News from Camp Pemigewassett and Danny Kerr

In tandem with Pemi’s Board of Directors, Danny Kerr has been at the center of a multi-year planning process focused on smooth and measured management succession at Pemi. This past January, Danny shared with the Board his plan to retire as a Pemi director in just under two years’ time, at the end of the 2021 season. Five months ago, we were set to share this momentous news with the extended Pemi community when the COVID crisis threw a wrench into that plan, as it has for so many others and in so many ways. We thought it best to resolve the uncertainties of the 2020 season before we turned to the news. Now that our inaugural Pemi Family Camp is underway—with Danny at the helm—this seems like an appropriate time to pass along the official word.

Director Danny Kerr, Camp Pemigewassett

Director Danny Kerr

From Tom Reed, for the Pemi Board of Directors:

For a dozen years now, Danny Kerr has inspired our campers, their families, and Pemi staff alike with his dedication to fostering the lifelong benefits of the summer camp experience—so it is with mixed emotions that we join him in sharing news of his plan to retire as a Pemi director at the end of the 2021 season.

Danny first came to us in 2009, after more than two decades as a camper and staff member at The Aloha Foundation’s Camp Lanakila and nine years directing their Horizons Day Camp. Given his long tenure with those excellent institutions, Danny could easily have come to Pemi with a pre-established idea of how camps are best run. Very much to the contrary, he set aside what he wryly called “my other camps” in order to absorb everything he could about Pemi’s long and honored traditions (including, he might initially have been sad to say, early morning Polar Bear dips!) and to help us continue thriving as the camp we have always been.

At the same time, he brought his experience to bear in ways that have benefitted Pemi immensely—as, for example, when he instituted in his first summer the most effective staff evaluation and mentoring process we’ve ever had. Danny’s management style has been to hire talented and committed staff, make sure they know what they are doing in our particular setting and feel supported, and then let them do their jobs. The result has been a self-motivated community where staff feel empowered and trusted, with the space to exercise their talents and effect their goals.

In a similar fashion, Danny brought “Positive Counseling” to our pre-season staff training. This approach to working with campers has helped scores of our boys each year learn to identify their challenges clearly, recognize their choices, and take personal responsibility for finding solutions. He has worked magic fostering self-awareness and self-determination among our campers, and his deft example will inspire our staff for many years to come.

Danny’s timely notification to us last January and his continued participation in the planning process guarantee that his fellow director Kenny Moore will be more than prepared and supported when Danny hands their shared reins fully to Kenny at the end of the 2021 season. Our Transition Committee is currently designing a new full-time position for Pemi’s management team, and we recently hired Kenny’s wife, Sarah, in a part-time position to tap her professional expertise in enrollment management. These two new positions, together with the upcoming launch of an exciting new website, add to our energy and enthusiasm moving forward.

There will be occasions in the future to add to our appreciation for Danny’s steady leadership of Pemi. Let me close, though, with sincere if preliminary thanks for the many committed and principled seasons he has given us as director. We have profited from his wisdom, candor, patience, kindness, and capacity to forge community. We wish him and Julia many happy and healthy years of new adventures and projects.

Tom Reed, Jr.
For the Pemi Board of Directors

 

From Director Danny Kerr:

Under the category of, “One never knows what is coming around the corner,” this is a piece I wrote back in January . . . but now the time is right to share my thoughts on my exciting news!

Ah, the seasons of life…

It has been an honor and a pleasure to be director of Camp Pemigewassett since 2010. Hence, it was with some sadness but also great excitement about the years in front of me that I wrote to the Camp Pemigewassett Board of Directors after the New Year to tell them of my plan to retire from Camp Pemigewassett at the end of the summer of 2021.

Where did these past eleven years go? The thought of leaving a position I love at the (somewhat!) young age of 61 was one I knew I needed to really think through, but after much reflection, Julia and I feel we are ready to start the next chapter in our lives. Leaving behind the rewards of working with such inspiring leadership, appreciative parents, and fun-loving boys as I have found at Pemi will be challenging, and I feel very blessed that I have had the opportunity to serve the Camp Pemigewassett community for what will have been 12 summers by 2021.

Directors Kenny Moore and Danny Kerr, Camp Pemigewassett

Directors Kenny Moore and Danny Kerr

I have learned so much in my time at Pemi, and while next summer will undoubtedly bring its own unknown wonders and lessons, I know I will be leaving Camp Pemigewassett ready for the next chapter in its storied and proud history. Pemi will be in fantastic hands, beginning with Kenny Moore – the most loyal, dedicated, and skilled leader one could ever hope to find; and the wise, caring, and capable Board of Directors, dedicated to envisioning and enacting the future of Camp Pemi. Truly, watching my good friend and now fellow director Kenny Moore’s ascension from middle manager to Assistant Director to full Director has been incredibly gratifying, and I know he will hit it out of the park, Cleveland Indian’s style, as senior Director of Camp Pemi. I also know there are other young men and women on the Pemi staff ready to embrace a next opportunity for leadership.

When I first began my career in education, I was sure of a couple of things. One was that I never wanted to have a “desk job.” The other was that the most significant impact I could have in education would be at a summer camp with a commitment to creating a nurturing and supportive community, where values like honesty, compassion, and integrity were modeled and articulated throughout the summer; a community that was dedicated to helping young boys become the persons they wanted to be. I found this community and so much more at Pemi, and I am proud and grateful that I have had any small hand in maintaining, sharing, and growing Pemi’s fine traditions.

Lou Gehrig once claimed to be the “luckiest man on the earth.” When I look at how I have spent these past thirty plus years, with the goal of retiring while I could still keep up with my sons on the ski slopes (I may be a bit generous with myself here!), I can only say, “Move over Lou. You have company.”

But there is still plenty to do before I truly do cross the Pemi bridge for the last time as director in August 2021. With this in mind, do know that I will continue to give Camp Pemi, its campers, staff, and families my very best in the days, week and months between now and then. There is still plenty to do, many families to serve, boys to “play ball” with, counselors to mentor, and lessons to be learned and to share with others. I look forward to doing all of those things and to the exciting possibilities beyond.

Danny Kerr
Director, Camp Pemigewassett

 

 

 

A Statement from Camp Pemi

Dear Pemi Family,

We feel deep and profound grief over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) before them. Their killings continually expose the institutionalized racism that plagues our nation.

In the face of such entrenched intolerance, we stand in solidarity with BIPOC Americans, and with those pressing for change across the country and globe. We stand in solidarity with our Pemi campers, staff, alumni, and families of color.

We acknowledge that, as a camp for boys founded over 100 years ago, our very existence was established in—and allowed to thrive within—a system of white male privilege that continues to this day. For all of Pemi’s existence, our beloved “Campfire Song” has urged us to look inwards in the spirit of reflection and fellowship: “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.” Today, as momentous events on the American scene compel us to say something, we at Camp Pemi resolve to do more in order to address the racial inequities that should have been eliminated long ago from a nation dedicated to freedom and equality.

