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Greetings from Lake Placid By David Hochschartner, Head of School and Camp A study in the news these days has confirmed the importance of excellent teaching. While that may seem like common sense, here’s what’s new about the most recent findings: the impact of individual teachers, for good and for ill, extends beyond students’ academic learning to longer lasting effects like teenage pregnancy rates, college matriculation, and adult earnings. Conducted by economists from Harvard and Columbia, the study likely will generate ongoing discussion over methods as well as results. And policy makers no doubt will continue to debate the implications of this research for issues like teacher accountability, evaluation, and merit pay. But for a left-brained guy such as myself, I take some comfort in having hard data to back up what I have known anecdotally for years. As I travel the country visiting alums of School and Camp, one thing stands out in stark relief: everyone has a story to tell about an adult here who changed his or her life. It may have been a counselor who introduced a camper to something new that became a life-long passion. Or the teacher who never gave up on a student, long after the child wanted to throw in the towel. The details of the stories may vary, but the overarching theme remains the same. Admittedly, we have a tremendous natural setting that endows us with advantages both aesthetic and curricular. Our programs

offer unparalleled opportunities for adventure, growth, learning, and fun. But it is the adults on this campus who are the heart and soul of the institution and make the difference for our campers and students. Camp and School have always attracted bright, innovative adults whose creative tendencies we’ve encouraged to the great benefit of individual children. And the 24/7 nature of our residential programs requires of our counselors and teachers an unusual degree of dedication. But there’s something more than sheer talent and stamina that sets our staffs apart. A Treetops parent described it well on a recent parent survey: “the people who work there have open and welcoming hearts.” After more than 70 years of School and 90 of Camp, we’ve learned that for children’s healthy development, a first success is critical. We’ve seen it happen over and over. Whether hoof picking at the barn or throwing a pot on the kick wheel or making the summit of Algonquin, initial mastery of a valued skill leads to a subsequent willingness to tackle larger challenges. Competence breeds confidence, which in turn leads to resilience and later in life to success and happiness. And it all begins when an open-hearted adult reaches out to an uncertain child and says, “Here, come try this with me.”

From the Editor When I first arrived on campus three and a half years ago, Betsy Smith, my predecessor on this page, gave me some excellent advice. She left me with copies of Barbara Morgan’s Summer’s Children and Selden West’s history of North Country School, “Rugged, Resourceful and Resilient.” Both helped enormously in my (still) emerging understanding of what makes this complex, compelling place tick. I return to them both frequently.

trying, the stories in this issue of Organic Roots highlight Laceys and Louds and Localios, names associated with Camp and School for more years than I can count. As I take my place in line, I feel fortunate to be here and grateful to Betsy for the support and counsel that have helped me get my footing.

It’s not hard to see that our history is alive and well at Treetops and NCS—and part of what makes us unique. Without even

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Organic Roots Winter 2012

Lisa Rowley

Nature Everywhere

Karen Culpepper, Camp Treetops Director

Campers jumped out of the van excitedly and quickly reconvened at the vehicle’s rear doors. They crowded around their counselor as she withdrew from the van a medium-sized bundle wrapped in a sweatshirt. A touch of stealth hung in the air. But on that overcast afternoon last summer, the object in question was nothing menacing—just a dead porcupine, found on the road and brought back to Camp for a first-hand lesson in anatomy. During the dissection two days later, campers huddled over the specimen, intensely focused, as they tracked the digestive system, identified internal organs, and soaked up every drop of biological learning. The memory of children so thoroughly engaged, asking questions and absorbing answers from a knowledgeable, sensitive adult is one I hold fondly.

community, on things larger than oneself. Coloring fabrics with natural dyes, photography walks, sketching from a mountain top all help develop an aesthetic for natural beauty; walking barefoot through fresh mud or foraging for wild edibles and making jam from berries you’ve collected yourself build a compelling case for simple living. Taking notice of the vast array of life on earth, from beetles to bobcats, milkweed pods to sugar maples, is to recognize that the spectacular diversity of animal and plant life mirrors that of humankind. Besides being just plain fun, our nature programming has an added benefit. It cultivates in Treetops campers a life-long environmental ethos of protecting, conserving, and responsibly managing the earth’s precious resources. And so, as they have for decades, campers at Treetops last summer separated table scraps at every meal (one batch for the pigs, the other for compost) and practiced Leave No Trace camping in the woods. They recycled metal, plastic, and glass and created beautiful textured stationery from pulp made from recycled paper. To reduce our use of paper towels, they decorated cotton hand towels with brightly painted leaves of different kinds of trees. They learned about erosion when they did trail work. In June every child in camp planted a seedling as part of the effort to restore the former red pine forest, learning in the process the ecological advantages of cultivating a mixed forest of native species.

The image is a good example of the multitude of ways that Treetops campers connect with nature. Our two nature counselors, both new last summer, understood intuitively that campers experience the natural world not just in the nature shop or during a “nature activity,” but during almost everything we do. Their goal was to encourage campers’ connections to nature wherever they occurred—whether listening for the call of a loon while canoeing, or wondering during a hike how mountains are formed, or looking for beaver dams on a stream-side walk. At Treetops, experiencing the wilderness and appreciating the natural world are at the very heart of the values we hold most dear. Watching a falling star or breaking open rocks to look for fossils broadens our perspective and reinforces our emphasis on

Last summer’s porcupine dissection sticks with me for another reason: it reminds me of Mildred, the high school biology teacher who worked as our Junior Camp nature counselor for almost 40 years, well into her 80s, and died at age 94 on the day of President Obama’s inauguration. For generations of Treetops campers, and for their counselors as well, Millie was a fountain of knowledge about the natural world, the champion of all creatures, large and small (not least human ones), and a quieting comfort whenever one was needed. Her blueberry fritters, foraging trips, wild edible banquets, and nurturing of baby chicks and tarantulas alike are legendary. Millie was also an enthusiastic collector of road kill. In following Millie’s lead, our nature counselors couldn’t have chosen a better path.


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From Our Readers Not that some weeding wasn’t occasionally called for. Myself and another boy entered the 8th grade of NCS more academically advanced than our classmates. They were soon to catch up, and in some cases, outstrip us. But at the time, I’m sorry to say, we looked down on them. One day our teacher Ed Kenney took us for a ride into Lake Placid, where he had some errand. On the way, he told us that we were hurting some feelings. After that, we behaved better to our classmates. One reason Ed’s intervention worked so well was that a trip into Lake Placid was a rare privilege; it was a very big deal. Ed managed to combine his rebuke with a treat. There was literally no guilt trip.


THE HASKELL SCRAPBOOK—AND MORE Joe (“Pancho”) Mayer, CTT 44-49, NCS 51 wrote to us about the

Our apologies to Hunter Farnham, CTT 52, whom we incorrectly listed as NCS 55 in the last New & Notes (Spring/Summer 2011, p. 22). We appreciate his writing to correct the error, and at his request, we have extended warm greetings to the piglets, about which he reminisced: “I loved having them nibble my shoelaces when I mucked their pen...”

Haskell scrapbook mentioned in Karen Culpepper’s article, “Today, Tomorrow—and Yesterday” (Spring/Summer 2011, p. 2). He thought he might have been a contributor. Sure enough, Joe’s wonderful thank you to the Haskells (see image, at right) so appealed to us that we included it among the scrapbook pages posted on our website. To see more of the Haskell scrapbook, go to A retired technical writer who lives with his wife in Belmont, MA, Joe subsequently sent us the piece below. Thanks, Joe, for sharing your talent, then and now. I recently was distressed to learn that my (step) granddaughter had been teased by her 5th grade classmates this year… She didn’t want to talk about it, so I don’t know just what happened. I do know that the teacher was aware of the teasing but didn’t intervene to stop it. My somewhat horrified reaction to all of this told me something about my own values. I must feel that a school, above all else— even above the teaching of subject matter—should help students to be considerate of one another. I expect this especially of a small, private school, like my granddaughter’s, which can better set a humane tone than can a large public school. Then I received the latest issue of Organic Roots, which put me in mind of my years at NCS/CTT. To my surprise, I couldn’t recall any incidents of teasing. This was an accomplishment of Camp and School that I hadn’t really appreciated. There weren’t any lectures on mutual respect; rather, that value was a kind of given, the unstated starting point for every activity. I think that the respect teachers and counselors gave to students and campers must have discouraged the growth of cruel behavior. Photo: Joe with granddaughter Rebecca page 3

Organic Roots Winter 2012

Alumni Voices: Remembering Treetops By Peter Crowe, CTT Counselor 45-46 Peter wrote the following e-mail to staff member Kimberly Corwin Gray last summer. He has graciously consented to our re-printing it here, so we may share with readers his Treetops memories from more than 65 years ago. Dear Ms. Gray, By your name and affiliation with CTT, I would guess that you are the daughter or granddaughter of Jane and Ham Corwin. Years ago I was a counselor at the camp, having gotten the job through a Corwin connection. I grew up in Montclair, NJ, and my dad was a dentist in East Orange among whose patients were Ham, his brother, and parents. (I remember visiting their farm during WWII.) When the war in Europe ended in May 1945, Ham was released from a German POW camp and was headed home to recuperate from his leg wound. Jane had been working as a horse counselor at CTT and had been scheduled to work there that summer. She obviously wanted to stay in NJ to be with him and that left CTT short one horse counselor. My dad learned this from the Corwins and knew his horse-riding son needed a job for the summer. This eventuated in my meeting Jane at her family’s house in Glen Ridge, a town adjacent to Montclair. I passed muster and went in to NYC to meet the Haskells at their Gramercy Park apartment. That went well (they were very gracious to a 16 year old looking for his first “real” job), and a few weeks later I left Grand Central Station on the “camper” special train.

was suddenly gone. That was 1945, and I returned the next year for another good summer. One of those years Barbara Morgan (her younger son always delighted in calling me “Caw Caw Crowe”) came up to photograph for her book Summer’s Children, a copy of which I have to this day. I had planned to return for the summer of 1947 but came across an ad for a horse wrangler at an explorer camp outside of Durango, Colorado. That sounded even more ideal for a teenage boy, so I sent my regrets to the Haskells and never saw the Lake Placid area again. As it happened, the Colorado job evaporated just as I was preparing to take the train west, and I was left flat without a summer job.

