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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
2017: Newsletter #7
Incredibly, as we write this, the last day of Pemi Week is bringing the 2017 season to a close, and the camper population is organizing clothing and gear for some carefully supervised packing. It’s been a great season, the challenges of the July Deluge notwithstanding, and for all of their eagerness to be back in the cozy precincts of Home, the boys are already beginning to look a trifle wistful. It’s hard to underestimate the strength of the bonds that are formed up here and, for a good many campers, the dawning awareness of how much they will miss their cabin mates, compadres, and counselors lends all the more richness to the moment. This afternoon will feature the final ladling of Bean Soup (this edition always setting aside most of its edginess to celebrate with sincerity those among us who have given the most to Pemi this summer), and then comes the Final Campfire and cabin parties. As we throw arms over our companions’ shoulders and sway, for the last time this year, to the strains of the Campfire Song, we’ll be asking ourselves if “anyone’s better for anything we’ve done or said.” By all available evidence, many should feel extremely comfortable with the answer.
Traditionally, this last newsletter is comprised of Danny’s toast to the season at the Final Banquet and Clive Bean’s reviews of the year’s Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. We can’t think of a very good reason to alter formula.
Danny’s Toast to 2017
Here’s to the summer of 2017 at Camp Pemigewassett, the 110th in Pemi’s rich and storied history. A summer that has come and gone, as it always seems, in the blink of an eye, though in some ways it seems a lifetime ago when we all began to arrive in early June, back when campers and young counselors were still attending graduation parties, nine Pemi Wester’s were still breaking in their hiking boots for their trip to Washington, and those of us first to arrive were companions to the unlikely presence of a horde of cluster flies that reminded us that nature has its own course of action each spring.
Truth be told, the summer of 2017 really began before that, way back in October when scores of our returning campers and families sat by their computers until the stroke of midnight on Oct 14th to apply for Pemi’s 110th summer. Congratulations to Ben Herdeg, whose application was the very first one we received that early morning. Who will be the first camper to apply for 2018?
Here’s to a summer that concludes as the leaves on Route 25A are beginning to turn an autumn tint and Pemi boys are returning to their cabins for an 8:30 taps with barely a shred of day light left, a summer that by all accounts has been a wonderful success, despite the major curveball Mother Nature sent our way on July 1 when two steady days of rain caused the second “great flood” in Pemi history.
Here’s to the 260 (exactly) campers who graced the shores of Lower Baker Pond this summer, campers from 29 states (more than half of the states in the union) and from eight countries around the world; and here’s to the new Moroccan flag we added to our array of international banners gracing the Messhall. Here’s to the 91 campers, perhaps a new record, who made the decision to attend sleep away camp for the first time, the 19 who have, or will, collect their five-year bowls and yes, Phineas Walsh: here’s to campers in their eighth summer.
Here’s to the talented and dedicated counselor staff at Pemi in 2017, to the cabin counselors and assistant counselors, the young men who share such close quarters with their boys, and who, by some magical means, are able to inspire, mentor and capture the imagination of their campers in ways even their own parents and we senior staff sometimes can not.
Cheers to the incredibly hard working crew that Reed Harrigan leads each day with such vigor, dedication and love; Frank, Dennis, John, Patterson, Aliza, and Jackson; to our Office Managers extraordinaire, Heather and Kim, who do so much more than manage the office, and here’s to Dottie who always seems to have time for us, despite attending to tasks both large and small and caring for campers and counselors with a large dose of maternal grace, wisdom, charm, and a heaping helping of love, as well.
Cheers to the chefs and kitchen crew this summer, led by our Dining Service Director Tom Ciglar, the crew that tackled the herculean task of providing a community of 260 with delicious meals three times a day and did so with a smile, a sincere desire to meet the needs of everyone in the community, and with freshly baked bread each day, too. And how ‘bout that day we had chocolate cake for breakfast!
Here’s to Kenny, our new father-to-be, whose love for Pemi is so evident as he oversees transportation, Pemi West, the daily and weekly schedule and so much more. Thank you, Kenny; we’d never want to do it without you!
Cheers to Deb Pannell and all the creative endeavors down in Art World (wow, what an Art Show!), to Charlie, our big-hearted Athletic Director and all the coaches in the athletics’ program who always put Pemi’s values of sportsmanship, improved skills and participation first. Boom!
Kudos to Tom and the trippies who sent scores of trips tramp, tramp tramping over the mountains. I can’t imagine the Pemi trip program without you at the helm, Tom, but after 40 plus years of overseeing the program, I guess we’ll just say thank you for your magnificent work in managing over 4,000 trips since you began the task, with an eye for detail, safety, and a love for the mountains that will be very hard to replace.
Here’s to Reese, Amy, Deb Fauver and Becky for another remarkable G & S performance and to Becky and her staff for a summer of beautiful music at Pemi.
