Alumni Newsletter – 2018 Preview

Welcome to the next installment of the Pemigewassett Alumni Newsletter. In this edition, we will preview the upcoming summer giving one and all an update on the 2018 Pemi campers, staff, and facility.

Campers

Our camper population in 2018 demonstrates another healthy year of enrollment. We are so fortunate to have Alumni and current families share Pemi through word of mouth, and we love meeting prospective families during our Winter Open Houses and visits to their homes.

New Pemi Lacrosse Jerseys

For the 2018 season, we have 88 full season campers, which is a recent record number of full season boys. A total of 166 boys will attend Pemi in either the first session or second session. All told, 254 boys will attend Pemi this summer. 76 boys, or 30% of the camper population, will be at Pemi for their first summer. On the veteran side of things, 26 boys will receive their Five-Year-Bowl this summer and 21 boys climb the ranks to their 6th, 7th, or 8th summer.

Geographically, campers travel to Pemi from nine countries: Spain, China, Germany, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, and 28 of the United States. Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee return to the list in 2018. Six states boast double-digit numbers of campers, including the Granite State with 19 boys. Our campers hail from 140 different cities and 209 different schools. We are proud of our geographic diversity, fulfilling the Campfire Song lyric of a group of the nations best.

Staff

We are thrilled with the staff for the 2018 summer. Stay tuned to the Pemi blog over the next few days, as staff members introduce themselves. Before getting those details, here is a big picture look at our staff.

The classic color remains.

Many of Pemi’s program heads are returning including Chris Johnson (year five!) in Tennis, Steve Clare in Archery, and Charlotte Jones in Swimming. We love that continuity, yet also enjoy the energy and direction that a new Head of Wooshop, Brian Tompkins, and Music, Jonathan Verge, will provide for us this summer.

In the cabins, 18 of the 22 cabin counselors were once Pemi boys and 17 of them have previous experience on the staff. We anticipate strong leadership from our Division Heads, three of whom return from last summer. All four trip counselors return from last summer to help our new Head of Trips launch his tenure. That’s right, after 42 years of running the Trip Program, Tom Reed handed his clipboard to son, Dan, who will help a new generation of Pemi boys explore the mountains and rivers of New Hampshire.

A strong group of Assistant Counselors, including ten former campers (seven are Pemi West veterans) provide more than adequate coverage in our cabins and programs. Those who know the inner workings of Pemi understand how vital the ACs are to the success of a Pemi season. While Pemi West is on a year hiatus, we are pleased to report that the Counselor Apprentice Program (CAP) continues with six participants. Led by Ben Walsh, these CAPs are a glimpse of our future counselors.

Buildings and Grounds Update

Maiden voyage in Lucky!

Another busy year for the Buildings and Grounds team as Pemi continues to enhance its facility while camp is not in session. Throughout the winter and spring, Reed Harrigan and his hardworking crew spent countless hours first stripping away the paint from the Mess Hall tables and applying a fresh, durable, extra tough, and glossy paint in the familiar turquoise. These will surely make the block game faster without the need for salt!

After years of service to Pemigewassett, we retired the DockSide, Pemi’s tried and true Safety Boat. Now, a 13ft Boston Whaler with bimini will patrol the sailboats, canoes, and kayaks. All current and former Safety Boat drivers will rejoice over the ease of starting and maneuvering our new boat, aptly named Lucky! Also on the waterfront, the brand new high dive will grace the shores of Senior Beach. Climbing the ten-foot ladder provides a wonderful birds-eye view of camp. The height is impressive and may give the counselors second thoughts about their aerobatics during the counselor hunt.

HIGH Dive!

A few other additions dot the landscape, including a hefty addition to the weight room. The increased space and new equipment will allow for counselors to continue training for high school and college sports seasons. In the library, we have installed a new two-stall bathroom for women and guests, replacing the outdated one stall design. These new toilets are composting, furthering Pemi’s green efforts. Down in Junior Camp above the Junior field and nestled into Pemi Hill is a new staff cabin. The Moore family are the first inhabitants, and Winston (aged 9 months) likes it so much he’s slept through the night for the first time.

Good luck, long life, and joy! –Kenny

Pemi 101 – The ‘What-is-it?’ Contest

The ‘What-is-it?’ Contest is a daily contest sponsored by the staff of the Nature Lodge that challenges campers and staff to identify a specific specimen from nature. The item could be a rock, plant, or butterfly, etc. and it is the job of the respondent to submit the best answer possible.

How to participate?

Located right in the center of the Nature Lodge, ‘What-is-it?’ occupies the end of a table. On the table are little slips of paper, small, golf-sized pencils, and a brilliant red birdhouse. Your task? Look at the day’s specimen and try to identify it. Write your name, cabin number, and your guess on the slip, fold it up, and place it inside the red birdhouse. At some unknown time after taps, the Nature staff retrieves all of the submissions and records the guesses.

Overnight, the Nature staff will replace the specimen with a new one and reveal the answer from the previous day on an index card. Participants are encouraged to return to check to see if their guess was accurate from the day before AND to guess what the new specimen is. This process repeats itself every day but Sunday, and the system gives participants immediate feedback; you will know if your guess was correct within 24 hours.

Points are awarded for participation (1 point), general answers (2-4 points), more specific-on the right path (4-5 points), and finally the ultimate correct answer (6-7 points). Participants who continue with the contest accrue points daily and, after each session, winners are announced for the highest score in each division. The prize? A Nature Award featuring a stunning framed collage of natural specimens that you take home. You also get your name listed in Bean Soup; infamy for the ages!

What-is-it Rules?

