Category Archives: Uncategorized

Keep it glassy!!

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

Once a camper, always a camper!

Helloooooo HVC! Hummingbird here!! In the cold winter months I like to fly over to the glass beads and glass blowing studios. Carmi is in here all winter long with a fire going and art a’brewin’! Carmi has been a camp superstar for years! If you’ve ever stepped foot on camp you’ve definitely seen his work. From the beautiful mosaic doors of the Rec Hall, to the pizza oven dragon; from the geometric dome by the photo studio, to the photo studio itself; from designing and expanding the glass program over the years, to building a brand new maker’s studio in the Red Barn just this winter, Carmi has worked with cold glass, hot glass, pottery, wood, metal, and more!! And if you don’t recognize him by all his artistic contributions to HVC, perhaps you know him as Tui’s dad!! I’m here at the Beehive with Carmi now, and I thought I’d ask him a few questions about the glass program at camp….

Hummingbird: You’re famous for being the youngest camper ever! What was camp like as a four year old? How has camp changed, and what was the glass program like when you were a kid? 

Carmi: Camp was a dream and LCH felt like a second home. I loved all the attention from the counselors and I spent most of my time on the soccer field/pitch and basketball court. Many great things about camp have not changed but the major difference is the physical size of camp. When I was a kid, Deer Meadows was inhabited by a neighboring family (Yes! there was NO pool), meals were in the red barn, and the foothills dance studio was an open air pavilion with ping pong and foosball. Today, there are many more specialized classes like glass blowing and many more class options. 

HB: What was your favorite thing about HVC as a kid?

C: My favorite thing about camp was returning each summer to hang out with my same cabin group. And swimming in the lake! 

HB: How many years have you been at camp? 

C: I Lost count at 25.

HB: When did you start working with glass? What was your first project? 

C: A blue race car made my first year at camp. My parents still have it!

HB: How have you seen the glass program grow and change over the years?

C: In addition to stained glass we have added mosaics, glass fusing, flameworking (beads), and glass blowing!

HB: What artistic projects around camp have you had a hand in creating? 

C: With the help of many hands and collaborators I created the mosaic murals on the pottery studio (2008) , rec hall doors (2009) , and camper kitchen (2010-11). I was also helped build the pizza oven, bead studio, beehive, new photography studio, and geodesic dome. I enjoy the process of dreaming up an idea and then all the learning that comes with making it a reality. 

HB: What would be your dream project to install on camp? 

C: I have always wanted to build giant glass kaleidoscope. One day! 

HB: You get to see campers improve from summer to summer in their glass projects, some kids have gone from the youngest cabins all the way through to being a glass apprentice. Are there any camper art projects you’ve been totally blown away by? 

C: Yes, Jack’s light, Kat’s toucan, and Alec’s chess set to name a few special projects. Every summer I am inspired by the open mindedness and tenacity of many campers and the projects they produce. I also love hearing about campers who continue to work with glass year around.   

HB: You live on camp all year round! What’s the best part of camp in the winter? 

C: Cross-country skiing on the trails and ice skating on the lake.

HB: Do campers get more excited to see Luke the dog or your daughter, Tui? 

C: Tui, but don’t tell Luke! 

HB: Is it true that the pizza oven dragon and the dining hall dragon are pals and sled down tipi hill at night in the winter? 

C: I have only seen their tracks so I can’t say for sure. 

Man oh man, I’ve been hanging out in the Beehive glassblowing studio so long, it’s starting to feel like summer again! Thanks for chattin’, Carmi! Can’t wait to see what you make next!! I’m off to cool down!

Until next time!
Hummingbird 🙂

Psssst!!!! If you have any glass artwork from camp, snap a pic and send it to our HVC instagram account, @hidden_valley_camp_maine so we can show off your beautiful creations!! 

IT’S STARTING!!!

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

Waterfront directors unite! Current waterfront director Anna (right) and former waterfront director/current PD Aileen (left) take waterfront doggie Moose (dog) for a walk!

Helloooooo HVC family! April showers bring May flowers, and what does the Mayflower bring? PRE-CAMP!! Counselors old and new have been trickling into camp with the schvitz and waking up our sleepy springtime Valley so it can bloom into a beautiful, wonderful, fabulous, kid-ready summer camp! As you can see in the photos below, camp is a’blossom with colorful flowers, and staff who are here a little early are pitching in to convert wintertime HVC to the summer experience we all know and love. Let’s take a look!

Building projects like The New Normal and Wombles are wrapping up and can I say, they are looking mighty inhabitable! Early arriving horse staff are mucking out the barn and getting all the horsies ready to ride- looks like fun! The pool, which was re-painted over the winter, is sparkly and new and ready for a dip! Our crews of helpful early counselors are sweeping and schlepping and prepping all our beloved camp areas so that programs like the Ropes Course, Waterfront, and art areas will be up and running when the rest of staff arrive to begin training! All with the help of our Program Directors, Hope, Aileen, Georgia, and Ilana, who are organizing the office and preparing to train our incoming staff!

Of course, it’s not all work work work… there are doggies on camp like Luke, Moose, and Nellie; the kittens MUST be cuddled daily; and baby Tui just turned one! Check out the camp Instagram for pictures of all that @hidden_valley_camp_maine 🙂

Camp is just beginning to wake up from its winter hibernation, and even amidst all the work of getting camp ready for the summer, we are all stopping to smell the flowers while it’s still Spring! Before we know it, the days will be longer and hotter, and camp will be getting a little busier.