To Emily, Charlotte, Harry, Alan, and Molly, and all the exhilarating, yet safe, fun we had in the water, to Lianne in the shop, Chris (and family!) on the tennis courts, Larry and Deb in the Nature Lodge, Steve (and his many titles) on the archery range… oosh!…and all of the other instructors who brought major energy and mojo to occupation periods every day. And let’s not forget Head of Occupations, Dan Reed, for overseeing the schedule of 172 boys this summer… with the proficiency, thoughtfulness and positive vibe one rarely sees in a man his age; thank you Dan!
And a special thank you to our nurses, Amy and Kaitlyn who, despite their tender years, created a model for great camp nursing this summer.
Here’s to the things that were unique at Pemi in 2017; eight beautiful new Mad River canoes, “Games Day” at night and a “Feature Movie” in the afternoon, helicopter birthday rides, the new floating docks down on Senior Beach, canoe rides for our Manor residents to get to work, two new baseball backstops and a new senior diamond lovingly crafted by Pemi’s own Dave Mellor, Charlie Malcolm.
Here’s to all-camp events at Pemi, Bean Soup when we laugh ourselves and anticipate “things to look for” (Thanks Dan and Wes!), Camp Fire when we entertain ourselves to some of the most majestic sunsets one will ever see (Thanks, Steve and Kim!), and to Sunday Service when we reflected on such matters as the 110 year history of Camp Pemigewassett, Living in the Moment, and the Miracle Mets of 1969.
And here’s to the beauty of Camp Pemigewasett: the mist on Lower Baker Pond each morning, the stunning reflection we enjoy off of the lake each evening, the spectacular sunsets . . . and that mesmerizing sound of the water lapping up against the shore as campers fall into a warm and deep sleep each night.
Here’s to our eighteen 15-year-old campers, to their combined 92 summers at Pemi (yes, you heard that right!) and to the lifelong friendships they’ve created. I know from personal experience that some day you’ll participate in each other’s weddings, be Godparents to each other’s children, and hopefully become the next generation of counselors at Pemi.
And of course, here’s to the Fauver Family and the Reed Family who, in their loving, wise and supportive way, continue to expect nothing short of excellence from each of us every summer and who see the stewardship of Camp Pemigewassett as their chance to make the world a better place, one boy at a time.
Here’s to Camp Pemigewassett 2017.
Good Luck, Long Life, and Joy!
~ Danny Kerr
Clive Bean Reviews Iolanthe
Camp Pemigewassett’s dramatic season reached its pinnacle last Tuesday and Wednesday nights with a brace of fine performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. The quaint 1882 operetta, which has been performed at Pemi since 1979, turns on some eerily contemporary themes – untraditional marriage matches and functionally-challenged forms of government. We can only hope that the happy resolution of the play taught everyone in the cast and audience something about the values of social open-mindedness and hard and honest work in governance.
Enough earnest pontification. The show is a delightful froth of wit and whimsy, and Lower Baker’s sub-division of D’Oyle Carte played it with infectious energy and joy. Leading the way was Cole Valente, strutting the boards for the first time as the Fairy Queen. He was as coolly imperious as Maggie Thatcher and as buff as Wonder Woman, something that a tuft of carefully unshaven facial hair did much to augment. Delivering his lines and songs in a powerful falsetto and with impeccable comic timing, Cole brought down the house when his/her sudden desperate need to find a spouse led him to snap up Larry Davis’s Private Willis like a female Praying Mantis devouring her mate. (Larry, incidentally, was marvelous as the dutiful and willing Westminster guard.)
Equally compelling in delivery and comic acting alike was Scout Brink as the fetching shepherdess Phyllis, beloved by all but hopelessly devoted to the half-fairy, half-mortal Strephon, who was played most convincingly by Weston Delehanty. Bedecked in spectacular costumes (and looking more or less like Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI slumming on a rural picnic), Scout and Weston performed a series of lovely duets with all but professional finish.
John Kingdon excelled in the title role of Iolanthe, Strephon’s fairy mother, who got the dramatic ball rolling years before the action starts when she broke the quintessential fairy rule of not marrying a mortal. John’s stage presence set a high standard for camper and staff participants alike, and he delivered his songs and dialogue with accuracy and feeling. Other staunch camper leads were Owen Wyman as Celia, Oliver Giraud at Leila, and Jake Landry as Fleta – a trio of charming ladies-in-flitting worthy of Tinkerbelle and absolutely crucial to the play’s loving resolution.
Matching this trio was the inseparable duo of Nick Davini and Eli Brennan as Lords Mountararat and Tolloller, a couple of over-privileged and under-educated peers who spar for the affections of Phyllis but ultimately realize that friendship can sometimes be more important than success on the dating scene. Eli played the sycophantic lord with the oily extravagance of a White House lackey, while Nick’s pinched gyrations with a monocle would have gone down wonderfully in a Monty Python sketch.
The most remarkable of the leads, no doubt, was Nick Gordon as the eminent Lord Chancellor, once-and-future husband to Iolanthe and father to Strephon. Nick literally awoke in London on the day we opened and jetted across the Atlantic for his date with dramatic destiny. He had been away from Pemi for two weeks on a pre-arranged music program and had never rehearsed the show with the entire cast. Stepping onto the stage at midnight, body time, Nick managed to get through a powerfully difficult role with stunning composure and skill, earning arguably the loudest applause of the night with his brisk rendition of “The Nightmare Song.” Kudos to the lad for turning what came close to a nightmare of travel and lack of practice into a virtual triumph!
