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Monthly Archives: August 2017

Celebrating Another Wonderful Summer at Hidden Valley

Friday, August 18th, 2017

No lunch meetings in the Front Yard today

Hi there, everyone! Cara here on staff departure day with the final update of the summer.

Man, it sure is quiet around here! Camp is slowly emptying out as the remaining staff finish up final work projects. Cabins are getting one last sweep, art supplies are being tucked away, and lots of hugs are being shared as cars are sent off camp road. By this afternoon, all of our lovely staff will have departed for their next adventure, taking with them all of the incredible memories shared and lessons learned this summer at Hidden Valley.

Luna and I are overjoyed by what an extraordinary summer it has been. We are so thankful for the outstandingly supportive and compassionate Hidden Valley community. There is truly no place on earth quite like HVC.

Be sure to check back in the fall and winter for a few updates from me, Cara B., about everything that’s going on in the HVC community during the winter. For now, enjoy some cool photos from around camp.

Smiling because it happened,

Cara B. Ner and Luna Bug <3


So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen and Goodbye on Departure Day!

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Waving goodbye to the buses!

Good morning, early birds! It’s *yaaawwn * Cara here with an update on this chilly Departure Day.

Last night’s Closing Pinegrove was absolutely lovely. While there were a few camp classics like Boom Chicka Boom, The Jellyfish, and Baby Shark, most of the evening was filled with some fresh new acts. Camelot sang an HVC rendition of Count on Me complete with original lyrics, Alive sang a funky version of the ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle, and some boys from LCH showed us a cool Japanese hand game. Chateau Fiasco broke it down with a spicy song about their cabin and Treasure Island led a sing-a-long to a big favorite- Allstar. As our songs and stories around the fire drew to a close, cabins made their way down Tipi Hill with candles in hand. We walked down in a line lighting candles and blowing them out to give goodbye hugs. We may have shed a tear or two, but it was so wonderful to have a special moment with everyone on camp before we went our separate ways this morning.

Speaking of this morning, we were all woken up bright and early at 4:45am to the sound of Taj Mahal and Forbidden Planet singing their hearts out. We rubbed our eyes and headed to the dining hall for . a light continental breakfast. We ate outside with our cabins, staying cozy in pjs and blanket wraps. It was so beautiful to see the sky turn completely pink as the sun rose.

Shortly after, we loaded up the buses and a majority of campers were on their way. We said our last goodbyes and did the funky chicken (and moose and lobster and many other animals,) as the buses drove away. Be sure to check the Hidden Valley Facebook page for travel updates throughout the day.

We just enjoyed a heartier second breakfast and are now hanging out around the center of camp while we wait for the remaining campers to be picked up by their folks. There is a movie playing in the Red Barn, and the sun is slowly warming things up. Our staff is now busy in different areas giving one final push to close camp for the winter season. We have counselors working with the animals, in art buildings, storage, archery, and many more. This afternoon, we’ll head back to our cabins for a huge final cabin clean, and then over to the Backyard for a staff closing circle.

Well folks, that’s all for now. Check back tomorrow for me and Luna’s final post of the summer. It’s been a pleasure blogging for you all! Below are some photos from the lobster banquet, Departure Day, and a cool photoshoot we had in the drained pool. (we only drain the pool every 10 years!)

Later, gators!

Cara B.

Packing Day Party and Preparing for Pinegrove

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Halley’s Comet making buttons!

Happy Packing Day, everybody! It’s Cara and Luna B. here with a collaborative update on this busy busy day. Hey guys! Luna Bug here! Anytime you see italics you’ll know that its me! Let’s hear a little bit from Cara-

Last night’s Fair Day Dance was super awesome. It started off with a extra special performance from advanced rock band, a band made up of some rock band veterans. We all had a blast dancing the night away, hanging out on the swings, playing tether ball, and signing white books.

