Here are the very first girls to camp OVERNIGHT at The Marys! See Arden's story below.
First to Stay in the Marys
Hi! I’m Arden. This most recent summer, I went to Camp Timbercrest for my second year. I had chosen to do the session Trail Trekkers. Basically, this program was an introduction to staying and living and hiking in the woods. For part of this session, we were to have a campout in the woods. So, we had visitors from Friends of Timbercrest come out and show us how to get to the Marys. (If you are not familiar with what the Marys are, they are little lean-to's that were built in memory of Mary Alice and Mary Cooper.) And after they had shown us how and to get to the Marys a couple of nights later we set out to sleep there for the night. This is the story of what happened.
It was around 8:30 p.m. when we got there. Right away, we had started unrolling our sleeping bags and getting that fire going. For about an hour we just hung around the campfire, talked, and laughed (we laughed A LOT). It was around 9:30 p.m. at this point so the girls and I started heading back to Mary Cooper’s lean-to, the one we were staying in. We had still continued to talk as we changed into our pajamas and started climbing into our sleeping bags, until we heard a noise. A very odd noise. Almost like howling, but not quite. We had called over to our counselors and told them of this noise, but since they had not heard it, they simply told us to lay down and relax. We had heard this noise again, but louder this time. So loud that the counselors had heard it too. They instantly radioed in to the camp director, and she said to stomp on the floor, however, it only made the noise seem closer, and louder. Instantly, a girl who was with us started hysterically crying. So me being the oldest in the bunch, I felt that I had to be the bravest. I offered to bring her to the counselors. She said yes and another girl had asked if she could come with us and I said yes.
So, once we had gotten over to the other lean-to (Mary Alice), the girl who had been hysterically crying, had made it well known that she could not stay the night. So we tried radioing down again to see if she could get picked up, however she was told that she had to stick it out. Then all of the sudden-we heard that same noise again, but so loud that it had only seemed to be about 30 feet away from us. The counselors wanted to make sure that the other two girls were okay, so they said for me and someone else to go over and grab the two girls. Naturally, for lack of luck, both girls were too scared-so I went over alone and got the girls. During this whole event, I’m thinking to myself, “Why do we have to drop the buddy system now?” But I made it back, with two girls hanging on my arms. However I was unfortunately not done with running errands-if you will. The one girl who was hysterically crying said that she didn’t want her stuffed turtle to be eaten, so once again, I was sent over alone to grab the stuffed animal.
A little while later the counselors had made their decision to send us back, but they would take their stuff and stay with us in our lean-to. “Glad the counselors decided to stay with the girls” you may think. Yes, it was a kind doing-however, it is a rule that the counselors cannot sleep with the campers, so they pretty much stayed up all night watching us sleep. And of course there were some girls who needed to use the bathroom, but as we were walking over to the Luggable Loo, we heard the noise again. So we marked our territory in front of the Mary Cooper lean-to, if you know what I mean.
After that we fell asleep, woke up around 7:30 in the morning, packed up our stuff, and walked back down to our unit. But you probably are still wondering, “What animal was making that noise?” Turns out that it was just an owl.
So there we have it! The story of the first stay in the new Marys lean-tos! I hope that everyone enjoys this story!
-Arden (First year Cadette)
Horton Hill Day Camp Program Director Ro Woodard met with Dennis Webster of WJTN to chat about the Horton Hill Day Camp. You can listen to the interview by clicking the link below.
For more information about Horton Hill Day Camp, click here.
On Saturday, March 19th, I went on a hike at Camp Timbercrest led by members of Friends of Timbercrest. Before we started the hike they talked to us about safety and the buddy system. Then we started on a the Lake Trail.
On the way we went over many streams on bridges. The leader of the hike stopped a few times to show us trees with good wood for starting fires. One was the hemlock and their fallen twigs make good tinder. The other was the yellow birch and their bark makes great fire starters. Though they made us promise never to take bark off a living tree.
When we made it to the new lean-tos called the Marys they taught us how to start a fire. It was tricky at first because the night before it rained so the wood was wet. But once we added the bark from the yellow birch tree we got the fire to go and keep going. We made s'mores after and some girls went down to the creek the site looked over.
After, we cleaned up we went the rest of the way around Keyser Lake. We had to move quickly because of the rain, but we made a quick stop because someone had spotted a salamander. We tried to make it back to Jackman before the rain but we didn't and had to run. The hike was one of the highlights of my stay at Camp Timbercrest and I would love to go on the trail again.
Cadette Girl Scout
Click a picture below to start a slideshow.
by Ro Woodard
November 8-9, 2021
With joy for the experience, and hope for the hope future, this is one of the first Friends of Timbercrest Blog posts. It is commemorating the first campout at the newest camping area, The Marys - two beautiful lean-tos built by volunteers in memory of Mary Alice Campbell and Mary Cooper. (See the Wall of Fame for more information on them) The long road from the teardown of the original lean-to built in 1975 by the Hammers and Hard Hats summer camp unit to the huge collaborative effort of new and old (experienced?) volunteers of FOT.