A G&S show is only as good as its choruses, and this years Fairies and Lords were rock solid. Ted Applebaum, Charlie Bell, Julian Berk, Harry Cooke, Tommy Gorman, Jaron Josephs, Luke Larabie, Henry Moore, Sam Papel, TRJR, Braden Richardson, and Augie Tanzosh managed to drown their longstanding Whig vs. Tory differences in a tsunami of affection for their fairy fiancées. And as their Fairyland femmes fatales, Nate Broll, Jon Ciglar, Lucas Gales, Andreas Geffert, Austin Greenberg, Jackson Heller, Andrew Muffett, Becky Noel, Christopher Ramanathan, Nelson Snyder, and Sam Young, were as fetching and fascinating as any “girls’” ensemble in recent memory.
Special congratulations go out to Director Reese Eifler, Music Director Becky Noel, Wardrobe Mistress Deborah Fauver, and Pianist Extraordinaire Amy Comparetto. Under their dedicated and patient direction and care, the most difficult of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in Pemi’s repertoire came to life with a vibrancy that left both nights’ audiences craving for more. Stay tuned for 2018, when H.M.S. Pinafore sails up the Pemigewassett River into Lower Baker Pond for a reprise of the inaugural Pemi G&S of 1951. Book your boxes now!
With that, we’ll officially close the blogging book on Pemi 2017! Thank you to all you parents who entrusted their boys to us for the year. We hope we’re sending them home to you a little wiser, a little more confident, a little more grateful for the opportunities you have afforded them, and a little more determined that others should profit in the future from the things they do and say. We also hope that, in one way or another, that future finds them returning to our valley with fond recollections of this sometimes soggy year.
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.
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 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.”
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 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:
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.”
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.
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
2017: Newsletter # 5
It’s been a momentous week at Camp Pemigewassett. No, there haven’t been any further floods (although it did rain a little bit more.) No victory on Tecumseh Day (yet! – and despite the fact that we did very nicely against Camp Moosilauke last weekend!) And no announcement of a Pulitzer Prize for the Bean Soup editorial staff (although Dan Reed and Wes Eifler did scribe some wonderful celebratory limericks for the annual Birthday Banquet.) No, instead, roughly eighty first-session campers said goodbye to us last Monday morning, while eighty second-sessioners arrived on Tuesday to start their own 2017 seasons. It’s especially gratifying when parents retrieving their sons report that their boy’s first words after a crushing hug were, “I’m definitely coming back for seven weeks next year.” It’s equally buoying to see returning veterans bouncing out of their cars and running over to old friends, taking exactly 2.5 seconds to fall into the kind of excited jabber you couldn’t interrupt with an air-raid siren. Session Two is off to an energetic and happy start, with our June arrivals very clearly getting a second wind from last Tuesday’s reinforcements. It doesn’t hurt, naturally, that the aforementioned Tecumseh Day is coming up this Friday. The annual showdown with our archrivals of the past 108 years never fails to get the Pemi engine running at peak RPMs.
Also most definitely revving up the week, though, have been the returns of the two major expeditions we mount every summer – the Allagash Canoe Trip and Pemi West. Both groups rolled back into camp on Friday: Pemi West at 9:30 P.M. and the Allagash van on the stroke of midnight. There are many ways for a boy to extend himself at Pemi, whether he’s a special devotee of athletics, the arts and music, nature, or the trip program. Nothing we do with our fifteen-year-olds, however, offers quite the challenge embodied in the sixty-to-seventy-mile, five-day paddle down the Allagash River through the untamed wilderness of northern Maine. Yet, exciting and demanding as this inland voyage may be, it has to take a second seat to the exacting, life-altering mountain leadership program that is Pemi West. Every year, eight to twelve Pemi veterans aged sixteen or seventeen (sometimes with interested boys or girls who haven’t been with us in Wentworth) set out for Washington State’s Olympic National Park for three and a half weeks of wilderness backpacking, mountaineering, and rock-climbing. The program unquestionably builds on skills and interests acquired at Pemi East (with many participants having in fact cut their teeth on wilderness adventure up on the Allagash!), but advanced training in Wilderness First Aid, glacier travel, and various other skills required in mountaineering and rock climbing make the course as personally groundbreaking as it is exciting. Participants learn to assess their capabilities relative to challenges of multiple sorts, make wise decisions and carry them out with determination and good judgment, and, perhaps most important of all, cultivate a selfless and supportive group ethic that makes for collective success on the trail and, for many years to come, elsewhere as well. The Allagash boys come back to Pemi as leaders of their fellow campers. The Pemi West crew come back as all but assistant counselors and, as often as not, become our very best cabin counselors in subsequent years.
