#2: Trips, July 4th, Vaudeville…

Pemi Newsletter #2, 2019

Hello, once again from Camp Pemigewassett, where we are now over a week into the 2019 season. Despite an unusually wet spring in northern New England, our weather so far has been fantastic: warm, sunny days, punctuated by spectacular sunsets, fading into cool, star-lit nights. Lower Baker Pond, which three weeks ago hinted to a brave swimmer how a real polar bear feels paddling between ice floes, has quickly warmed to a point where our obligatory Week-One “polar bear dip” isn’t unlike jumping into a 300-acre spa, sans the water jets. With an excellent staff taking hold in the cabins and instructional areas, with plentiful and tasty food in the mess hall, and with a full cadre of campers throwing themselves into the season with energy and commitment, life up here is good. Let’s take the opportunity to say a few words about what’s been happening.

Bookend Trip

Bookend Trip

Pemi’s trip program is the most weather-dependent component of camp operations, and first-year Trip Director Sam Papel has made wonderful use of the days so far available to him. A half-dozen cabins have already enjoyed cookout suppers across the lake at Flat Rock and Pine Forest, a pair of Junior cabins have overnighted at the Adirondack shelter up on Pemi Hill, and cabin day trips have summited Mt. Cube, Mt. Moosilauke, and Rattlesnake Mountain (so named not for its herpetological population but rather for its profile seen from afar.) This last peak was climbed by Junior One and Lake Tent in our annual “Bookends Outing,” as our oldest Seniors (Elliot Jones, Nelson Snyder, and Timmy Somp) teamed up with the cabin counselors to squire our youngest Juniors (Gray Axel, Will Bartlett, John Hood, Richard Rider, Rudi Wei, and Denver Yancey) to the bald rocky top in a very admirable big-brotherly way.

As for more ambitious trips, last Tuesday and Wednesday saw Trip Leaders Will Katcher and Johnny Saras leading a group up craggy Mt. Chocorua, reputed to be the most photographed mountain in the Northeast. A stalwart Lower Intermediate crew of Porter Hutchinson, Chris Cappillo, Philip Fauver, Will Jones, Charlie Parkes, Priester Davis, Henry Sawin, and Emmett Itoi enjoyed the trip thoroughly, returning to camp tired but happy and full of engaging tales from the trail. Meanwhile, Nate Blumenthal and Pierce Haley traversed the southern end of the lofty Presidential Range with an Upper group made up of Davis Bachner, Julian Berk, Connor Emmert, Stefan Luedtke, Dalton Smith, Dez Starks, Fernando Hokello, and Daniel Jones. They climbed up out of Crawford Notch, one of the world’s most signal U-shaped glacial valleys, up to the Crawford Ridge, spending the night at the hyper-scenic Naumann Tentsite. The next day took them past Mizpah Springs AMC Hut and then up over Mts. Pierce, Eisenhower, and Monroe before they dropped down the waterfall-festooned Ammonosuc Trail to the Cog Railway Base Station and their pick-up. Few Pemi backpacking trips could cover such remarkable terrain over such a short stretch of time, and these boys, too, returned for Wednesday supper tired but happy.

The central pillar of Pemi’s varied program—this year as every other—consists of the wide range of instructional offerings we teach on a daily basis, quaintly named “Occupations.” While some camps run their campers through a pre-established set of activities, often in lock-step with their cabin mates, we allow boys to choose what they’ll be doing individually. While they are always encouraged to go further with established interests, we also try to create a climate in which they feel comfortable trying things that are completely new to them. Another significant difference between Pemi and our neighbors is that boys choose occupations for a full week at a time, working their way through thoughtfully pre-planned curricula in each area. To bring in an academic parallel, it’s as though they’re not just attending lectures; they’re taking courses. One extension of this principle is that most of our occupations are taught at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, so boys can stick with one area and really advance their skills and knowledge over the weeks and years. With this “expertise-building” shape in mind, our offerings evolve over the course of the season—in the Nature Program, for example, responding to each summer’s cycles as both flora and fauna emerge, thrive, and disappear. We thought it might be instructive, though, just to pass along the list of activities we offered in Week One.

In Art and Wood Shop: Dragon Eyes, Name Game, Ninja Rock Climbing, Sea Serpents, and Shop (Juniors and Lowers);

In Music and Drama: Auditioning and Gilbert and Sullivan, Character Building for Actors, Guitar (beginning and advanced), Piano (beginning and advanced), Mindfulness, Music Playing, Song Writing, Sound Painting, Stagecraft, and Ukelele;

In Nature/Photography: Animal Evidence, Birding (beginning), Butterflies and Moths (beginning), Environmental Sculpture, Junior Environmental Exploration, Junior Nature Book, Photography (advanced digital, beginning digital, beginning darkroom), Ponds and Streams, Rocks and Minerals, and Wild Foods;

In Sports and Athletics: Archery (Junior, beginning, intermediate/advanced), Baseball (for three separate age groups), Basketball (for three separate age groups), Canoeing (Lowers 1&2, Lowers 3&4, and Seniors Allagash prep), Lacrosse (for two separate age groups), Rugby, Sailing (Junior, beginning, and intermediate), Soccer (for three separate age groups), Swimming (instructional, Juniors 1&2, and Juniors 3&4), Tennis (for four separate age groups), Ultimate Frisbee (for two separate age groups), Wakeboarding, and Waterskiing (Junior, beginning and slalom).

