Monthly Archives: August 2017

Celebrating Another Wonderful Summer at Hidden Valley

Friday, August 18th, 2017

No lunch meetings in the Front Yard today

Hi there, everyone! Cara here on staff departure day with the final update of the summer.

Man, it sure is quiet around here! Camp is slowly emptying out as the remaining staff finish up final work projects. Cabins are getting one last sweep, art supplies are being tucked away, and lots of hugs are being shared as cars are sent off camp road. By this afternoon, all of our lovely staff will have departed for their next adventure, taking with them all of the incredible memories shared and lessons learned this summer at Hidden Valley.

Luna and I are overjoyed by what an extraordinary summer it has been. We are so thankful for the outstandingly supportive and compassionate Hidden Valley community. There is truly no place on earth quite like HVC.

Be sure to check back in the fall and winter for a few updates from me, Cara B., about everything that’s going on in the HVC community during the winter. For now, enjoy some cool photos from around camp.

Smiling because it happened,

Cara B. Ner and Luna Bug <3


So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen and Goodbye on Departure Day!

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Waving goodbye to the buses!

Good morning, early birds! It’s *yaaawwn * Cara here with an update on this chilly Departure Day.

Last night’s Closing Pinegrove was absolutely lovely. While there were a few camp classics like Boom Chicka Boom, The Jellyfish, and Baby Shark, most of the evening was filled with some fresh new acts. Camelot sang an HVC rendition of Count on Me complete with original lyrics, Alive sang a funky version of the ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle, and some boys from LCH showed us a cool Japanese hand game. Chateau Fiasco broke it down with a spicy song about their cabin and Treasure Island led a sing-a-long to a big favorite- Allstar. As our songs and stories around the fire drew to a close, cabins made their way down Tipi Hill with candles in hand. We walked down in a line lighting candles and blowing them out to give goodbye hugs. We may have shed a tear or two, but it was so wonderful to have a special moment with everyone on camp before we went our separate ways this morning.

Speaking of this morning, we were all woken up bright and early at 4:45am to the sound of Taj Mahal and Forbidden Planet singing their hearts out. We rubbed our eyes and headed to the dining hall for . a light continental breakfast. We ate outside with our cabins, staying cozy in pjs and blanket wraps. It was so beautiful to see the sky turn completely pink as the sun rose.

Shortly after, we loaded up the buses and a majority of campers were on their way. We said our last goodbyes and did the funky chicken (and moose and lobster and many other animals,) as the buses drove away. Be sure to check the Hidden Valley Facebook page for travel updates throughout the day.

We just enjoyed a heartier second breakfast and are now hanging out around the center of camp while we wait for the remaining campers to be picked up by their folks. There is a movie playing in the Red Barn, and the sun is slowly warming things up. Our staff is now busy in different areas giving one final push to close camp for the winter season. We have counselors working with the animals, in art buildings, storage, archery, and many more. This afternoon, we’ll head back to our cabins for a huge final cabin clean, and then over to the Backyard for a staff closing circle.

Well folks, that’s all for now. Check back tomorrow for me and Luna’s final post of the summer. It’s been a pleasure blogging for you all! Below are some photos from the lobster banquet, Departure Day, and a cool photoshoot we had in the drained pool. (we only drain the pool every 10 years!)

Later, gators!

Cara B.

Packing Day Party and Preparing for Pinegrove

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Halley’s Comet making buttons!

Happy Packing Day, everybody! It’s Cara and Luna B. here with a collaborative update on this busy busy day. Hey guys! Luna Bug here! Anytime you see italics you’ll know that its me! Let’s hear a little bit from Cara-

Last night’s Fair Day Dance was super awesome. It started off with a extra special performance from advanced rock band, a band made up of some rock band veterans. We all had a blast dancing the night away, hanging out on the swings, playing tether ball, and signing white books.

We woke up this morning to the traditional Packing Day breakfast- CINNAMON ROLLS! Wait, Cara- let’s not forget about what else happened at breakfast, besides the food. Crazily enough, just before we were about to head in for breakfast, we were were enshrouded in darkness because the power went out! Everyone remained calm, and we filed through the dining hall in the darkness, with the giant dragon deflating around us as we got our cinnamon rolls, cereal, juice, and whatever else our hearts desired. After about 10 minutes the backup generators kicked in (woohoo!) and there was once more light. We had a bit of schvitz last night, but by this morning it was completely sunny! It seems like the storm only lightly affected the power because by about 9am the power was totally back on. Back to you, Cara!

