The Friends of Horton Hill is a spin-off group inspired by and supported by Friends of Timbercrest. We believe that activities at the Horton Hill (the Jamestown Service Center) will build relationships, a love of Girl Scouting, and a love of the outdoors that will eventually lead to camping adventures at Timbercrest.
Do It Days: The Friends of Horton Hill hold two "Do It Days" each year, usually the weekend after a Friends of Timbercrest work weekend. Trails and gathering spots are cleared and maintained on these days through the help of volunteers and troops and their families.
Summer Day Camp: Day camp in Chautauqua County was re-established in July of 2022. FOHH ran an all-volunteer week of fun for 26 girls. They are planning to run summer day camp for at least 2 more years to determine if there is a need and desire here in the southern part of the council's territory.
Other Programming: FOHH is looking at the possibility of some weekend and holiday programming to keep the girls connected to the idea of exploring nature with their Girl Scout sisters.
In 1959, the Jamestown Area Girl Scout Council, the Northern Chautauqua Council of Girl Scouts, and the Salamanca Area Council of Girl Scouts merged to form the Chautauqua Area Girl Scout Council. Their office was located in Fredonia, New York, and Ester S. Keyser was the Executive Director.
In the early 1990s, the Board of Directors began seriously discussing new office space because there were many concerns/problems with the main office, still in Fredonia, as well as with the satellite office in Falconer, New York.
Both 2nd floor offices were inaccessible to many members and guests.
Both offices were rented, not owned.
The Fredonia site was deteriorating at an alarming rate.
The rental for the offices and other needed program venues was becoming prohibitive.
The main office, at the northern end of the council, needed to be more central to all members.
Parking at both offices could be a problem, especially in the winter months.
After much discussion, the Board voted to purchase a centrally located property and build a new facility that would include space for offices, a library, a Girl Scout store, and a meeting area large enough for girl and adult gatherings and special events. In addition, they wanted enough land so that there would be ample parking with easy accessibility to the building and enough space for outdoor activities, trails, and a Day Camp. A Search Committee began looking for the "perfect" spot; and in 1992, the council purchased 49.3 acres of land on Route 60, just outside of Jamestown, New York.
Work began with building plans drawn by architect Steve Sandberg and approved by the Board. The Building Committee worked very hard to do it right and made sure of the following:
A neighbor was asked to be on the Committee to express concerns or worries. For example, lights in the parking lot should shine down so they don't light up the whole neighborhood.
The building was designed to fit into the landscape, rather than be intrusive.
It features 7000 square feet on one level, separated into two functional areas via a "pathway."
The public side features a kitchen, large meeting area, tables, chairs, and restrooms.
The office side features offices, a store, library, reception area, and can be secured if needed.
The cherry trim came from 50+ black cherry "high risk" trees at Camp Timbercrest, the camp in Randolph, New York, owned and operated by the Council.
The maple floor boards in the "pathway" also came from Camp Timbercrest.
Regular meetings were held with the architect so we were all on the same page
A New Service Center The new Service Center was dedicated on October 31, 1992, with a huge crowd in attendance that included young and old Girl Scouts, foundation representatives, board members, officials from other Girl Scout councils, and many individual and business friends of Girl Scouting.
The cost for the whole project was just over $1,000,000. No United Way or Girl Scout cookie money designated for programming was used. The capital campaign was a great success, with donations coming from Girl Scout troops, individual and business friends of Girl Scouting, board and staff members, other area agencies, and many area foundations including:
Carnahan Jackson Foundation
Chautauqua Region Community Foundation
Clarke Memorial Trust
Jessie Smith Darrah Fund
The Shumack Pavilion On July 27, 1995, the new Shumack Pavilion was dedicated. The pavilion, which sits down the hill from the Service Center, was built by the "DoDads," their daughters, and other volunteers in memory of Jessica Shumack, a Junior Girl Scout, and her mother, Sharon, a troop leader, board member, DoDad house mother, and trainer, who both died in a tragic car accident in 1994.
Trails and Day Camp Once the building was completed, another part of the board's dream began to unfold. An extensive trail system was cleared and a Day Camp was established. Records are scarce, but if memory serves, the Day Camp was enjoyed by many for around 10 years starting in the mid-1990s. When Day Camp ended, the trails ceased to be maintained and nature took over for 12-14 years, erasing all evidence of trails and gathering areas, except for a few numbered posts from the interpretive trail and some rotted picnic tables.
A Bronze Award Project In August of 2017, before the Girl Scouts of Troop 20117 started the project that would win them their Bronze Awards, you could not see or access the pavilion! Assisted by a couple of Brownie Girl Scouts from Troop 20209, a brother, and several parents, the girls cleared brush and weeds to make the pavilion usable once again.
Reclaiming the Camp On November 11, 2017, a large crowd celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Jamestown Service Center. That is when many who attended both the 25th event and the dedication in 1992 learned of the Bronze Award project that reclaimed the pavilion and began to talk of establishing another trail system and Day Camp. Those talks led to some serious work in the coming months.
Friends of Horton Hill "Do It Days" On November 9, 2019, after a lot of planning via phone calls and emails, a group of 30+ girls and adults, all volunteers, participated in the first Do It Day as Friends of Horton Hill. A trail to the Shumack Pavilion was cleared and the dream of another Day Camp grew. (See photos below.)
That enthusiasm and excitement came to an abrupt halt as the pandemic took hold, but finally, on May 8, 2021, we were once again allowed to have another Do It Day. We kept the group small but did a lot of clearing that included cleaning up the trail we had originally cleared and clearing many new ones.
The Friends of Horton Hill plan to hold spring and fall Do It Days regularly, to keep the trails and gathering spots clear for programming.
Day Camp 2022 The first Day Camp in over 15 years was offered at Horton Hill July 11-15. Twenty-six girls attended, including 4 new Girl Scouts. The camp will be held for two more years to assess its viability. Fingers crossed, this is the start of something wonderful!
"Horton Hill" is our nickname for the Jamestown Service Center Girl Scouts of Western New York 2661 Horton Road, Jamestown, NY 14701