Camp Gross Foundation, Inc.                                                       Make a Reservation Today
A Camp with Youth in Mind!                                                                                                      Call Tim Cobb, Ranger 
Established 1929 ....... Online Since 2004                                                                                   (716) 595-2171


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About Us

 

Overview

Camp Gross is a youth camp, operated by the Camp Gross Foundation.  It is located 1 mile north of the Village of Cassadaga, on New York Route 60.

The Camp itself is 60 acres of woods, wetlands and has one of the finest waterfronts found on the Cassadaga Lake system. 

Wildlife at the camp is varied and plentiful for the nature enthusiasts.  On any given day you can witness squirrels, rabbits, raccoon, deer, turkey, ducks, muskrat, beaver and even blue heron.  Cassadaga Lake is home to a wide variety of fish including bass, muskellunge, northern pike and a variety of pan fish.

Facilities at the Camp consist of 7 rustic cabins and 4 Adirondack style open shelters.  Numerous areas also exist for tent usage, wetlands, ponds, swimming and fishing docks.

Camp Gross is open year round for use by any organized youth group.  There are 2 picnic shelters and a modern bath house with showers and toilets.

A registration card and drivers license must be presented to the camp ranger at check-in.

Regulations

1) Groups attending camp must provide proof of liability insurance and completed hold-harmless agreements at least 1 week prior to use.

2) Adult supervision must be in attendance at all times. Ratio 1:10

3) Applications must be submitted at leas t2 weeks prior to requested use date

4) Phone reservations will be tentative until proper paper work is submitted.  Reservations are on a first come first serve basis.

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Mission

Our Mission is to provide the Youth of Chautauqua County with an excellent, safe, handicap accessible up-to-date Camping Facility open year round.  The facilities provide opportunity for study of nature and the environment, swimming, hiking, camping, games, sports and fun outdoors.  Youth groups using Camp Gross are enabled to advance their goals of personal growth in knowledge, skills and attitude.  The using Youth Groups provide their own program, leadership and insurance.  All Youth Groups are welcome to come to Camp Gross.  Our fees are kept as low as possible.
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History

We believe that Youth Camping at Camp gross started in the 1920's under the sponsorship of the Dunkirk Rotary Club.

Camp Gross came into the possession of Robert Gross in the late 1920's.  Mr. Gross was an industrialist and Banker in Dunkirk, New York.

In 1929, Mr. Gross gave the part of the Camp that extends from Route 60 north to upper Cassadaga Lake to the lake Shore Council Boy Scouts with the provision that if the Scouts' no longer wanted the property it was to go to the Boys and Girls of Chautauqua County.  Ann Miller's family gave the balance of Camp Gross 55 acres in the middle 1930's.

In 1987, the Scout Council decided that they no longer wanted the Camp.  A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation was set up by interested men and women to take over the operation of Camp Gross for the Boys and Girls of Chautauqua County.  Robert Graham, Robert Maytum, Ann Miller and August Jankowski were instrumental in this effort.  Usage in 1985 was about 3,200 camper days.  A very active and interested board was set up and has continued steady involvement to maintain and improve Camp Gross.

In 1987, we found Camp Gross in need of many renovations to all the facilities to bring it up to standard.  In that year the Chautauqua County Health Department and the Pomfret Building Inspector closed the camp for health and safety violations.  Our original board immediately responded by correcting these pressing problems and upon re-inspection, Camp Gross was reopened.  The largest building (Enoch Carlson Lodge) has a new floor, new and extended roof covered deck all around, new doors and windows and kitchen work.  Five of our seven heated cabins are now handicap accessible.  Two new Adirondack shelters have been built along with two picnic shelters.  Five of our seven heated cabins now have both front and back doors for safety reasons, the other two cabins have emergency exit through low windows (none had 2 exits in 1987).  All the cabins have been rewired.  Plans and some funds are in the hand to provide handicap access and second doors for the two cabins still without these improvements.  We have built the "August Jankowski" bath house with showers and toilets and the new Olmstead cabin by the Lake.  WE have put a waterline throughout the Camp an renovated the waterfront with a large swimming dock (The "Doc" Forbes Dock) and a separate fishing dock (Lewis Mead Dock).  We have also built a storage barn and bought a full line of equipment to keep the roads and open areas well maintained and open year round.  These improvements were possible only because of generous individual, community and local foundation support and the hard work of our volunteers and directors.

We are constantly working to increase usage by all organized youth groups with insurance, leadership and program.  Usage was 5,384 camper days in 2001.  WE have no paid employees and an operating budget of $25,000.  We are now working to replace the Administrative Center and Ranger's Quarters and to keep Camp Gross going and growing.