Pemi celebrated the Fourth of July in perfectly clement weather, very much unlike the rainy conditions prevailing in Washington D.C. Tom Reed, Jr. kicked off the morning with observations in the mess hall that the flag we were all about to salute as it rose outside to the colors featured fifty stars all of the same hue, “united” in that fact just as the states they represent have long been united by common goals and interests. Sadly, he noted, hardening divisions between “red” and “blue” at many levels of state and national discourse and decision-making have troubled our union in ways that the vast majority of adults would love to rectify but that we seem to be struggling to bring to pass. Our brightest hope at the moment, Tom suggested, may well lie with the youth of America and the broader globe beyond, among whom the students from Parkland, Florida and Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzi stand out as inspiring examples of how those who have yet to grow into power can sometimes see and speak with a clarity and transcendent good sense that can elude those “in the trenches.” He urged the campers, as they were about to stand at respectful attention on the porch while Old Glory ran up the flagpole, to think about taking on the full mantle of citizenship sooner rather than later and to do their best to export the good social lessons they learn at Pemi to their school-year communities. Following that, we natives all joined with those British brothers and sisters in attendance this year in exemplifying identity in difference—singing, to one melody, both “America the Beautiful” and “God Save the Queen.”

For the second or third year running, Occupations ran as normal in the morning, but the sunny and warm afternoon featured the annual Fourth of July Parade (aka “The Pee-rade”), lately less a procession than a series of impromptu skits performed by each cabin group before a discerning panel of judges. This year’s offerings were, as always, a lively and inventive set of enactments of one or another aspect of global, national, or Pemi history. Garnering first prizes this year were the Upper Juniors, with a tribute to Nature Head Larry Davis (retiring this summer from that position after fifty years of stellar and brilliantly innovative service.) Stealing the act were Henry Shapiro as Larry Davis and River Hambleton as the sunny and sometimes frenetic Deb Kure, now assuming the mantle from Larry after years of inspiring service of her own. Among the Lower Lowers, Cabin One took top honors, with a stirring reenactment of the entire Battle of Fort McHenry in two minutes. As for Upper Lowers, Cabin Four carried the day with a skit called “Ever Since the Incident,” documenting the recent impact on our staff and their shopping habits of a recent diatribe against Walmart delivered by Drama Head Jonathan Verge. Philip Fauver was truly masterful as Pemi’s own Dr. Phil, sorting out and prescribing for those folks traumatized by Jonathan’s scathing anti-capitalist critique. Upper Three returned to Larry’s long and excellent run at Pemi with a fact-packed but hilarious “tribute quiz,” and Senior Two dusted their neighbors with a “Miss Pemi” dating show focused on what various staff members (and Miss Pemi suitors) might do to make ours an even better camp. Overall, the Pee-rade was an exemplar for witty invention, apt performance, and timely completion.

Vaudeville

Vaudeville

After supper we all retreated to the Junior Camp, where impresario Donald Turvill had arranged for the annual Fourth of July Vaudeville Show to unfold, al fresco, on the Junior Point. With the tranquil lake as a backdrop, third-year camper and guitar master Luke Larabie kicked the show off with a Jimi-Hendrix-style rendition of the National Anthem. Those who missed Woodstock fifty years ago might well have thought they were magically there, as the crowd sprawled on the grass enjoying the varied acts as the evening deepened. Other great camper performances included River Hambleton with King George’s “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton, Michaela Frank’s ukelele group playing “My Girl,” Luke again (with Donald and Danny Kerr) in a three-way string jam, and Liam Stephan with a funky guitar blues. Staff members Jonathan Verge and Sabrina Lawrence showed truly professional chops with two vocal performances of their own, backed wonderfully by pianist Taiko Pelick. And closing the show proper, with the perennial crowd favorite “The Little People,” were counselors Matt Cloutier and Henry Day, experiencing a Pemi day as abbreviated as their foreshortened bodies. As milk, cereal, shaving cream, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, quiche, and a half dozen other materials and foodstuffs went everywhere but where they should have gone (the “arms” of their concealed co-counselors showed them no mercy whatsoever!), the crowd roared by turns their incredulous horror and full approval. And so, with a grandiose fireworks display orchestrated by Buildings and Grounds Head Reed Harrigan, ably aided and abetted by Nick Davini and Danny Kerr, a near perfect Pemi Fourth came to a rousing conclusion. Thanks to all who made it such a great day! Including all of the Founding Fathers (and Mothers!)

Well, let’s leave it at that. This past weekend featured some rousing sporting events with our Baker Valley neighbors, but we leave it to your sons to fill you in more succinctly and sensibly than we would probably be able to manage. Tune in next week, though, for more news (of the true variety) from our happy little corner of the Granite State.

TRJR

 

#1: Welcome to 2019! Meet our staff…

Pemi Newsletter #1, 2019

Greetings from Wentworth, New Hampshire, where a gentle northwest breeze is wafting down the pond under partly cloudy skies. Birds are singing. Boys are laughing. Pianist Taiko Pelick is rehearsing a Mozart piano sonata in the Lodge. Pemi 2019 has been in full swing only since yesterday afternoon (as we write this Sunday morning), but it’s already apparent that the season has terrific potential to be a truly great one. As we wrapped up staff training on Friday, more than a few veterans allowed that this looked like being one of the best crews ever. Returning veteran campers arrived Saturday morning, and settled into their cabins and years-long friendships with quiet excitement. Lunchtime singing in the mess hall was thunderous, but when Danny charged all the old hands after lunch with being welcoming hosts to the first-timers arriving in the afternoon, you could see them all quietly remembering their own first arrivals at Pemi and resolving to greet the new boys with warmth and encouragement.

