When I was a little boy my Dad and Mom ran the Pingree School during the school year and Kieve during the summers. We didn’t get much time to do things as a family, but when we did we jammed a lot of great stuff into small windows. Mom and Dad’s favorite thing to do was to take lobster picnics on fall or spring weekends. I’m guessing that many of you reading this letter were happy, eager participants on some of those adventures. In the early years we would pack up the Vista Cruiser and head down to either the “low rocks” or the “high rocks” when all of the “people from away” were away. We drove down toward Pemaquid Point somewhere, found a beautiful view, and toted our stuff through a vacant yard down to a perfect fire-making and sitting area overlooking Muscongus Bay. We lugged the big, heavily used lobster cooking pot full of squirming crusties, being careful not to rub soot on our pant legs, a cooler full of juice and “daddy juice”, and a wicker basket full of onion sandwiches on Wonder bread. From time to time we even carefully guided our great-grandparents across the rocks to join us.
A few years later Dad acquired an old, wooden Chris-Craft named the Sip-a-Bit, followed shortly thereafter by Snowgoose I, so that he could take Kieve campers out to sea during the summer and explore some of the islands on our fall and spring picnics. Our favorite island was Thief. When Maine broke off from Massachusetts in 1820 several of the islands apparently weren’t officially transferred so dad’s attorney, future Board of Trustees Chairman Mike Westcott, staked a claim to the island on Dad’s behalf. The State would of course deny the claim but we sure did have a lot of fun with the idea. When Mom and I opened up the safe deposit box after dad died this summer, there was the deed!
Dad’s love for life during his 85 years, healthy risk taking, and the natural world certainly has shaped all of us who have followed in his footsteps. These family excursions also helped inspire the decision to turn Kieve into a 2 session camp, allowing for more family time, many years before our peers and also made it a no-brainer to start programs like 9/11 camp and Veterans camp.
Kieve Wavus people love adventures. We wake up in the morning fired up by the 24 hours ahead of us, excited to take it all in. Each moment is precious. In this day and age where it’s more common to experience the world on a massive screen hanging on the living room wall, actually heading out into the wilderness doesn’t happen enough. So circle up a few friends or family, get out there, and explore!
Henry R. Kennedy, Executive Director
Executive Director, Kieve-Wavus Education, Inc.