The Latest News From Mayhew

Monadnock Area Reunion, January 22, 2019:


It felt like Old Home Day and New Home Day all in just a two hour stretch at Keene’s Franklin Elementary School on Tuesday evening (A hearty “Thank you!” to Mayhew Trustee and Franklin School Counselor Extraordinaire Celia Slason and the Keene School District for hosting!).

Let’s go New Home Day first…Jared (2018) seemed to enjoy catching up with new friends and a school person he knows well in Mr. Jim Schofield (who, like Celia, is also a Mayhew trustee).  After watching Veronica Thomas’s (2018 Summer Staff) summer highlights video – a creative, unique and fun look at the Mayhew Island community – Jared listed off some of his many summer highlights like earning the Hiking Perseverance Award, the Basketball Most Improved Player Award and sprinting to first place in the All-Island Run.  Might this coming summer see Jared earning membership in the Island honor society, the Outer Circle?  He’s pondering it, for sure.

Sylas (2014) had some more near-term pondering to do in deciding whether he would even be able to make tonight’s reunion.  You see, tonight was also Orientation Night at the high school for eighth graders who will be stepping up in the fall.  While he had already been leaning heavily toward the reunion, his decision was cemented when his grandmother found out he could catch up on whatever he missed at orientation at other times and in other ways.  Speaking, though, of stepping up at school…That’s exactly what Sylas has been doing in his last year of middle school, earning his way on the honor roll!  Congratulations, Sylas!

Con”cookie”lations and “Thank you!” to Stephanie and daughter for stopping by to deliver homemade chocolate chip cookies, even though son Graison (2017) was unable to attend because of another commitment!  The cookies were more than a hit!

On a significantly less appetizing note…Matthew (2010) and Noah (2015) get into one of the many board games at the reunion, a burrito/taco building game where “delectable” ingredients like week old sushi, fresh brains and roadkill are what each chef tries to roll into the meal.  Thankfully, it’s all on paper and cardboard.  Blech!...Catching up with Luke (2017) is always the opposite of Blech!  Smiles and good feelings bubble up as he, his mother and the staff recall the two years in a row that he has helped lead a Mayhew trip to assemble Thanksgiving baskets of food for the less fortunate with a local fire department, a family tradition that Luke has now helped make a Mayhew tradition.

After missing what would have been his second summer in 2018 due to a broken arm, Blake (2017) is thinking about becoming a Link and hopping into a Link-Up summer adventure in 2019.  Hope you do, Blake!  And we’re looking forward to many more Links joining you!

While this has not been one of Dominic’s (2010) better weeks – he didn’t feel much like going anywhere – he summed up his presence in the following way: “With the week I’ve been having, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere.  But this is Mayhew, so I am here.”  After seeing a few snippets of the crew rowing in the highlights video, Dominic leans over to one of the staff, “I remember the Regatta [rowing race]; I made sure we won that my last year.”  Then as now, if you keep rowing, no matter how tough it gets, you move yourself further along toward your best.

Old Home Day news…2004’s Shuka-Do cabin group reunites – partly, anyway!  More than 14 years after spending 25 days together on Mayhew Island, Josh (2010), Travis (2007) and Brandon Pierre (2010) boost the reunion with their memories and appreciation for being Mayhew.  Brandon is now bringing Mayhew to the boys of Manchester as a member of the Outreach Staff.  Josh is living and working in the Keene area and was joined at the reunion by his longtime girlfriend Allie.  And Travis is working for a local company doing deliveries all over the state.  He and his fiancée, Gabby, have an August wedding planned.  Truly great catching up on all your news, Gentlemen!

More alumni news…Austin (2007), brother of Travis, was also in attendance and both he and Travis got a kick out of seeing their cabin group photos from long ago…For what must be his umpteenth straight reunion, Andrew (2002) brought refreshments to share with everyone, which included his refreshing perspective on and appreciation for his experience in the program.  He has now been a Mayhew alumnus almost three times more years than he was a boy/Link…And it was just as refreshing and energizing to see alumnus Jon (1995), who has been in Mayhew alumnihood for nearly a quarter of a century!  That’s 70% of Jon’s life and 50% of Mayhew’s existence (Yes, 2019 is Mayhew’s 50th year!)! 

