In the mood for camp food!

Monday, March 20th, 2023


Hello HVC Families!

Spring is March-ing right in these days! 

I’m not great with math, but I’m pretty sure as the numbers play out, that means only one more season until SUMMER camp. 

This spring I’ve been working on perfecting my blueberry muffin recipe for summer…but it’s clear that nothing I can whip up in my gopher kitchen compares to HVC’s camp food favorites. 

Shout out to Mike and the dining hall staff for never failing to put a smile on camper’s faces!

Mike, Jess and their stellar crew!

There’s nothing quite like heading to the dining hall in the morning, before a busy day of classes, to feast on waffles, or pancakes, or take a trip to the egg bar!

Or the surprise that comes with waking up in the morning and discovering it’s every camper’s favorite day…Junk Food Day. Donuts and pop-tarts for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch, and sundaes for dinner do not disappoint. 

Poptarts as far as the eye can see!

And speaking of sundaes, let us not forget about the best day of the week…Bagel Sunday! My personal favorite concoction is to butter one side, put jelly on the other, and add granola in between, for the perfect, crunchy, flavorful concoction. 

Lazy Day dinners are another highlight…with so many types of pizza to choose from, and an infinite variety of taco toppings, I could taco-bout these meals all day long. 

None of the grass that grows near my gopher hole even comes close to the flavorful vegetables that come from Meg’s Planet and head straight to the dining hall, to put together the freshest of salads. 

Meg’s Planet bounty!

For campers wishing to sharpen their cooking and baking skills, there is no better class than Iron Chef, where each day campers use their creativity to come up with a food to make using a secret ingredient. 

Campers also get to try their hand at cooking with HVC’s very own blueberries, straight from the wild blueberry field on the edge of camp property. Blueberry muffins with freshly picked Maine blueberries from HVC’s field are beyond delicious! 

And of course…we can’t forget about Blindfolded Baby Food Taste Testing…but sometimes campers and counselors can’t seem to remember the flavors. 

However, the end to every camp season brings the Lobster Banquet…which is a meal that is simply impossible to forget. From spanakopita to chicken parmesan to Maine lobster, there is no bad choice…

…and it’s a meal shared with good friends of HVC, Ben and Jerry of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, brought to us by some udder-ly special guests. 

Speaking of special guests…only a couple more months until campers arrive and we couldn’t be any s’more excited!


Gopher Girl

A Love Letter to HVC <3

Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

HVC in February may seem empty

But you needn’t look far to find people a-plenty

Who all have their spots they’ll inhabit all seasons

Here are just a few and their very good reasons


Al likes the split rock up on Tom’s Trail

Phillie knows being 50 yards out from shore can cure your ails

Cindy prefers the hill on the backside of the pool

She can usually find quiet and such a pretty view



Peter, an adventurous one, climbs the roof of the Log Cabin

To look down at the lake and watch the world just happen

Lucia also likes to climb but up to the treehouse

She says it is the best spot on camp to just hang out



Elise sees the whole camp from under the huge pine

Right at the top of the hill where there’s also the zip line

Sam knows where she can find peace in the bustle of day-to-day

The dome by Deer Meadows at sunrise will have the whole world fall away



Aileen loves the moment you can see the whole lake

The exact spot on the trail, a sense of calm you cannot fake

Serena, like Al, has her spot on Tom’s Trail

The one with reishi mushrooms impressive in their scale



Celie has a favorite tree found by climbing the big hill

Turn left, walk a bit, your view it will fill

A huge old oak with a dominating presence

Standing under is amazing you can feel its ancient essence



Meg’s go-to spot, not far from the horses

Is the tip-top of Brumby field, on the edge of Prince’s forest

Here’s a piece of trivia, for those who did not know

Chris Prince was once a staff member who helped first get that field mowed



Of course, even our animals have their favorite places at camp

Huck and Allie, the manure pile, and Nellie, the woods she’ll tramp

Otis, of course, has only one true love… his rock

Hamilton prefers wherever the very best apples are stocked



Hank has seasonal preference, his tastes change throughout the year

In summer, where the campers are, in winter a wood stove he likes to be near

Happy Valentine’s Day, Hidden Valley, from Gopher Girl to you

We celebrate all your best places and love you through and through



Gopher Girl


Special Report: Celebrating 75 years of Hidden Valley!

