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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Cabin Night and The Crazy Auction! An Awesome Second Lazy Day

Monday, July 31st, 2017

“an outfit fit for the king of Hidden Valley” at the Crazy Auction!

Hey there, friends and fellows! Cara here, staying cool on this super hot Lazy Day and ready to report on the latest festivities. But first, a quick message from Alive, our teen program onsite, about what they’ve been up to recently.

Hello from Alive!

Down here in Deer Meadows things have been moving quickly! Barely a week in and our show is taking shape. When we are not writing the show, we’re growing as artists in tons of cool classes. We are exploring our artistic interests in video projection art, contemporary dance, drawing, music, embroidery and improv. We start our day with our own morning meeting where the highlights include “Galactic Fact of the Day,” “Gaby Does Performance Art,” “Song Lyric of the Day,” and “On This Day in History.” It’s not all classes and meetings, however. We get to leave camp and go on some amazing trips! Last week we went to Thompson’s Point in Portland to see Fleet Foxes in concert, and yesterday we went to the Celebration Barn Theatre to see the twin dance duo called the Wondertwins perform an avant-garde hip hop/robot performance. Over the next few weeks we’ll be learning about surrealism, art activism, nature art and found art, touring a few art exhibits around Maine, seeing a performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and of course working on our show and getting ready for the performance!​

How awesome is that!? Luna and I can’t wait to see all of their hard work showcased in the Alive Show at the end of the session. Back on main camp, last night was Cabin Night. And boy, was it jam packed with amazing activities. Here’s what each cabin did:

LCH went for a swim in the pool

Loons swam in the lake and made s’mores

Wombles also went for a swim in the lake and made s’mores

Down Under made a music video

Avalon built a fort and did splatter painting at the tree house

Paquatahnee made sock puppets and stick bread

French 1/4 made memory tins and did M&M questions

Chateau Fiasco did glass fusing with Philippe and played basketball

Gimme Shelter made clay projects in the pottery studio

Shangri-La glazed their pottery projects and made s’mores at the glade

Treasure Island made survival bracelets, tie-dyed bandanas, and made s’mores

Atlantis made glass beads and hung out with the animals in the animal barn

Wabanaki camped out up at Tipis with Courtney F.

Camelot had some campfire fun

Valhalla roasted apples with cinnamon sugar over a campfire

Halley’s Comet went off camp to play mini golf in Camden

Forbidden Planet did “build n’ burn” at the end of the world

Taj Mahal made waffles

Whew! Just looking at that list makes me tired. Good thing we got to sleep in a bit on this super special Lazy Day. We woke up to a breakfast of muffins and scrambled eggs and headed off for a big cabin clean. Before we began today’s activities, everyone received a brand new Hidden Valley t-shirt. After our cabins were squeaky clean, the older half enjoyed a nice, long rest period followed by an early lunch so they could be on their way to the Bangor State Fair. HVA, who returned safely from their first adventure yesterday, also joined the older half on the trip. We’ll be sure to give you the full scoop on all the fair fun tomorrow.

Back on camp, the younger half gathered in the backyard for the Crazy Auction! Each cabin was given a list of odd items for them to bring back to our whacky MCs. After collecting, constructing, and preparing performances in our cabins, we met in the Rec Hall to present all of our items. The list included a Crazy Creek for a moose, an outfit fit for the king of Hidden Valley, a physical object to represent nothing, a human fidget spinner, the world’s smelliest shoes, an offering for the dining hall dragon, and the next fashion craze of 2080. It was so fun to see cabin groups working together in a creative and silly way.

After an outdoor lunch, the younger half went back to their cabins for rest period. Right now, everyone is hanging out by the pool for some afternoon activities while we wait for the older half to return from the fair. Any minute now, the younger half will be surprised with ice cream (!!!) the perfect treat on this warm, sunny day.

Once everyone is back on camp, we will all eat a yummy pizza dinner outside before heading over to the Rec Hall for a movie night! Luna and I are itching to know what the movie will be, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! For now, enjoy some pictures from Cabin Night, the Crazy Auction, and Alive!

