Goodbyes and New Beginnings on Departure Day!

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Forbidden Planet getting silly at Lobster Banquet!

Good morning, readers! Cara B. here with the departure day scoop!

Speaking of scoops… last night’s Lobster Banquet was just as delicious as expected. The dining hall roared with cheers as Meg and Sandia came running out in their cow suits, Ben & Jerry’s in hand. My favorite flavor had to be Chocolate Fudge Brownie, but I think Luna Bug preferred Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz.

Once our bellies were full, we took our special, silent walk up Tipi Hill for Closing Pine Grove. We had some awesome acts! Loons told an animal folk tale with a Hidden Valley twist. Georgie and Maemae sang a super sweet song with original lyrics about camp. Valhalla did a spin on The Cup Song with lyrics about the end of the session and French 1/4 sang a beautiful rendition of Valerie. LCH and Chateau Fiasco kept it simple with some camp classics; Princess Pat and Baby Shark.

We woke up bright and early at 5am, serenaded by our oldest cabins, Forbidden Planet, Taj Mahal, Deer Meadows, and Shangri-La. We enjoyed a light continental breakfast before we said goodbye to our friends who left on buses. There was loading luggage, last minute white book signing, and LOTS of hugs. Continuing a favorite HVC tradition, campers and staff danced the Funky Chicken (and the funky moose, llama, lobster, and other animals,) as the buses pulled out of camp. Afterward, we ate a more hearty second breakfast and are now hanging out around the center of camp.

Some campers are waiting for their folks to pick them up to be driven home, while others who are staying for second session await a trip to the beach this afternoon – wahoo! It will be a super hot day today, so the beach will be the perfect way to enjoy the sun. Counselors are busy preparing camp for another session. Some are planning evening programs and gathering supplies for classes, while others are making sure all areas of camp are in tip-top shape for our next round of campers.

That’s all for now! Updates on the timing of all camp buses can be found on the Hidden Valley Facebook page. We’ll be back tomorrow with all the news including a second intersession trip and more second session prep!

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!


A Packing Day Party and a Peaceful Pinegrove on the Second to Last Day!

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Bermuda Triangle is all packed up and ready to go, and looking cool as ever doing it

Howdy hey, everybody! I have an exciting new co-reporter to introduce you all to… Cara B. Ner! Cara is super stoked to be joining the team, and I’m really happy to have her here. Take it away, Cara!

Hello, gang! Cara here with my very first news update of the summer! I can’t wait to report all the fun that is still to come in the next month.

Last night after a yummy dinner of chicken patties, roasted veggies and ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies, we gathered in the backyard for the Fair Day Dance. There was swinging on the swings, tether ball, lots of laughter, and dancing, of course! We ended the night with a big dance to “Don’t Stop Believin’,” a camp classic.

After sleeping in a bit, (score!) and a breakfast of delicious cinnamon rolls, (double score!) we met in the front yard for a big morning meeting. We thanked all of our wonderful pro-staff who will be leaving us after this session, as well as our amazing AWACs for all of their hard work. We had our last Thought Du Jour from the Taj girls, our last Joke of the Day from Gimme Shelter, and of course our last Spirit Animal from Forbidden Planet. We discussed luggage labeling, distributing art projects, and a HUGE post-packing cabin clean.

We went back to our cabins and got right to work! And boy, did we have quite a task in front of us. There was packing up clothes and bedding, cleaning out cubbies and wiping down mattresses, and a whole lot of sweeping. After we passed inspection from our toughest inspectors yet, (the PDs and Peter and Meg!) we headed off to lunch.