That summer was a real eye opener for me. First, I had never been that far away from home, and second, I’m not sure I had ever even met a Democrat (Montclair was a VERY Republican town.) I learned a great deal from the liberal-leaning camp staff and from the several counselors who had just been released from the military on the “point” system that gave points for time in service, overseas duty, wounds, etc. It also was my first experience in the mountains, having been a beach rat when younger.

Years passed, I went to college (Dartmouth, somewhat outdoorsy), medical school, surgical training (not outdoorsy), military service as a carrier flight surgeon in the Navy and a move to Arizona for practice. (I was the first pediatric surgeon for the University of Arizona College of Medicine.) Fond memories of CTT and its people remained strong, but I had somehow assumed the camp no longer existed. Then, after I had retired, I was listening to NPR Morning Edition and heard a young girl speaking about her wonderful camp experience at CTT. I then was able to bring up the camp information online and connected.

My main boss was Walter Clark, a wonderful man, as you know, though my immediate superior was Hartley Smith, the most versatile trick western rider I’ve ever known, and a very good friend. I also learned a few facts of life when my roommate in an Adirondack lean-to just north of the school, was fired after a few weeks for unsatisfactory performance (never got the details) and

Interestingly enough, I’ve seen photos showing a number of those there at the same time as I, and most recently, a picture of a letter sent to the camp by Hartley Smith, who unfortunately had died a dozen or so years ago. He had graduated from Yale Law School and had remained one of the brightest people I have ever continued on page 24

Photo: Peter (front) riding at Treetops, courtesy the Morgan family


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Trustee Transitions The Board is pleased to welcome two new members. MARTY ROSENBERG joined the Board at the November 2011 meeting. His daughter Sophie

Board of Trustees J. Matthew Davidson, Chair

graduated from NCS in 2011. Marty is the co-founder of Ethos Partners, which he sold to Navigant

Dennis Aftergut, Vice-Chair

Healthcare, Inc. (NCI) in October 2010. As managing director, Marty leads NCI’s National Physician

Barkley Stuart, Treasurer

Practice Management and Technology divisions. He has served on numerous boards in his role as

Sandra Gray Nowicki,

health care executive or active community member. Marty earned his BA at Hofstra University and an


MS in health care management from the RPI Lally School of Management and Technology. He and his wife Mara live in Charlotte, North Carolina. PAMELA ROSENTHAL began her service on the Board at the July 2011 meeting. Her son Noah graduated from NCS in 2009. A rheumatologist at New York University School of Medicine, she directs

Jennifer Ewing Allen Lisa Beck Barry Breeman

the rheumatology service at Bellevue Hospital Center and is engaged in many aspects of medical

Peter R. Brest

education. She also is on the board of directors of the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains,

Guillaume de Ramel

NY, and of Books & Authors: Viet Nam, Inc., a foundation that promotes the study of Vietnamese

Laura Thrower Harris

literature in English. Pamela lives with her family, including her husband Sam Wertheimer, also an

Julia Jonathan

NCT enthusiast, in New York City.

Caroline Kenney Sam Kim Hope Knight Rose Kean Lansbury

New Faculty and Staff, 2011-2012 MATTHEW BECKWITH-LAUBE Math Teacher, Houseparent (Algonquin) An Ohio native, Matthew graduated from The College of Wooster with a BS in geology and focus in paleoclimate reconstruction. Extensive travel—including time in Patagonia with NOLS and hiking across England—sparked his interest in education and the wider world. Prior to joining the NCS faculty, he worked Matthew Beckwith-Laube as a geologist for an international engineering and environmental consulting firm, as a ski instructor at Whiteface in Wilmington, NY, and as a teacher of math and earth science at a boarding school in New Hampshire. An avid alpine skier and cyclist, Matthew is greatly enjoying (with his dog Gretta) all the Adirondacks have to offer.

Shane Braverman

Todd Dowling

SHANE BRAVERMAN Spanish Teacher, Houseparent (Algonquin) A graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, Shane holds an MS in education, a BA in Spanish, and a BA in linguistics. With a love of languages and cultures, Shane previously taught Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, and ESL, as well as martial arts (Aikido, Capoeira) and swing and Latin dancing. She came to us from the York (PA) Country Day School, where she taught Spanish and enjoyed bouldering and lindy hop (a type of swing dance). Shane enjoys the outdoors and creating things both functional and beautiful. She recently took up ceramics and is excited to be back on the pottery wheel. TODD DOWLING Biology Teacher, Houseparent (Mountain) Todd graduated from Bucknell University in 2007 with a teaching certificate and a BS in biology focusing in ecology and evolution. After graduating,

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Organic Roots Winter 2012

Roger S. Loud Pat Kramon Pincus Marty Rosenberg Pamela Rosenthal Matt Salinger Peter Skinner Hume Steyer Manny Weintraub

Honorary Trustees Joan K. Davidson Colin C. Tait, Esq. Richard E. Wilde

Trustees Emeriti David T. Kenney Sumner Parker

New Faculty and Staff, 2011-2012 he found his way to coastal Maine, where for four years he taught ecology, natural history, and outdoor living skills to students in all grade levels. A wilderness first responder, he leads wilderness trips for teenagers during the summer and most recently took a group through the 100 Mile Wilderness on the Appalachian Trail in Maine. Todd is excited about being buried in snow this winter and hopes to learn how to telemark ski, bobsled, ice skate, and cross country ski. MICHAEL GILLIS Development Officer A producer, director, and writer with 20 years of experience, Michael founded and ran his own independent film production company. He has created documentaries, screenplays, interactive features, and short films for festivals and has worked with corporate clients, major Hollywood studios, and non-profits like the Lucky Brand Children’s Foundation. Michael is a graduate of the University of Vermont (BA in communications and German) and the Goethe Institute at Universitat Salzburg, Austria (certification in sociolinguistics). An avid skier and triathlete, Michael also loves woodworking, photography, and theatre. He divides his time between Lake Placid and Brooklyn, NY, where he and his wife Rosalind have settled with their two daughters, Luna (4) and Sada (1). ELLEN MATHENY Farm Intern Ellie arrived in June, after completing her undergraduate degree in wildlife biology at Missouri State University. There she worked at Rutledge-Wilson Community Farm Park doing all kinds of farm chores and introducing visitors to the animals. Ellie also studied abroad in Scotland, worked on an organic farm in Italy, and was a camp counselor in Colorado, where she cooked and led nature hikes. Ellie is hoping to become a large animal veterinarian and is excited to learn as much as she can about the animals here. She plays the trombone, cooks vegan food, and enjoys being outdoors in the Adirondacks. JOHN NICHOLSON Communications Director John came to us from Evanston, IL, where he served as vice president and COO of Hometech, a residential and small business computer support company. Prior to that, John was president and CEO of Botanicals, an event design and production company he and his wife founded in 1995. Before founding Botanicals, John spent four years working as a sales consultant, writer, and director for a business consulting firm. A professional actor and director for many years, John earned his MFA

from the professional actor training program at Temple University and his BA in psychology from Wesleyan University. He and his wife Casey have two children, Madeleine and Thatcher, who are Treetops campers and NCS students. DOUG SOHOLT Farm Intern Doug came to us in August from Belmont, California, just south of San Francisco, where he taught fifth and sixth grade science at a school for students with language-based learning differences. Prior to that Doug worked at the Chewonki Foundation on the coast of Maine as an environmental educator and wilderness trip leader. He led expeditions in backpacking, canoeing, and sea kayaking that ranged from one night to five weeks in length. Doug earned a BA in geology and a teacher’s certificate from Colorado College in 2006. He enjoys reading, cooking, eating, soccer, hiking, and dinosaurs. FAVOR SMITH History Teacher, Houseparent (Cascade) Favor earned an AB in history from Vassar College, a JD from UNH School of Law, and practiced law in Lake Placid for fifteen years. During that time, Favor also was deeply involved with schools and kids: as a teaching assistant for a local Waldorf school; a board member for the Lake Placid Central School District; the principal of a local Catholic elementary school; a ski instructor for children at Whiteface Mountain; and a junior camp tent counselor at Camp Treetops. Favor lives in Wilmington with his wife Betsy (the CFO/ business manager at NCS/Treetops) and their two daughters, Teresa and Annie, who are both Treetops campers. CARLYN TROUT Level I & II Teacher, Houseparent (Balcony) Carlyn is a recent graduate of Champlain College, where she studied secondary and middle school education. Born and raised in Baltimore, Carlyn has been coming to the Lake Placid region since she was a young child. She is a wilderness first responder and has worked as an Americorps Vista with the DREAM program throughout Vermont. In her spare time, Carlyn enjoys skiing and trail running, arts and crafts, and experimenting with gluten-free baking.

Michael Gillis

Ellen Matheny

John Nicholson

Doug Soholt

Favor Smith

Carlyn Trout


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Camp Spotlight:

Hiking into Treetops History

By Lisa Rowley, Publications Manager/Staff Writer

At 4,340 feet, Mt. Allen is not the tallest of the Adirondack High

Tait and a group of campers who summited from the southeast,

Peaks, yet it is notoriously difficult. The mountain is remote—the

following Sand Brook. To mark the occasion, the group left on

hike from the trailhead to the base of the peak is at least seven

Allen a wooden plaque carved with their names—which soon after

miles, one of the longest in the Adirondacks. And so thick is the

was returned to Treetops, presumably by others not pleased with

blowdown and undergrowth on the ascent from the southeast that

the act of documentation.

the 13th edition of the Adirondack Guide Book discourages that approach. As a result, Allen is often the last of the High Peaks to

The 1957 summit of Allen is generally considered the precursor

be completed by aspiring 46ers.

of today’s Idiot Trips, the season-ending invitational adventures named for the extreme difficulty (perhaps foolhardiness) of the

Such was the case for Roger Loud, former CTT camper and

one-day routes. At the time, the idea of hiking Allen in one day was

counselor, former NCS teacher and head of school, and expert hiker

virtually unheard of, a prospect so audacious it became an instant

who completed his first 46 in 1957 by climbing Allen. With him

Treetops legend—and one whose stature has grown with every

he had fellow Treetops counselor (and later CTT director) Colin

passing year without another successful summit. Another measure

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Organic Roots Winter 2012

2011 MT. ALLEN IDIOT HIKERS Pictured on facing page

thought when we found it so quickly that the trip was going to be too easy. Boy, was I wrong.”

