Pemi West Begins an Exciting New Chapter

We are excited to share news about our revamped Pemi West program. The western branch of Camp Pemigewassett, Pemi West, is a wilderness skills and leadership program for 16 and 17 year old men and women. For more than two decades, Pemi West has provided a challenging and rewarding experience for participants, and we are thrilled to continue the program in a new location.

We have partnered with Deer Hill Expeditions, a Wilderness Adventure, Community Service, and Cultural Exchange outfitter in Mancos, CO to provide a unique outdoor leadership experience. In the exploration process, we discovered many Deer Hill – Pemi connections, from individuals who participated in Deer Hill programs to direct referrals from Pemi’s vast outdoor education network. Deer Hill’s mission closely aligns with Pemi’s and we are excited to create a custom program that combines the core components of both organizations.

Program

Southwest Colorado provides remarkable terrain for Pemi West to once again call home. The proximity to the San Juan mountains presents top-notch backpacking and mountaineering experiences, central to the Pemi West Program. After years of hiking and backpacking through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, participants will have an extended mountaineering experience in a new landscape while honing their technical skills and backcountry leadership.

In addition to the high altitude trail time, Pemi West will incorporate a week of canoeing on the San Juan river. This portion is a capstone to Pemi’s growing canoeing program. Boys first begin on the flat water of Lower Baker Pond, improving their skills over the years in preparation for the 15-year-old Allagash trip in Maine, and now they’ll have an opportunity to test their skills on the fast waters of Colorado. Working in tandem, participants will further their leadership skills and cooperation to navigate the canyons of the southwest by boat.

Community Service in 2016

The third, and most exciting, piece of the 2019 Pemi West Program is an enhanced focus on community service. Deer Hill’s service projects are second to none, their connections with the Native American populations of the Southwest affords hands-on service learning. Participants will spend a week devoted to service, experiencing firsthand the remarkable Native American culture and community. This new focus will result in at least 40 hours of community service.

Back in 2014, two big programmatic changes further entrenched Pemi West into the overall Pemi program. The first change saw the program beginning and ending at Pemi, with participants traveling together and sharing their experience at a Sunday Meeting. This connection back to the larger group educated the community on the Pemi West experience.

The second change allowed participants to stay at Pemi after Pemi West for the Counselor Apprentice Program (CAP). This leadership training program lasts two weeks, and our CAPs live in cabins with the boys learning from our talented staff members on the art of being a counselor. Both measures have been successful in staff training and recruitment, and will continue to be a mainstay of the program.

History of Pemi West

The 1995 Super Trip was an original precursor to Pemi West

Pemi West was founded in the mid 90’s by Fred and Jon Fauver, grandchildren of Edgar Fauver, one of the Fauver twins and founders of Camp Pemigewassett, out of the desire to provide an extensive and challenging wilderness experience for teenage girls and boys. For the first seven seasons, Pemi West was held in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of the Colorado Rockies. In 2005, the program moved to Olympic National Park in the state of Washington. This spectacular setting offered a unique opportunity to explore the gem of forest and mountain wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the opportunity to learn a broad set of technical mountaineering skills while crossing the vast glaciers of the high Olympic peaks.

Throughout Pemi West’s history, our participants have been fortunate to learn from a diligent and dedicated staff. Former Pemi West Directors Fred Fauver, Jon Fauver, Dave Penny, Tim Billo, Mike Sasso, Evan Jewett, and Dave Robb have successfully guided the program by creating lasting and memorable experiences for our participants. Alongside the dozens of instructors, we have been fortunate to have wonderful support staff, most notably Hannah Merrill and her husband Ben Hertel who have launched Pemi West from their home in Port Angeles, Washington for the last twelve years.

We now look forward to utilize the resources and staff of Deer Hill alongside a Pemi Instructor to assist the group. We are certain this program will continue Pemi West’s high standard of individual growth while providing new, more enriching opportunities for our participants.

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny

Kenny Moore Now Associate Director

I am very pleased to announce that veteran Pemi camper and staff member Kenny Moore is taking on a new title and responsibilities as Associate Director of Camp Pemigewassett.

Kenny and Sarah Moore with son Winston

One of the many joys of being at Pemi is watching our young boys become older campers, our older campers become young counselors, and our young counselors grow into leadership positions. As our young leaders gain experience, confidence, and wisdom, they come to take their place as part of the Pemi leadership team. Kenny is a vivid example of this type of progress.He began as a camper in Junior 5 in 1992 and joined the staff in 1999. Kenny settled into his position as Pemi’s Assistant Director in 2011 and has steadily taken on greater responsibility over the past years. This past Fall, Pemi’s Board of Directors and I both recognized that Kenny was ready for even more involvement in the management of the camp and, with this in mind, we were delighted to change Kenny’s title to Associate Director and to offer him increased participation in the winter responsibilities as a Camp Pemi director. Moving forward, Kenny will be working as first contact for Alumni whose sons are ready for camp, and, beginning this past winter, he has also been charged with the responsibility of hiring cabin counselors and many of our assistant counselors. Kenny is also overseeing Pemi’s Buildings and Grounds.

Please join me in congratulating Kenny on these new endeavors. We look forward to seeing Kenny and Camp Pemi thrive together as he takes over these new responsibilities. We thank him for his excellent ongoing work, and for being an exemplary model of Pemi’s tradition of leadership!

