Earth Day is coming up! How are YOU going to celebrate?!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

A cute little owl sculpture!

Howdy doody, folks and friends! Hummingbird here! The weather is warming up, the sun is bursting through those old wintry clouds, and my birdie brethren and sistren are chirping their little hearts out– have you heard ’em?? This can mean but one thing….. EARTH DAY IS COMING!!!

That’s right, folks! Earth Day is coming up on April 22 and there is so much to celebrate! I’ve been feeling extra grateful for the time I get to spend outside here in the Valley. Despite all this indoor time these last few weeks, I’ve still been able to get out a few times a day for a flap around camp or a peaceful sit on a branch. And those moments out in the sun have been making me feel so much better about spending so much time inside! So this year for Earth Day I want to do something extra special to thank our planet for all its beauty! Will you join me? Here are some ideas I had…

Artsy craftsy things!
Go outside and collect any leaves, sticks, pinecones, acorns, and other naturey things you can find. Make sure to wear gloves outside and to wash your materials once you get home. When everything is washed and beautiful, build a sculpture called Ode to Nature (or whatever else you wanna call it!) and place it by a window, or on a porch, or anywhere it can be shared and admired! Your sculpture can look like a real thing (a squirrel or a tree!), or it can be an abstract expressionist piece! You could even spell out your name with natural materials! Or you can make the numbers 1-10! No matter what, your sculpture will be perfect, because it will have been made by you! Invite folks at home to join in!

If sculpture isn’t your medium of choice, try leaf rubbing! Grab a bunch of different leaves from outside, or sticks, or pieces of bark, or any other nature item you can find! Put a piece of paper over it and grab the nearest pencil. Gently rub the pencil along the paper and notice how it captures the beautiful patterns in your leaf (or other nature item)! You can try this with as many different color pencils, variety of leaves/nature items, and people as you like! Notice if you can find the BEST type of leaf (or other nature item) to rub. Can you find the most beautiful natural pattern? If leaf rubbing doesn’t work out, try your hand at drawing a still life of any nature items you can find! Set up a nature scene with sticks and flowers and leaves, and see how much detail you can get in your drawing or painting!

On Earth Day sometimes it’s cool to acknowledge the waste we create in the world and practice the three Rs, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! With an adult’s permission, you can honor those three Rs by making something beautiful out of your trash! Rinse out old yogurt containers, cans, grocery store bags, and other discarded materials. Can you draw a portrait on a paper grocery bag? How about decorating old cans and turning them into storage for your pencils, bits and bobs, or house keys?

Runny jumpy things!
Maybe you like to admire nature by running around in it! Well lucky for you, there’s plenty to be done outside! With adult permission and appropriate safety gear, go for a long walk or runny play outside. Count how many trees you see, or how many animals pass by! Can you find every letter of the alphabet on your adventure?

If you have an animal at home, try making your pal an animal obstacle course! With an adult’s permission, use materials from around the house like couch cushions, tables, chairs, and articles of clothing for your animal to walk over, around, or under! Can you train your four-legged friend to do the course all by itself?? (Psst!! You can also make a super fun human obstacle course that’s fun for all ages!!)

There is so much beauty to see outside, and so much world to be appreciated! Check out pictures of some more nature-inspired activities below! And no matter how you celebrate Earth Day on April 22, we want to see how much fun you’re having! If you post pictures of your Earth Day adventures on Instagram, tag us @hidden_valley_camp_maine so we can feature you on our account and inspire our community of tree huggers!

Stay grateful, stay home if you can, and stay connected to our beautiful planet!

Chirping with the chickadees,
Hummingbird

Keep up the camp spirit with some HVC-inspired activities!!

Monday, March 16th, 2020

Play with orbeez!!

Howdy, campers and camp families! Hummingbird here! I know some of you may be spending some more time inside over the next few weeks, and with all this time on your hands you may find yourself missing HVC a little extra…. well, NEVER FEAR!! We here in the Valley have cooked up a few ways to bring camp into your home. Keep reading for some at-home celebrations of your favorite camp programs (with links)!!!

Cabin night

If you’re missing a spa-night cabin night, make a DIY face mask with whatever materials you have around the house! Set a 20 minute timer and allow yourself to lay back and relax without checking your phone.

If you prefer an artsy-craftsy cabin night, gather any recyclable materials from around the house and make a camp flag or mobile! It can be as simple as a paper-and-markers flag, or you can include some wacky materials like empty paper towel tubes and macaroni! Snap a pic of your flag and be sure to send it to @hidden_valley_camp_maine on Instagram!

Llamapalooza

If you find yourself missing Llamapalooza, why not try recreating some of the stations? If you’ve got a piece of paper and a pencil and a friend lying around, strike up a game of blind llama drawing! Pick something to draw (but don’t tell the other person!) and start drawing! But here’s the catch…. YOU CAN’T LOOK AT WHAT YOU’RE DRAWING!! If the other person guesses what you’re drawing before you finish, they get a point. Take turns until someone gets 15 points! (Or keep playing for hours because it’s so fun!)

If you’re missing the more active parts of Llamapalooza, try building your own obstacle course!! With an adult’s permission, use stuff from around the house to build an obstacle course of your own. Then, challenge someone to an obstacle-off!!

