Monthly Archives: July 2015

Electives, Schvitz, Teen Programs, and More!!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015


Oh what a beauuutiful MOOOOOOOOORRRNING!! Oh what a beautifu– Oh, hi! I didn’t see you there! I was just practicing my showtunes! Humming Bird here with updates on a lovely– albeit unplanned– night last night!! BUT FIRST!!! The Official Humming Bird Cat Nap Candy Drop Probability O’Meter is buzzing in at a solid 23.57%!! We shall see.

As we said yesterday, last night’s planned evening program was Meg’s Rodeo, which would have been super duper fun, but the thunderschvitz had other, more impromptu plans for us here at camp! So instead, our cabins enjoyed a spontaneous cabin night! Our campers and counselors had some very creative spur of the moment ideas for how to spend their night! For example, Forbidden Planet played poker, Valhalla played strategy games, Shangri-La had a spa party, Taj Mahal played team building games, Gimme Shelter did some “Epic Gambling” (minus the gambling of course!) Loons taught one of their counselors to play Magic the Gathering, Fiddlers Green played cards and did a spa night, and many cabins practiced their cabin cheers!! The schvitz TRIED to ruin our night, BUT CAMP FUN WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL!! Check out pictures below!

Now you may be wondering, “Humming Bird, what’s a cabin cheer?” Well allow me to explain!! Each cabin comes up with a cheer– an upbeat way to express pride and excitement regarding their cabin, their cabin mates, and their time at Hidden Valley! These cheers are performed and recorded on JAKE DAY! “What on this beautiful green and blue Earth is Jake Day, Humming Bird??” BE PATIENT, I’LL TELL YOU!! Jake Day is a wonderful day here at camp when our video staff record EVERY. SINGLE. CABIN. ON. CAMP. performing their cabin cheers, and then going through and saying their names! These recordings are compiled on a digital yearbook, which gets burned onto a CD and mailed to every single camper sometime in December!! It’s a really cool tradition that provides campers with a little piece of camp to keep with them forever! So thank you, Jake Day, and our HVC Video Staff!!! **Jake is the name of the counselor who used to run this day on camp, and he was in charge of video here. He has unfortunately since left Hidden Valley to create videos elsewhere, but his legacy at camp lives on in Jake Day!

While we patiently await Saturday’s Jake Day festivities, we have some exciting things going on at camp! Tonight is our very first ELECTIVES!! Counselors line up and explain what activities they will be leading (like Glass Beads, Peter’s Forbidden Hidden Valley Tour, a Random Parade, and of course the classic Capture the Flag!) and how many campers they can take. Campers then walk very slowly and respectfully (they definitely DON’T all run and swarm the counselors, trying to make it to their chosen elective first) to the counselors leading their preferred activity, and enjoy partaking of the aforementioned activities for the evening! It’s a super fun program, so check back in tomorrow for photo evidence of it!!

Meanwhile, our teen programs are doing some super duper cool stuff!! The apprentices are working on individual projects within their respectives areas, like stained glass, pottery, glass beads, instrument making, and horses! They are also spending lots of time learning from local artists, like the man who built most of the stone walls on camp, and– tomorrow– a local glassblower! They have also been cooking their own meals up at Blodgett! When asked for a quote, their counselor had this to say about the Apprentices, “They’re very busy.”

Alive is going to Portland tonight to see The Decemberists (in July… WHAT?) They’ve been kept busy with some crazy evening programs, including an Infomercial Battle!! Cat Nap and I did some extensive research on this program, and discovered that it entails making up a product, creating a jingle for that product, and performing the jingle for a panel of judges! The Alive counselors were unable to provide a quote, but you can see from the photo below, it looks like the campers are having a superb time!

Cat Nap and I have to go do an anti-schvitz dance! Tune back in tomorrow for pictures of our Electives!!

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

Strange things a’brewin on this Aloha Tuesday!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015


Aloha, friends, on this beautiful Tuesday morning!! Humming Bird here with some Aloha Tuesday updates! BUT FIRST! Morning Meeting held an interesting announcement. After yesterday’s surprise– namely, the pictures of AWACs sorting candy, the aforementioned candy’s wrappers strewn carelessly around the camp, and a PD wearing a shirt that listed the “11 top 10 reasons the Candy Drop is today” (followed by those 11 top 10 reasons)– we all gathered for Meeting to find a curious object in front of the gazebo. It appeared to be a part from an airplane (check out photos below). The Atlantis conspiracy theorists indeed confirmed for us that it was a part of not just any airplane… But the candy drop airplane, which they claimed flew over camp last night. Atlantis explained that nobody heard it over the thunder schvitz…. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!! So the candy drop may have already happened, and last night’s weather was merely a cover up… *cue The Twilight Zone theme song here*

Now back to our regularly scheduled post…. IT’S ALOHA TUESDAY! “What’s Aloha Tuesday, Humming Bird??” Well, let me tell you!! Every Tuesday those who own Hawaiian apparel are encouraged to wear previously stated Hawaiian apparel, to honor the spirit of Aloha. At Evening Meeting, the person who most embodies and honors the Aloha spirit will be recognized in front of the whole camp with a sacred ceremony! In addition to Aloha Tuesday– and yummy pancakes for breakfast– today we are celebrating our second day of classes!

