Alumni Magazine – News and Notes – January 2018

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.


Austin Blumenfeld was just named campaign manager for Ed Perlmutter’s re-election campaign for the 7th Congressional District of Colorado. Austin had previously interned with him in Washington D.C. Austin also noted that his former Lake Tent cabin-mate Jay McChesney is the Field Director for Walker Stapleton’s campaign for Governor of Colorado. Amazing, two former cabin-mates working in the trenches of Colorado politics!

Thibaut, Adriane, and Éloïse

Thibaut Delage, and his wife Adriane, live in Northwest Arkansas where he has been since leaving NYC eight years ago. They had a little girl, Éloïse, born in August 2017. After 6 years working in various roles with Wal-Mart, Thibaut now works in sales and logistics consulting for different brands currently at Wal-Mart or aspiring to do business with the retailer. Thibaut still plays tennis and soccer once a week, sports he enjoyed very much as a camper at Pemi 99-01.  A graduate of Pemi West (2002), Thibaut enjoys exploring the Natural State and the many state parks that surround his home. He is looking forward to his daughter turning 6 months old and bringing her to swim lessons in 2018!

Campbell Levy is marrying his fiancé Courtney in Zermatt, Switzerland on 1/18/18. Campbell writes, “Should be fun!”

Owen Ritter graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in political science & economics. Prior to starting his job in the live music industry, Owen plans to travel for two weeks in Japan.


Leif leading a rocks and gems discussion with the Waitzkin boys.

Patrick Clare moved to Tampa with his wife Holly after accepting a job at Berkeley Preparatory School. Pat is teaching history and the head boys’ varsity lacrosse coach. He ran into Pemi camper Reed Cecil on his first day on the job despite having no idea that Reed was a student there.

Leif Dormsjo visited Austin, Texas and reconnected with fellow Alumnus Gramae Waitzkin and Gramae’s three boys. Leif was visiting a Texas Department of Transportation highway project south of Austin on behalf of his new company, Louis Berger, who was hired to operate and maintain the 40-mile toll road. Leif is leading a team that provides management services to owners of highways, toll roads, and airports.

At a recent wedding, Papa Jerry Slafsky had the great pleasure of meeting the Macfarlane brothers, Pater and Noble, who are the cousins of Hannah Geese. Hannah married Jerry’s grandson Michael Slafsky. It was a beautiful wedding and a great weekend in Concord, NH.

Pemi Staffers JP Gorman, Nick Hurn, Harry Cooke, and Andrew MacDonald held the first official four nationalities summit in a big ol’ tower in Scotland.


Former Pemi camper and counselor Chris Johnson died unexpectedly of natural causes on October 5, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. Chris spent two summers as a camper in 1986 & 1987 and was a recipient of the Fauver Baseball Trophy during his first summer. An avid baseball enthusiast, Chris went on to coach baseball at Pemi during his four summers as a counselor. In 1992, Bean Soup awarded Chris and his best friend, Phil Bixby, the Counselor of the Year Award, with the following note as part of the article:

These two are exemplary within their cabins. They were not the most gregarious on the staff, but the amount of work they put in within their cabins is remarkable. They do not have to make a big noise and get noticed. They just get on with their work, helping their campers sort any problems out and making each and every camper that they deal with have a great season.

Details of a service will be announced as they become available. To read the obituary, follow this link.


After 34 years of service to the Boy Scouts of America, John Carman is planning his retirement by the end of June 2018. In retirement, John hopes to be more regularly involved at Pemi assisting with the Alumni Work Weekend and the Rittner Run.

Representing Ireland, England, the United States, and Scotland.

Will Clare lives in Brooklyn with Kelsey Wensberg and works as a CPA for Novak Francella LLC. Will was just promoted to Senior Auditor.

Frank Connor writes “To anyone who was at Pemi from 1943 – 1946 inclusive, perhaps you will remember me, Frank Connor. I’m married and we had two daughters, one deceased. My wife, Karen, and I, moved into an old peoples home 10 months ago in Denton, Texas, the city where we have lived since 1970. My wife has beginning Alzheimer’s so we don’t get out a lot, but my main problem now is a new hip, which in another month or so should be back to normal. I still stay active in water polo, refereeing the Dallas Water Polo Club’s scrimmages twice a week. That all started at Pemi where I had my first taste of competitive swimming. To make a long story short, I started playing water polo in college (and later for the Illinois Athletic Club), and ended up in the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame. I was a mathematician, although in terms of research, not a very good one. So, I primarily taught mathematics in universities.  Not a bad life.”

Rick Coles and his wife Diana will celebrate their 12th Wedding Anniversary in April, with their daughter Luisa and son William. In 2017, the Coles family did a good amount of traveling. Rick and Diana spent a few weeks in Spain, visiting Barcelona and Madrid, and the whole family went on a Disney Cruise through the Baltic Sea over the summer. The cruise visited Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Estonia. Luisa spent her summer at Camp Coniston just down the road in NH.

The Coles Family in Copenhagen, Denmark

Rick recently founded a company, Greentech, which is beginning to hit its stride. He sells low voltage lighting systems for commercial and government use. In the beginning, he concentrated on perimeter lighting on fencing at large properties, like military bases or airports. With his system, Rick can light up a five hundred foot fence line at the same cost as a sixty watt light bulb in your house. One of his most prestigious projects included Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington DC. Last year, Greentech launched a new system for warehouses, parking garages, and other indoor systems. Check out to see his products.

Teddy Gales lives in the Uptown Neighborhood in Chicago, and is staying busy with his acting. In the fall, he traveled around Illinois acting in educational theater and just closed a run of a sketch comedy show at Second City. You might have seen him in a new Toyota Commercial, Mall Terrain.

Teddy writes, “Over the past year and a half since my graduation from Chicago College of Performing Arts, I’ve been in a few smaller plays in the Chicago store front theater scene and have booked principle roles in some independent films. One of which, titled, The Annual Taylor Family Thanksgiving Day Ping Pong Tournament, received an official selection at the 2017 Cannes Film festival.

Fred Fauver is in his second year as president of Royal River Conservation Trust, which includes the twelve towns in the Royal River watershed in Maine. Fred has just fired up his new sauna, a two and a half year project that he built himself. The Facebook page “Traditional Sauna” has several albums of 5-10 photos each by Garrett Conover, who has been documenting the construction for a chapter in a sauna book he’s writing. Fred’s new granddaughter, Frankie Jane Fauver lives in Switzerland, daughter of Jonathan and Vanessa!

2017 was a very busy year for Matthew Norman and his wife Sarah as they both began new jobs. Matthew transitioned within US Bank to be a Product Manager and Sarah started a new job at 3M. They traveled to Orlando in May to celebrate Matthew’s fathers 75th birthday, and then to London in September for a vacation. They met up with fellow Pemi alumni Owen Murphy and David Wilkinson.

David Wilkinson & Matthew Norman

After spending 2 enjoyable years working in Salt Lake City, Utah, Andrew McChesney moved back to the east coast, Lower East Side of Manhattan, to continue a career in finance. He is very much looking forward to being back east and participating in alumni events!

Bridger McGaw writes in, “I loved seeing a lot of old pals and mentors at the Reunion. I am so grateful for my counselors and cabin mates who provided and drove into my life so much of the important inner power of Pemi. I’m working in Boston for Athena Health as their Global Security and Business Continuity Lead protecting 5,000 employees and our cloud-based health care network. I live in Lexington, MA and recently was elected to our local Town Meeting. So I’m enjoying the change from national to local politics…for now. Cheers to you all!”

Last year, Stephen Funk Pearson moved from Cambridge, MA to historic Butternut Farm in Belmont, NH. He is in New Hampshire full time now with his rescue dog, Gunnar, and two rescue cats, Clio and Orio. He rents outs Ephraim’s Cove cabins on Lake Winnisquam. His brother, Tim Pearson, and sister-in-law live with their three children fifteen minutes away in Tilton.

Peter Rapelye travelled to the UK this past October to see his nephew at the University of St. Andrews, followed by a week in London, visiting a dozen British schools on behalf of Princeton University, where his wife Janet, a Camp Wawenock alumna, is half way through her 15th year as Dean of Admission. In retirement, Pete continues to serve on three independent school boards, audit classes at Princeton, and teach history courses part-time in Princeton and in Duxbury, MA during the summer. He is still playing tennis, a little golf, and enjoying Duxbury Bay with family and friends. Peter reminisces, “I have fond memories of Baker Pond, hiking trips, camp fires, and Tecumseh Day.”

Richard Scullin is teaching English and doing some technology integration at Miss Hall’s School. He used to teach at Kent Denver School, then NMH. His daughter Hazel, aged 14, runs cross country and skis Nordic. Richard, his wife Karin, and Hazel live in Williamstown, Mass and he’d love to hear from Pemi folks!

Ben Ross & Pierce Haley, current Pemi counselors, competed in the Head of the Charles Regatta this past fall for BB&N.

Lee Roth has a new website – check it out!

Matt Sherman recently moved to Reno, NV where he’s working as an engineer at Tesla’s Gigafactory. He notes, “It’s very different from the east coast but still has a lot of great hiking and skiing nearby that Pemi Alumni would love.”

Eli Stonberg had a great year professionally. He co-directed the video for Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still,” which is now the biggest rock crossover hit in the past five years, and peaked at #4 on the Billboard charts. The video currently has eighty million views and won a bronze lion at Cannes. Check out the interactive version of the music video too!

William and Caroline Wigglesworth moved on November 6th to Shaker Heights, Ohio.

— Kenny Moore

Defining Photos of 2017

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

Harry Cooke about to lead the Soundpainters in a performance during Campfire on Senior Beach.

A batch of freshly baked bread from Tom Ciglar and the Kitchen Staff.

Felix N. navigating Lower Baker Pond in a Sunfish.

Pemi West Director Dave Robb teaching an orienteering lesson to Pemi Westers at high elevation in Olympic National Park.

The stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Wentworth! Photo from behind the Library looking towards the Junior Lodge.

Frank A. finishing the 50 yard Butterfly against Tecumseh well ahead of his counterparts.

Members of Upper 3 posing on the Franconia Range during their Greenleaf Hut Trip.

The Lords Chorus, with Stephon and Phyllis, from this years production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe.

George F. clearing the High Jump during Pemi Week’s Pentathlon.

Absolutely stunning Nature Awards given to boys with outstanding interest and expertise in Nature, carefully crafted by Larry, Deb, and the Nature Staff.

…and finally drops in the West.

Pemi’s 110th Reunion

2017 Rittner Runners

The 35th Annual Rittner Run kicked off the celebration of Pemi’s 110th Reunion. On Thursday, August 17, forty Rittner Runners departed Pemi at 6 AM, headed to Fryeburg Maine to begin the 75-mile relay run back to Pemi. The relay is divided into 30 odd legs, some measuring as long as 4.5 miles and others as short as 1. Vans shuttle runners to the exchange points while conversations and stories are shared between current staffers and Alumni, both reminiscing about the season that just concluded and other past seasons. During the 2017 run, Head of Swimming and triathlon enthusiast Charlotte Jones led the way with 34 miles, with many others tallying in the high teens. Once back at Pemi, the Runners paraded by Senior Beach towards the Rittner Fountain onto Pemi’s soccer pitch for their annual photo and ‘tis I, Spartacus!’ cheer. After a quick dip in Lower Baker, the group headed to the Mess Hall for the Rittner Banquet. A delicious meal from Tom Ciglar’s trusty hands, and libations from Peter Cowles’ Aspetuck Brewery greeted the runners, followed by announcements, stories about Fred Rittner, and information about the Rittner Fund and its impact. Fred Rittner’s fellow counselors in the early 80’s and his former campers offered memories and legendary anecdotes.

To learn more about the Rittner Fund, please visit their website, and mark your calendars for the 2018 Rittner Run on Monday, August 13, 2018.

Reilly McCue and Leif Dormsjo

A cloudy, rainy dawn on Friday resulted in a scattering few for Polar Bear. The weather eliminated the hiking and golf trips for the day, but a quick scheduling pivot resulted in a trip to the Museum of the White Mountains to see their exhibit on Summer Camps. Pemi, like many of our neighbor camps, contributed to the exhibit with artifacts and memorabilia demonstrating the importance of the Summer Camp experience. At Pemi activities in the Nature Lodge, Library, and the Senior Lodge with active fires allowed folks a quieter morning before the bulk of arrivals. Just before lunch, Bob Fetter, an alumnus from 1940, arrived with his Junior Nature Award and All Camp photograph that he had saved from his only Pemi summer in 1940. Two true gems for the Pemi archives, and more info on his fellow octogenarians later.

