New Staff, New Campers, New AWACs, New Animals!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Our awesome archery staff!

Hi, friends! Olive Oyl here with some news hot off the press! It’s been a busy couple of days here at camp with staff doing their last few priorities and drills in various areas and spending time with co-counselors and director contacts finalizing cabin themes and cabin night activities.

And with that, camp is starting to feel a lot more like camp, with lots of new arrivals today (even including some kids!). Phillippe, our glass fusing pro staff, arrived yesterday, in addition to the rest of Gabe’s family (his wife Amanda and kids Finn and Augie), and Eden, our photo/yoga/shibori (and awesome Japanese tie-dye technique that we’re excited to have) prostaff, who arrived with her husband Aaron and two sons Mayim and Lavi. Not to mention our first campers coming without families attached, Mia and Yuval, who came in all the way from Israel to Maine early this morning. And possibly the most exciting of all, our fabulous group of AWACs arrived this afternoon, who are currently in the foothills with their awesome ARPs Seth and Danica getting started on their training before the campers arrive. Camp is getting fuller and we’re getting full of excitement thinking about a few days from now!

Meanwhile on camp, we’ve been busy in our danger areas practicing emergency drills. Mountain biking, ropes, and archery all completed their drills successfully over the past few days. Woohoo!! The archers have been especially busy finishing up their tests on the course today to get their certification. Awesome!

We’ve been busy down in the art world as well, with Phillippe doing training in the fusing studio, as well as glass bead and blowing teachers honing in on their skills before classes start. We also had our first shift meeting after lunch today where staff began to plan for the first few evening programs and Lazy Days of the summer. In the animal world, we also had a few new arrivals today, with ducks and bunnies magically appearing on camp just an hour or so ago. Check out the pictures to see the cuteness! Did I mention our batch of kittens arrived the other day as well?! It’s adorable city down at the animal barn.

This evening we’ll be having our very own staff Lobster Banquet (complete with delicious non-seafood options as well like Spanikopita, Chicken Parm, and pasta). And no lobster banquet would be complete without the ice cream. We can’t wait! After digesting a little bit, we’ll head up Tipi Hill to our beautiful quiet spot, Pine Grove. There, we’ll sit around the campfire, share stories, sing songs, and come together and reflect our time here during staff training. It’s one of my favorite nights on camp and I’m looking forward to sitting amongst the trees and next to the fire.

Well, that’s all for now. Be sure to check out the awesome pictures and check back soon!

Adios,

Olive

 

Hidden Valley’s Got Talent!

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

The Ropes staff doing the limbo!

Happy first day of summer, everybody!

It’s Luna Bug here reporting on this breezy, blue, and beautiful day at HVC.

Busy, busy, busy here, but does that even surprise you? Phone calls to folks at home are happening, Weather Guy is busy preparing, and we’ve all been practicing on perfecting the horns section for Meg’s Planet.

Yesterday was a jam packed day. The lifeguards completed all of their drills, which means that the pool (FUN) and the lake (FUNNER) are open for the staff to use, provided a lifeguard is with us! Just in time, because it’s heating up over here.

Last night our evening program was the staff talent show. Olivia, Lucy, Rob, and Taylor were our wonderful MCs for the night, picking up where they left off from a promo when Rob scandalously proposed to Olivia instead of Taylor. See photos below and see if you can puzzle out what’s happening!

The talent show was so fun, and there were over 15 acts! Tanya told us her Otis the Llama conspiracy theories, there was a performance of Valerie, and the PDs performed a campified version of Sunday Morning. Aaaah, Olive Oyl and I are still not over all the amazing acts!

Today, everybody has scattered off to our different corners of camp for morning priorities, and this afternoon the whole staff will enjoy a bit of off time before we’re back on tomorrow.

Ciao for now!

Luna Bug

Staff is Gearing Up and We are Counting Down the Days!

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Fire away!

Hey you guys! Olive Oyl here with lots of news for all you lots of people back home.

Yesterday was a busy day with our lifeguards down at the lake working on their drills, the final ropes group going up for a climb on the course (and our ropes staff getting a little more practice), and cabin groups starting phone calls home to speak to campers and families about the summer. Speaking of which, all staff are moved into their first session cabins and super excited to meet their campers in just four short days. We all came together in the afternoon for a first aid meeting before enjoying a delicious dinner of BBQ chicken, corn bread, and cole slaw…yum!

