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Monthly Archives: July 2015


Friday, July 31st, 2015



We sat down to a normal Evening Meeting, like on any other day. But at the first sign of an airplane flying low over the Red Barn, campers and counselors and AWACs alike BURST from their calm, seated positions and BOOKED IT to the soccer field, where we all awaited the plane’s return with bated breath and open pillow cases! Cat Nap and I were both there, and let us tell you, the energy was running HIGH!! It. Was. Awesome. We’ll have more photos to share with you tomorrow, but here are just a few for now!!

We’re off to check out what our cabins collected!! Who said animals can’t eat chocolate??

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

Dancing and Busting Myths and Superheroes and more!

Friday, July 31st, 2015


Good moooooooooorning!! What a beautiful day to continue with our classes! But I hear there’s a chance of schvitz… CANDY SCHVITZ!!! The Official Humming Bird Cat Nap Candy Drop Probability O’Meter is beeping OFF THE CHARTS today, with a predicted probability of 95.44%!! Cat Nap and I, Humming Bird, are reading our pillowcases for the showers, because it’s always important to be prepared!!

Last night we had the Half Moon Jug Band here to perform for us at camp!! They played their classics, like The Cat Came Back, Get Back to my Baby, and– a personal favorite of Cat Nap’s and mine– TUNA NOODLE!! We danced our furry tails off to that one! It was a super duper fun night and we all tired ourselves out for a fabulous night’s sleep, in order to have TONS of energy today for our classes!!

We’ve got lots of pictures for you of the Half Moon Jug Band’s show last night, in addition to some pictures of Myth Busters Day!! Check them out below!!

And tune back in tomorrow for updates on tonight’s evening program: THE HEROS AND VILLAINS DANCE!! All of Hidden Valley’s baddest villains and most valiant superheroes will reveal their secret identities at this SUPER dance! (Hehehehe, geddit??) We’ll have pictures for you tomorrow, so check back in!!

We’re off to iron our capes!

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

Myths and Beaches and Wonderful Shows!!

Thursday, July 30th, 2015


Greetings, friends! Humming Bird here with updates on this lazy, lazy day!!

The younger half enjoyed a beautiful day at the beach! It was a little foggy when we first arrived, but the sand was soft and perfect for making sandcastles, and the water was cool and refreshing!! We made sandwiches on the beach, and then came on back to camp for ICE CREAM!!! Now the younger half is busy cleaning their cabins, in preparation for cabin inspections!! Check out some awesome pictures of our tremendous beach trip below!!

Meanwhile, the older half stayed on camp today for Myth Busters Day!! We had some super cool myths to bust, like the myth that you can tether a ball in just one punch! Or the myth that Dexter the pig can’t smile! We also tested the myth that mentos will not explode when placed in any soda other than Diet Coke, the fable that there are sharks in our lake (there aren’t) and the ever relevant myth that Jack and Rose could both have fit on that door in Titanic! Some of our myths were tested in our beautiful lake, while others were debunked or confirmed in the backyard!! It was a wonderful day, full of scientific experimentation! Unfortunately the negatives of our photos are being used in another experiment at the moment, so I don’t have them here to show you. But I will be sure to post them tomorrow!!

Tonight we have a super exciting evening program! THE HALF MOON JUG BAND IS HERE AT CAMP AND THEY’RE GOING TO GIVE US OUR OWN CONCERT!! They’re a great, high energy group that sings classic songs like The Cat Came Back, and Tuna Noodle!! I’m sure looking forward to a rolicking good time of dancing around to their lively music! And I hear some campers are even going to perform with them…. Tune in tomorrow for some pictures of the show!!

I look forward to reporting on the Half Moon Jug Band tomorrow, but for now I have a myth of my own to confirm… that birds can eat infinite ice cream with limited negative side effects!! Wish me luck!!

Humming along,

Humming Bird



Wednesday, July 29th, 2015


Hello, folks! Humming Bird here with a late night post about our AWESOME electives night tonight!! Once again, the schvitz couldn’t keep us down here at HVC, and we enjoyed some really fun activities tonight!!

Of course we had a wild game of Capture the Flag!! No one can be sure of exactly who won, who lost, and who cheated, but we know for a fact that everybody had fun!!

Peter did his infamous Forbidden Hidden Valley Tour, where he took 10 campers around the areas of camp where campers usually aren’t allowed to go, including the Dining Hall roof! Check out pictures. In the middle of our Electives program a fire alarm went off in the dining hall. Though thankfully there was no fire, the fire department still came to investigate, and Peter’s tour got to hang out with the fire fighters for a little bit! How neat!!