Reunion Ensemble

After lunch, hearty souls ventured to Junior Pointe for some waterskiing, others made their way out in sailboats, and a few climbed aboard the HMS Reilly McCue for some fishing. Charlie Malcolm led a group in a cutthroat game of croquet (ask Paul Fishback!), and then a rousing game of Frisbee Golf. The library was active with Pemi trivia, led by current Pemi staffers Steve Clare and Andy MacDonald, and the Junior Lodge was alive with music led by Ed McKendry (Uncle Eddie to some), Ian Axness, Henry Eisenhart, and Michaella Frank. This talented Reunion Ensemble would play for us during the Happy Hour, and then later again at Campfire. To cap off the rainy afternoon, Larry Davis led the first Pemi discussion group of the weekend. Larry, a Climate Reality Project trainee, led the group in a question and answer session on this increasingly important topic.


Now with more than 100 Alumni present, the Mess Hall filled with joy as Alumni greeted one another during Happy Hour, reminiscing and catching up. The rain tapered off, and we all enjoyed an outdoor Campfire on Senior Beach. A spectacular musical array ensued. Danny and Uncle Eddie serenaded us with Melissa by the Allman Brothers, Ian played the surpassingly lovely Boating Song on his glockenspiel, (You read the correctly!), Tom Reed and Michaella performed Ukulele Lady, the Reunion Ensemble played House of the Rising Sun, Parker Shiverick played the violin, and Eisenhart once again claimed the lake as his pillow with a saxophone solo. Larry Davis provided the classic story, Learning How to Shoot, before we all joined together for the Campfire Song. Undoubtedly, one of the best Reunion campfires we’ve ever seen.

A sunnier, albeit chilly morning saw more Polar Bears on Saturday. Shortly after breakfast, two hikes Mount Cube led by Nick Davini, and Mount Moosilauke led by Sam Papel departed in Pemi vans. Morning activities included Archery, a canoe paddle to the Lower Lake, doubles on the tennis court, open baseball on the newly improved Senior Diamond, tie-dyeing in the Art Building, waterskiing, and sailing. Just as our campers are offered a wide range of wonderful activities to choose, so too are our Alumni. In the library, the fourth generation (G4) of Pemi’s founders met with Alumni interested in learning more about the Reed and Fauver families. Of the 9 G4 members, five were present; Jonathan Fauver, Allyson Fauver, Megan Fauver Cardillo, Sarah Fauver, and Dan Reed discussed Pemi and shared their vision for the future.

Obie-Ivy Soccer

After a well deserved Rest Hour, afternoon activities began with Obie-Ivy soccer, an Environmental Exploration with Deb Kure for our 12 & Unders, a Wild Foods Extravaganza with Larry, a Spider Walk with former Nature guru Paula Golderberg, more Tie-Dye with Megan Cardillo, and the chance to swim your distance with the waterfront staff. Five swimmers made the distance from Senior Beach to Junior Camp under the watchful eye of former Head of Swimming, Paige Wallis in the rowboat, and current Head of Swimming Charlotte Jones donning the lifeguard buoy. Notable swimmers included current trip counselor, Nick Davini who, after 9 years at camp, owned up to never having swum his distance, Sarah Fauver, another first time distance swimmer, and taking home first prize, Scott Petrequin who, at age 86 (!), successfully swam his distance, making him the oldest Pemi person to ever accomplish the feat. Later at the Reunion Banquet, the cheer for ‘Distance Swimmer Petrequin’ was quite possible the loudest chant in 2017!

Free Swim

As Obie-Ivy ended, many players cooled off during Free Swim in Lower Baker, and enjoyed a well-timed, unplanned, landing by a sea-plane. Others decided to opt for a more intellectual pursuit, joining Alumnus David Spindler, a leading expert on the Great Wall of China, for the weekend’s second Pemi Discussion Group. David shared slides and stories about the Great Wall and his experiences traveling the monument.

Reunion Banquet

The Reunion Banquet was full of joy and cheer, with all the traditional pomp and circumstance of a Pemi Banquet. Alumni became waiters once again, marching the turkeys out of the kitchen as Axness performed his version of the Game of Thrones theme, Fire and Ice, on the piano. One lucky soul at each table claimed the carving knife to slice the birds. Tom Ciglar and his crew presented the turkey feast with mashed potatoes, stuffing, farm fresh corn on the cob, and freshly baked bread. Anyone who has tasted Tom’s bread is surely salivating.

During announcements, Pemi recognized the newest distance swimmers and honored Alumni by decade. We arrived at the 40’s – 1940-1949, and four gentleman, Bob Fetter, Bob MacBeth, Scott Petrequin, and Sandy Ross, stood to a rousing round of applause and standing ovation. Finally, in recognition of Alumni who are Pemi veterans of at least 10 years, Pemi gifted a 10-year tie. A new Pemi tradition!

Bean Soup, led by former editors Josh Fischel and Ian Axness, joined current editor Dan Reed for the special Reunion edition. Combining old classics, along with freshly written articles, this trio had the audience laughing away in the Mess Hall. Song re-writes like I’ve got Mike Pence (Sixpence), and a new “Reunion Edition” of the ever-popular Mess Hall announcement were highlights.

Betsy Reed Memorial

A beautifully crisp Sunday morning greeted Polar Bears for the final dip of the weekend. After breakfast, all gathered in the Senior Lodge for a memorial service in honor of Betsy Reed. Larry Davis and Ian Axness began the service with a lovely duet followed Zach See’s utterly moving Church Call on the bugle. I’m sure that the stirring music bellowing out over the lake set a tone that Betsy would have thought magnificent. Tom Reed Jr. eloquently shared stories and memories of his mother, as did Peter Fauver, Bertha Fauver, Dan Reed, Abby Reed (read by Allyson Fauver) and Dottie Reed. The service was beautiful, each speaker reinforced Betsy’s kindhearted demeanor, good will, humor, grace, and love of life.

Tom Reed, Jr.

Shout out to our spectacular Reunion Staff; Ian Axness, Paige Wallis, Ed McKendry, Larry Davis, Charlie Malcolm, Deb Kure, Harry Morris, Ben Walsh, Steve Clare, Charlotte Jones, Nick Davini, Sam Papel, Ned Roosevelt, Becky Noel, Kilian Wegner, Nick Hurn, and bartenders extraordinaire Andrew MacDonald and JP Gorman.

And, of course, a special thank you to the nearly 150 Alumni who returned to the shores of Lower Baker in honor of Pemi’s 110th season!



Tecumseh Day 2017…as Seen by Our 10s

Newsletter #6: Tecumseh Day 2017

The following comes from the desk of Charlie Malcolm, now in his 27th year as Pemi’s Athletic Director.

For over a hundred years, Camp Pemi and our friends at Camp Tecumseh have engaged in one of the more entertaining and pure sporting events in the country. Five age groups lock into an intense competition in four sports—a total of twenty contests—with each event having the potential to bring out the very best in our respective campers and communities.

Two years ago I wrote a blog article from the perspective of our fifteen-year-old seniors and how they come to grips with their last Tecumseh Day, the meaning of the day, and ultimately, the closure of their competition as boys at camp. I’ve watched boys walk up from the Tecumseh waterfront, pause at the top of the hill, and look back with tears in their eyes as they witness the end of something deep and special.

In this newsletter, I want to travel with our youngest campers to Camp Tecumseh. Let’s explore the Ten-and-unders, “Doc Nick’s wonders,” and reflect on their perceptions of the day and maybe shed some light on the value of this experience. Does this day create a positive energy and bind our community more tightly? What important lessons and experiences provide growth, and is this appropriate for our junior campers? I’ll cover the day from the Ten-and-under perspective, weaving together their experiences and the words that shaped their understanding of Tecumseh Day.

The Build-up

There were 32 Ten-and-unders living in the Junior Camp at the beginning of the season, and of those, 24 left us in mid-season, leaving our eight full-session boys to welcome their second-session teammates a mere ten days before Tecumseh Day. Even with eight seasoned veterans, it still takes thoughtful work by the Junior Camp staff to pull the age group together. Junior Camp Division Head Wesley Eifler and his incredible counseling team masterfully foster a kind and supportive community, foundational for a successful competition. It is the cementing of these relationships that anchors a given age group’s success on a long and challenging Tecumseh Day.

The majority of the boys sign up for team occupations/practices during the week leading up to Tecumseh: baseball, soccer, tennis, and swimming. Over the course of the week, the cheers in the mess hall grow louder with each passing day, and the juniors, along with the seniors, are often the loudest and most enthusiastic. Some of the boys who were experiencing homesickness are drawn into the camp’s collective enthusiasm and begin to feel fully present at camp. While the cheers occasionally chase Head of Nature Larry Davis out of the mess hall, the reverberations of “Beat Tecumseh!” cascade out of our communal dining room, bounce off Dead Man’s Hill and Victoria’s Peak, and split Mt. Carr. One skips through Plymouth and Center Harbor, sending tremors through Moultonborough, while the rest of the cheers bounce through the Franconias and Presidentials and end up on the porch of Orin Tucker somewhere north of Millinocket, Maine. All true….

While the mess hall rocks most evenings leading up to Tecumseh Day, the Ten-and-unders work tirelessly on their strokes in swimming, their ability to land their first serve in tennis, their willingness and ability to combine on the soccer field, and their ability to hit and play defense in baseball. The beauty of Tecumseh Day is that many boys play sports that they only do at camp, leaning a little further out of their comfort zone for the good of their team and community.

On Friday morning, the juniors wake to the bugle and to a group of seniors who cheer the boys as they rise from their cabins. After a quick polar bear in the lake and an expedited breakfast in the mess hall, the boys are loaded on the buses and leave camp by 7:35 AM. All praise to Assistant Director Kenny Moore, master of logistics, as the buses leave on time and allow ample time for the boys prepare for their matches when they arrive at Tecumseh.

10s Baseball: Setting the Tone

Shep Griffiths

Shep Griffiths

Shep Griffiths returned to Pemi this summer after taking a year to travel with his family. The fire-baller from Rye, NY, straddled the mound, took a deep breath, and looked into his catcher’s mitt. “I was really nervous, but once the game started I was really into it.” Well, Shep certainly was up to the challenge as he proceeded to mow down the Tecumseh batters from the opening inning. He struck out thirteen batters and fielded four bunts for a total of seventeen of a possible eighteen outs. He did this with a pitch count under seventy, a stunning feat at any level.

Twice, Pemi loaded the bases but could not deliver the key hit to break open the game. With the contest still tied 0-0 in the bottom the 6th inning, Shep issued a one-out walk and Tecumseh’s next batter laid down another bunt. Shep fielded the ball and fired to second base, only to find no middle infielder covering. Fortunately, Jake Landry backed up the play at second and literally saved the game with his heads-up, well-coached baseball play. (Editor’s Note: Phil Landry, Jake’s Dad, is a Fauver Baseball Trophy winner, played numerous seasons for me, and became a great baseball coach at Pemi for six seasons.) With runners at first and third and one out, the Tecumseh fans were making some serious noise, and Shep needed to respond with Tecumseh’s heart of the order at the plate.

With laser focus, he struck out the first batter for the second out and the atmosphere was electric. Cheers of, “Let’s go, Pemi!” resounded in spite of an incredibly loud Tecumseh crowd. According to Shep, “This is Tecumseh Day; I’m going to throw it my hardest.” The batter swung and the foul tip landed firmly in Giacomo Turco’s mitt for the final out of a thrilling 0-0 game. “We all ran onto the field and hugged Shep,” said Philip Fauver. “Seeing him pitch like that really set the tone for the day.”

Soccer: Resiliency

After the thrilling end to the baseball game, the Ten-and-unders walked confidently up to Grant Field to prepare for their soccer match. One of the great challenges of Tecumseh Day is to transition from one sport to the next event over the course of a long day. It takes focus and mental fortitude to keep the enthusiasm going or to dust off after a difficult defeat. Tecumseh quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first ten minutes of play as their speed and competitive spirit put the Pemi Tens on their heels.

Jackson Davies, Keiran Klasfeld, Oliver Phillips, and Charlie Bowman celebrate goal

Jackson Davies, Keiran Klasfeld, Oliver Phillips, and Charlie Bowman celebrate goal

Jackson Heller fought tenaciously at midfield while Shep’s defensive clears bought Pemi time to solve Tecumseh’s defense. With better tactical commitment to attacking the flanks, Pemi was able to turn the outside backs of Tecumseh and serve balls into the middle where the hustling and opportunistic Oliver Philips jumped on a loose ball and buried it to cut Tecumseh’s lead to 2-1. After scoring, Oliver dashed to the Pemi bench and ran the gauntlet of high fives getting everyone excited to play. Coach made some changes in the defense and sent out Philip Fauver, who’d not started the game, to left back. Philip jumped into the game. “I was disappointed not to start and I thought I wasn’t going to play. But once I got in there, I stopped my wing and blocked a lot of shots. I wasn’t afraid.” The ability to overcome initial disappointment and to embrace an opportunity embodies the personal resiliency that makes a team successful.

