The One Where HVA Returns…and so does Cabin Night

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

Good morning HVC friends,

HVC had a fantastic July 4th! Peter and Meg asked that each of the campers and counselors sport a shirt or hat of a place that was important to them in recognition of the federal holiday. It was neat to see places all over the world represented!

In addition, HVA returned from their 7-day, 66-mile canoe trip! They got to tell the rest of the camp all about it at morning meeting. Don’t forget to check out their awesome canoeing pics attached at the bottom.

Yesterday, on July 4th, they beat the record of spotting 27 bald eagles, creating a new record of 30!

The rest of camp returned to their classes, some of them fastidiously preparing for Sharing Night, which is coming up soon.

Many have created theories surrounding when Junk Food Day will arrive, but these theories have not yet been confirmed, even by the myriad of clues floating around camp. I’m still a little worried about missing it for my chiropractic appointment, but most of the theories support the idea that I won’t miss it on behalf of my old gopher joints.

Evening program last night was a blast. Campers had their second cabin night of the session, and I floated from cabin to cabin to see what each of them were up to.

LCH worked with AnneMarie in the woodshop.

Avalon had fun with glassblowing in the Beehive.

Wombles enjoyed karaoke night.

French Quarter hung out at the sauna and did facials.

Loons made glass beads.

Gimme Shelter got to make bunting with Omolara at the Upper Carriage House.

Bermuda Triangle ziplined down the hill, and then made s’mores.

Paquatahnee tie dyed and made s’mores.

Valhalla ziplined down the hill, and then sang karaoke.

Camelot got to hang out with Phillipe and do glass fusing.

Forbidden Planet enjoyed camper’s night off at the Basketball Court.

Halley’s Comet also enjoyed camper’s night off at the Basketball Court.

Shangri-La did a slumber party and movie at the Foothills.

Fiddler’s Green tie dyed and enjoyed camper’s night off at the Buckhorn and Basketball Court.

Taj Mahal enjoyed camper’s night off at the Basketball Court.

Community went on a trip to get ice cream and visit the ocean in Belfast.

Today, campers will return to classes and finish their evening with Grab Bag Skits, where each cabin will receive a bag with a variety of items and work together to create a skit to perform for the camp after they reconvene.

I’m hoping to hop in a grab bag so I can participate, but I’ll have to find a better outfit. Luckily, yesterday was my laundry day, so I may be in luck!


Gopher Girl



A Not-So-Lazy, Lazy Day

Monday, July 4th, 2022

What’s hanging HVC Families,

Happy 4th of July!

I figured with yesterday’s Lazy Day things would slow down and I’d get a chance to enjoy a peaceful nap for the majority of the day, but as it turns out, there was so much to see and do that to miss it would have been a shame.

Campers began their day with a late breakfast, allowing them to sleep in. After they finished eating, they headed back to their cabins to clean up for the infamous Inspectors, who are counselors dressed up as fun characters, who yesterday, played the role of the Poptart Police, looking for a box of stolen pop tarts in each of the cabins they inspected.

During rest period, each cabin was visited by these inspectors, and each received a different award for their interaction with the Poptart Police. Oftentimes, cabins will come up with a little skit or act to play on the Inspectors.

For example, Fiddler’s Green pretended to be reporters, asking the Inspectors questions as they attempted to check to see if the cabin was clean.

Taj Mahal and Paquatahnee tied for the cleanest cabin. Other awards include Most Inquisitive for Fiddler’s Green, and Least Cooperative for Wombles.

After cabin cleaning, campers headed to the backyard for water activities, including a big water slide and Slip n’ Slide before lunch.

In the afternoon, the campers got to see some Chewonki animal presentations. They attended both “Scales and Tails,” where they learned about reptiles, and “Predators,” where they learned about a variety of different species. Each exhibit included a visit from some live animals! It was great to learn about my fellow animals and how they interact with the environment around them.

After a pizza dinner, including some of the juiciest watermelon I’ve ever had, campers headed to the Rec Hall field for a performance from the Half Moon Jug Band.

Campers were on their feet dancing to all of their favorite Jug Band tunes, especially Tuna Noodle Casserole!

Tomorrow they will return to classes and enjoy Cabin Night for their Evening Program!

I, however, will be checking my calendar and some clues around camp. Rumor has it Junk Food Day may be coming up, and I need to crack the code and figure out the date to make sure I don’t need to change my upcoming chiropractor appointment. My back is killing me from digging all these holes, but not even a doctor heals better than a little bit of sugar.


Gopher Girl

Bug Dancing the Night Away

Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

How’s it hanging HVC Families,

Campers enjoyed yet another exciting day of classes and interest groups (which included painting puddles with Meg and AWAC Cece!) yesterday before heading to our bug-themed dance for Evening Program.

When the clock “ticked” 6:30, campers headed to the Rec Hall field to enjoy dancing in the Cicada Circle, featuring “Fireflies” by Owl City as the opening tune.

In addition, campers got their face painted like bugs, built antennae out of craft supplies, and enjoyed creepy crawly tractor rides from counselor, Casey.

Per multiple camper requests, as well as my own, the DJ was convinced to “Rick Roll” the crowd by playing Rick Astely’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

As always, the bug dance ended with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” after chants for “one more song.”

At the conclusion, I watched each of the campers buzz their way back to their cabins to get ready for tomorrow’s Lazy Day AND everybody’s favorite day of the week: Bagel Sunday.

Tomorrow, campers will get to see multiple Chewonki animal presentations, and get to dance to the Half Moon Jug Band!

In the meantime, I’ll be resting up. My aging gopher joints are indeed go(pher)ing, and I”m a little sore from showing off my worm dance from last night.

More details tomorrow!


Gopher Girl

Llivin it up at Llamapalooza

Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

Hey HVC Families!

There’s a llot to llove about camp here at Hidden Valley. One of the best elements, at lleast in my opinion, is evening program, and llast night, HVC hosted one of my personal favorites: Llamapalooza.

After a llively day of classes, and a night of chicken wings, cornbread, mashed potatoes and more for a scrumptious dinner (as always, major compliments to Mike and the dining hall crew), campers headed to the Rec Hall field and backyard to play some games run by our excellent staff and counselors.

They played Rock, Tree, Bridge, which is where two teams of campers race to jump over rocks, run around trees, and crawl under bridges, all of the roles which are played by other campers. This is a personal favorite of mine, though my gopher friends always cheat by getting around the obstacles underground.

They also attempted to shake ping pong balls out of a box tied to their waste, caught water balloons thrown onto a tarp that a group of campers had to move so that the balloons wouldn’t break, molded animals out of clay while blindfolded, and much more.

The evening even ended with a race between nominated counselors and AWACs to hop in a trash bag to put on a costume, eat a bowl of cereal with no hands, and then recite the alphabet backwards.

Even as a gopher who regularly sports a bow tie, I can attest to the fact that they llooked especially silly, but the routine was a hit among campers watching their counselors and AWACs have lloads of fun.

Tonight, campers are excited for the bug-themed dance, where they will have fun crafting antennae and dancing the worm.

Hopefully, I’ll convince my caterpillar friends to make a guest appearance. Though generally a llittle shy, the assurance that they will blend right into the crowd tonight may be confidence inspiring. Wish me lluck!


Gopher Girl

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