This year’s iteration of “Cans from Campers,” Dottie Reed’s wonderful initiative inviting families to bring food for donation to the local food bank, was cornucopial in its measure—maybe more plentiful and generous than ever. Thanks to all of you who contributed! Our traditional opening-night supper of pizza, green salad, and Hoodsie ice cream cups was a clear hit, and the camp fire that followed shortly after boded wonderfully for the entertainment we can expect in the coming weeks. Senior camper Henry Moore kicked the show off with a moving recitation of Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus,” the inspiring poem that graces the base of the Statue of Liberty and timelessly reminds us of our obligations to those less fortunate than we. Other highlights included Carter Glahn with his devil sticks, River Hambleton with an array of yo-yo tricks, and William Webber offering an all-but professional rendition of a Tomas Damas Étude for guitar. Andrés Segovia move over! As usual, we closed with Pemi co-founder Dudley Reed’s “Campfire Song.” 270 of us threw our arms over each other’s shoulders and swayed to words that should help us set a high bar for our interactions all summer: “And I wonder if anyone’s better for anything I’ve done or said.” If most of us can answer that question in the affirmative with some frequency, it will be a rich and transformative season.

Since it’s traditional for our initial newsletters to introduce our staff, let’s get to that with no further ado—pausing only to say that, in coming weeks, we will do our best to keep you posted on how the season is unfolding in all of our varied program areas. Our sincere hope is that the required weekly letters from your sons will also keep you abreast of developments up here, but experience tells us that there are more Hemingways peopling our cabins than Tolstoys. “Dear Mom and Dad. Camp is fun. We climbed a mountain. The lake water is cold. We saw a huge bullfrog. Love, Jimmy.” Think of their communications as haiku. Think of ours as “The Talk of the Town.”

~Tom Reed, Jr. (AKA TRJR)

And now for the Pemi Staff, 2019:

2019 Staff Members

Administration

Danny Kerr – Director – I am originally from New York City, and though I will always think of myself as a New Yorker, I now live in New Hampshire. During the summer, when not doing the director thing, I look forward to coaching baseball, teaching guitar, recruiting anyone willing to join the legion of long suffering New York Met’s fans and just hanging out with our campers. I am looking forward to my 47th summer at camp, 26th as a camp director, and tenth at Camp Pemi! Let the games begin!

Kenny Moore – Associate Director – This summer will mark my 27th at Pemi and my 6th as a year-round Pemi Director type. I love getting involved with many different aspects of the Pemi enterprise from Buildings and Grounds, to Alumni Relations, to legacy campers, and the staff. My wife, Sarah, and our son Winston recently moved back home to Cleveland, Ohio and are excited to spend our summers in Wentworth.

Tom Reed – Consulting Director – The 2019 season will be my fifty-ninth at Pemi. I began as a camper in Junior One, finished as a camper in Senior Three (no Lake Tent then), and worked on the staff as an Assistant Counselor, Counselor, Upper Division Head, Head of Program, Head of Staff, Head of Trips, and Director (Assistant, Associate, Full, and now Consulting). I’ll be leading singing in the Mess Hall again this summer, writing overlong (and overwritten) newsletters, and helping out with the Trip Program and Gilbert and Sullivan. I was formerly a professor of English literature and film at Dickinson College and now spend my winters writing fiction and hanging out with Dottie.

Allyson Fauver – Administrator – This year, I continue to help with off-season administration, parent support, and Forms (everyone’s favorite!). My favorite form is the Camper Questionnaire, where I get to read what campers are looking forward to, concerned about, and what they think makes a great counselor. I split my time between Montana, New Hampshire, and Maine, and always look forward to crossing the bridge and returning to the shores of Lower Baker Pond.

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 School with my husband and 3 children. For the past 12 years, I’ve enjoyed spending the summers working in the Pemi office.

Kim Malcolm – Administrator – This is my 28th year at Camp Pemi. During the off-season I live at Northfield Mt. Hermon School with my husband, Charlie, and 2 children. I am also a physical therapist.

Dottie Reed – Administrator – If my abacus is functioning properly, this is my 32nd summer at Pemi. Our administrative team makes work seem like play on any given day during which, together, we manage the administrative and communication responsibilities of the Pemi season. I also enjoy orchestrating the postings of our weekly newsletters and the Thursday/Sunday photos. Tom and I will be at Pemi until the leaves fall in mid-October, at which point we’ll head south to our 8-month, off-season home in Sarasota, Florida where we relish daily outdoor living and an abundance of cultural events and opportunities.

Cabin Counselors (CC) and Assistant Counselors (AC)

J1 – Johnny Seebeck (CC) – This will be my 11th year at camp and I’m happy to return for my 2nd year on staff. I’m from Chicago, Illinois and will be finishing my freshman year at Caltech this spring where I am studying Astrophysics and running hurdles. I’m excited to help out with the younger campers and share my interest and enthusiasm for photography, astronomy, sports, and love for camp.

J1 – Pierce Haley (AC) – Hello! I’m from Boston, MA. This will be my ninth summer at Pemi, my second on staff, and I am excited to be an assistant counselor once again. I recently graduated from Buckingham Browne & Nichols high school and I am looking forward to spending my next four years at Colgate University. Outside of school, I love to sing, play guitar, row, and hike. This summer, I plan to help out with the music and sailing programs, as well as anywhere else I might be needed.

J2 – Skye Devlin (CC) – This will be my first summer working at Pemi! I live in Cornwall, Vermont, and just finished my freshman year at Hobart and William Smith College. I went to a summer camp in the Adirondacks as a camper for 8 years, but this will be my first time ever being a counselor. At Pemi I’ll be teaching basketball, baseball, and archery. My younger brother George is at Pemi for his second summer as a camper. I can’t wait to meet all of you!

J2 – Andre Richard (AC) – This year I will be a senior at Landmark High School in Beverly and I am from Andover, Massachusetts. I love history and the arts and I am an avid soccer player. I am interested in teaching and/or helping out with archery, soccer, art, as well as ultimate frisbee. I have been coming to Camp Pemi since I was 13 years old and I am looking forward to this summer’s adventures and competition.

J3 – Jack Davini (CC) – I’m from Plainfield, NH and this is my 10th year at Pemi. I love to play music, make art, and hike. This summer I’ll be teaching about local woods and wildlife. I’m looking forward to getting to know my second cabin as a counselor!

