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Friends of Timbercrest Tackle Lean-to Project

Friends of Timbercrest came from great distances to begin the reconstruction of a lean-to that some of them helped build 45 years ago at Camp Timbercrest, the Girl Scouts camp in Cattaraugus County. Pictured are four group members who were part of the original construction, from left, are Joanne Nelson, Diane Powell, Erica Tener and Ro Woodard. Submitted photo

In 1975, Girl Scouts in a Camp Timbercrest session called “Hammers and Hardhats” used only hand tools to build a lean-to.

On a recent weekend, now 45 years later, some of those builders were among the Friends of Timbercrest (FOT) who returned to deconstruct the lean-to, in preparation for constructing a new one. As waith the original construction work, they used only hand tools.

Camp Timbercrest is 900 acres of rolling hills with a 33-acre lake in its center. Located between Randolph and Steamburg in Cattaraugus County it provides an ideal setting for helping girls learn outdoor skills through progressively more challenging camping.

Among the Friends who deconstructed the lean-to were four New Yorkers who were there when it was built. Joanne Nelson of Jamestown was camp director, Ro Woodard of Falconer was unit leader, Diane Powell of Rochester was a counselor, and Erica Tener of Woodstock was a camper. Other Friends who assisted in the deconstruction were Dawn Cicchini of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Chautauqua County residents Barb Conklin, Peg Jungquist, Mary Beth Mazzone, Ann McIntyre, and Jennifer Schlick.

During the summer, the Girl Scouts of Western New York Council offers summer residence camping at Camp Timbercrest. It is available year round for troop and service unit camping.

Facilities at Timbercrest help girls become increasingly more comfortable living close to nature by offering a variety of sleeping arrangements from solid bunkhouse to soft-sided yurts and cabin-style tents, all the way to pitch-your own backpacking tents. The lean-tos will provide a comfortable transition from totally enclosed cabin-tents to more primitive camping in backpacking tents.

The barn boards that were used for walls on the old lean-to will be up-cycled into items such as Charcuterie board, whiskey and wine flights, and coat/bathrobe/towel hangers by Kathy and Dave Moller. Items will be for sale/auction to raise money for the new lean-tos.

Friends of Timbercrest have plans to replace the old lean-to with two new ones of a similar design.

Carrie Wolfgang has donated for a lean-to in memory of her mother Mary Alice Campbell, a longtime Girl Scout leader and volunteer from Jamestown. Friends of Timbercrest are soliciting donations for the second to be built in memory of Mary Cooper, also a longtime leader and friend of Girl Scouts from Findlay Lake.

One lean-to will be called Mary Alice. The other will be called Mary Cooper. The semi-primitive campsite in the same location as the original will be called “The Marys.”

The mission of Friends of Timbercrest is to “Preserve, Enhance, and Promote Camp Timbercrest in partnership with Girl Scouts of Western New York.” Friends of Timbercrest hold two work weekends each year during which they develop and maintain hiking trails and work on other projects to benefit the camp. Anyone interested in joining FOT is invited to send an email to FriendsOfTimbercrest@gswny.org.

Donations for the lean-to project can be made by mailing checks payable to GSWNY to Girl Scouts of Western New York, Buffalo Service Center, 4433 Genesee St., Suite 101, Buffalo, NY 14225 and including the note “FOT Lean-to Project.” To donate online, go to gswny.org/en/donate/donate-now.html; in the field “Please tell us why you donated to Girl Scouts today” on the donation form type “FOT Lean-to Project.” Donations may be tax deductible.

For additional information on Girl Scouting and Camp Timbercrest, visit the website of the Girl Scouts of Western New York at gswny.org and FriendsOfTimbercrest.org.

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