Category Archives: News Reports

We Love Our Beautiful Earth!

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

Tipi Hill

Hey there, everyone! Cara here with a bite-sized update in belated celebration of Earth Day!

Hidden Valley is becoming greener and greener. The trails are muddy, the creeks have thawed, and all of the animals are enjoying basking in the sun. I hope that everyone is taking advantage of the weather by spending time outside and soaking in your natural surroundings- breathe in the fresh air and get those toes in the grass!

I can hardly believe how quickly summer is approaching! And boy, do we have an amazing one ahead of us. In just a few weeks, pre-camp staff will arrive and I’ll have lots of camp preparation news to share! In the meantime, enjoy some beautiful nature photos from around camp.

‘Till next time!

Cara B. Ner

Spring Fever and Counting Down to Camp!

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Hugs at Lake St. George!

Hey there, everyone! It’s Cara here, and I’m feeling feverish!

This morning, I woke up in a cold sweat- must clean out junk drawer– I thought- must put on brightly colored clothes…must go outside! These symptoms could only mean one thing: a bad case of spring fever! Spring has finally sprung (well, it has in some places, it’s still pretty snowy up here at Hidden Valley.) With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, everyone is continuing to get psyched for summer.

For those of you who have been following along with our countdown to camp on the HVC website, you know that there are just 85 days until first session starts! If you’re like me and can hardly wait for camp to begin, here are some ways to bring some HVC fun into your home community:

  • Do a rose-bud-thorn circle at the family dinner table, where each person shares a highlight and lowlight of their day along with something they’re looking forward to
  • Visit the animals at your local petting zoo (you may even find some llamas!)
  • Teach a friend a hand game you learned at camp
  • Make a friendship bracelet
  • Ask to share a camp song with your music class at school
  • Try out a camp recipe from the Hidden Valley Camp cookbook (available at
  • Wear an HVC t-shirt!

And, of course, the best way to bring Hidden Valley into our other communities is to practice our HVC values of kindness and inclusion wherever we may go! The next time we speak, lots of summer preparations will be underway as we get closer and closer to staff training. For now, enjoy some photos from last summer!

Later, gators!

Cara B. Ner.

Gearing up for a Great Summer!

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Llama glamor shot!

Hello hello hello! Cara here, and boy, am I excited!

Camp is coming sooner than you think! It’s that time of year where campers and staff start getting psyched for HVC. Can you believe that in less than 4 months, staff will be heading up north to start getting ready for an amazing, stupendous, fantastical, wondrous, incredible summer??

Hidden Valley still looks like a winter wonderland. Soon enough, the snow and ice will melt as we continue working on off-season projects. I sure am missing all the kooky camp traditions and cool activities. I find myself humming the Meg’s planet interest groups song and “tuna noodle baby” by the Half Moon Jug Band all winter long! I can’t wait for all the camp fun to come- zipping down tipi zip line, petting the llamas and Hamilton the pig, doing screen printing and tie-dye, and working on projects in the glass bead and glass blowing studios. Not to mention windsurfing and boating at the lake, climbing the ropes course, playing tether ball in the backyard, eating fried dough on fair day, and sharing picnic lunches with friends. I am also beginning to wonder about the mysteries ahead- what will the themes be for dances and lazy days? Who will emerge victorious in the camper vs. counselor basket ball game? What is revealed on Peter’s forbidden tour on electives night? WHEN IS THE CANDY DROP??

All of these questions will be answered in due time… What I really miss the most about camp isn’t what we do each day, but the amazing community we create every summer- the kind and supportive group of weirdos who make Hidden Valley a home away from home.

Until next time, enjoy some awesome photos from last summer. Here’s to more great memories to come!

Climbing away,

Cara B. Ner

Skating, Skiing, and Sledding into the New Year!

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

The snowy Farmhouse

Hello hello hello! Cara B. here to wish everyone a happy new year with the first Hidden Valley update of 2018!

Brrrrrr! The temps are getting pretty low up here as the ice and snow continue to pile up. In my last post, I told you all about the super cool (pun intended!) winter activities at HVC. However, it’s not all fun and games during the winter months! Lots of awesome off-season projects are still underway. The pool has been upgraded with a fresh coat of paint and a fabulous new llama design. The floors of some older buildings are getting re-leveled, and the Health Lodge- ouch! and Hilton bathrooms are being renovated.

In other news, Hidden Valley was visited by representatives from the American Camp Association during the summer of 2016. This routine visit occurs every five years to assess camp facilities, safety, health, and wellness, counseling, and different program areas. HVC received perfect scores on over 200 standards! Woohoo! Similar results were given after a visit from the Maine Department of Health this past summer. Thanks to everyone who works super hard to help make Hidden Valley so great- especially our amazing community of campers!

Some awesome HVC-ers were given a special thank you for their hard work. At a meeting of the American Camp Association-New England, Jay Stager, HVC director from 1968-1988 was posthumously honored for “bringing children together from all over the world to learn, grow and live peacefully.” Jay helped shape Hidden Valley into the camp we know and love today- one with classes in the arts, theater, and outdoor activities. AND, Jay brought llamas to camp! Where would Hidden Valley be without our signature wooly pals?

Peter and Meg carried on Jay’s camp values when taking over as camp directors in 1989. The ACANE honored Peter with a Visionary Trailblazing Award for his work to make Hidden Valley more accessible not only to Maine youth who come from low income families and youth with medical concerns, but to gender variant campers. Peter has helped educate other New England camp directors about how to best include transgender and non-binary campers and staff- so cool!

That’s it from me- I hope everyone is staying warm! While you’re all snuggled up and cozy, take a look at some photos of snowy Hidden Valley- posted below!

Climbing away,

Cara B. Ner

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