Pemi started to play more confidently but Tecumseh struck again just before halftime, pushing their lead to 3-1. A late goal can be fairly demoralizing, but Coaches Kim Bradshaw and Sam Dixon rallied the boys. The defensive trio of Shep, Jake Landry, and Philip Fauver held their line for much of the second half and, with great support from cheering seniors on the sideline, a fired-up Ten’s team made a commitment to combine on the flanks and avoid the middle of the pitch. Kieran Klasfeld, Merrick Chapin, and Oliver united to beat several defenders and Oliver once again drew Pemi within a goal. Tecumseh, always a relentless opponent, then pushed their lead to 4-2. Pemi nearly scored when Shep’s penalty kick whistled by the cross bar. “After I missed my penalty kick, no one was mad at me. They told me to keep my head up and make the next one.”

With Shep off the field, Charlie Bowman stepped up and converted a free kick to pull Pemi to just a 4-3 deficit with the fans of both camps urging the boys forward. With under a minute left to play, Pemi received one last free kick from just outside the penalty area. Bowman’s kick just missed the upper corner and Pemi lost a hard-fought match 4-3.

It was a tough loss, but the gritty determination of our youngest Pemi boys to keep fighting back was one of the defining moments of the day and an important lesson for athletes and spectators alike on the critical importance of resiliency. The Tens received great support from their Pemi fans, especially with the cheers of the Fifteens urging the team forward, and they repeatedly responded with courage and fortitude. Kieran summed up how he felt about the loss: “When the game was over, even though we lost, we never put our heads down. The Fifteens watching our game came over and told us we did a great job and they were proud of us. I was bummed out, but we had tennis next, and I decided to make up for it in my doubles match after lunch.”

Tecumseh Dining Hall: Friends in the Zoo

Dining at Camp Tecumseh is one of the highlights for our boys. They hear stories about the cheers and banging on the tables as the dining hall is a source of great fun and energy for the Tecumseh community. While Pemi sings songs about cans of beans and bloomer girls, our friends from Tecumseh have a series of interactive cheers and spoofs that make for a lively environment.

In the back of the dining hall is an area known as the “zoo,” where the more colorful entertainment pulsates and drives the rest of the dining hall. Philip Fauver described it this way: “A senior told me to sit in the ‘zoo.’ It was really fun and really odd. A bunch of middle-aged men and kids whacking the table and singing chants about bananas, coconuts, and the olé chant you hear at soccer games. They even sing and do the hokey pokey. It was fun, but yes, a little awkward, too.”

Shep enjoyed the mess hall, but what he most enjoyed was meeting the boys from Tecumseh. “I sat with a kid who played baseball and tennis. He was a really nice kid and we shared stories about our camps. He told me about the blue/grey competition they have each week in all different sports.” At the end of the lunch, the boys went up to the tennis courts to continue their battle. They had tied their baseball game, lost a competitive soccer match 4-3, and now needed to muster their energy to play tennis and swim in the afternoon.

10s Tennis: Evening the Score

I’ll let Coach Jon Duval describe the tennis match and then give you the juniors’ take on it:

Oscar Andersson

Oscar Andersson

The Tens took the court following lunch at Tecumseh and a brief rest hour. The team came in confident after their dominating performance at the 1st-session Baker Valley Tournament, where they went 9-1 in matches played. The first match to finish was #2 doubles, where Norwood Davis and Kieran Klasfeld quickly dispatched their opponents, identical twins, 8-1, giving Pemi a 1-0 lead in the match. After a quick start, Sam Young and Jake Landry finished their match at #1 doubles 8-4, widening Pemi’s lead to 2-0. Tecumseh responded to being down by winning #3 doubles against Thomas Ruhanen and P.J Reed 8-4. Despite a massive comeback after being down 5-0, Giacomo Turco also fell to a tough opponent at #4 singles 8-5, evening the match at 2-2 with only 1, 2, and 3 singles left to finish. After leading the whole match, Shep Griffiths won #3 singles 8-5. In a heartbreaker, Oliver Philips lost a tough match to a very good Tecumseh opponent 7-6 (9-7) in a tiebreaker at #1 Singles. With the match tied 3-3, everything came down to Oscar Andersson at #2 Singles. Oscar clutched out the match 8-6 after a great effort from his opponent, securing the 4-3 win and giving Tens tennis an undefeated season.

With the victory in tennis, the Ten-and-unders brought their overall record to 1-1-1 with only swimming left to go. The boys felt proud of their accomplishments and appreciated all of the support from their coaches, cabin mates, and seniors.

Swimming: The Last Race

As the boys walked down to the waterfront, they were immediately struck by the inspiring view of Lake Winnepesauke. The massive lake with the Ossipee range in the background and dozens of boats buzzing by the waterfront can be quite disorienting for the Pemi boys from Lower Baker Pond.

Shep walked down to the waterfront having pitched in the baseball game, played centerback in the soccer game, and won his singles tennis match. He had no idea of the overall score of the day. “When I got down to the docks, I started thinking about the story of Metal Boy and how, for him, whoever won the event won the day. Charlotte reminded us of our strokes and we began practicing. The water was awesome, cold, and you could see the bottom. It was weird having the beach be so public with boats driving by and the lake was so big.”

Lucas Vitale

Lucas Vitale

Pemi led for most of the meet as Boone Snyder won the breaststroke and Lucas Vitale won the ‘fly. Merrick Chapin finished second in the breaststroke and Ben Cavenagh delivered a second in the freestyle. Unfortunately, Pemi would eventually lose the meet when Tecumseh took 1st and 2nd place in the final freestyle relay for a 33-27 victory. “I was standing on the docks and I looked over and saw all of the Pemi people cheering,” said Shep. “When they announced the results at the end of the meet we were kinda down. No one was crushed, but I felt a little bad for the seniors.”

After a long day, the Tens and Fifteens came together for one last cheer to celebrate the race and salute Tecumseh’s victory. Our fifteen-year-olds faced the end of their camp competitive days while our ten-year-olds pulled together their feelings about what this meant to them.

Home: Understanding a Bigger Picture

As I write, the van is waiting to take Sam Papel, me, and six boys for a four-day backpacking trip through the Mahoosuc Range, so I’ll let Philip Fauver and Shep Griffiths share their final thoughts on the day.

Welcome home

Welcome home

Shep described returning back to Pemi and the community he felt when he arrived. “When we returned home everyone was waiting for us and clapping. It felt good. The seniors brought us together and said they were proud of us and how we had came together. They all said ‘Pemi on three,’ and then everybody cheered together. In my two years of competing, it is definitely my favorite day at camp. Tecumseh had great sportsmanship. They were never negative, they always hustled, and they were really fast. However, I kinda felt like we won the day, not in terms of points or wins, but in teamwork.”

As for Philip Fauver, he had some advice for future juniors. “It’s a really hyped-up day, but don’t get too cocky. Tecumseh is a sports camp; we are not. We still believe we can do it, but don’t be crushed if we don’t. Give us another week of preparation and I think we can beat these guys. I’m excited to prep for another Tecumseh Day again, but next week I’m going hiking, working in the wood shop, and going on a nature hike because camp isn’t just about sports. There are so many things to do.”

And on those final words…I’m taking Philip’s advice and getting into that van to hike some gnarly mountains.               ~Charlie Malcolm

Off to the Mahoosuc Range! Charlie Malcolm, right

Off to the Mahoosuc Range! Charlie Malcolm, right

A Week in the Nature Program

The following comes from the desk of Larry Davis, now in his 48th summer of overseeing Pemi’s nationally-renowned Nature Program

Nature is one of four program areas at Pemi (the others are Athletics, Trips, and Music and the Arts). But what exactly do we do? Well, of course there is formal instruction that takes place during morning occupations, but there is much, much more. In fact, we operate from Reveille in the morning until, sometimes, after taps at night. Here’s a look at a typical week (week 3 of summer 2017) in the nature program.


Occupations are the heart of our teaching program. Each week we offer 14-16 different ones. Over the course of a summer, we might offer as many as 35 or so. Some, such as Beginning Butterflies and Moths, might appear every week, others, such as Aquatic Insects, might occur only once. During Week 3, we had a visiting professional, Chase Gagne, join our nature staff for the week. Chase is an insect expert and so we were able to take advantage of his being here and offer Aquatic Insects, along with an Insect Ecology occupation that looked at some of the research questions that he is working on in his graduate program at the University of Maine. Here are brief descriptions of Week 3’s offerings. Last year’s (2016) nature newsletter has more detailed discussions of some of these.

Beginning Butterflies and Moths

What is an insect? What are the differences between butterflies and moths? Basic butterfly and moth life history and ecology. How to capture, pin and preserve butterflies and moths. We asked visiting professional Chase Gagne to teach this so the boys in the occupation could be exposed to the way an entomologist “operates.”

Insect Ecology

Role of insects in the overall ecosystem. Different “lifestyles” of insects. Invasive insects and the problems that they cause. Techniques for conducting insect ecology research. Taught by visiting professional Chase Gagne. We included two members of our full-time nature staff in this occupation and in the one that follows so that they could learn too and then include the information in their own teaching later in the summer.

Aquatic Insects

Types of aquatic insects, their life histories and ecology. Techniques for capturing and preserving aquatic insects. Insects that spend their entire life in the water and ones that only spend part of their life cycle there. Taught by visiting professional Chase Gagne.

Ponds and Streams

Lakes and streams and their inhabitants. Fish, bottom dwellers, insects, etc. Life history of a lake. Exploration of our streams, our lake, and our marsh.

Beginning Rocks and Minerals

An introduction to geology. Rock types, rocks and minerals, mineral identification, rock identification, assembling and labeling a collection. Minerals used in our daily lives. Pemi geology, New Hampshire geology, plate tectonics.

Advanced Rocks and Minerals

Rock cycle, mineral hardness and toothpaste ingredients (they actually make some toothpaste). Iron extraction from Total® cereal. Analysis of sand from around the world, rock stratigraphy, concrete “recipe” experiments, North American geology.

Nature Poetry

This was a brand new occupation for us. It was created and taught by nature staff members Scout Brink and Will Raduziner. Campers read some famous poems about nature including ones by Walt Whitman such as A Noiseless, Patient Spider and A Clear Midnight. Later in the week they tried their hand at writing their own.

Trees, trees with green leaves
Tall and small, both will fall.
But when they stand in a forest,
They create a canopy

-Henry Ravanesi

Mosses, Lichens, Fungi

This is an advanced occupation designed to introduce older campers to these fascinating, non-flowering plants, although fungi, as we find out, are not really plants, nor are lichens, which are combinations of algae and fungi. Most of the occupation takes place in the field, with hand lenses. Mosses, especially, are everywhere that is even a little bit wet and campers can observe whole “forests” of them both in camp and on trips.

Moss “Garden” - This one is in New Zealand but we have ones like it here.

Moss “Garden” – This one is in New Zealand but we have ones like it here. Photo by Larry Davis


Environmental Sculpture

Scottish sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy popularized this form of art. We have all his books in the nature library and campers really enjoy looking at his amazing creations. In this occupation, they get to use their imaginations to create their own environmental sculptures. It is a quiet activity that rewards both observation and creativity. It is a good example, along with nature photography, nature poetry, and nature drawing, of a hybrid activity that fuses nature and the arts.

Environmental Sculpture at Pemi

Environmental Sculpture at Pemi

Junior Nature Book

A plant book for juniors and candidates for the Brave and Chief awards. It includes 55 plants that are common in our area. We collect leaves, nuts, bits of bark, and so on. Juniors must complete the book as part of the Junior Brave award. For the Brave and Chief awards, candidates must be able to recognize and identify all 55 plants in the field.

Nature Drawing

Drawing and sketching of “natural” scenes: landscapes, plants, animals.

Drawing by Ben Lorenz

Drawing by Ben Lorenz


Drawing by Augie Tanzosh

Drawing by Augie Tanzosh

Plant Survivors

Photosynthesis, the “plumbing” of a tree, plant adaptations for: obtaining food, water, gasses; defense; pollination processes; seed dispersal.

Wild Foods

Wild plants and animals that may be used as regular and emergency food sources. Identification, collection and preparation (including jams and jellies from wild fruits).

Advanced Nature Photography

We teach both digital and darkroom nature photography at Pemi. This advanced occupation included campers who had already taken the beginning versions of either of these. During the week, the focus was on taking photographs in nature in a wide variety of settings. These are described (along with samples of the results) in the next section of the newsletter.

Photographers Taking Pictures Inside the Ely Copper Mine (Deb Kure)

Photographers Taking Pictures Inside the Ely Copper Mine (Deb Kure) 

“Regular” Trips

During the course of a week, we take out frequent afternoon trips. Some are one-hour affairs to collect insects. Some, such as those to local mines, may last a couple of hours, and others might last through supper. Here are the trips that we took during week 3.

Palermo Mine

We are very fortunate that the owner of this world-famous mine allows us to visit and collect whenever we want. We even have a key to the gate. There are over 120 different minerals here, including 10-12 that occur nowhere else in the world. We generally visit once a week.

