Why Our Camp Was Founded
In 1945, Frank and Josephine Duveneck founded Hidden Villa's multicultural summer camp in order to specifically address racism and foster cross-cultural understanding:
It seemed to me if one could get hold of children before prejudice intervened there might be a good chance to prevent its development. A group accustomed to one another from the cradle should be able to work together harmoniously on common interests all through life…
Life on Two Levels
Today, rooted in the Duveneck family legacy of social justice and environmental stewardship, Hidden Villa Summer Camp carries on that same mission by bringing together a diverse group of campers and staff, unplugged from the busyness of everyday life, and giving them the unique opportunity to build a better community through shared experiences.
In the midst of song-singing and pig-mudding, something profound takes place at camp. Young people learn what it means to live in community. They develop greater multicultural understanding and appreciation, resolve conflicts peacefully, cultivate independence, and overcome personal challenges. Lifelong, face to face, friendships begin here and campers take with them a new sense of awe for natural and human beauty.
Life on the farm provides campers with the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of fun activities. Whether six or sixteen, youth explore our wilderness, discover the magic of compost, and participate in our social justice curriculum. At all ages, we encourage the human desire to be curious and think critically.
At Hidden Villa, campers engage in activities that address social justice issues in five broad topics:
- Race & Class
- Food & Farm
- Family, Gender, LGBTQ
- The Duveneck Legacy
These broad topics are addressed in ways that are relevant and age-appropriate. For instance, “dress up” day in Day Camp can help model acceptance of anyone’s choice of profession when a male camp staff member dresses as a nurse or a female staff member dresses as an athlete. Meanwhile, teens in Farm & Wilderness may play a game to explore immigrants’ rights issues in today’s society while learning about the Duveneck’s support for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers movement.
Each summer our carefully selected, diverse staff serve as caring, positive adult role models dedicated to addressing inequalities, resolving conflict in nonviolent ways and living a life that minimally impacts our planet. During their training, staff learn to teach age-appropriate curriculum to ensure a fun, educational experience for our campers.
Our programs promote an eagerness of learning about our neighbors while being free of judgment around skin, speech or any other characteristics.
- Day Programs for Elementary Youth (entering Kinder – 4th grades)
- Day Programs for Teens (entering 7th-12th grades)
- Overnight Programs (entering 4th – 10th grades)
- Backpacking Programs (entering 10th – 12th grades)
- Youth Leadership Programs (entering 9th – 12th grades)
- Seasonal Summer Employment (18+ years of age)