Monthly Archives: August 2014

So Long, Farewell! Until We Meet Again

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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Hello All! Snoop Cat here for one last update of the camp season…

This morning all of the counselors helped out with a few last minute work projects around camp. They are trickling out of camp throughout the day, and then camp will be practically empty! Check out these few photos to get a glimpse of what an empty HVC looks like.

As I said yesterday, we’ve had such a wonderful summer and are so glad for all of the campers we were able to spend time with. Excited about next summer already? Find yourself missing HVC’s beautiful scenery? Don’t fret! We will be posting occasional updates throughout the fall, winter, and spring. Stay tuned for posts starting after Labor Day weekend when we will begin projects for next summer.

Farewell (for now) my friends,

Snoop Cat

Safe and Sound

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Closing Staff Circle

Closing Staff Circle

Hi all! Snoop Cat here with a quick travel update…

All of the buses have arrived safely to their destinations! What a fantastic summer it has been… this afternoon all of the counselors gathered for one, final, closing circle (see above) to reflect on some of the amazing moments we all have shared. Thank you to all who joined us for this magical month, and we hope to see you again next year!

Stay tuned for some more updates in the coming weeks and months!

Catch ya later!

Snoop Cat

Lobster, Pine Grove, and the Funky Chicken: The End is Here

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

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Hey there, folks!

Lady of the Lake here, with one last batch of HVC news. It’s hard to believe that the day is finally here – departure day. Our busses have all headed out nice and on schedule, and in just a little bit the last of our campers will be headed home by car.

We had our final night together last night, and it was truly a fantastic way to commemorate our time together. We began the evening with the ultimate feast: our traditional, infamous lobster banquet. We arrived at our tables to find a spectacular spread of delicious appetizers. There were zesty potatoes, bread and butter, a fresh salad, and Maine coast mussels. We began devouring our food, and in a short time, our lovely waitrons – yes, we were waited on by our kind counselors – delivered our entrees. We had our choice of a chicken dish, spanicopita, or fresh, tasty lobster. We munched on our yummy dishes, and when we were all content, we began waiting for dessert.

At Hidden Valley, there’s a longstanding tradition that we all bang on the tables in anticipation of our ice cream. As we bang and scream and make quite the ruckus, Meg comes out in a cow costume. Yes, a cow costume, complete with spots and a cow head. She then places bags of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream on our table, and we begin the second part of our banquet. We all got to eat our fill of fantastic flavors, highlights including Phish Food, Cherry Garcia, and Chunky Monkey.

With our bellies warm and full, we gathered at the base of Tipi Hill to begin our final evening program, Closing Pine Grove. When we were all there, we began ascending the hill in utter silence, enjoying the fresh air and taking a moment to reflect on our time here at Hidden Valley. Seated around the fire up at Pine Grove, which is, naturally, a grove of tall, striking pines, we waited for the night to begin. As always, the AWACs started the night by singing our candle song and strolling in together. When their song was complete, they placed their candles by the fire and rejoined their cabins.

Next, the Tipis crew took the stage. Those campers that spent time up at our Tipis this session joined the counselors to sing Airplane Over the Sea. Those of us who knew the song joined in to sing the beautiful tune. That was the beginning of our wonderful evening of songs and stories. Nearly all of our cabins performed together, leading the cabin in either a heartfelt song or a ridiculous and funny campfire tune. Avalon sang the classic Pizza Man and Chateau Fiasco sang Lima Bean. Paquatahnee sang Because I Came to HVC and the two counselors organizing the night led us in the Princess Pat. Forbidden took us through a rousing round of the Penguin song, and Wombles sang a short verse of Bumblebee Tuna. We also heard some new takes on some old songs. The Burrow sang an amazing version of These Are a Few of my Favorite Things, tailored to Hidden Valley. Adventures showed us the new spins they put on a number of songs while they hiked. Shangri-La changed the words to the song Can You Dig that Crazy Gibberish to be about one of their counselors. We all had a good laugh at that one!

Other cabins sang songs that captured the mood of the evening just perfectly. Camelot sang What a Wonderful World, and  Taj Mahal sang Daylight. Fiddler’s Green sang L-O-V-E, and Down Under led the whole camp in Lean on Me. Our AWACs gave us a truly touching performance of Hey Jude, and of course all of camp joined in.Valhalla sang House of Gold, and French Quarter sang If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.

Continuing the mood, Alive sang songs from High School Musical 2 and the Island Song. Camp enjoyed those lighter notes scattered throughout the night. One of our pro staff members also took us through I Want It That Way. It was completely necessary to have some Backstreet Boys at our ceremony. We had a fabulous time when two of our staff members told us the Pickle Story. For those of you who don’t know, the story is a camp favorite. We’re divided into sections, and each section makes a different noise when a certain word is called out. For instance, those who were in one section said “meow” every time the word dragon was said. The story is always a hit, as it’s quite humorous.