The rules are simple. You may use any resource (books, displays, etc) in the Nature Lodge except for the Nature Lodge staff. In fact, you may not ask anyone else for help and must find the answer on your own. The challenge of independent discovery is the essence of the contest.

History of the ‘What-is-it?’ Contest

Clarence Dike, Pemi’s first Head of Nature Programs, started the contest in the 1930’s. The first mention of the contest appears in the 1937 Bean Soup. Since then, it has become a staple of the Nature Program inspiring boys and staff to visit daily to participate in this challenging endeavor. Not only do you need to be consistent with your dedication to the contest, but you must have a penchant for curiosity and a willingness to find answers on your own, using resources right at your fingertips. Taking nature occupations will certainly help build your base of knowledge, but further research is necessary for the true die-hards.

2002 – Near Perfect Score – 295/300 – Upper Camper Alex Dyer

Over the years, there have been some very competitive contests and some remarkable scores. Larry Davis, Pemi’s Head of Nature Programs since 1970 remembers one year when the front-runner (Ethan Schafer!) stopped submitting answers with just a few days remaining and got beat out by a more persistent peer: a clear example illustrating the steady diligence needed to win. Since 2015, Associate Head of Nature Programs, Deb Kure has managed the contest. Here are a few other notable factoids.

1982 – Highest Camp wide Participation – 170 people, campers & staff participated in the Contest

1990 – All Star Staff Division – Johnstone brothers compete in a special Nature Lodge Staff Division

2008 – Very Junior Award – Victoria Malcolm continues the tradition of Staff Children participating in the contest.

2015 – Upper Andrew Kanovsky and Lower Will Ackerman earned Full-Season Perfect Scores: 210!


Campers – Are you ready for the 2018 ‘What-is-it?’ Contest?

Alumni – Do you have memories of participating in the ‘What-is-it?’ Contest?

Share your thoughts and comments via the Pemi Blog.

 

Kenny Moore Now Associate Director

I am very pleased to announce that veteran Pemi camper and staff member Kenny Moore is taking on a new title and responsibilities as Associate Director of Camp Pemigewassett.

Kenny and Sarah Moore with son Winston

One of the many joys of being at Pemi is watching our young boys become older campers, our older campers become young counselors, and our young counselors grow into leadership positions. As our young leaders gain experience, confidence, and wisdom, they come to take their place as part of the Pemi leadership team. Kenny is a vivid example of this type of progress.He began as a camper in Junior 5 in 1992 and joined the staff in 1999. Kenny settled into his position as Pemi’s Assistant Director in 2011 and has steadily taken on greater responsibility over the past years. This past Fall, Pemi’s Board of Directors and I both recognized that Kenny was ready for even more involvement in the management of the camp and, with this in mind, we were delighted to change Kenny’s title to Associate Director and to offer him increased participation in the winter responsibilities as a Camp Pemi director. Moving forward, Kenny will be working as first contact for Alumni whose sons are ready for camp, and, beginning this past winter, he has also been charged with the responsibility of hiring cabin counselors and many of our assistant counselors. Kenny is also overseeing Pemi’s Buildings and Grounds.

Please join me in congratulating Kenny on these new endeavors. We look forward to seeing Kenny and Camp Pemi thrive together as he takes over these new responsibilities. We thank him for his excellent ongoing work, and for being an exemplary model of Pemi’s tradition of leadership!

–Danny Kerr

Pemi 101 – The Pemi Hill Shelter

The Pemi Hill Shelter is an Adirondack-style structure that sits on Pemi’s property roughly two-thirds of a mile above the Junior Camp. This shelter provides cover overhead and is walled on three sides to protect occupants from the elements. Ten yards from the open side of the building, which faces eastward, is a campfire circle essential for cooking meals and for providing a central place for the group to congregate.

Over the years, Pemi has utilized the Pemi Hill Shelter in different ways, most notably as an overnight hike destination for individual cabins. The group traditionally departed after supper, climbed in the early evening hours armed with sleeping bags and a change of clothes, and enjoyed a night in the great outdoors. Led by the cabin counselor, and possibly the cabin’s Assistant Counselor, these hikes aided in developing cabin unity and gave the boys a chance to practice their camping skills.

Campers and staff have documented many of these Pemi Hill trips in Bean Soup articles. Click the links to read about Lower 7’s trip in 1988, or Junior 2’s outing in 1998.

History of the Pemi Hill Shelter

In the earliest days of Pemi (from 1908 into the 1920’s), boys climbed Pemi Hill for similar reasons, but experienced a very different landscape – pastoral rather than forested. In fact, cattle grazed on the slopes above the camp in the 1910’s, and the clanking of cowbells could be heard in the cabins after Taps and before Reveille. In the 1920’s, the first Pemi Hill Shelter was constructed near the spring where the cattle drank. Over the decades since, white pine, white and yellow birch, and various other trees overtook the pasture, creating the wooded landscape familiar to us today.

In the summer of 1962, Al Fauver, former Director and owner, began the project to create a new shelter on Pemi Hill. Charlie Ladd, Pemi’s longtime maintenance man and carpenter, was the builder and led trip counselors Wes Ackley and Roger Spragg and a few campers as the building team. Others (including Board President Tom Reed, Jr.) aided the efforts by carrying up all the posts, lumber, hardware, and roofing materials needed to complete construction.

In 1963, Al charged his son Fred Fauver (current Board member) and trip leader Paul Lewis with locating the old spring and rebuilding it into a useable water source for the shelter. After an all-day search, Fred and Paul had not uncovered the old spring, but they did find a wet spot at the base of a ledge not far from the shelter. After digging it out, they found a growing pool of water and erected a stone dam and beehive roof to protect the water source from debris. The best water in the world still flows from that pipe.