We resolve as an organization to channel our expressions of outrage and solidarity into the rigorous and considered process that this moment calls for, to learn from “past mistakes of the head,” and to align our “good will of the heart” with concrete actions that affirm that Black lives matter.

We pledge to keep you informed as we formalize plans for concrete actions, improvements, and initiatives – including revisiting our mission statement – in our endeavor to ensure that Pemi is a safe, diverse, inclusive, and supportive place for all. As we more formally engage in this work, we are listening, and we welcome your partnership.

– The Board, Directors, and Shareholders of Camp Pemigewassett

2020 Visitor Policy

On Monday, May 11, Camp Pemi made the difficult yet necessary decision to cancel our camper sessions for the summer. The health and safety of our community, campers, staff, parents, and alumni was paramount in our thinking.

To ensure a healthy and safe campus, we are following the appropriate local, New Hampshire, and federal recommendations. In addition, below are Pemi’s specific guidelines for visits during the summer of 2020.

Tours for Prospective Families

We encourage and look forward to prospective families visiting Pemi this summer as they consider Camp Pemi for 2021 and beyond. To schedule a tour, please be in touch with Director Danny Kerr.

Day Visits

For Pemi friends, alums, staff, and current families who are traveling through Wentworth, NH this summer, we welcome a single day visit with prior approval. To schedule your visit, please use the contact information below.

Once on site, please follow the appropriate protocols for social distancing and bring a face mask to wear into any building.

Pemi Families 
Danny Kerr – Director
[email protected] / 603-903-0735

Alumni & Staff 
Kenny Moore – Director
[email protected] / 216-695-1759

Other Inquiries
Reed Harrigan – Facilities Director
603-764-5833 / Pemi’s Office Number

Overnight Visits

At this time, overnight visits to Camp Pemi are prohibited.

Camp Pemigewassett 2020 Summer

Dear Pemi Families,

Every Saturday night during the season, we end our campfire with the song that asks, “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.” While our hearts are undeniably eager to open Pemi for 2020, everything we currently know and can reasonably project about the course of COVID-19 in the coming months tells us that opening this year risks being a grave mistake of the head. As a result, the Pemi Board and Managing Directors, informed by a galaxy of governmental, public health, and camping entities, have reached the very difficult but unanimous decision to cancel all camper sessions for 2020.

Throughout Pemigewassett’s 113-year history, we have never before failed to open for a summer season. We made it safely through two world wars, the Spanish flu, an outbreak of viral pneumonia, the polio siege of the 1950s, and, most recently, 2009’s swine flu. We have always felt confident that we could keep camp safe and healthy for our campers and staff, despite the many and varied challenges. 2020 is different. Without readily available point-of-care diagnostic testing, antibody testing, or an effective vaccine, we simply cannot be sure of keeping the novel coronavirus out of camp. Without an effective therapy, we cannot minimize the threat to any camper or staff member who might contract the disease and, consequently, threaten the families and communities to which they would have to return. Social distancing is the only effective response at the moment, and Pemi’s infrastructure and program are irreversibly based on the communal living that is at the center of the traditional camping experience.

This was obviously an extremely difficult decision for us to reach. Boys have never needed a summer of togetherness, accomplishment, and mutual support more than they do right now. We understand—and share to our core—the great disappointment that will be felt by the boys who have enrolled for this season (especially this year’s wonderful group of 15s), by their parents, by our excellent and eager staff, and by the thousands of Pemi veterans out in the world at large who know first-hand how much each successful camp season means to everyone who is part of it. Pemi has always been in the business of teaching boys and young men that success and happiness in life are founded on determination and resolve and the courage to identify what it is you want—and then the willingness to throw yourself, 100%, into making it happen. It’s that resilient spirit that animates us right now as we look forward with eagerness to the 2021 season. But we also teach Pemi boys that the fulfilling life is about careful planning and risk assessment and not allowing sheer will and strong desire blind you to hard realities. That’s where we are right now.

Looking ahead, we encourage you to adhere to all sensible, official guidelines for managing life in a time of COVID-19. But while you are safe at home or venturing cautiously out, we hope you will reach out to your Pemi friends, young and old, to share a kind word, whether on your own or in ways that Pemi facilitates. To lead the way, Danny and Kenny have prepared a video message so you can hear from them directly today. They look forward, in the days that follow, to checking in with all of you campers personally via phone.

Parents will be receiving an email from us laying out refund, rollover, or gifting options for the deposits and tuition you have paid.

Pemi missives traditionally end with our special banquet toast, Good Luck, Long Life, and Joy! We need to take some time to mourn our loss of the regular 2020 season. Let’s also, though, resolve to be our best selves at this trying moment, to be kind to one another, to stay healthy, and, finally, to find joy in all the unexpected places our new reality has opened up for us.

Tom Reed, Jr.
For the Pemi Board of Directors

COVID-19 Update – April 7

April 7 Update

Pemi Families and Friends,

In this uncertain, unprecedented time, some things remain firm and constant, none of them more important than our commitment to our mission and to the welfare of the broad Pemi community.

As Parent Questionnaires have started to pour in, many of you have wondered if Pemi might not open this summer, while at the same time telling us how hopeful you and your boys are that the 2020 season will take place. Indeed, your boys are also “our boys,” and we share both your questions and your hopes, especially as we head into these next few weeks, which should be telling. With the promise of transparency for our families and with a great hope of being able to provide all of the benefits a summer at Pemi will bring to your sons, we are taking all the steps necessary to determine the best path forward for the 2020 season. The health and safety of our extended camp family—our campers, parents, alumni, staff, vendors, suppliers, and our Wentworth neighbors—remain central to every conversation.

Since our previous communication, the Pemi Board of Directors met by Zoom last weekend to consider the prospect of Pemi 2020, drawing on thoughts gleaned from a small focus group of parents convened earlier in the week. Among the many topics related to current challenges, we looked at the calendar to consider key dates for upcoming decisions. We anticipate having significantly more information on May 4, after the New Hampshire stay-at-home order has been reconsidered by Governor Sununu. We expect to be able to make an announcement soon thereafter regarding whether we will be able to welcome our First Session and Full Session boys on June 27, or if we will have to consider alternatives.

Despite the uncertainties that will take clearer shape in the coming weeks, we are preparing for the season with all of our efforts going towards identifying and creating the infrastructure that must be in place for us to consider opening safely and that can be dependably maintained throughout the season. For Pemi, this means not only proceeding with the preparations that always occurs in April and May —staff hiring and contracts, opening and preparing the grounds after the long winter, processing forms, and staff onboarding and training throughout June—but also planning and implementing the additional protocols, staff hires, supply purchases, and facilities that could be required to operate in the time of Covid-19. Predictably, these additional concerns and requirements are augmented daily as we monitor the evolving situation and engage with our many resources.