This year’s Allagash trip was led by veteran Pemi trip counselors Harry Morris and Nick Davini. Under their skilled guidance, Brodie Fisher, Teddy Foley, Miles Schiff Stein, Frank Applebaum, Eli Barlow, Scott Cook, Nathan King, Elliot Muffett, Suraj Khakee, and Owen Lee left camp a week ago Monday, just as the sun was rising across the mist-filled valley. Harry and Nick had decided this year to bypass the sometimes wind-bound Allagash lakes and return to the river section of the waterway, which consists of a 63-mile paddle from Churchill Dam to the Village of Allagash. Including the out and back drives of nearly 500 miles each, the group spent five days away from camp, one more than usual for this outing. They paddled each day from about 8 AM to 3:30 or 4:00 PM, giving them plenty of time on the river as well as allowing them to relax at the excellent campsites that grace that stretch of the waterway. As in past year’s, the group saw multiple moose, over a dozen bald eagles, and lots of other wildlife not typically seen here in New Hampshire. The boys, report Harry and Nick, were absolutely excellent this year. They had been in training for three weeks, paddling on our pond on a daily basis, learning the various strokes required for a demanding river passage, learning how to deal with and recover from capsizing, and trying out the skills of portaging. They had also been on two preparatory river trips, such that when they finally hit the Allagash, they were practiced and confident, and thus able to appreciate all the more the magnificently wild setting through which they travelled. Harry and Nick were especially impressed with everyone’s willingness to lend a helping hand to others when the need arose. A tight-knit group even before they left, they returned sun-bronzed and happy, bonded together even more closely through the rigors, and the pleasures, of the trip.
This year’s Pemi West group was comprised of Pemi veterans Dash Slamowitz, Sam Beesley, Pierce Haley, Jackson Morrell, Reed O’Brien, Will Adams, George Cook, Nolan Katcher, and Andrew Kanovsky. Under the experienced guidance of Pemi West Director Dave Robb and his co-instructors Tim Heltzel and Regan Narin, they quickly learned everything they needed to know about organizing their 40-50-pound packs for ease of carrying and quick access to crucial gear; planning, provisioning, and cooking their meals; setting realistic goals for the day’s travel; situating their campsites; moving across glaciers with ropes on their harnesses, crampons on their boots, and ice axes in their hands; glissading and self-arresting after falls; and scores of other skills and necessities for backcountry travel. Once they had mastered the basics and repeated them enough for them to become reflexes and routines, each participant took his turn as leader of the day, assuming total responsibility for everything from determining wake-up time and their optimal route to deciding upon their final destination. Dave, Tim, and Regan were always in the wings, shadowing the group, but Pemi’s “mountain leadership” program required exactly that of all the boys in turn: leadership, with all of the challenges, opportunities, uncertainties, doubts, realizations, and rewards that being a leader involves. In the wonderful talk they gave to the entire Pemi East community this past Sunday evening, they spoke eloquently about the self-knowledge that comes from being in charge of a group you care about and having to decide, in the moment, what the best way might be to work with a number of other strong-minded individuals in order to achieve an important goal. There were also 24-hour solos, when each participant became his own Thoreau on Walden Pond and had a chance truly to digest what he had gone through on this mountain odyssey, how it was all changing him, how different the coming months and years might promise to be as a result.
It was all such a daunting prospect, for starters. Two and a half weeks in the backcountry, carrying everything you need, save for what you will unpack from the back of a friendly llama at the resupply ten or twelve days in! Sam Beesley’s remarks on Sunday were especially revealing. The first several days on the trail, he literally wasn’t sure he could make it. Though a seasoned distance runner, he had never encountered anything this taxing. His thoughts were all about how infernally heavy his pack was, how he had made a mistake ever signing on for this, how slogging through two more weeks seemed a complete impossibility. Even as he wrestled with these doubts, though, he could imagine another Sam, a future Sam, who might look back on all this with a profound sense of pride, pleasure, and accomplishment. Mile by mile, day by day, the self-doubting boy in the woods somehow became the proven and joyous traveler through the wild, and Sam’s personal prognostications solidified into a reality. “As we all finished the last three miles of the trip by ourselves, I realized that I wanted to stay longer. And as we camped in the front country and as we got further and further from the Park and deeper into civilization, I missed the wilderness more and more. I missed the quietness of it, the solitude and feeling of self-sufficiency that comes with spending weeks in the woods. The need to get back to the natural world was not one I had ever felt before. I’m pretty sure the Sam who was first counting down the days till the end of the trip would find the Sam who wished the trip would never end was kind of insane. But I guess you don’t know how good you’ve got it until it’s over.” It’s hard to know how better the philosophical and personal payoffs of a rigorous mountain adventure might be expressed. Everyone in the Lodge knew that they were witness to lives that had been irrevocably enhanced, even transformed. Oh, the lucky ones (this year’s Allagashers among them) for whom the Olympic Range might be next summer’s play- and proving ground alike!