Climbing away!

Cara B.

Smooth Sailing on Day Six! The Candy Drop, Staff Talent Show and Bagel Sunday

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

HVC’s first boy band made a big splash last night!

Hello hello, camp compadres! Cara here, feeling over the moon after the rush of excitement from yesterday evening’s candy drop.

As you may have heard from our late night news update, just as we were settling into evening meeting, a plane was heard overhead. A rumble this loud could only mean one thing; a plane flying low enough to ensure the proper trajectory for the long awaited CANDY DROP!! There were Hershey Kisses, Jolly Ranchers, Starbursts and more. All of the candy was collected by cabin groups to be distributed starting today at rest period- yes! After the drop, we gathered back at the Gazebo to read some notes written by the AWACs during candy sorting that were found taped to pieces of candy. Some of the notes left us puzzled but the AWACs couldn’t seem to stop laughing… eh, must be an AWAC thing. We also heard from previous candy droppers on staff about how it feels to be up in the plane, what camp looks like from the sky, and the perfect candy dropping techniques.

We finished up evening meeting and enjoyed a bbq chicken dinner outside before heading over to the Rec Hall for the Staff Talent Show. Sam and Lucy DZ MC’ed the night, playing the roles of two young Brits who had been set up on a date and had a number of activities to do for the first date. Sandia and Dario performed a song from the musical “In The Heights,” Mads and Sara performed a favorite One Direction hit, and there was even a performance from an HVC boyband. Some counselors danced the Awkward Macarana, the horse staff sang a familiar camp tune with a horse-y twist, and Joe did some awesome impressions, including Luke the counselor and Luke the dog. The Rec Hall was full of laughter and cheers for all of our wonderful and talented staff.

We are now getting on with our sixth day of classes on this warm and sunny Bagel Sunday. After breakfast, we enjoyed some dulcimer playing from Meg and Tom to start off morning meeting, as is Sunday tradition here at Hidden Valley. Later on, visiting former Program Director Betsy Stein Kelder presented Peter with an award from the American Camp Association. He was awarded for visionary trailblazing to ensure that all campers have a supportive environment for them to be themselves and thrive. We sure are lucky to have a home away from home here!

Tonight is Cabin Night, where campers will do a special activity with their cabin group. Luna and I can’t wait to see what each cabin gets up to. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with updates from Cabin Night as well as our second Lazy Day of the session! The older half will be going to the Bangor State Fair while the younger half stays back on camp for the Crazy Auction!

For now, here’s the rest of the photos from the Candy Drop, and some photos from the Staff Talent Show and the trip to Seahorse Stables that some campers from our Horse program went on.

Over and out!

Cara B.



Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Candy drop plane flying over the soccer field!

On this Saturday Caturday, at around 5:45 pm, the Candy Drop happened!

It’s me, Luna Bug, buzzing with so much excitement that I can hardly even report on the fact that the candy drop happened today!

We were all sitting at evening meeting, happy after Interest Groups, and going through our usual evening meeting hi jinx. Right as Iron Chef was called up, a low buzzing was heard in the background, and as it grew louder and louder everyone’s heads turned to the left and finally over the Farmhouse we saw it- the Candy Drop plane! Someone shouted “CANDY DROP!” and everyone got up and sprinted over to the soccer field. There were shirts used to catch candy, sheets and pillowcases taken out of backpacks, and even a candy catcher HAT specially made by a camper at HVC!

As everybody ran to the soccer field, we realized who was amiss- Celie and Moses! They were in the plane because it was their fourth years as counselors!

The plane, with Moses and Celie in it,  flew over the soccer field 5 times and dropped candy each time. It.was.awesome. Once aaall the candy was collected (the campers ensured that no piece was left behind) the counselors gathered up the stashes by cabin, and everyone headed back to the Backyard to take stock of the candy.

Wow! To think that on top of it being Saturday Caturday, and on top of it being Jake Day it was also THE CANDY DROP!

