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Back to the Future: Lucia Reflects on 32 Years

Friday, March 4th, 2022



Lucia then and now

Once upon a time, long before Instagram or even cordless phones (September 1989 to be exact) Lucia, lovingly known by former coworkers as Agent Picardo, showed up for her very first day at Hidden Valley. 

If you’ve been to camp, chances are you’ve set foot in the office, which for years was a converted cottage. It’s since been rebuilt, complete with a new porch. But when Lucia arrived on that September morning long long ago, her desk was not actually in the office at all–but across the street in the farmhouse bedroom. 

You see, before the original office building was insulated, Peter, Meg, Lucia and the rest of the year round crew worked out of the old farmhouse, talking with families on rotary dial phones (see one below if you’re too young to know what these are!) 

Ring, ring!

Recently, we sat down with Lucia to learn more about what camp was like in the “olden days!” Here’s what she remembers of the past thirty-two years…

  • When someone in the office wanted to get in touch with the Health Lodge, they used an early “intercom system” which was actually a battery operated doorbell that would “ring” at the nurses desk. This was before cell phones or even voicemail!
  • There was only ONE computer in the whole camp, and Lucia says “I don’t think laptops had even been invented yet!”
  • When Peter and Meg wanted to get in touch with camp families, they couldn’t send an email or post online–instead, they wrote “snail mail” letters. Lots and LOTS of stamps!

Lucia with John Nunan’s newly designed sweatshirt!

Nowadays, Lucia can get in touch with camp parents instantly via our new fiber internet and makes calls on a phone with a touchpad. But through the changes, she says camp is still the weird, wonderful place it’s always been, a place where technology doesn’t really matter outside of the office walls. 

Thanks for reading this special edition of the HVC blog! We’ll be back soon with more exciting news as spring arrives in the Valley and we get ready for you all to join us!


Winston the Woodpecker

P.S. Check out more pics of HVC back in the day below!

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