At the risk of making a quote from Phil Confer into a camp cliché, there is good reason to repeat it. When reflecting on his tenure as director (1954-1985), Phil stated that the best era of his time as director began the day that Mike and Sue Pariseau drove into Forest Lake in June 1973. What followed was an influx of staff members from Slippery Rock University where Mike Pariseau coached football. The overall effect from this association was a significant increase in camp spirit, a more polished approach to instruction, and an increase in camp wide hijinks (the healthy variety).
One of Mike Pariseau’s recruits for FLC in 1974 was Larry Giusti who was one of Coach’s outstanding players at starting quarterback. In fact, Slippery Rock was state champions for three of the years that Larry played (and Mike coached). Larry had a wide range of skills to apply to his counselor work – he was part of the waterfront staff but also conducted baseball and basketball activity periods. In fact, Larry drafted an athletic manual for the camp that has been used for the past thirty-five years. The consensus among other alumni who served on the staff with Larry was that he was in a class by himself in terms of being able to motivate campers and other staff. Larry’s emphasis in his activities was on total participation – no standing around waiting your turn – plus appropriate skill development drills.
Larry was on the staff for the summers ’74, ’75, and ’76 then following a hiatus for a few years rejoined the staff in ’81 and ’82 but this time with his new wife, Mikie, who worked in the camp office. Following college graduation Larry’s career began in sports where he coached football at Slippery Rock University (PA), Hiram College (OH), and then both football and lacrosse at Springfield College (MA). Eventually, Larry segued into business and has worked in the employee benefits brokerage field where he became a senior vice president with Harden – a corporate brokerage and consulting firm. Along with his full time work, Larry has served on the board of governors for the Boys and Girls Club of NE Florida for 20 years and he is on the committee for the Taxslayer Bowl (formerly the Gator Bowl).
Larry and Mikie raised four children, and they currently live in Jacksonville, Florida. They enjoy travel, sports, and dining out. In spite of their busy life, Larry remains in touch with Pete Galletly, Dan Murphy, Jake Shepard, Jack Fass, Steve Gadziala, and Dan Combs. Larry cited as one of his favorite camp memories being his recollection of Sylvester leading Phil Confer to Sunday staff meetings.
Alumni Spotlight writer: Gary Confer