For parents, however, we know that an important immediate question concerns payments and refunds. Here is what we can tell you at this time…

Withdrawal deadline extended: We’re extending the traditional May 1 “withdrawal” deadline to June 1, to enable and encourage families to stay enrolled until further information is available. This means that you may still request a full refund of your tuition until June 1, by which time we certainly will have clarity on the summer.

Freezing tuition payments: The next scheduled payment for our families is April 15, but at this time it makes sense to delay the next payment date for tuition until later in the spring.

Please know that in the event that a camp session must be cancelled, we will provide timely notice and anticipate offering families a number of options, including but not limited to:

* Re-enrollment in a special, modified 2020 session (if we go this route)
* Roll-over of your 2020 deposit to 2021
* Roll-over of paid tuition to the 2021 season
* Full refund (including deposit)
* Gifting a chosen amount to Camp Pemigewassett

Our next scheduled email update will be on or about April 21. Then, or earlier, we anticipate distributing a survey for parents to provide us with more information to help us in our planning as we consider some possible outcomes. As a reminder, should you miss one of our direct email communications, they will be posted on our blog.

As always, thank you for your support, your understanding, and your commitment to Camp Pemigewassett. Just as we weathered the Spanish Flu in 1918 and viral pneumonia in 1942, we will get through this Covid-19 pandemic!

In the meantime, as we do the right thing by hunkering down in our individual homes, our appreciation for community and connection—the simple pleasures of singing, playing, living, and learning together—grows stronger by the day. Until we are next in touch, let us know if we can help in any way.

As always, good luck, long life, and joy!

Danny Kerr, Director
Kenny Moore, Director
Tom Reed, Jr., Board President

Camp Pemi’s Response to COVID-19

March 24 Update

Pemi community,

Two weeks ago, Directors Kenny Moore and Danny Kerr, along with Pemi Board President Tom Reed, sent Pemi’s first update on our response to COVID-19 to our current families. You will find that message from March 10 below.

Since then, our COVID-19 committee, Pemi’s administrative team, and Board of Directors have discussed this situation on an almost daily basis. Leaning on information from the medical community and government agencies, we continue to monitor the evolving issues surrounding Coronavirus. The health and safety of our camp community, our campers, parents, alumni, & staff, is paramount and central in each conversation. 

In a broader spectrum, we’re also meeting weekly with directors of our neighboring camps: Merriwood, Moosilauke, and Kingswood. This group is likely to expand to include a few others with whom we have close ties. We’re all in this together, and the camaraderie, respect, and affection for one another that we share is especially buoying at this time.

The New Hampshire Camp Directors Association has reached out to all member camps (~100) and will act as a key resource for us. The organization will serve to speak with one voice as we seek guidance from those agencies whose support we will need as summer draws near. Our own Kenny Moore sits on the board of nhcamps.org, so we should be among the first to hear news as it emerges over the coming weeks and months.

During an uncertain time, frequent and transparent communication is essential in moving forward together as one camp community. Although we are scattered throughout the world, the Pemi spirit is alive and well. Stay tuned to Pemi’s Facebook page and Instagram account for new and creative ways to connect with the Pemi community. We look forward to bringing Pemi into your home very soon.

Our next scheduled update will follow the Board of Directors meeting on April 4 & 5. At that time, we will be back in touch to share further news and information. Should you miss one of our direct email communications, they will be posted on our blog.

Until then, Good luck, long life, and joy!

March 10 Update

Dear Pemi Families and Friends,

Though Opening Day of our 2020 season is still months away, we are looking forward with growing eagerness to a wonderful, active summer in the White Mountains, where our campers can be unplugged and relieved from the stresses of hype and social media, knowing that the adults charged with their care will remain, as always, connected and vigilant.

Pemi’s long history means that we have had considerable experience with challenging communicable disease outbreaks in the past, including the swine flu epidemic of 2009. You can be sure that we will respond to the national and international presence of COVID-19 in ways that rigorously prioritize the health and safety of your sons—always our topmost considerations.

One of the hallmarks of Pemi over the years has been our clear and timely communication with parents and guardians of our campers. Although Opening Day is still over three months away, you can expect to hear from us over the coming weeks and months with relevant updates based on the evolving situation and the advice of government agencies and the medical community.

We are monitoring global and regional developments with the novel coronavirus on a daily basis through the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization, and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. We encourage you to refer to these and other professional sources for factual and objective information.

Meanwhile, we have formed a special committee, made up of directors, board members, and a pediatric emergency room physician who is a veteran of our summer staff to lead our response as we prepare for the season in the most thoughtful and professional way possible. We have also been directly in touch with the American Camp Association, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and other excellent summer camps in our area to identify best practices and plan for the summer, most all of which reflect the high standards that we have implemented in the past and are familiar with.

For now, thank you for your trust in Camp Pemigewassett. Do feel free to contact us with any emerging questions or concerns.

Best to you all,

Tom Reed, Jr., Board President
Danny Kerr, Director
Kenny Moore, Director

Links of Interest

Cans from Campers – Video describing our Opening Day Food Drive

Pemi 2019 Video Slideshow

Why Summer Camp? – The American Camp Association

Alumni Magazine – News and Notes – February 2020

Welcome to the next installment of the Alumni Newsletter. This edition, Alumni News and Notes, offers updates from members of our Alumni Community, whether that be former campers, staff, or parents and friends! We invite you to write your own update in the comments section of the blog post via the Pemi website.

CONGRATULATIONS

Mike, Andrew, and Rob – August 2019

Andrew Billo got engaged to Annie Schaeffing on top of Mt. Cube in August and then celebrated the day with family and friends, including Rob Verger, Roselle Chen, and Mike Sasso near Bradford, VT. They will get married in August 2020 in Lyme, NH, with Rob Grabill officiating and Rob Verger, Mike Sasso, and James Finley joining the wedding party. Recently, Andrew was also appointed to a new role at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York, where he is responsible for mobilizing support for reproductive health needs and the prevention of gender-based violence in humanitarian crises around the world.

The New Hampshire Environmental Educators recently elected Larry Davis to their Board of Directors for a two-year term!

Willy Friendman – “I wanted to share that on Monday, November 25th, my wife Jess Smith and I welcomed Margot Eliza Friedman to the family. Everyone’s happy, healthy, and waiting for Pemi to start accepting girls! :)”

Chris, Kendra, and Olivia McKendry

Chris McKendry and his wife Kendra welcomed their daughter Olivia to the world on November 27th, 2019. The two married in 2016 with the wedding being officiated Kenny Moore. Residing in southern California, Chris has worked in the automotive/motorsports industry for the last ten years while Kendra has enjoyed a multitude of roles in the food industry.