(To read more about the history of the Pemi Hill Shelter, be in touch to secure your copy of Pemi’s History Book – Camp Pemigewassett The First 100 Years!)

The Pemi Hill Shelter today

In planning for the 2017 season, Pemi’s trip staff developed a new (but also old!) system to provide the 8-11-year-old Juniors campers with an engaging, safe, and memorable Pemi Hill experience. Now, the specially-trained trip counselors lead the Junior overnights, aided by the cabin counselor, so that the younger boys learn more about the trip program and develop their camping and outdoor skills.

In the morning, the trip counselor outlines the trip and what to expect, giving the boys a packing list. Later that day, a check verifies that each boy has essential gear, including rugged footwear, a rain jacket, water bottles, a toothbrush, and the food that has been organized in the kitchen. On the ascent, each boy is given a turn to lead the group, learning how to set the pace. The counselors talk about the plant and animal species to be found along the way, features of the landscape, and first aid protocol. Some of the boys take this time to share something they learned in a nature occupation with their peers.

Upon arrival, the boys drop their packs and head to the Pemi Hill Spring to fill their water bottles. Once camp is set up, the boys explore the hillside and use a topographic map to study the land. They also learn to tie useful knots. This safe, unstructured time in the woods provides an ideal opportunity for camper development and growth.

An offseason trip to the shelter during the Family Winter Weekend in 2016!

The boys gather good firewood to cook dinner over the fire. The trip counselor demonstrates how to arrange the wood in the fire pit and talks about regulations and safety relating to controlled fires in the wilds. Other items covered are the principles of Leave-No-Trace camping, which reduces the impact we have on the natural areas in which we camp and hike. After dessert, the boys relax and read a book before falling asleep in the shelter (now equipped with mosquito netting as an appreciated latter-day improvement!). No clanging of cowbells now, though; only peaceful slumber.

Boys rise early at the Pemi Hill Shelter; the extra elevation allows the sun to peek over Mount Carr a bit earlier than the counselors might hope. After a quick breakfast over the fire, the group packs up their supplies and heads back to camp in time for their morning occupations – happy, well-fed, and a bit wiser in the ways of the wilderness.

Check out the detailed description of two 2017 Pemi Hill trips by clicking here. Stay tuned to the Pemi Blog for our next Pemi 101!

–Kenny Moore

Pemi 101 – What’s a BVT?

A BVT is a Baker Valley Tournament comprised of four neighboring camps (Moosilauke, Walt Whitman, Kingswood, and Pemi) and organized by age group (10 & Unders, 11’s, 12’s, 13’s, and 15 & Unders). Teams compete in round-robin athletic tournaments in soccer, basketball, lacrosse, ultimate Frisbee, swimming, archery, and tennis. We also play baseball against our Baker Valley friends—but only in head-to-head match-ups, given the length of a traditional camp baseball game. On any given camp day, there may be three athletic tournaments taking place in the Baker Valley: 10’s Soccer at Pemi, 12’s Hoops at Moosilauke, and 15’s Tennis at Walt Whitman.

BVT Hoops

The Baker Valley

The Baker River, originating on the south side of nearby Mount Moosilauke, runs south and east, joining the Pemigewasset River in Plymouth. All four camps are located within 10 miles of each other, allowing for quick transportation to and from these afternoon tournaments. One of the many positive features of a BVT is how well it integrates with the overall Pemi program. Boys can still participate in all their morning occupations, play in an afternoon BVT, and be on the beach for Free Swim at 5 PM.

Purpose and Goals

The proximity of the four camps was one of the main catalysts in the creation of the BVT. In the early 1990’s, Charlie Malcolm, Pemi’s longstanding Athletic Director, and Port Miller, owner and Director of Camp Moosilauke, thought of the idea: keep the high level of competition, as was custom from the previous Lakes Regions Tournaments, but limit the transportation time to and from competitions. BVTs are now a mainstay of the Pemi athletic program.

15 and Under Soccer pre-kick off

Charlie remembers the original vision: “There was a group of us who shared the importance of sportsmanship and participation. Because of the round-robin format, instead of a ‘winners’ bracket and a ‘consolation’ bracket, we created an environment for kids of all different levels to compete. From a BVT match, coaches and Athletic Directors could identify the best, competitive match-ups and schedule a direct re-match during one of our Saturday play-days.”

Twice a summer, Charlie and the other camps’ Athletic or Program Directors meet to discuss all things BVT, and over the years have developed a tight bond. These “lifers” maintain their individual camp’s standard and further support their camper-athletes through the promotion of healthy competition. These relationships help drive the success of a BVT.

The Origins of the BVT

A trip into the Bean Soup archives uncovered facts about the origins of the Baker Valley Tournaments. In 1991, the 13’s Soccer team played in the first Baker Valley Tournament. This inaugural BVT, which remains each year’s first scheduled event, was co-hosted by Pemi and Moosilauke. Four teams played: the two host camps, Kingswood, and Camp Dunmore. Pemi won all three games. You can read the details of the tournament from Coach Andy Honker’s Bean Soup article.

The third Pemigewassett Newsletter of the 1991 season noted the event with the following description: “Designed to promote the dual goals of good competition and better sportsmanship, it was highly successful. Six well-played games featured some skillful and hard-fought play, with nary a cross word directed at opponent or official. All of the teams ended the day with a heightened appreciation for the fact that competition on any level implicitly demands and depends on cooperation between combatants. With so little sportsmanship left on any level ‘out there,’ we hope that whatever we generate here at Pemi may rub off during the rest of the year.”

