Alumni Magazine – 2019 Preview

Welcome to the next installment of the Pemigewassett Alumni Newsletter. In this edition, we will preview the coming summer with an update on 2019’s campers, staff, and facility.

CAMPERS

Pemi’s 112th campaign provides a healthy mix of campers from around the country and the world. Boys from twenty-six states will travel to Pemi for the summer, along with a recent record number of international campers. Seventy-five campers will be with us for the full summer and all told, two hundred and fifty-three boys will be Pemi campers. Approximately 30% of our campers this summer are legacies, boys whose father, grandfather, uncle, etc. were once campers or staff members. Alumni have been wonderful advocates of the Pemi experience, spreading news about camp far and near. We are very thankful to all members of our community who share the joy of Pemi.

The Junior Lodge

Our retention of 2018 campers was very high, with roughly 85% of those eligible to do so choosing to return. Seventy-two boys will be in their first summer at Pemi and on the flip side, fifty-five boys will be in their fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth summer! We love having this range of Pemi experience, as our savvy veterans are eager to welcome new camp friends to the Pemi family. Every Pemi camper remembers his first summer at camp and how warm and supportive the community was during their first few days. In order to create this environment, we speak to all veteran campers about how to demonstrate leadership with a friendly, guiding hand.

Pemi West, relocated to Colorado this year, has eleven participants. Click here to read about the newly revamped Pemi West Program. Excitement surrounds the tremendous outdoor opportunities with our partner, Deer Hill Expeditions, from canoeing down the San Juan River, to service with the native Navajo population, to hiking in the San Juan Mountains. Stay tuned for updates and pictures!

STAFF

The boys are in for a real treat this summer with the staff that Team Pemi has assembled. In the counselor ranks, 80% of our cabin staff were once Pemi boys, former campers with a burning desire to return to share their love of camp with the next generation. Sixty percent of our counselors have been staff members before, many for multiple summers. This veteran group of counselors will set high leadership standards for the entire counseling staff.

2018 – Senior 1 Nick Bertrand in purple shirt.

Most Program Heads return to Pemi from 2018, complimented by newly appointed Program Heads who’ve come directly from the talent pool of Pemi-grown instructors. Michaella Frank, in her fifth Pemi summer, will run our music department; Sam Papel will be our Head of Trips; Nick Davini will be the Pemi West Director, Erik Wiedenmann will be the Head of Staff; and Will Meinke will be our Assistant Head of Staff and Head of ACs. Three-year veteran staff members, Chloe Jacques and Hattie McLeod, will run the sailing program and canoeing program respectively.

Our Division Heads have vast Pemi experience: three are former boys with multiple years on staff and the fourth is a five-year veteran counselor. More details about our staff will be forthcoming with the traditional self-introductions in the next edition of the Pemi Blog. For now, we profile one of our Division Heads, Nick Bertrand.

STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Nick Bertrand leads the Senior Camp in 2019. Nick’s Pemi story began in 2006 as a camper. After eight years as a camper and a stint on Pemi West in 2014, Nick will be in his fourth year on staff. A rising senior at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, Nick is a Biomedical Engineering major with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. His affinity towards science and math started early in life with an interest in solving puzzles and problems. The Biomedical field offers an opportunity to investigate the way our bodies interface with technology, a study that fascinates him.

This past spring, Nick earned valuable work experience at a five month co-op program with the Engineering Materials Group of Parker Hannifin Corporation. After graduation, Nick hopes to work with prosthetics in a research and design role. Nick is a member of the men’s varsity soccer team, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity, and Theta Tau, the professional engineering fraternity.

Nick (front row, third from left) with his J-1 cabin mates during the All-Camp Photo in 2006.

Serving as the leader of the Senior Camp brings back memories of Nick’s first summer at Pemi in 2006. “My parents dropped me off in junior camp and left to bring my brother back up to seniors. I was terrified, looking around the cabin at the other beds, not really hearing my counselor Michael Bryant instruct me on how to organize my stacks of clothes. Then two boys in the cabin came right up to me, introduced themselves, and asked if I wanted a tour. Ben Conklin and Matt Kanovsky made it so easy for me to adjust to camp life just by being kind and helpful to me. I credit them a lot for my love of camp because if they had not been so nice right off the bat, who knows what would have happened that first year.”

