#2: Trips, July 4th, Vaudeville…

Pemi Newsletter #2, 2019

Hello, once again from Camp Pemigewassett, where we are now over a week into the 2019 season. Despite an unusually wet spring in northern New England, our weather so far has been fantastic: warm, sunny days, punctuated by spectacular sunsets, fading into cool, star-lit nights. Lower Baker Pond, which three weeks ago hinted to a brave swimmer how a real polar bear feels paddling between ice floes, has quickly warmed to a point where our obligatory Week-One “polar bear dip” isn’t unlike jumping into a 300-acre spa, sans the water jets. With an excellent staff taking hold in the cabins and instructional areas, with plentiful and tasty food in the mess hall, and with a full cadre of campers throwing themselves into the season with energy and commitment, life up here is good. Let’s take the opportunity to say a few words about what’s been happening.

Bookend Trip

Bookend Trip

Pemi’s trip program is the most weather-dependent component of camp operations, and first-year Trip Director Sam Papel has made wonderful use of the days so far available to him. A half-dozen cabins have already enjoyed cookout suppers across the lake at Flat Rock and Pine Forest, a pair of Junior cabins have overnighted at the Adirondack shelter up on Pemi Hill, and cabin day trips have summited Mt. Cube, Mt. Moosilauke, and Rattlesnake Mountain (so named not for its herpetological population but rather for its profile seen from afar.) This last peak was climbed by Junior One and Lake Tent in our annual “Bookends Outing,” as our oldest Seniors (Elliot Jones, Nelson Snyder, and Timmy Somp) teamed up with the cabin counselors to squire our youngest Juniors (Gray Axel, Will Bartlett, John Hood, Richard Rider, Rudi Wei, and Denver Yancey) to the bald rocky top in a very admirable big-brotherly way.

As for more ambitious trips, last Tuesday and Wednesday saw Trip Leaders Will Katcher and Johnny Saras leading a group up craggy Mt. Chocorua, reputed to be the most photographed mountain in the Northeast. A stalwart Lower Intermediate crew of Porter Hutchinson, Chris Cappillo, Philip Fauver, Will Jones, Charlie Parkes, Priester Davis, Henry Sawin, and Emmett Itoi enjoyed the trip thoroughly, returning to camp tired but happy and full of engaging tales from the trail. Meanwhile, Nate Blumenthal and Pierce Haley traversed the southern end of the lofty Presidential Range with an Upper group made up of Davis Bachner, Julian Berk, Connor Emmert, Stefan Luedtke, Dalton Smith, Dez Starks, Fernando Hokello, and Daniel Jones. They climbed up out of Crawford Notch, one of the world’s most signal U-shaped glacial valleys, up to the Crawford Ridge, spending the night at the hyper-scenic Naumann Tentsite. The next day took them past Mizpah Springs AMC Hut and then up over Mts. Pierce, Eisenhower, and Monroe before they dropped down the waterfall-festooned Ammonosuc Trail to the Cog Railway Base Station and their pick-up. Few Pemi backpacking trips could cover such remarkable terrain over such a short stretch of time, and these boys, too, returned for Wednesday supper tired but happy.

The central pillar of Pemi’s varied program—this year as every other—consists of the wide range of instructional offerings we teach on a daily basis, quaintly named “Occupations.” While some camps run their campers through a pre-established set of activities, often in lock-step with their cabin mates, we allow boys to choose what they’ll be doing individually. While they are always encouraged to go further with established interests, we also try to create a climate in which they feel comfortable trying things that are completely new to them. Another significant difference between Pemi and our neighbors is that boys choose occupations for a full week at a time, working their way through thoughtfully pre-planned curricula in each area. To bring in an academic parallel, it’s as though they’re not just attending lectures; they’re taking courses. One extension of this principle is that most of our occupations are taught at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, so boys can stick with one area and really advance their skills and knowledge over the weeks and years. With this “expertise-building” shape in mind, our offerings evolve over the course of the season—in the Nature Program, for example, responding to each summer’s cycles as both flora and fauna emerge, thrive, and disappear. We thought it might be instructive, though, just to pass along the list of activities we offered in Week One.

In Art and Wood Shop: Dragon Eyes, Name Game, Ninja Rock Climbing, Sea Serpents, and Shop (Juniors and Lowers);

In Music and Drama: Auditioning and Gilbert and Sullivan, Character Building for Actors, Guitar (beginning and advanced), Piano (beginning and advanced), Mindfulness, Music Playing, Song Writing, Sound Painting, Stagecraft, and Ukelele;

In Nature/Photography: Animal Evidence, Birding (beginning), Butterflies and Moths (beginning), Environmental Sculpture, Junior Environmental Exploration, Junior Nature Book, Photography (advanced digital, beginning digital, beginning darkroom), Ponds and Streams, Rocks and Minerals, and Wild Foods;

In Sports and Athletics: Archery (Junior, beginning, intermediate/advanced), Baseball (for three separate age groups), Basketball (for three separate age groups), Canoeing (Lowers 1&2, Lowers 3&4, and Seniors Allagash prep), Lacrosse (for two separate age groups), Rugby, Sailing (Junior, beginning, and intermediate), Soccer (for three separate age groups), Swimming (instructional, Juniors 1&2, and Juniors 3&4), Tennis (for four separate age groups), Ultimate Frisbee (for two separate age groups), Wakeboarding, and Waterskiing (Junior, beginning and slalom).

Pemi celebrated the Fourth of July in perfectly clement weather, very much unlike the rainy conditions prevailing in Washington D.C. Tom Reed, Jr. kicked off the morning with observations in the mess hall that the flag we were all about to salute as it rose outside to the colors featured fifty stars all of the same hue, “united” in that fact just as the states they represent have long been united by common goals and interests. Sadly, he noted, hardening divisions between “red” and “blue” at many levels of state and national discourse and decision-making have troubled our union in ways that the vast majority of adults would love to rectify but that we seem to be struggling to bring to pass. Our brightest hope at the moment, Tom suggested, may well lie with the youth of America and the broader globe beyond, among whom the students from Parkland, Florida and Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzi stand out as inspiring examples of how those who have yet to grow into power can sometimes see and speak with a clarity and transcendent good sense that can elude those “in the trenches.” He urged the campers, as they were about to stand at respectful attention on the porch while Old Glory ran up the flagpole, to think about taking on the full mantle of citizenship sooner rather than later and to do their best to export the good social lessons they learn at Pemi to their school-year communities. Following that, we natives all joined with those British brothers and sisters in attendance this year in exemplifying identity in difference—singing, to one melody, both “America the Beautiful” and “God Save the Queen.”

For the second or third year running, Occupations ran as normal in the morning, but the sunny and warm afternoon featured the annual Fourth of July Parade (aka “The Pee-rade”), lately less a procession than a series of impromptu skits performed by each cabin group before a discerning panel of judges. This year’s offerings were, as always, a lively and inventive set of enactments of one or another aspect of global, national, or Pemi history. Garnering first prizes this year were the Upper Juniors, with a tribute to Nature Head Larry Davis (retiring this summer from that position after fifty years of stellar and brilliantly innovative service.) Stealing the act were Henry Shapiro as Larry Davis and River Hambleton as the sunny and sometimes frenetic Deb Kure, now assuming the mantle from Larry after years of inspiring service of her own. Among the Lower Lowers, Cabin One took top honors, with a stirring reenactment of the entire Battle of Fort McHenry in two minutes. As for Upper Lowers, Cabin Four carried the day with a skit called “Ever Since the Incident,” documenting the recent impact on our staff and their shopping habits of a recent diatribe against Walmart delivered by Drama Head Jonathan Verge. Philip Fauver was truly masterful as Pemi’s own Dr. Phil, sorting out and prescribing for those folks traumatized by Jonathan’s scathing anti-capitalist critique. Upper Three returned to Larry’s long and excellent run at Pemi with a fact-packed but hilarious “tribute quiz,” and Senior Two dusted their neighbors with a “Miss Pemi” dating show focused on what various staff members (and Miss Pemi suitors) might do to make ours an even better camp. Overall, the Pee-rade was an exemplar for witty invention, apt performance, and timely completion.



After supper we all retreated to the Junior Camp, where impresario Donald Turvill had arranged for the annual Fourth of July Vaudeville Show to unfold, al fresco, on the Junior Point. With the tranquil lake as a backdrop, third-year camper and guitar master Luke Larabie kicked the show off with a Jimi-Hendrix-style rendition of the National Anthem. Those who missed Woodstock fifty years ago might well have thought they were magically there, as the crowd sprawled on the grass enjoying the varied acts as the evening deepened. Other great camper performances included River Hambleton with King George’s “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton, Michaela Frank’s ukelele group playing “My Girl,” Luke again (with Donald and Danny Kerr) in a three-way string jam, and Liam Stephan with a funky guitar blues. Staff members Jonathan Verge and Sabrina Lawrence showed truly professional chops with two vocal performances of their own, backed wonderfully by pianist Taiko Pelick. And closing the show proper, with the perennial crowd favorite “The Little People,” were counselors Matt Cloutier and Henry Day, experiencing a Pemi day as abbreviated as their foreshortened bodies. As milk, cereal, shaving cream, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, quiche, and a half dozen other materials and foodstuffs went everywhere but where they should have gone (the “arms” of their concealed co-counselors showed them no mercy whatsoever!), the crowd roared by turns their incredulous horror and full approval. And so, with a grandiose fireworks display orchestrated by Buildings and Grounds Head Reed Harrigan, ably aided and abetted by Nick Davini and Danny Kerr, a near perfect Pemi Fourth came to a rousing conclusion. Thanks to all who made it such a great day! Including all of the Founding Fathers (and Mothers!)

Well, let’s leave it at that. This past weekend featured some rousing sporting events with our Baker Valley neighbors, but we leave it to your sons to fill you in more succinctly and sensibly than we would probably be able to manage. Tune in next week, though, for more news (of the true variety) from our happy little corner of the Granite State.



#1: Welcome to 2019! Meet our staff…

Pemi Newsletter #1, 2019

Greetings from Wentworth, New Hampshire, where a gentle northwest breeze is wafting down the pond under partly cloudy skies. Birds are singing. Boys are laughing. Pianist Taiko Pelick is rehearsing a Mozart piano sonata in the Lodge. Pemi 2019 has been in full swing only since yesterday afternoon (as we write this Sunday morning), but it’s already apparent that the season has terrific potential to be a truly great one. As we wrapped up staff training on Friday, more than a few veterans allowed that this looked like being one of the best crews ever. Returning veteran campers arrived Saturday morning, and settled into their cabins and years-long friendships with quiet excitement. Lunchtime singing in the mess hall was thunderous, but when Danny charged all the old hands after lunch with being welcoming hosts to the first-timers arriving in the afternoon, you could see them all quietly remembering their own first arrivals at Pemi and resolving to greet the new boys with warmth and encouragement.