Will Murtha (camper 1995-1996, staff 1999 & 2001) and his wife Lauren celebrated the birth of their son Finn Robert Murtha in January of 2020. They reside in Oakland, California, where Lauren works as a nurse practitioner and Will in renewable energy. Will is already eyeing Pemi as an opportunity to connect his son to the New England environs in which he grew up.

Rory Shaw

On January 22, 2020, Conor Shaw and his wife Rachel Clark celebrated the birth of their first child—Rory Germain Shaw. Both Rory and his mother are doing well. It’s not clear yet whether Rory will be nicknamed hardtack or bean—but they have plenty of time to chew it over.

Thurman Smith recently published “Supreme Damage: Rescuing Representative Government from Judicial Overreach.”  Check it out as an e-book or paperback.

Riley Smythe

Doug Smythe shares the following, “My wife and I are still living and working in Philly. My wife, Emily, is a pediatrician. She’s in her 2nd year of residency at the Philly children’s hospital (CHOP). I work for Toll Brothers (national real estate developer) doing acquisitions and development. We welcomed a new family member last summer with the birth of our daughter Riley. She’s coming up on 6 months and doing great.

Critter Tamm is engaged and getting married on June 6th in upstate NY to Drew Bishop. Expect many Pemi Alumni to be in attendance and a stirring rendition of ‘Bloomer Girl’ to be sung, captured, and shared on social media soon thereafter. Critter and Drew live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Critter works at JP

Eli Miller

Morgan Asset Management focused on our Digital Strategy, quickly approaching his 10 year mark there in June. He recently completed my MBA from NYU Stern this past summer.

Johanna Zabawa and her husband Nick Salay welcomed daughter Charlotte (Charlie) Zabawa Salay on October 9th 2019. They look forward to introducing Charlie to Pemi in summer 2020. Charlie looks forward to growing into her Camp Pemi onesie, going for her first hike up Mt. Cube, and rest hour!

Eli Naftali Miller was born May 26, 2019 to proud parents Jeff and Michelle Miller!

PEMI ENCOUNTERS

“I recently visited Peter and Cassandra Siegenthaler to see their baby son, Julius,” Ian Axness shares, “which was wonderful and profound. I’m starting my second decade in NYC by conducting a performance exploration of “La Bohème” at Mannes School of Music, applying to grad school, and continuing to play freelance piano all over town. (Just recorded an accompaniment track with Willie Zabar for a comedy bit!)”

Sandy Bryant ran into Doug Eisenhart a few weeks ago who said that Henry continues to be well and keeps in touch with Pemi friends. Doug recently retired as Director of Career Services from Simmons College.

Jacob Smalley, former camper and Assistant Counselor in 2020, had this story to tell about running into a Pemi cabin mate: Jacob plays for a soccer club called GPS (Global Premier Soccer) and on the weekend after Thanksgiving, at a statewide tournament, he played against a team called the Boston Bolts. “It was bitterly cold and I wasn’t sure it was him at first,” writes Jacob, “but when I got onto the field, I heard his teammates say his name and sure enough, it was Arlo Grey! Arlo was in my cabin in Senior 2!”

IN MEMORIAM

Pemi received word that Wes Ackley died on January 10th, his obituary can be found here. Wes spent 10 total summers at Pemi, starting as a camper in 1952 and then for a number of years on staff in the early 1960s. During his years on staff, he served as the leader of the Intermediate Campcraft and Trip Program, introducing countless boys to the mountains.

Bill Dickerman died on January 14 at his home in Rindge, NH. Bill’s tenure at Pemi started in 1958 as a camper, and over the course of his 11 summers he dutifully led the Junior Camp as a Division Head and Head of Junior Camp. In 1977 & 1978, Bill served as the Assistant Director, overseeing one of the most successful years of the Trip Program. A career educator, Bill loved the outdoors.

Paul Greene passed away on December 27, 2019 shares daughter Carolyn Dalgliesh. “He was an amazing man and will be missed tremendously.  He truly loved his summers at Camp Pemi and passed on the gift and love of summer camp to all of his children and grandchildren.”

Ray Murphy died on December 22, 2019, he was 86 years old. He and his younger brothers, Bill and Bob, attended Pemi from 1944 to 1948. Ray enjoyed playing in the Silver Coronet Band during his Pemi days and loved playing five different instruments. He played baseball and enjoyed swimming as well!

Ray’s love of Pemi led him to send Dan (1971 to 1975) and Patrick (1977 – 1982) as second generation campers! In more recent history, a third generation of the Murphy family tree graced the shores of Lower Baker with Danny and Jacob Murphy and James Minzesheimer all attending in the 2000’s. Danny is now in his second year at Georgetown Law School and will be competing in the Moot Court National Championship this February in NYC. He has accepted an Internship with Ropes and Gray in Boston for the Summer of 2020. Dan, the elder, has enjoyed meeting a few Pemi alums while working on Nantucket in the summer. He also continues to enjoy his work as a Trustee and Vice-President of the Rittner Fund.

ALUMNI NEWS

Scott Anthony offers the following – Since it has been over 50 years, I suppose it might be time for an update! I was a camper through CIT from 1957 through 1966, and, as I have told many people, the summers at Pemi basically influenced the entire course of my life. My professional life as a musician began with hearing Barney Prentice, a camper who was a year older than I in Lower 3 (I think) during the 1959 season, playing banjo. I was hooked! I now make half my living above Social Security playing banjo professionally, as I have for the last 50+ years (santhony.com/banjo). My love of nature, inspired by Clarence Dike at Pemi, led to a degree in Ecology at Dartmouth in 1970 and indirectly to my other career as a fine artist (santhony.com) that has relatively recently been re-ignited.

From 1974 to 2006, I lived in San Francisco where my ex-wife still lives in a house we built in 1978 up on Potrero Hill. From 1976 to 1984, I played intermissions for the Turk Murphy Jazz Band at Earthquake McGoon’s five nights a week, and during the day painted watercolor and acrylic landscapes and seascapes. I was a house-husband, helping to raise two wonderful daughters, my older one, Alix, a teacher at Julia Morgan School in Oakland and the other, Katie, an RN in Chapel Hill, NC. When the art market pretty much died around 1987 or 1988, I needed to find a new source of income so I taught myself computer programming and was first, a contract developer and then later an employee programmer with a couple of Bay Area companies. Since 2006, I have been living with my current wife, Karen, in Pacifica, just south of SF, playing lots of music, painting lots of paintings and occasionally writing software to fill personal or artistic needs. To keep my brain working I have also done a bunch of website work for the now defunct San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation (learning PHP and WordPress) and some book design and layout.

Very best wishes for 2020!!!

