Monthly Archives: June 2016

Water, Water Everywhere!

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Yum!

Yum!

Hi friends! It’s Olive Oyl, back for a special guest appearance on this beautiful (and wet) Trip/Lazy Day!

But first off, let’s talk about our awesome Electives last night. We had our classics like glass beads, Capture the Flag, baking cookies, and pool activities. We also had some new things like a Murder Mystery in the Dining Hall and Light Painting. Dani did glass fusing, we had some charades and improv games, and went for a hike. Despite a little bit of wetness, it was still a successful night that ended in some good ol’ Princess Pat in Rec Hall before heading off to bed.

This morning, our younger half went to nearby Lake St. George for a day of fun in the sun. There’s a lovely playground, counselors doing frisbee and guitar and reading circles, and of course, the delicious lake to cool off for a dip! The sun is shining and there’s just enough of a breeze that it’s the perfect beach kind of day. Our younger half will be arriving on camp shortly and head over to their cabins for a super cabin clean and rest period. We’ll see what that wacky inspectors have discovered at evening meeting!

Our older half had a little bit of a sleep in and lazy morning with a super cabin clean after breakfast. Afterwards, we gathered in the backyard for the beginnings of our Water Balloon Extravaganza! There was a camp-wide scavenger hunt to collect water balloons before we met back up again to split into two teams and construct forts for the battle. It was a good and fair fight and the perfect way to cool off on a sunny morning. Older half is now heading back for their post-lunch rest period before going to pool activities this afternoon.

And this evening older and younger half will reunite once again for evening meeting, dinner, and the moment we’ve all been waiting for…Kim and Reggie! They just pulled into camp and will be doing workshops with two lucky cabins, Wabanaki and Shangri-La. We can’t wait to hear the amazing music they have in store!

That’s all for now, folks. Be sure to check out the cool photos of Water Balloon Day and Electives from last night!

Sincerely,

Olive

Llamapa-what-a?!?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

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Good morning, good moooooooooooorning! It’s a schvitzy Wednesday morning here at HVC, as we gear up for DAY THREE OF CLASSES!! But before we begin with that… let us tell you a little bit about last night!

We had a lovely night out on Deer Meadows Field at LLAMAPALOOZA! (Meg’s Rodeo? Well… both!) What on earth is that, Humming Bird and Miss Melody? Well, let us tell you! Llamapalooza/Meg’s Rodeo is a rolicking evening program of several stations. Each cabin group rotates around the stations, so everyone gets to do everything! What kind of stations? We’re getting there, we’re getting there!

We had Dizzy Bat (a very dizzy obstacle course!); a water balloon toss; blind llama sculpting (it’s like Pictionary, except with clay); elephant march (where we have to use our “trunks” to knock over cups!); a jammin’ game game where we had to dance to get ping pong balls out of boxes, which we had tied to our booties; a llama spit game, where we competed to see who could spit frozen pees the farthest; a frisbee toss; and rock-tree-bridge, which is HVC’s version of leap frog!

After every cabin group got through every rotation, we gathered back on the hill next to the pool to observe the COUNSELOR CHALLENGE! What’s that? Well, it’s sorta hard to explain, but we’ll try… one counselor from every cabin agrees to come up for the Challenge, which is a very accurate (but very speedy) simulation of a day. They get into our special sleeping bags (which look suspiciously like trash bags), and on the blow of the whistle they have to hop in their bags up to a line of costumes, put on their costumes quickly, eat a bowl of cereal without their hands, stand up, sing the alphabet backwards, take off their costumes, hop back in their sleeping bags to their original spots, and “go back to sleep.” The winner was AWAC Sam, of Lower Carriage House– well done, Sam!

It was a super exciting night, enjoy the photos! Tonight we’re looking forward to Electives! AND THEN…. tomorrow is the very first trip/lazy day! The younger half will venture out to Lake Saint George, while the older half stays behind for a water-themed day! It should be super exciting, so stay tuned for updates and photos!