This year’s iteration of “Cans from Campers,” Dottie Reed’s wonderful initiative inviting families to bring food for donation to the local food bank, was cornucopial in its measure—maybe more plentiful and generous than ever. Thanks to all of you who contributed! Our traditional opening-night supper of pizza, green salad, and Hoodsie ice cream cups was a clear hit, and the camp fire that followed shortly after boded wonderfully for the entertainment we can expect in the coming weeks. Senior camper Henry Moore kicked the show off with a moving recitation of Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus,” the inspiring poem that graces the base of the Statue of Liberty and timelessly reminds us of our obligations to those less fortunate than we. Other highlights included Carter Glahn with his devil sticks, River Hambleton with an array of yo-yo tricks, and William Webber offering an all-but professional rendition of a Tomas Damas Étude for guitar. Andrés Segovia move over! As usual, we closed with Pemi co-founder Dudley Reed’s “Campfire Song.” 270 of us threw our arms over each other’s shoulders and swayed to words that should help us set a high bar for our interactions all summer: “And I wonder if anyone’s better for anything I’ve done or said.” If most of us can answer that question in the affirmative with some frequency, it will be a rich and transformative season.

Since it’s traditional for our initial newsletters to introduce our staff, let’s get to that with no further ado—pausing only to say that, in coming weeks, we will do our best to keep you posted on how the season is unfolding in all of our varied program areas. Our sincere hope is that the required weekly letters from your sons will also keep you abreast of developments up here, but experience tells us that there are more Hemingways peopling our cabins than Tolstoys. “Dear Mom and Dad. Camp is fun. We climbed a mountain. The lake water is cold. We saw a huge bullfrog. Love, Jimmy.” Think of their communications as haiku. Think of ours as “The Talk of the Town.”

~Tom Reed, Jr. (AKA TRJR)

And now for the Pemi Staff, 2019:

2019 Staff Members


Danny Kerr – Director – I am originally from New York City, and though I will always think of myself as a New Yorker, I now live in New Hampshire. During the summer, when not doing the director thing, I look forward to coaching baseball, teaching guitar, recruiting anyone willing to join the legion of long suffering New York Met’s fans and just hanging out with our campers. I am looking forward to my 47th summer at camp, 26th as a camp director, and tenth at Camp Pemi! Let the games begin!

Kenny Moore – Associate Director – This summer will mark my 27th at Pemi and my 6th as a year-round Pemi Director type. I love getting involved with many different aspects of the Pemi enterprise from Buildings and Grounds, to Alumni Relations, to legacy campers, and the staff. My wife, Sarah, and our son Winston recently moved back home to Cleveland, Ohio and are excited to spend our summers in Wentworth.

Tom Reed – Consulting Director – The 2019 season will be my fifty-ninth at Pemi. I began as a camper in Junior One, finished as a camper in Senior Three (no Lake Tent then), and worked on the staff as an Assistant Counselor, Counselor, Upper Division Head, Head of Program, Head of Staff, Head of Trips, and Director (Assistant, Associate, Full, and now Consulting). I’ll be leading singing in the Mess Hall again this summer, writing overlong (and overwritten) newsletters, and helping out with the Trip Program and Gilbert and Sullivan. I was formerly a professor of English literature and film at Dickinson College and now spend my winters writing fiction and hanging out with Dottie.

Allyson Fauver – Administrator – This year, I continue to help with off-season administration, parent support, and Forms (everyone’s favorite!). My favorite form is the Camper Questionnaire, where I get to read what campers are looking forward to, concerned about, and what they think makes a great counselor. I split my time between Montana, New Hampshire, and Maine, and always look forward to crossing the bridge and returning to the shores of Lower Baker Pond.

Heather Leeds – Administrator – I have been teaching and working with children for over 25 years. I am currently the co-director of a rural elementary school in western Massachusetts, and live at Northfield Mount Hermon School with my husband and 3 children. For the past 12 years, I’ve enjoyed spending the summers working in the Pemi office.

Kim Malcolm – Administrator – This is my 28th year at Camp Pemi. During the off-season I live at Northfield Mt. Hermon School with my husband, Charlie, and 2 children. I am also a physical therapist.

Dottie Reed – Administrator – If my abacus is functioning properly, this is my 32nd summer at Pemi. Our administrative team makes work seem like play on any given day during which, together, we manage the administrative and communication responsibilities of the Pemi season. I also enjoy orchestrating the postings of our weekly newsletters and the Thursday/Sunday photos. Tom and I will be at Pemi until the leaves fall in mid-October, at which point we’ll head south to our 8-month, off-season home in Sarasota, Florida where we relish daily outdoor living and an abundance of cultural events and opportunities.

Cabin Counselors (CC) and Assistant Counselors (AC)

J1 – Johnny Seebeck (CC) – This will be my 11th year at camp and I’m happy to return for my 2nd year on staff. I’m from Chicago, Illinois and will be finishing my freshman year at Caltech this spring where I am studying Astrophysics and running hurdles. I’m excited to help out with the younger campers and share my interest and enthusiasm for photography, astronomy, sports, and love for camp.

J1 – Pierce Haley (AC) – Hello! I’m from Boston, MA. This will be my ninth summer at Pemi, my second on staff, and I am excited to be an assistant counselor once again. I recently graduated from Buckingham Browne & Nichols high school and I am looking forward to spending my next four years at Colgate University. Outside of school, I love to sing, play guitar, row, and hike. This summer, I plan to help out with the music and sailing programs, as well as anywhere else I might be needed.

J2 – Skye Devlin (CC) – This will be my first summer working at Pemi! I live in Cornwall, Vermont, and just finished my freshman year at Hobart and William Smith College. I went to a summer camp in the Adirondacks as a camper for 8 years, but this will be my first time ever being a counselor. At Pemi I’ll be teaching basketball, baseball, and archery. My younger brother George is at Pemi for his second summer as a camper. I can’t wait to meet all of you!

J2 – Andre Richard (AC) – This year I will be a senior at Landmark High School in Beverly and I am from Andover, Massachusetts. I love history and the arts and I am an avid soccer player. I am interested in teaching and/or helping out with archery, soccer, art, as well as ultimate frisbee. I have been coming to Camp Pemi since I was 13 years old and I am looking forward to this summer’s adventures and competition.

J3 – Jack Davini (CC) – I’m from Plainfield, NH and this is my 10th year at Pemi. I love to play music, make art, and hike. This summer I’ll be teaching about local woods and wildlife. I’m looking forward to getting to know my second cabin as a counselor!

J3 – Ben Pigeon (AC) – I was a six-year camper at Pemi and am returning for my seventh year, my first on staff. I am going to be a freshman at Clemson University starting in the fall. I am from Miami, Florida but I have spent most of my life living abroad in six different countries. Some of my passions are playing soccer and basketball. I look forward to helping kids improve in basketball and soccer.

J4 – Nicholas Gordon (CC) – Hello! I am from Princeton, NJ. During the off-season, I am a student at New York University studying Music Education and Religious Studies. I am a big fan of Outdoor Science outside of the classroom and have spent time pursuing those interests in Central Park. At Pemi, I will mostly be teaching in the Nature Lodge specializing in birds, insects, and botany. This summer will be my 11th consecutive summer at Pemi and I can’t wait for another great summer on Lower Baker Pond.

J4 – Ali Sheikh (AC) – I am from Concord, MA and was a Pemi camper for two summers, first in J6, and then in L4. I enjoy waterfront activities a lot, as well as playing soccer and lacrosse. Looking forward to my first year on staff!

J5 – Daniel Bowes (CC; Division Head) – I am a lifelong resident of Washington D.C. I just finished my sophomore year at Lehigh University in their College of Business and Economics. Pemi runs deep in my family. I was a Pemi camper for 7 incredible summers and this will be my 3rd summer on staff. My grandfather and father were campers, and have remained active members of the alumni network. Although my brother was never a camper, he was on staff for 2 summers as well. I am excited to work with campers on the lacrosse field, the basketball courts, the swimming lanes, and as Division Head in the Junior Camp. I can’t think of a better place to spend a summer!

J5 – Nolan Katcher (AC) – This summer will be my ninth at Pemi and my second on staff. I am from Needham, Massachusetts and this coming fall I will be starting at American University. This summer I am looking forward to coaching tennis and helping out in nature occupations. I can’t wait for another great summer!

J6 – Donald Turvill (CC) – I’m a 22 year old from the great country of Scotland! I’ve just finished my third year studying Journalism at RGU in Aberdeen. Last summer was my first at Camp Pemi, where, aside from being a cabin councilor, I was involved with the music program, taking guitar, bass and drums classes as well as helping out with the camp band. Spending two months in the beautiful, remote Pemigewassett and the incredible weather it hosts made for an incredible summer. So much so, that I’m back for more!

L1 – Ben Ross (CC) – I just finished my first year at Bowdoin College, where I am a member of the rowing team and the frisbee team. I am excited to be back at Pemi as a cabin counselor for my third year on staff. I was a camper for four years and I am a Pemi West alum. I am looking forward to a great summer!

L2 – Noah Belinowiz (CC) – I am back for my ninth summer at Pemi after a short three year hiatus. I was a camper from 2009 to 2015 and a Pemi West alum (2016). I was born and raised in the Greater Boston area and this will be my first summer on staff. This spring I finished my sophomore year at the University of Colorado Boulder where I study geology and economics and enjoy being on the Colorado Crew team. I hope to spend most of my summer either teaching nature occupations or on the waterfront as I am a former competitive swimmer.

L3 – Phil Evans (CC) – I’m from Ireland and currently 20 years old and studying Maths and Computer Science student at Durham University in the UK. This summer is my first time at Pemi but I’ve heard so many good things about this place from my Dad, who was a former counsellor in the 80s, that I already know I’m going to love it. Water seems to be a key theme in all my hobbies and interests so surprisingly I’ll be involved in the sailing and swimming side of things at Pemi. Can’t wait to arrive and I look forward to getting to know you all!

L3 – Nicholas Bowman (AC) – I am returning for my seventh season at Pemi this summer. I am from Carlisle Pennsylvania and I am very excited to be a part of the soccer program as well as the ultimate Frisbee staff. As a goalkeeper I plan on hosting trainings throughout the week to supplement practices and provide our goalkeepers with more personalized and independent sessions. I am extremely excited for another summer on the shores of Lower Baker and cannot wait to meet this year’s campers.

L4 – Ned Roosevelt (CC; Division Head) – This summer will be my eleventh on the shores of Lower Baker Pond. I am a rising senior at Wheaton College where I am majoring in business and am on the tennis team. I look forward to meeting you and extending the same warm welcome to you that I received back in the day. I’ll be a Division Head this year and helping with the sports program. See you on the fields and on the courts!

L5 – Josh Scarponi (CC) – I’ve lived in Canterbury for a majority of my life, with a few years in Campton NH. I’m currently enrolled at Plymouth State University, studying English while going for a Teacher’s Certification for grades 5-12. I’ve played soccer and lacrosse since middle school, and I’ve been skiing ever since I could walk. I love New Hampshire and all the nature that it comes with. This is my first year at Pemi and I’m really looking forward to the summer!