Front Row: Dana Lindsay, Gus Goodwin, Max Kronstadt, Jacob Joergens

Allen’s infamous underbrush lived up to its reputation. The last two

Back Row: Hunter Hartshorne, Brigit Loud, Rosie Skovron,

miles bushwhacking up the brook took more than five hours. The

Gabby Wan, Naomi Peduzzi, Emma Gonzalez, Naomi Popkin

group crawled much of the way, led by Gus Goodwin, as going

(sitting), Emily Geyman

underneath the blowdown proved easier than going over or through

of its distinction: only twice in the intervening 54 years, prior to last summer, has anyone even tried.

it. When at last they emerged from the undergrowth about 200 yards from the summit, “It was such a great moment to come out on the herd path and realize we’d made it,” recalled Brigit.

In 1991 Bill Localio and Andrea Canapary set out for Allen with an enthusiastic group of experienced hikers—including Roger’s son Patrick—only to have their bid id

The hike down the herd path on the other side of Allen was no picnic either. Shortly after the group made the summit, a cold, steady rain be began—and continued throughout the

thwarted when they could not locatee

fo four plus hours down the mountain

Sand Brook after hours of searchingg

aand out to the van. The 2011 Idiot

in a cold rain. In 2007, on the 50thh

H Hike certainly met the standard of

anniversary of the original Allen trip,,

ddifficulty set by its forerunner. As

Roger’s youngest daughter Brigitt

B Brigit summed up: “A very long but

led another attempt, with historyy

ex extremely satisfying day—one that I

and omen seemingly on her side. Her er

ne never have to attempt again!”

group managed to find Sand Brook, but ut not until so late in the day that she hadd to

Trip co-leader Dana Lindsay, a former

turn back. After Brigit returned to Camp, amp,

CTT ccamper and daughter of Ted Lindsay,

she pored over maps and comparedd notes

former NCS student and camp staffer,

with Bill Localio until she could pinpoint point where

appreciated the historical significance. “It was

she had gone wrong. Then she remembered. mbered.

such a moment in Treetops history. Allen via Sand Brook! Hardly ever done! Certainly one of the hardest

A high school athletic trainer, Brigit finally finally had a schedule that allowed her to return to Treetops last summer. Right from the start, she had Allen in her sights for the Idiot Hike, a goal she’d had, “pretty much since the time before when we didn’t make it.”

bushwhacks I’ve experien experienced and with such a wonderful group of campers.” Of those nine campers, five come from second-generation Treetops

On Tuesday, August 9, 2011, Brigit, her trip co-leaders Dana Lindsay and Gus Goodwin, and nine campers arose in the dark at 3 a.m., the same time Roger and Colin Tait had woken their charges more than a half-century earlier. This year’s group left Treetops at 4:00 and was on the trail hiking by 5:30. Finding Sand Brook turned out to be easier than expected. “We found it by 8:50 a.m. or so,” said Brigit. “[Campers] Emily Geyman, Max Kronstadt, and Hunter Hartshorne did the compass work for that. I actually

families, two are children of long-time CTT staffers, and another is the youngest of five siblings to attend Camp. That those with deep Treetops roots succeeded in writing a new chapter of CTT history makes the story all the sweeter. Hanging on the Hike House wall next to Bob Bliss’ paddle is Roger’s wooden plaque from 1957. Seems like a good time to add another.


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Banner Year for Farm & Garden

A Conversation with Mike Tholen and Kat Radune By John Nicholson, Director of Communications

of vegetables annually, but this year the total harvest approached $53,000, all for internal consumption. [See sidebar.] That means we don’t have to purchase certain items from a food distributor. We don’t buy potatoes at all. We won’t buy carrots this year and probably won’t buy onions or garlic either. It’s a win-win-win: we save money, we provide incredible learning opportunities for children, and the beautiful organic produce we put on our Camp and School tables is as good as any in the world.

Under the leadership of Farm Manager Mike Tholen and Farm Educator Kat Radune, the farm and garden program has flourished in recent years. Just before winter break, Mike and Kat sat down with me to talk about their efforts, respectively, to increase the farm’s productivity and efficiency and to make learning resources more readily available to teachers and counselors.

JN: To what do you attribute the success of the farm over the last few years?

JN: Though this was a terrific year for the farm and garden, 2011

Mike: Overall, it’s getting better systems in place to make things

was not without challenges. Mike: We had substantial flooding in the spring that hit the local region pretty hard, followed by a drought all summer. It was very, very dry. Then at the end of August, Hurricane Irene caused more flooding just as people were trying to get in a lot of their crops. Due largely to our higher elevation, our campus, fortunately, was spared the devastation visited on places like Keene and Jay. But the inconsistent weather did have some negative consequences for production. Without a water supply out in Dexter pasture, the winter squash we grow there saw a decline—from 2,500 pounds last year to about 1,000 pounds this summer. And leaf mold crushed our tomato production, cutting in half this summer’s yield compared to last year’s.

easier: hiring the best interns and managing them professionally; having the resources [thanks to a generous gift from the de Ramel family] to keep Nick [Cassidy, last year’s intern] on as assistant farm manager. That’s made an enormous difference in what we can accomplish. Careful planning and execution, even our record keeping has dramatically improved. When I first came on there were stacks of composition notebooks—that was the garden journal. Some have notes scrawled in marker all over the place; others are meticulous. But there was no consistency from year to year. We’ve created a system where we record the weight of produce every day. At the end of the season, the interns put all the numbers into a spreadsheet and quickly, easily, we can tally our whole summer’s take. JN: To change gears, I understand that Kat’s been working hard

JN: How was production otherwise?

to integrate the farm and garden more tightly into daily life at Camp and School.

Mike: Everything else was way up—a bumper crop for lots of things. And we had greater crop value across the board. Over the last few years, we’ve produced roughly $35,000 to $40,000 worth

Kat: Camp counselors are increasingly offering exciting farm

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Organic Roots

and garden activities, and teachers are bringing all kinds of farm-

Winter 2012

FARM PRODUCTIVITY 2011 based and sustainability education into their classrooms. Kids are really responding positively; they’re learning and retaining so much.

Select Harvest Totals (Not all crops included) Harvest (lbs)

Total Value













Brussel Sprouts

































one of the ways we’re doing that?







Kat: Absolutely. I’ve been to at least two gatherings of the
















Summer Squash






Winter Squash






We’ve raised the expectations for incorporating farm and garden into the school curriculum. All of our teachers are expected to teach and to document at least one farm-based lesson this year. While not always easy to come by, faculty buy-in is growing. This fall, we formed a committee of volunteers to come up with specific goals and benchmarks to meet this year in terms of farm-based lessons. Documenting what we’re doing is critical, so others can take our experiences and translate them for their own kids, in their own locations. Whether it’s for people locally in the Adirondacks or more globally via the internet, we want to make available what we’ve tried—both successes and failures—as a resource to everyone. JN: Isn’t being part of the Edible Schoolyard affiliate network

ESY affiliates—public schools in California, New Orleans, and Brooklyn, a Boys & Girls Club in San Francisco, and children’s museum in North Carolina—and we’re all sharing what we’re doing. Plus, Alice Waters, the famous chef, activist, and author who founded the ESY program, has more than 25,000 followers on Twitter. So when she tweets about us, as she did over Thanksgiving, there are people listening. Mike: The Edible Schoolyard connection does another really

important thing for us. Ever since Camp and School have existed, kids have been involved in every step of the agricultural process: from making soil blocks and planting seeds to weeding and caring for plants; harvesting, washing, and transporting produce to the kitchen; then eating the food and sorting food scraps for compost and the pigs. When they use fertilizer produced from our compost to create new soil blocks, they complete the full growing cycle: with one exception. Our kids have done very little food preparation. They can’t, because they’re either in class or Camp activity periods. The Edible Schoolyard has both a campus garden and a teaching kitchen, so their dual emphasis on growing food and preparing it has helped us fill in that missing link. Kat: For example, more and more during Camp, counselors and farm staff are offering activity periods where campers bake

pies from strawberries they’d picked or help chop veggies for a meal. During lots of out-times this fall, NCS students helped Paulette in the kitchen, slicing apples, carrots, or potatoes from the property. For our Edible Schoolyard class, seventh graders worked in the garden in the fall, and now that winter is upon us, they’ve moved inside to learn about nutrition, cooking, and safe food preparation. Ultimately, the kind of experiential, “place-based” education we do is about saving the planet. Spending time on the farm allows children to develop a strong connection to the natural world— and a future interest in protecting it. This is where it all starts.


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& Renewal

By John Culpepper, Director of Facilities & Sustainability

In addition, the new biomass units will allow us to eliminate two buried oil tanks (one at Bramwell and one on the south side of the Main Building) that previously stored 9,000 gallons of #2 fuel oil. Decommissioning these underground fuel tanks is welcome news, as the NYSDEC compliance requirements for such units become more difficult and expensive all the time. Work will soon begin to remove the concrete covers for the tanks and return those spaces to lawn. All told, our biomass operations are substantial enough to have caught the eye of the U.S. Department of Energy, whose officials toured our facilities last summer. In November, an article featuring our biomass plants headlined the US DOE Blog. (Links to the Blog are on both School and Camp homepages.)

BIOMASS PLANTS BRING BIG IMPROVEMENTS AND NATIONAL RECOGNITION Moving from oil to biomass fuels is the most significant greening effort in our history. Since going online last June, the biomass unit for the Main Building now provides almost all the heat and hot water for the 32,000 square-foot facility, supplanting the equivalent of 17,000 gallons of oil—a huge savings in fuel expenses and correspondingly large reduction in our carbon footprint.

