Thankful for HVC this November

Saturday, November 12th, 2022

What’s up HVC Families?

Long time, no Junk Food Day!

Luckily, Thanksgiving is coming up, and though most of us won’t be eating Pop Tarts and ice cream sundaes, I’m looking forward to the feast of lettuce and grass that my gopher family is going to share.

It also has me thinking about how lucky and thankful I am to call HVC home and to get to hang around so many animals, campers, staff, and who share a love for such a magical community.

In fact, I found myself exploring the history of the camp the other day.

This beautiful area of mid-coast Maine was actually first inhabited about 12,000 years ago by Native Americans, including the Penobscot and Wawenok tribes. These tribes created semi-permanent settlements and lived off of abundant wildlife, including one significant hunting ground and trading route only a couple miles down the road that runs through Hidden Valley Camp.

Hidden Valley Camp was first established thousands of years later in 1948, and started as a work and farm camp for 12 teenaged campers. This group of campers and directors, Hal and Dean Tiffany, converted the Red Barn from a dairy barn to a living and eating space.

Today, this Red Barn hosts games of ping pong, a library, a variety of board games, and lot of memories.

Peter and Meg Kassen began running Hidden Valley Camp in 1988 and have been directing Hidden Valley Camp ever since!

It goes without saying that the history of HVC is much more complex than these fun facts. A more detailed history can be found on the Hidden Valley website here.

Gotta gopher a quick run to the store. I just checked the clock and realized it’s almost Bagel Sunday. I’m out of butter!


Gopher Girl



You Really Autumn Know What’s Going on at HVC

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022
Hey HVC Families!
Gopher Girl is back and missing all my summer friends, but I am so happy to report all that is happening around camp!
As HVC descends into fall, the temperatures drop, and the leaves fall I find myself often reminiscing on summers past. The red barn, once filled with the sound of ping pong balls clacking back and forth, guitars strumming, and fierce games of foosball got a fresh coat of paint for its floor. There has been some digging in the backyard to fix a water line. For a while there, I was using the puddles as my personal gopher-sized swimming pool.
The picnic tables, beloved for many meals and card games are now all stacked up, preparing for winter snow’s descentEven the pool, where we spent so many lazy days swimming and lounging, has now been closed for the winter. I like to think of this as the camp getting all cozy and bundled up. HVC is prepared for the snowy season to come!
This is such a beautiful time of season here at camp. Please enjoy the photos! I cannot wait to write to you all next time, but for now, I am going to go-pher a little hike to enjoy to stunning colors of the changing leaves.
Gopher Girl

Happy September!

Saturday, September 3rd, 2022

Good Morning HVC Families,

Happy September!

It’s been quite some time since Departure Day and I’m sure you could all gopher an update.

Camp is quiet without all of the campers and staff roaming around like in the “heat” of the summer, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing going on.

It may be September, but the work to prepare for next summer and the upcoming seasons is always under way.

However, the quiet does allow for reflection on an unforgettable summer. From Capture the Flag, to choreography classes, to swims at the lake, to baby food, to Pine Grove, it’s incredible to know that campers and gophers alike made memories that will last us a lifetime.

While the PD’s and Meg and Peter will be working throughout the off-season to make sure that next summer is just as memorable, I have a little bit of time to relax.

In my spare moments, I have tasked myself with a necessary mission—learning how to make bagels.

Just because camp is over doesn’t mean that we can’t indulge in all of the doughy, buttery goodness of a bagel every Sunday.

Wishing everyone a successful September and a Sunday bagel,


Gopher Girl

Lobsters, laughs, and see-ya-laters

Thursday, August 18th, 2022

Good morning HVC families,

Last night was an unforgettable end to an unforgettable summer.

After a day of packing and finishing their cabin activities, campers had their lobster banquet dinner. It was fun to sea their faces light up as they enjoyed the incredible meal prepared by Mike and the dining hall crew.

Afterwards, they received a visit from two of my closest friends, Ben and Jerry, delivered by some udder-ly special guests.

Following dinner, campers headed to the Rec Hall for Pine Grove. The schvitz called for a change in location, but there was no change in the sincerity of each act and each goodbye.

Each cabin prepared something special to share with the camp, and the acts did not disappoint. We heard everything from inspirational quotes, to favorite camp songs, to original tunes.

To end the night, the traditional candle-lighting ceremony took place back outside and campers and staff alike had the opportunity to say goodbye to each other before heading home.

This morning, campers (and gophers) were awoken by the melodious sounds of the Taj Mahal and Forbidden Planet voices as they wondered through camp early this morning to gather everyone for breakfast.

Though it is sad to watch all the campers leave, this session and summer was a major success and each of them is headed home with countless memories never to be forgotten, and hopefully we will see them all return in the coming years to keep making new ones.

Gotta gopher now. All of the classes I snuck into this summer have inspired me to go back to school and I’ve got to go shopping. I do have a major problem…I don’t know what to study.

However, I’m not too worried. As a gopher well-versed in STEM, I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out just like I figured out how to sneak into the dining hall for Bagel Sunday.

Bread-y for next summer already,


Gopher Girl

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