Many Pemi West participants have indeed first worked up an appetite for the rigors of extended wilderness travel on the Allagash waterway. Pemi is not unique in believing that boys and girls thrive best when they are introduced to appropriate challenges at just the appropriate age, but we do try to structure many things at camp in a way that allows our boys to match being satisfied with things they’ve already mastered with the boldness needed to take on things they’ve not yet tried. Historically, one of the most dependable building blocks of self-validation and confidence has been the “distance swim,” the half-mile, staff-escorted swim that qualifies a boy to take out a boat on his own or with a fellow camper. Hard as it may be to believe, some boys arrive at camp never having swum in anything other than a pool – or perhaps in the wave-tumbled shallows of the ocean shore. The prospect of swimming the equivalent of 30 to 35 pool lengths when you can’t even see the bottom (let alone count on being able to touch it if you tire) can be extremely daunting to an eight-, eleven-, or even fourteen-year-old. It hardly matters that staff members are just feet ahead in a rowboat, with their life-saving tube at the ready. You still feel very much alone (and I am remembering the feeling distinctly, almost with a chill, as I write this sixty years after my own first distance swim!) You wonder whether you have it in you to move past the first fifty yards – to the second – to the tenth – to the fifteenth. But, as the chilly waters seem almost to warm with your extended effort and the float that is your destination grows from the apparent dimensions of a Lego spied across an amphitheater to a sofa cushion viewed from the coffee table, you get that giddy feeling that you’re going to make it. Maybe your biggest worry now, in fact, is that, when you pull yourself up, arm-weary, onto the float, your smile will be so broad and crazy that your counselor will be forced to chuckle at your extravagant pleasure. “Of course I could manage,” you’ll want to say. “Never the slightest doubt! (And boy, are my arms exhausted!)” You look forward to the cheer of acknowledgement in the mess hall that night – even though you’ll blush when you hear it. Playing Frisbee running bases that evening, you’ll pause to recall what you’ve managed to do – and that silly smile may bloom once again. That night, after taps, as your counselor starts to read the next chapter of Treasure Island, you’ll think quietly to yourself, “Maybe I’m more like Jim Hawkins than I thought.” These are the little steps, of body and mind, that mark so distinctly our progress as we grow up, get stronger, believe in ourselves.
We’ll close by looking at the Distance Swim from a slightly different angle –a perspective offered by former Director Tom Reed, Sr., who left us in 2010. What follows is a transcription of a recording made in May of that year. It speaks, as we have spoken above, to the way boys can rise to challenges in a fashion that changes them forever for the better. But is also speaks to the incalculable satisfaction that can be derived from creating an atmosphere in which that change can happen. The boy may swim, but the giddy smile may belong as much to his counselor as to him. (Ask Kim Bradshaw who, just this past week, watched with delight as Jon Ciglar and Kieran Klasfeld, with whom she had been working for three summers, finally waded ashore after managing The Big Swim.) Somehow, inevitably, we are all in the water together.
(Tom usually told this story at the last meeting of staff training week, the night before the campers arrived.)
With regard to why we’re all here tonight, and for the remaining seven weeks of the season, it’s become customary for me to speak a little bit because of my long experience at Pemi myself. Some people may be here to make a huge salary. Don’t expect that to be the case. Others will come for a variety of reasons, but I want to explain, in a short story of what happened at Pemi one summer not too long ago, why we really are all here, every one of us.
We had a camper I’ll call Matthew who was with us for two or three summers about twenty or twenty-five years ago. He was one of these appealing but somewhat ineffectual kids who really couldn’t do much that was likely to impress other campers, or even some of the staff. He was put in the Junior Camp, the only new kid in his cabin, and like all the other Juniors started out learning occupations (as we call the morning activities) including swimming. At Pemi, all campers must swim the half mile from the Senior Beach to the Junior Beach before they’re allowed to take boats out by themselves, as opposed to going out with a counselor. Well, so Matthew started out on this swimming program along with some other kids, and he wasn’t making much progress, and he and other people in the Junior Camp surely noticed that he wasn’t making much progress in other areas either. He didn’t seem to make new friends, he didn’t seem to get much better in tennis, or any activities like that. Meanwhile, all of the other Juniors, as usual, were making progress, sometimes immense progress, in other areas. So Matthew often seemed to be adrift, kind of a, oh, I don’t know how to describe him, in this sea of activity around him.
Now, here’s where the story really starts. I think he must have become afraid of swimming somewhere else, because he was a very slow learner in the water, and while the other boys made rapid progress, he hardly made any progress at all. And he hated it. He would sometimes hide, and the counselors would have to come and find him, and almost drag him out to the swimming area. And they hated themselves for that, and he hated them too, I suppose, for that. But he made slow progress through the season. First it was swimming from dock to dock, then around the Junior swimming area, and finally to the Junior Point and back – quite a short distance, but significant psychologically in this case, I think.
And then comes the end of the summer, or nearing the end of the summer, with two days left to go, and Matthew still hasn’t swum his distance. He’s the only boy who hasn’t, and everybody in camp knows that. So what do the counselors do? Should they start him out on that swim, with the knowledge of what a huge thing it would be for him if he made it; or what an awful thing it would be if he tried and failed, with no time left to repeat. But they decided to do it, and just two days before the end of the season.