Manchester Area Reunion, January 19, 2019:


Before diving into the news from this reunion, here’s the schedule for the rest of Reunion Week:

• Monadnock Region, 1/22/19, 6-8pm, Franklin Elementary School, 217 Washington St., Keene, NH
• Lakes Region, 1/23/19, 6-8pm, Laconia Middle School – Cafeteria, 150 McGrath St., Laconia,NH
• Seacoast Area, 1/24/19, 6-8pm, Woodman Park Elementary School – Cafeteria, 11 Towle Ave., Dover, NH
• Concord Area, 1/25/19, 6-8pm, Abbot-Downing Elementary School – Cafeteria, 152 South St., Concord, NH
• Pemi/North Country/Upper Valley/Newfound Areas, 1/26/19, 2-4pm, Mayhew Base House, 293 West Shore Rd., Bristol, NH

If it is inclement weather, check Mayhew’s Facebook page (“The Mayhew Program”), we’ll do our best to have an updated posting by 1pm about plans for that evening’s reunion.

Here’s that Manchester Reunion news: Jacob (2014) is getting settled in at Pinkerton Academy following his move from Manchester earlier in the year.  He is looking forward to trying out for 2019’s football team.  He may find himself playing opposite his former gridiron teammate, Damon (2014), who played this past season for his school in Manchester.  Damon is now staying in shape through Manchester Police Athletic League’s Boxing Club…More sports news: Jacob (2016) has been playing small forward for his middle school basketball team, which has now made the playoffs.  Jacob arrived at the reunion wearing a Celtics sweatshirt, so we’ll wish you the luck of the Irish when your team next takes the court, Jacob.  We know you won’t need any luck at all in bringing your best to your team.

Talking about bringing one’s best…That’s what C.J. (2011) has been working hard to do in leading his school’s Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Club, which has more than 30 members.  C.J. says that his new role with the club has opened his eyes to how challenging it can be to work with people in an effort like this one.  It has had him looking back on his time in Brett Billing’s cabin group at Mayhew with a new appreciation for what Brett taught him and challenged in him.  Back then, he didn’t really like Brett all that much because Brett expected a lot of him and could be somewhat direct in doing so.  Now, he sees that Brett was just trying to help him improve and he finds himself saying some of the same things to some of the club members that Brett used to say to him when they’re in need of guidance. 

Doing some more looking back…Jayson (2018) has some great memories of climbing on Mayhew Island, especially his favorite element, the Voyager’s Crossing, where the climber relies on his cabinmates to swing small wooden platforms his way in order to traverse from one tree to another – while twenty-five-feet in the air!..Ethan (2018) lights right up – a lot, especially when he’s talking about his favorite Mayhew Island activity, swimming.  While it may be some time before the swimming temps. are seen in these parts again, Ethan will be ready to dive right in when they arrive. 

Surprise!  Surprise! Driving from Virginia, where they had a great visit with fellow Summer Staff veteran Collin Ashley, Sarah Finley (Jazz Hands) and Natalie Gutierrez (Michelin Stars) earn the door prize for “Longest Trek to the Reunion!”  After boosting morale with their presence and doing some fun catching up, they’re now heading to upstate New York, where Sarah will drop off Natalie for her last semester back on her home campus.  She spent the past two semesters studying abroad, first in Spain and then in Costa Rica.  Arriba!  If the government shutdown ends soon enough, Sarah will be heading overseas herself.  She will be traveling to Zambia in Africa, where she will begin a 2+ year assignment with the Peace Corps.  Both Sarah and Natalie say “Hola!” and “Mâlô e lelei!” to all their Mayhew friends all over the state!