We’re off to fill up water balloons… talk to you soon!

Humming Bird and Miss Melody

 

 

Sweet, Sweet Cabin of Mine

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

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Aloha everyone!

Put on your colorful clothes and hawaiian shirts, because we are fighting this cloudy weather with our own personal sunshine on this beautiful Aloha Tuesday! Every tuesday we encourage everyone to wear their hawaiian-esque clothes with many colors and tropical flowers. At evening meeting, the ukelele class then presents a homemade hawaiian lei to the most colorful member of camp out there! Sometimes the combinations of color are CRAZY awesome and make it more of a alo-HA tuesday!!

Last night we had a fabulous cabin night (as always) as cabins bonded and participated in the fun activities their counselors had planned for them. We saw some CRAZY activities (this seems to be a theme here at HVC!) and some more relaxing and calming activities.

Loons had a Jedi ceremony in which they went to the…*dramatic violin music*…END OF THE WORLD!! Campers built a huge structure of items and then lit it on fire. What a way to start off a summer full of Star Wars for these Loons boys!

LCH made adorable bees out of rock at the Gazebo.

Avalon went on an exciting treasure hunt that ended with all you want to see…and eat…s’mores.

Wombles went along with their wizarding them and magically made wands to use around camp! Bring it to a dance party and it will be an abraca-DAB-ra type of night.

Down Under went deep into the jungle when they were blindfolded and led to the tree house where they got in touch with their inner jungle animals. There was face painting and finger painting galore. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

The Burrow underwent Bandit training that all stealthy bandits have to go through to be the best in the field. They went on a fun scavenger hunt and then made awesome costumes to go with it! They were so cute.

Paquatahnee played some glow in the dark bocce ball on the lawn and ended the night making some SWEET s’mores. The more I write about s’mores, the more it makes me want some!

French Quarter had a delightful night of planets as they made gorgeous dream catchers. Never again will a French Quarter girl have a bad dream!

Shangri-La made totally rad tie dye socks, ate m&m’s in a game, and made a cabin poster with fruit to go along with their silly cabin theme of “Fruit Salad.”

Gimme Shelter made worry stones to wash their worries away and ate, yes you did just hear my stomach grumble, s’mores!

Valhalla had a lovely spa night to unwind as they relaxed at the lake with some delicious s’mores. Nothing says spa therapy like good ole chocolate, roasted marshmallows and graham crackers.

Wabanaki had a “Mad Hatter” tea party at the pool in which they drank decaf tea and swam their hearts out. Mad Hatters or Mermaids? You tell me!

Camelot‘s superheroes fought crime around camp and solved the case of the missing counselor! The super hunt ended with our heroes earning their capes, which they decorated in the Animal House!

Treasure Island had an INTENSE treasure hunt in which their counselors built a treasure box and hid it so that campers had to search with a metal detector to find it. Little did the campers know that the metal detector only beeped when there was no metal, and was silent when there was metal. What sneaky counselors but what intelligent campers that they were able to figure it out!

Haley’s Comet decorated special journals that looked beautiful, and then played soccer afterwards. What a night to write about in their new journals!

Fiddler’s Green had an exciting photo shoot with Eden (camp’s photographer) for their cabin poster. How FABULOUS these girls looked in their costumes from the Rec Hall.

Atlantis had pancake races that must have manifested today’s delicious breakfast! Pancakes!!

Forbidden Planet went ROCK CLIMBING. Yes, ROCK CLIMBING. Need I say more?

Taj Mahal tie dyed t-shirts and made both hair wraps and buttons. Throughout this creative night, counselors played guitar for inspiration. I love the sound of a sweet ole guitar playing in the background.

