Town Square

Post a New Topic

Save the Hidden Villa legacy

Original post made by Francie Kelley, another community, on Jul 6, 2006

I have just learned of the awful possibility of Hidden Villa's 12-day summer camp closing, and I got a pang in my stomach just at the thought of losing it. My daughter, Katie, attended the four-day camp last year and will have the joy of attending the 12-day camp this year. Little did I know it could be her only time.


I met Josephine and Frank Duveneck when I was about 7 years old. I remember them so well from the Palo Alto Friends Meeting. Josephine often spoke during the meetings for worship. I loved when she did because there were always grand stories of wisdom and love, and even adventure and humor.


When we used to go to Hidden Villa and visit in their marvelous home, it was like coming home. The place was filled with a spirit so much greater than all of us. It was a spirit that Josephine and Frank brought with them and they dedicated their lives to the enrichment of children's spirits through the camp, youth hostel and so many other wonderful things that were available to children.


I swam in the funny concrete swimming pool; I walked in the forest and worked with the animals. I showed my horse there and even was presented a winning ribbon by Josephine. My life was deeply enriched by my simply being there.


Hidden Villa is an oasis of spiritual development for children, especially in this tender age of 11 and 12. We need the resident program more than ever. So many kids have become focused on material wealth and they've lost their way towards dreaming. So many have lost their ability to imagine as they disappear into iPods, electronic games and computers. Their only dreams seem to be about becoming famous on "American Idol."


They've lost the sense of wonder and discovery. We are raising spiritually impoverished children. We need Hidden Villa to at least reach some of these kids, who can become the leaders of tomorrow.


Sure, it may require some hard work, fundraising and so on. But this is about carrying on the legacy of Hidden Villa. Frankly, I am certain that Frank and Josephine would be incredibly disappointed, and I am doubly certain that if my mother were alive she'd be devastated — and frankly most likely livid — and she would be doing everything possible to keep the camp going as we now know it.


I greatly hope the Hidden Villa board and Beth Ross will please, please re-consider this decision. At least give it a chance to reach out to the alumni, to the community. The 12 days are greatly needed to fully reach the kids.


For the future of Hidden Villa, for the future of the community, I beg them to reconsider and not let this legacy die.

[Editor's note: Francie Kelley is the daughter of Lois Hogle, well-known local environmental activist who died in December.]

Comments (2)

Like this comment
Posted by Very Tas
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 6, 2006 at 2:36 pm

You might consider looking into the almost complete lack of innovation and risk-taking by the Hidden Villa board as the big reason for Hidden Villa's troubles. It's very sad to see people so well-meaning in their attempt to keep HV "pure" that thay can't see the future forest for the trees.

There needs to be either a sea change in thinking, or a sea schange on the HV board to make HV a sustainable organization for the long term.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of East Palo Alto

on Jun 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

Former Flea St. Cafe chef starts meal delivery service
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 6,575 views

10 ways to reduce your dog's "pawprint"
By Sherry Listgarten | 9 comments | 4,323 views

Why can't high schoolers write?
By Jessica Zang | 11 comments | 2,651 views

"Plant an Expectation, Reap a Disappointment"
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,816 views

'Ignoring what's wrong has never made anything right'
By Diana Diamond | 4 comments | 1,132 views

 

Who is your local hero?

Whether they're grocery shopping for a neighbor or volunteering for a nonprofit, you can spread the joy and support our journalism efforts by giving them a shout-out.

Learn More