember, and it has been a privilege to share so many of the highlights with you all over these last seven weeks. With that, on to the details from the past week!

15s on Katahdin
15s on Katahdin

The trip program wrapped up a banner summer by sending out five separate overnight trips in week 6! As mentioned last week, boys left camp for Mount Katahdin in Maine, the Carter Notch and Lonesome Lake Huts, the Mahoosucs Range, and the Kinsmans. On top of that, many Juniors and Lowers got out for day hikes up nearby Mount Cube, ensuring that every boy who wanted to get out into the mountains this summer was able to do so. The 15s who drove to Katahdin – Matias Trinca, Blake Riley, Kai Stone, Lucas Vitale, Ollie Phillips, Merrick Chapin, Ethan Smith, David Kriegsman, Barrett Bachner, and Will Silloway, accompanied by veteran staff members Matt Cloutier and Scout Brink – had an inspirational experience summiting the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Arising in their campsite at 5am, the group began their ascent by 7 to ensure that they could beat out the afternoon storms in the forecast. The early start allowed for a brisk but steady climb, and they easily arrived at the summit in picturesque conditions. As they began the trek down, they could see the thunderstorm rolling in across Baxter State Park, but they were safely back well below tree-line before it hit. All participants reported that this trip marked the perfect way to end their Pemi hiking career, and it may well have inspired some of them to sign up for the 16s trip out west next summer! On the Carter Notch trip the boys, joined by me and Owen Wyman, enjoyed breathtaking views of the Presidentials from the summit of Mount Hight and from a prominent lookout point known as The Imp Face. The boys, several of whom were on their first overnight hike, were blown away by the sights, and while it was a challenging hike for many, they all persevered and succeeded in doing something truly demanding. Well done, boys! The Mahoosucs crew – Andrew McCullough, Tomas Yafar, Luke Gonzalez, Nick Vitale, Tristan Souchaud, and Sam Reed – took on one of the longest hikes of the summer, which included the hardest mile of the entire Appalachian Trail. The boys traversed it as if it were a country stroll and were rewarded with a delicious dinner at the campsite. Four days on trail allows boys to push well outside of their comfort zone and really test themselves. Reports are that this group took the opportunity to heart, embraced the challenge, and had a meaningful and rewarding experience that will prepare them well for many of the marquee trips available to them as they get older. All told, it was a fabulous summer for the Pemi trip program. From the caves of New York to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the northern currents of the Allagash Waterway, Pemi campers immersed themselves in the majesty of the natural world, learning invaluable lessons along the way. We hope and trust that many boys had experiences this summer that will inspire both a lifelong love of outdoor adventures and an abiding sense of the responsibility we all have for these fragile treasures that we’re so lucky to be surrounded by.

Rocketry at Pemi

Boys continued to learn all about the world around them, and so much more, in the Nature Lodge during the final activity week. One highlight from the last week included the reintroduction of a rocketry activity, where boys learned the science behind rockets and then had the chance to construct and launch their own group rocket under the guidance of Ted Applebaum, Nick Gordon, and Eli Brennan. Ted competes in rocketry competitions all across the country and was thrilled to bring rocket launches back to the shores of Lower Baker. Several nature trips went out this past week as well, with boys exploring the Palermo Mines (Patchett Grant, Colin Ross, Miles Taylor, Chase Riley, Archie Costello, and Parker Brown), navigating the Dartmouth orienteering course (Teeden Boss, Jack Partain, and Frankie McLaughlin), and visiting Pemi alumnus Bob Zock’s sugar house to learn about the process of making maple syrup (David Kriegsman, Matias Trinca, Barrett Bachner, River Hambleton, Thomas McNelly, and Toren King). The boys relished the opportunity to explore and learn about these diverse locations, and of course loved the opportunity for a sweet treat at Bob Zock’s! As campers return home in a few days, we hope that the curiosity sparked by Deb and the nature staff this summer travels back with them and that they continue to ask questions, investigate, and learn all about the world around them.

