Remembering Dan Carpenter Sr.’36

Dan Carpenter Sr., assistant director 1978 to 1990, at his desk.
Dan Carpenter Sr., assistant director 1978 to 1990, at his desk.

It is with great sadness that we announce Dan Carpenter Sr.’s (’36) passing on August 21, 2013. His son, Dan Jr., writes, “Even at 91 years old, his loss was sudden and unexpected. His body simply wore out, but his spirit and love for his family remained steadfast right until the end.”

Dan devoted 34 years of his life to Keewaydin Temagami as a camper, trip staff, and assistant director. Since his time as a camper, from 1936 to 1940, Devil’s Island and Temagami were a main cornerstone in his life. “All the routines of canoe tripping or working in the office at camp or building stone walls or hauling fill in buckets in the red boat at the cottage were very important to him. But in the end it was interacting with all the people that touched him the most. We [ the Carpenter family] know that he was something of a legend, but we especially want you to know that your love and friendship meant the world him as well. And also that one of our very last discussions centered around statements such as, ‘I guess they have closed up the Keewaydin kitchen by now’.”

Dan will be remembered for his extraordinary service and dedication to Keewaydin Temagami. Dan’s wisdom, effort, generosity and spirit helped to mold generations of campers, thus passing on the Keewaydin Way. He surely will not be forgotten.

Predeceased by Jane, his wife of 65 years, and son Bill, Dan is survived by sons Dan Jr. and Peter, daughters Debbie Jerome and Jennifer Reid, daughter-in-law Kris Carpenter, and grandchildren Clare, Jennie, Gates, and Sam Jerome.

Arrangements for the service are yet to be determined. Dan’s obituary provides more information about the arrangements and memorials.

Quay Quay Dan!

Songadeewin Director on Vermont Public Radio


Ellen Flight, Director of Songadeewin and President of the Vermont Camping Association, joined Jane Lindholm on the Vermont Edition of Vermont Public Radio to discuss summer camp traditions, lessons, and adventures. Listen to the show and share your experience at one of Keewaydin’s camps!

Campers who attended Keewaydin Dunmore in the summer of 1957 prepare for a paddling adventure.
Campers who attended Keewaydin Dunmore in the summer of 1957 prepare for a paddling adventure.




Talking Metaphors with John McPhee ’37

By Jennifer Altman

Published in the July 10, 2013 issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly

Joel Achenbach ’82, a longtime writer for The Washington Post, was perched on a stage next to Ferris Professor of Journalism John McPhee ’53, recalling the day McPhee handed him back his first writing assignment.

The Princeton class of 1953 hosted a 60th-reunion tribute to one of its own, journalist and Princeton professor John McPhee. Two of McPhee’s former students, journalists Robert Wright ’79, left, and Joel Achenbach ’82, ­interviewed their teacher and mentor.
The Princeton class of 1953 hosted a 60th-reunion tribute to one of its own, journalist and Princeton professor John McPhee. Two of McPhee’s former students, journalists Robert Wright ’79, left, and Joel Achenbach ’82, ­interviewed their teacher and mentor.

“The paper came back, and there were red marks all over,” Achenbach said. “I thought I was a hotshot writer, and it was just a bloodbath.   No professor had ever done that before. If there was an infelicity, it was marked. He didn’t let anything through.”

McPhee — who is known for mentoring students for decades after their graduation — replied, “I’m a little disappointed that you remember things with metaphors like ‘bloodbath.’”

The occasion was a Reunions tribute to McPhee, considered the country’s premier practitioner of long-form ­journalism. A New Yorker contributor for five decades and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 28 books, McPhee has taught “Creative Non­fiction” for almost 40 years to aspiring journalists such as Achenbach and Robert Wright ’79, who interviewed him before a crowd of ’53 classmates and guests in the Trustee Reading Room at Firestone Library.

McPhee recalled that he first was asked to teach at Princeton in 1975, after the professor who had been lined up for a journalism course quit. These days, after selecting 16 students from as many as 80 applicants, he teaches them, he said, “how to improve their efficiency in the water.”

“He taught us to cut and revise,” Achenbach recalled in an email after the panel. One exercise was to trim a well-known text. “That’s hard when the assigned text is the Gettysburg Address.”