–Danny Kerr

Alfred Nye Fauver, August 15, 1915 – February 13, 2016

Al FauverWe are saddened to share the news that Al Fauver died on February 13, almost 6 months following his 100th birthday. Since passing the century mark, Al’s spirit has remained strong, though his physical decline has been steady, suggesting to his heart and mind that the time had come to move on. Al’s love for Bertha, his family, and Pemi have dominated his thoughts in his final months.

Al and Bertha were fortunate to spend the last several months at their home in Plymouth, rather than at their usual winter retreat in Vero Beach. This was a decision that allowed them to enjoy the peace of fires in the fireplace, a few snowflakes, and time with family and friends in the pastoral place where they have lived and loved for more than 50 years.

We look back on Al’s birthday celebration in August as a time when many had the chance to share thoughts and memories of the past, and to recognize and appreciate the Pemi connection that has enriched so many. Al, son of Pemi founder Edgar Fauver and his wife Alice, had a life-long connection. Pemi was his first home, where he arrived several days after his birth in August of 1915. He was later a camper, counselor, owner since the ‘40s, director from the ‘40s to the ‘80s, and an active board member until the time of his death.

In the ‘50s, Al moved his family to New Hampshire, to be closer to Pemi. Al was known for his kindness, wisdom, leadership by example, and selfless devotion to Pemi. There are many who are better for something Al might have done or said, in the times that their paths crossed on the shores of Lower Baker. The fondness Al felt for so many in the Pemi family is something that gave him strength and nurtured the good will in his heart until the end of his days.

There are no plans for an immediate service; it is expected that a celebration of Al’s life will be set for a later date. The Pemi family will be warmly welcomed to attend.

– The Fauver Family

Alumni Magazine – News and Notes

Welcome to the third installment of the Alumni Newsletter. This edition, Alumni News and Notes, is focused on updates from members of our Alumni community. Feel free to write your own update in the comments section below! Stay tuned for the fourth and final segment of our newsletter series, which will highlight Alumni events from this winter. To see the upcoming schedule of Pemi Alumni events, visit the Alumni events section of the website.

Pemi Encounters

Cory and Ian

Cory and Ian

Ian Axness wrote in, “As it happens, I met up with Dwight Dunston, Jake & Cory Fauver in the hip northern neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn! We walked around a bit, caught up on life stuff, and then just happened to walk by the Brooklyn Brewery just in time for a tour. Cory and I both answered questions on the tour correctly and were rewarded with free tokens!

Hilary Bride and Mike Sasso

Mike and Hilary

Across the pond in England, current Pemi camper Ian Hohman dressed like any other day for class at The American School in England. This particular day, his outfit included a Pemi blue t-shirt (smart kid!). Much to his surprise, one of his teachers, Matt Bagley, is a Pemi Alumnus, who was delighted to see the Pemi kid on Ian!

Mike Sasso ran into Hilary Bride at Camp Horizon in Luray, VA, where Hilary was working as a low/high ropes consultant. Mike brought a group of students from Browne Academy, where he serves as the Head of the Middle School. Hilary was thrilled, “I looked at my schedule for the week and he was listed as the contact person -it was awesome to catch up and his kids were a blast!” Hilary is living in NH for the winter, before she heads to Liberia in June to begin a stint with the Peace Corp. She will be teaching high school math and leading community programs for 27 months. “Let’s hope I still have some of those PEMI West skills and can still make a good lesson plan.” We’re confident you do, Hilary!

Congratulations

Owen

Owen

Peter and Tara Cowles opened their brewery, Aspetuck Brew Lab, in Black Rock, CT. All who have sampled Peter’s brews through the years at the Rittner Run banquets, know this is a dream come true. A few lucky Alumni were able to sample a few delicious libations back in December. Stay tuned for further information and stop by to say hi to Peter and Tara!

James Finley and wife, Kate, welcomed their son, Owen Gillen Finley (pictured left), on December 10, 2015.

Willy Friedman and his wife, Jess Smith, welcomed daughter, Ruby Max Friedman, on September 23, 2015.

Campbell Levy is engaged to Courtney Housam of Villanova, PA! The couple are new homeowners in Evergreen, Colorado.

Brian Mitchell and his wife, Alison, welcomed their second son, Rhett Patrick Mitchell, born on August 31, 2015.

In Memoriam

Frank Connor of Denton Texas informed us that his brother, Ron Connor died in December. Ron and Frank were both campers at Pemi in the early 1940’s. Their father, also named Ron Connor, attended Pemi around the middle to late teens.

Sports Round-up – News from the Gridiron

Zach Slafsky, a Senior linebacker for Dartmouth, earned second team All-Ivy League distinction. He netted 48 tackles, the fourth highest total for the Big Green Defense. Dartmouth finished the 2015 campaign with an overall record of 9-1, earning a three-way share of the Ivy League Title with Harvard and Penn.

Congratulations to J.J. Strnad, who was named to the MIAC football all-conference second team, after a stellar year rushing the ball for the Oles of St. Olaf College. In seven games, J.J. rushed for 729 yards and 10 touchdowns, including a memorable performance against arch rival Carleton; 226 yards and 4 touchdowns!

Updates

“As a Senior camper I (Bill Bradford) am well, active and still basking in the cordiality of our visit to Pemi two summers ago. The basics of character development with a great facility and staff are still present, although I note that there were no home practices scheduled for the 80 and under baseball team.  Duke Medical School has almost 8000 applications this year so I remain gainfully employed.”

Sandy Bryant is living in Sewanee, TN and working as the Assistant Director of Development at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School.

