Monthly Archives: August 2015

Empty Chairs and Empty Tables

Friday, August 21st, 2015

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Hello, humans!! Humming Bird here with my final update for the summer!! Wow, it went by so fast!!

Every camper has gone back to their folks, and at this point the camp has been fully winterized in preparation for the inevitable snow– shocking as it may be to think of 100 inches of snow covering, for example, our beloved apple tree! But though winter seems far away to us now, the frozen schvitz will doubtless come and go here at camp before we begin another beautiful summer in just 9 short months! Check out pictures of our beautiful, empty camp! No humans to be seen, and a few notable differences in our grounds! See if you can spot ’em!

Now please allow me to monologue for a short moment. As I watch the counselors taking down all my favorite areas of camp, I can’t help but think back on what an incredible summer it’s been here at Hidden Valley, and I’m so glad I got to share every day of it with you! Thank you for checking in on our campers and reading up on our wild antics up here in Maine, because it has truly been a pleasure to report on it!

But alas now I, Humming Bird, must bid you adieu and fly south for the winter.

Humming along to The Princess Pat as I migrate,

Humming Bird

P.S.

Olive Oyl here…and reporting for duty as your wintertime correspondent! Check back in a couple weeks for camp highlights and updates as the seasons change in Maine. Even though we may be far away, I can’t wait to continue to share the camp news with you folks back at home!

Where Did All the Campers Go??

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

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Good morning, Sunshines!! Humming Bird here with Cat Nap, bright eyed and bushy tailed! We’ve been up for a few hours already here, because it’s DEPARTURE DAY!! We were woken up this morning by the melodious stylings of our very own Taj Mahal and Forbidden Planet campers and counselors! Among the noises heard at the bright hour of 4:45– along with Taj and Forbidden’s singing– was a siren. What siren? Why, the siren of our ’54 firetruck, of course! We’ve got some staff working really hard to revive the age-old truck, and this siren is just the first success they’ve achieved in their revival! Stay tuned for more firetruck news in the future!

Anyway, we’ve all been up and at ’em since 4:45 this morning! What could we possibly have been doing during all this time?? Well, we got dressed and did final cabin sweeps, removing all our belongings before we left for the last time as cabin groups! We enjoyed the continental breakfast provided by our bright-eyed kitchen staff, and headed out to the front yard to send off our first bus! The bus left full of campers as we lined Camp Road and did the Funky Chicken!! By 7:00 both the New York buses were well on their way back home, sent off– once again– by our Funky Chicken-ing! It was a truly beautiful sight, so check out the pictures below! The buses are all gone, which now leaves just our campers who are being picked up! Check out pictures of what some of these campers are up to!

Now for a recap of last night’s activities!

We have SO MANY Lobster Banquet pictures for you all! It was a beautiful, bountiful feast on Maine’s Finest! Each cabin was served by one of their beautiful counselors, so we all got to just sit back, relax, and destroy enjoy our lobsters! And then afterwards it was Ben and Jerry’s time!! I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!!!!!!! And we did scream… our ears are still ringing from all the screaming for ice cream!! Check out pictures of the MADNESS and MAYHEM and FABULOUSNESS that was our lobster banquet last night!!

After the bountiful feast we gave a standing ovation to our incredible kitchen staff, who have been preparing our meals for the last two months, and who have worked incredibly hard early mornings and late nights to make sure we all walked out of the dining hall with happy tummies three times every day! The kitchen staff was headed up by their fearless leaders, Chris and Lillian, who have been unbelievably generous with their time and talent this summer. They all deserved our rounds of applause, and we are so grateful for everything they’ve done for us over the course of this summer! Thank you so much!

When the applause died down and the kitchen staff had taken their final bow, we filed out of the dining hall, bug spray-ed up, and met again at the bottom of Tipi Hill! We walked up to Pinegrove in silence together, holding hands, led by our flaming torch. There were some wonderful acts, and a really beautiful candle lighting ceremony, so we all got to say goodbye to every camper, counselor and AWAC. We don’t bring cameras up to Pinegrove, so we don’t have any pictures to show you of the night, but trust us when we tell you, it was truly magical.

Right now our staff are taking down the camp and preparing it for the rest of the year, until next summer. We’re taking down every tent, and hunkering down all our buildings to prepare for the unthinkable– snow!! Tomorrow we’ll have pictures for you of the winter preparations, so stay tuned!

For now, Cat Nap and I are off to secure the llamas! I hope they don’t mind a cat and a bird in their pen… We’ll see!

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

Packin’ it all up!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

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Hello hello on a beautiful packing day! Humming Bird and Cat Nap here! We’re boxing up our cat toys and bird feeders and getting ready to go home at the crack of dawn tomorrow! Read all about what we’ve been up to!

Last night we had so much fun dancing around at the Fair Day Dance! We had some fabulous music playing and we were all jamming out to classics, including The Blob of course!! We switched it up a bit last night and didn’t play Don’t Stop Believing as the last song– WHAT?? We ALWAYS play Don’t Stop Believing!! Last night we ended with Bohemian Rhapsody instead, just to shake things up a bit. But we couldn’t go TOO long without Don’t Stop Believing, so we all enjoyed a mini dance party at Meeting this morning! As it turns out, we actually enjoyed several unusual features at Meeting this morning!