We woke up this morning to the traditional Packing Day breakfast- CINNAMON ROLLS! Wait, Cara- let’s not forget about what else happened at breakfast, besides the food. Crazily enough, just before we were about to head in for breakfast, we were were enshrouded in darkness because the power went out! Everyone remained calm, and we filed through the dining hall in the darkness, with the giant dragon deflating around us as we got our cinnamon rolls, cereal, juice, and whatever else our hearts desired. After about 10 minutes the backup generators kicked in (woohoo!) and there was once more light. We had a bit of schvitz last night, but by this morning it was completely sunny! It seems like the storm only lightly affected the power because by about 9am the power was totally back on. Back to you, Cara!

Thanks Luna! Anyway, once our bellies were full of the sweet, squishy, sticky goodness that is cinnamon rolls we headed over to the Front Yard for our last morning meeting of the summer. We began by thanking all the staff members (counselors, pro-staff, program directors, and AWACs, too!) for all of their hard work this summer. Each staff member was given a rose, a letter, and big hugs and cheers from the crowd. We are so grateful to have been surrounded by such an amazing team and support system all summer long.

To close the meeting we heard from some of the usual cabins, beginning with Taj Mahal’s “Thought de Jour.” And what a classic thought it was! The entire cabin got up there and imparted their wisdom: “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” What a perfect quote to encompass the end of camp! In traditional camp morning meeting style, we closed with Spirit Animal of the Day from Forbidden Planet. It was absolutely hilarious! The gang summoned the spirit of *drum roll please*: a Forbidden Planet rest period! They did this spirit animal schtick pretending to be the morning meeting Interest Groups announcement, complete with a spoof on the Meg’s Planet song and dance. They definitely went out with a bang and a whole lot of laughter.

After this special appreciation part of the meeting, we moved on to the logistical part of it. Everybody received instructions on proper luggage labeling, where to pick up art projects, and the location of the massive lost and found. After this, it was back to our cabins to pack up. Once we were packed, we brought our cubbies and mattresses outside for a good scrub, and gave our empty cabins a big sweep. We waited patiently to be inspected by the toughest inspectors yet- Peter, Meg, and the PDs! Once we passed inspection, we were dismissed to the dining hall for lunch.

After we re-energized with a yummy lunch which included some Fair Day leftovers (score!), we headed back to our cabins for rest period and a final cabin activity. Here’s what each cabin group got up to this afternoon:

LCH went for a hike to the Log Cabin

Loons played tennis baseball in Deer Meadows field

Avalon did the Tipi Zip line

Chateau Fiasco did an egg drop

Treasure Island decorated cabin t-shirts

Atlantis had a quesadilla party

Forbidden Planet worked on a photo board

Down Under made memory jars and filled them with memories from the session

Wombles made a poster of all of their handprints

Paquatahnee decorated cabin t-shirts

Gimme Shelter did an egg drop

French Quarter made memory balloons and had a dance party

Shangri-La planted a tree

Wabanaki decorated cabin t-shirts and had a final cabin hang out sesh

Halley’s Comet made buttons on the button maker and created a time capsule

Taj Mahal did warm and fuzzies under the geodesic dome

That is an awesome beginning of the day, Cara! Once everyone concluded their packing day activities we all headed to the Front Yard to for the biiiiig transportation meeting. This is the meeting where every single campers name is read out, and they are then told how they are getting home, and where their luggage is going. After this meeting all the luggage from around camp will be moved to the Front Yard to the appropriate designated areas in order to be easily loaded into buses, vans, and cars early tomorrow morning!

By around 5pm this will all be done, and we’ll meet for the final evening meeting of the session, and the summer! Cara and I just can’t believe it! After meeting we’ll all head over to the dining hall for the…LOBSTER BANQUET! Whether your choice is a lobster, spanakopita, or chicken parm, the lobster banquet is an absolute blast and an incredibly fun way to have a last dinner on camp. And lets not forget the best part, Luna! The feast is concluded with delicious Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The dining hall will be full of hootin’ and hollerin’ as we bang on the tables to welcome Meg and Sandia dressed in their cow suits to hand out the sweet treats.

The evening program tonight is Closing Pinegrove. Pinegrove is a super special spot on camp. Past Tipi Hill, we have a big bonfire in a clearing of the woods. This is the place where we open and close camp with songs and stories in a technology-free zone. After dinner we’ll all gather at the base of the hill, walk up in silence, and share a final night together. We’ll hold the candle lighting ceremony in order to say goodbye to everyone on camp. 