This has been an extra super duper special late night report brought to you by none other than Luna. Look below to see just a few photos from the plane, and one from the ground. Consider it a teaser before tomorrow when we’ll have loads more of everyone experiencing the candy drop!

Happy candy drop to all, and to all a goodnight!

Luna Bug

Saturday Caturday

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Fun with the kittens at the Zoo Dance!

What’s up, everybody? It’s me, Luna Bug, back for some more chat about everything HVC.

Last night we had the wacky and fun Zoo Dance over at the Rec Hall. Everybody got dressed up as their animal or zoo related character of choice, whether it be cat or lion or turtle or zoo keeper. There was tons of dancing with DJ Kaytee L. on the ‘pod, but if dancing wasn’t your thing there was a lot more activities for everyone to do. Among those activities there was also a Meet the Animals bunny circle/animal pen hang out, Foxes and Rabbits tag, animal charades, animal masks, face paint, Doggy Doggy Where’s Your Bone?, and an animal mural that everyone helped paint. It was a gorgeous evening for a semi indoor and semi outdoor dance, and the perfect way to end the 4th day of classes.

Today is the 5th day of classes, and we welcomed the day with Egg Bar! Everyone grabbed their plates, waited in line, grabbed some toast, ordered their eggs, and got not one, not two, but three potential pieces of bacon!

On top of it being the 5th day of classes it is also Jake Day today. Named after a former legendary counselor Jake Durett who revolutionized our video program at HVC, Jake Day is the day where each cabin gets a moment to line up at the base of tipi hill, sing a cabin cheer, and shout our names loud and proud! It is recorded and then compiled into a video that’s sent out to all the families and counselors in the middle of the winter to quell our camp-sick blues. The day got going bright and early with Lower Carriage House singing and chanting at 7am, and continuing on with the different cabins through breakfast.

And on top of it being the 5th day of classes and Jake Day, it is also Saturday Caturday! Today was the first of its kind, led by our counselor Joe. Plenty of cat garb was donned, and there was even a cat stuffed animal in attendance.

After all that buzz before and during breakfast, we settled into morning meeting to hear the usual announcements and songs to get our day going. Then, it was off to first period and another day of classes!

Tonight is the staff talent show which is going to be a super fun night of watching our very own counselors do usually impressive, sometimes ridiculous things. Rumor has it there’s a boy band in town…

Before you go, make sure to check out photos from today’s morning meeting and from the dance last night!

Smell ya later!


Trampin’ into the Fourth Day of Classes with Kim and Reggie!

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Kim and Reggie!

Good morning, good morning! It’s Cara B. with news from yesterday’s evening program and the fourth day of classes.

We slept the whole night through after a yummy Mexican dinner and lots of singing with Kim and Reggie. We sang many classic Kim and Reggie favorites, including Trampin’, Satchel Page, Solar Power, and my personal favorite, Them Bones Gonna Rise Again. Reggie offered some wisdom to our campers about their significant role in making positive changes in the world. He noted that though many people do not believe that kids can be involved in conversations about current events, that is certainly not the case. He reminded us that “children are not the future, children are the present.” How awesome is that? Luna and I are so grateful to HVC campers for all the good that they bring to our community here.

While we were on camp singing our hearts out, Hidden Valley Alive was off site also enjoying some music. Our arts teen program headed off to Portland to hear Fleet Foxes perform at Thompson’s Point. I heard they had an awesome night. It’s so nice to get off camp for a little while, especially to appreciate the arts in a cool outdoor venue.

This morning we awoke to my absolute favorite camp breakfast, pancakes! With everyone’s grins stained purple from blueberry sauce, we headed over for camp meeting in the Front Yard instead of the Backyard. Why is that you may ask? Some will tell you that this is a sure fire way to know that the Candy Drop is today. Others, (Candy Drop conspiracy traditionalists,) will tell you that the drop only occurs during evening meeting, so a morning meeting location change is irrelevant. Perhaps we moved to avoid having the sun in our eyes, but I doubt it. Things are getting pretty fishy as the session progresses. The Candy Drop could be any day now!