L5 – Jake Cronin (AC) – I am so stoked for my 7th summer at Pemi, and first on staff! I hail from Chappaqua, New York and will be starting my freshman year at Penn State studying engineering. I love all sports (playing and following) but especially soccer, ice hockey, and tennis. I also love music and play the saxophone and piano. This summer I will be coaching soccer and helping out on the tennis courts. I will also be willing to take anybody on in Spongebob and Game of Thrones trivia. Looking forward to another great summer on the shores of Lower Baker!

L6 – Charlie Scott (CC) – I am from Hanover, NH and am a rising sophomore at the University of New Hampshire. I am a Recreation Management and Policy major, focusing specifically on music management. This will be my 10th summer at Pemi, second on staff, and first as a full-on counselor! I look forward to a great summer!

L7 – Jarrod Henry (CC) – Hi! I’ll be a junior attending the University of Central Missouri near Kansas City, Missouri. I’m majoring as a Professional Pilot with a minor in Business Administration and have already ascertained my Private Pilot certificate with my Instrument Rating and I’m currently working on my Commercial pilot’s license. Obviously besides flying, I love basically any activity you can imagine that takes place outdoors. I also love to compete in nearly all sports, although if anyone asks me to play soccer just know my feet are like bricks and I will regularly take shots from half field (as I’m sure you can tell, we don’t play much soccer in the mid-west). I was a camper at Pemi for 5 years and ventured on Pemi West and I’m honored to be able to return on staff for an amazing summer!

U1 – Patterson Malcolm (CC) – Originally from Gill Massachusetts, I am currently a rising-sophomore engineering major and soccer player at Swarthmore College in the suburbs of Philadelphia. This will be my third year on staff at Pemi and 13th summer in total on the shores of Lower Baker. I intend to spend my days coaching soccer and baseball, driving the safety boat, lifeguarding, and enjoying my summer with the boys.

U1 – Nate Blumenthal (See Trip Leaders)

U2 – Henry Day (CC) – I am from Canaan NH. I attend St. Lawrence University where I am on the Baseball Team and I am in an a cappella group called the Singing Saints. This will be my sixth year at Pemi (4 as a camper and 2 as a counselor). I plan on coaching Baseball, Tennis and possibly soccer I also plan on keeping the tradition of X-treme Sports alive.

U2 – Andrew Kanovsky (AC) – This will be my 11th summer at Pemi. I am from Briarcliff Manor, New York, and will be attending the University of Southern California this upcoming fall. I look forward to teaching soccer, lacrosse, and a few nature occupations, as well as being the only Kanovsky at camp for the first time in 10 years.

U3 – Andy MacDonald (CC; Division Head) – I eagerly await my 5th summer on staff at Pemi! I’m again looking forward to being the upper D head as well as helping out in the athletics programme and coaching soccer, tennis, and canoeing. At home in Scotland, I work across 3 schools as a sports coordinator, where I regularly use skills I have learned at Pemi in my day-to-day routine. I look forward to receiving my 5 year bowl at the end of summer banquet!

U3 – Will Katcher (See Trip Leader)

U4 – Jamie Nicholas (CC) – I am from Cornwall Ct. My connection to Pemi begins with my father Rob Nicholas. My Dad was a camper and counselor at Pemi back in the day. Rob Grabill taught my Dad how to play soccer in the 70s and was also around for a couple of years when I started at Pemi in 2006. Legends like Grabill have connected families and friends to Lower Baker’s timeless space. Soccer, baseball, tennis, and swimming at Pemi have always been my favorite activities, and I continue to enjoy these sports in a different light. Competing in sports has always been important to me and I strive to help campers find their strengths as I did with soccer.

U5 – Matt Cloutier (CC) – I am delighted to return to Pemi after three long years away from Lower Baker. This is my 11th summer and third on staff. I graduated from Middlebury College this past May with a degree in Environmental Studies, focusing both in policy and conservation biology. Most of my instruction will be with the Nature Program, but you can find me on the soccer pitch, baseball fields, or teaching guitar when Larry isn’t looking. I hail from Stamford, CT though Vermont has stolen my heart.

S1 – Nick Bertrand (CC; Division Head) – I grew up in Hanover NH, just 40 minutes down the road from Camp Pemi. I am entering my senior year at Case Western Reserve University where I am studying biomedical engineering and am a member of the varsity soccer team. I was a pemi boy for 8 years, spent one summer on Pemi west, and this will now be my 4th year on staff. I am looking forward to spending my 14th summer back at Pemi where I will be teaching a number of sports and other activities that camp has to offer!

S1 – Nick Davini (See Trip Leaders)

S2 – Henry McLeod (CC) – Hi! I’m a rising 2nd year at the University of Bath studying Aerospace Engineering. I come from Windsor, UK and I’m looking forward to spending the summer on the shores of Lower Baker Pond after hearing so much about it from my older sister, Hattie! I’m going to be a cabin counselor and will teach several water sports and drive the safety boat. I’m looking forward to meeting new people, enjoying camp life and having a great summer at Pemi.

S2 – Sam Papel (See Trip Leaders)

S3 – Cole Valente (CC; Bean Soup Editor) – Hello! I am from Princeton, New Jersey, and this will be my third summer as a Pemi staff member, previously spending three summers here as a camper. I am heading into my senior year at Dickinson College studying English, and this summer I will be spending time at the waterfront, making bean soup, and correcting grammar.

LT – Will Meinke (CC; Assistant Head of Staff) – I’m excited to be back for my thirteenth summer at Pemi! I’m from Westport Connecticut and will be involved in the waterski and soccer programs as well as being the Assistant Head of Staff this year. I’m looking forward to another exciting summer on Lower Baker!

Trip Leaders

Nate Blumenthal – I am a student at Middlebury College in Vermont where I study Political Science and Film. A seven-year Pemi camper and frisbee-running bases all-star (!), I am excited to take on the role of trip counselor for Pemi ‘19. Originally from Connecticut, I am passionate about the outdoors, baseball, and the positive impact that summer camp can have on children.

Nick Davini – I’m a longtime Pemi camper and counselor from Plainfield, NH. This summer I’ll be leading Pemi West along with Deer Hill Outfitters in Durango, CO. Before and after our three-week stint out west, I’ll be helping out with the Trip Program and coordinating the Counselor Apprentice Program.

Will Katcher – After a year hiatus, I’m excited to return to Pemi for my eighth summer, third on staff. This will be my first year as a trip counselor and I’m looking forward to getting back up into the mountains on some of the same hikes I went on as a camper. This fall, I’ll be a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I study journalism.

Sam Papel – Head of Trips – I’m very excited for my 14th year at Pemi, 5th year on staff, and my first year as the head of the Trip Program! I was born, raised, and still live in Nashville, TN. This spring, I hiked XXX miles on the Appalachian Trail with Nick Davini before we stopped in order to work at Pemi this summer!

Johnny Saras – Hey, folks! I’m a born and raised New Englander excited to be returning home as a trip counselor for my first ever summer at Camp Pemi. At age eighteen, I flew off to Miami where I studied film and psychology, and at twenty-two I drove out west to work in Hollywood for a few years. These days I’m on fellowship at UC Riverside, where I’m getting my Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. If I’m not working on my screenplays or novels, you can find me hiking, reading, or running (I just ran my first marathon this Spring!).

Fiona Walker – I hail from Portland, Oregon and recently completed my Junior Year at Kenyon College where I am currently studying Psychology and Anthropology. This will be my third year at Pemi as a Trip Leader, which means you are most likely reading the same thing from last summer. I’ve always been an outdoor enthusiast and love sharing the joys of hiking and backpacking with Pemi campers. This summer will be my first as Head Trip Counselor and I look forward to working with an awesome group of new “Trippies!” Outside of my new role within the trip program I look forward to helping out with swimming and track & field as well as hopefully earning a top finish in the Pemi Staff Triathlon.

Program Staff and more…

Scout Brink – Hello! This will be my third year on Nature Staff! I am from upstate New York, near the Adirondacks and am very excited to teach campers the beauty of the woods. I majored in Environmental Science and am currently getting my masters in education. If I’m not in the Nature Lodge you can find me on the Archery range!

Steve Clare – Head of Archery – I’m back for my 5th Pemi summer. I live in Cornwall in the SW of England. I’m a freelance teacher, supporting schools with specialist lessons. I’ve coached youth soccer teams for 10 years & coordinate a weekly community soccer programme for players aged 5 – 11. I return to Pemi as Head of Archery & one of the soccer coaches. No doubt I’ll have a few additional responsibilities too. As always, I’m looking forward to playing my part in the Pemi family, passing on skills to the boys & seeing what I can learn too.”

Larry Davis – Director of Nature Programs and Teaching – This summer will be my 50th (!) at Pemi-all as a staff member. I did my undergraduate work in Earth Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and my PhD in Geological Sciences at the University of Rochester. I am Professor Emeritus of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven having retired from there in August, 2018. In a past life I was an intercollegiate soccer official. I love to travel and have been to 48 of the 50 US states (missing Alaska and Hawaii). I play the flute, collect waterfalls, and plan to devote my retirement to getting kids out into nature.

Michaella Frank – Head of Music – This will be my fifth summer at Camp Pemi and my first year as the Head of the Music Department. I am so excited to continue teaching campers the joy of self-expression through music. I will also continue to coach basketball and promise to have junior camp dunking before our first game!

Chloe Jaques – Head of Sailing – Hi I’m from London, England. This will be my third summer at Pemi following the completion of my first year at Law School in the UK. I am excited to be continuing my position as the Head of the Sailing programme and assisting in other areas on the waterfront! I can’t wait for another great summer on the shores and waters of Lower Baker Pond. I am particularly looking forward to catching up with staff and campers from past years and meeting those who are new to the Pemi community and making great memories once again!!

Chris Johnson – Head of Tennis – I am looking forward to making my sixth year at Pemi a memorable one. I will once again be heading up the tennis program and helping to grow the campers games or introduce them to this great sport. During the year I spend my time in beautiful Cleveland Ohio teaching 4th grade and coaching high school tennis. I have coached my teams to three state titles and have had two individual champions as well. In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time outdoors, and attending sporting events. I will be joined at Pemi by my wife, my daughter Lauren, and my son Clayton who will be a second year camper.