Spreading pollen,
Hummingbird

 

BREAKING: CAMP LLAMAS LOOSE IN NYC!

Monday, April 1st, 2019

Extreme llama jumping down Fifth Avenue

Good morning, HVC! Hummingbird reporting here live from the Valley News Headquarters (located in the Video Loft upstairs in the Red Barn) to bring you this breaking report. It seems the llamas escaped from the llama pen in the early hours of this morning in disguise, chartered the Candy Drop Plane to fly them from Maine to New York City, and spent the day exploring all the best of fine dining, culture, and recreation that the city has to offer.

Camp directors Peter and Meg Kassen woke for their daily trip to the lake to find Hamilton the pig, longtime resident of the llama pen, alone in his habitat. Hamilton informed the concerned Kassens that, though he had tried to stop the llamas, Cricket and the gang insisted they needed a break from all the stress of rural life; that they craved the feel of paved roads under their hooves; and that their species’ origins in the Andean mountains of South America required they reach a certain altitude that only the Candy Drop Plane could achieve.

New York-based campers first reported seeing the llamas clomp into the MoMA at approximately 9:43 this morning, EST. The next report came from midtown, where the llamas were spotted stepping out of a cab to attend a matinee of Hamilton. Several hours later they were seen and (unfortunately) heard recreating “The Battle of Yorktown” in Times Square. According to an eyewitness, they were allegedly rehearsing to bring the show back to HVC’s own Hamilton the pig upon their return to the Valley.

To gain some insight into this unique llama behavior I spoke with former HVC Llama Mama, Robin Harris (featured in a photograph below, enjoying some shade with campers and llama pals). Robin reported that Blackberry and Stanley had mentioned a desire to get a nibble of the famous trees of Central Park, and speculates that the taste for gourmet greens may have enticed the llamas to New York.

Most recent reports claim the llamas have boarded the Candy Drop Plane once again. They are expected to land in Belfast, Maine later this evening, where they will be escorted back to camp by Robin, the Kassens, and an ornery Hamilton, who is anticipating sitting through the llamas’ rendering of an entire Broadway show.

Many thanks to our camper correspondents and Robin Harris for their insights as this story has unfolded. Oh, and also… APRIL FOOLS!!!

Tricked ya!
Hummingbird 🙂

IT’S THE SECOND FIRST DAY OF CLASSES!!

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Fishing!

Fishing!

Hello, hello! Humming Bird here with Cat Nap to update you on all the glorious excitement about the first day of classes!

Yesterday we all signed up for our second round of classes, and after all our suspenseful waiting THE DAY IS HERE!! We gathered for a beautiful egg bar breakfast this morning, provided by the luminescent Chris and Lillian, after which we went to our Morning Meeting! We enjoyed all the old favorite Meeting features, like the Fiddlers Green Farming Fact (ee-aye-ee-aye-oh!), the Spirit Animal of the Day, the Annoying Song of the Day, the Gurus of Uselessness, and Thought du Jour! Check out some wacky pictures below!!

Also included in Meeting today was a little explanation for our wonderful new campers who arrived yesterday, about how classes work around here! After which, we were all released to go enjoy the aforementioned classes!

Cat Nap and I did some journalistic investigation this morning to determine how the campers REALLY feel about this day, and after sending the feedback we received from the campers in to our analysts for their analysis, the statistics are in and they are OVERWHELMINGLY positive!! Our campers are just plain EXCITED to begin their new classes today!! Check out some pictures we snagged of our smiling campers’ faces in their first class of the day!!

Tonight we have a super fun evening program… ELECTIVES!! Counselors will line up on the soccer field to announce what activities they will be leading, like Glass Beads, Capture the Flag, Baking Cookies, and more! Then campers will “walk very slowly and cautiously and respectfully” (just kidding… they’ll book it!) to the counselors leading the activity they ELECT to participate in for the night! It’s a super fun evening program, and Cat Nap and I can’t wait to tell you all about it tomorrow!! It’s the CAT’S MEOW!! (“You’re still not funny, Humming Bird.” – Cat Nap)

Alive went with the main camp Shakespeare class to see a Midsummer Night’s Dream yesterday!! The Shakespeare class is putting the very same show on here at camp this session, so we look forward to watching all their hard work in the near future!

The Apprentices yesterday went to an exhibit in Rockport yesterday called “Geography of Youth.” It’s a photo exhibit that also documents the words and stories of young people in Maine! Then last night they joined their PD contact, Sarah, in making some beautiful glass beads!

Adventures is still on their backpacking trip through the White Mountains. This is a trip that their counselor, Paul, developed an implemented just this year!! Paul is currently studying to become an Outdoor Educator, and he used all his training to plan this trip, so it could be fun, educational, and appropriately challenging for the Adventures campers. Cat Nap and I, and the rest of camp, can’t wait to hear all about their excursion when they come back!!

Well we’re off to rescue the cucumber that went missing from Meg’s Planet yesterday… Who on Earth would steal such a succulent cucumber? And so close to the Pickle Sacrifice!! (More on that in the future… stay tuned!)

Chirp, Hum, Meow,

Humming Bird and Cat Nap

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