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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Thanks for Another Amazing Summer!

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Tipi Hill!

Hello hello hello! Cara B. here on staff departure day with the final update of the summer.

Boy, it sure it quiet around here! Yesterday we sent campers off on buses, planes, and cars back home to their folks. Our lovely staff stayed on camp to close up Hidden Valley for the winter season. Today, 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 down camp road. By this afternoon, all of our awesome 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.

Mama Iguana and I are so grateful for what an incredible summer it has been. We are so thankful for the amazingly supportive and compassionate Hidden Valley community- there truly is no place quite like HVC! Thank you to all of our faithful readers for joining us on our journey this summer!

That’s all from me, folks! Be sure to stay tuned for off season updates about all that’s going on around camp from our amazing blogger buddy, Humming Bird! For now, enjoy some photos from around camp on this beautiful, sunny day.

Smiling because it happened,

Cara B. Ner and Mama Iguana

Smiling Because it Happened on Departure Day!

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

The best part of the Lobster Banquet- ICE CREAM!!

Good morning, early birds! Cara B. here with a Departure Day update.

Last night after our delicious Lobster Banquet and lots of Ben & Jerry’s, we gathered at the bottom of Tipi Hill for Closing Pine Grove. We linked arms and walked up the hill in silence guided by torch light, reflecting on our amazing summer together. Up at Pine Grove, we sat on stumps around a huge fire sharing poetry and songs to celebrate our community and close out the session. There were plenty of camp classics like “The Princess Pat” and “Oh How Lovely is the Evening,” as well as a unique spin on “Baby Shark” sung by Loons inspired by, well, loons! LCH led us in a pinecone chant inspired by Meg’s cucumber sacrifice song and Down Under and Shangri-La led us in some awesome Taylor Swift sing-a-longs. Bermuda Triangle sang their own version of “Hermie the Worm” about their cabin called “Savage the Squirrel,” and ALIVE faked us out by saying they were going to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and then bursting out into “Allstar.” As the sun went down and our circle drew to a close, we began our candle lighting ceremony. Campers and counselors walked down the path to Pine Grove with candles in hand, lighting them and blowing them out for goodbye hugs. It was so special to get to say a special goodbye to everyone on camp before heading back to our cabins for a good night’s sleep.

This morning, we woke up bright and early at 5:00am (you read that right!) to the sweet sound of Taj Mahal and Forbidden Planet singing all their favorite songs. We headed to the dining hall for a light breakfast before loading the buses. We danced the funky chicken (and lobster, llama, and moose) to bid our friends farewell as the buses drove down camp road. Right now, everyone is hanging out in the Backyard and Red Barn as we wait for the remaining campers’ folks to arrive. Meanwhile, our staff are busy doing different work projects all around camp to close Hidden Valley for the winter season. This afternoon, we’ll have a closing staff circle and our own staff Pine Grove before packing up and heading out tomorrow.

That’s all for today! Be sure to check out the Hidden Valley Facebook page for buss updates throughout the day. For now, enjoy photos from the Lobster Banquet and our trek up the hill!

Later, gators!

Cara B. Ner

Packing Day Part Two!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Shangri La and their new shirts!

Hello again! It’s Mama Iguana this time with an afternoon update!

After a morning full of packing and lunch, cabins went off their separate ways to do a final cabin activity. Here’s a list of what all the cabins did!

Loons finished reading their cabin book

Gimme Shelter made shirts

Avalon built forts at the end of the world and burned them

Chateau Fiasco went to John’s to get ice cream

Bermuda Triangle played a game called 3 in a hat with memories

Forbidden Planet went mountain biking

Down Under played with balloons

French Quarter wrote warm and fuzzies and put them in balloons to pop

Paquatahnee decorated t-shirts

Lower Carriage House made t-shirts and wrote warm and fuzzies

Shangri La went in the animal pen and made t-shirts

Wombles popped balloons

Camelot made pom poms and had warm and fuzzies

Wabanaki had warm and fuzzie and a spa day

Valhalla had a reflection on their time at HVC

Fiddlers Green said thank you to their cabin mates and drank tea

Taj Mahal watched Mamma Mia!