Under-the-sea dance

Maybe you’re missing our legendary camp dances. Make your own Under-the-sea themed dance party!!! Look in your closet for underwater-themed clothes, and make the wackiest costume you can! Then put on some of your favorite dance music (Don’t Stop Believing, anyone??) Get your camp pals in on the costuming and have a virtual dance/ costume-admiring party over video chat!! Send pics of your costume to us at @hidden_valley_camp_maine on Instagram!!

No matter how you choose to fill your time, be sure to snap a pic and send it to @hidden_valley_camp_maine on Instagram! We’ll feature you and your activity on our account so you can inspire other campers to be creative and keep up the camp spirit!!

Shaking my tail feathers to Don’t Stop Believin’,
Hummingbird 🙂

Ps: see some more fun, camp-y ideas below!

Happy Palentine’s Day!!

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

Greetings, folks!! Hummingbird here! The world seems to be covered in pink and red this week, in honor of my most favoritest holiday…. can you guess what it is? That’s right, PALENTINE’S DAY!!! A day to reach out to pals old and new and thank them for being in our lives! And what better friends to reach out to than CAMP FRIENDS???

There’s something super special about camp friendships. In fact, I was just talking to my pal Otis the Guard Llama about that just today!! I asked him, “Otis, why do you think camp friendships are so different than any other friendships?” And he said, “You know, Hummingbird, I think there’s something about being in nature with other people and animals, without any technology to distract us from just being ourselves. There are very few places on earth we get to build relationships so authentically!” And you know what? I think he’s right!!

So whether you’ve known your camp friends for years and years, or you only spent two weeks together back in the 90s, or even if the camp friend that comes to mind is a llama, send a special camp friend a little extra love and gratitude this Palentine’s Day!!

And remember to spread that camp love all throughout the year!

Lovin’ my pals,
Hummingbird 🙂

 

Keep it glassy!!

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

Once a camper, always a camper!

Helloooooo HVC! Hummingbird here!! In the cold winter months I like to fly over to the glass beads and glass blowing studios. Carmi is in here all winter long with a fire going and art a’brewin’! Carmi has been a camp superstar for years! If you’ve ever stepped foot on camp you’ve definitely seen his work. From the beautiful mosaic doors of the Rec Hall, to the pizza oven dragon; from the geometric dome by the photo studio, to the photo studio itself; from designing and expanding the glass program over the years, to building a brand new maker’s studio in the Red Barn just this winter, Carmi has worked with cold glass, hot glass, pottery, wood, metal, and more!! And if you don’t recognize him by all his artistic contributions to HVC, perhaps you know him as Tui’s dad!! I’m here at the Beehive with Carmi now, and I thought I’d ask him a few questions about the glass program at camp….

Hummingbird: You’re famous for being the youngest camper ever! What was camp like as a four year old? How has camp changed, and what was the glass program like when you were a kid? 

Carmi: Camp was a dream and LCH felt like a second home. I loved all the attention from the counselors and I spent most of my time on the soccer field/pitch and basketball court. Many great things about camp have not changed but the major difference is the physical size of camp. When I was a kid, Deer Meadows was inhabited by a neighboring family (Yes! there was NO pool), meals were in the red barn, and the foothills dance studio was an open air pavilion with ping pong and foosball. Today, there are many more specialized classes like glass blowing and many more class options. 

HB: What was your favorite thing about HVC as a kid?

C: My favorite thing about camp was returning each summer to hang out with my same cabin group. And swimming in the lake! 

HB: How many years have you been at camp? 

C: I Lost count at 25.

HB: When did you start working with glass? What was your first project? 

C: A blue race car made my first year at camp. My parents still have it!

HB: How have you seen the glass program grow and change over the years?

C: In addition to stained glass we have added mosaics, glass fusing, flameworking (beads), and glass blowing!

HB: What artistic projects around camp have you had a hand in creating? 

C: With the help of many hands and collaborators I created the mosaic murals on the pottery studio (2008) , rec hall doors (2009) , and camper kitchen (2010-11). I was also helped build the pizza oven, bead studio, beehive, new photography studio, and geodesic dome. I enjoy the process of dreaming up an idea and then all the learning that comes with making it a reality. 

HB: What would be your dream project to install on camp? 

C: I have always wanted to build giant glass kaleidoscope. One day! 

HB: You get to see campers improve from summer to summer in their glass projects, some kids have gone from the youngest cabins all the way through to being a glass apprentice. Are there any camper art projects you’ve been totally blown away by? 

C: Yes, Jack’s light, Kat’s toucan, and Alec’s chess set to name a few special projects. Every summer I am inspired by the open mindedness and tenacity of many campers and the projects they produce. I also love hearing about campers who continue to work with glass year around.   

HB: You live on camp all year round! What’s the best part of camp in the winter? 

C: Cross-country skiing on the trails and ice skating on the lake.

HB: Do campers get more excited to see Luke the dog or your daughter, Tui? 

C: Tui, but don’t tell Luke! 

HB: Is it true that the pizza oven dragon and the dining hall dragon are pals and sled down tipi hill at night in the winter? 

C: I have only seen their tracks so I can’t say for sure. 

Man oh man, I’ve been hanging out in the Beehive glassblowing studio so long, it’s starting to feel like summer again! Thanks for chattin’, Carmi! Can’t wait to see what you make next!! I’m off to cool down!

Until next time!
Hummingbird 🙂

Psssst!!!! If you have any glass artwork from camp, snap a pic and send it to our HVC instagram account, @hidden_valley_camp_maine so we can show off your beautiful creations!! 

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