OUTREACH & PARTNERSHIPS For the second consecutive summer, we hosted 25 volunteers from the Student Conservation Association for week-long training in trail work and back country construction techniques. The college-aged young adults from all over the country learned valuable skills and completed three important projects for us: they revamped the log walk through the marsh out to the ski hill; they cut a new trail from the yurt to Hubbard Lean-to without accessing the loop road; and they re-built the porch on the boat house that borders the western shore of Round Lake. This kind of mutually beneficial partnership helps spread shared values and builds momentum for environmental protection and sustainability initiatives.

To process and store the woody biomass, we are in various stages of construction of three additional facilities. The first is a new firewood barn located in the woods uphill from Algonquin House. Work parties raised the frame for the building during Friends’ Weekend, then after construction was completed by local carpenter Dusty Grant, NCS students filled the barn with stacked wood. Second, an extension of the pole barn behind Cascade and Bramwell Houses will house the Cascade boiler, the future Bramwell boiler, and several weeks of wood supply. A third structure for storing and processing chips for the Main Building boiler is planned for the Dexter property across Route 73. Lumber used in construction of these buildings comes from the trees downed in the red pine forest.

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& Renewal

Last fall, Tammy Morgan, the AP environmental science teacher at Lake Placid High School, joined us for a conversation about a potential pilot project to turn food scraps into liquid fertilizer and a usable energy source. As part of a larger region-wide solid waste management effort, her students were researching whether an anaerobic digester that turns food scraps into methane could provide an economically viable alternative source of heating fuel. If funded, the demonstration project could be a highly visible example for others—and another step away from dependence on fossil fuels.

RENOVATIONS, NEW CONSTRUCTION & CAMPUS ENHANCEMENTS Thanks to a renewed commitment from our Trustees, many of our beloved and quirky buildings are receiving some needed attention. Children and adults all year round benefit from these improvements. Just before Thanksgiving, all of the broadloom carpet in the West End of the Main Building was replaced with new carpet squares made from recycled carpets; the old carpet was sent to a recycling facility to be used again. Earlier in the fall, Mountain House also received new carpeting, and the Cascade kitchen and dining room had their vinyl flooring replaced. In the wood shop for School and Junior Camp, a new eye wash station attached to the existing sink improves safety, and a soon-to-be-installed unit will transfer enough excess heat from the biomass plant next door to reduce or eliminate the need for electric heaters. Recent exterior work to Glass House, the Pavilion, the Cabana, and the Main Building’s West End includes, respectively, door and window replacements, new deck and doors, a new roof, and fresh paint and new trim. Several CTT structures also had work done. Thanks to a generous gift, construction is under way at the barn of a covering for our compost area. This structure will increase the quality of the finished compost, prevent nutrient runoff into the stream, and greatly improve the conditions in which students and campers process barn manures. We also are adding snow cleats to the front of the barn to reduce the chance of snow sliding off the roof onto horses or people below. In addition, the farm staff has built a new, multi-purpose animal shed in the Dexter Triangle. Lumber for both the new animal shed and the compost

addition comes from the red pines lost in past wind storms. Additional positives emerged from the wind damage to the pine forest. Last summer campers re-planted the forest with 600 saplings of diverse tree species, which will prevent another single-species collapse. Old vistas have been restored, overhead power lines buried, and the first phase accomplished in bringing electricity to the Senior Camp Pot Shop to one day power an electric kiln. Finally, work continues on our network of campus trails, an increasingly important and well-used resource for both Camp and School. Last fall we cut switch backs in the steep section of trail above the sugar house leading down to the lake; these should allow intermediate skiers to crisscross the steepest portion. Next spring we’ll dress up the new section with wood chips so riders may also traverse the trail.


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Alumni Spotlight: Lanie Lacey Fleischer, CTT 49-50, Staff 53, 55-59, 61-63 by Susie Localio CTT 55-56, 58-59, Staff 65-80, 89-94 Lanie (Lacey) Fleischer remembers her first months in Anchorage in the winter of 1971 this way. “When I first got to Anchorage, I made a complete nuisance of myself. I pictured Anchorage as something like Treetops, a city nestled in the mountains with trails connecting one part to the other. I was shocked. There were no shoulders on the roads and few sidewalks. The only way to get around was by car. You had to drive to the parks. ‘This town needs a trail system,’ I kept repeating. ‘Great idea,’ people replied. ‘Why don’t you do something about it?’” Lanie answered, “Me? I just got here!”

But spurred on by memories of the great bike paths in Washington, DC’s Rock Creek Park, where she and her husband Hugh lived before moving to Anchorage, and by the fact that with one car, Hugh was commuting by bicycle on those shoulderless roads and she was terrified he would be killed, Lanie acted. With the help of a lawyer colleague of Hugh’s, Lanie organized the first Anchorage Bike-In. The term came to her naturally. Hugh had worked in the Justice Department in DC in the Civil Rights Division. The Bike-In was organized with a parade permit. The call went out. A few blocks were shut off from traffic, and hundreds of people and their bicycles showed up. People pedaled around and around the car-free zone to show their

Photos: Lanie on Start in 1958, with Hugh in 2009

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support. Members of the City Council admitted they had no idea there were that many bicycles in Anchorage. The event came to be called Bike Day. After three years of successful and ever growing Bike Days, it worked. Residents of Anchorage passed a bond issue to build the first paved bike trail connecting the Westchester Lagoon to Goose Lake Park. Little by little the Bike Day Committee realized its goals: to build a multipurpose trail system so that every child in Anchorage could be connected to parks and schools. Today Anchorage has an extensive system of trails used by bikers, in-line skaters, walkers and in winter skiers and the occasional skijorer (Lanie among

Alumni Spotlight: Lanie Lacey Fleischer, CTT 49-50, Staff 53, 55-59, 61-63 them) connecting vast parts of the city. Parks are linked to each other. Winter commuters with studded tires on their bikes ride lighted paths to and from work. And that first trail is now called the Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek Trail in honor of the woman who got the whole thing going. In March of 2011, Lanie was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. Her accomplishments fill a long paragraph: everything from being president of the Parks and Recreation Council of Anchorage to founder of the downtown Anchorage Saturday market to serving on the Board of Directors of the ACLU. She was appointed by Governor

Hammond to serve on the State Growth Policy Council and the State Investment Advisory Board (which drew up the legislation creating the Permanent Fund). Governor Knowles appointed her to be a member of the TRAAK (Trails and Recreation Access for Alaska) Board. In her professional life she was executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Anchorage from 1990-2005. Throughout all this she raised three kids of her own. In interviews she maintains that like the turtle on the fencepost, she didn’t get to the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame on her own. “I did not do this by myself. It takes a cast of thousands.” She also insists that she happened to come along at a perfect

time when the city was on the verge of a huge planning and zoning push. And Hugh held down the fort when she had evening meetings. Her humility is humbling. Treetops shaped my life more than any other thing.” Lanie told me. “The values I learned there, all the wisdom of Treetops starting with Helen and Uncle Doug, and Leo and Walter—the experience of the outdoors, the commitment to being an environmentalist and to organic gardening. Treetops is a complete way of life.” Lanie is Helen (Lacey) Haskell’s niece, the daughter of Helen’s younger brother Bill who was born seven years after the last of the five girls: Mary, Agnes, Helen, Leo, and Vida. At Helen’s invitation, Lanie attended Treetops at age 11 as a First Year girl. Helen’s secretary spelled her name Laney, and that spelling stuck at Treetops. She returned as a 12 year old, but her Super year was not to be. In those days the Super year was alternated between boys and girls, and the year Lanie was 13, it was the boys’ turn. But she returned at 15 as a junior counselor whose primary task was kitchen duty, especially as a dishwasher for Lucy, the cook. “What a great education that was!” Lanie said. She also helped Joyce Fuller with her tent group so that Joyce could attend to her added duties as Camp nurse. “Helen was wonderful to me,” Lanie said, “but she held me (as she did everyone else) to high standards.” continued on page 24 Susie Localio lives with Daniel Brodkowitz in Port Townsend, WA. She was a counselor and program director at Treetops. She is the twin sister of Bill Localio who still works at Treetops. Their nephew Donald Localio was a junior camper this past summer.


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Alumni in Focus: David Loud, NCS 75, CTT 71-74

Finding Community By Suzanna Finley, NCS 01 David Loud is a music director and conductor for Broadway shows in New York City with a unique connection to North Country School and Camp Treetops. David and his family moved to North Country School when he was eight years old and entered Level I (4th grade). His father Roger Loud was a math teacher at the school from 1970 to 1982, then head of school until 1992. For David, North Country School was truly home. David’s love of music and theater began at a young age. He took piano lessons even before arriving at NCS, and his passions grew throughout his time at school. “Don Rand put on the most amazing Thanksgiving productions,” David remembers. “Looking back, I can’t believe how sophisticated the shows were. Don wrote them specifically to our talents. So if we had a good singer who reminded him of Cleopatra, he wrote a musical about Cleopatra.” After graduating from Yale in 1983, David moved straight to New York City. “The key to New York is finding community in this enormous, forbidding environment,” David says. “And, for me, theater provides that.” One of his earliest jobs in musical theater was as musical director for the offBroadway show Paradise! in 1985. That experience launched an accomplished career that includes conducting original Broadway productions of Ragtime, Steel Pier, The Look of Love, and Curtains, as

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well as revivals of She Loves Me, The Boys From Syracuse, and Company. Among David’s most recent work is Sondheim On Sondheim and The Scottsboro Boys, honored with 12 Tony award nominations, as well as concerts in New York featuring the music of Jerome Kern and Burton Lane.

Organic Roots Winter 2012

David currently is the music supervisor for the Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess, which played an extended run in Boston this past summer. He notes that the length of time for a show’s development provides ample opportunity to form supportive, meaningful relationships among musicians, actors, and crew members.