Campers Collecting Minerals at the Palermo Mine (Will Ackerman)

Campers Collecting Minerals at the Palermo Mine (Will Ackerman) 

Advanced Nature Photography

During the week we took special, afternoon-long trips to several locations which offered our campers a variety of features and settings to photograph. These locations included:

Rumney Cliffs Boulders – This is a well-known rock climbing locality. During glacial times, the intense physical weathering caused huge boulders to tumble to the bottom of the cliffs. Not only are these scenic, but this is also an historical site as the Town of Rumney kept its colonial era animal pound here amongst them.

Overview of Boulder Area (Will Ackerman)

Overview of Boulder Area (Will Ackerman)

Boulders Close Up (Will Ackerman)

Boulders Close Up (Will Ackerman)

Between the Boulders (Will Ackerman)

Between the Boulders (Will Ackerman)

Decaying Fly Amanita Mushroom (Will Ackerman)

Decaying Fly Amanita Mushroom (Will Ackerman)

“Inside Looking Out” Boulder Field (Will Ackerman)

“Inside Looking Out” Boulder Field (Will Ackerman)

Ely Mine– This old copper mine (closed in 1905) is one of our mineral localities. However, it is also an excellent subject for photography. There is easy access to the old mine entrance, which presents the opportunity for “inside looking out” images; there are also old workings, ruins, and other interesting subjects to photograph.

Entrance to Ely Copper Mine (Will Ackerman)

Entrance to Ely Copper Mine (Will Ackerman)

Inside of Ely Copper Mine (Will Ackerman)

Inside of Ely Copper Mine (Will Ackerman)

Acid Mine Drainage at Ely Mine (Will Ackerman)

Acid Mine Drainage at Ely Mine (Will Ackerman)

Inside of Mine Looking Out (Will Ackerman)

Inside of Mine Looking Out (Will Ackerman)

Schwaegler Property-The Schwaegler family (which includes alum Andy and current camper Paul) has kindly granted us permission to visit their land around Indian Pond. There are meadows, grasses, animal evidence (especially of small mammals), birds, insects, and grand landscapes here. All of these offer wonderful subjects for photography.

Landscape at Schwaegler Property (Will Ackerman)

Landscape at Schwaegler Property (Will Ackerman)

Geometer (Inchworm) Caterpillar on a Black-eyed Susan (Will Ackerman)

Geometer (Inchworm) Caterpillar on a Black-eyed Susan (Will Ackerman)

Spies Property – This is a location that we call “the two hundred”. It is 200+ acres of forest, brooks, waterfalls, meadows, and ancient sugar maples (150+ years old). The running water and waterfalls present our campers the opportunity to experiment with shutter speeds and depth of field. The forests, with their dappled light and shadow, present challenges for exposure. We are grateful to the Spies for granting us access.

Oyster Mushrooms (Will Ackerman)

Oyster Mushrooms (Will Ackerman)

American Toad Camouflaged Amongst the Dead Leaves (Will Ackerman)

American Toad Camouflaged Amongst the Dead Leaves (Will Ackerman)

Waterfall on the Spies Property (Will Ackerman)

Waterfall on the Spies Property (Will Ackerman)

Ancient Sugar Maples (150+ years old) Lining Drive to Spies House

Ancient Sugar Maples (150+ years old) Lining Drive to Spies House

Scouting Trip for New Insect Collecting Localities

We are always looking for new places where we can view, photograph, and collect insects, wildflowers, and other plants. Recently, we were told about several areas that were new to us. Of course, before taking lots of campers there, we need to scout them out. So, Deb Kure and Nick Gordon (Staff) took three expert bug collectors, Will Ackerman, Luke Larabie, and Quinn Markham to check out a possible new locality. They got a good look at it and agreed that it would be perfect for 1-2 hour afternoon trips. Hurrah! We will take our first “official” trip this week.

Special Trips

Pemi has been taking caving trips (note: it’s “caving” and NOT “spelunking”) for almost 30 years. This area of geology is my research specialty and there are wonderful wild caves to visit about 4 hours away southwest of Albany, NY. On Tuesday and Wednesday of week 3, I left with nine senior campers along with staff members Will Raduziner (he went as a camper) and Charlie Malcolm (I’ve been trying to get him to go for years). We did one cave on Tuesday afternoon, enjoyed a delicious chicken teriyaki dinner at my sister and brother-in-law’s home in Schoharie, NY (where we always stay) followed by a nice campfire with s’mores and stories. On Wednesday, we did two more caves before heading home. We stopped for our traditional dinner at the Royal Chelsea Diner in West Brattleboro, VT-highly recommended, before arriving home at about 10:30 PM.

Special Events

Twice a summer we participate in on-going scientific surveys. Both of these are annual censuses that provide valuable information on changing in bird and insect populations. These are crucial to our understanding of climate change effects, the effects of land use change, and the impacts of human activity.

The first of these is the annual “Fourth of July North American Butterfly Association Annual Butterfly Count”. This was our 13th consecutive year of participation. Ours is the only circuit in New Hampshire and our data has already been used by a researcher at Carleton University in Ottawa to document the northward movement of several species of butterflies that, until recently, have not normally been seen in our area. We conduct the survey with a group of scientists from the Smithsonian Institution, Plymouth State University, and local conservation organizations. This year, we had 8 campers and 5 staff members participating. Our final “tally rally” takes place at the Moose Scoops ice cream parlor in Warren and it is a chance for our campers to meet and talk with professionals in the field (and enjoy some wonderful ice cream).

Will Ackerman With a Tiny Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar on His Thumb (Deb Kure)

Will Ackerman With a Tiny Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar on His Thumb (Deb Kure)

The Butterfly Count “Tally Rally” at the Moose Scoops Ice Cream Shop (Deb Kure)

The Butterfly Count “Tally Rally” at the Moose Scoops Ice Cream Shop (Deb Kure)

The annual New Hampshire Loon count is in its 35th year. We have participated in all of them. On the 3rd Saturday in July between 8 and 9 in the morning, hundreds of volunteers are out on almost every lake in the state looking for loons and recording the numbers that are seen. As usual, we covered both Upper and Lower Baker Ponds. We spotted 2 loons on Upper Baker and none on Lower Baker. While this was disappointing, from a scientific standpoint, a count of “0” is just as important as a count of “10”. For most of the summer, we have had 1 or 2 on our lake, but they weren’t there during the crucial hour, so, we don’t count them.

Clouds Over Mt. Cube and former Bischoff House Taken from Upper Baker Pond (Will Ackerman)

Clouds Over Mt. Cube and former Bischoff House Taken from Upper Baker Pond (Will Ackerman)

Great Blue Heron Flying Over Upper Baker Pond (Will Ackerman)

Great Blue Heron Flying Over Upper Baker Pond (Will Ackerman)

Common Loon, One of Two Seen on Upper Baker Pond During the Annual Loon Count (Will Ackerman)

Common Loon, One of Two Seen on Upper Baker Pond During the Annual Loon Count (Will Ackerman)

SPECIAL EDITION: The Flood of 2017

All you really need to know about the impact on Pemi campers of the Saturday, July 1st Flood of ’17 is to hear that, when on Monday ’73 Flood Survivors Tom Reed Jr. and Larry Davis announced in the mess hall that this recent deluge was clearly worse than in 1973, the campers cheered! To work a variation on the old saw, what doesn’t wash you away evidently makes you proud and happy.

Saturday, July 1

One difference from ’73 was that, this time, we had far more advance warning, what with the various electronic weather vanes we in the Office were all carefully eyeing. The forecast had already called for rain that might well lead to flash flooding. So when, at noon of that Saturday’s inter-camp sports day, we checked the radar and saw a huge green blob with a lurid center of yellow and red oozing across the Connecticut River towards us, we sprang into action.

Rushing waters overflow the culvert

Rushing waters overflow the culvert

Even before the culverts began to overflow with run-off surging down the hill behind camp, we moved three of our vans to a safe spot across our bridge in case high waters made wheeled egress from the camp impossible. Staff were also advised to move their cars from the low-lying parking lot by the Senior Beach. There would be no repeat of 1973, when the locked VW bug of a counselor who was deployed that day for airport pick-ups had to be hand-lifted by a dozen of his colleagues and carried to higher ground.

Ushering junior campers to dinner

Ushering junior campers to dinner

By late afternoon, what had been intensifying rain gave way to electrical storms, and, alerted by the lightning siren, boys and staff retreated to their cabins for a spell. Those of us in the Office stayed glued to our computer screens, hoping that our power would stay on (though perhaps secretly hoping it wouldn’t, so as to give our powerful new propane-fueled backup generator its first practical test.) A clear gap in the storm system subsequently offered a brief window for us to scoot the boys up to the mess hall for supper, which Tom Ciglar and his dedicated crew had all ready and waiting for speedy service. Fortunately, one (and one only!) of the three bridges that span the stream dividing the camp was still not over-washed by the mounting torrent, and the boys were ushered carefully across on their way to a hot meal. Meanwhile, Assistant Director Kenny Moore and Waterfront Head Charlotte Jones took the opportunity to detach the floating sections of our new hybrid docks from their fixed complements, carefully anchoring them against the strong down-valley current that was even then beginning to make itself felt.

Senior campers asleep in the Mess Hall

Senior campers asleep in the Mess Hall

Once we’d all eaten, it was quickly back to the cabins for the night – no pre-announced campfire and no staff time-off for that evening. (I must admit that, had we had a good supply of phosphorous, it would have been both novel and thrilling to hold an underwater campfire in its traditional location. No such luck, though.) By 6pm, our devoted and heroic Head of Buildings and Grounds, Reed Harrigan, had cancelled his own weekend off and arrived back on location. On Reed’s recommendation, the boys of Seniors 1-3 grabbed their mattresses, sleeping bags, and toothbrushes and headed up to the dining room for the night. While the waters rushing down the road in front of the Office (after over-topping a failing culvert) didn’t ultimately erode the foundations of the cabins, it made perfect sense to be super cautious, so that’s what we did. As a result, our 14s and 15s slept in the very space in which we normally eat our meals and sing songs about beating Camp Tecumseh. Their lullaby? The very remarkable sound of boulders thudding down the stream-bed just to the north, twelve- to fifteen-inch rocks bouncing over each other in the tumbling waters like the numbered balls in a lottery machine. It’s not a sound you easily forget.

Sunday, July 2

"Pemi Island" - three feet of water over the entrance road

“Pemi Island” – three feet of water cover the entrance road

Sunday brought a mercifully sunny dawn, but a quick 5:30 AM walk around the grounds revealed in a trice that the erosion damage in camp surpassed both the rains of ’73 and Hurricane Irene. There were three feet of water flowing over the entrance road, and waves lapped just twelve inches below the floor of the Lake Tent. Following reveille – and the common-sense cancellation of Polar Bear dips – Dan Reed and various other staff took the first steps (or paddles) towards reconstruction by retrieving vagrant sailboats, paddle boards, and wake boards from all over the pond. Meanwhile, Tom Ciglar and our other chefs waded bravely to their stations and had a hearty breakfast ready at the appointed 8:30 time. Tom determined along the way that, with a few menu adjustments, we had adequate stores in place to feed the camp family well for four days, should our access to supplies be affected.

The mood in the mess hall was distinctly buoyant, as might be expected when a group comes through shared excitement in good order. Boys and staff alike listened with rapt attention when Head of Nature Larry Davis (whose day job is as a university hydrologist) reviewed what we had all witnessed. This was absolutely a classic flash flood, he explained. The preconditions of soil being completely saturated by earlier precipitation and, in turn, resting in a very thin layer over the underlying granite meant that the three-plus inches of rain we received over roughly eight hours had nowhere to go but downstream – in massive quantities, at great speed, and with terrific power. Since there was a lag-time in drainage of approximately eight or ten hours, we could expect the lake to keep rising for that length of time. After that, it would likely take three or four days for the waters to return to something like their normal level.

Campers and staff pitch in to put camp back together again

Campers and staff pitch in to clean up

Intent on controlling everything we could, we proceeded with inspection clean-up just as usual, after which the boys left their cabins for various organized activities and, for those who chose to help, general grounds clean-up. Reed Harrigan was seemingly everywhere on his John Deere tractor, while Athletic Director and Grounds maven Charlie Malcolm, co-owner Peter Fauver, and Assistant Director Kenny Moore all buckled down to various essential tasks, often joined by keen volunteers from amongst our paying customers. In a further nod to normalcy beyond the morning’s inspection, we still required the boys to write their routine Sunday letters home. We admit to some curiosity about what they may have told you all about the recent cataclysm. If you have any amusing examples you are willing to share, please do.