Saffer and Burnett

Brad and Phil at Seattle’s Pike Place Market

On a business trip to Seattle, Brad Saffer met up with Phil Burnett and the two had a wonderful time reconnecting after many years apart. Their friendship began over 25 years ago on the shores of Lower Baker. Phil moved to the United States in 2004 for a job with Microsoft and spent the following ten years working for various online teams including MSN, MSDN and Bing. He recently took on an exciting new role as a Group Manager at Nordstrom.com in Seattle, which he thoroughly enjoys.Phil and his wife Hilary live in Woodinville with his daughter Abi (16) and son Ethan (14). Abi loves art and Ethan is a keen left-handed pitcher for a local team, the Seattle Dodgers.

George Harrington Butts, a six year Pemi veteran camper and Assistant Counselor, is an actor in New York City. A lifelong performer, he cherishes his time acting in the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas at Pemi (his role as a sailor in HMS Pinafore remains his favorite role). After a couple of principal roles speaking Spanish in the 2014 telenovelas El Capo and La Gata, George starred with Game of Thrones’ actor Kristofer Hivju in the “Wyndham Rewards Wizard” national TV commercials last summer. “It definitely took a moment to adjust to the axe-bearing Tormund Giantsbane as a benevolent hotel wizard, but after that it was smooth sailing and an unforgettable gig!”  The Wyndham commercial and other television work can be seen on his page at the Internet Movie Database.

John Carman is still living in Little Rock, Arkansas and is serving as Director of the Boy Scout Council there. He and his wife of 37 years, Mary, became grandparents of a future Pemi Kid on January 6. Their two daughters and daughters’ families including grandson Harrison live in Louisville, Kentucky, where John and Mary will move upon retirement in 2018.

Chip Dayton wrote in, “It was because of Pemi that I always air out my wool blankets in the wind and sun. Simple, but I learned it at 10 years old and have kept the habit my whole life.” Chip was in Lower 2 and 6, and Upper 3 in the early sixties.

Bill Dougherty returned to Pemi this past fall for the Alumni Weekend. It was the first time since he visited since he last attended Camp in 1960; he reconnected with a number of folks and made several new friends. A highlight was the hike up Mt. Cube with his wife, Cynthia, under the guidance of TRJR, and a lovely evening dinner at the senior beach. He was disappointed at the absence of a dope stop on the way back from Cube, but intends to rally for next year with a remedy of his own. Bill’s younger son, Andrew, is awaiting the arrival of twin daughters any day, which will make 12 grandchildren for Bill.

Henry Eisenhart was thrilled to travel from Boston to Scotland this past November to see his cousins and their young children. In true form, it rained continuously from arrival to departure, but that didn’t deter him from getting in his first round of Scottish golf. More recently, Henry enjoyed catching up with familiar faces at the Fairfield Pemi Open House, hosted by Henry’s cousin Ted Orben and family.

Nick Gerard graduated from the University of Michigan in May, and spent the summer traveling. Nick traveled in Hong Kong and hiked throughout the New Territories. This past August, Nick moved to Seattle to work for Microsoft.

Former Associate Head of Nature, Paula Goldberg, provided the following update from the Goldberg family. “I am running a little non-profit called City Wildlife in the District. It is the first organization devoted to the care and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife in DC. Jeff is still working and playing tennis. Daniel is in his third year of a general surgery residency at Brown and Julia is at Superiority Burger in NYC. She had a recipe published in the New York Times last summer. Jonny is working for a non-profit in DC and has plans to climb Mount Rainier in May. Nate Erwin and I are planning to return to NH this summer for the annual NABA butterfly count and look forward to the participation of Pemi boys!”

Celian is looking forward to gracing the shores of Lower Baker Pond. The Campfire Song has been a great lullaby.

Celian is looking forward to gracing the shores of Lower Baker Pond. The Campfire Song has been a great lullaby.

Andy Judd still lives in Chester, NJ with wife Jennifer and his seven year old son, Robbie, and 3 year old daughter, Katie.  Following in Larry Davis’ geologic footsteps, Andy is celebrating his 20th year as a geologist with CH2M HILL (environmental consulting) in Parsippany, NJ.

Jonathan Lesieur, wife Maud, and son Celian recently moved back to Toulouse, France after living in Virginia for 3 years. Jon works for Airbus in their sales and marketing department.

Charlie and Kim Malcolm visited with Sam Martin and his family in North Carolina, en route to a family vacation in Puerto Rico. Sam teaches Middle School Social Studies at Charlotte Country Day School.

Malcolm and Martin

Charlie and Sam

Dave Nagle recently changed jobs, and now works at Constellation Technology Corporation, an independent test and research facility, in Largo Florida. Dave has two new grandchildren, a boy and girl, which brings the grandchildren count to four.

Walt Newcomb, middle member of a third generation Pemi family, now lives in Nashville, TN. Walt and his wife Bendy, will celebrate their 40th Anniversary in April. They feel settled in Nashville, after moving 12 times, including stops in Manila, Kuala Lumpur, New Orleans, and Idaho. Most of their travel was linked to Walt’s job as a geologist, which he credits to Pemi. “My Pemi years in the White Mountains directly contributed to my choice of profession. The assignment to the Philippines in 1975-1976 is the VERY BEST piece of good luck I’ve had, and I feel blessed by the experience in every way.” Walt and Bendy thoroughly enjoy the musical, dramatic, literary, and intellectual opportunities that their new home city, Nashville, provides.

Walt also provided an update for his son, Alumnus Charles (Chuck), who is an investment banker in Manhattan, and his daughter Virginia, who graduated from Kenyon College (one of our nation’s finest institutions) and practices law. Walt’s father attended Pemi in 1921.