Hello friendly competition!  Prior to viewing the 2018 Summer Highlights Video, all the Mayhew friends gathered at the YW sit down for some trivia stand-up.  Four teams are formed: “Oh, no,” “The Enigmas,” “Brandon Came up with a Good One,” and “The Dragon.”  Plenty of “Ah, ha!” moments and “Hardy, har, har!” moments ensue.  Did you know that the first commercially produced breakfast cereal was…Anyone?  Please bring your answers and lots of Mayhew spirit to the next reunion!

Until then, a big, spirited “Thank you!” to the Manchester YWCA for hosting the reunion, to Sal’s Pizza for some fine pizzas and to Hannaford Supermarket for helping us with more food and the cups, plates and utensils to enjoy it all with! 


2018 Second Session, August 2, Day 16:


Homily for the day: When life throws you a curve, relax and keep your eye on the ball.

Here’s yet ANOTHER great “pitch” from Volunteer Blogger Cathy:

“There are 6 cabins in each Mayhew session. So why were there 7 lines of boys and counselors lined up for dinner? The Week 7 Links, Matthew, Sam, Zander, Hunter and Ashton, were back on Island, following their basic “Mystery Box” trip.  They spent 5 days hiking mountains, sliding down natural water slides, canoeing in peaceful Grafton Pond, climbing, playing some sports and getting in some mountain biking, too.  On the 5.4 mile hike to and from Lonesome Lake, Ashton   met his goal of not sitting at all the whole day.  Awesome job, Ashton!  As a way of further explaining Link-Up, Ashton and his fellow Links (the 12-16-year-olds at Mayhew) can choose to attend one of eight themed weeks over the course of the Link-Up summer.  And when they return home at the end of the week, Mayhew returns with them in the form of regular visits with the program’s Outreach Staff throughout the school year. 

“Having just come back from a very active few days, the Links, joined everyone on Island in looking forward to dinner.  Dinners are well choreographed starting in the kitchen, where Art Makechnie (Head Chef), Junior (Assistant Cook), Jane Sparks (Assistant Cook) take the lead.  Tonight, the menu is meatloaf and potatoes, finishing off with blueberry cobbler. It’s another very hot day in the kitchen. Andre, Mason, Ashlar and Kyle are on duty and work in support of Art, Junior and Jane.  Mason says typically after their [first] Link-Up year, some boys will come back the following year or more to work in the kitchen. Their responsibilities, which are taken very seriously, include pitching in wherever they are needed, serving each cabin’s waiter throughout the meal, doing dishes and various other tasks. They keep a keen eye to determine what the hungry boys need, when coming back for seconds, thirds and sometimes well beyond!

“Al Cantor – the Executive Director for ten years, who hired current Executive Director Jim Nute when Jim was a rookie summer staff member in 1990 – was on this evening’s Island tour.  He brought a friend who had never had the pleasure of visiting Mayhew previously. Chris had dinner with the Dramatic Pause cabin group and he described his experience as “wonderful…learned so much.” He was very impressed with the boys’ confidence and engagement in conversing. He noted they are very articulate, asked a lot of questions and shared some personal stories.  I think Chris had ‘The Mayhew Experience,’ coming away feeling the positive vibes and energy that is Mayhew. I have a feeling Chris will be back!”

And the Blog will be back with more moments to share in the near future.


2018 Second Session, August 1, Day 15:


Homily for the day: A kite flies highest against the wind.

Flying high into teamwork, Riley (The Moustachios) took an amazing amount of initiative throughout the garbage row work hour.  He was most impressive when he took it upon himself to try encouraging one boy to rejoin the group when that boy had abruptly separated himself in frustration…In helping the Dramatic Pause resupply the Island cookout sites with wood, Gaige had a positive attitude throughout all the wood hauling and this, together with his excellent work ethic, earned him full pay…Over in the Michelin Stars, Jarod was feeling under the weather but he didn’t let this stop him from putting in some of the best wood splitting amongst his entire group…In the gravel moving work hour, Myles (Sunny Side Up) was very team-minded, making sure everyone’s spirits were high and happily sharing tools with his cabinmates…Great job, Luke and Emmanuel (both of Rainbros’)!  Together, you exceeded every expectation the staff had for you during the morning period of wood splitting! 