Water basketball, flood-style

Water basketball, flood-style

That afternoon – still beautifully sunny – brought more activities, including water-basketball for the Seniors. A reprise of one of ’73’s most memorable post-deluge entertainments, this bizarre combination of water polo and hoops proved hugely popular and was repeated the following day for Uppers. (Check out this video captured by drone of Pemi’s water basketball, by Red Dog Aerial Video!). Meanwhile, Commodore Emily Palmer manned the safety boat and, with the assistance of TRJR and the rest of the trip crew, ferried an entire camp’s laundry bags (~240) from their cabins to the other side of the flooded bridge, where they were loaded into our sequestered vans for a Monday pick-up. By 5 PM, ten hours into his day, Reed on his John Deere had most of the camp’s roads beginning to look normal; certainly navigable if need be.

Saturday campfire, on Sunday. New location.

Saturday campfire, on Sunday. New location.

Speaking of roads, following our traditional Sunday evening cookout and because the campfire circle was still under three feet of water, we held our traditional Saturday night gathering for the first time on Sunday night AND with the bonfire built on the road just in front of the mess hall. The Senior camp had teamed up to bring all the benches up from athletic fields to which they had been moved to avoid the rising lake waters, and they made a cozy little semi-circle for the camp family to gather. The setting couldn’t have been lovelier, with a back-drop consisting of our green athletic fields stretching out for hundreds of yards, framed on either side by the wooded slopes of our valley (already blued with the coming night’s shadows) and the sunlit ramparts of Mount Carr, all the way down past Wentworth, modulating, as the evening progressed, from flaming yellow to glowing orange to amber. The entertainment was as good as ever – including Dan Reed and Becky Noel’s sweet rendition of Jason Mraz’s “Lucky,” Will Weber’s second tour de force on classical guitar, and Peter Moody’s infectious group-sing extolling the virtues of Bazooka Bubble Gum. As we swayed, finally, to the timeless words of the Campfire Song – “I wonder if anyone’s better for anything I’ve done or said” – many present could pat themselves modestly on their backs for the efforts they had made over the past 48 hours to pitch in at a time of crisis.

Monday, July 3

Monday brought still more brilliant sunshine, and a new week of occupations kicked off with each and every activity that didn’t involve swimming (either purposeful or inadvertent) carrying on as usual. That afternoon, Juniors 3 and 4 headed off under gorgeous blue skies for Rattlesnake Mountain, the only oddity being that the campers were piggy-backed through shallows to rowboats by the longer-legged members of the 15-and-under tennis team, also waiting to leave camp (and assisted in their St. Christopherian kindnesses by office-staffers Kim Malcolm and Heather Leeds). The boys were then towed to the newly emerged bridge by Sam Dixon, Will Katcher, and TRJR. Rarely if ever have Pemi hikers begun their mountain ascents with a voyage by sea, such as Dantrell Frazier, Teddy Rose, Atticus Barocas, Henry Ravanesi, and their cabin mates enjoyed Monday last. Surf and Turf, would it be?

First provisions arrive since the flood

First provisions since the flood

Monday afternoon also saw Tom Ciglar making a trip to the local grocery to top up provisions and supplies in the kitchen, and by 5PM Reed Harrigan had safely driven one of the camp pick-ups through hub-deep water to the bridge. It boded well for a dry roadway the following morning and, along with that, full communications with the outside world – Sysco food deliveries, FedEx, and the friendly UPS man alike. By 7:30, the weekly ladling of Bean Soup had begun in the Lodge, and the staple Pemi “Clam Song,” with its macabre narrative of a mollusk-sliced foot, was presented in re-written form to celebrate recent events – its infamous choral “Blood! Blood! Blood!” of course now altered to “Flood! Flood! Flood!” And so, as often happens, the wry and resilient human spirit responds to adversity with exultant laughter. Thanks, Wes Eifler, Harry Cooke, and Dan Reed, for lending your imagination and wit to the Pemi recovery.

Back to camp as usual

A few odds and ends of that recovery remained to be achieved, most notably a program of laboratory testing of our lake water to make absolutely certain that it was safe to let the boys swim in the pond. One week following the flood, we received the all-clear from the lab technicians, and at 5 PM Saturday the 8th, Charlotte Jones and her lifeguards oversaw the first swim since the storm clouds rumbled into our valley just a week before. Overall, not a bad rebound after a fifty-year deluge!


Videos and images of the 2017 Flood:

Junior Camp

Junior Camp

Junior Squish

Junior Squish





























Visitors arrive by boat

Visitors arrive by boat













Ferrying 240 laundry bags to the bridge for Monday morning pick-up

Ferrying 240 laundry bags to the bridge for Monday morning pick-up

View from the Library

View from the Library



















Volunteer clean-up crew!

Volunteer clean-up crew!


Rebuilding the road

Rebuilding the road


Reed Harrigan

Reed Harrigan

From Experiment to Trend to Tradition

2017: Newsletter #3

The following comes from the pen of director Danny Kerr…

Greetings from the sun-drenched shores of Lower Baker Pond! As we begin our third week of occupations, energy abounds and the boys are looking forward to a wonderful week of program, trips, and competition, as well as next weekend’s Birthday Banquet, our traditional, celebratory send-off for our first-session campers. Boy do these camp days fly by!

Over the course of its storied 110-year history, Camp Pemigewassett has developed countless traditions. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that traditions are both ubiquitous and gratifying for the entire Pemi community. Campers and counselors who take part in these customary rites and activities know that by doing so, they become part of Pemi’s history. In many ways, the camp experience here is still a great deal like when Teeden Boss’ father was at Pemi in the 1980’s or when Charlie Broll’s grandfather was a camper in the 1940’s. Visiting alumni often remark with a smile that things seem just like they did when they were at camp, however long ago that was. They are reassured, along with every year’s returning campers and counselors, that Pemi still provides a reliable and familiar environment in comparison to an outside world that constantly demands and presents change.

Seven-year senior camper Eli Brennan and I joke that when we try something new at Pemi, it’s an “experiment”; when we do it twice, it’s a “trend”; and when we do something for a third time, it’s a “tradition.” The idea of “new” traditions may seem like an oxymoron, but the truth of the matter is that some traditions do eventually go by the wayside and others become a familiar part of the Pemi year. With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the traditional activities that are a part of the Pemigewassett experience in 2017, and also hear what the boys see as especially valuable about those rites and customs.

Variation: "Pink polar bear" dip in the stream

Variation: “Pink polar bear” dip in the stream

Certainly a traditional and signature part of the Pemi experience is the morning “Polar Bear” swim, the quick dip right after reveille that everyone in camp, be they camper or counselor, young or experienced, Yankee fan or Red Sox fan, participates in for at least the first week of each session, and is something most campers choose to do every day of the summer. Truly, one of my favorite moments of the summer is the first day of Polar Bear, as 40 juniors dash with unbridled enthusiasm towards Junior Beach and their first Polar Bear plunge of the session. I asked a couple of our veteran campers, Teddy Foley and Suraj Khakee, both of whom have done Polar Bear every day of each of their summers (seven for Suraj, six for Teddy), why they still choose to hit the pond each dawn after so many icy plunges over the years? Suraj said he “love[s] the routine of doing the same thing each morning and bonding with the other campers who Polar Bear.” Teddy said that Polar Bear not only “wakes me up in the morning and makes me feel fresh and ready to go for the day,” but also allows him, on a daily basis, to enjoy “one of the most beautiful natural gifts at Pemi, Lower Baker Pond, with friends in a big group.” The Polar Bear plunge really becomes a crucial part of one’s picture of being at Pemi, such that when alums come for a visit, a work weekend, or a reunion, they invariably gravitate towards Lower Baker Bond upon waking, knowing this is really the only bona fide way to start a Pemi day!

FRB in Junior Camp

FRB in Junior Camp

Jacques Barzun, the social commentator, wrote more than a quarter of a century ago, “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.” Well, one could almost say, “whoever wants to know Pemi had better learn about Frisbee Running Bases (FRB),” which has become the unofficial favorite pastime at Pemi. Kenny Moore, our local Camp Pemi historian, says the game was introduced in the mid 1980s and quickly overwhelmed the previous crowd favorite, Capture-the-Flag. Well, that makes for over three decades worth of summers of mad dashing from one of three bases as campers try mightily not to be “tagged” by either a flying (and specially soft-built) Frisbee, or a counselor carrying said “kryptonite.” Nothing elicits a more boisterous cheer in the Messhall than an announcement that FRB is on the docket after dinner, and there is hardly anything more entertaining than witnessing the thundering herds run from base to base as they try to claim the title of “last tagged” for that game before all who suffered the fate of being caught are invited to rejoin and another game begins. I asked a couple of campers why they love FRB, and here’s what they had to say: Duke Hagen in Upper 2 said he loved playing games with counselors who “are trying their hardest but still can’t get us most of the time,” because “we’re fast and they’re not!” (Some staff might disagree!) Luke Larabie, a first-year camper and hence new to FRB, said he loves the “thrill of not getting caught and being one of the last few in the game.” Luke especially loves the last two minutes of each round, when the safe haven of being on a base is no longer in play, because then it’s “even cooler to survive.” I’ve never seen FRB played at any other camp or school I’ve known, so it truly seems to be a Pemi original. Perhaps we should challenge our storied rivals at Camp Tecumseh in a round on July 28th?

Another favorite tradition here at Pemi is counselors reading aloud to their boys each night, choosing from the many volumes of child and teen literature we have here in the Pemi library, or perhaps reading a favorite childhood story they themselves have brought from home. The quiet that descends on the divisions as this nightly ritual begins is heartwarming, and the cabins are filled with the tales of adventurous characters from beloved classics, old and or less old. As a follow -up this morning, I asked a few of the campers what they were reading and what they enjoyed most about the nightly ritual. Nate Broll said that Lower 1 was enjoying Candy Makers, by Wendy Mass, and that he loves fiction generally, and especially the fact that the story is told from the perspective of four boys about his age. Nate said that the reading at night helps him fall asleep, and that it offers the kind of comfort he “get[s] at home with Mom and Dad.” I had the pleasure of putting Upper 3 to bed one night last week; they quickly quieted down as I began the opening chapters of Dickens’ Great Expectations. Teeden Boss in Junior 2 said that Wes is reading them Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl (a favorite of mine as a boy, too), and that it reminds him of “when [he] was young and Mom and Dad read to me!” Finally, Luke Gonzales in Junior 1 said they are reading Big Friendly Guy, also by Roald Dahl, and that he loves the reading because he’s always “really, really tired at night” when he gets into bed, and the reading “makes me go right to sleep and makes the morning come so quickly!”

Singing in the Messhall

Singing in the Messhall

Singing in the Messhall just before the dessert course at every lunch and dinner is a tradition that everyone looks forward to. The songs we sing range from Pemi originals, many of them written by one of Pemi’s Founders, Doc Reed, to songs of Americana, college fight songs, and more. Pemi prides itself on being an inclusive community, and singing is about as inclusive an activity as there is. Ty Chung, in Upper 5, said that singing in the Messhall was great, in part because it’s “been happening for so long and is such an essential part of being a Pemi camper.” “Everyone can sing,” Ty pointed out. “It’s so much fun and adds to the group camaraderie and spirit of Pemi.” First-year camper August Matthews says the singing at meals is “fun because they’re all such great songs. I love the cheers and claps in them, and they make me laugh.” It is hard to keep from smilingl, or even laughing out loud, when we sing songs like “The Man on the Flying Trapeze,” “Mabel,” or “The Marching Song,” as the whole community sings with hearty enthusiasm, swaying to the beat, doing the sometimes crazy motions, or clapping along.

Traditions, whether they are as old as Camp Pemi itself, like singing in the Messhall, or relatively new, like FRB, are an essential part of a Pemi summer. They offer a familiar rhythm and a sense of being connected not only to the present community but also to people and times long ago. Of course, this is not to say that we are not keeping up with modern times, but that is a topic for another newsletter! Campers grow up and become adults, counselors leave for year-round jobs and to raise families, and we all change, year after year; but when we come back to Pemi, we can relive through these traditions all of the wonderful memories of our own camp days, whenever they happened to be. As the world changes in what often feels like a relentless way, Pemi is enduringly Pemi. What a comforting thought.


Hello, 2017! Introducing Pemi’s Staff

2017: Newsletter #1

Greetings from Wentworth, NH, where Camp Pemigewassett’s 110th season is well underway. Opening Day on Saturday went extraordinarily smoothly, despite a few showers in the morning. As usual, veteran campers rolled in prior to lunch and were ready to greet boys new to Pemi in the increasingly sunny afternoon, showing them around the camp before guiding them up to the mess hall for our customary first meal of pizza. The evening’s entertainment was our inaugural Campfire of the season, featuring talent aplenty from both campers and staff – among the most memorable of the acts being Will Weber with a truly spectacular performance on classical guitar.

Sunday’s weather was perfect for most of its span, allowing for the full array of swim tests, medical checks, weekly activity (“occupations”) sign-ups, and a range of amusing diversions for the various age groups. A very brief shower converted our cook-out into a cook-in, but the sun was out once again when the camp community filed into the Lodge for an illustrated talk on Pemi History from Tom Reed, Jr.

