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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Blasting From the Past and Into the Fifth Day of Classes!

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Swimming class with Cassie!

Hiya! It’s me, Cara B., back again with a super exciting update.

Last night, after a delicious dinner of fish, roasted veggies, and strawberry rhubarb crisp (my all time favorite HVC dessert), we headed back to our cabins to change into our costumes for the blast from the past dance! Campers really used their creativity with this one- some campers wore pj’s or the clothes they had worn the day before to be their past selves, while others adorned themselves in tie-dye and other ’60s garb, distressed denim and flannel shirts for ’90s grunge, or teased hair and jazzercise outfits from the ’80s. Some campers went wayyyy back, adorning themselves in togas or dressing as dinosaurs. There was dancing in the Rec Hall featuring some favorite throwback songs from The Spice Girls, The Jackson Five, The Backstreet Boys, and more! Outside the Rec Hall, there were so many awesome blast from the past activities. There was chariot construction and racing from Ancient Rome, a T-rex challenge that involved putting your arms in your shirt to mimic the tiny arms of mighty dino, Shakespearian sonnet writing, a “match the slang with the decade” challenge, ’80s makeup and vintage mustache face painting, a photo booth, and Bob Ross painting from the ’80s and ’90s. It was an absolute blast- the night ended with a big dance to “Don’t Stop Believing,” as per camp tradition.

After a good night’s sleep, we woke up to another beautiful, warm day of sun at Hidden Valley. We ate breakfast sandwiches with scrambled eggs, cheese, and ham or sausage before heading over for meeting in the front yard. Today is Saturday, A.K.A., predicted candy drop day. Campers sat at meeting with pillowcases in hand, surveying the sky for any suspicious activity. Peter read off the “top 10 eleven reasons that the candy drop is today” off of long time HVC-er, Leda’s shirt. Some of the reasons were right on- camp meeting was in a different location, there was a mini van parked outside of the office, and the AWACs were called for a mysterious meeting. However, we still aren’t sure if today is Skippy’s birthday, or whether the breakfast menu was any indicator of the % chance of candy precipitation during evening meeting tonight, we’ll have to ask Weather Guy about that one…

Today is also the 5th day of classes, which means sharing night is fast approaching! Music and dance classes are busy preparing their acts that they will share with the camp in just a few days. Art pieces in the buckhorn and in the glass studios are coming together, and campers in swimming and sports classes skills are looking fabulous. It is so exciting to be in the midst of the hustle and bustle of camp, Mama Iguana and I are over the moon!

Tonight is the staff talent show! We are so psyched to see our talented staff show us what they got. I wonder what everyone’s talent will be- Mama Iguana will tell you all about it tomorrow. For now, enjoy some photos from classes and the blast from the past dance!


Cara B. Ner

Sun’s Out, Fun’s Out!

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Hangin’ out during interest groups!

My name is Mama Iguana, you tuned into the HVC blog, prepare for an update!

Everyone is quoting Princess Bride throughout camp this morning after an inconceivable viewing of the movie last night. I can’t think of a better way to wrap up our movie Lazy Day.

This morning, the sun was out again. Everyone woke up in good spirits and was welcomed to the dining hall with egg bar!!!

We had a special announcement at morning meeting today that I can’t wait to tell you all about! David, our ropes director, was driving down camp road yesterday and found a weather balloon! The weather balloon was launched by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and goes four times higher than an airplane in the sky! Wow! It landed with an envelope asking us to send it back so they can collect all the data. What a special treat from Mother Nature!

Because the sun is out, sports classes have the opportunity to go swimming in the lake today! All of the mountain biking and soccer classes will head to the lake and many more sports classes will be swimming the next couple days!

Tonight is a blast from the past dance! Cara B. will tell you all about it tomorrow morning. Enjoy some photos from classes the other day and our game show yesterday afternoon!

Lots of love,

Mama Iguana

An Incredible Incredibles Lazy Day!

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

French Quarter waiting in line for the movies!

Hi friends! It’s Mama Iguana here to give you an update on our first… Lazy Day!!! Let’s rewind to last night’s evening program, Electives, before I tell you all about today’s activities.