I remember I was in the office with Holly Gardner, our secretary, working, when a little Junior ran by the open window and yelled in at us: “Matthew’s swimming his distance!”
Well, the sound of those words still sends a chill up and down my back. So Holly and I ran out onto the porch of the Lodge and, sure enough, there was Matthew in the water about fifty yards out, with a row boat ahead of him with two counselors in it, one rowing – you could hear the creaking of the oars – and the other holding a bamboo pole out over Matthew’s head (just off the stern of the boat) so that Matthew could grab that any time he wanted to for help. And there was a third counselor, Brad Saffer, the head of the swimming program in the Junior Camp that year, who, very unusually, was swimming in the water with Matthew, singing songs, mostly Gilbert and Sullivan songs, because Brad had starred in the show the night before and was going to again that night. And you could see the arms of Matthew rising laboriously above the water, and hear occasional conversation.
As I say, Holly Gardner and I were working, and we came out and we saw this apparition, and we watched for a couple of minutes. And suddenly, unexpectedly, there was utter silence, and out of this silence, from across the water, came this little boy’s voice saying, “I’m gonna make it!”
Well, I don’t know if I ever heard more thrilling words in my life to this day – except perhaps when [my wife] Betsy said “I do!” And Holly felt the same way. We both began to cry, and by this time, about half the camp was along the shore, watching Matthew make progress. And this is really significant, because with only a couple of days left in the season, boys who were good friends were much more likely to play tennis with each other, or some kind of activity like that, than to watch an eight-year-old boy swim in the lake. But there they were.
Holly and I ran down to the Senior Beach, and by that time probably two thirds of the camp was there. And as Matthew came out of the water, the campers ran out to meet him, to shake his hand, and pat his back, and rub his hair and so on. And I wish you could have seen Matthew’s face, which really resembled the rising sun. I don’t think there was a person there who didn’t know what Matthew must have been thinking: “I did it! I did it all, every stroke of the way, all by myself.” (He wasn’t, of course, old enough yet to appreciate the full contributions the counselors had made.) And Matthew’s face also said, “If I can do something this hard, at which I wanted to give up, at which I had to work so hard all summer, and do it all by myself, then there may be nothing in life ahead of me which will be too hard for me to do.” Now if any of you who are or will be parents consider the full impact of this, you’ll know how important that was. I think the word “miracle” is not too strong to describe it. And then that night in the Mess Hall, Matthew had perhaps the longest, loudest cheer in Pemi’s history.
So that really is why we’re all here. Every one of you can do something somewhat like that for one of our campers; and if you can, do it. It doesn’t have to be big and dramatic, like Matthew’s story. Any little improvement here or there can work as a minor to a major miracle in a boy’s life. So we’re delighted to have you all here, and we’ll be working together on this and other important projects all summer. Thank you, and good night!
Baker Pond. The Allagash. The glacier-clad peaks of the distant Olympics. Crucial stations, all of them, on a life’s journey of growing confidence and consequence.
(Tune in next week for an account of Tecumseh Day 2017, penned by our storied Athletic Director, Charlie Malcolm.)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
2017: Newsletter #2
[A quick meteorological-status update in advance. We are now in Day 3 of wonderful summer sunshine after the Deluge of 2017 – about which you may have heard on the Weather Channel or in slightly damp Sunday letters from your sons. From a camper standpoint, everything is back to normal, with the exception that Polar Bear dips are on hold until the Mississippi hue of Lower Baker returns, in a couple of days, to normal. The state roads to our entrance are open and, with a little resourceful wading with boats to carry cargo in and out past our new river/beach road, we are again in full contact with the world at large – all the more so since, pre-rain, we parked three of our vans across our bridge right next to Route 25A. In fact, we should get a short mountain trip off in them this afternoon! We’ll try to post a special newsletter with more details of the weather event and some choice photos over the coming days. Meanwhile, the boys are thrilled to have experienced an inundation to equal the famous flood of 1973, and they are showing as much pluck and enthusiasm as ever! Perhaps more!]
The first week of the 2017 season has sped by with the alacrity of the speediest Junior camper hurtling into the pond during the morning Polar Bear dip – and his chilliest compadre scampering back to shore afterwards. Cabin groups are well on their way to becoming bona fide little families (or, in the case of the Senior, big ones), bonding closely not only over their morning dip but also over clean-up for inspection, joint trips to their mail slots to retrieve letters from home, three plentiful meals a day (and the daily 3:30 Fruit Bowl), lusty singing in the mess hall at lunch and supper, trips up local mountains or overnights at the Adirondack shelter on Pemi Hill, paddling to cabin cookouts across the lake at Pine Forest and Flat Rock, the nightly tick check (new to the Pemi routine), and drifting off to sleep to the soothing drone of their counselors reading from Roald Dahl or J. K. Rowling. (Some of this cabin business you parents will undoubtedly have heard about through the outgoing mail.)