After a much needed bite to eat, each cabin headed out for a special final cabin activity. It was so much fun! Here’s what each cabin got up to this afternoon:

The Burrow had an egg hunt around camp

Down Under made memory jars

Wombles read Harry Potter by the fire

Loons did an egg drop

LCH made comics

Avalon decorated all-star t-shirts

French 1/4 had a waffle party

Paquatahnee did Tipi Zipline

Gimme Shelter wrote “warm n’ fuzzies” and practiced for pine grove

Wabanaki finished decorating their cabin t-shirts and wrote “warm n’ fuzzies”

Bermuda Triangle made shrinky dinks and played games

Valhala wrote “warm n’ fuzzies” and had a group reflection on the session

Fiddler’s Green had a dance party

Chateau Fiasco also had a dance party

Shangri-la wrote “warm n’ fuzzies”

Haley’s Comet rode their horses on the Brumby Trail

Camelot wrote “warm n’ fuzzies”

Forbidden Planet decorated t-shirts

Deer Meadows searched for a secret car hidden in the HVC woods

(“Warm n’ fuzzies” are little notes written anonymously for each member of the cabin to be read on the way home, making everyone feel warm n’ fuzzy!)

Whew! After we were done, we gathered in the front yard for a big transportation meeting. Peter called out where everyone was going and how they were getting there to make sure we were all sorted for tomorrow. We then moved our luggage from all around camp using our BIG muscles (with the help of some camp vehicles,) into the front yard. We made sure to sort it all by method of transportation and destination so that every suitcase and duffle will find their way home!

Right now, we are having some much needed chill time in the backyard. In a little bit, we’ll have our last evening meeting, including a final useless fact from our Deer Meadows Gurus. After meeting, we will head into the dining hall for the long awaited Lobster Banquet, complete with salad, dinner rolls, potatoes, muscles, and a choice of lobster, chicken parm, or spanakopita – yum! Dessert will be assorted pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, of course, handed out by Meg herself. We will then thank our kitchen staff for all of their hard work and delicious cooking this summer. Without them, we would never have the energy to do all of our awesome activities!

After dinner and a generous application of bug spray, we will head up Tipi Hill one last time for Closing Pine Grove. Pine Grove is a super special camp spot. We go up twice a session to open and close camp in a wooded, technology-free zone. We will go up in cabin groups around a big fire to sing songs, tell stories, and just be together as a camp for our last night. We will then have our Candle Lighting Ceremony, where every camper, counselor, and staff member will have a chance to say goodbye to each other. It is a bittersweet evening – it is sad to have to say goodbye to our friends, but so joyful to remember the amazing time we had together.

Tomorrow, we will wake up SUPER early to load buses and vans and begin heading home. Stay tuned for travel updates and departure day activities to come. Although this session is coming to an end, I’m SO excited for all that next session has to offer.

Climbing away!

Cara B.

Fantastic Fair Day Fun!

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Poop shoot in action!

Happy Tuesday, friends and fellow!

Even though things are winding down for the session, it really feels like things have just been winding up what with everything going on around here!

Yesterday’s Lazy Day ended with a wonderful afternoon of pool activities for the older half, and Packing Day Junior-Junior for the younger half.

After the final pizza night of the session, we all headed over to watch the musical! A Very Potter Musical was absolutely magical, and it wasn’t just the spells that made it that way! It was a hilarious and smart show executed fantastically by the directors Dario, Aly, and Luke. Man, and don’t even get me started on all the performers! Everyone sang and acted with gusto, and the audience gave it a standing ovation. After the big lazy day we all headed off to bed to sleep well so we could gear up for today’s Fair Day!

Boy, Fair Day did not start slow. To begin the day we had a road race down camp road, the second annual one, in fact. The participating campers and counselors got up a bit earlier than everyone else, had breakfast, and then were bused up the road so that they would then run down. The rest of camp got to sleep in until 8:15 (silent ups!), had breakfast, and then we headed to the front yard to wait for the racers. Just as HVA got up to talk to us about their trip, the first racer rounded the corner: Jonah! After that, Olive and I can’t quite remember the order of who won so we’ll get the full report on that for tomorrow.

After camp meeting everybody went to the backyard to set up the Fair Day booths, had Packing Day Junior, and then headed to the horse barn to watch the Brumby show.

Over the course of this session, the Brumby program has worked every day taking care of the horses, and working on the Brumby show. Today they showed the whole camp what they’ve been working on and it was awesome!