McPhee talked about his early days as a writer, recalling that he wanted “to write forThe New Yorker from the time I was in college. I sent dozens and dozens of things to them, all of which were rejected. … That went on ’til I was 31 years old, and the first piece got in. A writer has to try this, try that, work your way forward against trial and error, against rejection.”


Earth Day Will Help Your Health

Celebrate Earth Day Everyday!

Recently a number of articles have surfaced publicizing research that indicates cognitive, physical and emotional advantages to spending time immersed in nature. Admittedly, it can be challenging to get outdoors everyday and perhaps sending your children out the back door is a thing of the past, with encroaching roads, disease carrying insects and a high priority placed on after school curricular activities. But, are our fears of mosquitoes and time spent on computers, i-pads and phones doing America’s children more harm than good? Startling research suggests so.

The average American child spends just 15 to 25 minutes playing outside each day, while spending nearly 7 and a half hours in front of a screen. Eighty percent of 5-year-olds are computer users. For most of human history, people spent their days outside, chasing down food, planting crops, and learning about Mother Nature. This time outdoors endowed people with Vitamin D from the sun, fitter physiques, healthier hearts, and lower stress levels. Even today these are ingredients to leading a happy and healthy life.  In less than a century, millions of people divorced themselves from nature, but at what cost?J.Stauffer @ Ojibway

Richard Louv’s 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods” coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe the consequences when humans detach themselves from nature. Louv argued that the behavioral problems which seem to plague today’s youth could be caused by how little time children spend in the outdoors. Louv writes “kids who play outside are less likely to get sick, to be stressed or become aggressive and are more adaptable to life’s unpredictable turns.” In fact, studies show spending adequate time in nature may actually boost the immune system.[1]

Mary Brown, M.D., former member of the board of directors of The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explains, in the past, the morbidities threatening children were primarily infectious disease, which have been reduced by the development of vaccines and technical advancements. “Today’s morbidities are much more complicated, but equally threatening to our children and grandchildren. These will take more than a parent, a pediatrician, a teacher, and a ‘village’ to solve.”[2]

Recent studies have shown the negative impact of stress on early brain development that can have lifelong effects on metal, physical and emotional health. Children’s brains are particularly sensitive to emotional, social, economic, and demographic stresses. The structure of children’s brains is permanently altered by these types of unfavorable childhood experiences.  Currently, 14 million children 2012-Keewaydin-1193and adolescents have some type of mental health disorder and suicide has become the leading cause of mortality in adolescents. But nature can HELP!

Spending time playing in the outdoors can lessen the impact of stresses on a child’s life and develop children’s imaginations and creativity. Countless pediatricians and researchers emphasize the importance of safe, unstructured play in developing happy, healthy children who will turn into happy, healthy adults ready to contribute to society. Positive experiences in nature have proven to have lasting effects on the development of self-esteem, independence, leadership, values, and willingness to try new things. By understanding mankind’s innate connection to the natural world and emphasizing the positive effects of spending time in nature we can combat our societal battle with depression, obesity, behavioral disorders, drug abuse and unhealthy risk taking.

So, this Earth Day, grab your kids and go outside, take a 15-minute walk or just sit and soak in that Vitamin-D; you might just be surprised about how good a little time in nature makes you and your children feel.

[1] Timothy Egan, “Nature-Deficit Disorder,” The New York Times, March 29, 2013, sec. Opinion.

[2] Mary Brown, M.D. , ” ‘Vitamin N’ and the American Academy of Pediatrics,” The New Nature Movement, February 2, 2012,”vitamin-n”-and-the-american-academy-of-pediatrics/.

2012 NYC Alumni Reception a Huge Success

Monday, October 22 was a truly  magnificent evening for Keewaydin at the Yale Club in New York City. Thank you to all who could attend and those who contributed.  Highlights included recognition of the Expedition 2012 crew, a presentation of a Memorial Service Award to Anthony M. Schulte’s family, and the presentation of the 2012 Keewaydin Service Award to Michael D. Eisner.

To understand the impact of  Michael and the Eisner Foundation’s generosity check out the video shown during the reception (produced by Oliver Parini):

  2012 Keewaydin Service Award Film Honoring Michael D. Eisner