The activities this afternoon were a great way for cabins to spend some time as a group before departing tomorrow. There will be photos below of all the different activities!

This afternoon, we have a huge transportation meeting! Everyone gathers in the front yard and Peter tells each camper, one by one, how they are getting home and where they should bring their luggage. Staff are in vehicles shuttling luggage from cabin to the specified areas and campers are helping carry their stuff! After the meeting is over, everyone hangs out in the front and backyard waiting for our last evening meeting!

Tonight is the lobster banquet! One counselor from every cabin is a waiter for their tables and campers have the option of eating lobster, chicken parmesan, spanakopita, or a special diet option. After a wonderful meal with mussels, potatoes, a salad, and bread rolls, everyone cleans up and patiently waits for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream brought in by Meg (dressed up as a cow!).

After the banquet, we have closing pine grove! Tomorrow morning, Cara B. and I will give you an update on what every cabin did for closing pine grove.

For now, check out photos from all the cabin activities!

Bye bye,

Mama Iguana


Dancing out and Packing up!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Having a blast at the Fair Day Dance!

Greetings, bloggers! Cara here with all the latest on Packing Day.

Last night we had the Fair Day Dance! Everyone had so much fun hanging out in the Backyard, dancing, swinging on the swings, playing tether ball, and signing white books. We did some awesome group dances like the “Cha Cha Slide” and the “Cupid Shuffle,” and finished off the night the classic “Don’t Stop Believin'” before heading off to bed.

This morning, we woke up to the traditional Packing Day breakfast of delicious ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls. Afterwards, we gathered in the Front Yard for an extra long morning meeting to thank all of our amazing staff (including counselors, pro staff, the wonderful Ladybugs, and our fabulous maintenance guys) for their hard work this summer with roses and cards from Peter and Meg and the PDs. After honoring our special crew, we talked through our long checklist for the day ahead. We discussed proper art project packing and luggage labeling and prepped everyone for a HUGE cabin clean before facing our toughest inspectors yet- Peter and Meg and the PDs!! Once everyone is all packed up and the cabins have passed their cleanliness test, we’ll head over for a much needed lunch of Fair Day leftovers- yes! 

After lunch, we’ll head back to our cabins for rest period and an awesome final cabin activity to close the session together as cabin groups. This afternoon, we’ll have a giant transportation meeting and luggage move before our final evening meeting. Tonight for dinner, we’ll have our Lobster Banquet- a yummy meal served to us by our counselors! Afterwards, we’ll gather at the bottom of Tipi Hill for closing Pine Grove and the candle lighting ceremony- our super special way of saying goodbye at the end of each session. Be sure to stay tuned for more details on the second part of our day from Mama Iguana this afternoon. For now, enjoy photos from the Fair Day Dance and our special thank you’s this morning.

Climbing away!

Cara B. Ner

A Fabulous, Fun Day at the Fair!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Inflatable jousting!

Hello hello hello! Cara B. here with all the latest on this fantastic Fair Day.

As Mama Iguana mentioned earlier, this morning after setting up our Fair Day booths, we gathered at Deer Meadow’s field for the Brumby horse show! All of the Brumby campers did an amazing job showing off their skills riding through a cross country course. There was jumping, cantering, and lots of graceful riding through the beautiful pastures. We gave the campers and their horses an enthusiastic golf clap as they received their Brumby certificates- be sure to check out all the awesome photos below!