All of camp gathered last night on the soccer field for a wonderful night of electives! Electives begins with counselors announcing various activities they will be doing. Program directors split up campers into three groups and one group at a time, the quietest group starting first, campers walk to the activity they want to join for the night. Electives is a great way for campers to try a new activity, make friends from different cabins, and get to know other counselors! Some of the activities included baking cookies, going on a creek walk, having a Disney sing along, playing capture the flag, and so much more!

At the end of the night, all of camp came together in the Rec Hall to have a recap of the night and sing a couple songs. Meg introduced one of my favorite songs, “The Farthest Field”. It was so lovely hearing all of camp singing together. After that, Katie, Georgia, and Elise helped Meg sing “If I Had A Hammer”. What a great way to end the night!

Today, we woke up to lots of schvitz (camp’s word for rain) for our first lazy day!!! Lazy days happen every few days at camp and are different from our normal class days. Usually, one half of camp will stay on camp for a themed day with various activities while the other half of camp goes on a trip. Today, however, was different because of the heavy schvitz. Luckily, we knew it was coming so we were able to plan a super fun day while also keeping everyone dry on camp.

For today’s lazy day, we bused everyone to Bangor to see The Incredibles 2!!! I’m trying to channel my inner Elastigirl right now but all my jokes are kind of a stretch. Haha, anyways, let me tell you more about the day ahead. Campers are now in their cabins having a huge clean for the cabin inspectors and also taking some time to rest.

Later this afternoon, campers will head to the Rec Hall to play some Disney Pixar themed Minute to Win It games. Each cabin will have representatives to compete in one minute challenges. I can’t wait to see campers show off their fishing skills for Finding Nemo, dress up as Sully from Monsters Inc., help Wall-E out by stacking cups, and complete lots of other challenges. Once the game show is over, we will have a yummy, warm dinner and then head back to the Rec Hall for another movie! Let me explain a little more about today’s schedule and why we had to be flexible, as Elastigirl would say.

All of this came about when the planned trip to Lake St. George was cancelled due to all the schvitz we are having today. The lake trip was switched with the movie trip planned for later in the session. And when tonight’s scheduled performers for evening program delayed their arrival until Monday, that night’s movie was inserted into the schedule, making this the perfect schvitzy day at HVC. The Program Directors tell me that these movies are the only ones scheduled for the entire session with all future trip/lazy days and evenings chock full of more elaborate events!

Well, I gotta go look for my super suit now. Hope you all have an incredible day and enjoy photos from Electives last night and the movie!

Catch ya later!

Mama Iguana

A Marvelous Meg’s Rodeo and a Thrilling Third Day of Classes!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Haley’s Comet enjoying Meg’s Rodeo!

Greetings, camp compadres! It’s Cara B. with an update on this beautiful sunshine-y day.

Yesterday during evening meeting, campers from Aya’s interest group told the camp of their latest candy drop conspiracies. The candy drop is definitely on Saturday, they said. This was because of a number of clues involving the number four (yesterday, Saturday was four days away), and because there was an AWAC photo on the signpost sign for “Saturn” covering only the “urn” portion, hinting that “Sat” is the day of the candy drop. The team predicted that the picture of the AWACs on the AWAC shack window that had been ripped into four pieces would join together each day, forming a whole, completed picture on candy drop day. Only time will tell…

After a delicious dinner of burgers and fries with all the fix-ins, we gathered on Deer Meadow’s field for Meg’s Rodeo! Campers traveled in cabin groups around the field through tons of awesome activities. There was an obstacle course, a water balloon toss, dizzy bat, booty box, blind llama sculpting (3D pictionary using clay!), rock tree bridge, charade brigade, and a new activity called thief and sheriff involving blindfolds and a tambourine! It was so much fun. Once cabin groups had rotated through each activity, we gathered on the hill to watch the counselor wake up challenge! Each cabin nominated a counselor or AWAC to participate. The challengers had to hop in their “sleeping bags,” put on their clothes for the day, eat their breakfast of cereal without using their hands, recite the alphabet backwards, and then get back in bed. In the end, AWACs Katie and Talia emerged victorious!

