Author Archives: Pine Island Camp

Ned Bishop, Volunteer-in-Chief

Over the past twenty years a remarkable number of opportunities to volunteer one’s time to benefit Pine Island Camp have become available, and the many who have participated all agree that being a volunteer is the best way to return to Pine Island.  We’ll highlight a few of our amazing volunteers in the coming weeks, starting with Ned Bishop, PIC’s Volunteer-in-Chief.

Ned Bishop, camper, counselor, and long-time assistant director at Pine Island, began volunteering shortly after he retired as assistant director.  Ned’s innumerable contributions focus on setting up camp and the logistically challenging days between the annual Declaration of War and a couple of days after the campers leave.  As was recognized in his receiving the “Golden Clipboard” award several years ago, Ned is virtually indispensable when it comes to seeing to the details of opening and closing Pine Island.  He is the author (and faithful updater) of Opening and Closing: The Manual, the handbook that contains all the lists and jobs that need to be done before Opening Day and before the whole place is closed for the winter.  It is hard to describe fully how much director and assistant director stress is reduced when Ned is on the job, directing pre-camp work by the counselors, helping with War Game logistics (while also taking on a full umpiring load), and setting up everything we need to welcome 200+ people to the island for the Farewell Feed.  Ned also made it up for the Sloan Critchfield Memorial Boat Maintenance Weekend this year and spent many hours sanding and painting.  Ned is a fountain of knowledge and great stories about the recent and distant Pine Island past, and don’t make the mistake of being fooled by his friendly demeanor when you sit down after dinner for a game of cards!

Ned Bishop and Ben Swan.

Meet our 2019 Staff – Mark Pierce

Kayaking Instructor

Mark is a sophomore at Columbia University from Kingston Springs, TN and he returns for his second summer as our Kayaking Instructor. Mark teaches everything from basic kayaking techniques to advance moves, like rolling. He prepares campers for the challenges of the CLIK Trip – Chip Lakes In Kayaks – a four-day adventure on Chiputneticook Lakes. Mark’s good humor and exceptional musical talents enrich our nightly campfires and our Saturday Night Shows.

What’s in A Name? Lots! Acronyms Blossom at PIC

Pine Island’s sense of humor has always been near the surface and usually operating at a very high level.  Campfire skits, trip announcements, passwords, Saturday Night Shows, and even trip reports are often hilarious.  No doubt what was funny in 1910 differs significantly from what cracked people up last summer, but the subtle art of acronyms, now very active at PIC, has been a feature of Pine Island summers for a long time. A flurry of acronyms surfaced in the 1960s and these days every activity produces an acronym to put at the top of their ranks chart.  Below are some memorable acronyms in approximately chronological order. Thanks to Harry Swan, who collected as many Pine Island acronyms as we could find.

KILL – team responsible for eradicating insect scourges.

The Kababa Insect Liquidation League


OAR – formed after the arrival of the Dynamite Payson-built dories.

The Organization for the Advancement of Rowing


DORY – booster organization for O.A.R.

Don’t Overlook Rowing, Y’all


DIVE – in which a swimming class is devoted to combing the bottom of the lake around the island, using fins, goggles, and snorkels, in search of interesting objects.

Dive Investigate Verify and Extract


PILE – the pre-camp work of removing all lumber, brush, and other refuse from the island.

Pine Island Lumber Extraction


ROTGUT – the pre-camp work of mowing, raking, trimming, and pruning on the mainland.

Removal OThe Grass, Ultra Team


WHAMWOW – the pre-camp work of washing windows and removing cobwebs and spider eggs from the exterior of buildings.

White-Hot Anti-spider Magic World OWindow Washing


FETID – an effort to locate and remove any dead fish, mice, birds, or squirrels causing foul odors on the island.

Find Everything That IDead


FAD – in which a fly-fishing instructor takes a few campers on a day trip to another body of water.

Fish All Day


FADED – an interest in fishing that threatens to override engagement in all other aspects of camp life.

Fish All Day Every Day


CLIK – a 4-day, 3-night kayaking trip that paddles the same waterways as the Chip Lakes canoe trip.

Chip Lakes IKayaks


ONG-BAK – A 4-day, 3-night rowing trip on the Kennebec River, beginning in Waterville and ending in Bath.

OAR Navigators Going Backwards Along the Kennebec


CAVALRY – the general effort to contain the spread of a stomach virus (commonly knowns as a “barf bug”) within camp.

Clean All Vomit And Locate Remaining Yackers


FEATHERBRAINS – any effort to free birds that have become trapped in camp buildings.

Forcibly Extracting Avian Tenants of Honk and Elsewhere, Result of Bad Radar and Inadequate Navigational Skills


BEARS – in which a camper’s stuff is in such irreparable disarray that it is necessary to remove his bed from the tent in order to better facilitate tent cleanup and reorganization.

Bed Extraction And Reclamation Service

Meet our 2019 Staff – Matt Hawkins

Matt is from New York City and he returns as our rowing instructor this summer. He is a sophomore at McGill University. Matt teaches the fundamentals of rowing, preparing boys for trips like The Great Pond Rowing Trip as well as the more advanced trip, ONG-BAK – O.A.R. Navigators Going Backward Along the Kennebec. Matt is also a talented and versatile musician and we’re fortunate that he shares his skills with us for nightly campfire entertainment and Saturday Night Shows. This will be Matt’s 8th summer at Pine Island.