Pam Stock has been a figure at BRC since she first set foot on campus in 1993. She was looking for a camp for her son Zach and Wendy Penley told her to look at Birch Rock. She fell in love with the place, sending her son for many years and taking on the role of camp librarian. She remembers camp in the early days as being smaller and less organized but with more of a family feel. She had to work hard getting the library back after years of neglect and accumulated dust to the state its in today. Pam, like Onie Brewster, tutored hundreds of campers who appreciated her kindness in the otherwise undesirable circumstances.
In 2007 Pam tried to retire and was gone for three years, but came back in 2010 to everyone's delight. Recently she started the Library Counsel, a panel of campers to decide which books the library needs for the future. She recalls he favorite moments at camp as her first Banquet, the time one camper got locked in the library and climbed out the window, and the moment when her first golden retriever Kermit suddenly died and the whole camp had a moment of silence. Kermit and Pam's next dog Bentley were and are well known attractions of the Library.
Here is an excerpt from an article Pam wrote for the Spring 2014 Birch Bark:
I am sitting on the deck of my home overlooking Matinicus Harbor. There are no lobster boats moored in the harbor at the moment. I believe one has gone out to fish this morn. But within the month to come this harbor will be bustling with the energy and anticipation of another island summer. Matinicus Island is Maine’s most remote, year round populated island. There are no stores whatsoever. We must fax our grocery orders to Shaws in Rockland. Weather permitting, the groceries will be flown out by single engine plane. That’s also how we (people and dogs) get on and off island most of the time. There is ferry service once a month, weather permitting. So we don’t make too many plans around the ferry right now. Our lifeline is that little single engine plane and the dirt airstrip. In the winter there are between 20-30 residents on island. We have a one room schoolhouse and are currently providing an education for two childen. That’s where I come in as their teacher. This is my last year as a public school teacher, having started back in 1974. I have taught in the Australian Outback, a one room schoolhouse in Vermont, and several other interesting, challenging environments. Seems only fitting and proper that my career ends on Maine’s most remote island. Sitting on this deck with a balmy 44 degree temperature, it feels like it’s time to look ahead as the lobstermen do. My thoughts turn from Matinicus Harbor to Lake McWain. I remember the first time I walked into the little library. I think that was 1992. I looked around longingly and asked if perhaps the camp needed a tutor or librarian? And here I am (just a few years later) still looking forward to that wonderful, magical building under the pines. Okay, there have been a few changes since then. My original motivation for working at camp, besides the obvious, idyllic setting, was to provide an opportunity for my two young sons to attend camp. Zach and Tyler were 10 and 6 when they started. Now they are grown men (31 and 27) both living in Denver. Some of you may remember Kermit, the Original BRC dog. There were even skits written about him for Campfire. When Kermit passed away I was so moved and appreciative for the moment of silence held for him at lunch in the grove. Then it was on to the next golden personality, Bentley. His picture is still featured on the website with Andy Churchill in the library. Last summer he was joined by a step-brother, Brewster. (I didn’t even name him, just coincidence) He was a rescued dog and my Matinicus buddy. Both of these dogs were gentle, sweet souls who loved camp with a passion. Sadly, I must report that we lost both of these wonderful boys to cancer this winter. Bentley had just turned 11. Brewster was 9 or 10ish. I have no doubt that Bentley will be at camp in spirit next summer. He LOVED his tennis balls and swimming. Brewster was just figuring out what a great place camp was. We will all miss dogs in the library. But, I will be back, along with Ruth. We love the place, the people, the traditions and the energy that you can feel as you roll down the hill on Opening Day. So, as I watch the lobstermen loading their traps back onto their boats for the season ahead, I know that every additional boat in the harbor, and each trap in the ocean takes me one step closer to summer and another opportunity at BRC.