Category Archives: News Reports

Camp friendship: everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

Happy holidays, HVC! Hummingbird here! As the weather gets colder and the shortest day of the year rapidly approaches, I hope these pictures warm your heart and brighten your day just a little, and remind you of the REAL most wonderful time of the year… CAMP TIME!!

The community we create as a camp over those all-too-short months is unique and dynamic. The magic that surrounds camp has a special way of bonding people together. Those relationships are lasting, and extend long after the last Funky Chicken has been danced on departure day! Some camp friends see each other during the school year– some even live in the same home! Some don’t talk for months until the next arrival day, but it feels like no time has passed at all. And we know that we can always lean on our HVC family for support any time of the year. No matter the distance in space or time, for campers and counselors alike, the bonds we form at HVC leave a lasting imprint on all of our hearts. We can feel the glow of camp friendship even during the coldest winter months. It’s just like that old favorite Taj Mahal thought du jour, “Friendship is like peeing your pants; everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth!”

Stay warm, and don’t forget to tell a camp friend you love them so they can feel the warmth too 🙂

Humming along,


CAMP FRIENDS!! I’ll be there for you (when the schvitz starts to pour)

Monday, November 12th, 2018

Hello, camp friends and family! Hummingbird here, enjoying the crisp Autumn air beneath my wings!! Last week was the highly anticipated camper reunion in New York. Peter and Meg met up with tons and tons of campers from this summer to catch up, sing our favorite songs, and of course get moving with The Jellyfish dance!!

Over the course of the summer we create a community of caring, deeply connected campers, counselors, and staff. We see each other every day in our classes, cabins, and cafeteria. The relationships we form can last lifetimes– in fact, sometimes the summer can feel like a lifetime totally separate from the rest of our year! So when the colder weather hits, and we bring technology into the mix, and school and work come back into play, camp reunions bring a little of that camp magic into the real world!

Whether you could make it out to NYC or you Jellyfished from home, thank you for being part of our camp community! We love having you as part of our family, and we look forward to reuniting again in the summer of 2019!

Hands up, wrists together,

The leaves are changing and so is CAMP!

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

Look at it, nestled in there!

Happy post-Halloween! Hummingbird here, munchin’ on some leftover Kit Kats and all a-hum about what’s been happening in Montville! Camp got all decked out in preparation for Halloween last month, and you’ll hardly recognize it!

Maybe you’ve heard whisperings that camp is getting a brand spankin’ new photo studio… Maybe you’ve even seen some teaser pictures… But today, for the first time EVER, I present to you the full structure of the photo studio! The building is located behind the pottery studio, overlooking the skate park and the metal dome! It’s coming along so beautifully because Carmi, Tim, and Al have put in so much hard work to bring the building together. And that’s not all they’ve been working on this Fall. In addition to the photo studio, construction has been ongoing to build a BRAND NEW WOMBLES!! Nestled between Avalon and French Quarter, Wombles is a staple of our Backyard neighborhood. Check out how construction is going on the new cabin!

The leaves are changing and so is camp, ever evolving and updating so that when the trees are green again and the sun warms our beautiful corner of the earth, campers can return to have the BEST SUMMER EVER!! Only 6 more months until we all come back in the Valley! Until then, enjoy some candy 🙂

Munch munch,


The Lion, the Witch, and the COSTUME CLOSET!

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

Play us some music, Pan!

Greetings, friends and HVC family! Hummingbird here with your October update! As I was humming around the Valley checking in on all our annual autumnal adjustments, the smell of brand new floors drew me into the Rec Hall. Floating around, taking in the fall Maine air and the view of Tipi Hill, and doing a little Cotton Eyed Joe on the stage of course, I happened upon our kooky costume closet, where I was brought back to all the fun times we had this summer with our costumes!

We use our costumes for all kinds of program areas, from the theatrical performances our campers put on (dressed to the nines by our fabulous costuming classes), to our silly game of Candy Crush; from the wildest mayhem in the Wheel of Misfortune, to our wacky themed dances! Dressing up in costume extends the invitation to embrace creativity, to explore the infinite possibilities of play, and to answer the question, “What do I want to be today?” Camp provides a unique opportunity for campers and counselors alike to dress up and branch out. During our evening programs we can all suspend our disbelief together, and embark as a camp community on an expedition through our imagination.

We had an incredible summer of costumed creativity in 2018, check out these silly pictures! We can’t wait to see how our dress up inspires us in the summer of 2019! Ooh! I just found the dragon costume from the first session play, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe! Time to play some dress up myself– who says a little hummingbird like me can’t breathe fire? I’m off to practice 🙂

*Fire breath*
Humming Bird

PS: If you or someone you know has any costume clothing lying around, consider donating it to camp! You can email [email protected] or call us at 207-342-5177, and check back on the blog– you may see your costume in the next camp production! 

Wombles, the Rec Hall, and the WHOLE PLANET!! Well, Meg’s Planet :)

Friday, September 21st, 2018

TGIF, camp friends and family, and HAPPY WEEKEND!! Humming Bird signing on for our September issue of Camp News!! There’s lots going on in the Valley, so let’s take a looksie.

Our busy bee construction team is hard at work on the new Wombles! Wombles has been a staple in the backyard since it was originally built in 1971, nestled between its fellow younger half cabins, Avalon, Paquatahnee, and French Quarter. It has housed campers of all genders for almost half a century! We can’t wait to celebrate the next 50 years of camp magic with our new Wombles building, starting summer 2019!

Next stop, PLANET MEG! Looks a little different right now than it did when we had campers around, but you can recognize our Peace Pole, and of course the iconic llama pen in the background. I wonder what Blackberry’s got planned for this weekend… Stay tuned to see more progress as the Planet spins around. Always orbiting, doo doo doo doo doo!

Continuing on our orbit, let’s head to the Rec Hall. Take a look at those sparkly clean floors, they’re brand spankin’ new! I mean, shiny wood is cool and all, but I personally think these floors could use a nice layer of whipped cream and spam. Maybe our campers can help us with that at the next Wheel of Misfortune…

And that concludes our September tour around the Valley! I’ll leave you here in front of the Health Lodge (OUCH!), where our flowers are looking particularly delectable to a Humming Bird like myself… Gotta go check those out! Have a beautiful weekend, HVC!!

Keep humming along,
Humming Bird


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

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