Jonathan Belinowiz (1968-1971) just started a new job with small Managed Service Provider (MSP) called FlightPath IT.  FlightPath IT provides internet, security, backup, networking, cloud solutions and disaster recovery to medium and small businesses in the greater Boston area.

John Brossard (1965 & 1966) shares that he and his wife Amy are now grandparents of a beautiful little girl, Seraphina, born November 7.

(l-r) John’s son-in-law Heath Harmon, eldest daughter Aubrey Harmon, new daughter-in-law Laura Stebbins, daughter Anna, wife Mary and John.

John Carman (1964-1978) and his wife Mary are busy remodeling their home in Louisville, KY, and plan on visiting Maine and Pemi sometime this year. This past July, John’s daughter Anna, a Pemi West Alum (2006), married Laura Stebbins in Estes Park, Colorado. Both are medical professionals and plan to move back to Kentucky this year to be closer to their families.

Henry Chapman took a job in Kansas City working for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office studying homicides and non-fatal shootings. He just finished up a year on the road traveling with his girlfriend to 36 states, visiting State and National Parks on their way. They also hiked 1,200-miles on the Pacific Crest Trail!

Peter Cloutier shares an update, “Last summer, I started a new job as Growth & Partnerships Lead at ChaseDesign, a leading retail marketing, strategy, and design firm.  They have offices in the Battery Park area in NYC, where I spend most days, and are headquartered in the finger lakes region of NY State in a small but beautiful town called Skaneateles.  All good and loving the new challenge.” Son Matt Cloutier is currently interning with NPR’s Ted Radio Hour at their HQ offices in Washington, DC. The internship ends in late May, just the right timing for Pemi 2020!

Fred Fauver is volunteering on a build of a replica of Virginia, the first ship built in Maine, 1607, by the short-lived Popham colony of English settlers. https://mfship.org/

Emilie Geissinger writes in, “I have been living in Newfoundland, Canada for almost 4 years now working on my PhD in Biology at Memorial University. My research focuses on overwinter survival of young Atlantic cod. When I am not doing research, I am either volunteering as a coding instructor, teaching coding languages to researchers, or enjoying numerous outdoor activities in Newfoundland. I plan to finish my PhD in the next year (hopefully) and continue research in arctic and sub-arctic fish ecology (somewhere North).

AJ Guff is finishing up the 2nd year of a 2-year MBA program at University of Chicago Booth. He just accepted an offer to join Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Leveraged Finance team back in NYC after graduation. Soon, AJ will be participating in the Chicago Polar Bear Club’s Polar Plunge in Lake Michigan, deciding to raise money for the Rittner Fund, and has set up a donor page here:   https://lpbcfundraising.com/participant/1201549 .

Davis Morrell, Jordan Morrell, and Dan Kasper

Dan Kasper and Jordan Morrell collectively checked a few items off of their bucket lists in recent months. First, they reunited in August in Seattle to catch the Rolling Stones performance—some 20+ years after they first saw the world’s greatest rock and roll band together. Then in October they came together to attend the World Series in DC and cheer on their beloved Washington Nationals to their first World Series victory. They were joined by Jordan’s brothers (and Pemi alums)—Jarrett and Geoff—as well as Jordan’s son, Davis, who will be attending Pemi this summer! They also met up with Pemi alum, Noah Trister, at the ballpark.

After 25 years of practicing law, Ben Larkin decided to do something completely different. He is now working with alumni, parents, and friends of New Hampton School – doing a little fundraising and spreading the good word about the school.  He keeps in touch from time to time with Charlie Malcolm, Lance Latham, and Rob and Deb Grabill.  And, of course, he sees a guy named Russ Brummer on just about a daily basis there on the campus at New Hampton.

In Feb of last year, Dave Nagle accepted a position at Actron Engineering, in Clearwater. They are an Aerospace and Defense contractor.

Walt Newcomb and his wife will celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary on the 3rd of April. “We are writing this from Paris where we’ve spent the past 10 days with our son Charles (Chuck!) and his spouse. Bendy and I traveled to Vietnam for a week, then in Malaysia for 2 weeks, then on to Singapore for 5 days. Our daughter and son-in-law, Virginia & Chris Smith, are expecting their second child, a boy and potential future Pemi camper, in May. If all goes well, he may be the 4th Newcomb descendant to attend Pemi.” [Editors Note – Huzzah!]

Stephen Funk Pearson has recently added the Hemingway Cottage to the options at his property on Lake Winnisquam. They can now host 35 plus people in their cabins. “NH Audubon let me know that the first Osprey nest in the Lakes Region (since the 60’s)  has produced 43 fledged chicks in its 20 years of service. (cabinsonthecove.com).

Peter Rapelye moved back to Massachusetts last year after 15 years in Princeton, NJ, where his wife Janet was Dean of Admissions at Princeton University. She is now President of COFHE, headquartered at MIT. Peter has been elected Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society.

Matt Sherman is working for Tesla in Reno, Nevada, but this past year had the chance to work on some projects at the new Shanghai Gigafactory. He was there for almost two months as part of getting electric cars to more of the world’s population faster.

Dan atop of Mt. Cube

In the meantime, Matt has enjoyed exploring the Lake Tahoe area on hikes in the summer and ski weekends in the winter.

Dan Snyder writes, “I spent the fall of 2019 recharging after handing over the keys at MolecularMD and looking for the next chapter. My recharging included a week in New Hampshire and a beautiful Fall hike up Cube. I recently took a role to leading the commercial efforts at Tasso, a Seattle based venture that has developed a new user friendly, painless blood collection device for a range of testing applications.  No more finger pricks 🙂 Excited to work with this great team of people.”

Good luck, long life, and joy! –Kenny Moore

Pemi Counselor Internship Initiative

In the fall of 2018, Pemi identified an emerging challenge and started to brainstorm. Increasingly, our best staff members were finding it difficult to return for that third or fourth season, the one where their wisdom and experience make a huge difference for the Pemi community. Instead, in this intensely competitive national work climate, they felt pressure to diversify their resumes by securing a professional internship to improve their odds at landing an ideal job. So we thought, our alumni and parent networks are vast; let’s connect our most talented counselors—the ones we really want to keep in the fold for an additional summer or two—with a 4-to 6-week internship designed to take place between the end of their undergraduate school year in the early spring and before the start of their summer work at Pemi. By facilitating our counselors in this way, we might also allow them to extend their time at Pemi, taking on positions with increased responsibilities that they are unlikely to be offered in other work settings. We called our idea the “Pemi Counselor Internship Initiative.”

The Program Launches

For over a century, counselors at Pemi have developed essential life skills that are sought after in the wider world: leadership techniques, oral and written communication skills, time-management routines, the ability to solve problems and guide others to do the same, and all while working with others in a communal setting. Generations of counselors who have graduated to the broader working world tell us that these skills that they acquired during their summers as counselors at Pemi have served them incredibly well in any number of professional work settings.