J3 – Ben Pigeon (AC) – I was a six-year camper at Pemi and am returning for my seventh year, my first on staff. I am going to be a freshman at Clemson University starting in the fall. I am from Miami, Florida but I have spent most of my life living abroad in six different countries. Some of my passions are playing soccer and basketball. I look forward to helping kids improve in basketball and soccer.

J4 – Nicholas Gordon (CC) – Hello! I am from Princeton, NJ. During the off-season, I am a student at New York University studying Music Education and Religious Studies. I am a big fan of Outdoor Science outside of the classroom and have spent time pursuing those interests in Central Park. At Pemi, I will mostly be teaching in the Nature Lodge specializing in birds, insects, and botany. This summer will be my 11th consecutive summer at Pemi and I can’t wait for another great summer on Lower Baker Pond.

J4 – Ali Sheikh (AC) – I am from Concord, MA and was a Pemi camper for two summers, first in J6, and then in L4. I enjoy waterfront activities a lot, as well as playing soccer and lacrosse. Looking forward to my first year on staff!

J5 – Daniel Bowes (CC; Division Head) – I am a lifelong resident of Washington D.C. I just finished my sophomore year at Lehigh University in their College of Business and Economics. Pemi runs deep in my family. I was a Pemi camper for 7 incredible summers and this will be my 3rd summer on staff. My grandfather and father were campers, and have remained active members of the alumni network. Although my brother was never a camper, he was on staff for 2 summers as well. I am excited to work with campers on the lacrosse field, the basketball courts, the swimming lanes, and as Division Head in the Junior Camp. I can’t think of a better place to spend a summer!

J5 – Nolan Katcher (AC) – This summer will be my ninth at Pemi and my second on staff. I am from Needham, Massachusetts and this coming fall I will be starting at American University. This summer I am looking forward to coaching tennis and helping out in nature occupations. I can’t wait for another great summer!

J6 – Donald Turvill (CC) – I’m a 22 year old from the great country of Scotland! I’ve just finished my third year studying Journalism at RGU in Aberdeen. Last summer was my first at Camp Pemi, where, aside from being a cabin councilor, I was involved with the music program, taking guitar, bass and drums classes as well as helping out with the camp band. Spending two months in the beautiful, remote Pemigewassett and the incredible weather it hosts made for an incredible summer. So much so, that I’m back for more!

L1 – Ben Ross (CC) – I just finished my first year at Bowdoin College, where I am a member of the rowing team and the frisbee team. I am excited to be back at Pemi as a cabin counselor for my third year on staff. I was a camper for four years and I am a Pemi West alum. I am looking forward to a great summer!

L2 – Noah Belinowiz (CC) – I am back for my ninth summer at Pemi after a short three year hiatus. I was a camper from 2009 to 2015 and a Pemi West alum (2016). I was born and raised in the Greater Boston area and this will be my first summer on staff. This spring I finished my sophomore year at the University of Colorado Boulder where I study geology and economics and enjoy being on the Colorado Crew team. I hope to spend most of my summer either teaching nature occupations or on the waterfront as I am a former competitive swimmer.

L3 – Phil Evans (CC) – I’m from Ireland and currently 20 years old and studying Maths and Computer Science student at Durham University in the UK. This summer is my first time at Pemi but I’ve heard so many good things about this place from my Dad, who was a former counsellor in the 80s, that I already know I’m going to love it. Water seems to be a key theme in all my hobbies and interests so surprisingly I’ll be involved in the sailing and swimming side of things at Pemi. Can’t wait to arrive and I look forward to getting to know you all!

L3 – Nicholas Bowman (AC) – I am returning for my seventh season at Pemi this summer. I am from Carlisle Pennsylvania and I am very excited to be a part of the soccer program as well as the ultimate Frisbee staff. As a goalkeeper I plan on hosting trainings throughout the week to supplement practices and provide our goalkeepers with more personalized and independent sessions. I am extremely excited for another summer on the shores of Lower Baker and cannot wait to meet this year’s campers.

L4 – Ned Roosevelt (CC; Division Head) – This summer will be my eleventh on the shores of Lower Baker Pond. I am a rising senior at Wheaton College where I am majoring in business and am on the tennis team. I look forward to meeting you and extending the same warm welcome to you that I received back in the day. I’ll be a Division Head this year and helping with the sports program. See you on the fields and on the courts!

L5 – Josh Scarponi (CC) – I’ve lived in Canterbury for a majority of my life, with a few years in Campton NH. I’m currently enrolled at Plymouth State University, studying English while going for a Teacher’s Certification for grades 5-12. I’ve played soccer and lacrosse since middle school, and I’ve been skiing ever since I could walk. I love New Hampshire and all the nature that it comes with. This is my first year at Pemi and I’m really looking forward to the summer!

L5 – Jake Cronin (AC) – I am so stoked for my 7th summer at Pemi, and first on staff! I hail from Chappaqua, New York and will be starting my freshman year at Penn State studying engineering. I love all sports (playing and following) but especially soccer, ice hockey, and tennis. I also love music and play the saxophone and piano. This summer I will be coaching soccer and helping out on the tennis courts. I will also be willing to take anybody on in Spongebob and Game of Thrones trivia. Looking forward to another great summer on the shores of Lower Baker!

L6 – Charlie Scott (CC) – I am from Hanover, NH and am a rising sophomore at the University of New Hampshire. I am a Recreation Management and Policy major, focusing specifically on music management. This will be my 10th summer at Pemi, second on staff, and first as a full-on counselor! I look forward to a great summer!