Occupations (as, again, we call our instructional periods for some arcane early twentieth-century reason) have gone extremely well across the full range of offerings – in athletics, music, art, and nature studies. Particularly well-received have been the options offered by Visiting Professionals Kevin O’Brien (who winningly combines tuition in both lacrosse and yoga) and Steve Broker (who seems to know more about ornithology than Audubon himself, and this year came to camp with over a dozen stuffed bird specimens from Yale University’s renowned collection). The trip program is briskly out of the gate, despite some rainy weather. Trip Specialists Nick Davini and Fiona Walker have led a 3-day jaunt up Owl’s Head in the Pemigewassett Wilderness (the first ascent by any Pemi group, to the best of my knowledge), while their colleague Sam Papel has inaugurated our new practice of a “trippie” and Junior cabin counselor teaming up on an extended (two-meal) version of the traditional Junior overnight up Pemi Hill. The result is the equivalent of a family trip with an expert guide, and initial reviews are highly positive. In addition, inter-camp sports have begun most energetically, with competitions in seven different sports in six different age groups against three of our neighboring camps. Oh, did we mention that casting for this year’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe is now complete? Rehearsals begin this week, looking forward to lavish productions on the nights of August 8th and 9th. To risk cribbing from a trendy clothing line, here at Pemi, “Life is Good!”
We thought we’d follow up on this general overview with some particulars from the athletic fields and wooded trails alike. First, an account of June 28th’s Baker Valley 13’s Soccer Tournament, from head coach Steve Clare:
Baker Valley 13’s Soccer Tournament
In the annual tourney hosted by Camp Moosilauke, Pemi’s first opponents were from Camp Kingswood. It was a cautious start from both teams, each defending well but neither dominating midfield; 0: 0 at half-time.
Pemi started the second half strongly with two early chances going just wide. In the fourth minute, Elliot Jones won possession on the half-way line and played a great through ball to Luca McAdams, who in turn played the ball in to Andrew Roth at the edge of the box. Andrew beat a defender and then the keeper with a deftly placed left-footed shot. Pemi 1: 0.
Two minutes later, Pemi scored again. Pressing high up the pitch, Nelson Snyder used his pace to intercept a Kingswood pass and played the ball forward to Andrew. Andrew ran forward into Kingswood’s penalty box, taking the ball to the goal line and, although closely marked, managing to cut the ball back across the goal for Paul Clusky to score from 6 yards out.
Most of the remainder of the game was played in Kingswood’s half, Pemi passing the ball around with confidence, with numerous shots being saved or sent just wide. Kingswood managed a couple of counterattacks but were unable to beat Pemi’s solid defense. Final score, Pemi 2: Kingswood 0.
Pemi’s second game was against Walt Whitman (WW). With just 2 minutes on the clock, Luca was brought down in the box by a clumsy challenge. Paul scored from the penalty spot; 1-0 Pemi.
Like last year, we thought that WW’s fairly casual style of play might lead to a goal fest, but, also like last year, Pemi found its style disrupted for the entire game. WW’s keeper made a couple of superb saves to deny Pemi further goals. Final score, Pemi 1: WW 0.
Our final game was against host camp Moosilauke, and we utterly dominated possession; goalie Gordon Robbins didn’t get a single touch of the ball in the first half! Early shots from Andrew, Luca, Paul and Matteo Benenati all went over the cross bar. When a 25-yard rocket from Luca also crashed off the cross bar, we were delighted to see Isaiah Abbey follow up the rebound and head the ball into the net for his first goal. Luca scored Pemi’s second with a cracking shot from distance that caromed off the inside of the right-hand post. Two nil Pemi.
Simon Taylor volunteered to go in goal for the second half so Gordon could play in the field. Again, Pemi dominated possession. As with Kingswood, Pemi’s defense were solid in breaking down attacks from Moose, with special mention going to the superb Tristan Land.
Pemi’s third score saw Matteo beat three Moose defenders as he entered their penalty box from the right, finding space to shoot across the goal into the left side of the net. Moose’s keeper denied further goals with several outstanding saves, yielding a final score of Pemi 3: Moose 0.
A 3 in 3 BVT victory! Well done, players. We’ve still work to do, but what a great start to 2017!! Special thanks to Julian Hernandez-Webster for refereeing all three games and to assisting coaches Andy McDonald and JP Gorman.
Thanks to Steve for the coaching and reportage both. Now to Sam Papel for short narratives of last week’s Pemi Hill jaunts:
New Pemi Hill Adventure for Juniors
Junior Six took to the hill trail last Tuesday around 4:00 P.M. on the inaugural Trippie-accompanied Pemi Hill adventure and charged quickly to the top. At the Adirondack shelter, a favorite Pemi destination since the 1960’s, Tristan Barton, Priester Davis, Thomas Davis, Will Silloway, Hudson Williams, Charlie Wood, and Ian Zimmerman learned how to tie some important knots, and built a roaring fire. Later they had a hearty dinner of mac and cheese with bacon and chicken, as well as some “cinnamon roll delights” for dessert. The boys also bushwhacked up to the old logging road, and explored the woods above the spring. After dinner, a few games of hotly contested Presidents filled their time, and the boys went to sleep straining their ears for an echo of Taps from down the hill. In the morning, I cooked up some pancakes and bacon and the crew headed down the hill just in time to be late for first hour. Overall, a great kick-off to a new Pemigewassett tradition.