After what should be a beautiful night, we’ll all head back to our cabins and get to sleep real quick because we have a 5am wakeup tomorrow! Yup, you heard it right, 5am! Well, that’s all from us! Stay tuned tomorrow for our last update of the session. For now, here are some photos from the Fair Day Dance and final cabin activities.

Signing off!

Luna and Cara B.

More Fair Day Fun and the Brumby Horse Show!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Jumbo puppets on Fair Day!

Hey, everyone! Cara B. here with a bite-sized update.

The Brumby Horse Show and Fair Day were both absolutely spectacular! We just finished cleaning up around camp and are sitting down to watch the big slide show before evening meeting and dinner. Luna and I just wanted to share the rest of the photos from all of the excitement today.

We’ll be back tomorrow with all the news from Packing Day and our final cabin activities.

‘Til next time!

Cara B. Ner

Racing Towards the End of the Road, and the End of Camp, on Fair Day!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Jonah was our first camper to cross the finish line!

Hello, hello, and good morning!

It’s Luna Bug here with the scoop on everything that’s been going on since Cara B. last reported in.

Yesterday’s evening program was the Alive Show, and it was the perfect way to end an amainezing day! Our teen program Alive has been working tirelessly for the past 4 weeks on creating and developing a wonderful show, which was performed in front of the entire camp last night. It was so cool to see a performance created by, written, and acted by our fellow campers! Brava, Alive!

After the show the PDs said goodnight to us, and we all headed back to the cabins. On that walk back, however, the excitement was palpable as everyone was thinking forward to- drum roll, please- FAIR DAY!

Today is Fair Day! It is a glorious day that happens two days before Departure Day every session where the Backyard and Front Yard are turned into a kind of small-scale fairground. Each cabin is assigned a booth, and the cabin mates and counselors run it in shifts throughout the course of the fair.

Right now, morning meeting just ended and each cabin is off to pack a bit, and then set up their booths. Here’s what everyone’s running:

Taj– Kiss-o-grams

Forbidden Planet– Fried Dough

Haley’s Comet– Ice cream

Atlantis & Treasure Island Drinks booth

Valhalla DJ

Camelot Boot Toss

Shangri-La Face painting

French Quarter Poop Shoot

Avalon Pillow Jousting

Gimme Shelter Chocolate Fountain

Paquatahnee Slip & Slide

Loons Sumo Wrestling

Wombles Jelly Bean Count

LCH Moon Bounce

Down Under Name Change

Awacs Pretzels

On top of all of this there will also be an art show with all of the work from the art classes this whole session, and from Alive’s art classes. It’s going to be an awesome morning, and my mouth is already watering thinking about the Fried Dough and other treats i’m about to eat…

However, before we get going on Fair Day activities we have something else that’s super cool to do- the Brumby Horse show! There are 5 campers who have lived in their own cabins around camp, but everyday have gone to the horse barn, worked to clean up stalls and take care of the horses, and then developed a routine to be performed today! After the packing and setup, the whole camp will file up to the horse barn to watch the campers perform. Then we’ll all head back down to the Backyard to begin our fair day!

Once the fair concludes we’ll all cleanup, and then head back to the cabins for a rest period. After that we’ll go to the Rec Hall to watch the camp slide show that’s a compilation of all the photos from this session! There also will be a showing of the videos from the video classes over this session. Then, we’ll all head to the Backyard for evening meeting, then dinner, and then after that it will be time for the Fair Day Dance!

What a day we have ahead of us!

Ciao for now,

Luna Bug

Sharing Night, Maine Day, and Glow Bowling, Oh My!

Monday, August 14th, 2017


Good afternoon, amigos! It’s Cara B. with all the latest on this super sunny Lazy Day.

