Monthly Archives: June 2014

Cabin Prep and the Pizza Dragon

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Under the HV-Sea

Hey everyone! Lady of the Lake and Olive Oyl reporting in.

It’s hard to believe that camp is finally upon us. We’ve had a beautiful last day of staff training and have been putting the final touches on our camp preparation. Earlier this evening, every cabin’s counselors and AWACs worked together to make chore charts, shower schedules, and mailboxes for their cabins. Each cabin has a theme for the session: The Burrow’s theme is Mythical Creatures, Wabanaki’s is the Cosmic Wobbies, Loons’s is the Spirit Pizza, Wombles’s is the Wombots, Fiddler’s Green’s is the Fiddlers Fairies, Dear Meadows’s is the Adventurers, French Quarter’s is A Bug’s Eye View, Lower Carriage House’s is Monsters, Forbidden Planet’s is Shipwreck, Camelot’s is Sisters of Camelot, The Bermuda Triangle’s is Survivors, Brumby’s is Horsie Hippies, Valhalla’s is the Animal Kingdom, Avalon’s is Adventures Around the World at HVC, Paquatanee’s is Private Eyes, Shangri-La’s Under the HV-Sea, and finally, Taj’s is the Twilight Zone. The counselors and AWACs have been decorating their cabins accordingly. We can’t wait to see what these cabins do this session.

Tomorrow is finally arrival day! We’ll be out in the backyard, greeting families and buses as they arrive. They’ll be activities going on, too, like making friendship bracelets and playing frisbee. We’ll also have updates tomorrow on Justin and Facebook, so be sure to stay posted.

We couldn’t be more excited.

Until tomorrow,

Lady of the Lake and Olive Oyl

P.S. Make sure to check out the awesome pictures of the dragon on our new pizza oven! Counselors have been hard at work sculpting the fantastic creature, and their work has certainly paid off.


The End of Staff Training, But We Can’t Say We Didn’t Have Fun!

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Pure happiness at the Candy Drop

Pure happiness at the Counselor Candy Drop

Hiya, HVC-ers! Olive Oyl here with your final staff training update as we excitedly await for Arrival Day! After a few days of cold and rain, the sun has finally come out, so our campers will surely have a warm welcome tomorrow!

We’ve been busy getting camp ready for our wonderful campers– super cabin cleans, AWAC assignments, and bunk decorating have all been happening today. Some counselors have been pretty creative with their cabin themes, such as the Wombles Robots (aka the Wombots), Shangri-La’s Under the HV-Sea, and French Quarter’s Bug’s Eye View. Our counselors have been spending time in their cabins with their co-counselors, planning and organizing for our first few busy days full of swim lessons, class sign ups, and of course, lots of fuzzy time activities, like Ninja and Two Truths and a Lie. We’ve also had staff meetings to prepare for our incoming arrivals, discussing things like providing a warm welcome and spending time to build relationships on the first day.

Tomorrow will be a very exciting day, with super greeters welcoming campers arriving by car throughout the day and lots of sing-a-longs, friendship bracelets, and name tag making in the front yard as our cabins fill in. Our chaperones left this morning to accompany our New York and Boston buses, which we will happily greet in just about 24 hours! Tomorrow night we’ll have Opening Night Skits, where counselors will preview their classes for the next two weeks, complete with hilarious songs and skits in between.

The staff has been wrapping up their training, with last night’s Lobster Banquet and Pine Grove ceremony. We enjoyed delicious lobster (or alternate yummy dinner of your choice) and of course to top it all off, pints upon pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Much Phish Food, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie were consumed before we hiked up Tipi Hill and gathered around the fire amongst the peaceful woods of Pine Grove. Counselors shared stories, songs, poems, and quotes as we reflected upon all our time and hard work during the past few weeks and looked forward towards the start of our first session together.

Earlier in the week we had our own Staff Talent Show, which our Shift Heads MC-ed, introducing acts and providing humor as a wacky Hawaiian band. We saw the many talents of our staff, like didgeridoo, tap dancing, and of course, lip-syncing. Be sure to check out the pictures to see our amazing set of counselors!

It’s been an incredible staff training– lots of meetings, but also lots of fun (our very own Candy Drop!!!). Camp is now camper ready and the counselors are now counselor ready. We can’t wait!

I’ll be sure to keep you updated as first session unfolds tomorrow!



Camp is Almost Here and We’re Ready!

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014


Hello, friends! Olive Oyl here with another dispatch full of staff training news and info as we prepare for our first session of the summer here at Hidden Valley.

Things have been moving quickly this past week– lots of meetings and specialty trainings to get ready for our roles as both counselors and instructors. We’ve covered roles that certain staff have on camp, for example, our former camper meeting, where these special folks discuss the transition from camper to counselor and how to best continue on with the values and mission of HVC that this particular group grew up with and now have the opportunity to pass on.

There has also been a lot of discussion this past week about teaching classes, in particular effective lesson planning and catering to different learning styles, age groups, and skill levels. Peter gave his famous “toilet talk” where one lucky volunteer showed the rest of the group how to best clean a toilet, involving visual, kinesthetic, and aural instructions to appeal to all styles of learning. Our maintenance man Tim also gave a talk about toilets involving his special “plunger yoga”, encouraging all staff to do their part in keeping their bathrooms functioning smoothly.

We’ve also had some talks discussing general counseling skills and styles, like setting boundaries and creating a safe and inclusive cabin space. We finally received our eagerly awaited cabin assignments a few nights ago, and we’ve now had the opportunity to connect with our co-counselors and settle into our new homes for the next month. We’ve been brainstorming cabin themes, ideas for cabin nights, and getting to know our incoming campers before they arrive (only four more days!).

Today’s also the special day that counselors get their HVC t-shirts. We even had a fashion show this morning at breakfast to model the fashionable Hidden Valley wardrobe, such as the classic periwinkle llama sweatshirt and royal blue Crazy Creek. (Be sure to check out the photos!)

This evening is the staff talent show where we get the chance to showcase our many talents and special skills. There’s sure to be a lot of music, dancing, and laughter. Stay tuned for updates as the week progresses and Arrival Day quickly approaches!

Don’t forget to check out the photos to see our staff on the ropes course and much more!

Lots of love,


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