Afterwards, we headed back to main camp for Fair Day! Fair Day is one of my favorite days of camp and a super fun way to close out the session. Campers and counselors can visit awesome booths run by different cabin groups. Here’s what each cabin had to offer:

Loons did the poop shoot (a sillier version of a dunk tank)

Down Under did a jelly bean count

French 1/4 ran the chocolate fountain

Paquatahnee did fortune telling

Avalon ran inflatable jousting

Gimme Shelter ran the moon bounce

LCH did a name change booth

Shangri-La did face paint

Wombles were the DJs

Camelot did a spa with nail painting and temporary tattoos

Chateau Fiasco did sumo wrestling

Bermuda Triangle ran the inflatable water slide

Wabanaki did a marriage booth

Valhalla served ice cream

Fiddler’s Green served drinks

Forbidden Planet made fried dough

Taj Mahal did kiss-o-grams

How fun does that sound?? With painted faces, brand new names, and tummies full of corn dogs and ice cream, we all worked together to clean up from the fair. Afterwards, we headed back to our cabins for a much needed rest before gathering in the Rec Hall to watch videos made my video classes this session and a huge slideshow with photos from our past few weeks together. It was so much fun to reflect on our time spent together and see photos of camp in the winter. We even saw some photos of staff from when they were campers! Next, we headed to the Backyard for evening meeting where Peter and Meg answered questions about Hidden Valley during the winter months. We learned all about cross country skiing across the lake and how the llamas love to hang out in the snow.

We ate our delicious ravioli dinner outside picnic-style before heading back towards the gazebo for the Fair Day Dance! Right now, everyone is having a blast dancing, hanging out, and signing each other’s white books. Tonight, we’ll head back early for a good night’s rest to gear up for our big day of packing tomorrow! Stay tuned for more details to come. For now, enjoy photos from Brumby and Fair Day!


Cara B. Ner

The Musical and Start of Fair Day!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Kieran on his throne!

Hello hello! Mama Iguana here with lots to update you on from last night and this morning!

Last night’s evening program was the musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! It was a beautiful musical told entirely in song! The plot was based off of the story from the bible, “Coat of Many Colors.” It was absolutely incredible seeing all the hard work this small cast put in to create a detailed storyline. Oh, and did I mention they were singing the entire time?! The backstage ninjas and costume crew worked hard as well to put on this performance. Make sure to check out the youtube video, that will be posted in the fall, to watch the entire production!

This morning, we had some early wake ups for a nice jog! Campers and counselors had the option of running in our fair day fun run this morning. Campers who wanted to run woke up early and had an energizing breakfast before heading up camp road to race! Everyone else had a normal morning and met up in the front yard for meeting! About half way through meeting, campers came speeding in and crossing the finish line! Everyone was there to cheer them on at the finish line and it was a great way to start fair day!

After meeting, everyone went back to their cabins for packing day junior! As Peter has been telling the campers, the more we pack now, the easier packing day tomorrow will be! Everyone was busy packing, cleaning, and setting up their booths for the afternoon.

And right now as I type, the Brumby horse show is about to start! Brumby, our horse program, has been working really hard everyday to take care of the horses, advance their riding skills, and prepare for the show today! We can’t wait to see what they’ve been working on! After the show, the fair shall begin!

As for now, check out photos from the musical last night and the fun run this morning! Cara B. will be back this evening to give you a fair day update!

Gotta go get my fried dough!

Mama Iguana

Our Last Sharing Night and Lazy Day!

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Bethany’s contemporary class

Greetings from Mama Iguana! I hope you all have had a greeeat day because we sure have here at HVC! Last night was sharing night including rock band and some of our final valleyfest acts. Let’s take a look at all that happened yesterday!

We had a spectacular night with so many talented sharing night acts! The night started off with our rock band classes performing. Campers were on guitar, bass, holding the mic, playing the keyboard, and rocking out in the audience! After rock band, we enjoyed a few of our acts outside to take advantage of the beautiful night we had here at HVC. Our salsa and jazz classes performed, performance art put on a hilarious act while eating ice cream (those lucky ducks!), ukuleles were strummed, and much more! Our outside acts ended with our gymnastics class jumping, flipping, and rolling across the mats!

The night continued as we headed into the rec hall for the rest of the sharing night acts, along with some valleyfest acts that we saved for last night! The contemporary class put on a beautiful dance, Disney singing sung some Disney classes, and the night ended with some upbeat dancing music sung by Kieran from Gimme Shelter. All in all, it was an absolutely amazing night and it was so wonderful seeing all the talent campers have here at HVC!