Stay tuned to the Pemi Blog to read information and updates on this summer’s BVTs.

-Kenny Moore

Alumni Magazine – News and Notes – January 2018

Welcome to the next installment of the Alumni Newsletter. This edition, Alumni News and Notes, offers updates from members of our Alumni Community. We invite you to write your own update in the comments section of the blog post via the Pemi website.

CONGRATULATIONS

Austin Blumenfeld was just named campaign manager for Ed Perlmutter’s re-election campaign for the 7th Congressional District of Colorado. Austin had previously interned with him in Washington D.C. Austin also noted that his former Lake Tent cabin-mate Jay McChesney is the Field Director for Walker Stapleton’s campaign for Governor of Colorado. Amazing, two former cabin-mates working in the trenches of Colorado politics!

Thibaut, Adriane, and Éloïse

Thibaut Delage, and his wife Adriane, live in Northwest Arkansas where he has been since leaving NYC eight years ago. They had a little girl, Éloïse, born in August 2017. After 6 years working in various roles with Wal-Mart, Thibaut now works in sales and logistics consulting for different brands currently at Wal-Mart or aspiring to do business with the retailer. Thibaut still plays tennis and soccer once a week, sports he enjoyed very much as a camper at Pemi 99-01.  A graduate of Pemi West (2002), Thibaut enjoys exploring the Natural State and the many state parks that surround his home. He is looking forward to his daughter turning 6 months old and bringing her to swim lessons in 2018!

Campbell Levy is marrying his fiancé Courtney in Zermatt, Switzerland on 1/18/18. Campbell writes, “Should be fun!”

Owen Ritter graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in political science & economics. Prior to starting his job in the live music industry, Owen plans to travel for two weeks in Japan.

PEMI ENCOUNTERS

Leif leading a rocks and gems discussion with the Waitzkin boys.

Patrick Clare moved to Tampa with his wife Holly after accepting a job at Berkeley Preparatory School. Pat is teaching history and the head boys’ varsity lacrosse coach. He ran into Pemi camper Reed Cecil on his first day on the job despite having no idea that Reed was a student there.

Leif Dormsjo visited Austin, Texas and reconnected with fellow Alumnus Gramae Waitzkin and Gramae’s three boys. Leif was visiting a Texas Department of Transportation highway project south of Austin on behalf of his new company, Louis Berger, who was hired to operate and maintain the 40-mile toll road. Leif is leading a team that provides management services to owners of highways, toll roads, and airports.

At a recent wedding, Papa Jerry Slafsky had the great pleasure of meeting the Macfarlane brothers, Pater and Noble, who are the cousins of Hannah Geese. Hannah married Jerry’s grandson Michael Slafsky. It was a beautiful wedding and a great weekend in Concord, NH.

Pemi Staffers JP Gorman, Nick Hurn, Harry Cooke, and Andrew MacDonald held the first official four nationalities summit in a big ol’ tower in Scotland.

IN MEMORIAM

Former Pemi camper and counselor Chris Johnson died unexpectedly of natural causes on October 5, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. Chris spent two summers as a camper in 1986 & 1987 and was a recipient of the Fauver Baseball Trophy during his first summer. An avid baseball enthusiast, Chris went on to coach baseball at Pemi during his four summers as a counselor. In 1992, Bean Soup awarded Chris and his best friend, Phil Bixby, the Counselor of the Year Award, with the following note as part of the article:

These two are exemplary within their cabins. They were not the most gregarious on the staff, but the amount of work they put in within their cabins is remarkable. They do not have to make a big noise and get noticed. They just get on with their work, helping their campers sort any problems out and making each and every camper that they deal with have a great season.

Details of a service will be announced as they become available. To read the obituary, follow this link.

ALUMNI NEWS

After 34 years of service to the Boy Scouts of America, John Carman is planning his retirement by the end of June 2018. In retirement, John hopes to be more regularly involved at Pemi assisting with the Alumni Work Weekend and the Rittner Run.

Representing Ireland, England, the United States, and Scotland.

Will Clare lives in Brooklyn with Kelsey Wensberg and works as a CPA for Novak Francella LLC. Will was just promoted to Senior Auditor.

Frank Connor writes “To anyone who was at Pemi from 1943 – 1946 inclusive, perhaps you will remember me, Frank Connor. I’m married and we had two daughters, one deceased. My wife, Karen, and I, moved into an old peoples home 10 months ago in Denton, Texas, the city where we have lived since 1970. My wife has beginning Alzheimer’s so we don’t get out a lot, but my main problem now is a new hip, which in another month or so should be back to normal. I still stay active in water polo, refereeing the Dallas Water Polo Club’s scrimmages twice a week. That all started at Pemi where I had my first taste of competitive swimming. To make a long story short, I started playing water polo in college (and later for the Illinois Athletic Club), and ended up in the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame. I was a mathematician, although in terms of research, not a very good one. So, I primarily taught mathematics in universities.  Not a bad life.”

Rick Coles and his wife Diana will celebrate their 12th Wedding Anniversary in April, with their daughter Luisa and son William. In 2017, the Coles family did a good amount of traveling. Rick and Diana spent a few weeks in Spain, visiting Barcelona and Madrid, and the whole family went on a Disney Cruise through the Baltic Sea over the summer. The cruise visited Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Estonia. Luisa spent her summer at Camp Coniston just down the road in NH.