Harry Norman, a member of the counseling staff in 2014, recently returned from Thailand where he completed his SSI diving training. He has started a job in banking and is working his way back to Australia.

After graduating from St. Olaf College in 2008, Matt Norman, has been living in the Twin Cities, and working at U.S. Bank as a Card Sales Support Manager. In this role, he supports credit card sales in retail branches and districts on the Community Banking side of the bank. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Manager of a branch in St. Paul, MN for almost 4 years. Matt met my wife, Sarah, while attending St. Olaf, and got married in September 2012 in Minneapolis. They currently live in Inver Grove Heights, a suburb of St. Paul. “I came back to visit Pemi in June 2013, as Sarah and I were heading to a wedding on Lake Winnipesaukee. It was awesome to show her the camp that means so much to me. She really enjoyed her visit, and it was great to connect with so many familiar faces. I think of Pemi often, and I hope to visit again sometime soon!”

Dylan O’Keefe is a freshman at the University of Virginia along with former S-3 cabin-mate Jack Cathcart! Over winter break, Dylan decided to go backpacking in Asia, stopping in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and several parts of Thailand. He has connected with another Pemi Alumnus, Jack Hannah, who is spending a gap year in Asia, and the two have traveled together.

Stephen Funk Pearson – “My brother (another Pemi Alum), Timothy Funk Pearson, is the Finance Director for the town of Tilton, NH, and with his wife Maria (technology integration specialist for the Winnisquam School District) and their 3 kids. They recently moved into a new home in Tilton where we celebrated Thanksgiving. As for me, this unusual weather has facilitated tree/brush trail cutting and road maintenance preparing my Cabins on the Cove rental property in Belmont, NH for summer guests. I recently split 7 cords of wood for this and future winters. Otherwise, I’m writing songs and gigging with my rock band “Pretentious Fools,” and shooting a new music video.

“Some of my sailing students may remember Cap’n Bob (Reed) from the late 1980s. Or, fellow baseball and tennis players of the early 1920’s. Now I’m 97 and don’t move easily. Pemi is a great alma mater and I relish all memories.”

Sam Seymour is completing a Masters degree through the Translational Medicine program at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, and will graduate this coming June (just in time for Pemi 2016!). Starting this program prompted a move across the Bay, from San Francisco to Oakland and Sam loves the new neighborhood – especially the proximity to Pemi alums Cory Fauver (2 blocks away), Ryan Fauver, and Jake Kring!

From Head of Woodshop – “Papa Jerry (Jerry Slafsky) is alive and well, spending his winters fishing in Okeechobee, FL and his summers in Freedom, NH; still woodworking.”

Eli Stonberg, a ten year Pemi veteran, lives with his girlfriend, Leah, in Los Angeles.  Eli is part of an interactive filmmaking team called Fourclops.  The team recently joined the roster of directors at PRETTYBIRD, an industry leading commercial production company. Their latest project was a holographic music video for Dave Gahan, the frontman of Depeche Mode.  The hologram video was featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Entertainment Weekly, Fast Company and more.  With Fourclops, Eli’s goal is to create new forms of entertainment by combining technology and video in unusual ways.

After attending Pemi in 1946 and 1948, John Trimble’s memories of Pemi are varied, some are snapshot sharp while others are faded like negatives. “We lived in Northern NJ, so we joined the mob scene at Grand Central Station. The first year I’m sure it was the longest train ride either of us had taken, up through New Haven to switch engines and then along the CT River through White River Junction to Fairlee, VT to debark. We’d never ridden in a truck before either, much less the open back on one (I’m sure verboten today!). We were introduced to the Reed and Fauver clans that summer, and I do remember the Oberlin connection. The vivid memories include, mounting butterflies and moths and learning the difference, up the hill at the owners’ house with its beautiful gardens and seeing a hummingbird for the first time, the Mess Hall, baseball, tennis, archery, shooting a 22 rifle, trips to Winnipesaukee, playing games there and at Camp Moosilauke, climbing Mt. Cube. And then there were the swimsuits we were forced to wear. What masochist created these awful itchy wool briefs that tortured our bodies as we attempted our mile swim and other fun things. But learning to canoe was worth the itch! I still manage to drive by at least once a year in the off-season and am always delighted to see the lake and then the cabins across the way, knowing that the camp remains.”

Erik Wiedenmann started working at an advertising agency in Berlin, Germany, after leading the Senior Division in 2015 as the Division Head. The agency is relatively small, focusing in corporate design and branding, which he finds quite fun and rewarding. Erik’s thirst for education remains, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return to the teaching world in some capacity.

Zach Wolf recently edited a new horror film called “Condemned,” directed by Eli Morgan Gesner and starring Dylan Penn. It’s out on iTunes and VOD. He was also part of the editing team for “Sophie and the Rising Sun,” which is premiering at Sundance 2016, and “The Breaks,” which premiered on VH1 January 4. Stay tuned for the upcoming Zach Braff film, “Going in Style,” starring legends Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin, which Zach also had his hands on in the editing process.

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny

AP Cites Pemi in Two Stories

Camp Pemigewassett in the News…

We like to think that with over 100 years of experience, Camp Pemigewassett has come to learn a thing or two. How especially nice for two Associated Press writers to consider Pemi as a resource for topics near and dear to us and to our camp parents, and for their stories to have been picked up—so far—by ABC News, Yahoo News, the Washington Post, and several regional online sources…

Visiting Day at Summer Camp Can Be Hard on Parents and Kids by Beth Harpaz, Associated Press Travel Editor

Old-Style Letters to Campers Can Be Tricky for Parents by Leanne Italie, Associated Press Entertainment and Lifestyles writer

Share the News

Pemi is a word-of-mouth camp, so please feel free to post, share, email, etc. these recent news stories. Thank you!