Today (Monday), occupations got off with a bang under skies of brilliant blue, graced now and again by fair weather cumulus scudding down the valley on a moderate breeze. Having signed up for anything from Baseball to Yoga, Rock Band to Steam Punk Metal Boxes, your sons kept themselves supremely busy through four hours of instruction and fun. Many will have grabbed a moment or two to respond to this week’s prompt from the editors of Bean Soup – our Pemi equivalent of The Daily Show and dating back to 1910. Come 7:45, we will all hear what respondents imagine red-bearded trip leader Nick Davini spent his days doing over the winter. We suspect there may be some alternate facts sprinkled in with plausible likelihoods.

Now, for a more dependable account of what Nick and the other members of our superb staff bring to Pemi this summer, we turn to the bios they scribed prior to arriving at Lower Baker. We trust you’ll be as impressed as we with the range of their experience, talents, and points of origin.

Pemi’s 2017 staff during pre-season, on the summit of Mt Cardigan

Danny Kerr (Director):
This will be my 8th year as Director at Pemi and my 45th at summer camp and I’m only 39! This fuzzy math aside, I am looking forward to another terrific summer in 2017. When not doing the Director thing, I very much enjoy coaching baseball at Pemi, playing the guitar and basketball with the boys, and recruiting any camper or counselor I can to join the legion of small, but dedicated, New York Met fans. I also enjoy spending time with my wife Julia 🙂

Ken Moore (Assistant Director): This will be my 25th summer at Pemi, starting first in 1992 as a ten-year old camper in Junior 5, and now as one of Pemi’s year ’round staff. Over the course of the year, I oversee the Pemi Program, Alumni Relations (Pemi’s 110th Reunion is this August!), Pemi West, and our general outreach efforts. Four years ago, my wife Sarah and I moved from Cleveland, OH to Plainfield, NH, and are excited for what 2017 has in store.

Tom Reed (Consulting Director and Head of Trips): The grandson of a Pemi founder, I have lived on Lower Baker all but a handful of summers since 1947. My ‘day job’ was teaching English literature and film at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, but I retired in 2015 and have recently moved to Sarasota with my wife Dottie. It’s true what they say: there are no mountains in Florida. Otherwise, though, there’s a lot to like, at least on the West Coast. I’ll be running the trip program again at Pemi this summer, as well as writing newsletters, leading mess hall singing, and helping out with the Gilbert and Sullivan show.

Dottie Reed (Administrator): This is my 30th summer at Pemi! After the 2016 camp season, Tom and I moved to Sarasota, Florida where our daily life includes walking, swimming, biking, and/or kayaking. Evenings often see us at concerts, movies, great restaurants, or catching up on some TV binge-watching (which for us means two episodes at a time). This freedom is a delightful result of having handed over a significant portion of my off-season Pemi administrative responsibilities to Allyson Fauver (have I said thank-you today, Allyson?). This summer, I’m back in the saddle (or more specifically, the Pemi office) where I’m happily involved with Pemi’s daily communication and administrative efforts and constantly charmed by our campers.

Allyson Fauver (Administrator): I’m so excited this year to be helping Danny, Kenny, and Dottie with forms and parent support! I live in Bozeman, MT (great backcountry skiing), but I grew up in New Hampshire and Maine and return every chance I get. I spent most of my childhood summers at Pemi, and have worked behind-the-scenes as a board member for several years (currently serving as Treasurer).

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 with my husband and 3 children. For the past 10 years, I’ve enjoyed spending the summers working in the Pemi Office.

Kim Malcolm (Administrator): This is my 26th year at Camp Pemi. During the offseason I live at Northfield Mt. Hermon School with my husband, Charlie, and 2 children. I am also a physical therapist.

Cabin Counselors (CC) and Assistant Counselors (AC)

J1 – Harry Cooke (CC): This summer will be my eighth on the shores of Lower Baker Pond and second as a cabin counselor. I am a rising junior at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, set to study abroad next year at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. I look forward to working in the music and nature programs as well as assisting on the camp waterfront.

J1 – Nicholas Gordon (AC): I am from Princeton, NJ. I am so happy to be returning to Pemi for my 9th summer! I have loved taking part in the nature program as a camper and can’t wait to work in the Nature Lodge as a staff member. I am also very excited to take part in this year’s G&S production. As I start this new chapter in my Pemi career, I am very excited to continue to learn new things and challenge myself as a counselor.

J2 – Wes Eifler (CC / Division Head / Bean Soup editor): I’m originally from New Canaan, Connecticut. For the past 6 years I have been going to school and now living/ working in the DC. Currently I am a 5th Grade Teacher at Bells Mill Elementary in Potomac, Maryland. I just finished my first full year of teaching and I am excited to be back at Pemi for my 14th Summer where, in addition to my other roles, I plan to be a staunch force on the baseball diamond.

J2 – Jon Duval (AC): After six years as a camper at Pemi, this will be my first year on staff. I am from the Washington D.C area, and will be a Freshman this fall at Cornell University. I enjoy athletics and competing in sports of all kinds, but my favorite sport is tennis. At Pemi this summer I am looking forward to helping campers to be themselves and to teaching tennis.

J3 – Sam Dixon (CC): Hello! I’m from a place called Newcastle in the north-east of England. This will be my first summer at Pemi and I can’t wait to get started. My interests are mostly sports, and being outdoors keeping active. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at camp and teaching you all some Geordie words and phrases!

J3 – Kai Soderberg (AC): I live in Sarasota, FL. I’m a high school senior and enjoy running and archery. I lifeguard year round at a local Sarasota pool. This summer I will be helping out on the archery range and with the running programs at Pemi. I also hope to start a XC team at Pemi and lead the boys in some local races. I have been a camper at Pemi for eight years and this will be my first time as a staff member. I’m very exited about being on the staff and look forward to another wonderful summer.

J4 – Will Katcher (CC): I’m from Needham, MA, and this coming year I’ll be a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Honors College, where I’ll be studying Journalism. In high school I ran Cross Country and Track, which I hope to continue in some form in college. This will be my 7th summer at Pemi and second on staff, after four years as a camper and one on Pemi West. I’m looking forward to helping out all around camp and I can’t wait for another great summer!

J4: Will Raduziner (AC): I am a rising senior at Fairview High school in Boulder Colorado. This summer will be my eighth summer at Pemi and my first year on staff. Last year I went on Pemi West and participated in CAP (Counselor Apprentice Program). This year I plan on helping in the nature lodge, on the archery range, and with sailing.

J5: Pete Moody (CC): Hi. I’m from Milford, Connecticut. This is my first year at Pemi and I am excited to be at Pemi this summer. I have an interest in video games, movies, frisbee, and golf. I look forward to getting to know my campers very well over the coming weeks. I was a Boy Scout for most of my life and hope to share my experiences with them.

J5: Ezra Nugiel (AC): I’m thrilled to be returning to the shores of Lower Baker for my tenth summer, which include nine years as a camper and this year, my first on staff. I hail from right outside Philadelphia in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and I’m a rising freshman at Middlebury College in Vermont. I plan to help out with all Pemi has to offer, especially in the music department and down at the ski dock. I can’t wait for the incredible summer ahead!

J6 – Per Soderberg (CC): My name is Per Soderberg. I’m from Sarasota, Florida and this will be my 10th summer at Pemi. Some of my hobbies include drawing, painting, woodworking and other crafts. I aspire to be a mechanical engineer and this fall I will be a freshman at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana. This summer I look forward to teaching arts and crafts, wood shop and archery.

J6 – Ben Ross (AC): I am a rising senior at BB&N in Cambridge, MA where I row, wrestle, and play soccer. I was a camper at Pemi for four years, and I went on Pemi West last year. I am excited to be back as an assistant counselor this year.

L1 – Matt Kanovsky (CC): I am from Briarcliff Manor, New York, and just finished my freshman year at Harvey Mudd College in Southern California studying computer science. This will be my 12th summer at Pemi and my third year on staff, as I finally get to fulfill my lifelong dream of being a cabin counselor. This summer, I am excited to teach nature and photography, and use my years of experience to be the most thorough inspector to ever have stepped foot on the shores of Lower Baker.

L2 – Daniel Bowes (CC): I live in Washington DC; however, I went to a small boarding school in south central PA called Mercersburg Academy. I plan to attend Lehigh University next year, where I will study in their undergraduate business school. I spent 7 amazing summers at camp and I am very much looking forward to my first year on staff. I plan to help out with sports, mainly basketball and lacrosse.

L2 – Sam Berman (CC): Hi all; this summer will be my eighth at Camp Pemi. I’m from New York City, where I’m a rising senior at a small public school in the Bronx. Outside of school I play soccer for Downtown United Soccer Club and figure to be spending most of my summer working out on the pitch.

L3 – Chris Carlin (CC): I’m From Paisley, a town on the outskirts of Glasgow in Scotland. I’m currently studying Environmental Management at Glasgow Caledonian University with the intention of going into renewable energy or conservation. I have always been interested in the environment and the wildlife in it, so I’m glad to be working in the nature programme at Pemi this summer. I’m also very interested in music, which I will also be working in at Pemi. This is my first year at Pemi and I’m very much looking forward to it!

L3 – Charlie Scott (AC): I will be a senior at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro New Hampshire. I am originally from Hanover, but have lived overseas for the past 15 years. I have been a part of the Pemi family since I was 8, however, this will be my first summer working at Pemi. I enjoy being outdoors and playing soccer. I am very excited to be an assistant counselor and look forward to helping coach soccer and being very helpful to the kids in my cabin and all throughout camp.

L4 – Nicholas Pigeon (CC): This will be my 7th summer on the shores of Lower Baker Pond, and I’m ecstatic to be returning to Camp Pemi as a counselor. I’m from a host of places, growing up in Guatemala, China, Ukraine, Italy, and Chile. Currently I am a rising sophomore at American University in Washington D.C., studying international relations. I’m looking forward to helping campers improve their jumpshot, hone their skills on the soccer field, and appreciate the natural world. I can’t wait for another incredible summer and hope to pass on my love for Pemi to the campers!

L5 – Andy MacDonald (CC / Division Head): I hail from Scotland and I’m about to start my 3rd year at Pemi. I’m known best at Pemi for constantly having random Shrek quotes thrown at me, as well as performing the greatest campfire act of all time last summer. I’m wondering if the kids will change it up this year and have new Scottish based insults for me :p. I love playing sport, hiking, reading and organizing events. I’ll be involved in soccer, tennis, and canoeing occupations. I can’t wait to see some familiar faces this summer. Bring it on!

L5 – Sam Seaver (AC): Hi. I am from Norwich, Vermont and I am currently a sophomore at The Millbrook School. I was a Pemi camper for 4 years and I loved every second that I was at Pemi; Pemi was my home away from home. This will be my first year on staff and I plan to help coach tennis and soccer and to help out with the waterskiing program.

L6 – Ned Roosevelt (CC): This summer will be my ninth on the shores of Lower Baker Pond. I am a rising sophomore at Wheaton College where I am on the tennis team. I look forward to meeting you all and extending the same warm welcome to you that I received back in the day. I’ll be helping out with the sports program, mainly tennis and baseball. See you on the courts and on the fields!

L7 – Cole Valente (CC): Hello! I’m from Princeton, New Jersey and I’m a rising sophomore at Dickinson College. This will be my fourth summer at Pemi, my first as a counselor, and I’m so happy to be back. I enjoy reading, playing water polo, doing improv, eating, and being outside, and I can’t wait to teach some of these this summer. If college doesn’t work out for whatever reason, I plan to secretly spend my winters at Pemi, living in the Messhall. I’m ready for a great summer and can’t wait to be back at Pemi!

U1 – JP Gorman (CC / First Session): My name, JP, is short for John Peter. I was born and raised in Ireland where I studied Music and Mathematics at University College Dublin. This will be my second year on staff at Pemi. Last year I was a Trip Leader. This year I’ll be a Cabin Counselor 1st half until Nick Hurn joins the cabin at which point I’ll shift to the role of Trip Leader for the 2nd half. Apart from hiking I love soccer, kayaking, and playing piano.

U1 – Nick Hurn (CC / Second Session): This summer will be my second year at Pemi, and although I can’t be on the shores of Lower Baker for the whole summer, I’m excited to be returning for all of second half! Last year I was the cabin counselor for J4 and taught/instructed a range of activities…if I wasn’t in Art World you’d probably find me on the waterfront or in the woodshop. During the not-so-exciting part of the year I go to Medical School at the University of Manchester in the UK. By the time I reach the White Mountains this summer I will have completed my fourth of six years, and I’m looking forward to taking a holiday!

U2 – Nick Davini (Trip Leader): I’m an anthropology major and rising senior at the University of New Hampshire. This summer will be my ninth at Pemi, and my fifth on staff. I look forward to being a trip counselor again this year. I feel at home in the woods, and love Pemi trips in the White Mountains. I also have experience instructing in the woodshop, archery range, and Art World at Pemi.