Nick is excited about his role as the Senior Camp Division Head. “I remember my years in Senior Camp quite well because of how much I enjoyed them. This year I hope to bring that same level of joy to the boys. Seniors typically get a few more privileges than the rest of camp, and I hope to create an environment where they can show that they truly deserve these privileges by becoming leaders and being engaged in all aspects of camp.”

FACILITY UPDATE

Pemi’s tireless Buildings and Grounds team continues their excellent work in beautifying our wonderful facility. Improvements and enhancements can be seen throughout camp. Here are a few highlights:

– Substantial work was done this fall installing larger culverts under the camp road to improve the flow of the streams off of Pemi Hill.

Upper 1 – So fresh and so clean!

– A new recycling platform was poured behind the loading dock of the Mess Hall to refine our collection efforts.

– Upper 1 and Lower 5 received a fresh new interior look with new bunks, shelves, and a refinished floor. The most lavish feature in the updated cabins are newly-designed windows that glide gently to the side, allowing for improved airflow and also brilliant protection from any weather.

– Along with U1 and L5, other Intermediate Hill residents will enjoy a stunning new Polar Bear stone-path that replaces the steep, wooden stairs.

– New stand-up paddle boards will grace Lower Baker Pond, along with the Malibu ski-boat and its rebuilt engine.

– The office floor was refinished.

– Improved hot water tanks will fuel showers in the Intermediate Shower House, a new roof protects the Junior Lodge, and the three Squish houses have been updated.

Some exciting plans are in the works for new capital improvements, but stay tuned for more word on that in a future Pemi publication. Until then,

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny

Alumni Magazine – News and Notes – January 2019

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

Mike Benham is engaged to Meghan Tadio. They will wed on August 17, 2018 in New Hampshire.

Nick Bowman will attend Wesleyan University in the fall.

Pictured (left to right) Top Row: Gordon Bahr, Chip Fauver, Fitz Stueber, Conor Shaw, Ryan Fauver. Middle Row: Scott Fauver, Chris Stueber, George Fauver, Peter Reimer, Jake Fauver, Dwight Dunston Front Row: Hunter Bahr, James Reimer, John Henry Bahr, Cory Fauver, Arielle Rebek

Cory Fauver shares the following, “Dwight Dunston, a love advocate and Bean Soup editor, officiated my wedding to my longtime partner Arielle Rebek on September 1 in Fennville, Michigan! A multi-generational cadre of Pemi boys joined the celebration. Arielle and I are jumping into 2019 with ambitious travel plans for our honeymoon. We’re heading to Chile and Argentina, with a focus on hiking in Patagonia, for the better part of 3 months! Arielle just finished a stint teaching two darkroom photography courses at Carleton this fall as a visiting professor. I will be leaving my job of the last year (software engineer at an SF-based tech publication called The Information) to open up some time for travel. When we return, our plans are up in the air, but we’ll return to Oakland, CA where we’ve lived for the past three and a half years.

Ryan Frisch married Calyn Jones on November 2 in Chandler, Arizona.

Pierce Haley will attend Colgate University in the fall.

Campbell Levy and his wife Courtney welcomed Wilder Fox Levy to the world on June 8th of 2018. Wilder is doing awesome, already starring in some digital advertising pieces. Look for him in a big up-coming Starbucks campaign.

Wilder Fox Levy backcountry skiing up on Mount Evans, which is near where Campbell and Courtney live in Evergreen. Three degree start temperature at about 11,000 feet…he’s more than ready for Polar Bear!

