Lantern Review of Hidden Valley Camp

The pastoral setting of Hidden Valley Camp (HVC) may be your first clue that something genuine and unique happens here. The red, barn-like buildings lining the open pastures and tucked into the edge of the pine forest create a farm-like atmosphere, an atmosphere that HVC embraces. Taking a time-honored rural belief in self-reliance and balancing it with community expectations for both behavior and effort fosters a different culture here. It is almost communal in its delivery, yet it is typical to see campers simply walking the camp trails in what some may believe is unsupervised programming. Instead, these campers are guided by, as one parent puts it, “invisible boundaries” born from a respect for the individual and grounded in community support and guidance. It works well here.

A relatively unstructured program is the framework of a camp centered on the arts. Full-time artisans bring expertise to the wide-range of crafts, from printmaking to pottery, ballet to improv. For HVC, these activities allow for individual expression and amplify creativity. The staff and facilities are well-suited to foster this expression.

Of course, HVC also takes advantage of its wilderness and pastoral setting. An active farm program, from organic gardening to caring for llamas, also demonstrates a program grounded in a “green” philosophy. Keeping the campers active in outdoor activities like horseback riding or rock climbing is also a natural and deliberate outgrowth of their natural setting. A secluded mile-long lake is free from any motorboats and a solar-heated pool hosts the swim program.

While the main camp program caters to younger age groups (8 to 14), HVC offers three teen programs as an extension of their main program. “Adventure”, “Alive” and “Community” form the teen programs to cater to a teen’s specific area of interest. Among all the program offerings, HVC has long boasted an international clientele, being one of the first camps to welcome both Chinese and Russian campers.

Fast Facts

  • COED
  • 250 Campers per Session
  • 2-week, 4-week, 6-week, 8-week
  • Founded in 1948
  • $$$

Director's Message

HVC's non-competitive program focuses on the arts and the outdoors. Campers are free to choose their own activities and pursue their creative and athletic interests. It is our hope that the Hidden Valley community experience instills in young people a feeling of independence, enhanced self-awareness, and an even greater capacity to live happily and work constructively with others. Hidden Valley is more than a summer camp for children. It's a community of young people learning to live together co-operatively.

Program Highlights

  • 50 Activities
  • Team Sports
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Mountains
  • Individual Activities
  • Drama
  • Waterfront
  • Forest
  • Rural

Top 5 Activities

  • Visual Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Horseback Riding
  • Skateboarding
  • Llama and Animal Care

Travel Information

Chartered bus, car, plane to Portland, Maine


Hidden Valley Camp

(800) 922-6737

(207) 342-5177

Peter and Meg Kassen