During swimming, Donnivan (Rainbros’) made it a point of stopping what he was doing long enough to cheer on his cabinmate Marcus, who was striving to pass his swim test…In Adventure, Jeremiah (The Moustachios) was recognized for how honest he was about some poor choices he had made and for taking the initiative to apologize to a cabinmate who he slighted…In Kickin’ Crayfish Soccer, Gaige (Michelin Stars) quickly emerged as a team leader and a nifty passer.  In addition, he stayed positive and upbeat, no matter how tense or tight the game was.

It was yet another day when a Program Extender volunteered to help the larger Newfound community and the Island community.  Marcus joined Program Extension Coordinator Grayson Richey in tackling the knotweed removal project in downtown Bristol and then made a comeback to the Island, starting with moving the day’s big food order from the mainland to the Island Kitchen.  Thank you, Marcus and Grayson!


2018 Second Session, July 31, Day 14:


Homily for the day: Carpe diem.

By the sounds of it, Cameron (Dramatic Pause) more than seized the day and his free time in the Dave Cameron Gym.  He bounds onto the North Porch of the Lodge and announces proudly to a staff member, “I just made the [cabin] finals of P.I.G. [an Island-wide basketball shooting tournament]!” 

Scoring some individual and teamwork points during work hour…Wood-splitting with The Moustachios found Kalob taking a selfless attitude throughout the period, as he happily worked with anyone who needed a partner, doing anything that was needed to help the group…In the rock moving work hour, Cameron (Dramatic Pause) was part of a hardworking duo that focused consistently on safety and getting lots done.

Keep on g”row”ing, Logan!  Rowing Counselor Noah Kartha enthusiastically relays how much progress Logan (Jazz Hands) has made since the start of the session.  In this particular period, Logan simply seemed to be putting in his all to propelling his boat.

In the Slapshot Hockey game with Dramatic Pause and Michelin Stars, Conner (Dramatic Pause) energetically played wherever he was needed and pursued the puck like a pro.  Over on The Moustachios side of the arena, Riley showed good maturity and decision making in calmly accepting a couple of calls that didn’t go his way.


2018 Second Session, July 30, Day 13:


Homily for the day: Decide to hit your stride.

To start the gravel moving work hour, Paul (The Moustachios) had a plan for how best to coordinate the various jobs and then he set about encouraging everyone to jump on board in a very productive way…This morning saw Liam (Dramatic Pause) put in his most complete, most impressive work hour of the session thus far.  Throughout the wood-splitting work hour, Liam was contagiously positive.  In looking over all he had done at one point, he quipped, “I’ve never split this much wood before.  I have an 8 pound hammer and a lot of muscle, so I’m really Ready Freddy!”

The Moustachios became the third group this session to successfully circumnavigate the entire Island in the row boat.  And Kalob, who has not often been completely comfortable out in the boat, did a great job as coxswain.  Nice job steering through your fear, Kalob!

Steering toward their big baseball game with Camp Pasquaney at week’s end, the Mayhew Baseball Team now has its full complement of players, who are chosen, by the way, because of their hard work in Athletics and their consistently solid sportsmanship.  The players are: Asher (Sunny Side Up), Luke (Rainbros’), Aiden (Dramatic Pause), Riley (The Moustachios), Jeremiah (The Moustachios), Tyrone (Dramatic Pause), Conner (Dramatic Pause), Jayson (Michelin Stars), Bohden (Sunny Side Up), Eric (Jazz Hands), Luke (Jazz Hands) and Emmanuel (Rainbros’).  Congratulations!  Here’s to some solid pre-game practices.
The Swim Cove honor society, the Raft Rats, has grown.  It now includes: Riley (The Moustachios), Conner (Dramatic Pause), Justin (Michelin Stars), Asher (Sunny Side Up), Bohden (Sunny Side Up) and Luke (Rainbros’).

And, read all about it!  The Society of Distinguished Readers (for those who have read at least 300 pages during the session) now has two members: Caiden (Sunny Side Up) and Bohden (Sunny Side Up). 



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