So, last winter, we asked three alumni about Pemi’s idea to facilitate meaningful connections for our counselors through professional internships. They not only responded enthusiastically, but each went on to create a spring internship position within his field, allowing three talented Pemi counselors to gain crucial professional experience and to return to work at camp for the summer. We give hearty thanks to Greg Bowes (Albright Capital, Washington, D.C.), Bob Hogue (In-Depth Engineering, Columbia, MD), and Roger McEniry (Dolan McEniry Capital Management LLC, Chicago, IL) for helping us launch the Pemi Counselor Internship Initiative.

Year 1 of the Pemi Counselor Internship Initiative

Daniel coaching 10 and Under Basketball

After nine summers at Pemi—seven as a camper and two as a counselor—Daniel Bowes hoped to return to Pemi in 2019. Daniel, an Economics major in the College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University, also sought a traditional internship in financial services, economics, or consulting fields that would be a valuable steppingstone to serve his long-term professional goals. Daniel was conflicted, as an internship would rule out a return to Pemi, even though he was ready to assume a position at camp that would give him greater managerial experience.

Alumnus Roger McEniry, managing partner of Dolan McEniry Capital Management LLC, started his Pemi career as a camper in 1967 and after six summers, began a distinguished career as a Pemi counselor and Division Head. When Roger learned about Daniel’s professional goals, he sponsored a 5-week internship positioned between Daniel’s last exam at Lehigh and his first summer obligation at Pemi so he might, “learn new, practical skills and build his resumé and then return to Pemi to fill an important role that would benefit the camp community.”

While at Dolan McEniry, Daniel was exposed to the intricacies of the corporate bond market, from researching market factors to investing protocols to evaluating the quality of companies. Daniel shared, “I learned how to act professionally in an office setting, received resumé guidance, and went through mock interview situations. I continued my practice with Microsoft Excel and applied concepts from class work such as financial statement analysis.” Daniel entered his internship with excellent “soft skills” that he’d developed as a counselor at Pemi, including listening closely and communicating clearly, team building, and personal accountability, which served him well in building rapport with his new mentors. “The investment team was generous with their time, expertise, and patience,” said Daniel. “They gave me meaningful projects, provided excellent guidance, and encouraged questions.” Roger was equally positive. “We loved having Daniel at Dolan McEniry. He was great to have around, made a solid contribution in a short period of time, and learned a lot.”

Ned presenting Daniel with his 10 Year Tie

Daniel’s 2019 summer, his 10th total at Pemi, was also a great success. Assuming the demanding position of Junior Camp Division Head, he oversaw a staff of 10 counselors and 40 boys and did an excellent job guiding our youngest Division. His peers awarded him with the Joe Campbell Award at the end of the summer, given to the Pemi Counselor who brings (among other attributes) integrity, generosity, and happiness to others. Daniel’s two summer opportunities—an internship in finance and an increased position of leadership at Pemi—both contributed to his continued growth (and his standout resumé), while both organizations benefitted from his participation.

Pemi counselors Ned Roosevelt and Patterson Malcolm shared similar outstanding experiences. Ned’s 5-week internship at Albright Capital in Washington, D.C. offered him the chance to enhance his technical skills in Microsoft Excel and Bloomberg Terminal but to also learn about the field of emerging markets private investments. Ned is currently a Senior at Wheaton College studying Business Administration and Management. In being able to have a solid internship and then return to Pemi in the role of Lower Division Head, Ned said, “A large part of why my experience was so positive during my internship was because of the support from the people at Albright Capital. I, in turn, wanted to help create a positive experience for everyone at camp this summer.”

Patterson, majoring in Engineering at Swarthmore College, was given the rare opportunity at In-Depth Engineering in Columbia, MD, whose core business is the development of software systems for the United States Department of Defense. Patterson was given challenging and rewarding tasks, furthering his coding skills to improve himself as an engineer. He noted, “In-Depth really used their program to help further the development of their interns. I felt supported from the top-down and part of the team.” Patterson is currently exploring the possibility of joining In-Depth for further employment in the future.

Patterson coaching 12 and Under Soccer

In both cases, their practical experience in a professional setting furthered their understanding in their respective disciplines and subsequently enhanced their managerial and supervisory roles at Pemi. Again, a win-win for all involved and a model of the Pemi network in action.

Next Steps

Given the successful launch of this program, we are looking to further grow the Pemi Counselor Internship Initiative, and are asking members of the extended Pemi community—especially our Alumni and Parent networks—to consider sponsoring an internship for a qualified, ambitious staff member who will bring the strong skills and community values developed through his work at Pemi.

This year’s veteran staff members are particularly strong, and are looking for experiences in the following fields. If you are involved or connected in any of these areas, or are in another field and interested in sponsoring an internship or by assisting in professional networking, please be in touch.

  • computer science
  • engineering
  • politics
  • finance
  • marketing & advertising
  • publishing

Thank you for supporting the Pemi community in our ongoing efforts to retain strong role models at camp while remaining relevant in today’s competitive environment. Key internships will allow us to keep these outstanding young adults—Pemi’s “culture bearers”—for one or two more summers where they can do a world of good for campers before they move on to their future successful professions.

Kenny Moore

Defining Photos of 2019

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!

From one of Pemi’s newest traditions, the Junior – Senior campfire. During the first week, every Senior camper is assigned a Junior buddy to mentor.

R. Hambleton set to perform at the 2019 Vaudeville Show during the 4th of July. For the first time, Vaudeville was held outside on the lawn by the Junior Lodge.

Now in its fifth year, our Opening Day Food Drive – Cans from Campers – continues to provide crucial summer supplies to our local food pantry. To learn more about this wonderful community service initiative, click here.

Lowers tramping over Mt. Chocurua during a three day trek in the White Mountains.

One of Pemi’s most popular occupations, Nature Photography, now takes special trips to capture Nature’s stunning beauty.

Now partnering with Deer Hill Expeditions, Pemi West made a triumphant return to Colorado and a new era for the program, focusing on canoeing, service, and mountaineering. To learn more about Pemi West for 2020, click here.

C. Nook on the bump during a dramatic win for the 10 & Under Baseball Team.

P. Cowles during a dominating performance for the 15 & Under Baseball Team.

Our female staff members are an invaluable part of the Pemi staff. Click here to read more about their vital role at Pemi.

N. Andersson working on his Junior Nature Book in the Nature Lodge. He passed the field test and earned his Pemi Brave award.

A new stage and layout for our annual Gilbert & Sullivan performance, this summer’s show – The Mikado.

… and finally drops in the West.

