“Pine Island is to him like a fifth limb—he
has come to define a sizable part of himself
by it—and he recounts memories and expresses his attachment on a
Really, it is a beautiful thing.”
Pine Island Parent
July 2012 - 100th War Game — This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the War Game. Played nowhere else in the world, the War Game is an unlikely survior of another era that, like much of Pine Island, has changed with the times but would still be recognizable to campers from a century ago. Alumnus Robert Moore has written an article about the War Game and it appears in the July issue of Down East Magazine. (To read it now, click here.)
April 2012 - Martha Stewart Living — Through the efforts of camp parents Becky Lewis and Andrea Raisfeld, the May issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine features prominently a group of gorgeous and moving photographs of Pine Island Camp taken by noted photographer and camp parent William Abranowicz. The article that accompanies the photographs is about the author's experiences at another Maine camp, but the sentiments ring very true. Don't miss the issue! (To see it now, click here.)
Bazoomarang Sailboats —
I am very pleased to announce that two good friends of Pine Island, one an alumnus, have made gifts that will fully fund the construction of two more Monte Ball Bazoomarang sailboats late this summer and they will be ready for service at the beginning of the 2013 season. Pine Island already has two Bazoomarangs, a new class of boats designed and built by David, Nathaniel, and Abraham Stimson of Boothbay, Maine. The design and construction of the first two boats were a gift of Barry, Gloria, and Sarah Lindquist in honor of Barry's friendship with Monte that started in the U.S. Navy in the 1960s and continued as Barry and family came to visit Monte for a week during the summer season. Barry generously said that if we could find a donor for the third Bazoomarang, he would fund a fourth. An alumnus has stepped forward so the boats will be built. The great advantage of having four Bazoomarangs is that it will increase significantly the opportunities for sailing, and racing, for intermediate sailors who currently need a more experienced skipper to sail or race the JY-15s or the two Sloan 12 1/2 catboats.
September 2011 - It was a beautiful summer on Great Pond and another great season at Pine Island Camp. 87 boys arrived on June 24, including 24 new campers, and we were once again off on another six-week season packed with action and adventure and lots of laughs. After a chilly, wet start (just to be sure 100%ers were truly committed), thunderstorms were few and far between and most of the rain came at night, so we had only a couple of periods of rainy day activities. And speaking of activities, they were great this year, each with a strong leader who promoted the activity as the most important and coolest offered at camp. Fly-fishing got a boost from four different fishing trips, two overnight trips and two day trips. On one daytrip the boys caught over 150 fish!
We scaled all the great peaks in Maine and New Hampshire and Expedition Camp again traveled all the way to Vermont to hike for nine days in the Green Mountains on the Long Trail, which they described as "hiking in the Shire." Not a single person had to come off a trip for injury or sickness this season, a tribute to the excellent and experienced staff and careful attention from our wonderful medic, Caroline Moughon, back at camp. The seven Whitehead trips were full of fun and all kinds of interesting adventures led by long-time second-generation program director Anne Stires.
We enjoyed the usual, and some unusual, special events, including Club Honk, the 4th of July Raft building and burning, and the Regatta, which included the first-ever water skiing by a camper...behind the War Canoe paddled by Expedition Camp! The War Canoe was new this year, a gift from alumnus Tim Nagler.
We wrapped up the summer with a Blue victory in Pine Island's 99th War Game and a gorgeous gift from King Kababa, Terrible Thomas the Terrapin. Next summer we look forward to celebrating the 100th War Game and look forward to Another Great Summer!
May 2011 -
The 2011 season at Pine Island is suddenly close at hand. The Camp Road is
open and the ice is out. The main docks are in the water. Brrrrrrrrr. The KWS
arrives for the summer on May 10. As Benís father once wrote, "Akka Lakka,
Rigga Jigga, Summer's big and gettin' bigga..."
We have a waiting list for campers after having squeezed in 88 boys and a very
experienced and wonderful group of counselors who have signed on. You can help
us get ready to make 2011 another great summer by joining us for one of the two
volunteer opportunities we are offering this spring.
The Early Bird volunteer weekend just prior to staff week will run from June
10 - June 12, and the Whitehead Light Station Volunteer week will run from June
4-11. We'll feed you well and your efforts will give PIC a head start on the
busy seasons ahead.
January 2011 - On Saturday, January 29th Pine Islanders from around the country gathered around the First Annual Campfire in New York for a night of great food, great company, hilarious skits and belted-out campfire tunes. Click here for photos.
The event took place at DUMBO Loft in Brooklyn, a performance space situated at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge with views of the East River. With its rustic wooden columns and big windows, the space was as reminiscent of Honk Hall as could be expected in the big city. Charley Birney, the organizer of the event and OD for the night, stepped up the atmosphere with a dozen Saturday Night Show posters and an iPad campfire app, complete with the sounds of a crackling campfire piped in over the speaker system.
About 150 Pine Islanders - campers, staff, alumni, friends and family - were in attendance. The Eklund family put together a fine buffet dinner of New York-style pizza, generously donated by Motorino Pizza of Brooklyn, and other gourmet items, including Blue and Gray ice cream made and donated by Jonathan Eklund. After taking time to eat and catch up with each other, attendees sat down for the main event. If there's one thing the Pine Island community knows how to do, it's entertain one another without worrying about looking foolish. There was some question about whether this spirit could be transported intact from the sandy stage at PIC in mid-summer to a loft in Brooklyn surrounded by deep snowdrifts, but once Josh Treat "lit" the campfire, there was no doubt that the campfire spirit traveled well. One after another, campers, counselors and alums took to the stage to act and sing. Counselor Will Webb got everyone up off their chairs with the rousing audience participation "Button Masher" song, followed by a more high-brow original clarinet performance by camper Matt Hawkins. Campers Ben Catania and Will Pomerantz played their guitars and sang a beautiful, original and well-practiced song called "I'm Cold." Alum Peter Ward was on hand to lead the audience in his inimitable version of "Little Cabin in the Woods." Songs re-written with Great Pond-themed lyrics have become a staple at summer campfires, and the audience was treated to several in New York. Matt Clarke and Max Huber sang a song about PIC desserts called "Choco-Taco," to the tune of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold," and alums Pope Ward and Stuart Murray sang "Archery Man" in defense of the often underappreciated archery activity sung to the tune of Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man." Alums Charlie Birney and David Williamson offered a reinterpretation of the Hank Snow tune "I've Been Everywhere, Man" and as the evening progressed and things got wilder, even Johnny Credit Card, a.k.a. Ben Swan, made an appearance wearing his traditional red baseball cap and singing his classic "Camper Named Sue." Current staffers Harry Swan and Will Webb performed a hilarious original skit skewering the takeover of modern life by screens, games, and phones. Later on, long-time Pine Island staffers Matt Clarke and Alice Packard closed out the evening with their rendition of "Sweet Pine Island" based on the song "Sweet Carolina" by singer-songwriter Ryan Adams.
For all who attended the night provided a welcome and warm respite from the frigid, slushy conditions of January in New York City. Any time Pine Islanders get together, the conversation inevitably turns to nostalgic tales about camping trips long past or decades-old War Game strategies, and this evening was no different. Pine Islanders from all generations stayed long after the entertainment closed to share stories and reminisce about past summers. The evening marked the beginning of a rare thing, a new Pine Island tradition. This year's Campfire in NYC left all who attended warmed up inside and out and ready to brave the winter months by taking a little bit of Pine Island with them. Keep an eye out so you can save the date of next winter's campfire!