Want to Read More?

Pemi’s website provides extensive information to guide parents before, during, and after the summer camp experience. Read more about Visiting Weekends and Communication.

Cans From Campers: A Community Service Effort

Let’s Start a New “Season of Giving” with Cans From Campers

In June 2015, Camp Pemigewassett launched Cans from Campers, a food drive on the opening day of our season, an initiative in response to a growing interest in community service among our campers. Our focus was timely. We learned through the process that food pantries suffer a significant decline in donations during the summer months since food drives typically are held in November and December, the “season of giving.” Additionally, according to “Summer Shouldn’t Mean Hunger” in November 2015’s US News & World Report opinion section:

During the school year, approximately 22 million kids count on the nutrition they need from school meals. At the close of the school year, access to those meals ends and for far too many kids, summer break means struggling with hunger.

Cans from Campers was simple to implement. A conversation in the spring with the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester helped to identify a local food pantry, and a call to the head volunteer at the location provided us with the information we needed to coordinate our schedule with theirs.

In a pre-season email to our families and staff, Dan Reed and Sarah Fauver, members of the fourth generation of Pemi’s founding families, suggested they add a canned good or non-perishable when they packed camp gear for the coming weeks. As a fun twist to the idea, they also suggested that campers and staff consider bringing a can for every year they’d been at Pemi. (For several campers, that could mean 6, 7, 8, or even 9 items. And for one of our staff members, 46!)

Cans From Campers took place on our opening day in June and again in mid-July when our Second Session boys arrived. After being warmly greeted by Director Danny Kerr and Assistant Director Ken Moore, campers arriving by car came upon Dan and Sarah, who had staged a collection site near the office—a bright yellow kayak—just in case our campers came with a donation in hand. It didn’t take long to see that the food drive idea had been embraced enthusiastically by campers and parents alike. Even boys who came by bus and plane managed to wedge a can of tuna or a box of mac ‘n’ cheese into their luggage. By the end of the day, the kayak “looked like a cross between Noah’s Ark and a polyethylene cornucopia” (to quote that week’s summer newsletter).

Cans From Campers at Pemi

Many boys (and Dads who are alums) brought a can for each year they’d been a camper at Pemi

As the window of time for arrivals came to a close, eager helpers stepped in to count, sort, and organize the soups, cereals, canned vegetables, beans, and rice that filled and surrounded the vessel. Two days later, five campers—selected from 30 who volunteered—hoisted dozens of loaded boxes and bags into a camp van to personally deliver the bounty to the local food pantry during their open hours.

Cans From Campers at Pemi

Pemi campers load the goods into a van via assembly line and deliver them to a local food pantry

After our boys unloaded the goods, Ted, the head food pantry volunteer, gave an informative talk about the services they provide and the 351 families they serve in fourteen surrounding counties. Another volunteer referred to charts on the wall to illustrate how servings are calculated. Two refrigerators and a freezer hummed in the background, ready for the possible donation of soon-to-expire meat and produce—staples needed for a nutritious, balanced diet—from two local grocery stores. We learned that, unfortunately, one such dependable store had recently started to sell these items at deeply discounted prices rather than donate them.

Cans_talk

A volunteer at the food pantry gives a talk on the families they serve; a chart illustrates how to calculate servings

By all measurable means, our inaugural food drive was a tremendous success—with our modest camp community of 254 campers (from our two arrival days), plus staff donating over 800 cans and other non-perishables, serving well over 100 local families ranging in size from one to nine members and providing an appreciable contribution to the 3,052 meals served by the food pantry during the month of July.

While our goal was to provide a basic need for those less fortunate in our surrounding area, the opening day endeavor also had an extremely positive impact on our own camp community. A single camper’s simple and kind gesture upon his arrival quickly grew into a visually stunning, cumulative effort, achieved only when many work together. The spirit of generosity and community-mindedness and of respect and empathy in action—a culture that we aim to build each and every summer—was launched in a yellow kayak in the center of camp for all to see and consider.

Pemi boys and food pantry staff

Pemi boys and food pantry staff

When asked about his experience of going to the food pantry, Matthew McDonough, 12, said, “I’ve done food drives before at home (New Jersey) so I know it feels good to help. Mostly I was surprised to hear how many hungry families there are. When I think of New Hampshire, I think of going to camp and how rural it is.”

This coming June we’ll do our part and will host Pemi’s 2nd annual Cans From Campers. But just think; if food pantries regularly see a decline in donations starting in June, and if summer camps are gearing up at exactly that time, imagine the potential impact that summer camps across the country could have in fighting hunger in the rural or urban communities that surround them merely by adopting this simple tradition. After all, every summer camp has an opening day, and camps with multiple sessions have multiple “opening days” throughout the summer. All it takes is the suggestion that campers pack a can of food along with their bathing suit and sunscreen.

To that end, we’ll reach out to other camps in our area to relay our experience…the camps we typically see on the soccer pitch or baseball diamond, or camps that many of our campers’ sisters attend. If they’d like to host their own opening day food drive, perhaps we can coordinate efforts. The NH Food Bank stands ready to serve as a resource for camps that join in.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the idea catches on with summer camps all across the country? Camps could very well be a key player in helping to reduce the spike in summertime hunger experienced in the communities around us all. Perhaps Cans From Campers could even establish a new “season of giving.”