The Coles Family in Copenhagen, Denmark

Rick recently founded a company, Greentech, which is beginning to hit its stride. He sells low voltage lighting systems for commercial and government use. In the beginning, he concentrated on perimeter lighting on fencing at large properties, like military bases or airports. With his system, Rick can light up a five hundred foot fence line at the same cost as a sixty watt light bulb in your house. One of his most prestigious projects included Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington DC. Last year, Greentech launched a new system for warehouses, parking garages, and other indoor systems. Check out www.greentechsecure.com to see his products.

Teddy Gales lives in the Uptown Neighborhood in Chicago, and is staying busy with his acting. In the fall, he traveled around Illinois acting in educational theater and just closed a run of a sketch comedy show at Second City. You might have seen him in a new Toyota Commercial, Mall Terrain.

Teddy writes, “Over the past year and a half since my graduation from Chicago College of Performing Arts, I’ve been in a few smaller plays in the Chicago store front theater scene and have booked principle roles in some independent films. One of which, titled, The Annual Taylor Family Thanksgiving Day Ping Pong Tournament, received an official selection at the 2017 Cannes Film festival.

Fred Fauver is in his second year as president of Royal River Conservation Trust, which includes the twelve towns in the Royal River watershed in Maine. Fred has just fired up his new sauna, a two and a half year project that he built himself. The Facebook page “Traditional Sauna” has several albums of 5-10 photos each by Garrett Conover, who has been documenting the construction for a chapter in a sauna book he’s writing. Fred’s new granddaughter, Frankie Jane Fauver lives in Switzerland, daughter of Jonathan and Vanessa!

2017 was a very busy year for Matthew Norman and his wife Sarah as they both began new jobs. Matthew transitioned within US Bank to be a Product Manager and Sarah started a new job at 3M. They traveled to Orlando in May to celebrate Matthew’s fathers 75th birthday, and then to London in September for a vacation. They met up with fellow Pemi alumni Owen Murphy and David Wilkinson.

David Wilkinson & Matthew Norman

After spending 2 enjoyable years working in Salt Lake City, Utah, Andrew McChesney moved back to the east coast, Lower East Side of Manhattan, to continue a career in finance. He is very much looking forward to being back east and participating in alumni events!

Bridger McGaw writes in, “I loved seeing a lot of old pals and mentors at the Reunion. I am so grateful for my counselors and cabin mates who provided and drove into my life so much of the important inner power of Pemi. I’m working in Boston for Athena Health as their Global Security and Business Continuity Lead protecting 5,000 employees and our cloud-based health care network. I live in Lexington, MA and recently was elected to our local Town Meeting. So I’m enjoying the change from national to local politics…for now. Cheers to you all!”

Last year, Stephen Funk Pearson moved from Cambridge, MA to historic Butternut Farm in Belmont, NH. He is in New Hampshire full time now with his rescue dog, Gunnar, and two rescue cats, Clio and Orio. He rents outs Ephraim’s Cove cabins on Lake Winnisquam. His brother, Tim Pearson, and sister-in-law live with their three children fifteen minutes away in Tilton.

Peter Rapelye travelled to the UK this past October to see his nephew at the University of St. Andrews, followed by a week in London, visiting a dozen British schools on behalf of Princeton University, where his wife Janet, a Camp Wawenock alumna, is half way through her 15th year as Dean of Admission. In retirement, Pete continues to serve on three independent school boards, audit classes at Princeton, and teach history courses part-time in Princeton and in Duxbury, MA during the summer. He is still playing tennis, a little golf, and enjoying Duxbury Bay with family and friends. Peter reminisces, “I have fond memories of Baker Pond, hiking trips, camp fires, and Tecumseh Day.”

Richard Scullin is teaching English and doing some technology integration at Miss Hall’s School. He used to teach at Kent Denver School, then NMH. His daughter Hazel, aged 14, runs cross country and skis Nordic. Richard, his wife Karin, and Hazel live in Williamstown, Mass and he’d love to hear from Pemi folks!

Ben Ross & Pierce Haley, current Pemi counselors, competed in the Head of the Charles Regatta this past fall for BB&N.

Lee Roth has a new website – check it out!

Matt Sherman recently moved to Reno, NV where he’s working as an engineer at Tesla’s Gigafactory. He notes, “It’s very different from the east coast but still has a lot of great hiking and skiing nearby that Pemi Alumni would love.”

Eli Stonberg had a great year professionally. He co-directed the video for Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still,” which is now the biggest rock crossover hit in the past five years, and peaked at #4 on the Billboard charts. The video currently has eighty million views and won a bronze lion at Cannes. Check out the interactive version of the music video too!

William and Caroline Wigglesworth moved on November 6th to Shaker Heights, Ohio.

— Kenny Moore

Defining Photos of 2017

Each fall, photos from the previous summer are compiled to create a picture book for prospective campers, current families, and alumni. Below are a few favorites that are worth sharing, enjoy!


Harry Cooke about to lead the Soundpainters in a performance during Campfire on Senior Beach.


A batch of freshly baked bread from Tom Ciglar and the Kitchen Staff.


Felix N. navigating Lower Baker Pond in a Sunfish.


Pemi West Director Dave Robb teaching an orienteering lesson to Pemi Westers at high elevation in Olympic National Park.


The stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Wentworth! Photo from behind the Library looking towards the Junior Lodge.


Frank A. finishing the 50 yard Butterfly against Tecumseh well ahead of his counterparts.


Members of Upper 3 posing on the Franconia Range during their Greenleaf Hut Trip.



The Lords Chorus, with Stephon and Phyllis, from this years production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe.


George F. clearing the High Jump during Pemi Week’s Pentathlon.


Absolutely stunning Nature Awards given to boys with outstanding interest and expertise in Nature, carefully crafted by Larry, Deb, and the Nature Staff.