This morning, we began our final lazy day of the summer! The younger half hopped on buses to go glow bowling and the older half got to sleep in and enjoy a lazy day at camp. The younger half bowled strikes, spares, and gutter balls and got a special snack while they were playing: french fries and soda! The older half hung out here and had a music festival themed day, Valleyroo! There was karaoke, body painting, flower crown making, and chilling with friends! After an event-filled morning for both halves of camp, everyone spent the afternoon at the pool swimming, signing white books, and going on the slip ‘n slide! It’s been a relaxing afternoon for everyone and a great way to end the last lazy day of the summer!

Tonight we will have pizza night and watch the musical! Everyone in the cast has been working very hard for tonight and I can’t wait to see it! Tomorrow is fair day!!!! The day starts off with the Brumby show, the show put on by our horse program this four weeks, and then everyone heads to the fair! There will be more updates on the musical and fair day tomorrow, but for now, check out photos from Sharing night and the lazy day!

Peace out, river trout!

Mama Iguana

A Night of Performances and the Last Day of Classes!

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

Peter and the Star Catcher!

Happy bagel Sunday! After an energizing breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and your favorite toppings, I am ready to give you a detailed overview of our play, Peter and the Starcatcher, and the Alive show last night!

During interest groups yesterday, we had our counselor camper basketball game! The basketball team has been working hard the past four weeks to put on a great game against the counselors. There were secret plays involved, including the play clear and skunk, and even a special appearance from Team X! In the end, the campers one (once again) and celebrated by dumping a cooler of water onto Coach Sam’s head!

During evening meeting, the cast members, backstage ninjas, and costume design crew went to dinner early to prepare for a big night ahead! Everyone else waited patiently, enjoyed their burgers and fries after meeting, and walked over to the rec hall to be the best audience members a cast could ask for.

The show, Peter and the Starcatcher was a prequel to Peter Pan. Through the talented cast, the audience learned how the Neverland pirates came to be, what happened to Captain Hook’s real hand, where the name Peter Pan came from, and the dynamics between characters in the show. There was comedy, drama, and amazing acting skills. Thanks to the costume crew and backstage ninjas, the costumes were unique to each character and the sets were detailed to every last paint stroke. At the end of the show, the cast brought out their two directors, Grace and Eliana, to thank them for staying with the cast through thick and thin. Let’s have a round of applause for everyone involved in last night’s performance!

After the play, there was a special performance that the Alive program has been working on all session. It’s All In Your Head was a show written by the campers about mental illness and the experience and awareness around it. They gave an interesting perspective on anxiety through bringing the theme of mental health to life by using anxiety as a character in a game show format. In between scenes, there were funny, lighthearted commercial breaks. It was so impressive seeing the Alive campers not only performing it, but knowing they wrote the show too.

After a splendid night and good nights sleep, we all were rested for bagel Sunday and the last day of classes! We had our last interest groups announcements of the summer, including Peter, the glass blowing pro staff’s, last glass beads song and Meg came out with Elise for Planet Meg with both of their beautiful, long locks and hippy sunglasses. It felt like a blast from the past! It was a great way to end the morning and send everyone off to enjoy the ends of their classes. People are practicing for sharing night, finishing up art projects, and having their last moments with the animals.

Tonight is sharing night and tomorrow is our last lazy day. The younger half is going glow bowling and the older half is here for a music festival themed day, Valleyroo! Stay tuned for an update tomorrow and make sure to check out photos from the basketball game, the play, and the Alive show!

Seeeee ya,

Mama Iguana

Chickens Running… Into the Montville Road Race!

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

Enjoying some friend time before class!

Gooood morning sunshines! I can’t wait to update you all on all the excitement in store the next couple days. Let’s start with a re-re-re-re-rewind to last night!

You have probably all been on the edge of your seats, eagerly waiting for the title of the movie. Can I have a drum roll please? ….CHICKEN RUN!…one of my all time favorite movies, a heartwarming story of team work and community building. AND PIE! We laughed, we cried, we cheered, and we all got a great night’s sleep afterwards!