U2: Benjamin Potter (CC): Hi there. I am 21 years old and I come from a small seaside town called Margate in the South East of England, UK. I enjoy a number of sports, including soccer, ice hockey, and my passionate sport, Rugby, which I have played for over 6 years for my local team. Besides sports, I also enjoy and have a huge passion for music such as classic rock, blues, heavy metal, and a mixture of genres. I’ve played the bass guitar and the drums for a number of years and can also play basic guitar chords. This is my first summer with Pemi and I am really looking forward to teaching soccer and beginning guitar and drums. Bring on the summer!!

U3 – Will Meinke (CC / Division Head): I’m from Westport Connecticut and I’m excited to be back for my eleventh summer on the shores of Lower Baker. This year I will mainly be working in the Waterski and Soccer program areas. I’m looking forward to another amazing summer at Pemi.

U3 – Ted Orben (AC): Returning to the shores of Lower Baker Pond for my seventh summer, I am stoked to be a staff member for the first time! I live in Fairfield, Connecticut during the school year where I’m a rising senior at Fairfield Warde High School, and in the summer I’m either at camp or traveling. I’m looking forward to an unforgettable summer filled with water skiing, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and more!

U4 – Julian Hernandez-Webster (CC): I am from New Jersey. I love playing soccer, going hiking, and trying new things – a habit I picked up in my five summers as a camper at Pemi. I am looking forward to returning to Lower Baker and taking part in all sorts of activities unique to Pemi! Favorites of mine include frisbee running bases, barrel ball, and wakeboarding.

U4 – Sam Papel (Trip Leader): This will be my 12th summer at Pemi, my third on staff, and my first as a Trip Leader. I’m excited to get back and lead some great hikes, as well as coach Ultimate Frisbee. I’m from Nashville Tennessee, and I am a rising senior at Vanderbilt University where I study Engineering.

U5 – Nick Bertrand (CC): I just finished my first year at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where I was a member of the men’s soccer team. I am a biomedical engineering major with a focus in biomechanics. I live just 40 minutes away from camp in Hanover NH, and will be returning for my eleventh year with Pemi. I am looking forward to another great summer of coaching soccer and baseball.

S1 – Jack Stoker (CC): I have just finished 3 years at Northumbria University studying sport science and coaching in addition to business studies. I am eager to come to Camp Pemigewassett and contribute my enthusiasm and energy towards the camp. I hope to meet lots of new friends for life and to have a positive impact on the children’s lives. I am very sporty and competitive and willing to meet any challenge.

S2 – Kilian Wegner (CC): Hey! I recently graduated from Communication Studies in DCU, Dublin. Although it was my final year of college and there was a heavy workload, I made sure to keep up Soccer and Trampoline on the side. This will be my second fun-filled summer at Pemi and I’m looking forward to teaching lots of the same fun occupations as last year, with a few new ones too! With a year under my belt, I’m excited to be an even better counselor now that I know the ropes. I’m enthusiastic and driven, and I found that at Pemi I was really able to bring my passion and instill that same energy into the campers whether it was for birdwatching, soccer, photography, or art!

S3 – Tommy Gorman (CC): I am a first-time counselor from Metuchen, New Jersey and I am currently enrolled at Bucknell University and will be a Junior this fall. I am a former camper and I went to Pemi for two summers. I will be helping out with swimming, basketball, and lacrosse during my time at Pemi this summer.

LT – Dan Reed (CC / Division Head / Head of Occupations / Bean Soup editor): I return to Pemi in 2017 for my 17th summer as camper or staff, and am thrilled to return to my 2007 home: Lake Tent. I’ve just finished my first year teaching English and coaching squash and tennis at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT.

Program Staff and more…

Kim Bradshaw: Hi! It’s my 3rd Summer at Pemigewassett. I’m from Nottingham in England where Robin Hood originates from. I have been involved with numerous areas at Pemi and my favourite sport is definitely soccer (however, I seemed to misplace my bright pink cleats from last year) and I cannot wait for Polar Bear!!! Bring on the Summer 2017!!!

Scout Brink: Hello! I am from upstate New York. This is my first full summer at Camp Pemi, and I will be part of the Nature staff. Hiking is my favorite thing to do in the summer time, and in the winter I participate in winterguard. Many people don’t know what this is, so don’t be afraid to ask about it, and you can even try yourself! Most of my free time will probably be spent on the archery range.

Steve Broker – Visiting Professional: I have worked in science education for the past 47 years, including teaching high school physical and life science in New Haven, CT for 23 years, also serving as associate director of Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies Program, director of programs at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and adjunct lecturer at several CT universities. My father, Tom Broker, was waterfront director at Pemi during 1933-38. This is my fifth year as visiting professional at Pemi. I teach the study of birds in the first week of occupations.

Alan Brown: I’m from Jacksonville, Florida. I’m super excited to embark on my first year at Camp Pemi and can’t wait to meet all of the staff and campers that I’ll be spending the summer with. I’ll be overseeing waterskiing during the first session and helping out wherever needed throughout the season. I’ve been teaching school and working at camps for over 20 years now and truly believe that it is my recipe for staying young!   I spend all of my free time with my wonderful wife, Ashley, and my two young children, Landon and Teagan. We enjoy doing outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, hitting the beach, and tubing down rivers.

Steve Clare – Head of Archery: I live in Cornwall, a rural county in the UK’s SW. I have my own teaching practice supporting schools with specialist lessons. I also freelance for a charity and work as a substitute teacher through agencies. I coach two under-13s football (soccer) teams and help coach an under-16s team my son, Morgan, plays for. I also run a weekly community football programme for younger players. This will be my 3rd year at Pemi as Head of the Archery Department & 13s soccer. I’ll also be camp fire MC & cook-out chef. I’m looking forward to returning & playing my part in the Pemi family for another summer, whilst beating Wes in the ‘What Is It?’ competition – again!!!

Amy Comparetto: I’m excited to spend my first summer at Camp Pemi this year! I live in Concord, NH. I spend my work hours teaching, practicing piano and cello, and performing. When I’m not working, I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, and spending time with friends. I’ll be in the music department at Camp Pemi. I can’t wait to meet everyone!

Larry Davis – Director of Nature Programs and Teaching: This will be my 48th consecutive summer on the staff at Pemi. I am a geologist with AB and AM degrees in Earth Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Rochester. During the winter, I am Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven. I play the flute, was an intercollegiate soccer official, collect waterfalls, and love to travel. I have been to 47 US States, 7 Canadian Provinces, and 9 other countries. I am very active in the Children in Nature movement and believe that no child should be left inside!

Hawk Dunston – Visiting Professional: Though I can only come to the shores of Lower Baker Pond for a week this summer, I’m so excited to be returning to Pemi as a visiting professional, helping out with hoops, playing some music, doing some improv, and whatever else is needed of me! I’ve spent 3 full summers at Pemi, worked as the Head of Staff for a month in 2012, and supervised the Counselor Apprenticeship Program in 2015. When not at Pemi, I am teacher and play music in a few groups in Philadelphia.

Reese Eifler: This is my first year back to Pemi since I was a camper in ’98, and I look forward to directing our Gilbert & Sullivan production of Iolanthe for the first time. I graduated from NYU with a BFA in Theatre/Acting in ’08 and will be teaching guitar and contributing my experience as a lifelong musician, vocalist, pianist, and songwriter. I’ll also get to coach baseball and lacrosse and join my brother, Wesley, on staff. Outside Pemi, I use all that alongside programming as an independent PC game developer in Manhattan, where I currently make a real time strategy simulation game about yellow taxis.

Michaella Frank: I’m so excited to returning to Camp Pemi! I am from Avon Lake, OH and I recently finished my second year at Cleveland State University studying Music Therapy. This will be my third summer at camp. I’m looking forward to meeting new campers, seeing older ones, and making everyday an adventure. As a staff member I will be teaching vocal and instrumental music, and coaching basketball. I can’t wait to see what this camp year has to offer!

Chloe Jaques: This is going to be my first year at Camp Pemigewassett and I am very excited to be joining this summer! I am from London and am currently in my second year at the University of Nottingham studying history. I am a very eager sportswoman and therefore looking forward to participating in all of camp’s activities. This year at camp I will be both a swim instructor and lifeguard at Pemi, as well as helping out in Canoeing, Kayaking, Track and Field, and Arts.

Chris Johnson – Head of Tennis: I am very excited to be back at Pemi as Head of Tennis for my fourth summer. I reside in Cleveland, Ohio where everyone is still fired up about the Cavs championship and the Indians World Series appearance. I just finished my 16th year teaching fourth grade and I also coach boys and girls high school tennis. My girls team won their third State Championship this past fall. I also serve as Vice President of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association. My family and I look forward to an amazing summer on the shores of Lower Baker!

CJ Jones – Head of Swimming: I’m Charlotte from Salisbury in the UK and this will be my third summer working at Pemi! I’m so excited for the season to begin and to take on more responsibility as head of swimming. It’s going to be great to see how the boys have grown as people over the last school year and to help them gain in confidence during Pemi 2017. This will be the perfect end to a very difficult year for me. Pemi is such a wonderful place to be with amazing people and a noble ethos. Can’t wait to see everyone!!

Deb Kure – Associate Head of Nature: 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, museums, and trips programs throughout the U.S. During the school year I’m an Educator at Quarrybrook Experiential Education Center in southern New Hampshire, leading science field classes with pre-K through graduate students, and family groups. I’m grateful to be in my 10th Pemi Summer!

Lianne Lariviere – Head of Shop: Hello Everyone! I am pleased to be joining the Pemi staff for my first year. I am from Thetford, Vermont and am currently going to school perusing a BFA in wood/furniture design. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and having fun this summer. When I am not in the wood shop, I can usually be found reading a book or working on another art project.

Charlie Malcolm – Director of Athletics: I’m entering my 34th season on the shores of Lower Baker, and my 29th as Pemi’s Athletic Director.  During the school year at the Northfield Mount Hermon School, I teach history, coach soccer and baseball. I hold a Premier License from the National Soccer Coaches Association and have led NMH’S Boys’ Varsity soccer team to two New England Class A Championships.

Molly Malone – Head of Waterskiing (2nd Session): I am from Chippewa Falls, WI and this is my 3rd year at camp. During the school year I teach high school orchestra, play violin in the local symphony and piano at churches in the area. My passion in life is water skiing, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to ski every day (that there isn’t ice on the lake)! At camp I will be working on the ski boat teaching water skiing – something I absolutely love!

Hattie McLeod – Bugler: I’m excited to spend my first summer at Pemi assisting in swimming, music and canoeing as well as being camp bugler! I’m 20 years old, and grew up near Windsor, UK (where the Queen lives some of the time!) and I’m currently studying Geography at Oxford University.

Harry Morris – Head of Staff / Canoeing: I am super excited to be back for my 9th summer at Pemi! This year I will be the Head of Staff and the Head of Canoeing. I am ready to help out both my fellow staff and campers in each position to the best of my abilities. I hope to lead the Allagash Trip again this summer for my 4th consecutive year. Along with that, I hope to make this a fun summer for the staff by showing them all the wonderful things that a summer in New Hampshire offers!

Becky Noel – Head of Music: I can’t wait to be back for my third summer at Pemi! This year I’m excited to be Head of the Music programme and look forward to seeing all the wonderful talent we have at camp. I have a love of water polo which I’m excited to be teaching also. I will be graduating from the University of Manchester, UK (in the middle of summer) with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences After Pemi, I will be returning to Manchester for a research masters in reproduction and pregnancy.

Emily Palmer – Head of Sailing: I am from Hampshire, England and this will be my third summer at Pemi leading the Sailing and Windsurfing programme. I graduated in 2016 from the University of Kent, Canterbury after spending three years studying History. Since leaving University I have spent many a month skippering a private yacht in Greece and travelling around Italy. I am very excited to be returning to Pemi and enjoying another great season on the shores and waters of Lower Baker Pond.

Deb Pannell – Head of Art: I live in California, just north of San Francisco, and during the school year, I teach fifth-grade at Mark Day School in San Rafael. I taught art at Pemi for three years previously, and I took the past two years off to participate in some amazing professional development opportunities. I am delighted to be returning this summer! When teaching math, literature, history, science, and writing, I know my students benefit from opportunities to express their knowledge and understanding through a variety of modalities, especially art. Some of my students’ most brilliant artwork is completed in response to a science, literature, or math prompt. Students’ artwork gives me a perspective into their interests and understanding that is often broader that what I can see in their writing, computations, or oral presentations. Rather than emphasizing realistic drawing (an exercise that leads many students to dislike art), I design art lessons to emphasize choice, experimentation, growth mindset, and fun. I look forward to being a part of the Pemi community this summer!

Caretakers of our Physical and Mental Well-Being

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 seven years ago, first as a bus driver and maintenance person, then as an instructor in canoeing and kayaking. This is my fifth year as year-round Facilities and Grounds Director.

Kaitlyn Jackson – Nurse: Hello. This will be my first year at Pemi. I am from Rhode Island and graduated this past May with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH. Throughout college I was a member of the rugby team but I have also played most other sports at one point in my life. I also enjoy spending time outdoors and love camp fires.