Phillie announced the winners of the Fair Day Road Race yesterday, so we all got to congratulate our runners! In addition to congratulating them, we also payed recognition and appreciation to some people who have made this summer as incredible as it has been. Peter went through, cabin by cabin, and called up the counselors who have ensured a safe and fun summer for all our campers! He also called up our office staff who have organized logistics and administrative business for the camp, often behind the scenes! Next was the Maintenance staff and the Lady Bugs, who have kept our grounds clean and manicured so we could enjoy the beautiful facilities and nature that we have available to us! Peter also honored our professional staff, who don’t live in cabins with campers, but teach classes– not just to campers, but also to counselors during our staff training! Finally, Peter gave credit to our fearless Program Directors who controlled the chaos and payed attention to all those tiny details that most of us don’t even think of, but which are integral to camp running smoothly! Take a look at the pictures of everyone’s moment of recognition– which included roses and personalized cards written by Peter, Meg and the Program Directors.

 

After our heartfelt Meeting, we all went back to our cabins and did a SUPER CABIN CLEAN UP! WHOOO!! We packed our bags, and like any normal cabin clean, we cleaned the floors and bathrooms and showers. But unique to this clean up, we took out every single mattress and cubby, and we wiped them all down with disinfectant wipes, then left them out to dry. The cabins were COMPLETELY empty, so we had so much space to sweep and get everything out of every nook and crannie! The cabins are SO clean now, it almost hurts our eyes to look at them!!

Once all of our cabins were cleaned, luggage was brought outside, and a PD gave each cabin the OK, we all headed to lunch, and then enjoyed our final cabin activities!! Here’s what the cabins all did!
Loons had a dance party in the Hilton
LCH did an egg drop from the Upper Carriage House
Avalon made pizza in the pizza oven
Gimme Shelter destroyed technology including a computer and cell phones
Chateau Fiasco went on a frog catching excursion
Atlantis burned clay and played basketball
Forbidden Planet went on a scavenger hunt for a car
Camelot wrote compliments to each other
Wombles had a dance party
Down Under went on a creek walk to the treehouse
French Quarter made life-sized traces of their bodies
Paquatahnee did a scavenger hunt and a yarn activity
Shangri-La had a dance party in the dark
Valhalla bonded at the lake
Taj Mahal wrote each other compliments
Fiddlers Green played the yarn game on the top of Tipi Hill and reflected on their month together

We’ve achieved a nice level of closure for the month as cabins, and now campers are moving their luggage to the appropriate spots around camp, so that everyone’s belongings get to the right place tomorrow! After the crazy luggage moving, we will be rewarded for all our hard work with a big. beautiful. bountiful. banquet. What kind of banquet, you ask? A LOBSTER BANQUET!! We will be posting SO MANY pictures of the lobster banquet tomorrow, so stay tuned!! The pictures will be just as bountiful as the lobster and Ben and Jerry’s we feast on tonight!

After the Lobster Banquet we’ll enjoy a touching night up at our Pinegrove, singing songs, telling stories, and wrapping up our beautiful month together with the classic Candle Lighting Ceremony. It’s bound to be a really special night, and as we won’t have any technology to take pictures with up there, we will not be posting pictures of the events that happen at Pinegrove. But we will give you an update on some of our favorite acts! We have some exciting things to look forward to, and we can’t wait to tell you all about it tomorrow, after all our campers are on the buses, headed back home to you folks!!

For now, Cat Nap and I are off to dig out our lobster bibs!!

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

HORSING Around on Fair Day! (Hehehe!)

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

 

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Hello, hello! Humming Bird and Cat Nap here with lots of updates on this beautiful day!

This morning we enjoyed a beautiful Brumby Horse Show! Bea, Juliet, and Olivia have done worked so hard this session, and it was so exciting to see everything they’ve learned and practiced with their horses! Check out pictures of their successful show!!

After the Brumby show we all ran (calmly and in an orderly manner, of course!) to FAIR DAY!!! We had some AMAZING booths!! Here’s what every cabin did…

Forbidden Planet made fried dough
Taj Mahal organized Kiss-O-Grams
The AWACs handed out pretzels
Valhalla served ice cream
Shangri-La kept us hydrated by giving out drinks
Camelot officiated weddings at the Marriage Booth (they even married Peter and Meg!)
Atlantis DJ’d the day
French Quarter did the chocolate fountain
Fiddlers Green painted everyone’s faces
LCH did pillow jousting
Loons ran the poop shoot (a dunk tank toilet!)
Chateau Fiasco did sumo wrestling
Avalon ran the slip ‘n slide
Wombles tallied the Jelly Bean Count
Paquatahnee did the Moon Bounce
Down Under ran the name change registration
Gimme Shelter told our fortunes

In addition to the cabins’ contributions to Fair Day, we also had a horse drawn carriage, a hot dog stand (provided by our kitchen staff) and even a rock climbing wall! There was also a beautiful art show in the Red Barn, the Pottery Studio, the Hilton glass studio, and the Hilton dance studio, where all of our campers’ art work from the whole session was displayed and viewed! Tonight that art work will be carefully wrapped up and packaged in preparation for campers’ travel back home!

After the Fair we all did our part and cleaned up the camp! And now campers are settled in the Rec Hall watching a slideshow of pictures from the session, put together by our wonderful photo area heads, Sarah and Elise! Then the video classes from these two weeks will show the videos they made!

After that, we will eat a yummy delicious dinner prepared by our one and only glorious kitchen staff, and then we will have the FAIR DAY DANCE! We’ll be out in the backyard signing white books, dancin’ around, and jamming out to some classic camp tunes on this wonderful final camp dance! Stay tuned for pictures of the events!

Also stay tuned for updates on the upcoming Packing Day, Lobster Banquet, and *sniff sniff* Departure Day!

We’re off to catch the tail end of the slide show (geddit? TAIL end! Birds and cats have tails! Hahahaha!… Cat Nap is glaring at me for my bad joke. Oh well, I think I’m funny!)

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

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