Hiking at Hidden Valley Camp
Hidden Valley Camp is uniquely different from surrounding parks and campgrounds. A primary objective of the
Lawrence Hidden Valley Committee (LHVC), which owns and manages the property, is to provide local Girl Scouts
a safe, private gathering place in a natural environment. A secondary objective is to manage the land as
an urban wildlife area.
As a Friend of Hidden Valley, you can help us protect the camp and keep it a safe, outdoor learning center for Scouts and a refuge for wildlife. Regular hiking by Friends members will help us monitor site conditions and will discourage vandals. Please note that minors must be accompanied by adults. Whenever you hike or use Hidden Valley Camp in any way, you also agree to assume the risks inherent in your use and to follow these simple procedures.
1) Registration provides a valuable record of site use; all site visits must be registered in one of two ways: For spontaneous hiking, registration cards are located in the black mailbox attached to the exterior west wall of Evelyn's Attic (the garage at the main parking lot). Drop your card in the letter slot next to the box. Presbyterian Manor residents can fill out cards from the mailbox attached to the fence railing at their entrance to the camp. OR, enroll in the e-mail based Hiking Patrol. Each month a sign-up schedule will be sent to patrol members to voluntarily sign up to hike as much of the camp as possible during weeks of their choosing. Our goal is to have at least two hikers per week. You may register as a Patrol Hiker on the Volunteer Cards sent with membership packets, or contact the Hiking Coordinator.
2) Your observations and comments are important. If using the registration cards, report minor problems on the card. Patrol Hikers are expected to send a brief report back to patrol members via email. For problems that might need immediate attention (downed trees obstructing trails or campsites, vandalism, excessive litter, etc.) report directly to the Site Manager, Durand Reiber (841-3567). If you see any suspicious or unusual activity, please do not investigate it yourself. Find the nearest phone (possibly at Presbyterian Manor) and call police. Please follow up with a call to the Site Manager or LHVC Site Committee Chair..
3) Troops camping at Hidden Valley deserve safety and privacy. High-use times are spring and fall after school, and weekends. Use common sense about scheduling your visit, or check the Reservations link of the LHVC website to be sure there are no conflicts. If you encounter a troop, introduce yourself and let them know you are a member of the Friends of Hidden Valley Hiking Patrol. If you would like to add a picnic, you may do so, but please remember that Girl Scouts always have priority for all facilities.
4) Car access to the camp is via the main red gate off Bob Billings Parkway. This gate is kept closed with a chain, but not locked. You may leave it open, as long as your car is parked along the circle drive just inside the gate. Please do not park in the grass or block the main drive. The rest of the camp is closed to unauthorized cars. Remember to chain the gate when leaving.
5) Think Safety! Dress appropriately, with good footwear! Please note that Hidden Valley is not a groomed park, but a semi-primitive natural area, complete with poison ivy, big thorns, downed trees, stumps, uneven terrain and wild animals. As a user of the camp, you agree to hold harmless The Lawrence Hidden Valley Committee, Inc. and the Friends of Hidden Valley, Inc. for any injuries or damages to the user or the user's charges or to the Hidden Valley Camp. Hikers are advised to use the "Buddy System" rather than walking alone, or at least be sure someone knows where you are and when you should return. A cell phone is advisable.
6) Hidden Valley visitors are expected to respect the land in its natural state, and to practice minimum impact activities. Here are some guidelines:
Walk single file on trails to reduce disturbance to the surrounding land.
Wear light-weight hiking boots or sport shoes that give good foot support and protection.
Wheeled vehicles (bicycles, strollers, ATV's) are not permitted on trails or meadows. Wheelbarrows and wagons are the exception.
Dogs can disturb wildlife and other visitors and are not encouraged. If you take a dog, it MUST be on leash the entire time and you MUST pick up and pack out waste.
Off-trail hiking is not forbidden, but do so carefully...blazing of new trails is not allowed. Please do not collect plants, animals, etc. and watch out for poison ivy.
Observe wildlife only--do not disturb it. We'd love to hear about any unusual sightings.
Pictures and camp-inspired poetry or stories submitted to the Friends newsletter are very welcome!
Want to do more?
Take along a bag for litter collection (please take it home with you; there is no trash pickup at the camp), OR contact the Friends Volunteer and Events Coordinator (listed below) to help with trail maintenance, tree cutting, special projects and work days.
Thank you for helping to protect and preserve Hidden Valley for our young people, our wildlife, and our community!
Hiking Patrol Coordinator: Jill Giele: 785-218-2456; firstname.lastname@example.org
Camp Manager (to report a problem): Durand Reiber: 785-865-4657; email@example.com
LHVC Site Chair: Jeff Bandle: 785-979-6420; firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Instructions for Attending Annual Work Days At Hidden Valley Camp
Friends of Hidden Valley sponsor four annual workdays each year, providing valuable maintenance work and help with special projects. Any amount of time you can give is appreciated. The workdays are:
April: concentrating on the eastern third of the camp, including the tall grass prairie
September: concentrating on the middle of the camp, including the cabin, outbuildings, butterfly garden & camp sites.
November: a variety of fall chores centered in Mary's Meadow & Dogwood Forest, ie: wood cutting, honeysuckle removal & more.
Although spontaneous attendance is not discouraged, it does help to know approximately how many volunteers we can expect for planning purposes and in getting equipment and refreshments ready. A quick email RSVP to the Camp Manager is appreciated. We also want our volunteers to be prepared; please make sure that you and anyone you may bring are aware of the following:
Wear outdoor, layered clothing...this is a semi-primitive camp and (except for September) all work is outside. Be prepared for weather changes, woody brush, thorns, poison ivy, ticks and chiggers & sun. (I don't mean to scare you off here! But being prepared will prevent potential problems). Long pants and sleeves recommended; sun screen and insect repellant generally necessary; durable totally enclosed shoes are a MUST!
Bring a water bottle or cup. Ice water (& extra cups) will be provided, as will other refreshments, depending on the work day. (i.e., trail mix, pizza, GS cookies, s'mores)
Tools and gloves provided, but you might want to bring your own gloves.
Parking is in the large gravel lot past the second gate, and is at a premium inside the camp. Carpooling is highly recommended. Park closely, on either side of the lot. For larger work days, a parking attendant will be there, and may direct you to overflow parking.
Everyone must check in before working, and each work day has a different location; check the specific workday notice. You will be asked to read and sign a Hold Harmless/Assumption of Risk Waiver. All minors must have a waiver signed by a parent/guardian. No unaccompanied minors under 15. For 15 and above, they may request a waiver ahead of time via email for their parent/guardian to sign, and bring with them.
After signing in, you will be assigned a job, with most projects being led by project leaders. If you are not comfortable tackling a specific job, please say so!
If you would like to receive E-Mail Notices of our work days, which include detailed instructions specific to each work day, contact Durand at: email@example.com
Thank you! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask
Durand Reiber, Camp Manager, 785-865-4657