Former Pemi camper and counselor Conor Shaw married Rachel Clark on August 11, 2018 at her childhood home in Lincoln, Vermont. Pemi veterans Jake Fauver and Josh Fischel were among the groomsfolk, and several others were in attendance, including Dwight Dunston, Chip Fauver, Cory Fauver, Ryan Fauver, Rob Grabill, and Jeff Miller. The evening ended as many other good ones have-with a stirring rendition of campfire song by a group of the nation’s best! (See picture below)

Rob Verger and Roselle Chen were married on the steps of Grant’s Tomb on October 6 in a small ceremony officiated by Rob Grabill.  Rob is currently the assistant tech editor at Popular Science, where he writes articles for popsci.com and the print magazine, and is a frequent guest on TV outlets such as Cheddar and Fox Business. Roselle is a news producer with Reuters, where she reports and produces video stories like a look at “Mother Pigeon,” an ice-dancing federal judge, and a father-and-son-owned “crazy” sock company. They live in Manhattan. (See TRIPS picture below)

At Luke’s graduation, brother Charles on left who is a JAG in the US Marine Corps – defense counsel with mom Anne.

In May 2018, Luke Whitman graduated from Columbia’s GSAPP (Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning) and received his M.S. in Real Estate Development.  This fall, he started a new job as a Project Manager for Stellar Management as a member of their construction & development team.  He’s currently working on an adaptive re-use project that involves the renovation and merger of two existing 800K square foot buildings built in 1904, called One Soho Square.

PEMI ENCOUNTERS

Paul Fishback had dinner a couple weeks ago with Greg Epp in Buffalo, the two hadn’t seen each other in 35 years! Both were in Lower 2 and Lower 6 in the summers of ’75 and ’76, respectively. Great to hear about this re-connection!

After finishing a family hike in the Patagonia’s in Southern Chile, the Kanovsky family ran into Ben Nicholas in the super small Balmaeda Airport. Ben was in Coyahaique fishing!

Pemi Reunion in Chile!

Jim Staples caught up with fellow Alumni Bandy and John Carman by email in December and registered on the alumni site. Way to be, Jim! He writes, “I’ve lived in Philadelphia for 44 years, surrounded by Tecumseh folks, and still enjoy reminding them about Tecumseh Day, 1967. Good luck, long life, and joy to all. Jim Staples, Pemi ’65-’67, ’70-’71”

In August, Ander Wensberg, Esteban Garcia, Fred Seebeck, Roger McEniry, and Jaime Garcia reunited in Cooperstown, NY to tour the Baseball Hall of Fame. Afterwards, the group traveled north to Pemi to participate in the Rittner Run in August. Stay tuned for information about the 2019 trip!

The Fab Five in Cooperstown, NY

Dickinson student, Zach Popkin, offered the following live commentary while announcing the Dickinson-Swarthmore soccer game: “Camp Pemigewassett’s Patterson Malcolm enters the game for Swarthmore, a ten year tie guy, and a shout-out to his father, Charlie Malcolm, if he is watching.”

IN MEMORIAM

The memorial service for long time Pemi camper and counselor, Chris Johnson (Pemi years 1986 – 1994), who died in the fall of 2017, will be at St. Michael’s Church in Brattleboro, VT on February 16 at 11 AM. For more information, email Kenny.

ALUMNI NEWS

John Armitage published a book, Bringing Numbers to Life: LAVA and Design-led Innovation in Visual Analytics. He adds, “It portrays the results and design process of the LAVA visual analytic design project conducted at software providers Business Objects and SAP from 2004-2014. 500+ paperback, full-color pages with visual analytic design images, design process analyses, and historical background to this breakthrough design language intended to open up quantitative analysis to mass consumption.” You can read it online, or buy the hardcopy via Amazon. Or connect with John on LinkedIn.

Hilary Bride took a new job in December as an Intake/Admissions Specialist at the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescences in Virginia. This is the only public psychiatric hospital for youth in VA and deals with acute mental illness crisis.  She writes, “I was inspired with my work as a volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children (CASA) and will continue to live in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Staunton with Rufus in my new, rented, tiny home.”