CJ Jones – Head of Waterfront – This will be my fifth year at Pemi (!). It’s just such a wonderful place. I’m very much looking forward to getting back onto the waterfront, coaching the boys in swimming and other water-based activities. I also love coaching the campers in track and field – Triathlon 2019 here we come! It has been a very sad year for me and my family, but one of love. The support from my Pemi family has only strengthened my love for this place. Can’t wait to be back on the shores of Lower Baker Pond and to singing songs loudly in the mess hall! Oh, and to beating Tecumseh…

Deb Kure – Associate Head of Nature – Hi Everybody! I’m thankful to be in my 12th Pemi summer! Studying Geology at the University of Rochester sparked my love of field trips, and of learning and teaching outside! I’ve led outdoor science programs since then, through camps, natural history museums, and trips programs throughout the U.S. During the school year I’m an Educator with Sierra Nevada Journeys in Reno, NV, leading classroom and field programs with 1st through 6th graders, and Family Science Nights! Northern Nevada has been a great new zone to explore – from Great Basin Geology to the Mining and Pony Express History to the Sierra Nevada Mtns!!

Donovan Laas – Visiting Professional – This is my first season at Pemi and I am very excited to join this wonderful family. I come from Cape Town South Africa where I teach 5th grade at an American International school. I will be helping out with tennis, archery and will be running a basic introduction to rugby and some pick up cricket games. I’m really excited to learn how to play baseball and to share a bit of South Africa with the Pemi community.

Beanie Lawrence – I am so excited to have my first summer at Pemi! I currently go to school in NYC but grew up in Lebanon, NH. When you can’t find me in the city, you can find me on the slopes or in the water. I’ll be working with the drama program this summer and a fun fact about me is that I’ve seen over 10 Broadway shows!

Charlie Malcolm – Athletic Director – I have been spending my summers on Lower Baker since 1976. My Dad attended Camp in the 1930s and his counselor was Tom Reed Sr. Since the early 1990s I have been Camp Pemi’s Athletic Director. When I am not at Pemi I teach history and coach soccer and baseball at Northfield Mount Hermon School. I hold a Premier coaching degree from the NSCAA. My NMH soccer team has won several New England Prep Championships (NEPSAC) and many of the players have gone on to work at Pemi. I am joined at camp with my wife Kim and our two kids, Patterson and Victoria.

Molly Malone – Head of Waterskiing (Second Session) – This is my 5th year as head waterski instructor. I live in Chippewa Falls, WI where I am a high school orchestra teacher. My main instruments are piano and violin, and I am a section leader in our community orchestra and play piano for two churches. While music is my vocation, waterskiing is my passion. I am blessed to be able to ski daily on a private ski lake (when the lake is liquid), and have found an incredible boyfriend willing to fly to Florida every 6 weeks in the winter to train on the water. If I’m not in school or on the lake, I’m in the gym working out! I’m excited to be back at Pemi. I have found a family away from home in an incredible setting!

Hattie McLeod – Head of Canoeing; Bugler – I’m from England, and I can’t wait to be back at Pemi for my third summer! I’m excited to be continuing my role of being the Bugler as well as taking on more responsibility as Head of Canoeing. I look forward to seeing old faces, meeting new ones and having another great summer on the shores and waters of LBP before starting my teaching career in the fall!

Deb Pannell – Head of Art – During the school year, I teach fifth grade at Mark Day School, which is located just north of San Francisco. I love working with my students in all subject areas, especially writing. Outside the classroom, my happy place is in the hills of Marin where I relish the opportunity to hike and take in the ocean views. Substitute lake views, and I’ll be enjoying these same pleasures during my 6th summer Pemi! I look forward to trying out plenty of fresh art projects and indulging again in our tried-and-true favorites. Most of all, I look forward to seeing the boys, and the growth in their confidence and skills that has occurred over the past school year.

Taiko Pelick – Pianist – Hello! I’m from Arlington, Texas. I’m excited to be spending my second summer at Pemi as the camp pianist! I am an Adjunct Professor of Piano at Mountain View College and Tarrant County College as well as a collaborative pianist in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, I’m looking forward to teaching piano to campers of all levels, playing piano for our singing in the mess hall, and of course playing for another fabulous G&S production!

Abby Reed – Visiting Professional – I’m thrilled to be back at Pemi for my 32nd summer (having first come as a 4-month old) and first ‘official’ summer on staff since 2012. I live in Cape Town, South Africa, where I teach high school English at the American International School of Cape Town. I look forward to helping out with swimming, archery, and photography, but most of all, I’m excited to reconnect with the incredible Pemi family!

Hannah Roadknight – I’m from the small town of Bexhill in the UK. I currently study Graphic Design for Publishing at Norwich University of the Arts, and love all things creative! I am a keen photographer, musician, and coffee enthusiast with a passion for cultural experiences. This will be my first year at Pemi, and I am so excited to be helping out with art, photography, and hopefully a little music!

Fred Seebeck – Visiting Professional – I’m excited to step in as Lord High Substitute Waterfront Head for my good friend Charlotte for a couple of weeks early in the 2019 season. For me, it will feel like a trip back to the 1970’s, teaching occupations, running swim practices, overseeing free swim, just as I did way back when. Let us hope for sunny skies and gentle rains (at night!) all summer long!

Brian Tompkins – Head of Woodshop – I’m from nearby Norwich, VT, and am a sculptor, a dry stonemason, and a former pro snow sports instructor, who was shaped and formed by camps, then burnished at “Camp Dartmouth.” I have lived and breathed the stone and trees, and have steeped in the very physical culture up here ever since. Directing the Wood Working occupation, with a fantastic staff and excellent resources, I’ll emphasize safety and enjoy steady effort. Pemi’s venerable wood shop continuously inspires all ages and turns out satisfyingly hard-won work.

Jonathan Verge – Head of Drama and Director of G&S – I return for my second summer on the banks of Lower Baker. I am the Director of Choral Music and Dramatic Arts at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, NH. I have a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University and many years of professional directing, producing, and acting experience in London, New York, and Chicago.

Erik Wiedenmann (CC; Head of Staff) – I was born to an American mother and German father in Berlin, Germany. Upon graduating from high school in Berlin, I completed my undergraduate studies at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as part of a Dual Degree program (B.A./B.F.A.). After working in advertising for several years, I decided to make a change; I recently completed my first year at Hampshire Country School, where I taught German. I will begin my graduate studies in Education this fall. This will be my seventh summer at Pemi (third on staff).

Mark Warmington – Head of Waterskiing (First Session) – I am a well traveled South African Engineer and have 2 boys Michael and James. My first summer at Pemi was as a counselor in 1995, and I returned again in1997 and 1998 (that year we won the hat). I love teaching and playing with my kids on our farm in rural South Africa, showing them the joys of outdoor life and we all love water-sports especially waterskiing. I enjoy working with like minded people and sharing positive stories about life in general, with a few jokes thrown in.

Wendy Young – Head of Occupations – This is my second year at Camp Pemi and my first as Head of Occupations. A former college soccer and lacrosse player, I enjoy all things sports as well as the summer camp life. During the school year I work as a certified athletic trainer at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, with 22 years of experience.

Caretakers of our physical and mental well-being…

Tom Ciglar – Director of Food Service – This is my 17th season at Pemi. During the school year I am the Director of Operations for Hampshire Country School in Rindge, NH, where I live with my wife, Anna, and son, Jonathan.

Nancy Cushman – Kitchen Staff – I live in West Fairlee, Vermont. This will be my 14th summer at Pemi. The rest of the year I work in a small elementary school with preschoolers. At camp, I will be helping prepare breakfast and baking all the yummy treats the staff and children get to enjoy.

Sabrina De Stefano – Camp Doctor – As the mother, sister and cousin to a handful of Pemi campers, I am delighted to return to camp this summer. I live in Mendham, NJ with my husband and three children: Matteo (13), Noah (9) and Grace (5). I work as a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in both Morristown and Summit, NJ. I am passionate about children’s health, their physical and emotional wellbeing and recognize the importance of nature and play in a child’s development. As such, I consider it a privilege to be part of the Pemi staff and to share my expertise in caring for the campers this summer.

Barbara Fitts – Buildings and Grounds – Greetings! I thank God for opening up this wonderful position. It has offered me a mental break from “corporate America.” The camp is idyllic for all who work and play. The staff is caring, helpful and hard working. I am originally from MA. My folks moved up here in the late 70s. I have a wonderful church family close to home in Wentworth where I reside with my lovely 14 year old black lab.

Ricardo Hincapie – Kitchen Staff – I’m from Colombia and I’m an engineering student. This is my second time working at Pemi’s Kitchen. Let’s have some fun eating a lot.

Emrekan Kose – Kitchen Staff – I was born in 2000 in Aydin, Turkey. I have a brother. His name is Yasar. My mother is Semra. She is a nurse. My father is Mustafa. He works as a teacher. I study in METU. My department is Basic English. Next year, I will study Industry Engineering. I want to be teacher since in my childhood, so in my free time I work as a teacher. I have 3 students. I am a volunteer. They do not pay me any money. Instead of, they show me respect and they love me. I interested in intelligence games, such as chess, checkers, and strategy games. I play these games and I watch many video about these games on Youtube. After my classes end, I usually go to swimming pool. I like playing basketball and football, and I also like watching both of them. I spend a lot of time with children such as my cousins, neighbours’ children, and my students. Moreover, I love cooking, and I cook meals for my cousins.

Caroline Lonergan – Nurse – I am from Mendham, NJ. This is my first year at Pemi and I am a camp registered nurse. I have three children – Erin is 14, Ryan is 13 and Garrett is 11. I work as a registered nurse in a community hospital in rural NJ and also work as a substitute school nurse in my town. I always make time for my daily runs, and I also enjoy baking, reading and the beach.

David McMurray – Assistant Chef – Hello, I’m from Milton Mills, New Hampshire. I am a cook and this will be my second summer at Pemi. I’m very interested in cooking, hiking, reading and tiny homes. I hope to provide great food with a smile and work with new people on new and exciting meal options.

Michael McMurray – Chef – Hello! I’ve been a chef for 30 years with the last 7 summers at summer camps, filling kids with the energy that powers their day. I will be working in the Pemi kitchen for my second year. Last year was so much fun, and while being challenging, I knew I had to return. I am looking forward to another summer in the kitchen with Tom, Nancy and the rest of the crew. Have a great summer! I know that I will!”

Emrah Onder – Kitchen Staff – I was born in Bartin, Turkey on 10th March 1996. I’m study at Kocaeli Universty. My department is aviation management. My favorite hobbies: ride a bike, walk in the beach, playing volleyball and bowling, go to concert, theatre and cinema. I love playing and watching football. The best one listening music which are pop and rock music. My Features: friendly, outgoing, and always smiling, quick learner and multitasking. Learning different culture, meeting new people who come from various country, tasting delicious food and sometimes finding solutions to the problems and taking responsibilities would be amazing experience for me. These are some reasons why I want to be at Camp Pemi. It is going to be fantastic and let’s make new unforgettable stories.

Bryan Parks – Chef – I reside in Rumney, NH with my wife, daughter, and little one on the way. We moved to New Hampshire from Westfield, Massachusetts three years ago to serve at a camp. In addition to cooking I also love my job supporting students at Plymouth Elementary, playing guitar and practicing martial arts. I am very much looking forward to being a part of your summer staff food service team at Camp Pemi!