L7 – Jarrod Henry (CC) – Hi! I’ll be a junior attending the University of Central Missouri near Kansas City, Missouri. I’m majoring as a Professional Pilot with a minor in Business Administration and have already ascertained my Private Pilot certificate with my Instrument Rating and I’m currently working on my Commercial pilot’s license. Obviously besides flying, I love basically any activity you can imagine that takes place outdoors. I also love to compete in nearly all sports, although if anyone asks me to play soccer just know my feet are like bricks and I will regularly take shots from half field (as I’m sure you can tell, we don’t play much soccer in the mid-west). I was a camper at Pemi for 5 years and ventured on Pemi West and I’m honored to be able to return on staff for an amazing summer!

U1 – Patterson Malcolm (CC) – Originally from Gill Massachusetts, I am currently a rising-sophomore engineering major and soccer player at Swarthmore College in the suburbs of Philadelphia. This will be my third year on staff at Pemi and 13th summer in total on the shores of Lower Baker. I intend to spend my days coaching soccer and baseball, driving the safety boat, lifeguarding, and enjoying my summer with the boys.

U1 – Nate Blumenthal (See Trip Leaders)

U2 – Henry Day (CC) – I am from Canaan NH. I attend St. Lawrence University where I am on the Baseball Team and I am in an a cappella group called the Singing Saints. This will be my sixth year at Pemi (4 as a camper and 2 as a counselor). I plan on coaching Baseball, Tennis and possibly soccer I also plan on keeping the tradition of X-treme Sports alive.

U2 – Andrew Kanovsky (AC) – This will be my 11th summer at Pemi. I am from Briarcliff Manor, New York, and will be attending the University of Southern California this upcoming fall. I look forward to teaching soccer, lacrosse, and a few nature occupations, as well as being the only Kanovsky at camp for the first time in 10 years.

U3 – Andy MacDonald (CC; Division Head) – I eagerly await my 5th summer on staff at Pemi! I’m again looking forward to being the upper D head as well as helping out in the athletics programme and coaching soccer, tennis, and canoeing. At home in Scotland, I work across 3 schools as a sports coordinator, where I regularly use skills I have learned at Pemi in my day-to-day routine. I look forward to receiving my 5 year bowl at the end of summer banquet!

U3 – Will Katcher (See Trip Leader)

U4 – Jamie Nicholas (CC) – I am from Cornwall Ct. My connection to Pemi begins with my father Rob Nicholas. My Dad was a camper and counselor at Pemi back in the day. Rob Grabill taught my Dad how to play soccer in the 70s and was also around for a couple of years when I started at Pemi in 2006. Legends like Grabill have connected families and friends to Lower Baker’s timeless space. Soccer, baseball, tennis, and swimming at Pemi have always been my favorite activities, and I continue to enjoy these sports in a different light. Competing in sports has always been important to me and I strive to help campers find their strengths as I did with soccer.

U5 – Matt Cloutier (CC) – I am delighted to return to Pemi after three long years away from Lower Baker. This is my 11th summer and third on staff. I graduated from Middlebury College this past May with a degree in Environmental Studies, focusing both in policy and conservation biology. Most of my instruction will be with the Nature Program, but you can find me on the soccer pitch, baseball fields, or teaching guitar when Larry isn’t looking. I hail from Stamford, CT though Vermont has stolen my heart.

S1 – Nick Bertrand (CC; Division Head) – I grew up in Hanover NH, just 40 minutes down the road from Camp Pemi. I am entering my senior year at Case Western Reserve University where I am studying biomedical engineering and am a member of the varsity soccer team. I was a pemi boy for 8 years, spent one summer on Pemi west, and this will now be my 4th year on staff. I am looking forward to spending my 14th summer back at Pemi where I will be teaching a number of sports and other activities that camp has to offer!

S1 – Nick Davini (See Trip Leaders)

S2 – Henry McLeod (CC) – Hi! I’m a rising 2nd year at the University of Bath studying Aerospace Engineering. I come from Windsor, UK and I’m looking forward to spending the summer on the shores of Lower Baker Pond after hearing so much about it from my older sister, Hattie! I’m going to be a cabin counselor and will teach several water sports and drive the safety boat. I’m looking forward to meeting new people, enjoying camp life and having a great summer at Pemi.

S2 – Sam Papel (See Trip Leaders)

S3 – Cole Valente (CC; Bean Soup Editor) – Hello! I am from Princeton, New Jersey, and this will be my third summer as a Pemi staff member, previously spending three summers here as a camper. I am heading into my senior year at Dickinson College studying English, and this summer I will be spending time at the waterfront, making bean soup, and correcting grammar.

LT – Will Meinke (CC; Assistant Head of Staff) – I’m excited to be back for my thirteenth summer at Pemi! I’m from Westport Connecticut and will be involved in the waterski and soccer programs as well as being the Assistant Head of Staff this year. I’m looking forward to another exciting summer on Lower Baker!

Trip Leaders

Nate Blumenthal – I am a student at Middlebury College in Vermont where I study Political Science and Film. A seven-year Pemi camper and frisbee-running bases all-star (!), I am excited to take on the role of trip counselor for Pemi ‘19. Originally from Connecticut, I am passionate about the outdoors, baseball, and the positive impact that summer camp can have on children.

Nick Davini – I’m a longtime Pemi camper and counselor from Plainfield, NH. This summer I’ll be leading Pemi West along with Deer Hill Outfitters in Durango, CO. Before and after our three-week stint out west, I’ll be helping out with the Trip Program and coordinating the Counselor Apprentice Program.

Will Katcher – After a year hiatus, I’m excited to return to Pemi for my eighth summer, third on staff. This will be my first year as a trip counselor and I’m looking forward to getting back up into the mountains on some of the same hikes I went on as a camper. This fall, I’ll be a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I study journalism.

Sam Papel – Head of Trips – I’m very excited for my 14th year at Pemi, 5th year on staff, and my first year as the head of the Trip Program! I was born, raised, and still live in Nashville, TN. This spring, I hiked XXX miles on the Appalachian Trail with Nick Davini before we stopped in order to work at Pemi this summer!