John Carman spent the last 5 months adjusting to a new life as a retired person after 35 years of 60-hour workweeks with the Boy Scouts of America. “I am as busy as I have ever been but am thoroughly enjoying doing the things I want to do on a daily basis. Having a one year old granddaughter and a two year old grandson nearby helps occupy my time.”

Congratulations Conor Shaw and Rachel Clark!

John and his wife enjoyed a week in mid-coast Maine in the end of September, an area he learned to love during a Pemi post-week session in 1970 when Tom Reed Sr. And Jr. took him to Boothbay Harbor and Monhegan Island. Monhegan Island was one of his favorite experiences growing up, so he took his wife there for a day as part of the vacation. “I still remember that stormy day with rough seas standing on the top of the boat with TRJR and (I believe,) Dave Wallingford, braving the wind and rain in preference to the odorous cabin below with less seaworthy passengers.”

Keith Comtois lives in Rio Verde, Arizona just east of Scottsdale with his wife of 37 years, Ann, after spending fifty years in Cleveland, Oh and ten in the Chicago suburbs. He still works in commercial banking credit administration. “My years at Pemi were 1968 and 1969, I think. Definitely 1969 as I remember watching the moon landing there. I fondly think of those two summers in NH.”

Larry Davis retired from the University of New Haven on August 31, but will continue research on San Salvador Island. He moved to Concord, NH during the summer and recently received the New England Environmental Education Alliance Award for Non-Formal Education.

Dan Duffy writes, “Living quietly with an old Lab, a dozen chickens, an emu and two grandsons. Quieter since we found homes for the four extra roosters. A day doesn’t pass without thinking of Al Fauver, Rob Grabill, Fred Seebeck, Larry Davis, Sandy McCoy or any other fine men I knew up there when we all were much younger than I am now. Good wishes for the New Year.

On September 10, Henry Eisenhart started a new job at EnergySage, a company with a small team in Boston running an online solar shopping marketplace that pairs consumers with solar installers from a pre vetted network. His role as a Partner Success Manager is to manage installers from recruitment/selling the service to guidance and management.

Teddy Gales has been cast in his first feature film, Intoxicated Rain (Small Budget/ Million dollars) but once he pays his dues he is a SAG Member Screen Actors Guild, which will open more doors. He has one TV commercial and an Internet commercial for a new company, Outsystems.

Porter Hill started his new job as Head of the Lower School at Fairfield Country Day School. Many former Pemi campers have attended FCDS and we know that connection will remain strong into the future! Fun fact – Porter’s bugle hangs in his office.

Pemi backpacking legends TRJR, Andrew Billo, Dan O’Brien, James Finley and Mike Sasso posed for a TRIPS photo, with Roselle and Rob Verger crashing the shot in the foreground. Photo credit to Jayd Jackson.

Andrew McDermott is a full time shooting instructor with the Orvis Company and is set to marry his fiancé in May.

Dave Nagle recently moved fifteen miles north from Largo, FL to Clearwater, FL. He changed employment six months ago and now works at Jormac Aerospace.

Walt Newcomb reports some wonderful travel with his wife Bendy. After spending New Years in Paris, they moved on to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a place they lived in 2008-2019 while he consulted for Malaysia’s oil company, PETRONAS. He recommends nasi lamak as a local delicacy for those looking for a tasty tip. Next on the agenda is Langkawi before the final stop in Singapore.

Tom Reed’s debut novel, Seeking Hyde, was published on November 1 by Beaufort Books; very fittingly the New York publishing house owned by Pemi alumnus, Eric Kampmann. Tom’s historical fiction follows celebrated author Robert Louis Stevenson as he struggles for years to bring Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde into being, only to see the story blamed for inspiring Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel murders. You can learn more about the inspiration and the evolution of the novel in this Q&A interview with Tom by Deborah Kalb–although we notice Tom never told the interviewer that all he ever learned about writing he learned as an editor of Bean SoupSeeking Hyde is available in hardcover, Kindle, and Nook formats from Amazon and Barnes & Noble (and perhaps your local bookstore!).

