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A Time for Packing, Lobster, and Bidding Farewell

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

*yawn* Morning, humans! Everyone was up early today at HVC, as most first-session campers boarded various forms of wheeled transportation en route to their respective final destinations. Later in the day, campers who are staying for six or eight weeks will be headed off on the Intersession trip or to spend time with their families.

Yesterday was quite a day! Everyone packed up their belongings and placed them around camp based on their cabin and travel plans, cabins were cleaned out, and art projects and lost and found items were returned. In the evening, once all of that work was complete, we had our Lobster Banquet, complete with rolls, potatoes, mussels, an especially delicious salad, and as always, spanakopita, chicken parm, or a gluten-free veggie option for folks with non-lobster dietary needs. Dessert, as always, was Ben & Jerry’s ice cream delivered to each table by cow suit-bedecked camp celebrities. Now I’m a worm and insect girl myself, but from what I’ve heard, everyone loves this final meal together, both because of the food that is served and because it is a chance to be in community and bask in the relationships forged and strengthened over the month together. Particularly touching was the standing ovation given to Lillian and Mike and their kitchen crew in appreciation of all they have done to nourish and sustain us over the last four weeks. After the meal was our Closing Pinegrove campfire, where we reflect together on the session in word and in song and everyone gets the chance to say goodbye.

Today is Departure Day, when we hugged one another tightly and campers set off by bus, plane, and car for the world outside Hidden Valley, full of a renewed sense of themselves and appreciation for how it feels to be truly known. We at the animal pen and throughout camp can’t wait to see them again and marvel at how they have grown.

Humans, it has been my absolute pleasure to share slices of camp with you over the last couple of weeks; I hope you have enjoyed all the photos and descriptions of camp life. Check back starting Sunday for the start of the next session!

Signing off,

Carolina Duckling

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