Directory History and Geography Spirit of the Horseshoe

1976 - 1981

Edited by David B. Woodward  [Contribute Info]

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1976 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

... Later in the spring of 1976 a special Anniversary Order of the Arrow Fellowship took place at Camp Horseshoe. There, former Chief Scout Executive of the Council "Chief" Charles M. Heistand, who had started our Lodge in 1926 and had served later as National Advisor to the Order of the Arrow; and, Joseph H. Brinton, first Chief of Octoraro Lodge and its first Vigil member and later National Chief of the Order of the Arrow, joined in the celebration. Dignataries, friends and families and OA members came to Camp for the day. At a special Banquet, Chief recalled the days when he founded the Council's Camp Horseshoe and related many fond memories of the people he met and the special warmth that he and Joe Brinton had for Chester County Council and our Camp.

One of the highlights of the weekend was a Memory Trail having a number of points of interest. Included were /Pictures of our early Lodge years, history of the Octoraro Memorial Lodge Building, past conferences hosted by Lodge 22, early ceremonies, the Louis Lester Memorial Bridge and our Lodge Ceremonial Circle. Following the dinner, a rededication Ceremony was held at the OA Lodge Circle in the light of hundreds of sparkling candles reflecting off the crags and crannies of the rock out- croppings. It was a moving experience for all as hands were joined in the singing of the Lodge Song following Meteu's bidding prayer from his lofty precipice.

To further commemorate the 50th Anniversary, the Lodge published an extensive history of the organization with information of Horseshoe's early days and /Pictures of Camp "way back when" and current photographs of members and activities.


Campers gather in the Campcraft area to lean how to rappel on the camp's "camo" wall. The camo wall, complete with simulated rocky outcroppings, was a forerunner to the current C.O.P.E course.

1980 - Contributed by Andrew Fish
At Camp Horseshoe that summer activities also centered around the Bicentennial. Ernie Heegard's Staff was back including Matt Christenson at Campcraft assisted by John Kemmerer and Brett Barraclough of Troop 50. In Campcraft was the Rappelling Tower that would continue to test the mountaineering skills and fortitude of our campers. Fathers from Troop 50 pitched in and re-roofed the Roberts Adirondacks this summer as a "Good Turn."


At dusk, all the Horseshoe campers filed to the campfire arena in the Eagle Grove. Each of the Troops put on a special skit to commemorate the occasion which were interspersed with patriotic songs. This was a similar campfire being held across the Nation at all Scout camps at that time. President Ford's Bicentennial Proclamation was read to the camp. At the conclusion of the campfire, each Scout lit a candle from the campfire and proceeded silently in single column up the winding trail, leading to the Parade Field. "The stream of flickering candles borne by the Scouts and the evening events inspired all those in attendance to rededicate themselves to Scouting Principals and the Spirit on which our Country was founded."

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1977 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

George A. Cole, Camp Horseshoe Ranger since 1944, announced his retirement that past December. His son, Roy G. Cole, who had been a camper at Horseshoe, was appointed the new Camp Ranger. This was the third generation of Coles to serve at Horseshoe in this capacity and a nice touch in celebrating the 50th anniversary of our acquiring Horseshoe that year.


Camp Horseshoe this summer was celebrating the 50th year of the Camp's acquisition with special presentations during the campfire programs. The highlight of a troop's week in Camp was the Sunday farewell meal. It was traditional to serve roast turkey with all the trimmings. Following the sumptuous meal Camp awards for special events were presented. The famed "Turtle Derby" was one of these. Upon being introduced, the Scouts would break into a chant..."Turtle Derby...Turtle Derbeee!" as the award was presented for the REALLY big event of the week. Other awards were announced including either the Aquatics Meet or Paul Bunyon Day depending upon the week. Then, to top off the dinner , Ernie Heegard would step to the podium and lead in singing "Who Killed Cock Robin?" followed by the foot stomping rendition of "Green Grow the Rushes, O!" As we recovered from those songs we stood and sang "Trail the Eagle" as we left the Dining Hall...ready to come back for the next camping season.

The presentations at the Sunday meal of the Patrol Plaques, made that week in camp, was always fun, especially when the paint had not yet dried. This tradition started in the mid- 1940's. There have been some very unusual patrol names at Camp. Many troops form different patrols at Camp from their regular troop program. Names such as the Armadilla Patrol, the Aardvarks, the Termite Patrol, the Mongoose Patrol are just a few of the tamer names used. 