…and finally drops in the West.

Pemi’s 110th Reunion

2017 Rittner Runners

The 35th Annual Rittner Run kicked off the celebration of Pemi’s 110th Reunion. On Thursday, August 17, forty Rittner Runners departed Pemi at 6 AM, headed to Fryeburg Maine to begin the 75-mile relay run back to Pemi. The relay is divided into 30 odd legs, some measuring as long as 4.5 miles and others as short as 1. Vans shuttle runners to the exchange points while conversations and stories are shared between current staffers and Alumni, both reminiscing about the season that just concluded and other past seasons. During the 2017 run, Head of Swimming and triathlon enthusiast Charlotte Jones led the way with 34 miles, with many others tallying in the high teens. Once back at Pemi, the Runners paraded by Senior Beach towards the Rittner Fountain onto Pemi’s soccer pitch for their annual photo and ‘tis I, Spartacus!’ cheer. After a quick dip in Lower Baker, the group headed to the Mess Hall for the Rittner Banquet. A delicious meal from Tom Ciglar’s trusty hands, and libations from Peter Cowles’ Aspetuck Brewery greeted the runners, followed by announcements, stories about Fred Rittner, and information about the Rittner Fund and its impact. Fred Rittner’s fellow counselors in the early 80’s and his former campers offered memories and legendary anecdotes.

To learn more about the Rittner Fund, please visit their website, and mark your calendars for the 2018 Rittner Run on Monday, August 13, 2018.

Reilly McCue and Leif Dormsjo

A cloudy, rainy dawn on Friday resulted in a scattering few for Polar Bear. The weather eliminated the hiking and golf trips for the day, but a quick scheduling pivot resulted in a trip to the Museum of the White Mountains to see their exhibit on Summer Camps. Pemi, like many of our neighbor camps, contributed to the exhibit with artifacts and memorabilia demonstrating the importance of the Summer Camp experience. At Pemi activities in the Nature Lodge, Library, and the Senior Lodge with active fires allowed folks a quieter morning before the bulk of arrivals. Just before lunch, Bob Fetter, an alumnus from 1940, arrived with his Junior Nature Award and All Camp photograph that he had saved from his only Pemi summer in 1940. Two true gems for the Pemi archives, and more info on his fellow octogenarians later.

Reunion Ensemble

After lunch, hearty souls ventured to Junior Pointe for some waterskiing, others made their way out in sailboats, and a few climbed aboard the HMS Reilly McCue for some fishing. Charlie Malcolm led a group in a cutthroat game of croquet (ask Paul Fishback!), and then a rousing game of Frisbee Golf. The library was active with Pemi trivia, led by current Pemi staffers Steve Clare and Andy MacDonald, and the Junior Lodge was alive with music led by Ed McKendry (Uncle Eddie to some), Ian Axness, Henry Eisenhart, and Michaella Frank. This talented Reunion Ensemble would play for us during the Happy Hour, and then later again at Campfire. To cap off the rainy afternoon, Larry Davis led the first Pemi discussion group of the weekend. Larry, a Climate Reality Project trainee, led the group in a question and answer session on this increasingly important topic.

Campfire

Now with more than 100 Alumni present, the Mess Hall filled with joy as Alumni greeted one another during Happy Hour, reminiscing and catching up. The rain tapered off, and we all enjoyed an outdoor Campfire on Senior Beach. A spectacular musical array ensued. Danny and Uncle Eddie serenaded us with Melissa by the Allman Brothers, Ian played the surpassingly lovely Boating Song on his glockenspiel, (You read the correctly!), Tom Reed and Michaella performed Ukulele Lady, the Reunion Ensemble played House of the Rising Sun, Parker Shiverick played the violin, and Eisenhart once again claimed the lake as his pillow with a saxophone solo. Larry Davis provided the classic story, Learning How to Shoot, before we all joined together for the Campfire Song. Undoubtedly, one of the best Reunion campfires we’ve ever seen.

A sunnier, albeit chilly morning saw more Polar Bears on Saturday. Shortly after breakfast, two hikes Mount Cube led by Nick Davini, and Mount Moosilauke led by Sam Papel departed in Pemi vans. Morning activities included Archery, a canoe paddle to the Lower Lake, doubles on the tennis court, open baseball on the newly improved Senior Diamond, tie-dyeing in the Art Building, waterskiing, and sailing. Just as our campers are offered a wide range of wonderful activities to choose, so too are our Alumni. In the library, the fourth generation (G4) of Pemi’s founders met with Alumni interested in learning more about the Reed and Fauver families. Of the 9 G4 members, five were present; Jonathan Fauver, Allyson Fauver, Megan Fauver Cardillo, Sarah Fauver, and Dan Reed discussed Pemi and shared their vision for the future.

Obie-Ivy Soccer

After a well deserved Rest Hour, afternoon activities began with Obie-Ivy soccer, an Environmental Exploration with Deb Kure for our 12 & Unders, a Wild Foods Extravaganza with Larry, a Spider Walk with former Nature guru Paula Golderberg, more Tie-Dye with Megan Cardillo, and the chance to swim your distance with the waterfront staff. Five swimmers made the distance from Senior Beach to Junior Camp under the watchful eye of former Head of Swimming, Paige Wallis in the rowboat, and current Head of Swimming Charlotte Jones donning the lifeguard buoy. Notable swimmers included current trip counselor, Nick Davini who, after 9 years at camp, owned up to never having swum his distance, Sarah Fauver, another first time distance swimmer, and taking home first prize, Scott Petrequin who, at age 86 (!), successfully swam his distance, making him the oldest Pemi person to ever accomplish the feat. Later at the Reunion Banquet, the cheer for ‘Distance Swimmer Petrequin’ was quite possible the loudest chant in 2017!

