Author Archives: Pine Island Camp

Whoa! Advanced Stats Ahead!

New program poised to revolutionize PIC performance analytics
By Xander Schwartz

Pine Island’s position at the pinnacle of summer camp excellence is well-established and in no danger of diminishing, but several months ago, my associates and I became aware of a potentially disturbing development. The details are hopelessly technical and need not be repeated here, but the overall trend was worryingly clear: Quantification of the camp experience (never particularly robust even in the pre-internet age) had been neglected for years and become woefully inadequate—not even remotely next-gen in comparison to the competition.

The situation was so dire that there was no time to consult (or indeed, even inform) the Board of Directors or anyone else in the PIC leadership. Instead, recognizing the need for immediate action, my colleagues and I promptly formed our new organization; wrote, debated and ratified a number of impressively detailed founding documents; and got straight to work.

Since that momentous day, our team at PINE SAP (Pine Island’s Newly Exhaustive Statistical Analytics Program) has been laboring diligently; collecting advanced data under the watchful eyes of Zommule of Zim, the Omnioccular Wiggly Ziggler; running Spamson the Somnolent Sloth’s painfully slow, yet highly advanced models; and crunching advanced numbers with Glubb the Gourmandizing Grouper day in and day out. A dizzying array of projects remain in the works, but thankfully (and just in time for this year’s Pine Needle) PINE SAP has managed to complete its first report on an activity central to the camp experience: Dustball.

The question has lingered in the minds of dustball players for years: “Do LTIPs really throw as hard as it feels like they do?” Well, analysis of over two decades of relevant data has found the answer to be a resounding: YES!

As the above figure shows, the average LTIP beams the ball across the Dust Court at more than twice the speed of even the average counselor, and faster than the average Ridge, Range, and Aristocracy camper combined. Our analysts recommend taking shelter behind a larger camper whenever an LTIP gains possession of the ball.

But as any experienced dustballer knows, velocity is not the only relevant factor. Movement of the ball in flight is just as important, and this past summer, we finally acquired the technology to measure this with adequate precision.

As the above figure shows, a higher spin rate on the ball led to a markedly increased chance of successfully hitting an opposing player. The reasons for this cannot yet be definitively stated, but our analysts believe that the added unpredictability of the ball’s flight path causes the targeted player to lose precious milliseconds as they try to decide which dodge to employ. In any case, as these insights are put into practice on the Dust Court next summer, we expect to see a dramatic increase in average spin rate—along with a corresponding spike in instances of the ball ending up in the lake as overzealous young campers attempt to achieve maximum RPM.

That’s all for now, but stay tuned! PINE SAP’s mission has just begun, and it will not be complete until we have provided next-gen statistical analysis of all aspects of camp life. The digital revolution is here, and we will not rest until PIC is at the absolute cutting edge of summer camp performance analytics.

Till next time, Akka Lakka!

Xander Schwartz, K.D.
PINE SAP Founder and COO (Communications Optimization Officer)

A Bulkhead for Bulk Workers!

New Cabin on Honk Hill Will Be Permanent LTIP Quarters
by Miles Frank

Since the foundation of Pine Island’s illustrious Leadership Training Internship Program, its staff of rising high-school seniors, known as LTIPs, have been semi-nomadic, living in a variety of places around the island: North Hampton, Tent 1, Kopa Kababa, even a short-lived tent platform on the western slope of Honk Hill. But this unfortunate circumstance has, at long last, been rectified. Next summer, more than two decades after the first LTIPs donned their perch gloves, these essential workers will finally have comfortable, dedicated quarters all to themselves.

And it is well deserved, for the LTIPs are responsible for all things maintenance. Along with their numerous daily duties, they typically engage in a few key work projects, which involve a great deal of digging, hauling, and hammering. It is bulk work. By summer’s end, the LTIPs move about the island with trained eyes, noticing what needs repair and what can be improved. Above all, they develop an appreciation for hard work.

It is therefore especially apt that they will stay in a building honoring Tim Nagler. A tremendous amount of maintenance and improvement work was completed at PIC under Tim’s guidance, a direct result of his unbridled enthusiasm and sheer force of personality. From ‘Island Buildup,’ a years-long campaign of lugging stones ashore from the Great Pond lakebed, to the custom installation of skylights in many buildings, to countless other projects, Tim’s monumental efforts left their mark on Pine Island. 

The newly completed Bulkhead beside its larger counterpart, Honk Hall.
Note the diamond-shaped window above the door.

Designed by builder and engineer Rip Swan, the new LTIP cabin, known as the Bulkhead, honors Tim’s legacy by elegantly balancing his aesthetic preferences within the confines of limited island space. Standing proudly beside Honk Hall, the Bulkhead has several design features that mirror its older, grander neighbor, the most notable of which is a small diamond-shaped window above the front doorway. The diamond window in Honk Hall was one of Tim’s favorite features, and one that he made sure was included in the design when Honk was rebuilt after the fire of 1995. Seven total windows, including three large ones on the western wall, provide the Bulkhead with ample natural light, cool breezes, and, of course, spectacular views of Oak Island and Great Pond’s beautiful sunsets. In its prime spot at Pine Island’s highest point, the Bulkhead may soon come to symbolize the apex of island living.