Pemi’s intercamp athletics season wrapped up during week 6, with several teams getting one last chance to compete and grow together. The 13s lacrosse team headed over to Moosilauke for games against Moose and Kingswood. They received great play from a number of guys, including Luke Myre, Carter Glahn, Aubrey Bailey, Thomas Axel, and Liam Stephan in goal. They were also helped out by an older camper, Max Weber, who volunteered his afternoon to go over and coach! 13s soccer also took to the pitch with a BVT during the week, receiving strong play from Sam Pentz, Josh Lawson, Bennet King, Zander Sargent, Constantinos Mantinaos, Cyrus King, Gabe Cadena, and Rohin Shah, with excellent leadership from Luke Myre. They were further aided by a few younger campers who took advantage of many 13s being out on trips. 11-year-olds River Morgan, Tom Mele, Jameson Purdy, and Davis Morrell joined the older boys and put in a strong showing. While the 10s baseball team unfortunately had a game get cancelled, we quickly pivoted and put on a 10s and 11s intrasquad game on the Little League diamond. This gave 9, 10, and 11-year-olds the opportunity to get several innings in, with great participation all around. It was a fun afternoon as coaches Charlie Malcolm and Jamie Nicholas jumped in with the boys. Nico Aponte-Rios had a strong day on the mound, including a well-worked showdown with Coach Nicholas that ended with an easy out. Dash Cantor took the mound for the other side and also brought some tough stuff for opposing batters to try and figure out. Additional standout play came from Heyward Hodge, Emmet Greene, and Nick Sargent at catcher. All in all, it was a fantastic week for Pemi’s teams to wrap up an excellent season of athletics. Pemi’s boys displayed exemplary sportsmanship all summer long, learned how to be better teammates and competitors, honed their existing skills, and developed or discovered new talents, all while having tons of fun getting to compete. Many thanks are owed to athletic director Chris Johnson and our coaches for making it such a successful summer athletically!

Senior Junior Buddy
Senior Junior buddies

With our last week of activities behind us, we began the transition into Pemi Week! The 15s got an early start to the festivities as they set out on a special trip on Friday. They played mini golf, went to the batting cages, had a pizza lunch, and then returned to camp in time for Junior/Senior campfire on Friday night. The Junior/Senior buddy pairs roasted marshmallows for s’mores, migrated over to the basketball court for a giant game of knockout, played pickle ball together, and simply enjoyed getting the chance to hang out. It’s always wonderful to see how much fun both age groups have during these events. While the younger boys of course idolize the Senior campers, the older guys are just as excited at the opportunity to spend time with the Juniors. It’s heartwarming to witness. After a full, fun day on Friday, Pemi Week kicked off on Saturday morning with a time-honored Pemi tradition: Brad Jones Day. Named after a former Pemi counselor, this is the one morning during the summer when boys and staff alike (except those cooking and serving breakfast) can sleep in as late as they want. It’s a well-deserved rest after a busy summer and provides one brief chance to catch your breath before heading into the non-stop action of Pemi Week!

Games Day musical chairs
Musical chairs

Pemi Week competition began in earnest on Saturday afternoon with Games Day. Cabins dressed up in themes of their own choosing and marched down to the soccer pitch for an afternoon of both individual and team competitions. Cold water musical chairs kicked off Games Day, with one boy from each cabin participating. The boy left chair-less when the music stopped had to sit all the way down in a bucket of ice water. While normally a bit of a bracing experience, everyone this year was jealous of those boys who got to cool off, if only for a brief moment. The final two standing were Max Weber and Patchett Grant, and in the end it was Patchett who sat down for the win! From there we moved on to the Skittle eating contest, where boys have to use chopsticks to eat a bowl of Skittles as quickly as possible. The final individual event was the Oreo face roll: an absurd looking competition where boys have to move an Oreo from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands. It’s quite a sight to witness and always good for many laughs. Boys then transitioned to the end of the field for the relays: crabwalk and the sack race. Groups of four from each cabin competed in each race, with some excellent athleticism on display. Finally came the Championship of the World Egg Toss. Games Day Commissioner Charlie Malcolm started the boys out at an ambitious distance, but team after team rose to the occasion. The younger pairings trickled out as the distances increased, leaving us finally with the duos from the two oldest cabins in camp: Matt Staub and PJ Reed from Senior 3 and Giacomo Turco and Merrick Chapin from Lake Tent. The final toss eliminated both pairings simultaneously, meaning that those two cabins tied for the victory. As soon as that final egg splattered, boys tore across the road to get to the beach for free swim – a much needed occasion after an afternoon out in the sun. With all hands on deck lifeguarding and supervising, more boys enjoyed a dip in the lake that afternoon than during any other free swim all summer. It was the perfect way to cap off a thrilling Games Day!

As promised earlier, next week’s newsletter will include a more complete accounting of all the Pemi Week events, including triathlon, swimming championships, Woodsdudes’ Day, pentathlon, cabin soccer, archery, sailing, tennis tournaments, and more! The boys manage to pack so much in to their final week at Pemi, and it’s so impressive to see them seamlessly transition from one event to the next, displaying enthusiasm and support for each other the whole way. As we draw to the close of Pemi’s 115th summer, boys and staff members alike are trying to make the most of every second we have left together. In that spirit, I’m off to attend the art show opening, as I can hear Toby Dubner’s saxophone drifting over from the Library, signaling the start of the reception. I look forward to sharing final details and thoughts with you all next week!

–  Pat Clare

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