Johnny Saras – Hey, folks! I’m a born and raised New Englander excited to be returning home as a trip counselor for my first ever summer at Camp Pemi. At age eighteen, I flew off to Miami where I studied film and psychology, and at twenty-two I drove out west to work in Hollywood for a few years. These days I’m on fellowship at UC Riverside, where I’m getting my Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. If I’m not working on my screenplays or novels, you can find me hiking, reading, or running (I just ran my first marathon this Spring!).

Fiona Walker – I hail from Portland, Oregon and recently completed my Junior Year at Kenyon College where I am currently studying Psychology and Anthropology. This will be my third year at Pemi as a Trip Leader, which means you are most likely reading the same thing from last summer. I’ve always been an outdoor enthusiast and love sharing the joys of hiking and backpacking with Pemi campers. This summer will be my first as Head Trip Counselor and I look forward to working with an awesome group of new “Trippies!” Outside of my new role within the trip program I look forward to helping out with swimming and track & field as well as hopefully earning a top finish in the Pemi Staff Triathlon.

Program Staff and more…

Scout Brink – Hello! This will be my third year on Nature Staff! I am from upstate New York, near the Adirondacks and am very excited to teach campers the beauty of the woods. I majored in Environmental Science and am currently getting my masters in education. If I’m not in the Nature Lodge you can find me on the Archery range!

Steve Clare – Head of Archery – I’m back for my 5th Pemi summer. I live in Cornwall in the SW of England. I’m a freelance teacher, supporting schools with specialist lessons. I’ve coached youth soccer teams for 10 years & coordinate a weekly community soccer programme for players aged 5 – 11. I return to Pemi as Head of Archery & one of the soccer coaches. No doubt I’ll have a few additional responsibilities too. As always, I’m looking forward to playing my part in the Pemi family, passing on skills to the boys & seeing what I can learn too.”

Larry Davis – Director of Nature Programs and Teaching – This summer will be my 50th (!) at Pemi-all as a staff member. I did my undergraduate work in Earth Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and my PhD in Geological Sciences at the University of Rochester. I am Professor Emeritus of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven having retired from there in August, 2018. In a past life I was an intercollegiate soccer official. I love to travel and have been to 48 of the 50 US states (missing Alaska and Hawaii). I play the flute, collect waterfalls, and plan to devote my retirement to getting kids out into nature.

Michaella Frank – Head of Music – This will be my fifth summer at Camp Pemi and my first year as the Head of the Music Department. I am so excited to continue teaching campers the joy of self-expression through music. I will also continue to coach basketball and promise to have junior camp dunking before our first game!

Chloe Jaques – Head of Sailing – Hi I’m from London, England. This will be my third summer at Pemi following the completion of my first year at Law School in the UK. I am excited to be continuing my position as the Head of the Sailing programme and assisting in other areas on the waterfront! I can’t wait for another great summer on the shores and waters of Lower Baker Pond. I am particularly looking forward to catching up with staff and campers from past years and meeting those who are new to the Pemi community and making great memories once again!!

Chris Johnson – Head of Tennis – I am looking forward to making my sixth year at Pemi a memorable one. I will once again be heading up the tennis program and helping to grow the campers games or introduce them to this great sport. During the year I spend my time in beautiful Cleveland Ohio teaching 4th grade and coaching high school tennis. I have coached my teams to three state titles and have had two individual champions as well. In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time outdoors, and attending sporting events. I will be joined at Pemi by my wife, my daughter Lauren, and my son Clayton who will be a second year camper.

CJ Jones – Head of Waterfront – This will be my fifth year at Pemi (!). It’s just such a wonderful place. I’m very much looking forward to getting back onto the waterfront, coaching the boys in swimming and other water-based activities. I also love coaching the campers in track and field – Triathlon 2019 here we come! It has been a very sad year for me and my family, but one of love. The support from my Pemi family has only strengthened my love for this place. Can’t wait to be back on the shores of Lower Baker Pond and to singing songs loudly in the mess hall! Oh, and to beating Tecumseh…

Deb Kure – Associate Head of Nature – Hi Everybody! I’m thankful to be in my 12th Pemi summer! 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, natural history museums, and trips programs throughout the U.S. During the school year I’m an Educator with Sierra Nevada Journeys in Reno, NV, leading classroom and field programs with 1st through 6th graders, and Family Science Nights! Northern Nevada has been a great new zone to explore – from Great Basin Geology to the Mining and Pony Express History to the Sierra Nevada Mtns!!

Donovan Laas – Visiting Professional – This is my first season at Pemi and I am very excited to join this wonderful family. I come from Cape Town South Africa where I teach 5th grade at an American International school. I will be helping out with tennis, archery and will be running a basic introduction to rugby and some pick up cricket games. I’m really excited to learn how to play baseball and to share a bit of South Africa with the Pemi community.

Beanie Lawrence – I am so excited to have my first summer at Pemi! I currently go to school in NYC but grew up in Lebanon, NH. When you can’t find me in the city, you can find me on the slopes or in the water. I’ll be working with the drama program this summer and a fun fact about me is that I’ve seen over 10 Broadway shows!

Charlie Malcolm – Athletic Director – I have been spending my summers on Lower Baker since 1976. My Dad attended Camp in the 1930s and his counselor was Tom Reed Sr. Since the early 1990s I have been Camp Pemi’s Athletic Director. When I am not at Pemi I teach history and coach soccer and baseball at Northfield Mount Hermon School. I hold a Premier coaching degree from the NSCAA. My NMH soccer team has won several New England Prep Championships (NEPSAC) and many of the players have gone on to work at Pemi. I am joined at camp with my wife Kim and our two kids, Patterson and Victoria.