We had baking in the barn, a slip ‘n slide, and puddle jumping that turned into puddle swimming in the enormous new puddles that our schvitz provided! In a similar vein, we had a British Pool Party with our lifeguards from across the pond, and we even had some campers swimming in the lake! There was a travelling dance party, s’mores pizza, and Quidditch! People were doing splatter painting, having a jam session, playing cards, and there was a fairly epic game of sardines!! We THINK we found all the campers… (don’t worry, Mom and Dad, all of our campers are in bed and accounted for on camp!!)

It was a really sensational night, and now everybody is tucked into bed and sleeping tight before our super fun trip lazy day tomorrow!! Younger half will be travelling to the beach, while the older half holds down the fort here on camp with Myth Busters day!!

Tune back in tomorrow to hear all about it, in addition to seeing some pictures of Electives that missed this post!

I’m off to get some shut-eye!!

Chirp, chirp!

Humming Bird

Electives, Schvitz, Teen Programs, and More!!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015


Oh what a beauuutiful MOOOOOOOOORRRNING!! Oh what a beautifu– Oh, hi! I didn’t see you there! I was just practicing my showtunes! Humming Bird here with updates on a lovely– albeit unplanned– night last night!! BUT FIRST!!! The Official Humming Bird Cat Nap Candy Drop Probability O’Meter is buzzing in at a solid 23.57%!! We shall see.

As we said yesterday, last night’s planned evening program was Meg’s Rodeo, which would have been super duper fun, but the thunderschvitz had other, more impromptu plans for us here at camp! So instead, our cabins enjoyed a spontaneous cabin night! Our campers and counselors had some very creative spur of the moment ideas for how to spend their night! For example, Forbidden Planet played poker, Valhalla played strategy games, Shangri-La had a spa party, Taj Mahal played team building games, Gimme Shelter did some “Epic Gambling” (minus the gambling of course!) Loons taught one of their counselors to play Magic the Gathering, Fiddlers Green played cards and did a spa night, and many cabins practiced their cabin cheers!! The schvitz TRIED to ruin our night, BUT CAMP FUN WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL!! Check out pictures below!

Now you may be wondering, “Humming Bird, what’s a cabin cheer?” Well allow me to explain!! Each cabin comes up with a cheer– an upbeat way to express pride and excitement regarding their cabin, their cabin mates, and their time at Hidden Valley! These cheers are performed and recorded on JAKE DAY! “What on this beautiful green and blue Earth is Jake Day, Humming Bird??” BE PATIENT, I’LL TELL YOU!! Jake Day is a wonderful day here at camp when our video staff record EVERY. SINGLE. CABIN. ON. CAMP. performing their cabin cheers, and then going through and saying their names! These recordings are compiled on a digital yearbook, which gets burned onto a CD and mailed to every single camper sometime in December!! It’s a really cool tradition that provides campers with a little piece of camp to keep with them forever! So thank you, Jake Day, and our HVC Video Staff!!! **Jake is the name of the counselor who used to run this day on camp, and he was in charge of video here. He has unfortunately since left Hidden Valley to create videos elsewhere, but his legacy at camp lives on in Jake Day!

While we patiently await Saturday’s Jake Day festivities, we have some exciting things going on at camp! Tonight is our very first ELECTIVES!! Counselors line up and explain what activities they will be leading (like Glass Beads, Peter’s Forbidden Hidden Valley Tour, a Random Parade, and of course the classic Capture the Flag!) and how many campers they can take. Campers then walk very slowly and respectfully (they definitely DON’T all run and swarm the counselors, trying to make it to their chosen elective first) to the counselors leading their preferred activity, and enjoy partaking of the aforementioned activities for the evening! It’s a super fun program, so check back in tomorrow for photo evidence of it!!

Meanwhile, our teen programs are doing some super duper cool stuff!! The apprentices are working on individual projects within their respectives areas, like stained glass, pottery, glass beads, instrument making, and horses! They are also spending lots of time learning from local artists, like the man who built most of the stone walls on camp, and– tomorrow– a local glassblower! They have also been cooking their own meals up at Blodgett! When asked for a quote, their counselor had this to say about the Apprentices, “They’re very busy.”

Alive is going to Portland tonight to see The Decemberists (in July… WHAT?) They’ve been kept busy with some crazy evening programs, including an Infomercial Battle!! Cat Nap and I did some extensive research on this program, and discovered that it entails making up a product, creating a jingle for that product, and performing the jingle for a panel of judges! The Alive counselors were unable to provide a quote, but you can see from the photo below, it looks like the campers are having a superb time!