Ernie Heegard recalls that one presented by the Aquatics Staff one year took the 'cake.' "They used an old kick-board painted blue with a risqué rendition of a buxom lady and the names of the Staff members. It was 'doctored' before it was hung in the Dining Hall the next summer.

Ray Pauley celebrated his sixth year as Camp Director of Camp Jubilee this year. Bruce Robertson returned for his third year on the Staff...this year as the Aquatics Director. Other members were D. Dollinger, the brothers B. and E. and J. Keegan, R. Kiester, T. Bouvier, N. Langdon, J. Lutz, the brothers F. and S. Rohrbeck, A. Scherer and D. Hunt.

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1978 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

Mother Nature and the Octoraro Creek could be brutal on the old Camp Road.  Even this drain pipe could not handle the amount of water running down the hillside during this particularly heavy storm.
1978 - Contributed by Anonymous

Scout Executive Test reported that heavy rain and over 15 inches of snow had caused major flooding resulting in damage to Camp Horseshoe. The Order of the Arrow Bridge was wiped out, the pool flooded and the Camp road had been washed out even more than when Hurricane Agnes did damage. He stated that more than ever we needed to put all our efforts behind the Capital Campaign to raise funds for Camp. 


The road repair at Camp Horseshoe cost $5000. The work was started under the direction of our Camping Committee Chairman "Pete" Cirrocco. Again, fine support was provided by over 100 Order of the Arrow members who helped by filling the worst of holes and preparing the road for further work. 


The Order of the Arrow was kept exceptionally busy with the needed repairs to the Camp road, other areas damaged by the January storm and the customary projects required for the opening of Camp. The new Lodge Chief was John Kemmerer. Camp was ready thanks to the hard work of the OA members at both the April and June Ordeal weekends.


Plans were under way in the summer to seek the approval of the Board members on the construction of a new access road to Camp Horseshoe to be included with other projects at both Camps with the funds raised in the Capital Improvement Campaign. This would in effect be the "high way" into Camp Horseshoe replacing the old entrance road that had presented so many problems over the years and since the camp opened. The Board also voted to acquire the Grey Horse Chapel property that summer. Also, in this plan was the acquisition of the Lane Farm property at the northeastern part of Camp.


Back Row - Jim Doney,  Keith Brill, Jeff Hughes, Mike Spitz, Joe Ingold?, Mark Segal, Rick Schofield, J. E. Schofield
Row 4 - G. Ernest Heegard, Brett Barraclough, Chuck Kline, Jim Andre, Mark Welles, Rich Beers, George Bradford, John Kemmerer, Andy Harris, Dave Woodward, Jimmy Yentz, Matt Christenson
Row 3 - Rick Crompton, Bill Ward, Joe Smith, Pete Ross, Steve Miller, Paul Fegley, Barry Strohl, Greg Benning,  Ed McAssey, Dave Ritter, Bill Wiley
Row 2 - Jim McAssey, Jim Flahart?, Andy Fish, Andy Burckbuchler,  Bill Schoellkopf?, Bill Day, Steve Carlow, Ken Tunnell, Ron Weaver
Front Row - Tom Zimmerman, Larry Carnuccio, Chris Bauer?, Rich Mason, __________, George Rambo, Al Hicks, Kyle Kuhn, Peter Dorhout?, Rueben Porter?

1978 - Contributed by David B. Woodward
Ernie Heegard and his Staff were well-prepared as the opening Sunday of Camp arrived. Serving as the Program Director this year was Matt Christenson. Pete Ross was Maintenance Director with John Kemmerer as his assistant. Dave Ritter was the Head Cook, Chuck Cline the Aquatics Director, Rich Mason. Jr. at Campcraft, Mark Siegle as Field Sports Director and Jim Andre as Nature Director. Mark Welles served as Commissary Director and Steve Miller was at the Health Lodge. At Handicraft was Dave Woodward. Archery Director was Brett Barraclough. Many other staffers were there lending their support to ensure a good time for the campers. The song of the year and for many others to come was: "The Cat Came Back"...He just couldn't stay away...away! Although the different campsites did not have their own songs as they did in the earlier days at Camp, there were many friendly rivalries among the troops, many of which had their own cheers.

"Diving Della" made her appearance that year at Camp Horseshoe. She was promoted early and often in the Dining Hall and finally the big night arrived! The plunging beauty arrived from Rising Sun and "after a few words with the campers proceeded around the loop road to Browning. ...Della climbed to the top floor of Browning and mounted her rickety diving board, readying herself for her descent into a 35 gallon drum. Hundreds of eager Scouts (and leaders) waited in anticipation of her dive. Just as she jumped, the skies opened, pouring rain by the bucketsful onto the mass causing many to miss the dive."