Austin Richards writes in, “My wife Victoria and I have 5 year old twin boys. I hope they can go to Pemi when they are 12. Currently they are in Kindergarten at a private school called Marymount. We live in Santa Barbara and I work at FLIR Systems as a senior research scientist. I have been there for 20 years. It is a dream job because I get to design, build, and use night vision cameras, radar systems, thermal imaging and other more esoteric technologies every day. My wife is an actress and filmmaker and she is working as a festival news producer for the Sundance Film Festival coming up in a few weeks.”

After fifteen or so years spending the winters in Okeechobee, Florida, Papa Jerry Slafsky and his wife have moved to Boca Raton. They still maintain a home in Freedom, NH for the summers. Papa has a small but well equipped shop there and spends his summers doing wood woodworking, fishing and putting on shows.

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny

Pemi West Begins an Exciting New Chapter

We are excited to share news about our revamped Pemi West program. The western branch of Camp Pemigewassett, Pemi West, is a wilderness skills and leadership program for 16 and 17 year old men and women. For more than two decades, Pemi West has provided a challenging and rewarding experience for participants, and we are thrilled to continue the program in a new location.

We have partnered with Deer Hill Expeditions, a Wilderness Adventure, Community Service, and Cultural Exchange outfitter in Mancos, CO to provide a unique outdoor leadership experience. In the exploration process, we discovered many Deer Hill – Pemi connections, from individuals who participated in Deer Hill programs to direct referrals from Pemi’s vast outdoor education network. Deer Hill’s mission closely aligns with Pemi’s and we are excited to create a custom program that combines the core components of both organizations.

Program

Southwest Colorado provides remarkable terrain for Pemi West to once again call home. The proximity to the San Juan mountains presents top-notch backpacking and mountaineering experiences, central to the Pemi West Program. After years of hiking and backpacking through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, participants will have an extended mountaineering experience in a new landscape while honing their technical skills and backcountry leadership.

In addition to the high altitude trail time, Pemi West will incorporate a week of canoeing on the San Juan river. This portion is a capstone to Pemi’s growing canoeing program. Boys first begin on the flat water of Lower Baker Pond, improving their skills over the years in preparation for the 15-year-old Allagash trip in Maine, and now they’ll have an opportunity to test their skills on the fast waters of Colorado. Working in tandem, participants will further their leadership skills and cooperation to navigate the canyons of the southwest by boat.

Community Service in 2016

The third, and most exciting, piece of the 2019 Pemi West Program is an enhanced focus on community service. Deer Hill’s service projects are second to none, their connections with the Native American populations of the Southwest affords hands-on service learning. Participants will spend a week devoted to service, experiencing firsthand the remarkable Native American culture and community. This new focus will result in at least 40 hours of community service.

Back in 2014, two big programmatic changes further entrenched Pemi West into the overall Pemi program. The first change saw the program beginning and ending at Pemi, with participants traveling together and sharing their experience at a Sunday Meeting. This connection back to the larger group educated the community on the Pemi West experience.

The second change allowed participants to stay at Pemi after Pemi West for the Counselor Apprentice Program (CAP). This leadership training program lasts two weeks, and our CAPs live in cabins with the boys learning from our talented staff members on the art of being a counselor. Both measures have been successful in staff training and recruitment, and will continue to be a mainstay of the program.

History of Pemi West

The 1995 Super Trip was an original precursor to Pemi West

Pemi West was founded in the mid 90’s by Fred and Jon Fauver, grandchildren of Edgar Fauver, one of the Fauver twins and founders of Camp Pemigewassett, out of the desire to provide an extensive and challenging wilderness experience for teenage girls and boys. For the first seven seasons, Pemi West was held in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of the Colorado Rockies. In 2005, the program moved to Olympic National Park in the state of Washington. This spectacular setting offered a unique opportunity to explore the gem of forest and mountain wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the opportunity to learn a broad set of technical mountaineering skills while crossing the vast glaciers of the high Olympic peaks.