On the other end of camp, Community has been up to lots and lots recently! Living in Blodgett House up Camp Road, our Community campers have been busy around town! Yesterday they went to Harbor Hill, a home for elderly citizens. They celebrated Harbor Hill’s June birthdays with some games and songs. The interior decorators of the group spruced up the place with a few handmade wildflower bouquets, bringing nature into the home. In addition, our campers passed on one of camp’s favorite songs, Oh How Lovely Is The Evening (which Meg and Peter pass on to us every year). Check out photos of the exciting trip!

In other news…tonight is Meg’s Rodeo!! Can I get an applause please!? I will fill you in with all the details tomorrow, but to give you a sneak peak, this is SUCH a fun night in which campers see how far they can spit frozen pees like a llama, make blindfolded art, shake their booty’s with purpose, battle a Knight named Tobie in a game of “Tic, Tac, To-bie”, and more. Can’t wait to hear more? I can’t wait for TONIGHT!

Enjoying the sweet breezes and cooler weather,

Miss Melody and Humming Bird

Campfire, Cabins and Classes, Oh My!

Monday, June 27th, 2016
Say cheese, mountain biking!

Say cheese, mountain biking!

Hello all! This is Miss Melody, singing sweet praises that camp has finally started and everyone is getting back into the rockin’ and rollin’ swing of things.

Last night we had our very special Pine Grove ceremony. It was so touching to see this beautiful community walk in silent reverence to our mother nature. There was hand holdin’ and arm lockin’ and my oh my, you could feel the love in the air! How amazing it is when you get silent and can hear the birds singing, the wind blowing through the grasses, and the crackling of the flaming torch held by one of our very own tipi counselors as she led us up to the campfire in the woods ahead. Sitting on tree stumps, we listened to inspiring poems, danced to silly songs, sang “call and response” songs and enjoyed the company of others in the process.

Lower Carriage House (LCH) had us all up out of our seats, sticking our tongues out and squishing our faces to pretend we are jellyfish-how funny the scene looked!

Wombles sang a touching song about loving someone more than pearly shells,

Loons had us all singing about sharks,

Paquatahnee showed us what a happy llama and totally rad llama look like in their llama song,

Atlantis sang a classic song that warned us of the repercussions of using a “rickadandoo” when going on an odyssey,

Treasure Island had us all get in touch with our inner warrior with a war chant! Further, Mckenzie, one of the Tipi counselors, had us sing a beautiful “call and response” song that had us all ruminate on how we are open and ready for all that is to come this summer.

Camelot had us all singing a funny song about how HVC helps us to know what we want to be when we grow up (a farmer! come on Bessy give, the baby’s gotta live!!),

Gimme Shelter had us all making silly noises,

Shangri La and Down Under both did their own version of “When the Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

Valhalla sang the beautiful melody of “Down by the Bay,”

Haley’s Comet sang a horse song (love to see their passion for horses!),

Forbidden Planet sang their “Annoying Song” that was more funny than annoying (I must admit),

Taj Mahal sang the touching song, “Wagon Wheel,”

and Gabe and Peter, one of our pro-staff, had us singing the classic “Hey Oh Bo Diddly Bop” in which we all wanted to get back to our block!

Phew! Now if that’s not the longest list of fun you have ever seen, I don’t know what is!

On another note, today is the…wait for it…FIRST DAY OF CLASSES. That’s right, folks, today is THE day, the BIG day in which we finally get to share our fun plans that we have been working so hard on with the campers. I loved to see all of the smiling faces as campers shared with one another their class schedules for the next two weeks. We saw lots of riding boots and sun-screened bodies with towels over their shoulders. We saw sneakers for running and long pants for glass bead making. I want to take all of the classes! Attached are some photos of this first-day fun!

In other news…today the Hidden Valley Adventures (HVA) crew starts their first journey! They will be paddling 65 miles on the St Croix River. Crossing over into Canada, I hope they bring back some good ole Canadian bacon (Ham?) and some fresh maple syrup. Will they see any Moose? Will they all become Toronto Maple Leaf hockey fans? We will just have to wait and see!