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023


Hello Everyone,

Even if you have not been around HVC for the past 75 years (or the past 10 years, or the past few weeks) you can share in the excitement of our 75th anniversary.

We are certainly recognizing that in 1948, two school teachers brought a dozen children up to Maine from New Jersey to create a farm and work-camp on an old homestead. (Read more history here, including critical info about our Indigenous forebears.) That was a huge accomplishment!

A llama cart!

The Log Cabin, built by HVC campers in the 1970s

Even more so, we also celebrate 75 years of what was then a brand new way to organize community life at a camp…No uniforms, no religious services, no guns. Instead, cooperation replaced competition as a central element in peer relationships. And this new camp provided more choices, more recognition of individuals’ interests and needs and a greater devotion to diversity along all dimensions.

Former owner Jay in his element!

As the camp’s founders said in 1951…

If you, as a thoughtful parent or guardian, are increasingly concerned that your son’s or daughter’s summertime activity shall be happy, healthful, safe and creative…

If you believe with us, that young people today require and rejoice in genuine opportunities for self-expression under mature and sympathetic guidance…

If you share our conviction that boys and girls revel in sensibly supervised adventure “out in the open” away from home and deserve just such freedom during summer days…

If you are anxious that your child shall enjoy the great satisfaction of acquiring skills, of learning to work and play happily with others, of adjusting easily to a wholesome community life in a mountains-and-meadows, lake-and-green-woods setting…

We have absolute confidence that Hidden Valley will prove a continuing delight to you and yours.

These values continue to flourish in this very special place.
– Peter and Meg
P.S. Check out even more HVC photos from the last 75 years at our interactive timeline!

January…sNOw worries, it’s almost summer!

Friday, January 27th, 2023


Happy 2023 HVC Families, 

It’s a new year, but the happenings at my home in Hidden Valley are still Mainely the same. 

What are everyone’s new year’s resolutions? This year, mine was to read more.

In fact, I was reading up on summer camps and went down a gopher-hole learning about the tradition! Turns out, there are over 14,000 summer camps across the United States. 

In addition, the American Camp Association published a survey that revealed that going to summer camp has a myriad of benefits for young campers. In my reading, I was reminded of all the ways that Hidden Valley impacts the lives of its campers. It’s amazing every year to watch kids meet new friends (and keep the old!) from all over the country and world.

At Hidden Valley, campers are allowed to explore so many unique new things and challenge themselves along the way! Campers have the option to learn unique types of art such as glassblowing, stained glass and glass flameworking. Here they can use their artistic skills to create bead pendants, figurines, and jewelry to bring home with them.

In the Beehive, our flameworking studio where campers can create glass beads.

Other art programs include sewing, woodworking, screenprinting, jewelry making, pottery, painting, and more!

In the woodshop!

Campers looking to experience adventure can check out the ropes course, zipline,  take up mountain biking class, or try their hand at archery.

Getting ready to head down the zipline!

Campers that enjoy swimming and spending time on the water can hang out at the lake swimming, paddleboarding, or kayaking.

Those who enjoy spending time with animal can hang out with my animal friends, including Otis the llama and Hamilton the pot-bellied pig, or head up to the horse barn to ride in HVC’s sand rings and wooded trails.

Other unique opportunities include rock band, the musical and play, and a variety of sports, from basketball to ultimate frisbee that campers can sign up to participate in.

Whether campers find themselves interested in sports, music, art, or adventure, there are classes for everyone. But there’s more to camp life than just classes! Lazy day activities, evening programs, and cabin life allow campers to make lifelong friends and  share unforgettable moments.


The camp season may only last the summer, but the memories will last a lifetime. And it’s already January, which means only a couple of snowfalls and four more full months until the start of the first camp session in June! Not to say that it’s almost summer…but I could always gopher a little bit of optimism. 

In the meantime, campers all get to work on the fun stories that they can share with their camp friends when it’s time to head back up to Maine. 


Gopher Girl

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