Penny Shortt-Newton – Driver – Hi! I live in Bath, NH. I’m a school bus driver for Butler Bus Services out of the North Haverhill office. I’ve been a bus driver for over 20 years now among other jobs that I’ve done over my lifetime and have a wealth of experience I bring with me. This is my 1st year at Pemi and I’m going to be driving campers around to various activities out of camp. I look forward to meeting each one of you! Happy Camping!

Liz Silloway – Nurse – I am a California native, a registered nurse, and the mother of a current camper. Our family has a long history with Pemi, but this will be my first summer at camp, where I will be working as a nurse. I love to travel, hike with our 2 crazy doodle dogs and my favorite sport without hesitation is skiing.

Allyn Smith – Health Center Staff – Hi! I am here from South Florida where I parent my three Pemi Boys, ages 11, 13, & 14. I work as a Reading Specialist and children’s yoga instructor during the academic year. This is our third season as part of the Pemi Family, though this is the first year I get to stay on campus and help in the Health Center. I am excited and honored to be here with all of our children this summer!

Michal Szewczyk – Kitchen Staff – I’m from Poland. I love doing sports (especially swimming) and math/programming. It will be my first year at Pemi. I hope I will meet new people and spend some great time there!

Sergen Tastan – Kitchen Staff – I was born in Agri city of Turkey in 1996. I am studing at ÔøΩanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. My major is Travel management and Tour Guidance and I am going to be graduate from University. I will be in Camp Pemi for a second summer, that’s why I am so happy. Thanks Camp Pemi for give to me this opportunity again.

Reed Harrigan – Head of Buildings and Grounds – I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and graduated from Frostburg State College with a degree in Parks and Recreation. I decided that New England was where I wanted to be and took a job as recreational director at Waterville Estates, a resort community in Campton, NH. I then worked at a local high school, working with special education students and as a seasonal Forest Ranger in the White Mountain National Forest. I began working at Camp Pemi nine years ago, first as a bus driver and maintenance person, then as an instructor in canoeing and kayaking. This is my sixth year as year-round Facilities and Grounds Director.

Frank Roberts – Buildings and Grounds – This will be my third season at Pemi working with the Buildings and Grounds crew. My wife Erica and I live in nearby Groton NH with our daughter Hazel. We enjoy growing organic vegetables, hiking, and canoeing. Looking forward to another exciting season on Lower Baker!

Dennis Thibodeau – Buildings and Grounds – This is my sixth season at Pemi and I live in Rumney, NH.

Billy Ziegler – Health Center Staff – Hello everyone! This will be my second summer at Camp Pemigewassett, and I have really been looking forward to it all year long. These last few months I have been really busy with my job as a server. I grew up in Norwich Vermont, and have lived here more or less for my whole life. I love doing anything outside especially hiking. I’m super happy to be welcomed back and see some old friends as well as make some new ones!

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.


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!


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.


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.”


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!


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


#7: Danny’s Final Toast and Clive’s Review of Pinafore

We now seem, in some impossible way, to have gotten to the last day of the 2018 season. It has been an excellent one, by almost every measure. As though to add their own exclamation point, the weather gods have provided us with a magnificent August day for our various closing rituals: the annual USA vs. The World soccer match, featuring our best soccer talent in all age groups; messhall reprises of various numbers from this week’s Pinafore production (for more, see below); an afternoon of closely-supervised packing; the final Bean Soup, featuring the always serious and meaningful “Person of the Year” awards; the final camp fire of the summer; and finally individual cabin parties, which often end with all of the boys pulling their mattresses onto the floor and sleeping contentedly in a pile, like puppies.

Last night featured our Final Banquet, one of our best ever in terms both of the fare and of the warmth with which the community celebrated the various accomplishments and sterling character of their peers. One signal moment for a lot of us was when the winner of the Nature Program’s “What Is It?” Award in the staff category was announced. Garnering the prize for correctly identifying more items in the daily contest rotation than any other employee was Ned Roosevelt, best known at camp for his sunny and energetic personality (his nickname is appropriately “Rosie”) and for being a superb baseball and tennis player. Here, though, was a “jock” being recognized for the time he had put in each day of the season to learn more about the natural world in our little valley. It didn’t dampen the instructive impact that, the two nights previous, Rosie had also played a fetching Victorian lass in Pinafore, participating in our Gilbert and Sullivan show for the first time in his ten-year Pemi career. He’s always made it cool to thrash Tecumseh from the baseball mound or the tennis baseline, but now he’s made it clear that he thinks it’s cool to hang out in the Nature Lodge and even to rock a nineteenth-century dress and bonnet. We often pride ourselves on being a kind of Renaissance camp, but when a standout counselor like Rosie embodies true breadth of interest and commitment in as symbolic a venue as the banquet hall, that’s something special.

Let’s observe recent tradition and begin the body of this newsletter with Danny’s toast at the very start of last evening:

Danny’s Toast to 2018

Here’s to 2018!

Here’s to the summer of 2018 at Camp Pemigewassett, the 111th in Pemi’s rich and significant history. A summer that has come and gone, as it always seems to, in the blink of an eye, though in some ways it seems a lifetime ago when the Gloucester Six met in May to plan for the summer and also when the staff began to arrive in early June, back when campers and young counselors were still attending graduation parties, the Mess Hall tables were getting their shiny new coat of paint, and Russia (not the USSR) was readying for the start of the World Cup.

Truth be told, the summer of 2018 really began before that, way back in October when scores of our returning campers and families sat by their computers until the stroke of midnight on Oct 15th to apply for the present season. Congratulations, by the way, to Jacob Kunkel, whose application was the very first one we received that early morning. Who will be the first camper to apply for 2019? 

Here’s to a summer that concludes as the leaves on Route 25A take on an autumn tint and Pemi boys are returning to their cabins for an 8:30 taps with barely a shred of day light left…a summer that by all accounts has been a marvelous success, although, in truth, every summer is filled with its own particular nuances, personality, and a fair share of curve balls.

Here’s to the 253 (exactly) campers who graced the shores of Lower Baker Pond this summer, campers from 28 states, more than half of the states in the Union, and from eight countries around the world. And here’s to the new Vietnamese flag we added to our array of international banners that grace the mess hall in recognition of Dahn Le joining the kitchen crew this summer. Here’s to the 75 campers who made the decision to attend sleep-away camp for the first time, the 26 who have, or will, collect their five-year bowls, and, yes—Kevin Miller, Jamie Acocella, Eli Brennan, and Will Ackerman—campers in their eighth summer.

Here’s to Pemi’s talented and dedicated counselor staff in 2018. What an exceptionally strong crew we have this summer! Thank you to the cabin counselors and assistant counselors, the young men who share such close quarters with their boys, and who, for some magical reason, are able to inspire, mentor, and capture the imagination of their campers in ways even their own parents and we senior staff cannot.

Cheers to the incredibly hard working crew that Reed Harrigan leads each day with such vigor, dedication and love: Frank, Dennis, Aaron, Marcus, and Tess. Cheers also to our Office Managers extraordinaire, Heather and Kim, who organize all our lives. And here’s to Dottie, who always has time for us, attending to tasks both large and small and caring for our community with a heaping dose of maternal wisdom, grace, and love.

Big ups to the chefs and kitchen crew this summer (led by our Dining Service Director Tom Ciglar) who tackled the herculean task of providing a community of 275 with delicious meals three times a day and did so with a smile, a sincere desire to meet the needs of every soul, and with freshly baked bread each and every day. Was there ever a better summer for food at Pemi?! 

Here’s to Kenny, our new father and fellow director, whose love for Pemi is so evident as he manages staff, campers, alums, transportation, the daily and weekly schedule, and so much more.

Cheers to Deb Pannell and all the creative endeavors down in Art World (Wow, what an Art Show!), to Charlie, our wise and big-hearted Athletic Director, and to all the coaches in the athletic program who always put Pemi’s values of sportsmanship, improved skills, and participation first. Boom!  

Kudos to Dan Reed and the Trippies who sent scores of trips tramp, tramp, tramping over the mountains despite some un-cooperative weather…and thanks to them, too, for the quick thinking they provided in managing these trips and keeping our boys safe.  

Here’s to Jonathan, Taiko, and Deb Fauver for another remarkable G&S performance and to Michaella, Donald, and their friends for another summer of beautiful music. 

To Chloe, Charlotte, Nick, Will, and Molly and all the exhilarating, yet safe, fun we had in the water…to Brian for his “grateful” approach to running wood shop…to Chris on the tennis courts, Larry and Deb in the Nature Lodge, Steve on the archery range…and to all of the other instructors who brought major energy and mojo to occupation periods every day. And let’s not forget Head of Occupations, Dan Reed, and his understudy Wendy Young, for overseeing the schedule of 253 boys this summer with proficiency, thoughtfulness, and a positive vibe each and every day. Here’s also to Head of Staff Nick Hurn, who, despite his tender age, offered leadership and accountability at every turn. 

And thank you to our wonderful nurses, Emily, Jamie, Billy, and Sabrina for the countless hours, Band-aids, doctor’s appointments, and TLC administered at all hours of the day and night! 

Here’s to the things that were unique at Pemi in 2018: Winston Moore’s first (but far from last, I am thinking) summer at Pemi; Molly’s newly designed slalom course in water skiing; broad-brimmed straw hats on seemingly every head; a heat wave in July and another this week that tested our resolved and begged for a return of TRJR’s “Chillin’ with Lit;” X-Treme games at every turn; more dogs at Pemi than I can recall, and that one dog whose presence will always be a part of the Pemi landscape for me. 

Here’s to all-camp events at Pemi: Bean Soup, when we laugh ourselves and anticipate “Things to Look For”; Campfire, when we treat ourselves to great acts some of the most majestic sunsets one will ever see; and to Sunday Meeting, when we hear about fabled Pemi horses like Prince Hellie and Mary Oooch, the gift of music therapy, and the adventures of the 2018 Allagash paddlers.

And here’s to the beauty of Camp Pemigewassett: the mist on Lower Baker Pond each morning; the stunning reflection we enjoy off of the lake each evening; the spectacular sunsets…and that mesmerizing sound of the water lapping up against the shore as campers fall into a warm and deep sleep each night.

Here’s to our twenty-four 15-year-old campers, to their combined 108 summers at Pemi (Yes, you heard that right!) and to the lifelong friendships they’ve created. I know from personal experience that someday they’ll participate in each other’s weddings, be godparents to each other’s children, and hopefully become the next generation of counselors at Pemi. The system works!

And of course, here’s to the Fauver Family and the Reed Family who, in their loving, wise, and supportive way, continue to expect nothing short of excellence from each of us every summer and who see the stewardship of Camp Pemigewassett as their chance to make the world a better place, one boy at a time.

Here’s to Camp Pemigewassett 2018. Good Luck, Long Life, and Joy!      ~ Danny

And now, as the customary second act of this tradition final missive, let’s turn to fabled backwoods theatrical critic Clive Bean’s review of this year’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore.