Berkan Ersen Kabadayi – Kitchen Staff: I was born in Manisa. My family and I went to Rome and lived there for 3 years and then we moved to Izmir in 2002. Now I’m studiyng at Kocaeli University. I’m 19 years old. I have a sister who’s 5 years older than me. My mother is a housewife. My father was a Police officer but he passed away this year. I miss him and I will make his last wish come true by coming America this summer. I’m a person who wants to discover a new meaning of life. I love travelling, learning new things, making new friends and sharing my experinces. I teach Mathematics and science to people who are between 10-16 years old. I do a lot of things while I’m free. For example, I always prefer to travel on foot, I sing songs, I draw portraits, I do karate that I’ve been trained for 7 years and obtain a black belt. I practice and train with my friends and kids. I also love swimming. All of those are much more fun when I have friends around me.

Michal Kostrzewski – Kitchen Staff: I was born in 1993 in Czestochowa. My mum is a doctor. My father owns a company. They live in Czestochowa. I have an older sister named Daria. She is 27 and she’s married. She works in a court. Her husband Piotr works in sales at an IT company. They live in Warsaw. I grew up in an apartment block in Czestochowa. Now my family owns a house in the suburbs. I moved from Czestochowa to study, first in Wroclaw, then in Warsaw. I moved from Wroclaw to Warsaw because I wanted to study in the capital. Currently I rent a room in Warsaw with three people. My hobbies are bicycling, skiing, and swimming. I’m interested in fitness and travelling.

Jakub Litkowski – Kitchen Staff: Hi! My name is Jakub. I come from a city called Poznan, which is located on west of Poland. I am 23 years old, and right now I am, a student of ecological power engineering. In the future I’m planning to run my own company which will be working at renewable sources of energy. I have never been in America before, so I feel a litlle bit nervous and excited about the journey.

Patterson Malcolm – Buildings and Grounds: This is officially my 11th summer at camp, but I actually have spent every summer of my life at Pemi. I just graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School and will be taking a gap year before joining Swarthmore College class of 2022. This summer I will be working in maintenance at Pemi as well as interning at Senator Shaheen’s office in Manchester, NH.

Rachel “Sunshine” Preston – Kitchen Staff: This is my second year at pemi. I will be in the kitchen. I love art and cooking.

Frank Roberts – Buildings and Grounds: I am a native of New Hampshire and currently live in Groton, NH. I am an avid organic gardener, hobby guitarist and a lover of the outdoors. Spent many years in the Boy Scouts of America as a camper and am looking forward to participating in the tradition now as an adult.

Marc “Papa Bear” Rogers – Kitchen Staff: I’m from Greenville, New Hampshire where I am a sous chef at Southern New Hampshire University. This is my first summer at Pemi, but I’m a seasoned “community” chef as I’ve worked for years at summer camps. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and playing the bagpipes.

Luke Solms – Visiting Professional: I am from Bedford, NH and was a 6 year camper at Pemi. I am an art and global community initiative teacher Cardigan Mountain School, a junior boarding school in Canaan, NH. I also coach Lacrosse, Mountain Biking, and Hockey. I plan on coaching lacrosse at Pemi this summer after I wrap up my summer coaching commitments!

Amy Van Loon – Nurse: Hello all! This is my first year at Pemi and I am very excited. I am originally from Vermont, went to college in upstate New York and I am now in graduate school at Yale to become a Certified Nurse Midwife. My favorite activities include hiking and swimming, and I have a weakness for peppermint stick ice cream. Can’t wait to meet you all!

Fiona Walker – Trip Leader: I hail from Portland, Oregon and recently completed my Sophomore Year at Kenyon College where I am currently studying Psychology and English as well as running cross-country and track. This will be by first year at Pemi and I’m excited to be a Trip Leader as well as to help out with track&field on the side. I’ve always been an outdoor enthusiast and look forward to exploring the White Mountains with everyone this summer!

HBA Akinci – Kitchen Staff: I spent a wonderful time when I came to PEMI 2 years ago and had an opportunity to recognize new culture and people. My department is teaching of physics at university because of this I am curious. Also I like to engage in sports activities like basketball, fitness, swimming, trekking and canoeing. I want to work in kitchen again and I like food preparation and cooking.

Tom Ciglar – Director of Food Service: This is my 15th season at Pemi. During the school year I am the Director of Operations for Hampshire Country School in Rindge, where I live with my wife, Anna, and son, Jonathan.

Cass Cross – Kitchen Staff: I’m originally from New England but for last few years have been living in Florida. I am an elementary teacher and artist. I hope to enjoy my first year at Pemi.

Nancy Cushman – Kitchen Staff: My name is Nancy Cushman. I am the breakfast cook and baker at camp. This will be my 11th summer at Pemi.

Wojtas Gorzynski – Kitchen Staff: Hi. I’m 23 years old. I’m from Poland and I live in Wroclaw where I study Telecommunication in University of Technology in Wroclaw. My hobby are sports and music. I prefer soccer and basketball. I like spend time with my friends too. On a camp I would like to meet new people and spend a great time with they. At Pemi I will be working on dinning hall serices.

Bartek Hac – Kitchen Staff: I’m 21 and I’m studying on Warsaw School of Economics in Poland. I’m a person of lots of interests – I play in an academic theatre. What is more, I play piano – my biggest musical love is Chopin. I listen to the majority of music genres, however. One of my biggest dreams is working in the radio. I also take pictures and make videos – I wrote, recorded and edited many of them. I am going to work in the kitchen at Pemi for the first time and can’t wait to do that!

Serif Haras – Kitchen Staff: I am from Eskisehir, Turkey. I study at Eskisehir Osmangazy University and my department is electrical electronics engineering. My first year. I worked for short times before as a waiter and support staff in electric shop. I want to learn other cultures and make new friends from other countries in Pemi. I believe that, when I come Pemi, I will learn working principle in another country and I will provide my English.



Alumni Newsletter – 2017 Preview

Welcome to the next installment of the Pemigewassett Alumni Newsletter. In this edition, we will preview the upcoming summer giving one and all an update on the 2017 Pemi campers, staff, and our gorgeous facility.


In 2017, two hundred and sixty two boys will attend Camp Pemigewassett with eighty-one campers enrolled for the full seven week session. Eight countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Spain, and Venezuela) will send boys to Wentworth this summer. Within the United States, twenty-eight states are represented, with boys from Rhode Island, Mississippi, and Minnesota joining the ranks for the first time in a few years. Seven states have double-digit representation, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and Chicago also have strong contingents. Should make for great banter in the Mess Hall.

Thirty-four percent of the boys will be in their first season at Pemi, and on the other end of the spectrum, thirty percent are in their fourth or more summer. Eleven boys are in either their seventh or eighth summer! We enjoy having these savvy veterans and camp leaders to help the youngest and newest boys along. Mentorship between the campers is always a hallmark of the Pemi experience, and recent efforts have furthered mentorship opportunities.

Photo from 2015 – Ezra Nugiel, middle, with his Junior buddy, D. Johnstone (left), and also pictured is Ezra’s Senior buddy from 2010, Ridley Wills, completing a cycle!

For example, the Junior – Senior buddy program, which began a few years ago, pairs each Senior camper with a Junior counterpart. A few scheduled campfires allow the boys the chance to get to know each other, and begin building a connection. During the day, and throughout all informal times in between, these pairings form meaningful relationships, as the Senior becomes a role model for the Junior camper. Just recently, our earliest junior buddies have now become Seniors and have completed the cycle with first hand experience of the program.


We are fortunate to have a slew of Pemi veterans back on staff in 2017. More than seventy percent of our counseling staff were once Pemi campers, and roughly the same number are returning staff members from 2016. Every year, we are excited for new staff to join the ranks, to infuse the institution with new ideas and ways of thinking. Coupled with our great retention rate, the 2017 Staff is sure to be stellar. Stay tuned for the next blog posting to read further details about each staff member.

Don Webster instructing Pemi boys on the art of bunting.

To wet your appetite, we’d like to highlight one Pemi counselor who is returning to camp after a few years away. Julian Hernandez-Webster is back on the shores of Lower Baker, and represents three generations of Pemi. His grandfather, Don, started back in the late 1950’s, serving as the Head of Senior Camp, and also a baseball and tennis coach. No surprise to our avid readers, but Don was a graduate of Oberlin College. Steve Webster, Don’s nephew, was next in line, spending ten summers at Pemi. Then, Don’s two sons, Jake and Andy joined the ranks in the late 70’s. Andy, Julian’s father, learned a trio of water sports (sailing, canoeing, and waterskiing) during his camper days, and later coached soccer and baseball when as a counselor in Senior Camp.

After five years as a camper, many with older brother Max also in attendance, Julian is set to begin his first year as a counselor and looks forward to his new role at Pemi. Julian remembers his own counselors well, Ted McChesney and Ben Ridley specifically, and aims to model his own style after them. “Ted was great as my first counselor, he did an excellent job of encouraging me to try all sorts of new activities, a value that is one of Pemi’s best. And it was a privilege to have Ben Ridley as my Senior 3 counselor. I hope to bring the positive energy that I saw in Ben, and I hope I can consistently brighten the moods of the boys in my cabin.”

Julian is a rising Junior at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, majoring in Sociology and contemplating adding a second major in Spanish. The study of Sociology, analyzing the way societies operate, is an important field to Julian, and he is eager to pursue research opportunities including studying abroad in South America. He is active at Bucknell outside the classroom by playing club soccer, he serves as a member of LACOS, the Hispanic/Latinx student organization, and Speak UP, an organization advocating against behaviors and ideas leading to sexual misconduct.

Julian, bottom row, second from left, with his Senior 3 cabin-mates in 2013. Four others will join Julian on staff this summer!

Pemi has had a huge impact on Julian and his family, and they have been vital in  continuing the traditions of the institution. When asked about a favorite Pemi story or memory, Julian thoughtfully responded with an eloquence that deserves to be shared in full.

After the final campfire when I was 15, my cabin-mates were lamenting the end of our Pemi careers as campers. There were tears after the campfire, during the walk back to the cabin, and then quiet as none of us wanted to say goodbye to each other. Ben Ridley walked into our cabin and decided to take us out to the baseball field. It was after taps and the camp was dark and silent, but the sky was stunning. We laid on the grass in the outfield of the baseball field, staring out into the cosmos, and took turns swapping stories and laughing about our journeys at Pemi. Ben told us that even though we were done as campers, the bonds that we forged were special enough that they would last until we saw each other next. I looked around and in my cabin-mates I saw brothers, and I know that what Ben said was true. I have met up with most of the boys from the outfield that night and each time it was as if no time had passed, and our friendship continued just as strong as it was when we were 15.


A new cross section joins together the traditional twin piers.

Our facility is in excellent shape, and weathered an unusual New England winter and spring that offered a host of challenges. Guided by Reed Harrigan, Pemi’s Head of Buildings and Grounds, vast improvements can be seen as soon as you cross over the bridge to paradise. Looking to your right, you’ll immediately notice a new dock system for Senior Beach and two new floats beyond. These modern, easy to install floating docks accommodate the unpredictable water levels that have become the norm, and most importantly, the docks ensure increased water safety and support improved swimming instruction.

As you continue down Pemi’s road, you’ll notice to your left, the field-leveling project. Starting in the fall of 2016, these new flat playing fields allow lacrosse and baseball to co-exist in Senior Camp, much to the chagrin of those ardent admirers of the national pastime. The Mess Hall looms large over the grassy surface, with a newly paved driveway leading to the loading dock. Behind the Mess Hall now lives a generator to provide electricity to the building and to the office, allowing Pemi operations to continue unfazed in the event of a power outage.

A new superb playing surface for baseball and lacrosse.

Back on the road, now to the Boat House, two new rowboats flank the pride of the Pemi fleet; eight fresh, strikingly sharp, green Mad River Canoes. These gems immediately enhance our growing Canoeing Program, and support better canoeing instruction to venture beyond Lower Baker for river canoe trips. Other improvements dot the landscape and continue to enhance the program opportunities for the boys.

Stay tuned for upcoming summer Pemigewassett Newsletters that will be distributed via the blog. We hope you’ll subscribe to stay up-to-date with Pemi news and information. In the meantime, find us on your favorite social media platform for daily summer updates.

Links to Articles and Videos of Interest – March ’17

Over the winter, Pemi’s facebook page offered updates on Open Houses, alumni gatherings, and chance encounters, as well as steady postings of photos both old and new that made us smile, laugh, reflect, and—more often than not—ache to be with our friends at camp. Interspersed throughout have been links to timely topics and bits of interest from a variety of sources. As we like to do every few months, here’s a select compilation of those links that should make for easy binge reading if you’re not a facebook user or if you missed one along the way…

When you come across articles that you think the larger Pemi community might find of interest, please send them our way so we can share them with others!