We awoke this morning to a beautiful breakfast of coffee cake and eggs, and gathered for morning meeting, where we heard a preview of some of the exciting things coming up in this last week of camp, like Fair Day, the Brumby Fun Show, Lobster Banquet and more!! We can’t wait to update you soon on all of it! We also noticed at morning meeting that we were missing some campers and counselors, who are currently running the Montville Road Race AS I TYPE!! The Montville Road Race is a two mile down-hill race that is a staple of second session, and a super fun way for campers and counselors alike to reach out and get involved in the greater Montville community. Those campers and counselors will be back in time for second period, and all of us here at camp can’t wait to welcome them back and congratulate them on a job well run!

We’re looking forward to the camper-counselor basketball game this afternoon, where our camper basketball team will take on the infamous Team X as the rest of camp watches and decorates white books! We can’t wait to show you pictures from the game tomorrow!

In the meantime, soak up the sun and enjoy this beautiful second-to-last day of classes!! Photos are posted below of the movie and some fun class group photos!

Get it done, Chicken Run,
Mama Iguana

Cabin Night- Oh What a Night!

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Loons up at Tipis!

Howdy folks! Cara B. here with an update.

Last night after a delicious dinner of spaghetti, Caesar salad, garlic bread, and strawberry rhubarb crumble (my all time favorite HVC dessert!), we went our separate ways for Cabin Night! Cabin Night is a super awesome evening program where each cabin does a special activity with just their cabin group. Here’s what everyone got up to:

Loons camped out at Tipis and made s’mores

Down Under played in the sprinkler and played drip drip drop at Meg’s Planet

Gimme Shelter worked on projects at the pottery studio

French 1/4 had a spa night in the yurt

Avalon made glass beads and played frisbee

Paquatahnee had a silly photoshoot and decorated picture frames

LCH had a movie night

Shangri-La designed cabin t-shirts and played with the animals in the animal barn

Wombles made pizza and buttons

Camelot went for a hike and made terrariums

Wabanaki did some glass fusing projects

Valhalla had a spa night in the Hilton

Chateau Fiasco played soccer and made ice cream sundaes at the tree house

Fiddler’s Green made shrinky dinks and had some tea time

Bermuda Triangle swam at the lake

Taj Mahal also swam at the lake

Forbidden Planet went offsite to see the new Mission Impossible movie

Sweet! Everyone had a blast chilling with their cabin mates before gearing up for today’s lazy day. This morning after sleeping in a bit, we headed the dining hall for breakfast sandwiches before going our separate ways for the day. The older half went off camp for a morning of glow bowling! There were disco lights, music and dancing, french fries, and well, bowling of course! Meanwhile, the younger half stayed on camp for a biiiiggg cabin clean before gathering on the Rec Hall field for Gross Day!

Gross Day is a day of activities designed for campers to get absolutely, positively gross! There were shaving cream hair-dos, an obstacle course with a mud and maple syrup pit, a chocolate syrup slip n’ slide, Kool-Aid drip drip drop, mentos and diet coke science, condiment twister, and disgusting mystery boxes with spaghetti, jello, and peeled grapes- yuck! Those who did not wish to be gross hung out at Meg’s Planet making friendship bracelets and playing board games and cards. Once everyone was thoroughly gross, we determined just who was the gross-est by a round of applause from the non-gross campers.

After gross campers were hosed off at the counselor carwash, we enjoyed lunch and a looonnngg rest period. Next, both halves headed to the pool for mega pool activities! There was swimming, friendship bracelet making, cards, corn hole, guitar jams, and lots of slipping on the slip n’ slide. Right now, everyone is gathering in the Backyard for evening meeting before our Mexican style feast.

Tonight is movie night! Mama Iguana and I are dying to know what the movie will be…we’ll just have to head over to the Rec Hall and see! For now, enjoy photos from Cabin Night and Gross Day!

Peace out!

Cara B. Ner

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