Cat Nap and I have to go do an anti-schvitz dance! Tune back in tomorrow for pictures of our Electives!!

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

Strange things a’brewin on this Aloha Tuesday!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015


Aloha, friends, on this beautiful Tuesday morning!! Humming Bird here with some Aloha Tuesday updates! BUT FIRST! Morning Meeting held an interesting announcement. After yesterday’s surprise– namely, the pictures of AWACs sorting candy, the aforementioned candy’s wrappers strewn carelessly around the camp, and a PD wearing a shirt that listed the “11 top 10 reasons the Candy Drop is today” (followed by those 11 top 10 reasons)– we all gathered for Meeting to find a curious object in front of the gazebo. It appeared to be a part from an airplane (check out photos below). The Atlantis conspiracy theorists indeed confirmed for us that it was a part of not just any airplane… But the candy drop airplane, which they claimed flew over camp last night. Atlantis explained that nobody heard it over the thunder schvitz…. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!! So the candy drop may have already happened, and last night’s weather was merely a cover up… *cue The Twilight Zone theme song here*

Now back to our regularly scheduled post…. IT’S ALOHA TUESDAY! “What’s Aloha Tuesday, Humming Bird??” Well, let me tell you!! Every Tuesday those who own Hawaiian apparel are encouraged to wear previously stated Hawaiian apparel, to honor the spirit of Aloha. At Evening Meeting, the person who most embodies and honors the Aloha spirit will be recognized in front of the whole camp with a sacred ceremony! In addition to Aloha Tuesday– and yummy pancakes for breakfast– today we are celebrating our second day of classes!

BUT WAIT!! THERE’S MORE!! Tonight is MEG’S RODEO!! “What on Earth is that, Humming Bird?” Patience, reader!! I will explain!! Meg’s Rodeo is a wonderful evening program we have here at HVC during which campers travel around in their cabin groups, doing different activities together! We’ve got old fan favorites like blind llama sculpting (pictionary with clay and a blindfold), and frozen pea spitting (exactly what it sounds like!) But there are also some new classics like tissue box dancing (during which campers must shake their tails to get ping pong balls to fly out of a tissue box, tied around their behind) and the elephant walk (you put a tennis ball in pantyhose and put the pantyhose around your head and use it like an elephant’s trunk to knock over cups!) We have so many fun activities planned, so be on the lookout for pictures of that!!

And now for a teen program update!! Yesterday, after spending their first days in the studio with their respective mentors, the apprentices all came together for the afternoon. First, they spent some time together reflecting on their artistic, creative, and athletic (don’t forget that one of the mentorships is in the Brumby/horses area!) developments. Then, they joined Al by the garage to learn how to maintain their own bikes. They covered everything from pumping tires to replacing parts! Hopefully, they don’t need to use too many of the skills to keep their morningly bike ride from Blodgett to camp running smoothly, but now they have the skills just in case! This afternoon, they’ll be taught how to work with stone by the talented stoneworker who built most of camp’s stone walls!

The campers and counselors in the Alive group are already hard at work, getting ready to write, produce, choreograph, and put on the annual Alive Show! Yesterday we saw our third teen program group, Hidden Valley Adventures, off on their canoeing trip down the St. Croix river! In the coming few days, they’ll canoe approximately 50 miles, cook meals together, sleep in tents, and take in the beautiful US-Canada border view! What incredible programs we have here for our teenage campers!

This is a beautiful day here at camp, and Cat Nap and I can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow!! Check out photos below from our Cabin Night last night, and Meeting this morning! And stay tuned tomorrow for more on Meg’s Rodeo!! For today the Super Official Humming Bird Cat Nap Candy Drop Probability O’Meter is beeping slow and steady, and shows a modest 15.7% chance of candy schvitz today. Stay tuned!!

Cat Nap and I are off to scavenge for candy the AWACs might have dropped…

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap



Monday, July 27th, 2015

Good morning, world! Humming Bird and Cat Nap here to tell you, LIVE FROM HVC IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES!! Our campers are just now beginning their first classes EVER of the summer!!

We’ve got classes ranging from swimming to glass blowing, from horseback riding to skateboarding, from “art attack” to soccer team, and MORE! We have some incredible options for our campers, and we can’t wait to hear about all the amazing things they’ll get to do this session!

See You Soon!

– Humming Bird and Cat Nap

Orienting ourselves to camp life!!

Sunday, July 26th, 2015


Hello, dear friends!! Humming Bird here with Cat Nap, and a few updates about our super fun Orientation Day!!

This is the best day for campers to get acclimated to camp life, sign up for classes, and bond with their cabin groups!! Allow us to take you through the day, step by step!