As the night went on, cabins began starting the candlelight ceremony. The candlelight ceremony concludes each session, year after year. Each member of camp receives a candle, and we head down in a line saying goodbye to every individual. It’s the perfect way to say farewell to everyone, and to take a moment together to remember special times. As we head down the line, we have the option to touch the flames of our candles, our to embrace in a hug. (Of course, we blow out our candles first if we go for the hug!) As the songs winded down at the fire, the line of candles grew longer and longer. By the end of the evening, every cabin and all our staff had made it down the line. With that terrific send off, we headed back under the beautiful stars to our cabins one last time.

This fine morning, the cabins were awakened by the lovely voices of Taj and Forbidden campers belting out songs. The final days are filled with traditions, and that’s another one of them. The campers sang a variety of songs, including classics like Build Me Up Buttercup and newer pop songs like Roar.

With everyone bright eyed and awake (okay, some of us were still a little sleepy), we had our first breakfast. Shortly soon after, the first busses started pulling up. We loaded them all up, campers and all, and they began driving away. As they headed past, the remaining people at camp sang and danced the Funky Chicken. That’s the last of our very special traditions. We all stand in a line as the busses drive by and sing a very wacky song, and wave our final goodbyes.

Now, most campers are home and staff are working to close down all the areas of camp.

For now, this is goodbye. It has been a truly magnificent summer. Olive Oyl and I are sure to be back in a month or so, but in the meantime, Snoop Cat will be posting one final check in tomorrow. We can’t wait until next time.

Forever yours,

Lady of the Lake

 

 

Packing, Pine Grove, and Plenty of Lobster

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
French Quarter's cabin activity!

French Quarter’s cabin activity!

Howdy, folks! Olive Oyl here with the Packing Day scoop.

We started off the morning with a delicious breakfast of freshly baked cinnamon buns, hash browns, and fruit. We then gathered together for our epic camp meeting, where we first off thanked all of our amazing counselors and staff members for all their hard work this summer. They received beautiful bright roses, hugs, and notes from the directors. We then discussed the essentials of packing day: cleaning and packing. We went over how to air out our mattresses, clean our cubbies, and find the mates to our lonely socks this past month. After hearing all this important information, we dispersed to pick up art projects, meds, and valuables to pack away before tomorrow morning.

We then headed back to our cabins for a super cabin clean and final pack before fueling up on some lunch. We munched on mac and cheese, salad, onion rings, and cous cous salad. We then took a relaxing rest period before our final cabin day activities. Every cabin did something fun and unique all over camp.

Avalon made paper planes and Loons made, and set off, a smoke bomb in Deer Meadows field. Wombles did an egg drop in the Tree House and LCH went on a hike to the Old Stone Bridge and then went down the Tipi Zip. Chateau Fiasco built a raft from only duct tape and what they could find at the End of the World, which they then took down to the lake. Bermuda Triangle had a challenge scavenger hunt all over camp that ended in ice cream. Forbidden Planet took a hike past Tom’s Trail to the Lost Car to find their Forbidden shirts…awesome!

The Burrow had a gymnastics party in the Rec Hall and did a closing circle activity. Down Under did warm and fuzzies (writing sweet notes) and had a dance party in the Old Dance Studio. French Quarter explored their artistic side with body tracing and Paquatahnee played backyard games and did warm and fuzzies with a cabin photo. Shangri-La shared yarn bracelets and played blob tag while Camelot signed pillowcases. Fiddler’s Green also made yarn bracelets and Valhalla made t-shirts in the Foothills. Finally, Taj Mahal signed warm and fuzzies on a cabin photo and had a candy party. Overall, it was an exciting afternoon that gave cabins an opportunity to reminisce on good times this summer and to create more memories with their bunkmates and counselors before we all head off tomorrow.

So many awesome things are lined up for the rest of the day. First off, we’re currently having our Major League Luggage Meeting, where campers figure out where to place their luggage this afternoon so that it ends up in the right bus, car, or van tomorrow morning. After this big move, we’ll have evening meeting before the…drumroll please…Lobster Banquet! We’ll feast on mussels, lobster, (or chicken, spanakopita, or pasta, for those of us who don’t eat seafood), and of course, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. We all can’t wait to see Meg come out in her cow costume!

After this delightful meal, we’ll take the lovely walk up to the top of Tipi Hill for our Pine Grove ceremony. It’s sure to be a beautiful evening of music, stories, and old camp traditions. And we’ll get to say goodbye to every person on camp with the candle-lighting ceremony. Pine Grove is always a wonderful way to wrap up the summer, giving us time to reflect on our experiences this summer–the art, friendships, and loving community that we’ve all created.

More to come tomorrow! Be sure to check out pictures as always.

Lots of love,
Olive

Final cabin day activities this afternoon and festivities this morning:

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