Throughout Pemi West’s history, our participants have been fortunate to learn from a diligent and dedicated staff. Former Pemi West Directors Fred Fauver, Jon Fauver, Dave Penny, Tim Billo, Mike Sasso, Evan Jewett, and Dave Robb have successfully guided the program by creating lasting and memorable experiences for our participants. Alongside the dozens of instructors, we have been fortunate to have wonderful support staff, most notably Hannah Merrill and her husband Ben Hertel who have launched Pemi West from their home in Port Angeles, Washington for the last twelve years.

We now look forward to utilize the resources and staff of Deer Hill alongside a Pemi Instructor to assist the group. We are certain this program will continue Pemi West’s high standard of individual growth while providing new, more enriching opportunities for our participants.

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny

NEEEA Presents 2018 Educator Award to Larry Davis

New England Environmental Education Alliance presented their 2018 Non-formal Environmental Educator award to Pemi’s own, Larry Davis. For decades, hundreds of Pemi boys have enjoyed learning about our natural world and the environment under Larry’s direction as Head of Nature Programs. His commitment to teaching is second to none and has inspired generations to become more engaged with—and take greater responsibility for—their natural surroundings. Below is the citation for the award. 

Dr. Laurence ‘Larry’ Davis is Director of Nature Programs and Teaching at Camp Pemigewassett (“Pemi”) in Wentworth, NH. He has held this position since 1970 and, in 2019, he will be entering his 50th year. He is also Professor Emeritus of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven where he taught Geosciences and Environmental Education for 27 years. His approach to teaching has always been “hands-on,” in the field with observation of nature being the foremost skill taught. This not only leads to good science but also provides enjoyment, understanding of the world we live in and, for many, a spiritual element. He has worked with thousands of campers and dozens of nature staff members at Camp Pemi, and hundreds of students at the University of New Haven. Many campers have ended up in environmental fields and many others from both camp and the University, in environmental education.

Larry is largely responsible for the exemplary quality of education in the nature program at Camp Pemigewassett, which is considered to be one of the best in the country and has been nominated for the New England ACA’s Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence. Larry fosters enthusiasm and creativity in the campers and counselors. Many of the children at this camp grow into life-long nature enthusiasts who go birding, press plants, and collect rocks during their school year as well. Some of them have gone on to pursue careers in ecology. Larry’s  devotion extends to training environmental professionals as well by running a week-long training program for nature educators every year.

On behalf of NEEEA, thank you, Larry,  for your dedication to the field of environmental education.

Larry offered the following note in response to the award. “This award really reflects the hard work, dedication, and great ideas of all those wonderful environmental educators who have worked in our program over the years, especially Deb Kure and Russ Brummer who both continue to teach our Nature Instructors Clinic. I am also grateful to the first head of the program, Clarence Dike, who handed me a healthy, going concern to build upon. Finally, a huge amount of credit goes to the Reed and Fauver families who, along with Directors Rob Grabill and Danny Kerr, have supported the development and expansion of ‘Pemi Nature’ since its inception in 1926 and my arrival at Pemi in 1970.”

Pemi thanks Larry for his absolute commitment to teaching and we look forward to celebrating his 50th summer at camp with a celebration on Sunday, August 18, 2019!

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny Moore

Defining Photos of 2018

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

Chillin’ with Lit – Tom reads August Heat to an audience in Lower Baker during the early July hot spell.

 

Weird Science – A popular Nature occupation.

 

Camp friendships are the best friendships.

 

Fourth of July festivities included fireworks for the first time since 1922!

 

L. Larabie navigating Lower Baker Pond in a Sunfish.

 

A. Andersson receives a one-on-one tutorial from Pierce Haley.

 

Pemi’s trip program continues to expand boys’ horizons.

 

C. Bell on the bump for Pemi’s flagship, the 15 & Under Baseball Team.

 

M. Hadden making it look easy on his way to earning his Tournament Level in Waterskiing.

 

The Sailors from H.M.S. Pinafore!

 

…and finally drops in the West.

 

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