Today we woke up to clouds and schvitz, but by lunchtime the sky had cleared and we’ve been enjoying a warm and sunny afternoon. Perfect for another day of drills down at the lake for our lifeguards and the rest of staff all over camp working in their various areas– archery, printmaking, glassblowing, and interest groups are all up and running. We’ve also been doing “mock lessons” the past few days to give counselors a chance to practice their teaching and other counselors a chance to ride a horse or shoot on the range or make an art project. Awesome!

This morning we met with different PDs to discuss the challenges of our particular age groups– splitting into younger and older boys and younger and older girls to have a discussion and “build our toolbox” with games and strategies to use throughout the summer in our cabins.

We had a delicious lunch of gyros, with a choice of falafel or lamb with all the sauces and fixings. After lunch we got together for the Program Program (formerly known as the details meeting), where various areas of camp got a chance to talk about their programs. Moses served as the host of our talk show, complete with a house band backed by Sara, Jacob, and Rob P., and we heard from Seth our ropes director, Ciera in horses, Alive, Community, and Adventures counselors, plus the Tipis counselors and Phillie with the waterfront. It was lots of info and lots of fun!

 

Tonight illustrious staff talent show, where our fine staff will get a chance to showcase their amazing talents and skills. They’ll be some music, some funnies, and maybe even some juggling. Can’t wait to tell you all about it tomorrow!

That’s all for now…check out the pictures and talk to you soon!

Lots of love,

Olive

Poobahs, Promos, and Positively Fantastic Classes!

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Proposal in the dining hall? Bizarre costumes? Smells like a promo to me…

Good morning everyone! Luna Bug here to tell everyone about the big day yesterday and the big day that’s unfolding today!

Yesterday began with the beautiful reunion of our art poobah’s Max and Elise. Don’t know what poobah means? We don’t either, but we like it. Max and Elise are in charge of all of the visual arts programming here at HVC, and they’ve been doing it for a few years together so they were really excited to both get back on camp after Elise had been running the show for a few days on her own. After a brief paint party, the two got to work organizing things like screen printing at the buckhorn and the darkroom.

I guess yesterday was a day of arrivals, actually. Juan arrived yesterday, and settled into his cabin Poo (as in, Winnie the) before getting to know everybody during red barn time. He’s a great guy and we’re lucky to have him join our always excellent nursing staff.

Our priorities continued as usual yesterday, with our sports and dance staff meeting for the first time to discuss what needs to be done organizationally in those areas. Our second group of staff got a chance to complete the ropes course, and we heard that Mitch climbed the cargo net on the backside with JUST HIS ARMS! No legs! Do you understand?! Wow! Olive Oyl doesn’t seem quite as excited as I am, but all l know is my arms hurt just thinking about doing that.

At 4pm the whole staff met in the front yard for the big reveal of what we’ll be teaching in the first two weeks of camp! Everybody was super eager to see what was on tap. Some fun classes to start getting excited about are acapella, basketball fun, How to Be a Popstar, and sooooo many others I could go on and on so I’m stopping myself right now.

During dinner, the shift heads performed their promo to introduce the staff talent show. Olivia, Lucy, Taylor, and Rob played a southern grandma, a no-nonsense mom, a moody granddaughter, and a ridiculous businessman, respectively. We’re not entirely sure what happened, but all we know is that there was a proposal in the dining hall last night and that for the “wedding” they need at least 15 performers, which is why the staff talent show needs to happen. A strange and funny setup for what should be a great night! See photos below if you have no clue what I’m talking about!

After dinner, the whole staff rotated through a series of four stations to learn about effective teaching styles. Peter brought us through a mock lesson about how to properly clean a toilet, we learned about how its important to explain, demonstrate, and allow a camper to practice when learning a new skill, and finally we wrapped up our discussion about how to navigate differences and talk respectfully towards one another. Oh, and Paul also took us through a lesson on how to start a fire. Three key words: Kindling, tinder, and fuel. Boom, fire created, I think. Don’t try this at home, folks.

After these stations everyone went in to the dining hall where we worked on our lesson plans for the classes we’re teaching. Returners led the new counselors through what was effective in past classes, and everybody got a chance to really talk about the new classes coming up!

Talk to you all later!

Over and out,

Luna Bug

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