Last night we had an awesome Sharing Night. We had so many unique acts. There was a song from the basketball fun class, hip-hip, tap, and Irish dancing, an a-cappella performance, a fashion show put on by the knitting class, an interpreted song from the ASL class, a ukulele performance and a stage combat demonstration. We also watched the survival 101 class show off their “human burrito” hypothermia wrap skills, saw the Shibori (Japanese tie-dye) class’ beautiful works of art, heard the guardians of the gardens class talk about protecting Meg’s Planet from an invasive species of beetle, watched some improv, and finished the night with a sing-a-long led by the Disney singing class.

Whew! Good thing we all got to sleep in this morning after a big week of classes and a long night of sharing. We woke up and headed over to the dining hall for an outdoor breakfast of cranberry muffins and scrambled eggs. After our bellies were full, the younger half headed off camp for glow bowling! We all had a blast hanging out, bowling with friends, and grabbing a bite at the snack bar, all under the groovy disco lights of the alley.

After breakfast and a big cabin clean, the older half gathered in the Backyard for Maine Vacation Day! There were so many amazing Maine themed activities. There was a huge “ah-rt” station, which included Maine license plate making, lobster and Blue Sky can magnet making, button making, and tons of supplies to get our creative juices flowing. There was also lavender pillow making, Maine lawn games like corn hole and can jam, a Maine tourist photo booth, campfire songs, and a taste test of a classic Maine favorite, Moxie soda. Some loved the root beer-like treat, while others looked disgusted and said it tasted like toothpaste. Either way, it was super fun to spend time with friends and celebrate our home away from home.

After a morning of excitement, the whole camp met back in the Backyard for a picnic-style lunch and an extra long rest period. Right now, the younger half is enjoying a Backyard hang, while the older half is chilling down by the pool. Overall, we had a fabulous last Lazy Day to round out the session.

Tonight after a yummy pizza dinner, we’ll meet at the Rec Hall to watch the Alive show! Every summer, our arts teen program works on a themed show to exhibit all of their hard work this summer. Luna and I are wondering what the theme will be this year… All will be revealed in just a few hours! For now, enjoy some photos from yesterday’s basketball game, Sharing Night, glow bowling, and Maine Vacation Day!

Climbing away!


The Marvelous Musical and a Lovely Last Day of Classes!

Sunday, August 13th, 2017


The cast of the musical!

Hey there, readers! Cara here on this beautiful morning, gearing up for the last day of classes and all that’s ahead as we begin to wrap up the session.

Over the next few days, our staff will be hard at work getting camp ready for the winter season. Some of the ropes course has already been taken down, and the docks at the lake have been carried out. It’s a bittersweet reminder that our while our time at Hidden Valley is coming to close, we can still celebrate a wonderfully successful summer.

Last night after enjoying an outdoor dinner of burgers and fries, we headed over to the Rec Hall to watch the musical! This session’s musical was “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and boy, was it F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C. It’s a comedy musical about a host of characters involved in a big spelling bee. All of the actors were absolutely amazing. The backstage ninjas and costume designers were fabulous as well, all together putting on a wonderful show. Be sure to check out the video recording of the musical which will be uploaded to the Hidden Valley Youtube page in the fall.

This morning we had our last bagel Sunday breakfast, and heard dulcimer-duo Meg and Tom play one last time. Right now, everyone is off finishing up art projects, taking one last swim in the lake, and perfecting performances for Sharing Night. The sharing will be begin at lunch, where we’ll gather at the gazebo to watch our rock band classes perform. It’s always super fun to dance to some awesome music made by our friends.

During Interest Groups, our basketball team class will be put to the test in a counselor vs. camper basketball game. Everyone will be out in the crowd cheering, doing the wave, and enjoying snack. Also during Interest Groups, white books will be handed out. These are blank books where campers can exchange signatures and notes as well as addresses, emails, and phone numbers so they can keep in touch during the school year.

Tonight after dinner, we’ll gather outside the Rec Hall for Sharing Night to watch everyone’s hard work over the past two weeks pay off on stage. Luna and I will be sure to give you the full Sharing Night report tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, we’ll have our final Lazy Day! The younger half will be going glow bowling, while the older half stays on camp for Maine Vacation Day! I’m psyched for all the excitement ahead. For now, here are some photos from the musical.


