Kids of all backgrounds discover sustained welcome at Hidden Villa

Hidden Villa has offered generations of children wilderness experiences that nurture a love of the wild as well as an appreciation of campers’ racial and cultural differences. 

• 2016 update: The 1,500 young people from kindergarten through high school who visit the 1,600-acre preserve’s summer camp represent a striking cross section of Bay Area society. Many children return year after year, growing into camp leaders and venturing throughout the region on extended backpacking trips.

This year, the nonprofit is expanding day programs for teenagers focused on cooking, art and leadership.

The new day programming for teens offers an alternative to extended backpacking. The leadership program focuses on social justice – values of inclusivity and environmental care were among the founding principles when Frank and Josephine Duveneck started Hidden Villa as the nation’s first interracial summer camp. The culinary program draws on farm-inspired cooking from scratch, and the creative arts class showcases drawing, painting and photography in nature.

Recently expanded “focus programs” offer overnight campers in-depth exploration of topics such as goat rearing and wilderness skills. • Why the Holiday Fund is needed: Half of Hidden Villa’s campers rely on scholarships to access the inclusive programming that welcomes them to the farm and wilderness. Donors supply more than $200,000 each year to sustain support for children who otherwise would not get to attend camp.

• Mission: Hidden Villa aims to inspire a just and sustainable future through programs, land and legacy.

Hidden Villa Summer Camps

Location: 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills

Founded: 1945

Annual budget: $750,000

Staff: 40 full-time, 5 part-time, 66 camp employees; 1,000 volunteers


Holiday Fund contributions are tax deductible and processed through a donor-advised fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The foundation provides letters acknowledging donor contributions. The Town Crier will present grant funds to the 20 organizations in early 2017. The paper also profiles each organization in articles published throughout the holiday season.

To donate online, visit

To donate by check, make checks payable to “SVCF/Town Crier Holiday Fund” and mail to 2440 W. El Camino Real, Suite 300, Mountain View 94040.

For more information, visit

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