1944 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III
Yes GOLD! The year was 1944 (and numerous years since then) that gold was found in the bed of the Octoraro Creek near the Swinging Bridge (OA) and the Boat Docks that then were off the Horseshoe athletic field.
Gold fever was rampant through each of the five stockade camps as news arrived during the afternoon 'siesta'. The campers were mobilized for the search for the precious stone - it was like 1849 and the Gold Rush of that earlier day. Scouts were in a frenzy...leaders did not know what to do to hold their minions back from rushing to the Creek! Finally, Program Director J. Holland Heck and Camp Director Frank Beam coolly issued the plan to the assembled camp so that all could enjoy the wealth the gold would surely bring!
The whole Camp tried their luck panning for gold in the Octoraro during this popular Campwide Game in the mid-1940's.
Contributed by Anonymous
Each Stockade was given instructions that they were to proceed to the Creek in bathing suits and old shoes with appropriate buckets to pan for the gold. When they got to the Creek, each unit was to stake out their claim in the Creek. “Revenooers” were there to make sure there was no claim jumping. Once the gold was found, the unit was to proceed to the Assayer's Office where the gold would be weighed and exchanged for "money."
Well, I can remember mucking from here to there for some time before my bunkmates and I came up with the gold rock! We turned it in and were richly rewarded!
That night, in Kindness Center, a Boom Town was built with all sorts of games of chance (and skill) where we could spend our newly found riches!
What a day! What a fun time for a first year camper as well as those who had been to camp for many years!