We wake up for a beautiful Bagel Sunday breakfast (of bagels and sundaes!! Just kidding about the sundaes… but super serious about the yummy bagels!!)

We had our first Morning Meeting!! Tom and Meg opened up the Meeting by playing their dulcimers together, like they do every Bagel Sunday!! Also, because of the schvitz (that’s our way of saying the dreaded R word… rain, ew!!) our Meeting was held in the Rec Hall, instead of at the gazebo, where we normally meet.

In staggered groups we do the following, not necessarily in the same order!!:

We head to the Red Barn as a cabin to hear the class sign-up “schpiel” and then sign up for our classes that we will be taking for the next two weeks, starting tomorrow!!

Then we eat a yummy, well-deserved lunch!! Since the weather is less than ideal for our usual outdoor seating, we ate as cabins inside, at our breakfast/dinner tables!

After lunch we have swimming evaluations, held in our beautiful lake! Campers and counselors will enjoy a lovely dip in the water! Campers also get their photos taken in the Hilton Dance Studio today, and those photos will be sent to the campers’ folks back home– so check your mailboxes, families!! In addition, all campers and counselors have their heads checked for icky Ookoos (head lice)!!

Mixed into these activities, cabins have lots of “fuzzy time,” or unscheduled times during which counselors can facilitate games to inspire cabin bonding and getting to know each other! Campers also have time to unpack, and practice our Pinegrove acts!!

What’s Pinegrove, you ask?? Pinegrove is a beautiful tradition we have here at camp, to open and close the sessions! We walk in silence up Tipi Hill to our little haven in the woods, and we sit as a camp around a fire. Cabin groups can sign up to perform songs, poems, stories, and more! We all get to enjoy the beautiful nature that we are lucky to have surrounding us, and we venture into this exciting session as a whole camp group.

Pinegrove is an incredibly special place on camp, and one reason it remains special is that we don’t bring flashlights or cameras up there. We keep it entirely a technology-free zone, so we won’t be posting pictures of the night. However, you can enjoy these pictures below of some of our Orientation Day madness, and we will have pictures of the first day of classes ready to share in the following days, so please do stay tuned!

I’m off to take Cat Nap to her swimming evaluation… What they say is true, cats really don’t like water!!

Chirp, Hum, Meow!

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

PS: The Official Humming Bird and Cat Nap Candy Drop Probability O’Meter’s beeps remain low and slow as of now… we will update you tomorrow!

Breaking News! Candy….?

Sunday, July 26th, 2015


Good morning everyone!

Sunshine here, stepping forward from my usual behind-the-scenes role, with a pressing early morning update: we registered some sugary atmospheric abnormalities last night.

While all was calm at HVC and campers had just drifted off into sleep, the AWACs sorted (and only ate a little bit of) the candy drop candy! Indeed it’s true, all the candy pictured below will someday soon become the candy schvitz (because in Hidden Valley it’s never rain; only a heavy schvitz!)!

If we’re reading our meters correctly, we only have a 43.6% chance of candy schvitz today, but stay tuned-the candy storm’s a-brewin’!



We’re all settled in!

Saturday, July 25th, 2015


Greetings, on the tail end of a wonderful Arrival Day!! Humming Bird here with some more updates on how our campers are acclimating to camp life!

The campers are all settled into their cabins, and the camp is tucked in tight and ready to get lots of rest before our high energy orientation day tomorrow! Campers will sign up for classes, get acquainted with the layout of HVC, and take their swimming evaluations– all in one day!!

BUT FIRST!! Here’s what we did today!

The campers arrived in a staggered manner, by planes, trains and automobiles (mostly buses, cars, and planes) and met up with their cabin groups! We had awesome activities going on in the front yard, like a jam session, friendship bracelets, frisbee, and name tag making! Campers and counselors bonded over sports, music, and arts and crafts, and waited to meet the people they’ll be living with for the next month! Check out some pictures below!!

We had our first second session Evening Meeting as a whole camp, and enjoyed a delicious dinner of fried chicken, provided by our kitchen staff!!

After dinner, campers filed into the Rec Hall, where our counselors put on the Opening Night Skits! Anchormen U-Betcha and Tucker Chin Cat led us through the night’s news, reporting on different areas around camp! Along with each report, counselors announced what classes they will be teaching for the next two weeks, so campers know what they want to sign up for tomorrow!!

We’ve got a super exciting day ahead of us tomorrow, and Cat Nap and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!! Check back in for more news to come!

I’m off to catch some Zzzz’s!

Humming Bird

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