The first stage of construction began in early May of 2022, when Rip and Miles Frank ventured out to the island on an unseasonably sweltering day to fell trees and dig post fittings, necessarily punctuated by frequent dips in the still-frigid lake. Stones were hauled, sono-tubes were set, and the post footings were poured later that week. Although they never displayed it, the 2022 LTIPs were undeniably (and understandably) a bit envious, gazing across the lawn from their canvas tent at the footprint of the new cabin-to-be. At the end of the summer, lumber was delivered and ferried across the lake. Rough-sawn and locally milled from high-quality white pine, this lumber contributes to the cabin’s distinctly rustic feel. Many thanks are due to volunteer extraordinaire John Alsop, who is very well connected in these matters and organized this key element of the build. 

The volunteer crew during construction, September 2022.

Principal construction took place in early September, when three of Tim’s five sons, Tom, Peter and Jim, joined Miles to frame and raise the building under Rip’s guidance, with Katie Swan and Corinne O’Connor providing delicious meals throughout the weekend. The crew was then joined by longtime Pine Islander and Nagler family friend Tom Yoder to help sheath the structure in fragrant cedar shingles. And just like that, Pine Island had a new cabin! A bit more work was still required: Ben Swan and John Alsop joined shortly thereafter to help install the windows, while Miles shingled the roof. Then came the slow task of trimming, painting, and siding, accomplished over the course of the fall by Miles and fall crew all-star Natalie Burr. 

In all, the Bulkhead is a fine new cabin: composed of quality materials, constructed with care, and built with purpose. Although brand new, it fits seamlessly into the island’s skyline, along with the newly re-sided Honk Hall and Magoon. The three buildings will weather together. Now draped in a layer of snow, the Bulkhead rests buttoned up with the island’s other buildings, ready to welcome its first LTIP occupants next summer. 

The interior of the Bulkhead, waiting to receive its first occupants next summer.
A plaque on the Bulkhead’s outer wall honors the legacy of Tim Nagler.

Just Another LTIP

By Eliza Cabot

The job of an LTIP, as anyone who knows will tell you, is work. Long, arduous, sometimes pouring-rain work, which tends to focus everyone on the task at hand. Any apprehension I might have had about being on the marquee as ‘The FIRST Female LTIP at Pine Island Camp for BOYS’ disappeared once the work began. As was the case for all the LTIPS, much was expected of me, and I was taught what I did not know by our wrangler Miles Frank, who deftly guided us through the summer of 2022. Peeling back the curtain on the labor required to keep camp running gives you a newfound appreciation for the notion that “someone has to do it…” because that someone is you. I learned a lot about my own ability to take on tasks, but there is, of course, nothing unusual about that; the LTIP tradition has forged many young people into more capable versions of themselves, and I was no exception. I was neither a fish out of water nor one of the boys; I was myself, in a community, getting things done like any other LTIP.

We’re looking for more women applicants for our Leadership Training Internship Program. LTIPs learn and practice how to drive motor boats, use power tools, work in the kitchen, and perform countless maintenance tasks around the island. They also fill in for counselors as needed, and they learn how to lead trips and teach activities. Please encourage anyone you think would enjoy this role to contact Sumner Ford at

We’re Hiring!

We are looking for great candidates to fill our last few positions this summer. If you know someone who might be interested in any of these roles, please call (207-465-3031) or email me (

Benefits include:

  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid training
  • Swiftwater Rescue training
  • ACA Level II Canoeing training
  • Lifeguard training
  • Skipper training
  • Comprehensive PIC staff training
  • Three home-cooked meals a day
  • Rustic and beautiful lakefront accommodations

Head Cook: This role requires exceptional organizational, leadership, and communication skills. The head cook is the manager of the kitchen. They are in charge of designing, planning, and preparing healthy meals that easily accommodate the camp community’s dietary needs and preferences. They are tasked with ordering food, working with local farmers to secure fresh produce, and designing meals around fresh ingredients to ensure minimal food waste. The head cook sets a tone of professionalism and camaraderie among the kitchen staff. They lead and work in concert with the assistant cook and kitchen staff to produce high-quality meals while ensuring that all safety and health procedures are followed. Salary begins at $6,300; dates are June 10-August 8.

Assistant Head Cook: This person works with the head cook to produce three delicious meals a day and manage the kitchen staff. Strong organizational skills are required for this position. Although it’s not necessary to have a background in the food industry, this is a great opportunity for anyone interested in culinary arts. Salary begins at $4,200; dates are June 10-August 8.

LTIP (Leadership Training Internship Program): This program teaches rising high school juniors and seniors numerous skills with a focus on developing leadership skills. LTIPs learn how to drive motorboats, use power tools, work in the kitchen, and perform countless maintenance tasks around the island, most of which require ingenuity and many of which involve getting dirty. They also fill in for counselors as needed, and they learn how to lead trips and teach activities. As a result of these myriad chores and responsibilities, LTIPs are cross-trained in a variety of roles. Salary begins at $2,000; dates are June 19 – August 7.

Drivers: Our drivers must have a clean driving record and be at least 21 years old. In past years, we’ve found that teachers and recent college graduates enjoy working as drivers. The independent nature of the job, combined with the chance to see every corner of New England (including many of its long, bumpy dirt roads) are enticing. Salary begins at $3,300; dates are June 10-August 8.

Thank you,
Sumner Ford