Tonight is Cabin Night, a fun evening program in which cabins get to know one another better by participating in the activities their counselors have planned for them. The activities are a surprise, so I can’t spill the beans just yet…but I will keep you guys posted! Can’t wait!!

May your day be filled with an abundance of joy,

Miss Melody

Orienting ourselves to camp!

Sunday, June 26th, 2016
Hey Gimme Shelter!

Hey Gimme Shelter!

HAPPY ORIENTATION DAY, FRIENDS! Humming Bird here, and boy, have we been busy! Today has been a HUGE day here at HVC, with every cabin getting through class sign ups, swim evaluations, lice checks and photos! In addition, of course, to our delicious Bagel Sunday breakfast, and yummy sandwich and salad lunch! Thanks, Chris and Lilian!

Our lifeguards have been BUSY at the waterfront, getting campers in and out, and evaluating their swim abilities. Each camper will be given a number (1, 2A, 2B, or 3) based on their comfort in the water, which will determine which areas of the pool or waterfront will be safe for them to swim in throughout the summer! Thank you to our lifeguards, for keeping our campers safe!

Professional staff have been helping campers sign up for their classes! Campers get to choose 4 classes to take for the next two weeks– each class lasting an hour each day. There are options ranging from animal/llama care, to basketball, to tie-dye, to a capella and more! Of course we have the musical and the play, too! Classes will begin TOMORROW! Can’t wait!

But first, we have a beautiful evening program tonight up at our sacred Pinegrove. We’ll have cabins perform classic camp songs– old and new! And we’ll welcome ourselves and our friends to begin this special summer, by celebrating our home away from home in each other’s sweet company. I, personally, cannot wait (I hope the Princess Pat makes an appearance!)

I’ll give you lots of updates on our progress as it progresses! But for now, enjoy pictures of our lovely first full day of camp!

Humming into the dining hall for leftovers,

Humming Bird

THE CAMPERS ARE HERE! THE CAMPERS ARE HERE!

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

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GOOD EVENING, FOLKS! Humming Bird here with all your late night camp news!

For the first time ever in recorded history, the New York buses arrived at camp EARLY! And with that, EVERYONE IS HERE! Our cabins are full, our campers are all tucked in and comfy for bedtime, and our staff is beginning to put all this training to good use!

We had a BEAUTIFUL first evening meeting, a yummy delicious first dinner (FRIED CHICKEN AND POTATOES! THANK YOU CHRIS AND LILIAN!), and a hilarious first evening program! Opening Night Skits were hilarious– check out pictures! Lucy, Moses and Katie performed their schtick flawlessly, they were time travelers (think: Groundhog Day) who used their newfound power to go back and enjoy EVERY area of camp. We had a cameo performance by our Music staff, who played and sang the song Valerie by Amy Winehouse. We also enjoyed a special skit advertising our Tipis program! We’ll see which campers will be going up the hill to join McKenzie and Rebecca in the tipis this summer!

Tomorrow everyone will wake up to a yummy yummy bagel breakfast prepared by Chris, Lilian and the kitchen staff, and we’ll all head off to class sign ups, swim evaluations, photos and head checks… No ookoos here! (That means lice!)

I’ll check in again tomorrow to update you on all the haps here at Hidden Valley… but for now, I’ve got to go get some sleep– I’m no night owl!

Until tomorrow, friends!

Humming Bird

THE CAMPERS ARE COMING! THE CAMPERS ARE COMING!

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

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Good afternoon, folks!! Humming Bird here to inform you that WE FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY HAVE CAMPERS, PEOPLE!!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! THEY ARE HERE! THEY ARE HERE! THEY ARE HERE!

We counselors have been out and about in the front and back yards, playing guitar, singing, making friendship bracelets, crafting nametags, and GREETING CAMPER FAMILIES, OF COURSE! Our campers are sloooooooooooooooooooooowly filtering in by car, as the rest of us wait in anticipation for the next set of headlights to amble its way down Camp Road and stop promptly in front of the office.