~ Dottie Reed

Cans_From_Campers_KayakLinks to further reading:
Feeding America
No Kid Hungry
NH Food Bank

Find your local food bank:
http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/

 

 

 

 

Alumni Magazine – June Edition

Welcome to the first quarterly installment of the Pemi Alumni Newsletter. Our aim is to connect Alumni to camp and each other with updates throughout the year. A particular thank you to the Alumni who completed the communications survey distributed earlier this year. Your feedback was invaluable!

This first edition comes just before the launch of Pemi’s 108th season, and will give you a glimpse of the summer ahead. It’s been an active off-season at Pemi, and the details follow.

Facility Update

Pemi’s buildings and grounds team is supremely talented. Reed Harrigan, Head of Buildings and Grounds, and his crew’s diligent work throughout the harshest of New England seasons is truly inspiring, and while many of the projects are out of sight, literally below the surface, the B and G team’s efforts allow the Pemi program to enrich hundred’s of boys lives.Pemi Road

Last fall, the team spent substantial time beautifying the Intermediate cabins to make them look as sharp as the now one-year-old Upper 4 and Upper 5. Many of Pemi’s electrical and phone wires received upgrades and were placed underground, allowing unobstructed natural views throughout camp.

Over a record-breaking winter this year, the main area of focus for Reed and crew was building a new staff residence, in the Junior Camp. This cabin is placed strategically in the hillside where the Junior Tent once stood. IMG_3015Ken Morrell, Pemi’s in-house master builder, created this two bedroom, lofted cabin with a screened-in porch overlooking the Junior Stream. It has quickly been highlighted on Zillow as the most sought after housing option in the town of Wentworth.

Those lucky to be with us this summer will quickly notice improvements in Pemi’s water system, with new accessible water fountains dotting the DrivewayPemi landscape. A new roof for the Rittner Fountain, a new waterski dock, and new kayaks will greatly enhance our program. And cars and joggers alike will experience jaw-dropping awe with the newly paved entrance off of Route 25A.

Here’s to Reed and his team, for a job well done!

Enrollment

Pemi experienced a strong enrollment season, hitting capacity in January. We are thankful for the families who continue to place their trust in us; we take the care of their boys seriously and we strive to provide the best environment for young men to thrive. Special thanks to current Pemi family members who shared a kind word about the magic of camp to their friends and family. Our word of mouth network is strong due in large measure to our parents and Alumni.

Two hundred fifty-seven boys will make Camp Pemi their home away from home in 2015, with eighty-seven boys staying for the full season.

Of those boys eligible to return from 2014, 86% chose to do so. Sixty-six boys, roughly 25% of our campers, will be in their first season at Pemi, and on the other end of the spectrum, another 25% of campers will be in their fifth or more summer.

We also have a great balance of legacy campers, those who have had a family member who spent a summer on the shores of Lower Baker as a camper or staff member.

Second Session

Second Session Legacies

First Session

First Session Legacies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our camper population represents 9 countries and 23 states, and of those states, over 120 different municipalities are the winter home to a Pemi boy.

Staff Profile – Erik Wiedenmann

In just a few short weeks, the traditional staff introduction newsletter (now available through this blog) will shed light on the entire Pemi staff for 2015. We are very excited about this year’s staff, which offers a great balance of Pemi veterans mixed with newcomers, each one bringing a keen interest in working with boys and, together, a myriad of talents.

70% of Pemi’s program staff from 2014 will return, and nearly 80% of our cabin counselor staff have spent at least one summer at Pemi. Three program heads, Archery, Sailing, and Waterskiing, are entirely new to Pemi, and will infuse fresh ideas and teaching techniques to their program areas, continuing our standard of excellence.

It seems that every year a Pemi alumnus, after years away from Lower Baker, decides to re-join the staff and 2015 is no different. Erik Wiedenmann is returning after five summers away and will serve as the Division Head for Senior Camp. We’ve decided to share his story, a unique and engaging one, for the entire Pemi community to enjoy.

Erik, a native of Berlin, Germany, was a camper at Pemi for four summers, before joining the counseling staff in 2010 as the counselor of Lower 4. He attended Tufts’ five-year, Dual Degree program (BA/BFA) with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, studying Comparative Literature and Visual Arts (Illustration and Animation). After this summer at Pemi, his plan is to move to New York to work in publishing with the goal of writing children’s books.

After receiving a grant from Tufts in the fall of 2014, Erik took to the road to write a children’s book based on traveling throughout South America. He intended to travel for seven weeks, but stayed several months, becoming immersed with the local culture and practicing his Spanish. Erik took advantage of his surroundings, including a trip to the Chilean Patagonia with new friends. “Because I was the most experienced of all of us, I basically became a trippie, taking charge of packing lists and food supplies. Pemi instilled a certain appreciation for nature in me.”

07 - hiking in nepalNear the end of his stay, Erik began teaching English as a second language in Buenos Aires and discovered a newfound passion. “It was very fulfilling. I had never really studied education and teaching before, and I found myself really enjoying the new material at a deeper level.” Erik’s thirst for travel continued well after the grant money disappeared, and he decided to continue his year of travel with a second trip, now to Asia.

