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Orienting ourselves to camp life!

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

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Salutations, from a fun-filled orientation day at Hidden Valley! This is Humming Bird reporting on a schvitzy day here at camp– it never rains at Hidden Valley, it’s only a heavy schvitz! Allow me to give an overview of how orientation day works for us!

We begin with a beautiful breakfast, provided to us by our incredible dining hall staff. We celebrated this Bagel Sunday with– believe it or not– bagels! We also chowed down on some soft boiled eggs, and we got a special treat of hot chocolate, provided to all inhabitants of our community!

After a hearty breakfast we continue on to Morning Meeting, where Meg and Tom play a beautiful morning tune on their dulcimers– what a relaxing treat for all of us! Some campers will even make their own dulcimers at camp!

From youngest cabins to oldest, campers are signing up for classes to take these next two weeks, in the fire-heated red barn. From rock band to soccer, to glass beads and more, we are all ready and ecstatic to begin our classes tomorrow!

Every camper has their photos taken in the Hilton Dance Studio– as opposed to our sunny day spot, right in front of the Health Lodge (OUCH!). As soon as the camera goes “Click!” campers are whisked away to the next-door Rec Hall, where our seasoned nursing staff check every head on camp for Ookoos (lice).

Even the Dining Hall has been able to adapt to the weather! Lunch today was a comforting meal fit for the schvitzy day, of mac ‘n cheese (pictured below), chicken, and salad, with delicious cookies for dessert. Now that we’ve all eaten, we head to rest period to discuss our cabins’ rules, ensuring all new residents of the cabins are in agreement. All fed and rested, our campers now have enough energy to take their swim evaluations!

Rather than preparing for swim evals in the Foothills Dance Studio, campers are gathered in the PD barn (an HVC first!), where a cozy fire is burning. Seated around the fire, campers are learning about our three levels of swimming ability– which determine what areas of the pool and lake campers can swim in, and which waterfront classes a camper can take, like windsurfing, boating, or just plain swimming! Then campers jump into the pool– always supervised by our trained lifeguards, of course!– and flip their fins around the water.

After this quick dip in the pool, campers return to their cabins for more bonding, unpacking and showering– and some warming up! We will enjoy another scrumptious meal with our cabin groups at dinnertime, and then head to the rec hall for a beautiful Opening Pine Grove Ceremony.

What’s that you say? What’s Pine Grove? I’ll tell you! At the beginning of each session, we gather together as a camp community around a beautiful campfire. Each cabin has the opportunity to share a silly story, a classic camp song, a pensive poem, or anything, really! Personally, I’m hoping to hear about the Princess Pat and her Rickadandoo tonight!

We’ll all get to bed early tonight, so we’re well rested for our first day of classes tomorrow!! Look out for more updates to come!

Toodaloo!

Humming Bird

P.S. Our teen program, Community, is going swimmingly! Yesterday, when they weren’t moving in to Blodgett, the beautiful off-the-grid house where the program is based, the campers bound their own journals, wrote in their freshly bound journals, and got to know each other a bit better! Today, they cooked the first of many Community breakfasts (doesn’t it look yummy?), got oriented to camp, and prepared for pine grove! Their first community service project starts tomorrow, and they couldn’t be more pumped!

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