Alumni in Focus: David Loud, NCS 75, CTT 71-74 “Theater is family. Every show you enter is its own little world—that’s the nicest part of the business.” Strong leadership and deep understanding of how to build and sustain a community have been important parts of David’s life and career. As a music director, he aims to make each production a collaborative effort: “I want people to feel they are contributing.” He credits his NCS experience for providing a valuable template of how to create a trusting environment where people are willing to work hard toward a common goal. “I went into theater [in New York] a little star struck,” David admits. “But I learned that theater is essentially a diverse group of people coming together to create something—and that’s what every day is like at North Country School. I’ve always taken NCS with me as a way to negotiate and engage with the world.” Suzanna Finley is a Brooklyn-based freelance photographer whose day job is assisting the Global Director at Equality Now, a women’s rights advocacy organization. Check out her other alumni profiles on our website at www.nct. org/alumnifocus. For more of Suzanna’s photography, visit www.


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Friends’ Weekend 2011 Folks of all ages came from all over the country to enjoy the Adirondacks, re-live favorite activities, and share the company of friends old and new. Volunteers rose early to help with garden harvest and barn chores. Work parties met on the loop road behind the Hill Houses to raise the frame and begin siding the new firewood barn. In the craft shops, people tried their hand at felting, weaving, and papermaking. A group enjoyed a bird walk. Riders took to the trails and the rings, climbers scaled the Crag and the chimney on the New House, and canoers paddled on Middle Saranac Lake and Hoel, Turtle, and Slang Ponds. Hikers climbed Balanced Rocks, Mt. Jo, and Cascade, with two additional trips deserving mention: Eric Wagner (NCS 45) hiked Big Slide over the Three Brothers; and accompanied by a large group of champagne-bearing friends, Rachel Schwerin (CTT 99-03) celebrated becoming a 46er on the summit of Colden. The square dance proved equally festive, ably called by Roger Loud with Don Rand on piano. And throughout the weekend, spectacular weather enhanced every activity.

Photos (clockwise from top left): Pat Wales, Bill Savage, and Ralph Jones; Tom Hughes and Jane Hellewell; Reunion classes with Hock; Nate Tomlinson; Bee Whittaker; Tessa Huxley and Andrew Reicher

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Friends’ Weekend 2011


Photos (clockwise from top): Hikers at Balanced Rocks; Francie Parker at the Crag; Work party building the new wood barn


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Friends’ Weekend 2011

Looking for Laundry with Llamas By Karen Waddell, CTT 72-76, parent 01-08 The following account of Friends’ Weekend first appeared as a blog entry (September 24, 2011) on the author’s website. For other entries, great recipes, and beautiful photography, go to www. I want to let you in on a little secret. I’ve figured out I belong to a tribe. Actually, I probably belong to a few tribes, but let me tell you about one in particular, and then I’ll tell you about the beets I harvested and cooked during our recent reunion. It started in Ohio, at Oberlin College, where a young woman named Helen Lacey met a young man named Doug Haskell. It was the early 1920s, and if you were the kind of individual who reviled injustice (the campus had a proud history with the Underground Railroad) and revered perfection (one of its guiding principles), then you were right at home at Oberlin College. Upon graduation, Helen, a teacher, and Doug, an eventual architecture critic and designer, married. Deeply influenced by the teachings of the progressive educator and philosopher John Dewey, the couple became the directors of Camp Treetops, a multi-racial, non-denominational summer farm camp bordering the wilderness of New York’s Adirondack mountains. It was a post that stretched to 40 years. To this day, Camp Treetops remains an expression of the couple’s educational and aesthetic sensibilities, and their core belief that a child’s individual development is best served when his or her spontaneity and creative impulses are honored. By the time my grandparents met the Haskells (both couples were doing their part at the legal arm of the NAACP, colloquially known as the Ink Fund, to end racial segregation in the South) and learned of the camp, my father was too old to attend, but luckily for my uncle, he wasn’t, and as an adult he held fond enough memories of his summers there that when his son was nine, he sent him too. That’s more or less how my sister and I wound up at Treetops, although my mother would probably like me to make it clear that she had to badger my dad to make that happen. The camp program proudly offered nothing in the way of entertainment, if by that term you mean TV, radio, competitive sports, and gasoline-powered anything (and now cell phones, computers, and MP3 players). Helen was right that without

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them we’d go outdoors and learn to generate our own fun. Of course the camp offered amusing, standard camp-y activities: swimming and riding, canoeing, cookouts, and making bad pottery that our parents reluctantly displayed at home. But for me, what distinguished a Treetops summer from the summercamp tales of my school friends was the zeal for invention and whimsy that we introduced to so much of what we did. As long as we had to make signs for the vast garden, why not decorate them? As long as food had to be hidden from bears, why not create a treasure hunt—composed in verse? Heavy rain called for mud walks. Sunset Appreciation, a very serious course, was conducted in the potato field, where we absorbed the majesty of lingering light silhouetting the pine forest, while writing songs about (why not?) strawberries. Even at chores, of which we had many, and through which we understood how our individual contribution had value, we manufactured fun: manicuring the manure pile in hopes of winning a ribbon, or lending heavy logs ridiculous names as we passed them down the line to be loaded into the maple sugar house. My own children, who collectively spent eleven summers at Treetops, didn’t mind scouring the campus for lost laundry, once they learned they could do it with the camp’s two llamas in tow. The “real” world, to which we returned after these seven weeks of simplicity and serendipity, felt contrived and hollow by comparison. Clocks and watches robbed us of the natural

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Friends’ Weekend 2011

Looking for Laundry with Llamas HONEY-GLAZED BEETS HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED (for 6 to 8 beet lovers): To roast the beets: 2 pounds (900 g) unpeeled medium-sized beets, stems removed before weighing 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper Fresh thyme sprigs

rhythms with which we’d become synchronized. Candy, forbidden at camp, tasted exotic the first few days back, but for me, its artificiality soon surfaced, and made me yearn for Mildred, the elderly biologist and counselor, who, long before Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse, led us into the woods and pastures to forage for wild edibles, and involved us in their preparation for the annual Wild Foods Banquet. So every August, like a scattered tribe, those of us lucky enough to share an affiliation with camp gather for a long weekend of reconnecting—to the place, to one another, and to ourselves. Last month, I chose to spend one morning restoring my soul in the garden, picking and scrubbing cabbages, lettuces, and beets, and later roasting and glazing those beets for the tribe. The rest of us? Some were hiking, or kayaking, or playing guitar at the top of the hill. Some volunteered to hammer nails into one of the campus’ new structures, or load several tons of hay into the barn. Another group, seeing a solution for a counselor with a busted knee, devoted hours to pimping a garden cart into a chariot, complete with canopy, trident, and reins for the tribesmen who would pull him across the grass. Why a chariot? Why not? A former camper, Karen splits her time between New York City and Bali, where she and her husband Gusky raised their two Treetops campers, daughter Mira and son Giri.

To glaze the beets: 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, or olive oil, or a mixture of the two 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon finely grated organic ginger, or 1 teaspoon if using conventional ginger 1/4 cup (60 ml) Balsamic vinegar 1 1/2 tablespoons wildflower honey, or more to taste Juice and finely grated zest of 1 small lemon Salt and freshly ground pepper HERE’S WHAT TO DO: To roast the beets: Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C) On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, rub the beets with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a generous amount of the thyme sprigs. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for up to one hour. The beets are done when you can effortlessly insert a sharp knife into their centers. Remove from heat, allow to cool, then remove skin. (Using a kitchen towel or scrubbing gloves can make this task fast and effortless.) Cut each beet into 8 wedges. Set aside. To glaze the beets: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-gauge skillet. Add the garlic and ginger and cook and stir until fragrant, but not browned. Slowly add the Balsamic vinegar all along the surface of the pan so it begins to evaporate, stirring to encourage caramelization. When the vinegar has evaporated into a thin syrup, stir in the beets, honey, and the lemon juice and zest. Lower heat and allow to simmer for about five minutes, adding a little water if the glaze appears too dry. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


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School News organized by science teacher Dave Steckler. For this year’s version, the Oracle (Libby Doan) was seeking the golden years of retirement and looking to turn over the WARP to the most deserving of the three student teams. However, the Zephyrs, a small, out-lying group upset by its marginal status, aimed to throw a wrench in the works.


Farm manager Mike Tholen likes to say: “One hundred people can accomplish in one hour what it takes one person 100 hours to do.” And so, as they have for decades, NCS students participated in several all-school harvests last fall. During a Sunday garden harvest on the first weekend of the school year, students and staff picked and bundled 16 pounds of herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, and oregano), harvested 964 pounds of onions, pressed 5 gallons of cider from 173 pounds of apples, and chopped veggies for 5 gallons of fresh salsa. For carrot harvest a few weeks later, the haul was 2,500 pounds, and for potato harvest, the community unearthed 3,402 pounds in just over an hour, with Bramwell House winning the friendly competition among houses with close to 700 pounds. During chicken harvest, students and faculty processed 95 chickens and 20 turkeys that were served at Thanksgiving. As Mike explained during a Town Meeting, the physical exertion of pulling, hauling, and washing carrots or potatoes is draining, but the tough emotional work of chicken harvest adds an even more demanding dimension. All of our community work on the farm teaches important lessons—about what it takes to produce our own food, about working together on a difficult task, about the dignity of all life—that stick with our students long after they leave our campus.

RETURN OF WARP On a raw Saturday in October, students dressed in colorcoordinated headbands for the third annual installment of WARP (Wilderness Action Role Play), the all-school adventure game

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Despite the chilly weather, students spent all day at play in the woods, exploring their home territory, hunting for treasures and amulets, building forts, and enjoying encounters with exotic woodland creatures. A quick lunch outdoors of hotdogs, chips, and carrot sticks kept the game going with barely an interruption. In a surprise twist, the game ended with a win by the jailer, Rumsey Periwinkle Fuzzibottom III (aka history teacher Josh Briggeman), who double crossed the Zephyrs, banished the Oracle, and stole all the students’ treasure. Look for next year’s WARP to avenge the jailer’s treachery in another day of whimsy and fantasy for this new school tradition greatly enjoyed by students and adults alike.

ON THE ROAD Our remote location in upstate New York doesn’t keep our students from getting out and about. As part of their study of native peoples, fourth- and fifth-grade students and faculty enjoyed a highly successful trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts in November. They visited the living history museum Plimoth Plantation, where students toured a 17th century colonial village, a home site of the native Wampanoags, and a reproduction of the Mayflower.