The first stop on his Asia trip was India, followed by Nepal, which Erik loved, finding peace hiking through the Himalayas. His hiking continued in Thailand, where he made his way from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, in order to catch his flight to Japan where he would spend the last seven weeks of his journey.10 - teaching at conversation club, japan

In Japan, Erik also taught English as a second language to both adults and children. “Though the Japanese are said to be fairly reserved and shy, the students were so warm-hearted and enthusiastic, it was truly such a pleasure to teach them. I also learned so much about Japanese culture in speaking to them. Of all the countries I visited, it is perhaps the one that left the greatest impression on me.”

His trip re-affirmed his conviction to work with children, a passion first felt back in 2010 as a counselor at Pemi. And with the 2015 summer ahead of us, Erik is thrilled to be returning to the place where it all started. Keep your eyes out for his first (hopefully of many!) children’s book that is currently a work in progress. To follow Erik on his journey, visit his website, www.erikwiedenmann.com, and to meet this fine young man, visit Senior Camp in 2015.

Special Event – Al Fauver’s 100th Birthday!

Al and Billy HopkinsEach and every Pemi summer is memorable, yet 2015 offers a genuine “once in a lifetime” event. On August 15, current Pemi board member and former director, Al Fauver will celebrate his 100th birthday! Alumni are invited to join the grand celebration the following day, Sunday, August 16. For further details, click here, or to RSVP.

As always, we encourage our extended Alumni family to swing by to see Pemi firsthand, should your travel plans point you towards the shores of Lower Baker. We’d love to stay connected in person, or virtually, and I invite all Alumni to actively participate in our growing Alumni network. Please submit Alumni Notes, attend Alumni Events, and help connect us to ‘lost’ Alumni. Interested in being featured in the fall’s newsletter? Let me know! Have personal or professional news to share? E-mail me, and you will be included in the winter release of Alumni News.

Good luck, long life, and joy!

Kenny Moore

Finally, A BETTER BEAN SOUP by Josh Fischel

Veteran Bean Soup editor, Josh Fischel, offers up a tasty serving of the Soup as only he can, recalling his years as an editor during the 2000’s…

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Greetings from the Bean Soup Emeritus Lodge on the sunny shores of Lower Baker Key in sunny southern Florida!  Here, every Sunday night through Monday afternoon, the gathered editors all curl ourselves into small, fetal balls and rock gently back and forth until the waves of post-traumatic stress recede.

What could still cause such anxiety in a group of otherwise stable and reasonable people: captains of industry, perpetual students/layabouts, and independent school teachers?  If I had to guess, it was the pressure of making the tenth decade of Bean Soup funnier and more inventive than the previous nine combined had been.  We had to make the audience forget the illustrious efforts of TRJR, Rob Grabill, Karl See, and Justin Thomson-Glover (oh, T-G, the man who could read a phone book entirely of people named Smith and make it funny, so we were told over and over).  It wasn’t enough to be merely as funny as our ancestors; we had to be funnier.

Our introductory remarks each week were required to be three times as long as normal.  We had to write and perform songs.  We were “strongly encouraged” to have TRJR win Director of the Week for nine consecutive weeks, or until Dottie convinced him to start wearing deodorant again.  There was the infamous ‘poop’ quota: the number of times we had to say that execrable word each week to ensure, it was said, that juniors would stick around through Things to Look For.  We could mention poop, sure, but we had to lay off any number of other actionable areas: age, weight, baldness, hobo killers, secret caches of candy hidden like horcruxes by Jon Fauver.  Even with all those proverbial hands tied behind our backs, we had to keep butts in the seats, so there was often a rotating cast of guest editors who had to appear just as funny as the regulars were.

A night of Bean Soup in 2003.  Editors Ben Olding, left, Josh center, and guest editor? Porter Hill, right

A night of Bean Soup in 2003 with Editors Ben Olding (left), Josh (center), and guest editor? Porter Hill (right)

Who knows if we succeeded.  The twelve editors of the 2000s—Sky Fauver, Roso, me, Ben Olding, Grabill Junior, Frilly Weidman, James Finley, Rob Verger, Conor Shaw, Ian Axness, Jack Stratton, and Dwight Dunston—did their best to answer the call and overcome the long odds, week after week, to make the ten years compiled in this part of the annals of history at least a tiny bit funnier than the previous ninety, admittedly funny years had been. There was an entirely musical week.  There was the annual positive spin on Tecumseh Day (“Our hair is intact!” “Our sportsmanship was without parallel—again!” “At least we don’t have to watch each other poop!”).  We edited a ton of superlative contributions, too. Among my favorites was Christian Ruf’s article about the Mess Hall Flood and the time that Lake Tent burned to the ground, set to the tune of a mash-up of ‘Wagon Wheel’ and ‘Gin & Juice.’ There was also Penelope Reed Doob’s infamous top ten of the bottom ten Gilbert & Sullivan musicals (Utopia Limited, anyone?); Rob Stenson’s incredible trip report about Upper 3’s 2-day hike up Mt. Guyot and down Mt. Mansfield; Sam Seymour’s diary entries from when he was the Power Table waiter; and who could forget Dan Bendett’s game report from ’06, ostensibly about the 15 & under hoops team’s performance against the chillboys of Lanakila, that wound up being a meditation on meditations and mediations and what the media shuns and meaty shins? During that time, our writing space—where we wrote each panicky Monday afternoon—shifted nearly constantly, because our overlords didn’t want us getting complacent.  We began in the Small Dining Room, shifted to the Sky Box, and from there to the Garden House, the Thunderdome, Rob’s House, the Satellite Lounge, the Clearing, the Landing, the Gravel Pit, Gummi Glen, Publisher’s Clearinghouse, Downton Abbey, and the Manor (not the one on 25A—the Aaron Spelling Estate).  We were angry about our nomadic existence, but we didn’t let that be widely known.  We kept our most biting humor vague, as misinterpretable as a Kosuke Fukudome jersey.