Thanks Luna! Anyway, once our bellies were full of the sweet, squishy, sticky goodness that is cinnamon rolls we headed over to the Front Yard for our last morning meeting of the summer. We began by thanking all the staff members (counselors, pro-staff, program directors, and AWACs, too!) for all of their hard work this summer. Each staff member was given a rose, a letter, and big hugs and cheers from the crowd. We are so grateful to have been surrounded by such an amazing team and support system all summer long.

To close the meeting we heard from some of the usual cabins, beginning with Taj Mahal’s “Thought de Jour.” And what a classic thought it was! The entire cabin got up there and imparted their wisdom: “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” What a perfect quote to encompass the end of camp! In traditional camp morning meeting style, we closed with Spirit Animal of the Day from Forbidden Planet. It was absolutely hilarious! The gang summoned the spirit of *drum roll please*: a Forbidden Planet rest period! They did this spirit animal schtick pretending to be the morning meeting Interest Groups announcement, complete with a spoof on the Meg’s Planet song and dance. They definitely went out with a bang and a whole lot of laughter.

After this special appreciation part of the meeting, we moved on to the logistical part of it. Everybody received instructions on proper luggage labeling, where to pick up art projects, and the location of the massive lost and found. After this, it was back to our cabins to pack up. Once we were packed, we brought our cubbies and mattresses outside for a good scrub, and gave our empty cabins a big sweep. We waited patiently to be inspected by the toughest inspectors yet- Peter, Meg, and the PDs! Once we passed inspection, we were dismissed to the dining hall for lunch.

After we re-energized with a yummy lunch which included some Fair Day leftovers (score!), we headed back to our cabins for rest period and a final cabin activity. Here’s what each cabin group got up to this afternoon:

LCH went for a hike to the Log Cabin

Loons played tennis baseball in Deer Meadows field

Avalon did the Tipi Zip line

Chateau Fiasco did an egg drop

Treasure Island decorated cabin t-shirts

Atlantis had a quesadilla party

Forbidden Planet worked on a photo board

Down Under made memory jars and filled them with memories from the session

Wombles made a poster of all of their handprints

Paquatahnee decorated cabin t-shirts

Gimme Shelter did an egg drop

French Quarter made memory balloons and had a dance party

Shangri-La planted a tree

Wabanaki decorated cabin t-shirts and had a final cabin hang out sesh

Halley’s Comet made buttons on the button maker and created a time capsule

Taj Mahal did warm and fuzzies under the geodesic dome

That is an awesome beginning of the day, Cara! Once everyone concluded their packing day activities we all headed to the Front Yard to for the biiiiig transportation meeting. This is the meeting where every single campers name is read out, and they are then told how they are getting home, and where their luggage is going. After this meeting all the luggage from around camp will be moved to the Front Yard to the appropriate designated areas in order to be easily loaded into buses, vans, and cars early tomorrow morning!

By around 5pm this will all be done, and we’ll meet for the final evening meeting of the session, and the summer! Cara and I just can’t believe it! After meeting we’ll all head over to the dining hall for the…LOBSTER BANQUET! Whether your choice is a lobster, spanakopita, or chicken parm, the lobster banquet is an absolute blast and an incredibly fun way to have a last dinner on camp. And lets not forget the best part, Luna! The feast is concluded with delicious Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The dining hall will be full of hootin’ and hollerin’ as we bang on the tables to welcome Meg and Sandia dressed in their cow suits to hand out the sweet treats.

The evening program tonight is Closing Pinegrove. Pinegrove is a super special spot on camp. Past Tipi Hill, we have a big bonfire in a clearing of the woods. This is the place where we open and close camp with songs and stories in a technology-free zone. After dinner we’ll all gather at the base of the hill, walk up in silence, and share a final night together. We’ll hold the candle lighting ceremony in order to say goodbye to everyone on camp. 

After what should be a beautiful night, we’ll all head back to our cabins and get to sleep real quick because we have a 5am wakeup tomorrow! Yup, you heard it right, 5am! Well, that’s all from us! Stay tuned tomorrow for our last update of the session. For now, here are some photos from the Fair Day Dance and final cabin activities.

Signing off!

Luna and Cara B.

More Fair Day Fun and the Brumby Horse Show!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Jumbo puppets on Fair Day!

Hey, everyone! Cara B. here with a bite-sized update.

The Brumby Horse Show and Fair Day were both absolutely spectacular! We just finished cleaning up around camp and are sitting down to watch the big slide show before evening meeting and dinner. Luna and I just wanted to share the rest of the photos from all of the excitement today.

We’ll be back tomorrow with all the news from Packing Day and our final cabin activities.

‘Til next time!

Cara B. Ner

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