Our Current Plan and Appeal:

The proposal for a new Administrative Center, Office, Garage and Ranger's Quarters.
The purpose of the structure:
Both the present structure and the proposed structure serve Camp Gross as follows:
The Administrative Center and Ranger's Quarters are the gateway to Camp Gross, the only part of Camp Gross visible to the casual traveler and our window to the world.  This building and its surroundings must be most inviting and welcoming to all who pass by and especially to those who come to stay.  It serves Camp Gross office needs and is the security base of Camp Gross.  It contains the garage and shop for both the Camp and Rangers use.  A large part of the space is the home for the Ranger and his family.

Problems with the existing structure:
The present building is over 130 years old.  Many serious structural problems have developed.  The whole building tilts (sill to plate) more than 9 inches to the west and more than 11 inches to the north.  The 18 inch foundation wall has no mortar between the fieldstone and so lets cold air and rodents in.  For many years before the Camp Gross Foundation became the owner/operator of Camp Gross there was standing water in the dirt floor cellar more than 6 months of the year and after each rain or snow melt.  We corrected these problems several years ago but much damage had occurred.  Dangerous faults in the electrical wiring have been corrected, however the house needs complete rewiring.

The water well and septic system have been replaced in such a way that they can be used by the new construction.  All the existing windows are beyond repair.  The texionite 1-11 siding covers decrepit clapboards and severely weathered asphalt siding.  The roof is insulated but there is no insulation in the walls.  Utility bills are very high.

The office space is quite limited in relation to the needs so that much of the Ranger's work must be done in the living quarters.  The living space is quite cramped for the present Ranger family of four.  Neither the kitchen nor the bathroom facilities meet modern standards.  The Garage-Shop space is very tight and cramped; when everything is inside there is absolutely no work space.

Proposed Solution:
The Directors have known of all these problems since the Foundation became the owner/operator of Camp Gross.  We have made the decision to upgrade the Facilities used by the Campers first (with the concurrence of the Ranger and family).  Now the time has come to replace this outworn building.

Over the past two years we have repeatedly discussed our needs along with our Architect, Richard Peebles.  Mr. Peebles has drawn plans (pro-bono) to meet our requirements, the Board has approved them and put them out to bid.  We received two bids.  One was rejected because it was higher ($132,500) and because it did not include disposal of the old house.  The other bid from R and N Construction for $128,850 was accepted at our November 20, 2002 Board meeting.  We have the plans available for anyone's inspection.

These plans will provide Camp Gross with a modern, attractive building.  The Camp office space will be much larger and there will be a bathroom adjacent for kids who have had a long drive and can wait no longer.  The garage-shop space will be nearly twice as large.

The Ranger's home will have a modern kitchen, two modern baths, a much larger living room, dining room and 4 bedrooms upstairs.  It will be very attractive to all and put a bright new face on Camp Gross roadside appearance.  The directors intend to develop a landscaping plan to make our whole Camp entry even more attractive and welcoming.  Our Contractor estimates our utility bills will be cut in half.

In conclusion, please let me note again that we have been working quietly for the past tow years to raise funds for the Administrative Center and Ranger's Quarters project.  We have in hand a little over $26,000 toward the total cost of $128,850.  We think we will be able to raise another $10,000 this coming year (2003).

As of December 1, 2003 Camp Gross has raised $66,000.

Qualifications of our organization to carry out this project:
Our qualifications are shown by our past performance in working with all the Camp Improvements over the last 15 year - particularly the building of the August Jankowski Bathhouse.  We secured excellent plans, obtained the needed funds ($100,000), kept track of the construction, volunteered where needed and brought the project to a successful conclusion.

Location of the project:  Duration of the project:
The Administrative Center, ranger's Quarters and attached Garage and Shop will be built just behind the present house which will be torn down when the new structure is complete.

It is our intent to start next June, 2003 and finish in the fall.  Groundbreaking will be in April, 2004.

Evaluation:
In the short term we will be watching for the expected savings in the Camp's utility bills.  We will attempt to evaluate the public response to Camp Gross's new look.  We will ask the Ranger for the family's response to their new quarters and to the expanded office, shop and garage.  In the long term, we expect these improvements will make the job attractive to future Rangers and their families.

The proposal to go forward with this project has been approved by the Board of Directors of the Camp Gross Foundation.  At the November 20, 2002 meeting specific approval was given to submit this proposal to the Sheldon Foundation. (Approval re-affirmed 9/17/03).

New Youth Groups from the whole country will use and enjoy Camp Gross.  Usage will increase.

We ask the Foundation to consider our request.  We invite you to come to Camp Gross and tour the Camp and examine the existing building.  We will be happy to set up a mutually acceptable time.

Sincerely,
(signed)
Edwin Hamlet
President, Camp Gross Foundation, Inc.

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Camp Gross Foundation, Inc.; 8175 Route 60 North, Cassadaga, NY 14718; (716) 595-2171
Web:  www.CampGross.org        Email:  info@CampGross.org
Copyright 2004 Camp Gross Foundation, Inc.  All rights reserved.
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