Molly Malone – Head of Waterskiing (Second Session) – This is my 5th year as head waterski instructor. I live in Chippewa Falls, WI where I am a high school orchestra teacher. My main instruments are piano and violin, and I am a section leader in our community orchestra and play piano for two churches. While music is my vocation, waterskiing is my passion. I am blessed to be able to ski daily on a private ski lake (when the lake is liquid), and have found an incredible boyfriend willing to fly to Florida every 6 weeks in the winter to train on the water. If I’m not in school or on the lake, I’m in the gym working out! I’m excited to be back at Pemi. I have found a family away from home in an incredible setting!

Hattie McLeod – Head of Canoeing; Bugler – I’m from England, and I can’t wait to be back at Pemi for my third summer! I’m excited to be continuing my role of being the Bugler as well as taking on more responsibility as Head of Canoeing. I look forward to seeing old faces, meeting new ones and having another great summer on the shores and waters of LBP before starting my teaching career in the fall!

Deb Pannell – Head of Art – During the school year, I teach fifth grade at Mark Day School, which is located just north of San Francisco. I love working with my students in all subject areas, especially writing. Outside the classroom, my happy place is in the hills of Marin where I relish the opportunity to hike and take in the ocean views. Substitute lake views, and I’ll be enjoying these same pleasures during my 6th summer Pemi! I look forward to trying out plenty of fresh art projects and indulging again in our tried-and-true favorites. Most of all, I look forward to seeing the boys, and the growth in their confidence and skills that has occurred over the past school year.

Taiko Pelick – Pianist – Hello! I’m from Arlington, Texas. I’m excited to be spending my second summer at Pemi as the camp pianist! I am an Adjunct Professor of Piano at Mountain View College and Tarrant County College as well as a collaborative pianist in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, I’m looking forward to teaching piano to campers of all levels, playing piano for our singing in the mess hall, and of course playing for another fabulous G&S production!

Abby Reed – Visiting Professional – I’m thrilled to be back at Pemi for my 32nd summer (having first come as a 4-month old) and first ‘official’ summer on staff since 2012. I live in Cape Town, South Africa, where I teach high school English at the American International School of Cape Town. I look forward to helping out with swimming, archery, and photography, but most of all, I’m excited to reconnect with the incredible Pemi family!

Hannah Roadknight – I’m from the small town of Bexhill in the UK. I currently study Graphic Design for Publishing at Norwich University of the Arts, and love all things creative! I am a keen photographer, musician, and coffee enthusiast with a passion for cultural experiences. This will be my first year at Pemi, and I am so excited to be helping out with art, photography, and hopefully a little music!

Fred Seebeck – Visiting Professional – I’m excited to step in as Lord High Substitute Waterfront Head for my good friend Charlotte for a couple of weeks early in the 2019 season. For me, it will feel like a trip back to the 1970’s, teaching occupations, running swim practices, overseeing free swim, just as I did way back when. Let us hope for sunny skies and gentle rains (at night!) all summer long!

Brian Tompkins – Head of Woodshop – I’m from nearby Norwich, VT, and am a sculptor, a dry stonemason, and a former pro snow sports instructor, who was shaped and formed by camps, then burnished at “Camp Dartmouth.” I have lived and breathed the stone and trees, and have steeped in the very physical culture up here ever since. Directing the Wood Working occupation, with a fantastic staff and excellent resources, I’ll emphasize safety and enjoy steady effort. Pemi’s venerable wood shop continuously inspires all ages and turns out satisfyingly hard-won work.

Jonathan Verge – Head of Drama and Director of G&S – I return for my second summer on the banks of Lower Baker. I am the Director of Choral Music and Dramatic Arts at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, NH. I have a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University and many years of professional directing, producing, and acting experience in London, New York, and Chicago.

Erik Wiedenmann (CC; Head of Staff) – I was born to an American mother and German father in Berlin, Germany. Upon graduating from high school in Berlin, I completed my undergraduate studies at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as part of a Dual Degree program (B.A./B.F.A.). After working in advertising for several years, I decided to make a change; I recently completed my first year at Hampshire Country School, where I taught German. I will begin my graduate studies in Education this fall. This will be my seventh summer at Pemi (third on staff).

Mark Warmington – Head of Waterskiing (First Session) – I am a well traveled South African Engineer and have 2 boys Michael and James. My first summer at Pemi was as a counselor in 1995, and I returned again in1997 and 1998 (that year we won the hat). I love teaching and playing with my kids on our farm in rural South Africa, showing them the joys of outdoor life and we all love water-sports especially waterskiing. I enjoy working with like minded people and sharing positive stories about life in general, with a few jokes thrown in.

Wendy Young – Head of Occupations – This is my second year at Camp Pemi and my first as Head of Occupations. A former college soccer and lacrosse player, I enjoy all things sports as well as the summer camp life. During the school year I work as a certified athletic trainer at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, with 22 years of experience.

Caretakers of our physical and mental well-being…

Tom Ciglar – Director of Food Service – This is my 17th season at Pemi. During the school year I am the Director of Operations for Hampshire Country School in Rindge, NH, where I live with my wife, Anna, and son, Jonathan.

Nancy Cushman – Kitchen Staff – I live in West Fairlee, Vermont. This will be my 14th summer at Pemi. The rest of the year I work in a small elementary school with preschoolers. At camp, I will be helping prepare breakfast and baking all the yummy treats the staff and children get to enjoy.

Sabrina De Stefano – Camp Doctor – As the mother, sister and cousin to a handful of Pemi campers, I am delighted to return to camp this summer. I live in Mendham, NJ with my husband and three children: Matteo (13), Noah (9) and Grace (5). I work as a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in both Morristown and Summit, NJ. I am passionate about children’s health, their physical and emotional wellbeing and recognize the importance of nature and play in a child’s development. As such, I consider it a privilege to be part of the Pemi staff and to share my expertise in caring for the campers this summer.