#8: Final Toast and Clive Bean’s Review

2019 Newsletter # 8

Pemigewassett Newsletter Number 8, 2019

Incredibly, Pemi’s 112th season is now officially out of the planning calendar and into the history books. It was a wonderful summer by any measure you care to apply, among our sentimental favorites being the verve and volume with which singing in the mess hall was regularly conducted, the moxie and mayhem of Bean Soup, the grit and determination of our sportsmen in the athletic arenas (dry and wet), and the number and unquestioned sincerity of tears shed as the boys said farewell to their counselors, each other, and the physical place on Saturday morning. Put as simply as possible, 2019 was a banner Pemi season.

As has been our custom in recent years, this number will be comprised of Danny Kerr’s toast at our final banquet, held Thursday, August 15, and Clive Bean’s review of The Mikado, whose blockbuster two-day run occupied the previous two evenings. So, with no further ado, Danny and Clive.

May I propose a toast?!

Here’s to the summer of 2019 at Camp Pemigewassett, the 112th in Pemi’s rich and storied history. A summer that began seven weeks ago for campers, eight weeks ago for staff (“We. . . all. . . got your back, yeah, we all got your back!”), nine weeks ago for those attending Clinic Week, and 12 weeks ago for the grey beards and D-Heads who met in Gloucester, Mass for our “May Summit”….. held this year in June, as we began sharing our dreams, designs, and visions for this Pemi season. How bittersweet to reflect back on the summer of 2019 and to think of bidding you farewell the day after tomorrow, as we all head back “from whence we came.”

Truth be told, the summer of 2019 really began months before then, way back in October of 2018, when scores of our returning campers and families sat by their computers until the stroke of midnight on Oct 11th to apply for summer Pemi’s 112th edition. And congratulations to Billy Murnighan, whose application was the very first one we received that early morning. Who will be the first camper to apply for 2020?

Here’s to a summer that concludes as late in the summer as it ever will, with leaves on Route 25A turning an autumn tint and Pemi boys playing roof ball in the evening with barely a shred of daylight left, a summer that by all accounts has been a marvelous success.

Here’s to the 253 (exactly) campers who graced the shores of Lower Baker Pond this year, campers from 25 states—half of the states in the union!—and from nine countries around the world. Here’s to the 74 campers who made the decision to attend sleep-away camp for the first time, to the 22 who have collected, or will collect, their five-year bowls. And yes, Isaiah Abbey, Gordo Robbins and Elliot Jones; here’s to campers in their eighth summer at Pemi.

Here’s to the talented and dedicated counselor staff of 2019. What an exceptionally strong crew we have this summer! Thank you to those cabin counselors and assistant counselors, the young men who share such close quarters with their boys and who, for some inexplicable reason, are able to inspire, mentor, and capture the imagination of their campers in ways their own parents and we senior staff cannot.

And big, big ups to our Division Heads this summer, D. Bowes, Rosie, Andy, and Bert. What a “Dream Team” to have leading cabin life.

Cheers to the incredibly hard working crew that Reed Harrigan leads each day with vigor, dedication and love; Frank, Neven, Dennis, Barbara, and Judy; to our Office Managers extraordinaire, Heather and Kim (and to Kim’s perfect score on ACA Day!!!); and here’s to Dottie who somehow manages time for us all, even me, and attends to tasks both large and small as she cares for our community with a heaping dose of maternal wisdom, grace, and love. Oh! And there’s the guy she’s married to, leader of singing, writer of newsletters and Bean Soup articles, source of historical fact and perspective.

Big ups to our Dining Service Director Tom Ciglar and his crew, 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 everyone in the community, and with freshly baked bread each day, too.

Here’s to Mr. Moore, my 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. I wish I had a Mets’ victory for every question he’s answered this summer!

Cheers to Deb Pannell (and Hannah!) and all the creative endeavors down in Art World (Wow! What an Art Show!); to Charlie and Andy, our Athletic Directors, and all the coaches in the athletics program who always put Pemi’s values of sportsmanship, improved skills and participation first. Double boom!

Kudos to Sam Papel and the Trippies who sent scores of trips tramp, tramp, tramping (and paddling) out to the majestic mountains and the mighty rivers both near and far.

Here’s to Jonathan, Taiko, and Sabrina for another remarkable G & S performance, and to our magnificent music mama Michaella for another summer of beautiful harmony and song.

To Chloe, Charlotte, Hattie, Mark, and Mollie and all the exhilarating, yet safe, fun we had sailing, canoeing, and waterskiing on LBP; to Brian for his “Grateful” approach to running wood shop; to Coach Chris on the tennis courts, Larry (50 summers!) and Deb in the Nature Lodge, Steve on the archery range…and all of the other instructors who brought major energy and mojo to occupation periods every day.

And let’s not forget Head of Occupations, Wendy Young, who oversaw the schedule of 253 boys this summer with proficiency, thoughtfulness, and a positive vibe each day; or our dynamic dual Heads of Staff, Erik and Will, who offered leadership and accountability at every turn.

And thank you to our truly amazing Health Staff—Allyn, Rachel, Mary, Billy, Liz, and Dr. Sabrina—for bringing an expert level of care and professionalism I’ve never seen in my many years as director!

Here’s to Penny, bus driver extraordinaire, whose safe and dependable driving was matched only by her immediate love of Pemi.

Here’s to the things that were unique at Pemi in 2019: outside Vaudeville, times two; “victory” cheers in the Mess Hall; a clean sweep of events on “Moose Day”; more staff children running around preseason than I can ever recall; buffet lunches and dinners to combat whatever that was; an outdoor Sunday Service in front of the Shop; a last inning comeback win in a counselor baseball game for the ages; a mystery horse named Patch patrolling center field; and this splendid weather, unmatched in recent memory, so many stunningly beautiful days, with crisp mornings, blazing afternoons, and that peaceful golden haze across the pond at day’s end that we never tire of admiring.

Here’s to all-camp events at Pemi: Bean Soup, when we laugh at ourselves and anticipate “things to look for”; Campfire, when we entertain ourselves with story, song, poems and Devil Sticks; and Sunday Meeting, when we have an opportunity to pause and reflect on topics such as three legendary Pemi staff members of the past, the adventures of our Pemi Westers, 2019, and the certainty that we all have unique and distinguishing talent.

Here’s to our twenty-four 15-year-old campers, to their combined 102 summers at Pemi (yes, you heard that right!) and to the lifelong friendships they’ve created. I know from personal experience that someday you’ll participate in each other’s weddings, be godparents to each other’s children, and hopefully become the next generation of counselors at Pemi. And thank you, especially, for reminding us how cool it is to be the oldest boys at camp, in all of the best and the right ways.

And of course, here’s to the Reed and Fauver families who, in their loving, wise, and supportive ways, 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, 2019.

Good Luck, Long Life, and Joy!