After meeting, we went our separate ways for the fourth day of classes. It’s hard to believe we’re already half way through this round of classes! Tonight, it will be time to get wild for the Zoo Dance! Luna and I can’t wait to see everyone’s animal inspired looks. For now, enjoy a few photos from Kim and Reggie and Alive at the Fleet Foxes concert.

Until next time!



Laughing at the Lake and Rockin’ Out at Reality TV Day!

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Splashing around!

Howdy hey, folks!

Luna Bug buzzing in to report on the first lazy day of the session today, but first, let’s rewind to electives last night. The whole camp gathered on the soccer field and listened as each counselor talked about what their individual elective was. Among the options were pizza oven, baking cookies, making glass pendants, basketball, skateboarding, capture the flag (of course!), PK Work Crew, Juggling Dance Party, sardines, Mandala drawing, back country cooking, archery, tipi zip line, wood burning and etching, glass beads, manicure night, friendship bracelets, and finally the PK Forbidden Tour.

After we heard about the elective choices, the camp was split up into three groups. One group at a time was chosen to pick an elective based on who was the quietest! After everyone chose, we all went off to our various parts of camp to participate in or run the electives for about an hour and a half. Afterwards everyone reconvened in the rec hall to hear the report on Capture the Flag and a few other of our electives, and sing the Farthest Field led by Meg. Then, it was off to bed to rest up for our lazy day today!

The Younger Half went to Lake St. George this morning while the Older Half stayed on camp for Reality Television Day. During Reality TV Day there was Jersey Shore Hair Gel station, a Keeping up with the Karkassens station which involved dramatizing camp life, Project Runway: Newspaper Edition, a Make Your Own Tagline station, and The Voice Karaoke. Each camper was incentivized to participate in the Interest Group style activities because they would receive an Academy Voting Card after doing each station. With these voting cards they could choose between one of three possible prizes: pieing a counselor, splatter painting a counselor, or dumping a bucket of water on a  counselor. At the end of the morning’s activities, the votes were counted and the results came in: Billy will be splatter painted at evening meeting!

After the exciting morning, it was off to lunch for the older half, and then onwards to rest period, followed by pool activities. For the younger half, they had lunch at Lake St. George, and then once back on camp they had a rest period and a cabin clean. Afterwards, the younger half cabins did a few different special activities. LCH baked cookies in the barn kitchen, another cabin tie-dyed, and a few other cabins watched Inside Out in the foothills. Now, everybody is heading over to the Backyard for evening meeting. Afterwards, we’ll have dinner which, if my nose is telling me correctly, will be tacos, and our evening program tonight is going to be the always fantastic, camp classic Kim and Reggie.

What an awesome day! Make sure to look below for pictures from electives, Lake St. George, and Reality TV Day.

Cara B. and I will be back tomorrow to report on the fourth day of classes happening tomorrow!

Here’s to churros!

Luna Bug


Day Three- Yippee! Llamapalooza and the Third Day of Classes

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Save Hamilton the pig! A.k.a. catch the water balloon

Wakey wakey, eggs n’ bakey! Cara here on this beautiful, sunny morning with all the latest from last night’s evening program, Llamapalooza! I mean, Meg’s Rodeo! Or, maybe… both? Luna and I aren’t quite sure to be honest.

Regardless, what we do know is that it was a whole lot of fun. After an outdoor dinner of hamburgers and french fries with all the fix-ins, we gathered in Deer Meadow’s Field. Campers traveled in cabin groups to different activities throughout the evening. There was a water balloon toss, an obstacle course, and a dizzy bat challenge. We also practiced our llama spitting skills with peas, played giant tic-tac-toe by tossing frisbees onto a tarp, (Tic-Tac-Tobee!) and used our awesome dance moves to try and get ping-pong balls out of a booty-box. After each cabin had cycled through the rotation, we gathered on the hill to watch the Counselor Wakeup Challenge. Each cabin nominated one AWAC or counselor for a silly race of getting out of a “sleeping bag” (garbage bag,) putting on a whacky costume, eating cereal without using hands and reciting the alphabet backwards. We had a blast cheering on the competitors. In the end, everyone felt like a winner!

