Ties that Bind: Charlie Frankenbach returns after a 27 year hiatus

Mr. Frankenbach’s English Class
How’d you get to Wolfeboro?
Bill Cooper hired me in the spring of 1985, largely because my cousin Angus Mairs had worked at Wolfeboro the summer before.  Angus was heading to Choate, I to Loomis, and we both needed some “boarding school training” before we started what has turned out to be lifelong careers in education for both of us.  I was a counselor in 1985, 1986, and was an activities co-director in 1987 (with Mike Carswell, who did most of the work!).
Twenty-seven years is a long time away; what drew you back; what’s your Wolfeboro story?
My Wolfeboro story is the story of much of my adult life–no kidding.  Here I met Lauren, my spouse of 27 years, and John and Christy Cooper, two of our  closest friends on this planet.  I discovered that I loved working with young folks and colleagues committed to helping young folk through young folkdom.  I’m back here this summer because I know that Wolfeboro has always committed to a program that works.  I love teaching, and to teach small classes in the fabled tents was a draw.  (I also needed to make money for my own children’s educations!)  And I love loon calls…
What changes do you see?
Wolfeboro has evolved, as successful organisms evolve.  Not for mere survival, but for thriving with and in the times.  There’s still an atmosphere of rather austere attention to rules and decorum, but there is a lighter touch with admonition.  Still stern, but calibrated more towards encouragement and teaching moments.  The kids are more willing to have the Wolfeboro experience, and, in turn, a bit easier to engage and cajole.
What’s the best thing about being  back on campus for the summer?
Best part:  Old friends; good, upbeat kids; great food!; the reading festival I just attended (and seeing the grand master, Bob Googins)…And truly skilled residential life staff.  A tried and true overall system.  Old school is good school.

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