Catcha on the flip side!

Cara B.

Our amazing directors- Sandia, Dario, and Cate!

Made by our fabulous backstage ninjas

The Spellers!

The cast of the musical!

Late Night Theater and an Early Morning Race on the 7th Day of Classes!

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

All the runners from the road race!

Greetings, fellow earthlings!

Luna Bug is here and ready to report on what’s going on here at HVC!

Yesterday’s lazy day went swimmingly, including pool activities (ba da chhh!) and the Backyard Hang. After that it was time for evening meeting. It was a pretty standard meeting, except we heard from our Cabin Inspectors *do do do do do inspector cabin, do do do do do do doooo* Down Under won cleanest cabin for the younger half and Taj Mahal won cleanest for the older half! Woohoo!

After evening meeting we had an absolutely amazing dinner- a standout of the summer! We had sopes, also sometimes known as picaditas. It is a traditional Mexican dish that has fairly thick tortilla with meat, cotija cheese, pico de gallo, and so much more! It was so delicious, and to top it all off we had brownies!

After that we all headed over to the rec hall for the play Charlotte’s Web. It was a fantastic performance, and it was clear that everyone had worked incredibly hard to make it happen. The Backstage Ninja crew made some beautiful sets, and the costume design class came up with and created some of the coolest costumes we’ve seen. And let’s not forget about the whole cast of the play! They all had a wonderful performance and it was so cool to see our cabin mates and fellow campers up on stage acting.

After that it was off to bed, ready to seize another day of regular classes!

However, today began in no ordinary way. Our camp is in a town called Montville (even though our post office is in Freedom, ME!) and today is Montville Field Day. There’s a whole lot that goes on in town, but where camp gets involved is with the road race! About 40 of our campers had an early breakfast, and then got bused up camp road to participate in the race along with about 10 other runners from the town of Montville. The race is about 2 miles and all 40 campers completed the race!  It was so much fun! Everybody got bused back to camp, had some granola bars, and then either showered or headed off to second period. The winners will be announced tonight at camp meeting, so I’ll report on the standings tomorrow.


Today we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming of classes, and tonight is the musical, which is the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Everybody here is so excited to see this production!

We’ll report back on that, and much more, tomorrow!


Luna Bug

Gross Bowling and Glow Day…Wait, Reverse That- Gross Day and Glow Bowling: Lazy Day Fun!

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Slime bucket dump!

Hello world! Greetings!

It’s Luna Bug here writing to you from the middle of a beautifully breezy and blue skied lazy day.

Last night we had electives for our Evening Program, and the night went swimmingly! After dinner the whole camp headed over to the soccer field to sit and listen to the counselors list the activity they would be doing. The campers were then divided into three groups- The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and One Direction- and then were called up to choose their electives, one group at a time, based on how quiet they were. There were tons of options to choose from ranging from the pizza oven to a pool party to Pop Culture Check In: What’s Going on With Bradgelina?! There was also face painting, a British tea party, sardines, four square, learning how to dunk with Kev&Sam, paper flower making, craft time, PK Work Crew run by Will and Mitch, capture the flag, and of course, PK’s Forbidden Tour. It was an awesome night!

After electives everybody reconvened in the rec hall and rejoined their cabin groups. We sang a song (The Penguin Song) led by Cate, and then the PD’s told us the bed time (8:42pm and 11 seconds!) and then we all headed off to bed. The night was super fun, but the regular day of classes was pretty tiring so we all made sure to get to bed in order to be well rested for today’s lazy day.

It’s rest period right now, and man, oh man do we need it after this jam packed morning! The older half went glow bowling after breakfast. We filled the entire bowling alley up! Cabins played in groups of six, and everyone was able to play multiple rounds of games! About an hour into our time there cabins were called up one by one for a snack and drink- fries and a soda! Yum! After some more bowling everybody headed back to camp for lunch. The older half has rest period right now and then cabin clean, and then in the afternoon there’ll be a Backyard Hangout before evening meeting.