Organic Roots Winter 2012

School News presenters. Favorite speakers included a mathematician who uses algebraic variables to answer everyday questions (like whether to do homework); a scientist whose research on geckos has helped create a robot able to scale walls for rescue purposes; a young person who raised more than $1 million for cancer research—from a lemonade stand; and the YouTube employee who studies how videos go viral. During intermissions, students were able to speak with the presenters, and the lights and bustle of New York City were starring attractions in their own right.


Closer to home, several groups made arts-related trips. A large contingent of ninth-grade students attended an evening performance poetry event at nearby Paul Smith’s College; later three seniors participated in a day-long poetry writing workshop at the College. Our youngest students enjoyed a performance of The Hobbit in Lake Placid, and seventh graders and a theatre class delighted in faculty child Zachary Richards’ portrayal of Dill Harris, the young friend of Jem and Scout, in a performance of To Kill A Mockingbird staged by the Pendragon theatre group in Saranac Lake. In October, arts teachers Laura Bill and John Doan took a weekend trip to the spectacular sculpture park at the Storm King Art Center in the Hudson River Valley. The group enjoyed a guided tour led by a local artist and art educator who explained to students concepts of scale, texture, color, form, movement, and artists’ use of materials and asked them to consider what they thought each sculpture meant. The weekend before Thanksgiving, science/math teacher Todd Dowling took several eighth and ninth graders to New York City for the first-ever TED Youth Conference. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the creativity, passion, and ingenuity of the

For this year’s senior project, ninth graders built a 12’ x 14’ pole shelter at the climbing Crag, with guidance from teacher Larry Robjent. The timbers used in construction were harvested from NCS property, and some were originally used as ship timbers in last year’s spring performance of The Goonies. The metal roof also utilized leftover material from the construction of New House. The students prepped the site, moved in native stone for the pillars to sit on, drilled in cement anchors to attach the 4x4 to the rock, and designed and built stabilizers to help keep the structure standing during winter snow load. They also designed and installed two 8’ benches underneath for sitting. The finished structure will provide climbers at the Crag with cover from the weather. continued on next page


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School News continued from previous page THANKSGIVING AT NCS

On the last Thursday in November, we seated 258 in the dining room for our 74th Thanksgiving dinner. Our unrivalled kitchen staff served a superb meal: turkey, stuffing, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, squash, salad greens, rolls, an Italian chick pea stew for vegetarians, and apple and pumpkin pies with fresh whipped cream. Virtually the entire menu came from food produced on the farm.

evening families experienced for themselves the strength of our residential program when they had dinner in their child’s house. On Thanksgiving morning, the jug band’s rousing rendition of “Rocky Raccoon” belied the early hour, and the talent of the advanced acting class was on full display during a series of vignettes, both humorous and serious, from Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

The feast highlighted a two-day series of events that combines what other schools do at Parents’ Weekend with our Thanksgiving celebration. On Wednesday afternoon, students presented classroom projects and other work to their families during the end-of-term academic showcases; their brightly colored paintings, weavings, ceramics, wood crafts, glass work, and photography brightened every hallway. That

Our Thanksgiving festivities are a vitally important time in our development as a community. The joy of families coming together and the pride students take in showing their parents all they have learned and done here make us realize how fortunate we are to live and work together in this unique place—an understanding that is true thanksgiving.

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Alumni Voices continued from page 4 known. (I once ran into him while I was lifeguarding on the Jersey shore during a med school summer.) He also had developed his remarkable horse skills when living in a small Arizona town just a few miles south of Tucson, where I have lived since 1964. We are now fortunate to have a cabin at 8,000 feet in Arizona’s White Mountains, in a small valley that strongly reminds me of the topography of the CTT area. The ambient temperatures here are also similar to the camp area (often 40 degrees F below those of Tucson or Phoenix.) Hope the rambling recollections of a geezer have not bored you. Peter Crowe

Alumni Spotlight continued from page 14 Lanie remembers those early years fondly. The barn and horses meant the most to her, and she freely admits to being horse crazy. She even chose to go to Mt. Holyoke College because of its riding program. Her favorite horse was the pinto Start, whom she remembers as the best lead horse at Camp. Walter offered to let her take Start to college, but she could not afford to get him there let alone the boarding fee the college required. Instead she taught town kids from South Hadley at the Mt. Holyoke stables and in return got free riding lessons from an Austrian riding master who was somewhat of a terror. Lanie worked at Treetops from 1955 to 1959. In 1960 she married Hugh Fleischer and unwilling to bring him back to Treetops “cold,” the two of them worked at Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park. With one year of being a counselor under his belt, Hugh must have seemed fit enough to be introduced to Treetops, so together they worked the summers of 1961-1963. Lanie’s other love at Treetops was the mountains, and she often accompanied Roger Loud as second counselor on hiking trips. She stopped her pursuit of 46er status at 23, figuring that was an easy number to remember. Her favorite mountain was Colden, with Pitchoff a close second, both still dear after so many years away. Although her children never went to Treetops, Lanie felt their lives in Anchorage were Treetops-like. They got a Shetland pony and kept it in the backyard. They hiked and backpacked and although they always thought they would return to the Adirondacks, in Lanie’s words, “This is the next best thing.”

The Chugach Mountains reminded her of the Adirondacks, and she made Anchorage her home. Now at 73 Lanie remembers her childhood and young adulthood at Treetops and the things she learned there. She remembers Walter showing her the wonders of the compost pile, digging his hand in deep to pull forth sweet smelling stuff that would be spread on the garden. Thanks to Walter’s protests, the planes that routinely sprayed DDT over the Adirondacks stopped their spraying as they flew over Treetops. This was several years before the publication of Silent Spring. When Carson’s book appeared, it was the subject of a long discussion at a weekly staff meeting. She thinks often of the advice Helen, having retired from Treetops and at the time quite old, gave her. “It was after her stroke. Kaye (Clark) Hoins and I were taking turns helping her. One day I looked over the New York skyline from her Gramercy Park apartment and complained about some change and Helen said to me, ‘Now, my dear, if you cannot accept change, you will have a very unhappy old age.’” Words to live by. Lanie and I ended our long phone conversation talking about horses. The ones we remembered from 1958. Start, her favorite. Pepper, who would just as soon bite as look at you. Teddy the pony, and Geppy who only the most skilled were allowed to ride. Horses long gone but such a connection across the years to when Lanie was 20 and I was 12 as though it were yesterday. We all hope to make a difference in our stay on Earth. Few of us can claim to have made such a lasting impression as has Lanie Lacey Fleischer—a system of trails like a web throughout the largest city in Alaska. She will say it wasn’t her. It was many others. The time was ripe. But I suspect otherwise. In a letter written to the Anchorage Daily News in February of 2010, she advocates for a new 20-year Bicycle Plan. She never gives up.


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In Memoriam


37-39, NCS parent 68-72) died of cancer August 4, 2011 at age 84 at home in Oregon surrounded by family. The sister of Sumner Parker (CTT 37-40, NCS 41, CTT parent 73-79, NCS parent 7782, CTT grandparent 92-04, 11, Trustee 77-10), Pat was a rancher for 53 years, owning and operating the Obstinate J Ranch with her sister and children. She served as member and/or officer in the Upper Rogue Community Center, Friends of the Library, Home Extension, and the Wild Flower Association, among others, and volunteered at Access and the St. Martin’s Food Pantry. She graduated from George School and attended Smith College. Besides her brother, she is survived by her children, William Fraser Brooks (NCS 70) and Martha Brooks (NCS 72), four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

DODIE CAPTIVA (NCS staff 62-63,

NCS parent 57-62, CTT grandparent 8287) died February 18, 2011 at age 96 in Watertown, MA. A free spirit who lived an unconventional life, Dodie was a teacher and social worker in Oklahoma during her 50s, traveled to the Philippines with the Peace Corps in her 60s, and camped and cleared brush on Gallops Island in Boston Harbor into her early 80s. She volunteered at the Boston Athenaeum and participated in medical studies. She was a graduate of Bank Street College and served as the nurse at NCS in 1963. She leaves three daughters, Noa Hall Williams (CTT staff 63, CTT parent 82-87), Katrina Hall (NCS 59), and Johanna Captiva (NCS 62), son Darius Hall, and nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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died June 6, 2011. The dearly loved son of Christine Semenenko (NCS 62) and Anthony Eastburn Clark, Dylan graduated from Hartwick College in 2009 and Winston Prepatory School in 2004. His passion was for all things metal, in sculpture and music. Besides his parents, he is survived by his uncles, Galen Thomas Weiser and Michael Weiser, and cousin Nathan H. Weiser.


(CTT 79-83) died of cancer in July 2011 at age 41. Born in New York, she attended LaGuardia High School and Reed College. She settled in Portland, Oregon, where she taught dance at Reed and at Portland State University. She is survived by her husband Karl Blume, parents Richard Friedberg and Leslie Kandell, sister Cindy Marvell Brown (CTT 7780, staff 85), brother Jon Alex Friedberg (CTT 81-85), and nephew Theo Marvell Brown.


(CTT parent 66-67 and grandparent 84) died November 12, 2011 after a cancer diagnosis five months prior. The mother of Treetops camper and trustee Reggie Govan (CTT 66-67, counselor 74-81, trustee 01-08), Gwen served 35 years as the education director for a Head Start program for children in Harlem and the Bronx. For a decade she was on the board of directors of the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services. She was also a lover of theatre and passionate collector of African-American art.