Free Swim

As Obie-Ivy ended, many players cooled off during Free Swim in Lower Baker, and enjoyed a well-timed, unplanned, landing by a sea-plane. Others decided to opt for a more intellectual pursuit, joining Alumnus David Spindler, a leading expert on the Great Wall of China, for the weekend’s second Pemi Discussion Group. David shared slides and stories about the Great Wall and his experiences traveling the monument.

Reunion Banquet

The Reunion Banquet was full of joy and cheer, with all the traditional pomp and circumstance of a Pemi Banquet. Alumni became waiters once again, marching the turkeys out of the kitchen as Axness performed his version of the Game of Thrones theme, Fire and Ice, on the piano. One lucky soul at each table claimed the carving knife to slice the birds. Tom Ciglar and his crew presented the turkey feast with mashed potatoes, stuffing, farm fresh corn on the cob, and freshly baked bread. Anyone who has tasted Tom’s bread is surely salivating.

During announcements, Pemi recognized the newest distance swimmers and honored Alumni by decade. We arrived at the 40’s – 1940-1949, and four gentleman, Bob Fetter, Bob MacBeth, Scott Petrequin, and Sandy Ross, stood to a rousing round of applause and standing ovation. Finally, in recognition of Alumni who are Pemi veterans of at least 10 years, Pemi gifted a 10-year tie. A new Pemi tradition!

Bean Soup, led by former editors Josh Fischel and Ian Axness, joined current editor Dan Reed for the special Reunion edition. Combining old classics, along with freshly written articles, this trio had the audience laughing away in the Mess Hall. Song re-writes like I’ve got Mike Pence (Sixpence), and a new “Reunion Edition” of the ever-popular Mess Hall announcement were highlights.

Betsy Reed Memorial

A beautifully crisp Sunday morning greeted Polar Bears for the final dip of the weekend. After breakfast, all gathered in the Senior Lodge for a memorial service in honor of Betsy Reed. Larry Davis and Ian Axness began the service with a lovely duet followed Zach See’s utterly moving Church Call on the bugle. I’m sure that the stirring music bellowing out over the lake set a tone that Betsy would have thought magnificent. Tom Reed Jr. eloquently shared stories and memories of his mother, as did Peter Fauver, Bertha Fauver, Dan Reed, Abby Reed (read by Allyson Fauver) and Dottie Reed. The service was beautiful, each speaker reinforced Betsy’s kindhearted demeanor, good will, humor, grace, and love of life.

Tom Reed, Jr.

Shout out to our spectacular Reunion Staff; Ian Axness, Paige Wallis, Ed McKendry, Larry Davis, Charlie Malcolm, Deb Kure, Harry Morris, Ben Walsh, Steve Clare, Charlotte Jones, Nick Davini, Sam Papel, Ned Roosevelt, Becky Noel, Kilian Wegner, Nick Hurn, and bartenders extraordinaire Andrew MacDonald and JP Gorman.

And, of course, a special thank you to the nearly 150 Alumni who returned to the shores of Lower Baker in honor of Pemi’s 110th season!

 

 

Alumni Newsletter – 2017 Preview

Welcome to the next installment of the Pemigewassett Alumni Newsletter. In this edition, we will preview the upcoming summer giving one and all an update on the 2017 Pemi campers, staff, and our gorgeous facility.

2017 CAMPERS

In 2017, two hundred and sixty two boys will attend Camp Pemigewassett with eighty-one campers enrolled for the full seven week session. Eight countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Spain, and Venezuela) will send boys to Wentworth this summer. Within the United States, twenty-eight states are represented, with boys from Rhode Island, Mississippi, and Minnesota joining the ranks for the first time in a few years. Seven states have double-digit representation, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and Chicago also have strong contingents. Should make for great banter in the Mess Hall.

Thirty-four percent of the boys will be in their first season at Pemi, and on the other end of the spectrum, thirty percent are in their fourth or more summer. Eleven boys are in either their seventh or eighth summer! We enjoy having these savvy veterans and camp leaders to help the youngest and newest boys along. Mentorship between the campers is always a hallmark of the Pemi experience, and recent efforts have furthered mentorship opportunities.

Photo from 2015 – Ezra Nugiel, middle, with his Junior buddy, D. Johnstone (left), and also pictured is Ezra’s Senior buddy from 2010, Ridley Wills, completing a cycle!

For example, the Junior – Senior buddy program, which began a few years ago, pairs each Senior camper with a Junior counterpart. A few scheduled campfires allow the boys the chance to get to know each other, and begin building a connection. During the day, and throughout all informal times in between, these pairings form meaningful relationships, as the Senior becomes a role model for the Junior camper. Just recently, our earliest junior buddies have now become Seniors and have completed the cycle with first hand experience of the program.

PEMI STAFF

We are fortunate to have a slew of Pemi veterans back on staff in 2017. More than seventy percent of our counseling staff were once Pemi campers, and roughly the same number are returning staff members from 2016. Every year, we are excited for new staff to join the ranks, to infuse the institution with new ideas and ways of thinking. Coupled with our great retention rate, the 2017 Staff is sure to be stellar. Stay tuned for the next blog posting to read further details about each staff member.

Don Webster instructing Pemi boys on the art of bunting.