The younger half had a gloriously late wakeup today- 8:25 a.m.! After that they headed to breakfast, then back to the cabin for a big lazy day cabin clean. After that, all the younger half cabins headed to the backyard to begin Gross Day! Gross Day is an HVC staple- a classic lazy day that we have every summer! There were shaving cream hair-dos, slime covered water balloons, coke-and-mentos explosions, maple syrup slip ‘n slide, condiment twister, and a gross day obstacle course. It was run Interest Groups style, so kids could go from one station to the next at will- or just run around throwing mustard and shaving cream around! Gross Day isn’t for everyone, so all the campers had the option of joining Tranquility which had friendship bracelets and card games, and was “gross” free.

At the end of the Gross Day activities, all the “gross” campers lined up across the road from the Tranquility campers, and based on a cheer volume meter we named the Grossest campers. It was pretty tough to come up with one winner, but there were definitely some standouts like Gracie in Wombles, Alex in LCH, Saoirse in French Quarter, and Grayson in Avalon.

In the afternoon, the younger half will head to the pool for a chilled out couple of hours at Pool Activities, and then they’ll join the older half in the backyard for evening meeting. After that the whole camp will have dinner, and then everybody will head to the rec hall for tonight’s Evening Program which is the play Charlotte’s Web. It should be an awesome night, and I for one cannot wait to see the production that the campers and counselors have put so much hard work into!

Check below for photos from electives, Glow Bowling, and Gross Day! Tomorrow we’ll have photos from the rest of the day.

What a night and what a day! Talk to you all tomorrow!

Luna Bug


Oh What a Night! Cabin Night and the Sixth Day of Classes

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Goofing around at Spa Night with Taj Mahal!

Good morning, everyone! Cara here with an update on this bright and sunny sixth day of classes.

Yesterday at Interest Groups, we had the camper-counselor soccer game. We enjoyed a special snack of hot dogs and tofu dogs, and cheered on our friends on the field. Everyone played an awesome game, our cheering crowd was as supportive as always, and our soccer stars played with great sportsmanship.

Last night after a Chinese-style dinner, we had Cabin Night, where we all did a special activity with our cabin groups. It’s one of my personal favorite evening programs; the perfect night for lots of laughter and making many memories. Here’s what each cabin got up to:

Loons had an egg drop at the tree house

LCH swam in the lake and made s’mores

Down Under made slime in the Animal House

Wombles made pom poms and s’mores

Avalon swam in the lake and made stick bread

Paquatahnee did glass fusing

French 1/4 had a birthday party complete with decorations and a cake

Chateau Fiasco made projects in the wood shop with Brad

Gimme Shelter made pizza at the pizza oven

Treasure Island camped out at Tipis with Courtney F.

Atlantis made a music video

Shangri-La did Shibori (Japanese tie-dye!)

Wabanaki tie-dyed shirts and socks

Camelot had some fun in the animal barn with costumes from the Rec Hall

Valhalla went offsite to Camden and played mini golf

Forbidden Planet went to the movies in Belfast

Halley’s Comet made glass beads and played glow-in-the-dark bocce ball

Taj Mahal had a spa night with peter I.

How fun does that sound? We all had a much needed rest before starting our day this morning with a breakfast of biscuits and gravy and freshly-picked Maine blueberries. Right now, everyone is enjoying another day of classes. It’s hard to believe that we’re already entering the last week of camp! Pretty soon, we’ll be gathering in the Rec Hall for performances of the play, the musical, Sharing Night, and the Alive show. Luna and I can’t wait to see everyone’s hard work this session showcased on stage.

Tonight we have Electives, where each camper can choose their evening program from several different activities offered by our staff. We’ll be sure to let you know about all the activities tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, it’s time for another Lazy Day! The older half will be going off camp for glow bowling, while the younger half stays onsite for a camp favorite- GROSS DAY! Stay tuned for the scoop on all the Lazy Day fun tomorrow.

For now, here are some photos from the soccer game, Cabin Night, some more camp meeting Wheel prizes, and a special photo series taken by our Photo Apprentice of Forbidden Planet, Nick, climbing the ropes course.

Hasta la vista!

Cara B.

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