After the Brumby show everybody headed to the backyard to begin Fair Day, and man, it was an awesome day! There was a climbing wall, a bouncy house, the marriage booth, pillow jousting, name change, a jelly bean count, face painting, a horse and carriage walk, and fortune telling. The chocolate fountain was in full swing, there was lemonade, pretzels, hot dogs, corn dogs, and ice cream, and most importantly (at least to me) FRIED DOUGH! Thinking about those pieces of fried goodness doused in enough powder sugar to simulate a snowstorm is making my mouth water just reporting on it now.

To close the Fair Day activities we all gathered around the gazebo to listen to a few songs from the Old Man Rockband, a newly formed band featuring our very own Tom the dulcimer man, Rob P., and John N.

Now, the whole camp is gathered in the rec hall to watch the camp slide show which has photos from the whole session as well as videos from our video classes. After that we’re going to have evening meeting, then dinner, and then tonight’s evening program which is the Fair Day Dance! It’s going to be a great night to hang out with friends, sign white books, and dance our hearts out, unwinding a little bit after the big day.

After that we’ll go off to bed because sleep is going to be majorly important heading into Packing Day  tomorrow! After all the packing and moving of luggage tomorrow, each cabin is going to do a fun cabin activity, so that’ll be super cool!

That’s all for tonight, folks!

Buggin’ out over the end of camp,


The Last Lazy Day: Adventuring into Adulting and a Big Day Bowling!

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Bowling fun!

Howdy doo dah day! Luna Bug buzzing in from the dark side of the moon!

Last night we headed into this lazy day with a fantastic sharing night. We had three separate ukulele classes, a singing class, contemporary dance, hip hop, knitting, performance art, animal care, Irish Dance, sketch comedy, snack-tractor, guitar, tap, American Sign Language, cooking, Stomp, guitar, creative writing, and Where the Wild Things Are all come up and share or perform something. It was quite a night.

Today was the last Lazy Day of the session today, and we had coffee cake to get it going, and a gorgeous blue sky all day to accompany it. The younger half went glow bowling and it was incredibly fun. The campers and counselors played 6 to a lane, and they got through a couple of games. As a snack, everybody got a soda and french fries! Woohoo!

Back on main camp, the older half had a very successful Adulting Day. There was Make Your Adult Persona Backstory, a mock job interview, How to Network With Emily, How to Sew a Button, Relay Race Table Setting, Restaurant Reservations 101, and the NYTimes Crossword Puzzles and Sudoku station. Finally, we had a skill of the day wheel which included things like how to properly iron and how to tie a tie. These stations were conducted Interest Groups style, meaning that the older half campers were hanging out in the backyard and they could choose which stations they wanted to go to and when!

On top of all of these skills, there was a modified life sized version of The Game of Life incorporated into each station. At each station, the counselors running it had little cards like “Send Your Kids to HVC” or “Get a Job as ____.” The campers were encouraged to collect as many cards as possible throughout the course of the day by doing the different skills and activities. At the very end, the cabin with the most cards got a special prize, one that fit the theme of Adulting Day. And what do adults love most? Tax breaks! Just kidding- Coupons! At the end, Camelot was the cabin with the most life cards. The prize? A coupon for one extra item at the chocolate fountain on Fair Day! Oooo….Aaaaaah!

Right now, the older half is at pool activities and the younger half is at rest period after a big morning, followed by a big ole cabin clean to get ready for packing day in a few days. After these events, everybody will meet in the backyard for evening meeting, and then dinner outside as is tradition on lazy days, and then the evening program: A Very Potter Musical!

While this whole lazy day has been going, Fair Day prep has been well under way. The Poop Shoot is on the move, and tables are as well in order to accommodate the ice cream and hot dogs to come…

Check below for photos from glow bowling and Adulting day, as well as some awesome pics from last night’s Sharing Night. We also have some pictures from the camper/counselor basketball game in case you wanted to see everybody in action!

Over and out!


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