For me it is very special. I was the unit leader for the original lean-to build. Didi Powell, who was my co-counselor was also on the camp-out as was Jennifer Schlick, our beloved leader and inspiration for all things FOT. I knew the two wonderful Girl Scout leaders that the lean-tos are named after. And for reasons unknown, I never camped out at the original lean-to, but Mary Alice and Mary Cooper did bring their troops. Shout out: If you have camped at the original lean-to, send us your memories and photos.
Upon arrival, Jennifer and I quickly settled in and then headed into the woods to explore some old logging roads, GPSing as we went for possible new hiking trails. We hiked uphill from The Marys to meet up with a logging road which crossed the power line. Lovely view down to Keyser Lake, Bellinger Lodge, and the hills beyond. Back into the woods the logging road curved around the hill above the lake. Various offshoots tempted us to detour and then return to the original road. Through the leafless trees we had glimpses of the lake. It finally ended at the boundary line as we noted posted signs for the Foothills Hunt Club and a deer stand. Taking often given advice for hiking at Timbercrest - to return to camp, just walk downhill. So we did. Beautiful woods with young hemlocks hugging the sides of small ravines all heading to the lake. Our “trail” choice took us to Beaver Bay and the Lake Trail. It was a wonderful experience to hike parts of Timbercrest that I had never been before. We’re thinking new trails!
Didi joined us just in time for dinner. Natasha “Nate” Johnson Patchen fondly remembers walking into the lean-to and having Mary Cooper announce that they would be roasting a chicken over the coals of the campfire for dinner. Nate thought she would probably die of hunger before dinner was cooked and then happily admitted that it was the best chicken ever!
So we roasted a chicken along with foil veggie packets. Best dinner ever. Cookies (bought from Wegmans - when roasting a chicken, you don’t have to bake) and hot cocoa with a giant marshmallow for dessert finished the feast. Did you note that we were camping in November? Beautiful sunny and warm days, blessed by both the Marys just for us.
The early evening darkness held a waxing crescent moon and lots of shining stars accompanied by the babbling of the little unnamed creek that runs along side of The Marys. Our roaring campfire had us “lingering” as the song says. We sat late into the night ending the evening snug in our sleeping bags warm and content.
Next morning waking early before the sun rose, we snacked on leftover treats of Jennifer’s shortbread cookies, Didi’s homemade applesauce, and peanut M&Ms from Ro. (You probably don’t want us helping to plan menus for your troop.) A pale rosy sunrise greeted us through the trees.
We had planned to leave early to get breakfast at the diner in Randolph, but being filled with cookies and M&Ms the day was too nice to leave camp early. So we packed up, said good bye for now to The Marys and headed to loop the lake on the Lake Trail. Included here for your enjoyment and to make you jealous are some of the lovely photos taken by Didi.
What next? I would like to issue a challenge to all Girl Scouts reading this. PLAN FOR YOUR TROOP TO SPEND A DAY, A NIGHT, OR A WEEKEND CAMPING AT THE MARYS. Then add to this blog to tell everyone of your experience.
Soon The Marys will be added to the property rental list at Timbercrest. Cost is $10 for a day or $20 per night. I’m writing a How to Enjoy The Marys guide to help you plan and have a great experience at this primitive site.
Watch the Friends of Timbercrest website and Facebook for the announcement of how one lucky troop can win a free day and another a free weekend at The Marys. We’ll also be having the Grand Opening and Dedication at our spring work weekend May 2022.
So stay tuned.
by Jennifer Schlick
The Marys is the primitive campsite that features two lean-tos named in memory and honor of Mary Cooper and Mary Alice Campbell.
Even before the site was finished, a daytime event was held there in August 2021. The Gourmet Hotdog Roast was an auction item in a fundraiser for The Marys. The family-friendly event was purchased by Carrie Wolfgang, daughter of Mary Alice Campbell. She invited her whole family out to enjoy the site.
'Nnifer and Ro made salads, a condiment bar for the hotdog toppings, and brought ingredients for s'mores (of course). The meal was topped off with camp pie biscuits cooked over the coals.
We didn't ask them to, but the family assisted us by bringing the roofing materials from a pile on the road near Sunset all the way in to the lean-tos! Thanks, all!
Part of the Friends of Timbercrest mission is to promote the camp.
We would love to feature your story here! Send us details about your outing at Timbercrest. Include the dates you were there and some of the activities you did. Was it a daytime outing? Overnight? Where did you sleep? Did you hike any of the trails? Were you at Timbercrest for a program? What did you learn?
Email your story (with the author's name(s)) and a few (9-12) pictures (with photographer's name(s)) to firstname.lastname@example.org.