As for the campers who aren’t arriving by car, we sent chaperones out yesterday to pick them up from their planes, trains and automobiles, and deliver them safely back to HVC. We’ve received word that our New York buses are AHEAD OF SCHEDULE! (There’s a first!) And our Portland, New Haven and Boston buses are also on their way– we should receive the rest of our campers around dinnertime. Until then, we’re crafting our crafts, swinging our swings, and music-ing our music, waiting around camp with open arms!

Enjoy these photos of our happy campers– and STAY TUNED FOR MORE as our cabins fill up, and our friends return to us here at camp! I, personally, cannot wait to inform you of ALL the exciting things happening on camp as our first session kicks into high gear– beginning with opening night skits tonight (when we tell the campers about the classes they can take– in the form of funny skits) and ORIENTATION DAY TOMORROW! I’ll give you some more updates on things as they unfold, so keep checking in!

The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful, and so is the sight of a yard full of campers!

Humming along!
Humming Bird

Lobstah Daze

Friday, June 24th, 2016
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MOOOOOOOOOOO

GOOD MORNING OH MY GOODNESS OH MY GOODNESS WE HAVE A FEW OF OUR FIRST CAMPERS AND IT’S SO EXCITING, I ALMOST FELL OUT OF MY NEST THIS MORNING! Humming Bird here with all things Lobster Banquet! That’s right– counselors feasted on lobstah last night (and chicken parm and spanakopita)! Check out pictures of our BEAUTIFUL staff (and some of our first campers!) eating some BEAUTIFUL lobster in some BEAUTIFUL lobster bibs!

And now I get to tell you about today– June 24– otherwise known as THE LAST DAY OF STAFF TRAINING OH MY GOODNESS I THOUGHT THE DAY WOULD NEVER COME! (Sorry, I’m just so excited!) Today we shipped out our counselor chaperones who will pick up our campers from their respective planes, trains and automobiles! See you soon, counselors! Some will be back tonight with campers from Korea, Japan, France and Italy; the rest will be back tomorrow with campers from New York, New Haven and Boston!!

As for the rest of us who are still here on camp, we’re putting the finishing touches on our counseling toolboxes, and then we’re SETTING UP OUR CABINS! What kind of set-up does that require, might you ask? WELL, we’re of course cleaning the cubbies and sweeping the floors. We’ll be busy making bunk tags, cabin rules, chore charts, and more!  We’ve even got our early arrival campers helping us with our cabin crafting! And it’ll all be in line with our cabin themes… What on earth are our cabin themes? Let me tell you! This year we have…..

The Burrow Bandits
The Wizarding Wombles
Down Under in the Jungle
The Mighty Flying Geese of Avalon
The LCH Beehive
The Loons Jedi Temple
Shangri-La Fruit Salad… Berries vs. Citrus, where do you stand?
The Camelot Superhero Alliance (CIA style)
Gimme Shelter Hidey Holes
Wabanaki Wonderland
Halley’s Comet Space Steeds
Paquatahnee and French Quarter will be orbiting Meg’s Planet this session. Paquatahnee as the planets and French Quarter as the moon explorers!
Atlantis Batlantis (like Batman!)
Treasure Island Jawns (it’s a Philadelphia slang term that’s essentially synonymous to “thing”)
Vintage Valhalla,
Fiddler’s Green Fantasy
Time Traveling Taj Mahal (wonder where they’ll decide to travel to!)
And Forbidden Planet– er… Furbie Den Plant It. Are Furbie’s back in?

I for one am SO excited to see what our clever counselors do with their themes– AND how our campers take them to a WHOLE OTHER LEVEL! Wow, I just cannot wait for the campers to get here! I need to go take some deep breaths and start craftin’ for the cabin!

Stay tuned for MORE UPDATES AS CHILDREN FILTER IN TODAY AND TOMORROW!!

