Monthly Archives: August 2018

Thanks for Another Amazing Summer!

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Tipi Hill!

Hello hello hello! Cara B. here on staff departure day with the final update of the summer.

Boy, it sure it quiet around here! Yesterday we sent campers off on buses, planes, and cars back home to their folks. Our lovely staff stayed on camp to close up Hidden Valley for the winter season. Today, 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 down camp road. By this afternoon, all of our awesome 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.

Mama Iguana and I are so grateful for what an incredible summer it has been. We are so thankful for the amazingly supportive and compassionate Hidden Valley community- there truly is no place quite like HVC! Thank you to all of our faithful readers for joining us on our journey this summer!

That’s all from me, folks! Be sure to stay tuned for off season updates about all that’s going on around camp from our amazing blogger buddy, Humming Bird! For now, enjoy some photos from around camp on this beautiful, sunny day.

Smiling because it happened,

Cara B. Ner and Mama Iguana

Smiling Because it Happened on Departure Day!

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

The best part of the Lobster Banquet- ICE CREAM!!

Good morning, early birds! Cara B. here with a Departure Day update.

Last night after our delicious Lobster Banquet and lots of Ben & Jerry’s, we gathered at the bottom of Tipi Hill for Closing Pine Grove. We linked arms and walked up the hill in silence guided by torch light, reflecting on our amazing summer together. Up at Pine Grove, we sat on stumps around a huge fire sharing poetry and songs to celebrate our community and close out the session. There were plenty of camp classics like “The Princess Pat” and “Oh How Lovely is the Evening,” as well as a unique spin on “Baby Shark” sung by Loons inspired by, well, loons! LCH led us in a pinecone chant inspired by Meg’s cucumber sacrifice song and Down Under and Shangri-La led us in some awesome Taylor Swift sing-a-longs. Bermuda Triangle sang their own version of “Hermie the Worm” about their cabin called “Savage the Squirrel,” and ALIVE faked us out by saying they were going to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and then bursting out into “Allstar.” As the sun went down and our circle drew to a close, we began our candle lighting ceremony. Campers and counselors walked down the path to Pine Grove with candles in hand, lighting them and blowing them out for goodbye hugs. It was so special to get to say a special goodbye to everyone on camp before heading back to our cabins for a good night’s sleep.

This morning, we woke up bright and early at 5:00am (you read that right!) to the sweet sound of Taj Mahal and Forbidden Planet singing all their favorite songs. We headed to the dining hall for a light breakfast before loading the buses. We danced the funky chicken (and lobster, llama, and moose) to bid our friends farewell as the buses drove down camp road. Right now, everyone is hanging out in the Backyard and Red Barn as we wait for the remaining campers’ folks to arrive. Meanwhile, our staff are busy doing different work projects all around camp to close Hidden Valley for the winter season. This afternoon, we’ll have a closing staff circle and our own staff Pine Grove before packing up and heading out tomorrow.

That’s all for today! Be sure to check out the Hidden Valley Facebook page for buss updates throughout the day. For now, enjoy photos from the Lobster Banquet and our trek up the hill!

Later, gators!

Cara B. Ner

Packing Day Part Two!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Shangri La and their new shirts!

Hello again! It’s Mama Iguana this time with an afternoon update!

After a morning full of packing and lunch, cabins went off their separate ways to do a final cabin activity. Here’s a list of what all the cabins did!

Loons finished reading their cabin book

Gimme Shelter made shirts

Avalon built forts at the end of the world and burned them

Chateau Fiasco went to John’s to get ice cream

Bermuda Triangle played a game called 3 in a hat with memories

Forbidden Planet went mountain biking

Down Under played with balloons

French Quarter wrote warm and fuzzies and put them in balloons to pop

Paquatahnee decorated t-shirts

Lower Carriage House made t-shirts and wrote warm and fuzzies

Shangri La went in the animal pen and made t-shirts

Wombles popped balloons

Camelot made pom poms and had warm and fuzzies

Wabanaki had warm and fuzzie and a spa day

Valhalla had a reflection on their time at HVC

Fiddlers Green said thank you to their cabin mates and drank tea

Taj Mahal watched Mamma Mia!

The activities this afternoon were a great way for cabins to spend some time as a group before departing tomorrow. There will be photos below of all the different activities!

This afternoon, we have a huge transportation meeting! Everyone gathers in the front yard and Peter tells each camper, one by one, how they are getting home and where they should bring their luggage. Staff are in vehicles shuttling luggage from cabin to the specified areas and campers are helping carry their stuff! After the meeting is over, everyone hangs out in the front and backyard waiting for our last evening meeting!

Tonight is the lobster banquet! One counselor from every cabin is a waiter for their tables and campers have the option of eating lobster, chicken parmesan, spanakopita, or a special diet option. After a wonderful meal with mussels, potatoes, a salad, and bread rolls, everyone cleans up and patiently waits for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream brought in by Meg (dressed up as a cow!).

After the banquet, we have closing pine grove! Tomorrow morning, Cara B. and I will give you an update on what every cabin did for closing pine grove.

For now, check out photos from all the cabin activities!

Bye bye,

Mama Iguana


Dancing out and Packing up!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Having a blast at the Fair Day Dance!

Greetings, bloggers! Cara here with all the latest on Packing Day.

Last night we had the Fair Day Dance! Everyone had so much fun hanging out in the Backyard, dancing, swinging on the swings, playing tether ball, and signing white books. We did some awesome group dances like the “Cha Cha Slide” and the “Cupid Shuffle,” and finished off the night the classic “Don’t Stop Believin'” before heading off to bed.

This morning, we woke up to the traditional Packing Day breakfast of delicious ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls. Afterwards, we gathered in the Front Yard for an extra long morning meeting to thank all of our amazing staff (including counselors, pro staff, the wonderful Ladybugs, and our fabulous maintenance guys) for their hard work this summer with roses and cards from Peter and Meg and the PDs. After honoring our special crew, we talked through our long checklist for the day ahead. We discussed proper art project packing and luggage labeling and prepped everyone for a HUGE cabin clean before facing our toughest inspectors yet- Peter and Meg and the PDs!! Once everyone is all packed up and the cabins have passed their cleanliness test, we’ll head over for a much needed lunch of Fair Day leftovers- yes! 

After lunch, we’ll head back to our cabins for rest period and an awesome final cabin activity to close the session together as cabin groups. This afternoon, we’ll have a giant transportation meeting and luggage move before our final evening meeting. Tonight for dinner, we’ll have our Lobster Banquet- a yummy meal served to us by our counselors! Afterwards, we’ll gather at the bottom of Tipi Hill for closing Pine Grove and the candle lighting ceremony- our super special way of saying goodbye at the end of each session. Be sure to stay tuned for more details on the second part of our day from Mama Iguana this afternoon. For now, enjoy photos from the Fair Day Dance and our special thank you’s this morning.

Climbing away!

Cara B. Ner

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