This morning, the conspiracy predictions are proving correct so far! The AWAC photo on the window of the AWAC shack is now in three pieces instead of two. Is it true?? Is the candy drop really three days away!?!? All of the questioning was put on hold when we entered the dining hall to find an amazing egg bar breakfast featuring hash browns and an avocado bruschetta- yum! At the end of morning meet, Forbidden Planet summoned the spirit of protesters to protest the way-too-long egg bar line saying “hey hey, ho ho, egg bar line has got to go!” It sure made us chuckle! Afterwards, we headed off for the third day of classes! Camp is really in full swing. Campers are hard at work on different art projects, the soccer and basketball teams are preparing for their big games at the end of the session, and campers in the play and the musical just received their roles. Everyone is mastering their way around camp and getting to know one another better

Tonight, the evening program is electives! Campers will get to choose whatever activity they wish to do for the night from the options being offered by different counselors- awesome! Additionally, tomorrow is our first lazy day of the session! Stay tuned for an update from Mama Iguana to hear all about it. For now, enjoy photos from classes and Meg’s Rodeo.


Cara B. Ner

Cabin Night and Candy Drop Conspiracies!

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Gimme Shelter post s’mores and scavenger hunt!

It’s Mama Iguana here to give you a morning update!

This morning, everyone woke up to the beautiful sunshine, mysterious photos of AWACs sorting candy, and yummy french toast. Before I tell you more about the day ahead, let’s reminisce about last night’s cabin night!

After a wonderful Hawaiian BBQ cooked by the kitchen staff, cabins went their separate ways for their first cabin night of the summer! Here’s what each cabin did last night:

Wombles Went on a deep sea treasure hunt at the pool

Avalon Scavenger Hunt

Gimme Shelter: Scavenger hunt to make s’mores

Down Under: Made pet rocks and s’mores

The Burrow: Baked cookies

Chateau Fiasco: Solved a murder mystery and ended with s’mores

Fiddler’s Green: Went on Tipi Zip and played games

Haley’s Comet: Decorated a cabin flag

Shangri La: Light painting

Forbidden Planet: Went off site to go rock climbing

Taj Mahal: Trust walk and birthday party/arts and crafts for their counselor Lucy

Apprentices: Folio construction

Paquatahnee: Scavenger hunt to a spa night

LCH: Scavenger hunt to egg drop

French Quarter: Cabin flag and s’mores

Loons: Build and destroy

Atlantis: Hike to log cabin and s’mores

Treasure Island: Magic quest and scavenger hunt

Valhalla: Glass beads and cabin flag

Camelot: Trip off site to go kayaking

Wabanaki: Scavenger hunt to bake cookies

Now that I’ve given you a run down on last night’s events, let’s talk more about the day ahead! There were candy wrappers taped all over the backyard along with photos from last night’s adventures. Campers spent breakfast debating what day the candy drop will be and who will be flying in the plane. Today’s morning meeting was full of candy drop conspiracies. A few campers went up and stated that the candy drop was today. They seemed pretty confident to me, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

After soaking up the sun during meeting, campers started their second day of classes! Meg reminded everyone to bring their water bottles, wear sunscreen, and stay in the shade! Everyone was eager to get to first period.

Tonight’s evening program is Meg’s Rodeo. Meg’s Rodeo is one of our first evening program where cabins rotate through stations playing different games. Cara B. will be back tomorrow morning to give you more details on how the night goes.

That’s all for now. Check out some photos from cabin night and yesterday’s classes!

See ya!

Mama Iguana

Kit Kats, Skittles, and Starbursts, Oh My!

Monday, June 25th, 2018

The candy sorting masters!

Mama Iguana here with super duper exciting news!!!

Tonight was the perfect night for the AWACs to sort candy! Under the full moon, the they snuck out of their cabins to find the sweet treats. Each piece of candy was personally inspected by one of our AWACs, making sure that are fresh, still in its wrapper, and ready for campers to eat!

The AWACs debated the best candy to drop from the plane. It was decided that Tootsie Pops were the most aerodynamic candy, followed by the Jolly Ranchers.

After sorting and inspecting the candy, the AWACs laid on top of a pile to pose for some photos. The photos mysteriously appeared around camp soon shortly after. So spooky!!!

Now, it is time to let the candy drop conspiracies begin. Do the AWACs know when it is? Or the PDs? And who is going to be in the plane???


Mama Iguana out.

A Fabulous First Day of Classes!

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Morning meeting in the Rec Hall!

Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey! It’s me Cara B., and boy, am I excited- It’s the first day of classes!