 Clive Bean Reviews H.M.S. Pinafore

Director Jonathan Verge

Director Jonathan Verge

Those lucky enough to be vacationing in the Wentworth area last Tuesday and Wednesday were treated to a positively scintillating performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S Pinafore. The maiden effort of Director Jonathan Verge, the production was as well received as any in recent memory. Knowledgeable theater-goers leaving the house were overheard saying that they had been as lucky to grab a ticket as they would have been had they scored a pass to Hamilton or The Band’s Visit.

Braden Richardson

Braden Richardson

Positively stealing the show was Braden Richardson as Little Buttercup. Despite the diminutive name, Braden’s performance was anything but small. Sporting a flowing, blond, Beyoncé wig and a costume that found the common ground between the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper gear and Scarlett O’Hara’s most thrilling gown from Gone with the Wind, Braden consistently wowed the audience with his stellar if-calculatedly-over-the-top acting and his sultry, sub-contralto crooning. Honestly, this guy could make it on Broadway, and his performance ranks with the best-ever by a Pemi camper. No surprise he was the hands-down winner of this year’s Gilbert and Sullivan Award.

Nick Paris

Nick Paris

Partnering Braden strongly was Nick Paris, as the Pinafore’s Captain Corcoran. His was a hugely demanding role that involved his being on set for virtually all of the second act, and Nick’s performance, steadily matured through the full season’s rehearsals, was unquestionably one of the highlights of the show, garnering him the camp’s legendary Johnnie’s Plaque for Dramatics. Balancing pathos with baffled incredulity, Nick handled the complex assignment with aplomb, garnering his best laughs with an understatement that was a joy to see. Perhaps his most brilliant invention was to signal Corcoran’s fall in social rank (following revelations about some bad choices at a Victorian childcare facility) by switching from a crisp BBC accent to a Cockney drawl that could have come straight out of a Geico commercial. Well done, Nick.

Michaella Frank, Nick Bertrand

Michaella Frank, Nick Bertrand

Speaking of Nicks, Nick Bertrand strode the Pemi boards for the first time as Ralph Rackstraw, the lowly deckhand who has the rank-defying chutzpah to fall in love with Captain Corcoran’s daughter, Josephine. Nick looked every bit the romantic dreamboat, as evidenced by the avid ogling and dreamy sighs he provoked amidst the female chorus. His acting was especially strong, as he delivered tongue-twisting lines about “plunging into the Cimmerian darkness of tangible despair” with the comfort you’d expect of someone ordering a hot dog at the ballpark.

Ralph’s love interest was played wonderfully by Michaella Frank, a veteran of Pemi’s shows who stepped for the first time into a lead. Her powerful soprano was entirely equal to the demands of a sophisticated piece of operatic writing, and her acting matched her pipes. Speaking of Scarlett O’Hara’s best gown, Michaella wore it—and she positively rocked the thing.

Eli Brennan, Scout Brink

Eli Brennan, Scout Brink

Rackstraw’s rival for Josephine’s hand, Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty, was played by long-time camper Eli Brennan, veteran of countless Pemi shows. Rumors abound that Eli secured the services of Paul Manafort to bribe Tom Reed, Jr. to give up his wonted role, but those rumors are Fake News. Eli totally mastered the accent, the bearing, and the condescending diction of the British Born Elite, and his delivery of the justly renowned “When I Was a Lad” was flawless. His character may be a bit of a social drone, but Eli’s performance was a huge contributor to the show’s drive.

Scout Brink shone as Cousin Hebe, Sir Joseph’s constant companion whose only goal in life seems to be landing a beau who’s related just-distantly-enough to avoid legal repercussions. Scout played her to coy perfection. Also joyous to watch were John Kingdon, as the Pinafore’s staunch and dependable Boatswain, and Pierce Haley, as the Carpenter’s Mate.

Larry Davis

Larry Davis

Finally, Larry Davis reprised a role that he has been playing to perfection for the last forty years: Dick Deadeye, a man about as handsome as Shrek, as cheery as Eeyore, and as charitable as Voldemort. Larry spat out Deadeye’s bitter lines with the vitriol of a swamp adder, and his duet with Captain Corcoran (in which he rats on the Good Guys) was a masterpiece of musical maliciousness.

Pemi operettas are only as good as their choruses, and this year’s were superb—lively yet disciplined, supporting the leads to perfection and never hi-jacking the audience’s attention. Kudos to the Relatives’ Chorus of David Kriegsman, Oliver Giraud, Noah Anderson, Chris Ramanathan, Jake Landry, Elijah Dorroh, Ned Roosevelt, Cole Valente, Gray Klasfeld, Owen Wyman, Luke Larabie, and Finn Wilkins. Powerful praise is also due the Pinafore’s amply-tattoed crew: Nathan Gonzalex, Augie Tanzosh, Aslan Peters, Thaddeus Howe, Felix Nussbaum, Teo Boruchin, Owen Gagnon, Charlie Bell, Henry Moore, Nelson Snyder, Andreas Geffert, Ben Herdeg, Dexter Wells, Lucas Gales, Nate Broll, Will Menike, Jacob Kunkel, and Tom Reed, Jr. You’d never want to battle yard-arm-to-yard-arm­—or sashay into a quay-side dance hall—with anybody else.

I’ve mentioned Jonathan Verge as Director. He may have been a Pemi rookie, but his unique combination of vision, high standards, realism, patience, organization, imagination, and fun vaulted him straight to the top. The players claim he was terrific to work with from casting to cast party, and the quality both of the singing and acting and of the pure physical look of the show testify heartily to his professionalism.

Taiko Pelick

Taiko Pelick, Musical Director and Pianist

Speaking of professionalism, Taiko Pelick was equally stellar as Musical Director and Master Pianist for every rehearsal and both performances. Relegated to accompanying the show from an improvised orchestra pit that might have induced claustrophobia in a groundhog, Taiko continued to demonstrate the meticulous musicality that has made her one of the truly great additions to the camp’s 2018 staff.

Hats off, too, to Director Verge’s Crew: Emmet Kelly, Ailer Thomas, Will Haughton, Andrew Muffett, Ryder McCoy-Hanson, Simon Taylor, Quinn Markham, Max Blohm, Ted Applebaum, and Landon Burtle. The sets were gorgeous, thanks to the labors of Reed Harrigan, Frank Roberts, and TRJR (whose mother, Betsy, first painted them sixty years ago!) And a final shout out to Costumer Extraordinaire Deborah Fauver who, for yet another year, handled the prodigious task of measuring, outfitting, dressing, and equipping more than forty cast members with her always dependable grace and good cheer.

H.M.S. Pinafore, 2018

H.M.S. Pinafore, 2018

So, the set is struck, the house is dark, and another Pemigewassett G&S has gone into the history books. If you missed it, it’s not too late to order a DVD. Nor is it too early to book your box for the camp’s 2019 production—as yet undesignated, but sure to generate more buzz than the full complement of bees at the annual Chelsea Flower Show. Be there!

Well, that feels like a wrap. We’ll leave any further accounts of Pemi’s 111th season to your sons—to be delivered in your cars on the way home…or around the dinner table as you relish your first post-season meal together as a family…or perhaps muttered by your Pemi boys in their sleep, as you stand in their doorways just before you go to bed yourself, grinningly happy to have your summertime adventurer back under the your own roof. Do stay tuned, though, in the coming weeks for emails about the enrollment schedule for the upcoming season. (Yes, planning is already underway!) The sun is setting farther south with every evening, but that equator-approaching process is unlikely to keep going forever. So, to borrow a notion and a turn of phrase from Danny, here’s to Pemi 2019! Meanwhile, best wishes for a happy and productive Fall.





#6: Tecumseh Day 2018

As promised, this week’s newsletter comes from Charlie Malcolm, Pemi’s Director of Athletics for decades. No one is better positioned than he to give you an account of our annual battle with Camp Tecumseh, our avid arch rivals ever since the opening years of camp. For those who have experienced it, our longtime rivalry is as spirited and intense as any between Harvard and Yale or Ohio State and Michigan. It is also marked by the highest level of sportsmanship, something of which both they and we are especially proud. Now, with no further ado, here’s Charlie. 

Introduction: The Challenge

In all my years as Athletic Director of Camp Pemi, I can’t remember an earlier start to mess hall cheers directed at lifting the community for our upcoming contest with Tecumseh. In the very first week of camp, the seniors started chanting the number of days left to Tecumseh Day. It felt a little odd, given half of the boys chanting were first half campers. With each week, the spontaneous cheers grew a little louder. After victories over Camp Moosilauke and Kingswood, our local rivals and friends in the Baker Valley, the cheers grew louder yet, and more spontaneous. At the core of this vocal group are our fifteen-year-olds who have been on the shores of Lower Baker for six or seven years, many remembering the euphoria of defeating Tecumseh in 2012 and desperately wanting to finish their Pemi career with an historic victory.

Taking on Tecumseh, a significantly larger camp (220 enrolled there to our 170) driven almost exclusively by athletic competition, Pemi has won “The Hat” five times in the last five decades (1967, 1970, 1983, 1998, and 2012). We’ve tied a few days and have had some bitterly close defeats over the years, but our friends from Lake Winnipausake have good reason to enter these contests with an air of confidence. Their teams tend to be a little deeper, and their camp’s unyielding commitment to sports prepares kids to grind out close matches with consistently commendable sportsmanship.

As for your boys from Pemigewassett, it takes a special blend of talent, tenacity, and moxie to win a majority of the twenty events and take home the bronze “Hat” that is bequeathed to the camp with the most wins. With five age groups competing in baseball, soccer, swimming, and tennis, the day is a challenging endeavor filled with essential lessons that serve our boys well as they define and shape their character through their experiences and actions.

With the arrival of our second-session campers, the Pemi community started to shape its respective teams for the upcoming contests. Starting every season on Monday of Week 5, the teams practice during our daily occupation schedule. This year coaches and campers endured some tropical rainforest weather as the camp and lake received some much needed water. On Friday last, we woke up at 6:20 AM as our Seniors lined the Intermediate Hill, blasted music, led morning exercises, and finished with a communal polar bear at the Senior beach. After a quick breakfast, the Eleven’s, Twelve’s, and Thirteen’s departed for Camp Tecumseh while the Ten- and Fifteen-and-unders waited for the arrival of Tecumseh at Pemi

Morning at Pemi

15’s tennis

The day kicked off at Pemi with two outstanding contests. The Ten-and-under baseball team scored three runs in the first inning and held a 3-1 lead heading into the last stanza. Paul “Bagels” Schwaegler pitched a gem, striking out seven batters in three-plus innings of work. Unfortunately, Tecumseh rallied in the last inning and scored six runs with aggressive base running, timely hitting, and a few Pemi errors. This was a young Pemi team featuring three eight-year-olds from Junior One (Noah Littman, Clayton Johnson, and Wyatt Dolinsky) in the starting line-up, suggesting this team has a bright future. While the Tens battled on the diamond, the Fifteens locked into a very competitive tennis match. Pemi eventually lost another close contest 4-3, but anyone who watched the doubles team of Andrew Roth and Will Ackerman battle their equally impressive Tecumseh partners witnessed one of the best doubles matches of the day. After dropping the first set 6-4, our boys made some tactical adjustments as Roth lobbed the ball a little deeper and Ackerman moved more centrally and aggressively eliminated dangerous lanes. The boys eventually forced a tiebreaker after tying the second set 6-6, and then forced a super tiebreaker after winning the first tiebreaker 7-5. In the super tiebreaker, Ackerman and Roth dominated, delivering a well deserved 10-4 win. The sportsmanship and mutual respect of all four participants made for a great match and set the tone for the day.