Junior 2’s journey up Pemi Hill, two days later, was slightly delayed by the rain. Nevertheless the intrepid Andrew Boss, Robbie Judd, Jake Landry, Matteo Saffer, John Warren Stickney, and Max Weber set off for the shelter at 4:30, with some brand new Junior-sized internal frame packs, courtesy of REI. Despite the steady drizzle, they made good time up the hill, arriving a mere 30 minutes later. After consulting the USGS Topo map, Jake, Robbie, and I bushwhacked up to the old logging road. After exploring, a giant meal of bacon mac & cheese was avidly devoured by all. Unfortunately, a certain Trippie forgot dessert (although he hopefully made up for it in the morning with chocolate chips and brown sugar on the pancakes!) Before bed, the boys again learned some useful knots, and played a few games of mafia before going to sleep listening to the storm. In the morning, breakfast went much more quickly than the first go-around, and the boys made it down the hill ready to rock first hour. So, after a week’s trial, reviews of the new, guide-squired Pemi Hill are distinctly positive.
Thanks to Sam, both for the implementation of an exciting new program and for the crisp account. Now to fellow Trip Leader Fiona Walker for a report on Pemi’s first trip ever up Owls’s Head, perhaps the remotest of New Hampshire’s 4000-foot peaks.
Inaugural Trip to Owls’s Head
The season’s first three-day started after lunch last Tuesday, leaving from the trip operations center/Snack Shack. By the time Andreas [Geffert], Christopher [Ramanathan], Owen [Wyman], Dexter [Wells], and Cameron [McManus] had completed their final gear checks and we had everyone loaded in the van, it was approaching 3pm, and we arrived at the Lincoln Woods Visitor Center at around 3:45. After getting everyone’s pack straps adjusted, with rain jackets at the ready, we walked a whopping 2.8 miles on flat ground to the junction of the Black Pond Trail, where we asked the boys to assess different areas where we could possibly set up camp for the next two days. After about thirty minutes of looking, the boys settled on a great area next to the Pemigewassett River that provided ample room for cooking, sleeping, and bear-bagging. I will say that watching these kids put up tents was quite entertaining. One camper (who shall remain nameless, although his parents may recognize him from what follows) commented, “It’s 2017 already! Why don’t we just have those tents that pop up when you pull them out of the bag?” After the tents were solidly pitched, we all enjoyed a steaming pot of pesto pasta. Unfortunately, due to some rain coming in, our post-dinner course of hot chocolate was cut short. Luckily we were able to clean up fast and stay dry in anticipation of the next day’s climb.
Day 2 called for a 7:15AM wake-up call and breakfast at 8. We left camp at around 9 and headed off onto the Lincoln Brook Trail. A long slog was lightened when we introduced the boys to a game called Contact, which takes about an hour to explain and which required another hour for them to solve the first clue. We arrived at the base of the Owl’s Head Trail around 1PM, and while fellow Trippie Nick Davini and I were keeping a careful eye on return time, we decided it was safe to continue up for another hour before calling it. I think I speak for everyone when I say the last mile felt like five, as the trail was a challenging mix of rocky soil and granite. The boys were such troopers, though, and they powered to the top despite their soggy shoes and heavy packs. One of the drawbacks of bagging a 4000-footer whose summit is just below tree line is that the view you’d have from a Lafayette or Washington is not quite there. These guys definitely deserved a spectacular vista, given their grit and general good humor. There was, however, a clear cut towards the middle of the trail that allowed for a beautiful view of the Franconia Range and the Lower Pemigewassett Wilderness.
Although it took us a little over three hours to hike those two miles, everyone was in good spirits at the bottom of the trail. Despite the late start on return, we made it back to camp in just two and a half hours, with plenty of daylight to spare. After all that, the boys decided that the only way to solve their wet foot problem was to take part in a Pink Polar Bear [aka a dip in cold stream water] or, as they preferred calling it, Hypothermic Polar Bear. They are still inquiring about their Hypothermic Polar Bear badges, which I don’t believe is a thing Camp Pemi yet offers. I told the boys, though, that I would be willing to follow up about the possibility of such an award for the future.
The next morning we packed up camp at 9AM and left around 9:45 for a 10:30 pick-up with TRJR at Lincoln Woods Visitor Center. After a hasty stop at the Kancamagus Country Store for a soda and candy, we made it back to camp with all body parts intact, minimal blisters, and (for Nick and me) both our jobs. All in all, I’d say it was a great start to the 2017 Pemi Trip Program. Thanks to Andreas, Christopher, Owen, Dexter, and Cameron for being such stalwart hikers! Pemi can now add a formidable little climb to its list of mountaineering accomplishments!
So there are some snap shots of Week One. Stay tuned for more coverage of Instructional Occupations, the Nature Program, Art, Music, and the like. For now, we’re truly relishing the lively company of 170 young men who, from everything we can see, are making the most of their time in the wilds of New Hampshire, sun-lit or rain-washed alike.
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.
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.