Last night, we had an amazing Pine Grove, full of lots of silly songs sung by different cabin groups. Wombles led us in “The Jellyfish,” a camp classic. Taj Mahal sang a fun medley of a few different songs. Atlantis sang “Wagon Wheel,” Shangri-La did “Hermie the worm,” Peter and Sam O. led us in “Ayo-Bo-Diddly-Bop,” and LCH did a special version of the penguin song involving chickens to go along with their cabin theme! We ended the night with “Oh How Lovely is the Evening” led by Peter, Meg and Elise- it was such a pretty and peaceful way to end the night!

Once cabin groups were dismissed, many campers took the opportunity to run up and down Tipi Hill to release all their energy before heading to bed. It was super fun- I even saw some counselors who couldn’t resist running along. After a good night’s rest, we woke up to the ultimate first-day-of-classes breakfast- EGG BAR!! There was fresh fruit, toast, cereal, and sausages too. There was even hot cocoa to help warm up from the slightly shvitzy morning.

Adorned in rain coats and boots, we headed over to the Rec Hall to stay dry during morning meeting.  We said goodbye to HVA group who headed off on their first adventure- a canoe trip! We can’t wait to hear all about it when they return later this week. At meeting, the birthday bee announced today’s birthday, the laundry deter-agent reported which cabins will be getting their laundry done, and we learned the new interest groups song! Interest groups is the last period of the day where campers can do whatever activity they choose. The options are presented every morning at meeting and change each day!

Once meeting was over, we headed off for the first day of classes! I already heard some campers conspiring about when the candy drop will be… Right now, campers are enjoying all different types of classes. There are lots of new classes, like “Lab Rats,” a science experiment class, “It’s All Natural,” where campers will make home and cosmetic products made from natural ingredients, “The Big Question,” where campers can ponder all of life’s mysteries, and a meditation and mindfulness class. There are also a ton of classic classes, like screen printing, stained glass, paddle boarding, soccer fun, tennis, glass beads, dance, painting, llama and animal care, and more! I can’t wait to hear all about the classes that everyone is taking!

Lunch will be held inside instead of our normal picnic-style so that we can stay nice and dry. There will be grilled cheese and tomato soup- the perfect shvitzy day lunch. Luckily, the weather will clear up later today and the rest of the week will be warm and sunny- woohoo! After lunch, we will have fourth period and interest groups, featuring letter writing, basketball, friendship bracelet making, magic (the card game,) in the red barn, llama love song writing, and more! Tonight is cabin night, one of Mama Iguana and I’s all time favorite evening programs. Each cabin will do a special activity with their cabin group. We are so psyched to hear about what everyone gets up to! We’ll be sure to tell you all about it tomorrow.

That’s all for now! Enjoy some photos from breakfast and morning meeting.

Best wishes,

Cara B. Ner

Camp Has Begun, It’s Orientation Day!

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Plunging into orientation day!

Good morning from Mama Iguana! I’m currently reminiscing about the wonderful bagel with garlic shmear, tomatoes, and onions I had this morning for Bagel Sunday!!! Ahhhh. What a great way to start orientation day.

After filling our tummies with bagels, everyone gathered in the backyard for our first morning meeting. Right before the meeting started, there was a very intense game of tetherball happening. There was a huge crowd surrounding Freddy and Liam as they played a great match. I’ve never seen anything like it! After the game, everyone sat with their cabins and enjoyed Tom and Meg’s dulcimer playing to start the meeting. Every Sunday, they play a beautiful song before meeting starts. Tom teaches two dulcimer making classes a session where campers can make these unique instruments. If you have never heard of a dulcimer, it is a three to four string instrument that you play on your lap. It even comes in many different shapes and sizes!

Once morning meeting ended, cabins went their separate ways to get started on orientation day. That’s my update for now- handing it off to Cara B. for the rest of the day!

Greetings from the future! Well, the evening. It’s me, Cara, and boy has it been a crazy day! All day, cabins have been busy signing up for classes, taking photos to send back to folks at home, and getting a talk from the nurses at the Health Lodge (ouch!) about drinking lots of water and doing frequent tick checks. We’ve also been doing swim evaluations at the lake and the pool, playing get-to-know-you-games, going over chore charts and cabin community expectations, and taking tours of camp. Whew! I’m getting tired just thinking about it. The weather has been a bit funky- swiftly changing from overcast and chilly to sunny and warm, but all of our amazing campers have just been rolling with it, adorned in rain  shvitz boots and lots of layers.

