Why Pemi?

Beyond the fun, activities, and friendships that you’ll learn about elsewhere on this site, here, we offer insight into what we feel makes Pemi…Pemi, and why boys return year after year.

Program with both depth and breadth

Campers have access to dozens of activities in each of four program areas: Land & Water Sports / Nature Studies / Music, Woodworking, Crafts, Studio Art & Drama / and Hiking & Canoeing, with instruction from beginner to advanced levels. The depth within each program area invites a camper to develop high level and refined skills, especially over multiple summers. The breadth of activities across the 4 program areas inspires that same boy to discover interests and abilities beyond those that he has already developed. Boys who engage in both immersion and exploration don’t “outgrow” camp. Instead they return year after year and emerge as both skilled and well-rounded young men.

Schedule with both structure and free time

Each week, with the help of his counselor, a camper creates his daily schedule by choosing 3 or 4 specific activities to focus on that week. To complement this, he has some unstructured, self-directed time within each day, with plenty of options from which to choose, including the freedom to enjoy some downtime. This “hybrid” approach provides the perfect opportunity for us to help boys build time-management and decision-making habits, as we believe that learning how to choose and manage a set schedule and how to make wise use of free time leads to making healthy personal decisions, not just at camp but throughout the year.

Positive Counseling process

We know campers will experience some frustrations while at camp, but we try not to “fix” them for the boys. By training our counselors in Positive Counseling—a multi-step process that guides campers to identify what choices they have—we give our staff a mode of working with campers that not only helps the boys navigate an actual situation, but also awakens them to the tools they have to manage their future challenges at home, in school, and in relationships long after their summer at Pemi comes to a close.

Unplugged community

Campers leave electronic devices at home and connect instead with those around them. This gives boys time and space to develop critical communication skills, to unwind from a hectic year, and to recharge for the busy year ahead. Most boys leave with a renewed perspective on the role that technology plays in their lives, including how best to use it when it’s available.

Our support for positive parenting

As our mission states, Pemi offers support and guidance, sets clear policies, and communicates honestly and dependably with parents as they navigate the profound challenge of “letting go.” In other words, we don’t facilitate “hovering.” Instead, our communication with parents gets high marks for being informed and timely both pre-season and while your son is with us. We encourage you to think of time apart as “healthy separation”—an opportunity to connect in a new way with partners, friends, and younger children, and a chance to nurture yourself by pursuing personal goals and interests.

A passion project since 1908

Founded in 1908 by twin brothers and their best friend, Camp Pemigewassett is the oldest boys’ sleepaway camp in the country still privately owned and managed by the founding families. The Fauver and Reed families, now in their 4th generation of stewardship, serve a range of roles, whether “on the ground” during summers, on the board, or “as needed,” and since 1908 have never relied on camp revenue as their sole source of income. This allows the Board of Directors to apply significant funds to camper scholarships, professional development, facility improvement, and support of the local community—all of which honors the original passion of the founders.