Organic Roots Winter 2012

LLOYD B. MORGAN (CTT 45, CTT parent 76-82) died November 3, 2011 at age 76 from complications from Alzheimer’s. Lloyd’s long history with Treetops stretches from his camper days in the 1940s to the ’50s, when he worked as a counselor, and into the ’70s and ’80s, when his children attended Camp. His mother, the acclaimed photographer Barbara Morgan, created the iconic Treetops’ book, Summer’s Children. A 1958 graduate of Beloit College, Lloyd spent many years in printing, managing Morgan Press in Dobbs Ferry, NY, until 1996 when it closed. At Morgan Pond Farm in the Catskills, he practiced sustainable forestry, opened up a bluestone quarry, and created a healthy habitat for wildlife and pond life. Lloyd chaired the Committee on Conservation of Forest and Wildlife of The Camp Fire Club of America from 1982-87 and served as NY DEC Forest Representative, Region 3 Forest Practice Board for Westchester County for many years. He is survived by his wife Janet, two children Nils Morgan (CTT 76-80) and Caitlin Morgan (CTT 79-82), and three granddaughters. PETER VAN BERG (NCS 61) died

October 18, 2011 doing what he loved, scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. He is survived by his mother Carol Ebenstein Holtzmann (NCS parent 57-61), daughter Jill van Berg, grandson Theo Julian Manela, who gave him particular joy, sister Louise Muller, brother William van Berg, step-father and step-sisters, in-laws, nieces and nephews.

News and Notes NCS Alumni/ae 1945 James D. Seymour “Have come out of retirement to teach on the development of West China and the New Silk Road at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.” 1950 Mike McCrary (also CTT 44-46) “Still a town councilman, still president of Hunter’s Chamber of Commerce, and still riding.” 1951 Sally Powell Culverwell (also CTT 45-47, NCS staff 60-61, CTT parent 77-80) “I’m on a roll: April 2011, Friends’ Weekend in Alta, Utah and August 2011, Friends’ Weekend at Camp. Now I’m looking forward to April 2012 when my whole family will be in Alta. Come join me! Also I’m now in Bellingham, WA, so come visit; it’s a delightful place.” 1954 John B. Cooke “I experienced considerable discouragement about the state of the book publishing business when my last book, my first nonfiction, Reporting the War, came out in 2007 and my publisher did nothing to promote it…. [But] I realized that we should not lightly lay aside our gifts. My plan is to finish three more books by 2020. I am currently working on my long-delayed memoir of being on the road with Janis Joplin. I continue to play music, and I am editing in video many films I shot in 8mm and 16mm 30 or more years ago. I hope that these will eventually find their way to public view.” 1962 Frank E. Johnson III (also CTT 59, CTT parent 88-92) “My wine import company, Frank Johnson Selections, is still plugging along in a difficult economic environment. While it isn’t always easy being an entrepreneur, there’s great satisfaction in being an original one, free from corporate protocol and politics, and of course having the chance to manage your own hours.”

1963 David Sloan Wilson David was interviewed in August for NPR’s Weekend Edition about his new book, The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time. 1965 Jeanette Hooban “New job with the Stuart Country Day School as a development and events assistant. Hiked through the Dolomites last summer. Friends’ Weekend was wonderful!” 1965 John P. Morgan III (also NCS staff 72-95, CTT staff 74, CTT parent 89, 91, 93, 96, NCS parent 91-95)

“Bonnie and I continue to enjoy Montana and all that it has to offer. Had a great time in Alta, sharing with all who came” and where he is pictured (far right) with members of the Morgan clan. 1963 Nicholas Flanders “I will be in Istanbul for the next two years—that’s when I have to retire. Hard to believe!” 1968 Janet Wentworth “Putting a new foundation under summer home in Maine + trying to retire.” 1969 Sarah Blum Hadden “Still living in Simsbury, CT, giving a shout out to the class of ’69!” 1970 Susan Read (also CTT parent 03-04) “I’m loving my garden—roses and such… Come back to NCS for a Friends’ Weekend. The changes are impressive.”

1971 Tanaquil Taubes “As many know, I was in a car accident (2009) caused by an intoxicated driver. While my intellect has remained, what I have lost is what I treasured: being able to support myself and my son in a profession I not only loved but that expressed the best of my innate talents. NCS taught me: 1) to not give up; and 2) even more importantly, to take hold of the reins. One should ask for help, but ultimately I must rely on myself to do the heavy lifting. I have a long list of all the things I cannot do. Finally, I decided to try my hand at singing. I am presently fine-tuning a Cole Porter repertoire. Known best for songs like ‘Let’s Do It,’ he had a deeper, more poetic side; Porter’s legs were crushed by a horse in a riding accident when he was 46. For 20 years he was in excruciating pain and was drugged up with pain killers and anti-depressants. His motto was ‘Don’t Complain, Don’t Explain.’ While in pain he wrote the songs for ten musicals and ten films, over 300 songs. I draw inspiration from him and Walter Clark, living by the motto ‘when losing and in pain, do a good deed for someone.’ NCS has given me endurance and a reliance on will. I am thankful. I am always looking for accompanists, feel free to contact me at 212-787-8775.” 1972 Susan Mahaffy “Teaching kindergarten and loving it! Still playing outside whenever I can.” 1977 George Bolton Congratulations to George, whose horse Astrology finished third in the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes last May. 1978 Lisa Tapert Lisa is living in coastal Maine and New York City and working with Axios International, a company focused on access to health care in developing and emerging countries. When she is not home, which is most of the time, you will find her in Asia working on projects. continued on next page


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News and Notes 1979 Lisa May “My family and I remain in Belmont, MA, where our lives are good and full. Christopher (15) just started high school and Sam (8) is in 2nd grade. How did I end up with a teenager? It was only yesterday that I was graduating from North Country and heading off to high school myself. I draw on my NCS experience and memories often and am grateful for the time I spent there.” 1984

Charles Barnett

with two kids, Carly (11) and Sean (9). We live in Pasadena, CA, where I work as a securities analyst for a small hedge fund. I still get to play tennis often, too.” 1989 Guillaume de Ramel (also CTT camper 85-86, trustee 07-present) Guillaume was appointed to the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council by Governor Chaffee for a three-year term. 1990 Aleesa Adams “Still living in Los Angeles working as a video editor and filmmaker.” 1993

Thanks to Charles for sending the picture of his children, Nora and Nicky, and congratulations on another good showing at the 2011 DC triathlon last September. 1984 Harris Hall “After a 27-year hiatus, I returned to the Adirondacks with a friend in August with the goal of finally becoming a 46er. When I left NCS, I had climbed 43 of the 46, spending most of my weekends in the mountains. The last three were Couchsachraga, Panther, and Santanoni mountains. I actually was on a trip to get the last three while at NCS, but we got rained out the night before. Over the years, I have often thought of coming back, but it seemed I never had both the time and money at the same time for such a trip. I finally did last summer (and I wanted to do this before I get too old and frail). Being back in the Adirondacks brought back many fond memories of my years at NCS. As for the rest of my life, I am married

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Yoseph Teklemariam

Yoseph stopped by for a visit in September—and to pose for this picture with Susie Runyon, his houseparent in Woods House back in the day. Back home in Richmond, VA, he continues to run an Ethiopian restaurant with his mother, twin Benyam (NCS 93), and older brother Nathan (CTT 86). 1995 Patrick Loud (also CTT camper 88-93) “I have been tattooing for the last four years and just recently moved to California, working in a studio here in Hollywood. I began tattooing in the Virginia Beach area and fell in love. I am constantly amazed that I get to do it as a living. I have traveled all over and planning my trip to South America soon. Asia is next, so if any ’95ers have a couch to crash on, I’ll bring the tattoo ink!” 2002 Tiffany Wilson (also CTT 00-01) Congratulations to Tiffany, who completed the Baltimore Marathon in October in 55th place (out of 141) in the 20 to 24-year old female division.

Organic Roots Winter 2012

2005 Nicholas Bregenzer (also CTT 04) Nick is an aviation major in his senior year at Florida Institute of Technology, has his private pilot’s license, and is working on his commercial rating. 2006 Alexandra Alizadeh (also CTT 99-03) Alexandra graduated from Smith College in May 2011 at age 19. 2006 Julian Barthold “I am currently enrolled in the school of management at Boston University, majoring in operations and minoring in law. Boston life is a far cry from barn chores and Idiot Hikes, but I get my fix of wilderness by leading trips for the BU Outing Club, which I am vice president of. I have new-found respect for the faculty leaders of the hikes at NCS.” 2006 Seth Clare (also CTT 04-05) Seth is participating in a Washington, DC semester through the University of South Carolina for winter term 2012. 2009 Eli Clare (also CTT 05) Eli just finished the ocean classroom program for his fall trimester at Proctor Academy. He sailed and studied from Gloucester, MA to Juan, Puerto Rico. 2009 Aubrey McKinney Aubrey is at The Gunnery, where last fall he tried out for the football team; he played #1 singles on the JV tennis team the spring before. 2009 Taylor Pearlman & Adam Silverstein

Taylor (far left) and Adam (third from left) posed with fellow Proctor Academy students (l to r) Will Rouse

News and Notes (NCS 10), Nick Solley (NCS 10), Nick Scafidi (NCS 10), and Sophie Rosenberg. 2010 Andrew Curwen Andrew is thriving at the Blake Arts Magnet School in Tampa. He is actively involved in costume design and management for many plays and musical theater productions. 2010 Sammy Martin Sammy is enjoying his junior year at Colorado Rocky Mountain School and doing well on the climbing team.

NCS Staff In November, art teacher Laura Bill led a wool and needle felting workshop in Tarrytown, NY, for about 40 participants as part of the New York State Art Teacher’s Association annual conference. History teacher Josh Briggeman spent a week in Santa Fe last summer for St. John’s summer classics, where he loved his seminar, Nathaniel Hawthorne on Science, Technology and Progress.

In November, farm staff Nick Cassidy, Doug Soholt, and Kat Radune presented at the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. They led sessions on compost and vermiculture, vegetable origins, and food mapping for local high school and college students and teachers. After attending Friends’ Weekend last summer, former NCS and CTT staffer Jane Hellewell wrote: “It was wonderful sharing bits of the CTT/ NCS experience with my husband Chris and our kids Louise (7) and Henry (5). It was great to reconnect with the place, old friends, staff, and campers and to make new friends. We live in Washington, DC, and love visitors.” Congratulations to former farm intern Emily Holzer and her husband John for the birth of son Edwin David Foppert on January 7, 2012 in Joensuu, Finland. John is enrolled in a master’s program in European forestry; Emily has started a blog ( Last fall, former NCS art teacher Wendy Jacob won the prestigious

Maud Morgan Prize, awarded by Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to honor local women artists. Her new works, Explorers Club and Ice Floe, were exhibited as part of the opening of the newly renovated Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art at the MFA. Former NCS teacher Ken Spencer specializes in cardiac ultrasound, gardens when it’s warm, and volunteers for the Sugarbush adaptive ski program. Wife Eliza Pillard helps families and kids with psychiatric needs and runs everyday, even in snow boots.

