Community Service and Leadership Training

A 4-Week Summer Program

Our teen community service summer program, for boys and girls aged 14-16 and who are committed to making a difference in their communities and their own lives.

group photo 2012

The Goals

Develop skills in self-sufficiency, leadership, and community service useful at home, in school and in any work related activity. (Community service credit available.)

I didn't realize what an incredible experience Community was going to be for Max. The name says it all: community in terms of the community service work and, even more importantly, community in terms of the relationships that are built. The small group living in Blodgett House was so close-knit and comfortable and accepting of one another.
- HVC Community Parent


The Environment

Live in a restored farmhouse on 17 acres of woods and fields, prepare your own meals or share them at the Hidden Valley Dining Hall, and spend time in three environments – your micro community, the camp, and the neighboring Maine towns.

blodgett house
The Blodgett House – Visited by Teddy Roosevelt on his expeditions to Maine.
Photos: Kevin Forti, k4t Photography

Activities at Blodgett House

  • Team building and leadership workshops
  • Problem solving & communication skills
  • Discussions such as “moral & ethical dilemmas in groups and communities.”
  • Food preparation using organic garden vegetables from the Blodgett House garden
  • Small construction projects

Projects at the Camp

  • Develop your own camp classes and teach younger children.
  • Create a demonstration wind or solar power project.
  • Build a bench or a stained glass window for one of the camp’s common areas.
  • Learn construction skills by building a shed from scratch.

Typical Schedule

Breakfast at the Blodgett House
Chores and Workshops
Community Service at Camp
Lunch at the camp or on the road

Assist in Hidden Valley classes, or
Lead a special project for camp interest groups, or
Work on a building or decorative project, or
Volunteer outside of camp.
Dinner at the Blodgett House or at camp

Lead a Cabin Night program, or
Sing, tell campfire stories, or
Go on a special trip to a Maine performance or events.
The month at HV Community concludes with a special trip to Canada, Campobello Island or Quebec.

Our Mission

The goal for Hidden Valley Community participants is to strengthen one’s capacity as a community member and become a better person at all levels of community life. The program also represents the camp’s understanding that Hidden Valley is not an island. Since 2003, our volunteers have led the camp’s efforts to share with its neighbors our rural community’s way of life.

Left: On air at a local community radio station. Right: Bingo at a senior home.

Rural Community Service

  • Plant trees at Acadia National Park
  • Assist with an alternative energy project
  • Maintain sections of the Appalachian Trail
  • Construct a picnic area on conservation land
  • Help elderly farmers with chores
  • Care for cats and dogs at a nearby animal shelter
  • Maintain equipment at a volunteer fire department
  • Assist at a local arts festival

community pole
Erecting a signpost on local conservation land.

house framing
Raising the roof!

Sunrise at Acadia National Park before a day of tree planting.

Making lunch in our kitchen.

community metal
Another mess to clean!

What People Say

Volunteer work like planting trees in Acadia, or helping to run a booth at the Blue Hill Fair, was a lot of fun – it didn’t feel like work. Part of the reason I chose Community was because I liked the idea of giving something back in terms of community service; the experience was even more fun and rewarding than I expected. Being together as a small group in Blodgett House was really great. Living together and working together made us really close.
- HVC Community Camper

This was a great way to see Maine by meeting local residents - visiting people in a retirement community, a day-care center, a dairy farm, and other encounters.
- HVC Community Camper

As a practical matter, Daniel has a community service requirement at school and the Community program was a good way to earn a lot of hours over the summer. And he loved it. It was an opportunity to actually do things and not just sit in school and learn about things. He made good friends and worked with a lot of different people.
- HVC Community Parent

Our 15-year old daughter went to camp liking community service and she returned in love with community service. In a world scarred by self-absorption and greed, HV Community teaches the pure joy of giving. Along the way, she helped plant 600 trees in Acadia National Park and tasted curry for the first time. The friendships she made are lasting and deep.
- HVC Community Parent

I know Max grew in terms of independence and leadership by getting to make decisions on what the group did, and being given responsibility for carrying them out. The counselors were phenomenal and really made Max feel like a young adult who had a great deal to contribute.
- HVC Community Parent