Soon, we will gather in the backyard for evening meeting. After a delicious spaghetti dinner, we will gather at the bottom of Tipi Hill for opening Pine Grove! Pine Grove is a super special evening program at the beginning and end of each session of camp. We walk up Tipi Hill in silence guided by torch light (there’s no technology up there, not even flashlights!) to a clearing with a big fire. We share songs, stories, and poems as a whole camp to celebrate our community- I’m so excited! Mama Iguana and I will tell you all about it tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, it’s the first day of classes! Camp will be buzzing with campers coming and going from different activities- stay tuned to hear all the details. For now, enjoy some photos from orientation day.

Nighty, night!

Cara B. Ner

An Amazing Arrival Day!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

Fiddlers Green happy as can be!

Hi guys! It’s Mama Iguana here to give an evening update! After a day full of welcoming campers, reuniting with old friends, and learning about classes to take, arrival day is officially over!

This afternoon, campers went back to their cabins to have a delightful rest period, finish unpacking, and have time to relax and organize before gathering in the front yard at 5:30 to welcome the buses! Everyone gathered in cabins in the front yard and cheered as the buses rolled through camp. Meg and various counselors greeted campers one by one as they hopped off the bus to find their cabin mates! We then got all the luggage to the cabins and went to the gazebo for our first evening meeting! The Program Directors (Katie, Georgia, Kevin, Michelle, and Alanna) put on a wonderful skit to welcome everyone, with help from the Apprentices. After a big celebration of everyone’s arrival, cabins shuffled into the dining hall for a delicious dinner… fried chicken!

After dinner, we had opening night skits! Our night was full of deleted scenes from various movies including Moana and the chicken, Finding Nemo, and much more! In between skits, counselors introduced classes they will be teaching for the first two weeks of camp. This was a great way for campers to start thinking about what classes they wanted to sign up for before orientation day tomorrow.

During orientation day tomorrow, cabins will do swim evaluations, meet with the nurses at the Health Lodge (ouch!), get a tour of camp, take photographs of cabin groups, and sign up for classes. Cara B. and I will be back tomorrow with updates on orientation day.

After a shvitzy night, campers are now all warm and dry in their cabins and tucked in for bed. There’s so much excitement in the air for all the fun to come! Enjoy more photos from arrival day, as well as some shots from opening night skits.

Sleep tight!

Mama Iguana

The Campers are Coming, The Campers are Coming!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018


Hey there, everyone! Cara here with an exciting update. Today is arrival day! First session has finally begun! Before I get into all of today’s excitement, lets back it up to yesterday.

In the afternoon, AWACs received their cabin assignments and moved in with their co counselors. A few more campers arrived and joined us for our final staff training camp meeting. We met our new weather guy, the birthday bee, and our laundry announcer. We were dismissed to dinner lazy day style (older half first) and enjoyed our pizza, salad, and brownies outside.

Once our bellies were full, we headed to the backyard to make welcome signs, chore charts, bunk tags, mail boxes, and other cabin essentials. The early arriving campers got a behind the scenes look at cabin prep and were a huge help. The cabin decorations looked fabulous- each carefully designed to fit the cabin’s theme.

While campers and most staff got to bed early, some counselors stayed up late in the office to welcome almost thirty campers who flew in from all across the globe. These counselors gave a very quiet cheer once the bus arrived and tiptoed back to their cabins with their new campers for a good night’s rest.

This morning, we woke up to a delicious breakfast of waffles with strawberry sauce and scrambled eggs- score! We have been hanging out in the front yard all day welcoming families and helping campers get settled into their bunks. While we wait for more cars and the buses to arrive, we have been making friendship bracelets, playing card games, throwing frisbees, and singing along to guitar jams. A little later (be sure to check the HVC facebook page for updates), the buses from New York and Boston will arrive and we’ll have our first camp meeting of first session! Afterwards, we’ll eat dinner with our cabin groups and head to the Rec Hall for opening night skits to hear all about the amazing classes being offered this session- I can hardly wait!

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for another arrival day update later this evening. For now, enjoy some photos from cabin prep and a few from arrival day, more to come!

Later, gators!

Cara B. Ner

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