Today is the third day of classes – wahoo! Everyone seems to be settling in just fine as we get into the swing of camp. This morning’s breakfast included egg bar (yes!), sausages, and tater tots. We headed over to the gazebo and had an extra silly and fun morning meeting. At the end of the interest groups announcements, Meg split the camp into groups to sing a special tune. This could only mean one thing- CUCUMBER SACRIFICE! This long-awaited ritual marks the end of a young cucumber’s life, for it is time for this cucumber to become a pickle. There was a bit of a mix-up, as Liam (Meg’s orbiting companion,) held up Cucumber the kitten instead of the vegetable! Not to worry, no kittens were harmed and the confusion was quickly sorted out. We are now patiently awaiting a taste of the first Meg’s Planet pickles of the season.

Right now, we are enjoying another day of classes. Stained glass projects are coming along, ukuleles are strumming, and goals are being scored on the soccer field. It will be nice to have a change of pace with the first Lazy Day of the session tomorrow. The younger half will be going on a trip to Lake St. George while the older half will stay on camp for Reality TV Day!

Tonight’s evening program is Electives, a classic camp favorite. After dinner, we will meet at the soccer field. All counselors and staff will stand on the field and announce a different activity that they will be running. Campers can choose to do whatever activity they want. It’s sort of a “choose your own” evening program! After being split into three groups, the quietest group of campers will be released for first pick of the activities. Luna and I can’t wait to see what activities there will be to choose from. We’ll be sure to give you the scoop tomorrow.

Wishing a lovely Wednesday to all!

Cara B.


Cabin Night Craziness and Candy Conspiracies

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

LCH tractor ride!

Happy Aloha Tuesday!

It is I, Luna Bug, back with more news. Although it has only been 12 hours since I last posted, naturally, because this is HVC, there is tons more news to tell you all about. Although I want to talk about last night’s candy sorting some more, let’s first back it up to yesterday’s Cabin Nights because they were super fun. After the first full day of classes of the session, a cabin night was the perfect way to end the day. Here’s what everyone got up to:

LCH went for a tractor ride to the end of the world

Loons did some wizardry with Coke and Mentos, and made s’mores

Avalon had a scavenger hunt which lead them to s’mores

Chateau Fiasco swam in the lake, hopped in the sauna, and made s’mores

Wombles made glass pendants

Down Under had a ballon party

Paquatahnee made dessert pizza and shrinky dinks

Gimme Shelter baked stick bread over a fire and played games

Shangri-La made projects in the pottery studio

Treasure Island took a terrarium hike and did skittles questions

Atlantis swam in the lake, made s’mores, and camped out in the lake pavilion

French 1/4 made s’mores and a cabin flag by dropping paint filled balloons from the tree house

Wabanaki made buttons and did M&M questions

Camelot did tie-dye

Valhalla made pizza and had a whacky photoshoot

Forbidden Planet had a special dinner and played games

Halley’s Comet had a birthday party!

Taj Mahal got ice cream in Belfast and hung out by the water

Alive had a “who’s line is it anyway” night (improv games!)

Oh, what a night! It was so fun walking around camp and smelling all the fires going in the fire pits, and hearing the voices from all the different pockets of camp. There are tons of photos below from each of the cabins so make sure to check it out.

This morning on the walk to breakfast everyone could spot it in the distance, glimmering as if a mirage: the candy wrappers hanging outside of the AWAC shack. Although I broke the news to folks at home last night, the sight of the candy wrappers this morning was the first whisper of the mysterious but guaranteed future candy drop.

Cabins were abuzz with talk of the candy drop, but the moment we entered the dining hall we had something NEW and potentially more exciting to discuss- WAFFLES! Everybody got a waffle, and loaded it up with whipped cream and homemade strawberry sauce. Yum!

