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Al and Derek! Derek and Al!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2022


Hello HVC families!

Gopher Girl here with a little time update: We are officially… only 6 months, 1 week, 5 days, 7 hours, 38 minutes, and 27 seconds from the first day of camp! As the weather gets chillier and chillier I know I’ve got my summer memories to keep me warm… as well as all my friends who stay here at Hidden Valley all year long.

This month I interviewed two who I am sure many campers have seen around camp and know well: Al and Derek (and Al’s dogs Allie, Huck, and Hank)! Al and Derek are HVC’s Ultimate Maintenance Maestros! I am so grateful for the opportunity to sit down with them and ask them all about themselves as well as what they do here at HVC. Here are their much-anticipated answers:

Gopher Girl: Derek and Al, thank you so much for talking with me today. I want to start with the basics; how would you describe what you do at HVC?

Al: Whatever is needed and whenever it’s needed to be done!

Derek: I do anything and everything!

Gopher Girl: Wow! Seems like a very important job around here that takes a wide range of skills. How did you end up at HVC?

Derek: I heard good things from people that worked here, Tim and Drew told me about camp and got me in here.

Al: I answered an ad in the Caretaker Gazette, it’s a real thing. I was deciding between a place out on Martha’s Vineyard and HVC. The llamas were what convinced me to go with camp, I’d never been around them before.

Bike repair all winter long!

Gopher Girl: What has been your favorite project to work on at HVC, Al?

Al: I enjoy working on the trails here. My favorite trail? All of them. The newest one I’m working on will connect the blueberry field trail with camp road.

Gopher Girl: I’m sure that will make blueberry hikes all the more special in the future. Things like our blueberry field and the llamas make HVC a very special camp. What’s something that surprised you about working at HVC?

Derek: How big it is, I mean the amount of campers and staff who come to camp—I didn’t realize it was this big!

Al: I’ll never forget driving down here for the interview. As we pulled in I said to Kathy, “Everything is red, let’s get out of here!” But Kathy said, “let’s just see what it’s like first,” and it all turned out good, but I was surprised.

Gopher Girl: Interesting! I’m so glad to hear about what you do at camp. I’m curious to hear more about you both as people; who’s your favorite musical artist recently?

Al: I love Lizzo. Seriously.

Derek: I don’t listen to a lot of music, I like audiobooks more.

Gopher Girl: Those are both great picks. I’m curious, Derek, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self that our campers could also learn from?

Derek: Don’t ride your bike in the road!

Derek hauling away parts of the old H-dock!

Gopher Girl: Al, a similar question, what is your motto or personal mantra?

Al: “Don’t think about it, be about it.” That’s how I convince myself to do things I don’t want to do. It’s easier to just get it done than to think about it.

Gopher Girl: You seem like someone with a lot of big goals; what’s the next item on your bucket list?

Al: I want to visit Greenland. It’s cold and icy and snowy and there are no bugs. I’ve always thought it would be cool.

Gopher Girl: And finally, what are you happiest doing?

Derek: When I’m hunting and fishing. I’ve gotten two deer this fall.

Al: When I’m with my kids, or when they’re here at camp with me. That’s when I’m happiest. Also when I’m napping. No, not really, but I do like it. Also anytime I’m outside biking or skiing.

Gopher Girl: Thanks so much again to both of you for answering all my burning questions! And thanks for being able to interpret my gopher-ese into your native human language of English.

Campers and families, have anyone else from around camp that you would like to see interviewed? Drop their names down in the comments below! And be sure to stay warm out there this winter. Right now, I’m about to go burrow my little hole in the backyard (sorry Derek and Al!) to stay toasty and cozy myself. I just hope the ground hasn’t frozen yet, so my teeth can break it!


Gopher Girl

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