10’s soccer

The Fifteens would have to shake off their disappointment losing that close tennis match and take on a very talented Tecumseh baseball team with a polished high school pitcher on the mound. Unfortunately, our team fell 2-0. Nevertheless, Pemi received a courageous effort on the mound by Charlie Bell and great leadership from Jamie Acocella behind the plate. Kevin Miller made a nice catch in center field, and Marshall Neilsen delivered Pemi’s best hit of the day, but it wasn’t enough to push Pemi to a much-needed victory at home. As with the Ten’s baseball team, the core of this fifteens’s team is made up of fourteen-year-olds who will be returning next summer to avenge their loss. As for the Ten’s soccer team, they fought gallantly against a very strong Tecumseh squad. The score was knotted at 0-0 until Tecumseh took the lead with five minutes to go in the first half. Bagels Schwaegler had nearly pushed Pemi ahead when his long chip from midfield was parried off the crossbar by the agile Tecumseh goalie. Jake Landry anchored the Pemi defense and kept Tecumseh’s dangerous players at bay while Robbie Judd made dangerous runs on the attack and relentlessly pressed the ball all over midfield. Unfortunately, Pemi’s lack of depth eventually caught up to them and they conceded five second-half goals before a thunder clap delivered some mercy, ending the match 6-0 for Tecumseh.

Morning at Tecumseh

11’s tennis

While Pemi found themselves down 4-0 at home, our Eleven’s, Twelve’s, and Thirteen’s got off of the bus and immediately put Tecumseh on their heels. Our Elevens consist of only twenty-five campers to build four teams: ten boys need to play tennis, fifteen for soccer, nine for baseball, and ten to swim. Historically, this age group has struggled against Tecumseh because we just don’t quite have the numbers to create the depth and experience to beat a formidable opponent. Internal prognosticators and Las Vegas were predicting a tough day for this age group, however, none of us fully understood the character and strength of the group that is split between Lower Lowers and the Junior Camp. The magic started with Eleven’s tennis where two athletes found themselves down in their respective matches and Tecumseh looked like they had three matches well under control and just needed one more to win. First, Oliver Phillips came back from 5-2 deficit in an eight-game set and proceed to win the next six straight games to prevail 8-5. Sam Young was down 3-0 and worked his match back to 7-7, then delivering an inspiring and clutch tiebreaker 7-1 to push Pemi to their first victory of the day, 4-3.

12’s soccer

According to Tecumseh, the Twelve’s are their deepest and most athletic age group, and they began the day with soccer. Their Pemi counterparts wisely chose to come out in a defensive shape and spring counter attacks wide on the flanks.   Charlie Orbin and Jacob Kunkel anchored the defense in front of goalie Alex Rolfe. Rolfe was outstanding, making critical saves throughout the match to keep Pemi in striking range. Nate Broll worked tirelessly at midfield as Pemi held Tecumseh’s best team to two goals. When news arrived at Pemi of the 2-0 Tecumseh victory, a Tecumseh coach commented, “Wow, you must have a great soccer team. That Tecumseh team is easily our best team in camp.”

Down at Tecumseh’s impressive waterfront, the Thirteen’s swim team also delivered an inspiring effort in their swim meet. Coach Ken Moore’s mermen unleashed a scintillating performance in the individual events, as they delivered a series of first and second place finishes. Ben Herdeg and Andreas Geffert finished 1-2 in the breast, John Kingdon and Dexter Wells the same in the butterfly, and Will Sewell and Finn Wilkins ditto in the freestyle. Not finishing in the top three but equally impressive was Lucas Gales, who knocked twenty-nine seconds from his freestyle time. Well done Lucas! At the wrong end of a 28-14 tally heading into the two relays, Tecumseh delivered an incredible comeback as they snatched a first and second place finish in both the medley and free relays to leave the meet at a 30-30 tie. The Thirteen’s would have to shake off their resulting disappointment and go up to the soccer pitch and play a talented Tecumseh team, but part of the magic of Tecumseh Day is watching how the athletes and coaches deal with large momentum swings, as each age group must reset its emotional energy and focus for the next challenging event.

11's baseball

11’s baseball

The Eleven’s carried their momentum to the baseball field, and Sam Young stepped on the rubber and delivered one of the most dominant pitching performances in Pemi baseball history. He recorded 17 of his team’s 18 outs, striking out fourteen batters to push Pemi to a dominating 10-1 victory. Giacomo Turco, a former Tecumseh camper who took a fair amount of ribbing for switching camps, delivered a 4-4 effort at the plate, driving in six runs to pace Pemi to an impressive win.

13's soccer

13’s soccer

The Thirteen’s quashed their disappointment after tying the swim meet and garnered the strength and perseverance to play an incredible soccer match on Tecumseh’s imposing Grant Field. Pemi found themselves down 1-0 on a deflected shot taken from a poor angle. Six minutes later, Pemi’s Daniel Rudolph lofted a shot that slipped through the tips of the Tecumseh goalie’s fingers and into the back of the net. Tecumseh responded with a scrappy corner kick goal just before the end of the half. With three minutes to play and Tecumseh still holding a majority of the possession, Pemi scrapped and hustled their way to create opportunities. Aidan Chiang, who provided Pemi with box-to-box pressure, launched a shot with the outside of his foot. The Tecumseh keeper made the initial save, but the hustling Will Sewell raced in and pushed the rebound past the scrambling net-minder to tie the game 2-2. It is this type of perseverance and competitive spirit that is also the hallmark of the day.

12s tennis

12s tennis

The Twelve’s also rebounded from their challenging 2-0 loss in soccer to deliver a dominating 7-0 victory in tennis. The four singles players of Ryder McCoy-Hansen, Luke Brown, Chris O’Connor, and Nate Broll made quick work of their Tecumseh counterparts. The doubles team of Charlie Orben/Brady Waldron ran their opponents all over the court while the pairings of Fischer Burke/ Wim Nook and Alex Rolfe/Logan McManus methodically seized control of their respective matches and finished the morning at Tecumseh on a powerful note. The Eleven’s, Twelve’s, and Thirteen’s went 3-1-2 in their six matches to keep Pemi’s overall chances alive heading into the lunch break.

Friday Afternoon Events

The Ten- and Fifteen-and-unders began their contests under increasingly threatening skies. After four or five games in tennis and 20 minutes of scoreless soccer in the 15’s soccer soccer match, the boys were cleared from the field and the games were postponed until Sunday. At Tecumseh, the weather held long enough for the Eleven’s, Twelve’s and Thirteen’s to complete the first events of the afternoon. The Eleven’s soccer team ran into a formidable opponent determined to win their first event. The team held strong and were only down 1-0 at halftime, but the depth and speed of Tecumseh eventually was too much and the team fell 6-1 in the second half. The 12’s baseball team received great pitching from Fischer Burke, however, a porous defense put the team down five runs. In the top of the 4th inning Pemi was squaring up on the ball and cut the lead to 5-2. Wim Nook sparked the rally with a base hit. Unfortunately, a distant thunder clap ended Pemi’s comeback and the remainder of the game was cancelled when Pemi clearly had the momentum. Thirteen’s Tennis fell 5-2 to a talented Tecumseh team with Owen Wyman and Jonah Reay winning for Pemi. With the thunderstorms settling in around Tecumseh, the camps would need to complete Eleven’s and Twelve’s swimming, and Thirteen’s baseball.


After parent’s visiting day at Pemi on Saturday, the boys had an early lunch on Sunday and restarted their competition with Tecumseh. The locations were changed for the different age groups to avoid having the same kids ride on the bus for second day.

15's soccer

15’s soccer

The Ten’s and Fifteen’s traveled to Tecumseh to finish their soccer and tennis match, followed by their swim meet. The Fifteen’s soccer match started with a combined 50 minutes of scoreless soccer. Both teams generated a handful of quality chances and competed aggressively. The defense led by Will Ackerman, Luca Tschanz, Kevin Miller and Timmy Somp held strong in front of goalie Gordon Robbins. Mac Hadden and Luca McAdams battled Tecumseh for the middle of the pitch. Tecumseh held a little more of the play, but Pemi countered with dangerous counter attacks that generated critical corner kicks and throw-ins. With eight minutes to play Tecumseh sent a corner kick into the Pemi box and the eventual scrum and failure of Pemi to clear the ball resulted in a scrappy, opportunistic goal. The Fifteen’s fought hard to the end, but could not find the equalizer and suffered a 1-0 loss.

10's swimming

10’s swimming

The Ten’s tennis team was swept by a deep Tecumseh tennis team 7-0 so both teams slowly walked down to the waterfront for the final swim meets of the day. One of the important and more meaningful aspects of the Tecumseh Day is the pairing of our Ten’s and Fifteen’s. Both age groups needed to dig a little deeper for the last event of the day. The Ten’s, consisting of only eight swimmers, swam their hearts out and were only down four points heading into the final relays. Pemi received commendable efforts from Ben Kriegsman who won the backstroke, Nick Vitale first place finish in the freestyle, and a second place finish by James Cullen. The Medley Relay team of Kriegsman, Vitale, Henry Radin, and Cullen delivered a critical first place to keep the meet close. Unfortunately, Tecumseh’s depth was too much as they won the meet on the final freestyle relay leaving the final score 35-23 for Tecumseh.

15's swimming

15’s swimming

The Fifteens having lost close matches in tennis, baseball, and soccer needed to reach a little deeper and finish strong. As they left the soccer pitch they knew the Ten-and unders would look for their leadership. The Fifteen’s swimmers received an outstanding coaching effort from Charlotte Jones who began training this team the first week of camp. From the opening whistle it was all Pemi as they dominated the individual events. Mitchell Chin and Simon Taylor went 1st and 2nd in the backstroke, Nick Ridgeway and Matt McDonough 1st and 2nd in the butterfly, and a 1st and 2nd in the breast by Thomas Nielson and Max Blohm, and first place finish by George Fauver in the freestyle. Fauver went on to lead his Medley Relay team with Mitchell Chin, Thomas Nielson, and Nick Ridgeway to a first place. In the final relay of the day, with Pemi well in the lead, the free relay team of Fauver, Eli Brennan, Nick Ridgeway, and Mitchell Chin finished the meet with an emphatic 43-17 victory that lifted the spirits of everyone who traveled to Tecumseh. It was a great finish for an age group that provided excellent leadership in our preparation for Tecumseh Day, but it was also a clear statement of the incredible impact a dedicated coach can have on a group of young athletes.

