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Welcome back Johanna Zabawa!

I’m thrilled to share that Johanna Zabawa, a veteran staff member and great-granddaughter of Edgar Fauver (one of Pemi’s founders) will be joining the year-round Pemi Team in a multi-faceted role. During the fall, winter, and spring, Johanna will take on the role of Pemi’s Registrar and Lead Administrator. Pat and I look forward to having Johanna on our full-time team. She will absorb responsibilities previously held by Dottie Reed and Allyson Fauver. During the summer, Johanna will be a member of Pemi’s senior leadership team with a primary focus on camper and staff health and wellness. Her professional experience in social work and mental health therapy serves as an ideal background for this new in-season role.

Johanna with daughter Charlotte

“I am excited to begin this new role at Pemi with a focus on camper and staff health and wellness. I’m motivated to work with both individuals and systems at Pemi to create environments that support social and emotional growth. Having a positive and healthy camp experience not only benefits our immediate Pemi community, but the multitude of communities and individuals our Pemi boys and staff interact with when they leave the shores of Lower Baker.”

As a child, Johanna attended Camp Onaway just down the road in Hebron, NH on Newfound Lake. These formative years at camp fostered her love and appreciation for the friendships and bonds between campers, staff, and the entire community. In 2004, Johanna participated in Pemi West, and the following year she joined the Pemi staff.  She led trips for a number of years, coached baseball, and in 2011, Johanna served as the first female Head of Staff at Pemi. 

“As someone who typically shies away from the spotlight, Pemi pushed me out of my comfort zone in both areas of self-confidence and leadership. Being a female staff member at a predominantly male camp also shaped my professional and adult self. It can be challenging to navigate an environment where your purpose and place are not always obvious. I found myself in experiences where I was the only female present, these situations might have been routine to other staff members, but they were often intimidating for me. I was incredibly lucky to have great mentors in the Pemi trip program, and senior staff that were willing to guide and support me in finding my confidence and strengths at Pemi.”

Johanna with husband Nick and daughters Charlotte and Holly.

Johanna graduated from the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work in 2013 and is a licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). For the past 9 years, she has been practicing clinical social work in a variety of therapeutic and community settings. Since 2017, Johanna has been providing outpatient mental health therapy to adolescents at a public high school in Minneapolis, MN.

Johanna lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband Nick and daughters Charlotte (almost 3), and Holly (born May of 2022). She is excited to return to New Hampshire during the summer months with her family. “On a personal and family level, it is a wonder and privilege to be able to participate in camp life and introduce my daughters, 5th generation, to the same vistas, music, and traditions that my grandmother and great grandfather experienced.”

Please join me in welcoming back Johanna Zabawa to the Pemi staff; we are incredibly lucky to have her!

-Kenny Moore