To wet your appetite, we’d like to highlight one Pemi counselor who is returning to camp after a few years away. Julian Hernandez-Webster is back on the shores of Lower Baker, and represents three generations of Pemi. His grandfather, Don, started back in the late 1950’s, serving as the Head of Senior Camp, and also a baseball and tennis coach. No surprise to our avid readers, but Don was a graduate of Oberlin College. Steve Webster, Don’s nephew, was next in line, spending ten summers at Pemi. Then, Don’s two sons, Jake and Andy joined the ranks in the late 70’s. Andy, Julian’s father, learned a trio of water sports (sailing, canoeing, and waterskiing) during his camper days, and later coached soccer and baseball when as a counselor in Senior Camp.

After five years as a camper, many with older brother Max also in attendance, Julian is set to begin his first year as a counselor and looks forward to his new role at Pemi. Julian remembers his own counselors well, Ted McChesney and Ben Ridley specifically, and aims to model his own style after them. “Ted was great as my first counselor, he did an excellent job of encouraging me to try all sorts of new activities, a value that is one of Pemi’s best. And it was a privilege to have Ben Ridley as my Senior 3 counselor. I hope to bring the positive energy that I saw in Ben, and I hope I can consistently brighten the moods of the boys in my cabin.”

Julian is a rising Junior at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, majoring in Sociology and contemplating adding a second major in Spanish. The study of Sociology, analyzing the way societies operate, is an important field to Julian, and he is eager to pursue research opportunities including studying abroad in South America. He is active at Bucknell outside the classroom by playing club soccer, he serves as a member of LACOS, the Hispanic/Latinx student organization, and Speak UP, an organization advocating against behaviors and ideas leading to sexual misconduct.

Julian, bottom row, second from left, with his Senior 3 cabin-mates in 2013. Four others will join Julian on staff this summer!

Pemi has had a huge impact on Julian and his family, and they have been vital in  continuing the traditions of the institution. When asked about a favorite Pemi story or memory, Julian thoughtfully responded with an eloquence that deserves to be shared in full.

After the final campfire when I was 15, my cabin-mates were lamenting the end of our Pemi careers as campers. There were tears after the campfire, during the walk back to the cabin, and then quiet as none of us wanted to say goodbye to each other. Ben Ridley walked into our cabin and decided to take us out to the baseball field. It was after taps and the camp was dark and silent, but the sky was stunning. We laid on the grass in the outfield of the baseball field, staring out into the cosmos, and took turns swapping stories and laughing about our journeys at Pemi. Ben told us that even though we were done as campers, the bonds that we forged were special enough that they would last until we saw each other next. I looked around and in my cabin-mates I saw brothers, and I know that what Ben said was true. I have met up with most of the boys from the outfield that night and each time it was as if no time had passed, and our friendship continued just as strong as it was when we were 15.

FACILITY UPDATE

A new cross section joins together the traditional twin piers.

Our facility is in excellent shape, and weathered an unusual New England winter and spring that offered a host of challenges. Guided by Reed Harrigan, Pemi’s Head of Buildings and Grounds, vast improvements can be seen as soon as you cross over the bridge to paradise. Looking to your right, you’ll immediately notice a new dock system for Senior Beach and two new floats beyond. These modern, easy to install floating docks accommodate the unpredictable water levels that have become the norm, and most importantly, the docks ensure increased water safety and support improved swimming instruction.

As you continue down Pemi’s road, you’ll notice to your left, the field-leveling project. Starting in the fall of 2016, these new flat playing fields allow lacrosse and baseball to co-exist in Senior Camp, much to the chagrin of those ardent admirers of the national pastime. The Mess Hall looms large over the grassy surface, with a newly paved driveway leading to the loading dock. Behind the Mess Hall now lives a generator to provide electricity to the building and to the office, allowing Pemi operations to continue unfazed in the event of a power outage.

A new superb playing surface for baseball and lacrosse.

Back on the road, now to the Boat House, two new rowboats flank the pride of the Pemi fleet; eight fresh, strikingly sharp, green Mad River Canoes. These gems immediately enhance our growing Canoeing Program, and support better canoeing instruction to venture beyond Lower Baker for river canoe trips. Other improvements dot the landscape and continue to enhance the program opportunities for the boys.

Stay tuned for upcoming summer Pemigewassett Newsletters that will be distributed via the blog. We hope you’ll subscribe to stay up-to-date with Pemi news and information. In the meantime, find us on your favorite social media platform for daily summer updates.

Take a hike!

Finalizing your plans for the upcoming holiday weekend? Why not take advantage of the extra time and anticipated gorgeous weather to get outside and take a hike!

Pemi’s trip program, one of our four core program areas, offers Pemi boys a variety of trip options from day hikes, to overnight trips, to AMC Hut adventures. For each trip, Pemi’s trip counselors work with the boys to pack all the necessary items in order to be prepared. Many of you are familiar with Pemi’s packing list, which includes a backpacker’s equipment list on the bottom.

Rob Verger, a former Pemi camper, counselor, and trip counselor, recently authored an article in Popular Science, that provided seven essential tips for a successful day-trip. You can find the full article by clicking here. Over many years, hiking countless trails in New Hampshire, Rob shares the following tips:

  1. Be nice to your feet
  2. Dress the part
  3. Layer up
  4. Stay hydrated and energized
  5. Expect the unexpected
  6. Include the finish touches
  7. Don’t forget a backpack

One or more of these will surely jog the memory of many Pemi Alumni. Perhaps you remember a Pemi hike where the unexpected happened, or when you needed to dig into your pack to pull out your raincoat? We welcome your stories and memories in the comment section below!

Rob finishes his article with the following closing, we agree entirely!

Having everything you need on your back for a day outside gives you an independent feeling. And that feeling is even better when you’re enjoying it while eating cheese and pepperoni on a breathtaking summit.