BUT WAIT!! THERE’S MORE!! Tonight is MEG’S RODEO!! “What on Earth is that, Humming Bird?” Patience, reader!! I will explain!! Meg’s Rodeo is a wonderful evening program we have here at HVC during which campers travel around in their cabin groups, doing different activities together! We’ve got old fan favorites like blind llama sculpting (pictionary with clay and a blindfold), and frozen pea spitting (exactly what it sounds like!) But there are also some new classics like tissue box dancing (during which campers must shake their tails to get ping pong balls to fly out of a tissue box, tied around their behind) and the elephant walk (you put a tennis ball in pantyhose and put the pantyhose around your head and use it like an elephant’s trunk to knock over cups!) We have so many fun activities planned, so be on the lookout for pictures of that!!

And now for a teen program update!! Yesterday, after spending their first days in the studio with their respective mentors, the apprentices all came together for the afternoon. First, they spent some time together reflecting on their artistic, creative, and athletic (don’t forget that one of the mentorships is in the Brumby/horses area!) developments. Then, they joined Al by the garage to learn how to maintain their own bikes. They covered everything from pumping tires to replacing parts! Hopefully, they don’t need to use too many of the skills to keep their morningly bike ride from Blodgett to camp running smoothly, but now they have the skills just in case! This afternoon, they’ll be taught how to work with stone by the talented stoneworker who built most of camp’s stone walls!

The campers and counselors in the Alive group are already hard at work, getting ready to write, produce, choreograph, and put on the annual Alive Show! Yesterday we saw our third teen program group, Hidden Valley Adventures, off on their canoeing trip down the St. Croix river! In the coming few days, they’ll canoe approximately 50 miles, cook meals together, sleep in tents, and take in the beautiful US-Canada border view! What incredible programs we have here for our teenage campers!

This is a beautiful day here at camp, and Cat Nap and I can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow!! Check out photos below from our Cabin Night last night, and Meeting this morning! And stay tuned tomorrow for more on Meg’s Rodeo!! For today the Super Official Humming Bird Cat Nap Candy Drop Probability O’Meter is beeping slow and steady, and shows a modest 15.7% chance of candy schvitz today. Stay tuned!!

Cat Nap and I are off to scavenge for candy the AWACs might have dropped…

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap



Monday, July 27th, 2015

Good morning, world! Humming Bird and Cat Nap here to tell you, LIVE FROM HVC IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES!! Our campers are just now beginning their first classes EVER of the summer!!

We’ve got classes ranging from swimming to glass blowing, from horseback riding to skateboarding, from “art attack” to soccer team, and MORE! We have some incredible options for our campers, and we can’t wait to hear about all the amazing things they’ll get to do this session!

See You Soon!

– Humming Bird and Cat Nap

Orienting ourselves to camp life!!

Sunday, July 26th, 2015


Hello, dear friends!! Humming Bird here with Cat Nap, and a few updates about our super fun Orientation Day!!

This is the best day for campers to get acclimated to camp life, sign up for classes, and bond with their cabin groups!! Allow us to take you through the day, step by step!

We wake up for a beautiful Bagel Sunday breakfast (of bagels and sundaes!! Just kidding about the sundaes… but super serious about the yummy bagels!!)

We had our first Morning Meeting!! Tom and Meg opened up the Meeting by playing their dulcimers together, like they do every Bagel Sunday!! Also, because of the schvitz (that’s our way of saying the dreaded R word… rain, ew!!) our Meeting was held in the Rec Hall, instead of at the gazebo, where we normally meet.

In staggered groups we do the following, not necessarily in the same order!!:

We head to the Red Barn as a cabin to hear the class sign-up “schpiel” and then sign up for our classes that we will be taking for the next two weeks, starting tomorrow!!

Then we eat a yummy, well-deserved lunch!! Since the weather is less than ideal for our usual outdoor seating, we ate as cabins inside, at our breakfast/dinner tables!

After lunch we have swimming evaluations, held in our beautiful lake! Campers and counselors will enjoy a lovely dip in the water! Campers also get their photos taken in the Hilton Dance Studio today, and those photos will be sent to the campers’ folks back home– so check your mailboxes, families!! In addition, all campers and counselors have their heads checked for icky Ookoos (head lice)!!

Mixed into these activities, cabins have lots of “fuzzy time,” or unscheduled times during which counselors can facilitate games to inspire cabin bonding and getting to know each other! Campers also have time to unpack, and practice our Pinegrove acts!!

What’s Pinegrove, you ask?? Pinegrove is a beautiful tradition we have here at camp, to open and close the sessions! We walk in silence up Tipi Hill to our little haven in the woods, and we sit as a camp around a fire. Cabin groups can sign up to perform songs, poems, stories, and more! We all get to enjoy the beautiful nature that we are lucky to have surrounding us, and we venture into this exciting session as a whole camp group.

Pinegrove is an incredibly special place on camp, and one reason it remains special is that we don’t bring flashlights or cameras up there. We keep it entirely a technology-free zone, so we won’t be posting pictures of the night. However, you can enjoy these pictures below of some of our Orientation Day madness, and we will have pictures of the first day of classes ready to share in the following days, so please do stay tuned!

I’m off to take Cat Nap to her swimming evaluation… What they say is true, cats really don’t like water!!

Chirp, Hum, Meow!

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

PS: The Official Humming Bird and Cat Nap Candy Drop Probability O’Meter’s beeps remain low and slow as of now… we will update you tomorrow!

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