At Pemi, the Eleven’s and Twelve’s swim teams finished their respective meets with grit and determination. The Eleven’s were swimming for their third victory of the day while the Twelve’s entered the meet 1-2. A deep Tecumseh Twelve’s swim team made quick work of Pemi and rolled to an impressive 49-11 win. Pemi Eleven’s, an age group that had already delivered a gutsy win in tennis and a dominant victory in baseball, went out and won every race of the meet. In the individual races Pemi received first places from first time swimmer Bauer Brown in backstroke, Boone Snyder in the breaststroke, Ben Cavanaugh in the butterfly, and Hayden Davis in the freestyle. Lucas Vitale swam against five Tecumseh challengers in the Individual Medley and delivered an impressive first place. Not surprisingly, the Pemi Eleven’s medley relay team of Vitale, Snyder, Davies, and Davis won as did free relay team of Davies, Cavanaugh, Brown, and Vitale. With the 37-23 victory in swimming, the 11’s finished 3-1 on Tecumseh Day, an incredible effort for 25 campers.

13's baseball

13’s baseball

The last event of the day to finish was the Thirteen’s baseball game and those fortunate to watch this game thought it was likely the best contest of the “day.” Tecumseh jumped out to 3-0 lead on two singles, a catcher’s interference, and some aggressive base running. Pemi responded with a run in the bottom of the first as Jonah Reay got the offense going with a base hit, stolen base, and some contact hitting. Oliver Giraud locked into a pitchers’ duel with Tecumseh and bought the team critical time to get back in the game. With two outs, and the game tying run on third base, a swinging bunt led to the Tecumseh catcher racing back to home and diving to tag the Pemi runner to end the game, 4-3 Tecumseh. In many respects it was a fitting end to the 2018 Tecumseh Day. The final score was 13-5-2 in Tecumseh’s favor. However, there were plenty of opportunities at all different age groups to win close matches in Pemi’s favor. Our boys competed , experienced some adversity, learned about perseverance, celebrated some victories, and felt the disappointment of a defeat. Many thanks to our Tecumseh friends for their wonderful blend of competitive spirit and sportsmanship. We look forward to Tecumseh Day 2019!

~ Charlie Malcolm

And many thanks to Charlie for his inspiring leadership on the athletic front all year long, and especially for his wise and balanced handling of the highlight event of our sporting summer. We too look forward to Tecumseh Day 2019—and, in the shorter term, to Larry Davis’s newsletter on Pemi’s Nature Program in the upcoming newsletter.

#5: Pemi Legacies…Pemi Family

After four days of as-close-to-perfect summer weather as we can ever remember, spanning from Wednesday to Saturday last week and blessing us with cloudless blue skies, fresh and cooling breezes, and air so clear that the distant hills seemed as close to being on top of you as that next wave just about to break over you at the seashore, we are experiencing a rainy interlude. Actually, given how dry it’s been, the precipitation is welcome—greening our fields, damping down the dust on our dirt thoroughfares, and making today’s a perfect Rest Hour for a nap. Naps this week, in fact, are a particularly good thing. I believe we hinted in our last number that our annual athletic extravaganza with our storied rivals from Camp Tecumseh is coming up this Friday, and amid frenzied preparation for competition in four events (baseball, tennis, soccer, and swimming) in five separate age groups (10-and-under, 11’s, 12’s, 13’s, and 15’s) and equally frenzied “Beat Tecumseh” cheers in the Mess Hall, it’s great to have some southerly wind, grey skies, and drizzle on the cabin roofs working alongside a spectacular roast pork and potatoes lunch in all our bellies to inspire a little restorative slumber.

Athletic Director Charlie Malcolm will take pen in hand to record for you some of the highlights of the coming Big Day, but know for now that the tone he set for the staff at last night’s post-Taps meeting was classic Charlie. While the odds-makers in Las Vegas are not necessarily choosing us (as opposed to their favorable prognosticating prior to our recent and plentiful triumphs over Camps Moosilauke, Kingswood, and Walt Whitman), the day is important and it makes us a better camp, regardless of the final tally. Tecumseh is a sports camp. We are an all-around camp. They build their entire summer around playing us. We build ours in part around playing them, but also around, for example, caving in upstate New York, the annual Gilbert and Sullivan production, the Allagash canoe trip, singing in the Mess Hall and at the Campfire circle, the annual loon and butterfly counts, the Pemi Week Art Show, our weekly serving of Bean Soup, etc., etc. But if they, year after year, are the best competition around, we become better competitors getting ourselves ready for them, doing everything we can to match them on the pitch or on the courts, diamonds, or docks, celebrating the victories we’re hoping for and accepting the defeats that sometimes come our way—shaking their hands afterwards, though; cheering them and their grit and their skill; sitting down with ourselves afterwards and acknowledging that we really did give our all, that we and our teammates really did leave it all on the field, and that (darn it!) we really had fun! Given this somehow stirring but still settling key note speech by Charlie, the coaches are now working with their charges to get them prepared for their time in the sun—this despite the lingering showers. We know you’ll all stay tuned!

In the mean time, Associate Director Kenny Moore has put together some thoughts about one of the demographic rather than programmatic distinctions that we think sets Pemi apart from a lot of other institutions. Kenny, consistent with his role as Director of Alumni Relations, is our contact person for legacy families, one of his special purviews being the recruitment of sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons of Pemi veterans.

Since 1908, the Fauver and Reed families have built a solid foundation, ensuring Pemi’s success long into the future. We believe that Camp Pemigewassett is the oldest residential boys’ camp in the country under the same continuous family ownership, and the central emphasis on family extends into every facet of our camp. Each cabin group, division, occupation, sports team, and hiking group, together with the collective staff, operates similarly to a family unit. All Pemi individuals take on specific roles, provide leadership, care for one another, and take responsibility for their actions.

Pemi creates opportunities for boys to work together within their newly established family groups on a daily basis—say, eating as a group in the Mess Hall, encouraging each other on a mountain trip, or cleaning the cabin for daily Inspection. Beyond that, the interaction that boys have with different Pemi generations is particularly unique and valuable. The annual Gilbert and Sullivan show is one of the best examples of multiple generations coming together. The cast this year for H.M.S. Pinafore ranges in age from 8 to 71 years old, with our youngest campers in Junior 1 practicing and performing alongside venerable camp folks and cast members Tom Reed, Jr. and Larry Davis. Experiences shared across generations allow traditions to carry forward in an extremely organic and effective way, clearly defining who and what we are at Pemi.

Legacy campers—those boys whose fathers, uncles, grandfathers, or even great grandfathers attended Pemi—offer another snapshot of family at Pemigewassett. This year, close to 30% of our enrollment is made up of legacy campers. Will Silloway, a First Session camper, is our first fourth-generation camper (excluding children of the founding Reed and Fauver families, who are on the 5th generation). Will’s father Roger, grandfather Skip, and great-grandfather Stewart (counselor in 1928) were all Pemi boys!

Alumni parents contemplating sending their boys to Pemi often comment on the wave of Pemi nostalgia that comes over them as their sons near camp age. Treasured stories and memories from their own past pave the way for new experiences for their boys. While father and son are not physically at Pemi at the same time (except, perhaps, for drop-off, pick-up, or visiting days for Full Session campers), this type of shared experience is extremely special. Accustomed to singing traditional American, Pemi, and college songs in the Mess Hall in their various respective decades, more than one “extended” family has been known to croon at their own family dining tables when the nostalgic spirit moves them.

I asked a few of our current legacy campers about the lead-up to their first summer at Pemi. What was the conversation like with their fathers and family members before camp? What sort of advice did their forebears give, and how did that prepare them for their own experience at Pemi? What happened when they returned home?

Fischer Burke, son of alumnus Jeff and Kirby Burke, lives just north of San Francisco and is in his second year as a camper at Pemi. “It was exciting,” Fischer reports, “to hear the stories about camp from my dad. He told me about all the fun he had, the camp records he broke, the activities he did.” When Jeff came to pick Fischer up last August at the end of the 2017 season, Jeff had firsthand knowledge of Fischer’s experience. “Dad knew what I was talking about, and that got him excited to tell more stories from his day.” This story swapping continued well into the fall and winter.

Wim Nook, son of alumnus Bill and Melissa Nook and grandson of alumnus William Nook, loved hearing camp stories from his family. “I remember hearing about singing in the Mess Hall, the Polar Bear swim, even though it was different then (a bit more au naturel!), playing baseball, taking Nature with Larry. Everything was still here for my first year.” Wim commented on Pemi’s living history: “The markings on the cabin show me the guys that were here before. To see their names and dates is pretty cool.” [Editorial comment: Wim’s sense of “cool” runs distinctly counter to our official policy against leaving names carved or Magic-Markered into cabins, but we suppose there’s a “Kilroy” in all of us, and it is always fun to know who got here before we did!]

Angus Williams, grandson of alumnus John “Torpedo” Lewis and wife Cathy, son of Cara Lewis, and nephew of alumnus Will Lewis, is in his fourth summer and is one of our fifteen-year-old leaders. Before he first came to camp, Angus remembers hearing about the classic elements of Pemi: singing in the Mess Hall, campfires on Senior beach, and all the sports his grandfather and uncle played. “They told me what Pemi was about, that it was a home away from home, and when I came here I really understood. It seemed like home to me.” He distinctly recalls driving back to his winter home, answering questions from his family about his camp experience. “My grandfather would ask me if we sang this song, and then we would just start singing it together. He asked me if I did my Distance Swim, and when I told him the story, he just laughed. We did so many of the same things.”

This summer, Angus’ cousin Richard Lewis is in his first year as a camper, and Angus loves having him at Pemi. “I really want to be there for Richard in his first year, to help him out if he needs anything.”  These shared camp experiences across multiple generations are an unparalleled way to create bonds between family members.

The traditions and customs of a family or institution bind its members together, giving each individual a strong sense of belonging. The familial nature of Pemi, with its varied and rich traditions, allows worthy and rewarding customs to be passed down to each generation. These customs provide structure for individual members and make it easier for us to be good citizens of the broader world. By living amid the rhythms and rituals of a thoughtful and humane institution, we are included in a community that transcends time.    ~Ken Moore

Many thanks to Kenny for his evocation of the way the Pemi Experience, over the years and generations, can bond not only individuals who share the same genes but also those who share only Polar Bear dips, rousing Mess Hall choruses of “We’re From Camp Pemigewassett,” accomplishing their Distance Swims, and drinking in the sunset view with their cabinmates outside Greenleaf Hut high on the shoulder of Mt. Lafayette. They say it takes a village to raise a child. We count it among our blessings that, in playing our small part in raising children, we somehow manage, decade after decade, to create a village.