Gather ’round the table!
Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are homemade by our own professional chefs and bakers and receive high marks from campers, staff, and visitors. We enjoy locally-grown produce and meats from nearby farms in Vermont and New Hampshire that add fresh flavor, color, and variety to our table.
Three meals a day are served in Pemi’s messhall, which sits on a rise and offers a great view of our tennis courts, playing fields, and stunning Mt. Carr, off to the east. You’ll always know where to sit as your cabin group (you, your cabinmates, and your counselors) sit together for the first week of each session and for the final week of camp (therefore, full-season campers sit with their cabins for weeks one, four, and seven). For each of the other weeks, you’ll be assigned to different tables with the opportunity to meet and make friends with other staff and boys of different ages and from different cabins.
Pemi made the decision in 2011 to be peanut-free. Our chefs are knowledgeable regarding food allergies and are happy to talk with parents to discuss special needs. Vegetarian meals are available and should be requested in advance of the season.
Breakfast is hearty, and consists of a choice of cold or hot cereals followed by pancakes, waffles, French toast, or eggs, usually accompanied by bacon or sausage. Fresh fruit, fruit juice, yogurt, and milk are also available.
Lunch is considered the main meal of the day. You’ll enjoy meals like chicken and rice, pork chops and roasted potatoes, or beef stir-fry, accompanied by a salad and vegetable and followed by dessert — perhaps homemade cake, pie, or ice cream. Pitchers of water and milk are on the table. Yogurt is available on request.
Supper might consist of spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, or all-time camper favorite, pizza. Again, salad, bread, veggies, and a dessert are served, along with water and milk.
A waiter brings food to your table in large bowls and on platters for the counselor to serve. In addition to serving food, the counselor keeps the conversation going (and encourages good manners…no banging on tables, eating contests, or throwing food at Pemi!). Once everyone is served and has had a chance to eat, a bell signals that the waiters can return to the kitchen to bring out seconds (and if seconds disappear, then thirds!)
Being a waiter is a big job and is a sought-after, paid position for Pemi’s oldest campers. Boys apply before camp starts, with jobs awarded first to the 15-year-olds and then 14’s. Some older 13’s serve as sub-waiters and fill in when the regular waiters are away on a hiking trip or at a sporting event. Waiters are assigned to each table and their job is to bring food from the kitchen to the table, clean up afterwards, and get the table set for the next meal. They also have rotating jobs that, collectively, keep the messhall a welcoming place for the community to gather three times a day. In addition to serving food, waiters often serve as role models—big brothers, conversationalists, and sources of information—for younger campers, who look forward to filling that role someday.
For those campers who want a healthy bite between meals, a fruit bowl is set out on the porch of the messhall every afternoon, filled with a bounty of fruit such as apples, plums, peaches, and oranges, along with a snack like granola bars, string cheese, or graham crackers.
- Sunday nights feature all-camp outdoor cookouts, on the lawn in front of the mess hall.
- Other nights, you and your cabin group might paddle across the lake for your own private meal cooked over a campfire. Read more >>
- Birthday Banquet (towards the end of First Session), and Final Banquet (towards the end of the season) are lavish events, with roast turkey and all the trimmings at every table.
You’ll be encouraged, but never forced, to try new foods, and with the variety that we offer, you won’t go hungry. In a setting where others at the table are also trying something new, many boys who arrive at Pemi as picky eaters leave with broadened tastes and a continued willingness to explore new food choices.
Vitamins and dietary supplements
Vitamins and dietary supplements are not necessary except in rare cases, as Pemi meals are balanced, nourishing, and offer great variety. If parents want their son to take vitamins/supplements, we require that they enroll with CampMeds to supply them, as our nurses will dispense these at mealtimes along with other medications. Read more about Campmeds.
Chef Stacey Strikes Again: A Cake to Die For. Read here >>
Chef Stacey Dishes up Thanksgiving Tips (along with a family biscuit recipe!) Read here >>
Read about the campers who attend Pemi >>