Barbara Fitts – Buildings and Grounds – Greetings! I thank God for opening up this wonderful position. It has offered me a mental break from “corporate America.” The camp is idyllic for all who work and play. The staff is caring, helpful and hard working. I am originally from MA. My folks moved up here in the late 70s. I have a wonderful church family close to home in Wentworth where I reside with my lovely 14 year old black lab.

Ricardo Hincapie – Kitchen Staff – I’m from Colombia and I’m an engineering student. This is my second time working at Pemi’s Kitchen. Let’s have some fun eating a lot.

Emrekan Kose – Kitchen Staff – I was born in 2000 in Aydin, Turkey. I have a brother. His name is Yasar. My mother is Semra. She is a nurse. My father is Mustafa. He works as a teacher. I study in METU. My department is Basic English. Next year, I will study Industry Engineering. I want to be teacher since in my childhood, so in my free time I work as a teacher. I have 3 students. I am a volunteer. They do not pay me any money. Instead of, they show me respect and they love me. I interested in intelligence games, such as chess, checkers, and strategy games. I play these games and I watch many video about these games on Youtube. After my classes end, I usually go to swimming pool. I like playing basketball and football, and I also like watching both of them. I spend a lot of time with children such as my cousins, neighbours’ children, and my students. Moreover, I love cooking, and I cook meals for my cousins.

Caroline Lonergan – Nurse – I am from Mendham, NJ. This is my first year at Pemi and I am a camp registered nurse. I have three children – Erin is 14, Ryan is 13 and Garrett is 11. I work as a registered nurse in a community hospital in rural NJ and also work as a substitute school nurse in my town. I always make time for my daily runs, and I also enjoy baking, reading and the beach.

David McMurray – Assistant Chef – Hello, I’m from Milton Mills, New Hampshire. I am a cook and this will be my second summer at Pemi. I’m very interested in cooking, hiking, reading and tiny homes. I hope to provide great food with a smile and work with new people on new and exciting meal options.

Michael McMurray – Chef – Hello! I’ve been a chef for 30 years with the last 7 summers at summer camps, filling kids with the energy that powers their day. I will be working in the Pemi kitchen for my second year. Last year was so much fun, and while being challenging, I knew I had to return. I am looking forward to another summer in the kitchen with Tom, Nancy and the rest of the crew. Have a great summer! I know that I will!”

Emrah Onder – Kitchen Staff – I was born in Bartin, Turkey on 10th March 1996. I’m study at Kocaeli Universty. My department is aviation management. My favorite hobbies: ride a bike, walk in the beach, playing volleyball and bowling, go to concert, theatre and cinema. I love playing and watching football. The best one listening music which are pop and rock music. My Features: friendly, outgoing, and always smiling, quick learner and multitasking. Learning different culture, meeting new people who come from various country, tasting delicious food and sometimes finding solutions to the problems and taking responsibilities would be amazing experience for me. These are some reasons why I want to be at Camp Pemi. It is going to be fantastic and let’s make new unforgettable stories.

Bryan Parks – Chef – I reside in Rumney, NH with my wife, daughter, and little one on the way. We moved to New Hampshire from Westfield, Massachusetts three years ago to serve at a camp. In addition to cooking I also love my job supporting students at Plymouth Elementary, playing guitar and practicing martial arts. I am very much looking forward to being a part of your summer staff food service team at Camp Pemi!

Penny Shortt-Newton – Driver – Hi! I live in Bath, NH. I’m a school bus driver for Butler Bus Services out of the North Haverhill office. I’ve been a bus driver for over 20 years now among other jobs that I’ve done over my lifetime and have a wealth of experience I bring with me. This is my 1st year at Pemi and I’m going to be driving campers around to various activities out of camp. I look forward to meeting each one of you! Happy Camping!

Liz Silloway – Nurse – I am a California native, a registered nurse, and the mother of a current camper. Our family has a long history with Pemi, but this will be my first summer at camp, where I will be working as a nurse. I love to travel, hike with our 2 crazy doodle dogs and my favorite sport without hesitation is skiing.

Allyn Smith – Health Center Staff – Hi! I am here from South Florida where I parent my three Pemi Boys, ages 11, 13, & 14. I work as a Reading Specialist and children’s yoga instructor during the academic year. This is our third season as part of the Pemi Family, though this is the first year I get to stay on campus and help in the Health Center. I am excited and honored to be here with all of our children this summer!

Michal Szewczyk – Kitchen Staff – I’m from Poland. I love doing sports (especially swimming) and math/programming. It will be my first year at Pemi. I hope I will meet new people and spend some great time there!

Sergen Tastan – Kitchen Staff – I was born in Agri city of Turkey in 1996. I am studing at ÔøΩanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. My major is Travel management and Tour Guidance and I am going to be graduate from University. I will be in Camp Pemi for a second summer, that’s why I am so happy. Thanks Camp Pemi for give to me this opportunity again.

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

Frank Roberts – Buildings and Grounds – This will be my third season at Pemi working with the Buildings and Grounds crew. My wife Erica and I live in nearby Groton NH with our daughter Hazel. We enjoy growing organic vegetables, hiking, and canoeing. Looking forward to another exciting season on Lower Baker!

Dennis Thibodeau – Buildings and Grounds – This is my sixth season at Pemi and I live in Rumney, NH.

Billy Ziegler – Health Center Staff – Hello everyone! This will be my second summer at Camp Pemigewassett, and I have really been looking forward to it all year long. These last few months I have been really busy with my job as a server. I grew up in Norwich Vermont, and have lived here more or less for my whole life. I love doing anything outside especially hiking. I’m super happy to be welcomed back and see some old friends as well as make some new ones!