Really, though, in the end, all you’re left with is your deeds.  One can’t control how history will judge…one.  But let’s hope history has a broad and generous sense of humor.

Don’t worry about us; we’ll be fine.  Editors don’t lose sleep over whether you thought they were funny.  See, the secret of Bean Soup is that we thought we were funny.  Every article that made it to the Monday night table was one that made at least its author laugh.  Real belly laughs, I’m talking here.  (Verger’s high-pitched giggles counted, too.)    Egotism is what makes the Soup truly tasty, after all.  Deniers gonna deny and haters gonna hate, but I speak the truth.

Josh with his entourage, former campers and counselors who spent summers with him as a counselors.  Taken in 2000.

Josh with his entourage, former campers and counselors who spent summers, 1997-2001, with him as a cabin counselor. Photo taken in 2001.

Ben just reminded me that I’m on foot massage duty this evening, one of the perils of living for any length of time in the Bean Soup Emeritus Lodge. (Ethan—sorry, Dr. Ethan—likes to have his bunions planed, which is almost as unpleasant as wintering in Cleveland.)  The others are always planning to decamp, but then they wonder what cruel lessons the world has for them once they wander from the cocoon of like-minded comedians bouncing punchlines off each other, and they stick around.  Time will tell if any of this was useful or worth it.  Each time we think we were funny, we are reminded by higher powers than us that Justin Thomson-Glover was funnier, and we throw darts at his likeness, which Ian affixed to our front door with a hatchet. Really, though, it is you who can (and should!) read our efforts and decide if our Sundays and Mondays would have been better spent cleaning the toilets in the Intermediate Pagoda from 2001 to 2010; at least then you would have had a clean place to sit and contemplate what is truly funny, if not us.

Good luck, long life, enjoy.

– Josh Fischel

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The Bean Soup digitization project nears completion, with some of the earliest editions, 1910-1915, being carefully preserved this winter.  If you are interested in receiving one or more issues from your time at Pemigewassett, please let me know.  I will be happy to send you any given issue or issues in PDF form. Please contact me at alumni and stay tuned for future releases.

-Kenny Moore

September at Camp Pemigewassett

September was a spectacular month at Camp Pemigewassett; blanketing morning fog that eventually gave way to clear warm afternoons, and the leaves turning towards their powerful autumn glow.   Pemi as a physical place has never looked better and should be enjoyed by all.  Please enjoy a walk through camp with our first photo blog. Stay tuned for further updates this fall, winter and spring!

Crossing the bridge into Pemi

Crossing the bridge into Camp Pemigewassett

 

Down the lower lake from the Camp Pemigewassett bridge

Down the lower lake from the bridge

 

The morning view of the pond from the campfire cirlce

Morning view of the pond from the campfire circle

 

The fog rises from the athletic fields

Fog rising from the athletic fields

 

The view of Senior Beach from the Senior Lodge

View of Senior Beach from the Senior Lodge

 

The rest of Lower Baker Pond

Lower Baker Pond

The Senior Cabins

Senior Camp

 

From the bottom of the Mess Hall steps, towards Mt. Carr

From the bottom of the Mess Hall steps with Mt. Carr hidden in the morning fog

 

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Intermediate Hill

 

One remaining sunfish in Lower Baker

One remaining sunfish in Lower Baker

 

A yellow canopy forms over the road past Upper 4

A yellow canopy forms over the road by Upper 4

 

The Junior Point with Mt Piermont looming in the background

Junior Point with Mt. Piermont looming in the background

 

Junior 6 basking in the afternoon sun

Junior 6 basking in the afternoon sun

 

The view of Camp Pemigewassett from the Public Beach

View of Camp Pemigewassett from the Public Beach

 

 

Ander Wensberg’s Next Chapter of Pemi Involvement

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Ander Wensberg

As things wind down at the end of a highly successful season, we would like to take a moment to extend our profound thanks to Ander Wensberg for four years of energetic and productive service on the Pemi Board of Directors. Ander is not leaving us but will now assume a central role conceiving and creating a new Pemi Advisory Committee, broadening the scope of counsel and experience on which camp is able to draw. Ander joined the Board in 2009 at a key time of transition and he served a vital role ushering Pemi into a new era. His expertise in media and especially video was instrumental in upgrading the Pemi website. He also masterminded and oversaw the process by which Bean Soup has been digitized and made available to Pemi alums in electronic form.

Along with his brother Peter, Ander arrived at Pemi as a camper in the 1970s and proceeded up through the ranks to cabin counselor as one of the truly charismatic leaders of camp. Aiding and abetting him was longtime friend Fred Rittner, whose campfire and vaudevilles skits with Ander still set the bar for Pemi lunacy and laughter. Ander and wife Lisa’s son, Dana, was also a longtime Pemi camper, and their daughter Kelsey a staff member for multiple summers.

The entire Pemi community joins the Fauvers and Reeds in thanking Ander for his many contributions of spirit and effort over the years, and we look forward with great expectations to this next chapter of his Pemi involvement.

As we envision an Advisory Committee comprised of members whose skills and expertise are targeted to meet the current and ongoing needs of running a top-flite and well-rounded boys’ camp, we invite alumni to contact us with their suggestions and insights. Ander and we are keenly interested in your thoughts.