Humming with happiness!

Humming Bird

Singing, S’mores, and some good ole Scrambled Eggs!

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
What kind of eggs?! SCRAMBLED EGGS

What kind of eggs?! SCRAMBLED EGGS

Hello people of this beautiful planet we call home!

Boy, do I have fun things to update you on from the past two days. Tuesday, we finished up our last lake drills as the lifeguards completed their training. Congratulations to them!! Woohoo on keeping us safe in the water! Further, the horse staff finished their drills as well! YES to safety at the horse barn! After a day of meetings and more class preparations, we celebrated the end of a successful day with some good music/laughter/entertainment therapy. We had our staff talent show, and oh man oh man is our staff talented. From melodic singing to hilarious skits to raps about how delicious scrambled eggs at breakfast are, all of the acts had the audience either crying from LAUGHTER or the sheer BEAUTY of the performances. Get excited, kids, your counselor may be the next contestant on Earth’s Got Talent or performing on the big stage (anyone watch the Australian version of The Voice?!)

After the show we all participated in a camp-wide search drill in which we had to pretend to look for a missing camper. At the end of the drill, we were surprised when we found one of our own staff members in distress because she was having too much fun around the campfire and had too many s’mores that she couldn’t eat all herself! Laughing and dancing, the staff celebrated the end of a successful drill/day with a party hosted by the PD’s. Thanks to all who helped plan this fun event-and for the sweet surprise!

Today and yesterday we started the day talking about empathy and boundaries. There were fascinating discussions held around this topic as we learned how to create a loving and safe environment for campers. Also, today the AWACS ARRIVE! We are SO excited to have them as this means that it really is all true…camp is starting soon! It wasn’t just a fantastic dream!!

Oh my goodness…and that means tomorrow some of our international campers arrive…which means the day after that ALL the campers arrive!! Holy guacamole!!! What an exciting time to be alive!!

Have a gorgeous day and know that we are all here having so much fun getting the camp ready for your (or your camper’s) arrival. If you are a camper, you will soon be participating in the activities mentioned in these posts…can’t wait!

Blessings from this beautiful land,

Miss Melody

T minus FIVE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
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Introducing, the fashion-forward Program Directors! (And the dragon!)

Good morning, good MOOOOOOOOOORNING! Humming Bird here at camp, with all your updates and news about CAMP CAMP CAMP CAMP CAMP! I said camp FIVE times, because there are only FIVE MORE DAYS until the CAMPERS ARRIVE! I just can’t contain myself, I need to take a minute……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Okay I’m back!! So what on earth are we up to here at camp? Well, let me tell you!! We have been working, working, working to get camp all set up and ready. What goes into a great camp, you ask? All you need is a pinch of grass, a handful of cleaning supplies, and a dollop of sunshine. Stir in a trained and enthusiastic staff of 80 people, and let it rest for five more days– voilá! Just add campers!

In addition to all the maintenance-y things (like putting awnings above the picnic tables, learning how to plunge toilets, and setting up the tipis) we have been busy with CABIN ASSIGNMENTS! All our counselors have moved into our new homes for first session, and we’re starting to think about cabin themes… stay tuned for those! We’ve also received lists of our campers, and we’ve begun calling camp families to introduce ourselves! Keep an eye out for phone calls, folks!

It’s pretty different around here without campers, but some things have remained the same– yesterday we celebrated our very own counselor DRESS IN THE DARK DAY! Check out some cool pictures below of our wacky outfits! And our ropes course is still here, even though campers aren’t– our beautiful ropes staff have been busy putting our entire staff through the course– enjoy a picture of two of our counselors working together on low ropes!

I’m off to spruce up my dress-in-the-light outfit– my wings are feeling awfully boring and light today! Stay tuned for more updates on the camp set-up, and eventual CAMPER ARRIVAL!

Humming while I work,

Humming Bird

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