The high from the waffles carried us straight into morning meeting, where we discussed the brewing Candy Drop conspiracies. Some said that it would happen in two days, some said that it would be on “Wednesday, my dudes,” and one person even said that it was yesterday! We’ll get back to you all with more conspiracies, later. It was particularly awesome when we lined up all the former AWACs who were still at camp as counselors or PDs who had sorted Candy Drop Candy in years past. There was at least one person for every year between 2005 to 2017! That is a whole lot of former AWACs who just can’t seem to leave this place! Maybe there was something in the candy casting a spell on us…

With plenty of topics to fuel our midday water cooler fountain talk, we’re all off to our various parts of camp for the second day of classes. The temperatures are a bit lower today (Gotta love Maine summers!) so everyone has on their finest sweaters and 5 year vests, with a Hawaiian shirt or two hidden underneath cause, you know, gotta support Aloha Tuesday!

Tonight is Llamapalooza, or Meg’s Rodeo, as some like to call it. Don’t know what Llamapalooza means? Check back in with us tomorrow and we’ll help explain it to you!

Have a fantastic day!

Luna B.


Marvelous Candy Sorting on a Monday Night

Monday, July 24th, 2017

The wonderful AWACs cheesing away!

Luna Bug here for an extra-super-duper-special late night report:

Tonight, on this cool Monday evening, just moments ago, the Candy Drop candy was sorted. The AWACs did a phenomenal job of perfectly test dropping each piece from various heights in Peter’s office. They calculated the aerodynamics of how notes would affect the flight time of each singular piece, whether on Twizzler or M&M, and they considered the volumetric mass of the bags in which the candy would be thrown out of once in the plane.

Just kidding, the AWACs basically just had a party on top of a pile of candy! They ripped open each bag of candy, mixed it all around in one great giant pile, threw some around, ate a bunch more pieces, and repacked the candy in a few different tote bags.

Now, the candy sits in PK’s office, waiting for it’s own time to shine…or should I say, pour from the sky.

It’s time for me to buzz off to bed now. Let’s just hope I can sleep after this candy craziness!


Luna Bug

What’s That You Say? It’s the First Day of Classes!

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Lunch time for Gimme Shelter!

Good morning, pals! Cara B. Ner here, and man, do we have a big day ahead of us. It’s the first day of classes! We leaped out of bed this morning and walked into the dining hall to find everyone’s favorite- EGG BAR!! There were also English muffins, sausages, and cheese to make some awesome egg sandwiches.

We then headed over to the gazebo for morning meeting. We had our usual announcements of Thought De Jour and Spirit Animal of the Day, and heard about our first round of interest groups. Interest groups is a time after fourth period and before evening meeting to grab a snack and choose from a variety of activities that change day to day. After camp meeting, we headed off to our first period class. Some campers set off to the lake or the pool for swimming classes, others to the horse barn for riding, the trails for mountain biking, the Buckhorn for silk screening and block printing, the list goes on! Some super fun classes unique to this two week set are “what is this class?”, ninja 101, bug catching and bird watching, stage fighting, and “how to be a pop star.”

After first, second, and third period, we will enjoy a picnic-style lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup outside in the backyard. Afterwards, we’ll head back to our cabins for a rest period of some quiet time and cabin chores. Next is fourth period, followed by interest groups and evening meeting. At evening meeting, we hear about the upcoming weather from Weather Guy, hear a useless facts from our Gurus, watch the Promos class perform a skit letting us know what evening program will be the following night, and see the Iron Chef cooking class face off, judged by our master taste tester Man Flame Tony. Next, we’ll head to dinner and then evening program.

Tonight is Cabin Night, a really fun evening program. Each cabin will do a different activity with their group for some awesome cabin bonding. Luna and I can’t wait to tell you all about it tomorrow. For now, enjoy some more orientation day photos!

Climbing away,

Cara B.

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