 

And now for a review of this year’s Gilbert and Sullivan performance by celebrated Northwoods critic, Clive Bean. 

Clive Bean Reviews The Mikado

The Baker Valley’s hottest musical theater ticket this past week wasn’t Dear Evan Hansen or even Hamilton but rather Camp Pemi’s very own Mikado. Director Jonathan Verge was clearly inspired by the time-honored Bean Soup horse-beating joke and decided to whip the venerable G&S warhorse into an entirely new shape, re-kitting Titipu’s schoolgirls in contemporary plaid mini-jumpers instead of kimonos (not to mention their black, Sia hair-dos) and re-equipping their male admirers with iPads and iPhones to go along with their traditional fans. Gone were the traditional sets, lovingly created by Betsy Reed back in the ‘60s, replaced by sliding flats and hanging lanterns that turned the Lodge into a veritable Japanese tea house—or, considering the show’s frequent references to death by chopping, slicing, and dicing—into a veritable Benihana Steak House.

Larry Davis, Nick Gordon, and Sabrina Lawrence

Larry Davis, Nick Gordon, and Sabrina Lawrence

Anchoring a strong cast were Larry Davis, reprising the role he was born to play, the insatiably ambitious one-man cabinet and Lord High Everything, Pooh-Bah (this year looking frighteningly like recently-deceased French designer Karl Lagerfeld); Nick Gordon as Ko-Ko, the cheap tailor in the $300 suit, who finds himself as Titipu Town Executioner and bounces between romantic relationships as uncontrollably as Brad Pitt (and we should add that Nick, like Larry, had played his role before, clearly knowing it just as well as he knows the back of his own fan); and Sabrina Lawrence, whose acting captured to perfection the charmingly vain and flighty Yum-Yum, while her singing struck this reviewer as perhaps the best that the Pemi Opera House has ever witnessed.

Donald Turvill, Landon Burtle, and Bennet King (with bodyguards)

Stealing Yum-Yum away from Ko Ko was Donald Turvill, our itinerant Scottish showman/guitarist, typecast as the wandering minstrel Nanki Poo (Nanki Poo being, of course, Japanese for “Where’s the nearest pagoda?”). His relaxed and somewhat snide manner was a perfect counterpoint to Nick Gordon’s twitchy, OCD mannerisms, and made perfect sense of why Yum Yum opts for artful youth over semi-neurotic middle age. Landon Burtle sang the part of the town second fiddle Pish-Tush to perfection, while Bennet King charmed the audience as the blood-curdlingly dark Mikado himself. Not since Austin Powers’ Mini Me has so much evil been packed into such a small package—the chilling effect being amplified in Bennet’s case by his arriving on stage strapped to the back of Pemi’s own consummate Dr. Evil, Rosie.

Chris Ramanathan, Connor Queenin, and Scout Brink

Chris Ramanathan, Connor Queenin, and Scout Brink

Rounding out the female leads were Chris Ramanathan, a strong and convincing Pitti-Sing; Connor Queenin, as the self-proclaimed, trail-runner-wearing, bloodthirsty cougar Katisha (clearly inspired by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada); and Scout Brink as Peep-Bo. Scout’s comic acting in one scene positively brought the Japanese tea house down, while her elegant fan dance to Queenin’s plaintive “Alone and Yet Alive” recalled the time in the 1920s when Doc Reed persuaded Isadora Duncan to come to Wentworth to fire up the Pemi boys for Tecumseh Day, performing her infamous “Bloomer Girl” gavotte.

Both the male and the female choruses struck us as particularly strong and well prepared this year. We’ll refer you to the cast list at the end of this holiday season’s Bean Soup for all the staff names (in case you didn’t memorize them from your program and can’t find them on the back of your own fan), but campers Noah Andersson, Elijah Dorroh, Ben Herdeg, Nathan Gonzalez, and Henry Moore seemed born-to-the-manner nobleman, exuding arrogance and privilege. Meanwhile, Luke Young, Jon Ciglar, Jay Williams, Oscar Andersson. Andreas Geffert, Dexter Wells, Lucas Gales, and Lucas Vitale developed their entirely new roles as businessmen with all of the money-grubbing verve of long-time wolves of Wall Street. Meanwhile, camper Schoolgirls Austin Greenberg, Noah Littman, Jesse Orlow, Anders Morrell, Carter Glahn, John Poggi, Ethan Smith, Clay Johnson, Luke Gonzalez, and Oskar Lewnowski performed so convincingly in their plaid mini-dresses, white knee socks, and bobbed wigs that many of their own parents, sitting in the audience, completely failed to recognize them. Chris Johnson, though, did say that one of the cuter girls reminded him of pictures of his wife Ashley when she was in seventh grade. Oh, we should definitely mention that one Schoolgirl seemed to have suffered a major mishap in during the make-up process. That said, Cole Valente still looked pretty darn hot with an inverted fake eyebrow stuck to his chin.

We’ll refer you to Bean Soup yet again for the names of Katisha’s wonderful Security Detail (X-treme dudes to a man!) and those, too, of the clearly accomplished Stage and Light Crews. Quick mention, though, to Stage Manager Luke Larabie, accomplished actor from past shows who fulfilled the Pemi mantra of trying something new this season, and puppeteers Hannah Roadknight and Carmen Facciobene, who gave us a charming, backlit visualization of “The Criminal Cried as He Dropped Him Down.” It was clear that Carmen is every bit as good with a fake snickersnee as he is with real devil sticks.

Taiko Pelick

Finally, a nod to Johnny Saras for uncorking some true (and previously completely hidden) virtuoso work on trumpet—and huge, huge kudos to pianist Taiko Pelick, who followed up on six grueling weeks accompanying rehearsals with a truly majestic performance at the keyboard. Her capacity to play all of the score’s requisite notes and chords and, at the same time, to highlight the melodies for the occasional lead who needed reminding was truly remarkable. If a professional pit orchestra could ever be boiled down into ten fingers, it would be named Taiko.

We’ll leave it at that. It was a very good show. We hope you were able to be in the audience. And if not, be here next year when The Pirates of Penzance sail their swashbuckling way back into the Baker Valley for 2020’s G&S extravaganza. What better run-up to that November’s election than a show about dishonest men who are finally persuaded to become true patriots?

–Clive Bean

And with thanks to Danny and Clive, both, we bring this last epistle of the 2019 season to a close. We wish a happy and healthy autumn to all of you and look forward to sending out the holiday copy of Bean Soup in early December. Pemi parents of 2019, don’t be surprised if your sons disappear with the volume as soon as they tear it from its envelope, re-surfacing only after three or four hours of chuckling behind a closed door. From past experience, we know they’ll be willing to let you all have a look after they’ve read it, cover-two-cover, the requisite three times. For now, farewell, and thank you for your kind attentions.

                                                                                    Tom Reed, Jr