CTT Friends Judith Harris Weitzman

Camper 33, 36 “Happy memories of Walt (Mickey and Buckskin, the huge, wonderful team), Devon Dennett, who put my name on my mumbly peg knife, and Rufus.” A.G. Davis Philip

Camper 36 Congratulations to Davis for his continued on next page

ANNUAL GIVING It takes a community to grow a garden. Each year, our community of alumni, parents, trustees, staff, and friends comes together to help make our garden grow literally. Your support of the Annual Fund allows us to purchase seed, tools, and equipment. It also helps pay the salaries of the teachers, counselors, and farm staff who engage our children in the garden throughout the year. We are well on our way to achieving our $1 million goal for this fiscal year. If each of us does our part, we will surpass this milestone and keep our garden growing strong for this year’s students and campers. To make a gift, please visit, or call Caitlin Wargo, Director of Annual Giving, at (518) 837-5450. Thank you for your support.


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News and Notes selection by the American Biographical Institute as a recipient of its 2011 Award of Excellence. Davis has been a research professor in the physics department at Union College since 1973, president of the Institute for Space Observations in Schenectady, NY, since 1985, and president of L. Davis Press in Schenectady since 1981. Michael Churchill

Camper 48-52 “First grandchild has arrived. Sixty years later, the spirit of Treetops remains strong with me.” Camper 55-58, counselor 62-67, trustee 71-77 Last summer Reg received the President’s Award for Leadership & Excellence from the Washington Government Relations Group. Other honorees included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and civil rights icon, John Lewis. Jean Smith

Counselor 57-61 “I have now published nine books on Buddhism and a novel, Himalayan Passage. Elise Keely

Camper 60-63, CTT parent 88-93 “I continue to expand my landscape design business, which has been so rewarding over the years. My love for sailing that began at Round Lake is still a passion, and I try to get on the water as much as possible. My son Aaron Smith (CTT 88-89) is currently living with his family in Nairobi and exploring Africa and its wonders. My youngest son Ben Smith (CTT 88-93) is living in NYC with his wife Samantha. Everyone is thriving and happy. Our love of the outdoors never ceases.” Camper 62-67, CTT parent 96-05, trustee 91-present Matt’s company Xten Industries was named Business of the Year by the Kenosha (WI) Chamber of Commerce and Business Alliance. Earlier Xten

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Neil Basescu

Camper 63-68, counselor 74, 80 Neil and his wife Liz live in Sleepy Hollow, NY, with their twin 11 year olds, Alex and Dylan. Shiu-Kai Chin

Reg Gilliam

Matt Davidson

also was selected as a Wisconsin Company to Watch by the Wisconsin Entrepreneur Network and Wisconsin Department of Commerce.

Lisa Mierop

Camper 67-69 “My landscape design/build business continues to thrive and grow, despite economic changes. I am grateful and enjoy my work. I recently hired Mary Szumski (CTT 73-78, parent 06-10), who also lives in Montclair, to work with my team. Being around so much plant material up at our farm nursery reminds me of Camp days!”

Camper 64-66, counselor 72-74 “My wife Linda and I are both professors at Syracuse University. My book Access Control, Security and Trust: A Logical Approach was published last year. Research on trustworthy systems with the Air Force is keeping me fully occupied.”

Richard Hornstein

Guy Haskell

Camper 71-74 “Dividing my time between NY and CA. Recently talked to Nick Parsons (CTT 68-74) and David Bronfman (CTT 67-74). Brad Schiller (CTT 7074) is MIA!”

Camper 65-69 “It was great seeing everybody at Friends’ this year. My eldest son Sam is a freshman at Indiana University. He lives five minutes away, but of course we only see him when he’s hungry or broke. Jacob is a sophomore in high school and trying hard to be the first Haskell high school drop-out in many years. Sarah is 10, and I just took her for her first trip to her dad’s old stomping grounds, NYC. I left the local prosecutor’s office in April and am hanging out a shingle in Bloomington with a good friend. I continue my other pursuits, consulting, writing, editing, aikido, soccer, etc. and enjoy life as much as a parent with teenagers can.”

Camper 69-72 “I’m 46er #793 and still kicking! Hope to make Friends’ Weekend in the next year or two. Welcome in California to anyone in the neighborhood, and we can take a run up Mammoth.” David Wells

Organic Roots Winter 2012 Editor Lisa Rowley

Contributors Peter Crowe, John Culpepper, Karen Culpepper, Suzanna Finley, David Hochschartner, Susie Localio, Joe “Pancho” Mayer, John Nicholson, Lisa Rowley, Karen Waddell

Reggie Govan


Camper 66-67, counselor 74-81, trustee 01-08 Reggie visited in November for a few days of quiet, exercise, and mountain air.

Layout / Design

Organic Roots Winter 2012

Kim Carlson Benner, Tom Clark, John Culpepper, Todd Dowling, John Eldridge, Suzanna Finley, Erin Fleischer, David Hochschartner, Indra Leonardi, Joel Lowsky, Andrea Page McCaw, Barbara Morgan, Francie Parker, Todd Pinsonneault, Kat Radune, Larry Robjent, Lisa Rowley, Susie Runyon, Mike Tholen

Aaron Hobson

Printing Benchemark Printing, Inc.

News and Notes with a shadow puppeteer, [came] out this fall. It can be ordered at createspace. com. This summer I performed at the European Juggling Convention at the 1974 Olympic Stadium in Munich.” Jamie Sheffield

Julie Curtis

Camper 73-74, staff 81, 98-00, 08, parent 97-09 Kudos to Julie for hosting an impressive gathering of Treetops alumni and staff at the Curtis/ Gerstenmaier home in Connecticut in October 2011. Back row, l to r: Tucker Culpepper, Katie Culpepper, Jim Hayes, Maddie Ames, Hannah Edwards, William Whitney, Kalle Condliffe, Jenny Mullins, Rachel Hiles, Rachel Schwerin, Catherine CrowleyDelman, Greg Katz; Middle row, l to r: Sarah Levine, Moria Horowitz, Lauren McCarty, Alex Himmelbaum; Front row, l to r: Ethan Ames, Brigit Loud, Julia Jonathan, Eliza Jonathan, John Crowley-Delman, Stanley Isaacs, Neil Gerstenmaier. Carolyn Feinstein Edwards

Camper 76-79

Camper 79-82 Jamie is a teacher at Lake Placid High School and lives in Lake Clear, NY. Douglas Sloane

Camper 81-86

Camper 77-80, counselor 85 “Shadow Princess: An Indonesian Story, a young adult novel I wrote

Camper 88-92 Zachary is living in San Francisco and practicing trial litigation. Jennie Weiner

Camper 88-93 “My husband Jeremiah and I welcomed our twin sons, Rufus and Emanuel, this past May. They are growing like weeds, with talk already of future times as CTT junior campers.” Camper 95-01 Sophia has moved to California to pursue a master’s degree in religion at Claremont Graduate University. Jeffrey and Daralynn Pines

Congratulations to Doug and Esther on the birth of Oliver Raphael Pan Sloane, who came into the world at 9 lbs. 2 oz. on September 14, 2011 at the Portland Hospital in London. Alberta Hemsley

CTT parent 84-90, staff 86-90 “Still working, as a virtual high school science teacher. Daughter Jenny Winkler (CTT 84-86) has two little boys, Jacob and Ari. Both Jenny and son David Winkler (CTT 85-90) live in Seattle where I visit frequently.” Camper 87-93, staff 97-03, 06, 11 “Our film Pariah, which just won the Gotham Film Award for Best Director, opened in NY, LA, and San Francisco on December 28th, then expanded to 20 cities across the U.S. We are very excited.”

Cindy Marvell Brown

Zachary Bookman

Sophia Lloyd

Stefan Nowicki

Carolyn visited with her daughters (pictured at the barn) in July 2011.

efforts in communities that have experienced severe tornado, wind, and flood damage.

Matthew Topper

Camper 87-89, TTW 90, 91 As a volunteer and member of the advisory board of Eight Days of Hope, Matthew was in Mississippi last fall directing volunteers in disaster relief

CTT parents 95-03 Giulia (CTT 95-98) lives in Berlin and was married to Johannes Kersthold in July 2011. Abigail (CTT 99-03) graduated from college in 2011 and is hoping to become a veterinarian. Sarah Davidson

Camper 96-99, counselor 06 On September 11, 2011 Sarah had the lead article for Huffington Post’s Green Blog, an open letter urging President Obama to block construction of the proposed pipeline from Canada to Mexico. William Perley and Carrie Levin

CTT parents 96-09 Buck (CTT 96-03) is working in Beijing. Conner (CTT 04-09) is in 11th grade at Marine Military Academy in Arlington, Texas. Anna Mould

Counselor 05-10 On her 25th birthday, Anna launched her own fashion label, Annika Louise, along with a multi-purpose website ( where she is exhibiting her photography, paintings, and film projects and selling clothing, jewelry, and cards.


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Non-Profit Organization US Postage PAID Albany, NY Permit #97

Coming Events SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2012: Seattle gathering for alumni and friends WEDNESDAY–SUNDAY, APRIL 11-15, 2012: Friends’ Weekend at Alta Lodge in Utah SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2012: An evening to honor Treetops’ Directors in New York City SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2012: Portland, ME gathering for alumni and friends MAY 2012 (DATE TBD): Burlington, VT gathering for alumni and friends Keep your eye on your mailbox for more information coming soon. Or contact Kimberly Corwin Gray at 518-837-5407 or

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Organic Roots Spring/Summer 2011

Organic Roots, Winter 2012  

The alumni publication of North Country School and Camp Treetops, Lake Placid, NY 12946