Three evenings a week, the entire camp family gathers for these traditional events:
On Saturday evenings, timed perfectly for sunset, the entire Pemi community gathers at the campfire circle on the Senior Beach to enjoy a variety of musical, storytelling, and comedic acts. You’ll never find a more supportive audience! Campers and counselors alike perform, with acts ranging from solo guitar to a capella group vocals to hilarious creative compositions. Boys juggle, do magic tricks, tell jokes, pose riddles, read original poetry, and even trot out the occasional Abbot and Costello routine, of which “Who’s on First” remains a classic.
Each and every campfire closes with the community singing our beloved “Campfire Song,” written by co-founder Dudley Reed in the early years of the last century. As we sing these words together, standing with arms draping each other’s shoulders, the affection and acceptance of the Pemi community is never more in evidence.
If I lived to be nearly a hundred, and every year one of joy,
I wonder if I should remember the time when, as a boy,
I sat by the campfire at Pemi with a group of the nation’s best
As the moon drifted low oe’r the hillside and finally dropped in the west.
And I wonder if anyone’s better for anything I’ve done or said,
And whether good will in the heart may offset mistakes of the head.
Perhaps when life’s mem’ries are gathered,
the camp ones will be with the rest,
As the moon drifts low of the hillside, and finally drops in the west.
Every Sunday evening, following our weekly all-camp barbecue, Pemi boys and staff members clean up, polish up, and dress up (that means wearing our least-wrinkled collared shirts) for Sunday Meeting. We gather in the lodge to absorb a mixture of reflections, inspiring advice, and beautiful live music.
Presentations have included the history of Camp Pemi, travel and volunteer experiences, our relationship with the natural world around us, and the value of membership in small communities. Generally, the directors and middle managers lead these Sunday gatherings. In recent years, our 15-year-old Seniors have shared their reflections upon their experiences at Pemi, urging their younger peers to discover and develop their talents and interests by taking advantage of all that camp offers.
We value Sunday meetings as opportunities to consider some of the deeper, more central reasons why we spend our summers together at Pemi.
Monday Bean Soup
Pemi’s “newspaper,” Bean Soup, offers a comprehensive sampling of accounts of every significant event of every season — and some insignificant (or imaginary) ones as well. Fact, fiction, and always irreverent wit — Bean Soup is somewhat like a cross between PBS’s News Hour, SportsCenter, and The Daily Show. Read aloud every Monday evening by the editors who sit perched on chairs atop a wooden table, above and in front of the gathered crowd, Bean Soup offers the opportunity for boys to sharpen their creative and/or reporting writing skills.
Awards are given each week for the director, camper, staff member and counselor who deserves to be recognized for, usually, something silly that he or she has done. And, in the final serving of Bean Soup, these awards are given out in a serious way to those who have had the greatest contributions over the entire summer.
As it has been for over 100 years, The Soup is compiled, printed, and bound each year, and is mailed to every member of the current camp family in December, providing a full tally of the season’s events, awards, newsletters, and camp roster. Each bound volume captures all of the best things about Pemi—the great humor, the sense of community, the unselfish spirit—to be read again, when the camp season has long since ended.
We are well on the way to finishing an exciting project of digitalizing all past editions of Bean Soup so that alums, campers, and friends can access them online, in a searchable format.
Read about special events at Pemi >>