This summer the Council entertained a Scout Troop from England at Horseshoe. The XII Royal Eltham Troop and were hosted by members of our Camp Staff and Scoutmasters. They commented that their camp in England is much different in that they cook their own meals and do not have merit badges offered as we do nor do they march. Still they were highly complimentary of our hospitality.

The Greenbrier Party versus the Copperhead Party that summer tested the political virtues of the campers as they elected their slate to be staff for a day. On the Parade Field, the Frisbee competition was hot and heavy to see which could go the farthest, the highest, etc.. In addition "Ultimate Frisbee" matches were held between troops. Orienteering competitions were held each week testing the map and compass skills of each troop representative. Yes...there was the Turtle Derby...the main event!

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1979 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

At Horseshoe this summer another fine Staff had been recruited by Ernie Heegard. Rich Mason of West Chester was the Aquatics Director; Mike Dennehy of Danville, PA was Campcraft Director; Dick Ide of Troop 78 Willistown was Field Sports Director; Dave Woodward was at the Nature Lodge and Rob Hopkins was the Head Cook. Staff Helper was Karl Winsch.

Night Orienteering was a popular evening event as a competition between the troops. Two Scouts representing their troop were sent out with a compass and degree bearings to locate the 'control' signs placed all over camp. The object was to locate all the proper signs in the shortest amount of time. Note is made in the Camp Echo newspaper of teams taking a long time navigating the course. We're not made aware that it was necessary to send out search and rescue parties.

The Council Board meeting and Dinner at Horseshoe was a fun event with the impressive Camp Retreat Ceremony followed by a sumptuous steak dinner provided by Ernie Heegard and the Staff. Many activities and projects were recognized at the Meeting. Recognition was made of Ernie's leadership as Camp Director, Mitch King for his work on the camp property, Matt Christenson for his unique leadership and Ken Windle. Mary Ann Foard was thanked for her exceptional work at the Cub Camps. Carl Buffington, Philmont Coordinator, recognized Bob Thomas for the shakedown in preparation for the Philmont trip as well as the work of Jay Chillingsworth and Richard Springer. Albert Greenfield extended his appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Ed Richardson for their contribution of a campsite at Horseshoe; George Hopkins for the gift from West Company; and, Tim Ford for the Corporate gifts for the Campaign. The work that had been done at Horseshoe was recognized. Pete Cirrocco thanked Lee McIlvaine, Al Foard and his son for the concrete work at the pool and Allen Forssmark for the electrical work. Walter Wright was also recognized for his electrical work. For training, Bill Hess thanked Bill Robertson for his Troop Leader Development work and Ed Azary for his in Scout Leader training.

Discussion at the Meeting also centered around the work in progress or planned on Sloan Lodge at Jubilee; the Richardson Campsite; the Harold Schramm troop site; the council Service Center renovation; as well as the Horseshoe Kitchen and access road.

Our Camps had over 1600 Scouts attending. Among the Staff at Camp Horseshoe this summer were Matt Christenson as Program Director, John Kemmerer as Maintenance Director and John Casey as Boating Director. Ken Tunnell was Archery Director this summer. The "Gong" Show was a specialty of the camp program week in that it was a take-off of the infamous TV program. The OA continued to put on the impressive Saturday evening Indian Pageant as hundreds of visitors would squeeze into the Horseshoe Circle to see the Pageant and the boys recognized.

Board approval was given later in the summer to let Paul Risk & Associates build the new kitchen at Horseshoe at a price of $175,000 with a completion date of May 1980. The Order of the Arrow had committed to demolishing the old kitchen structure. The OA would also assume some of the work clearing the way for the high ground access road for Camp. By year-end work was progressing on the road with Paul Skelly, Paoli Construction Company and J. D. Eckman, Inc. involved with this project.

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1980 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

There was considerable discussion about the camp projects. One item that was under discussion during that period (and not for the first nor the last time) was a bridge to join Horseshoe and Jubilee Camps. From the Board minutes there is an indication that there was concern for the Jubilee operation the previous year. It was decided that the Council for the coming year would operate under the "one camp concept" with Ernie Heegard serving as the Reservation Director. He would have under him Program Directors at each Camp as well as Aquatics Directors. The desirability for a bridge was obvious as it took almost a half an hour travel time to drive to one camp from the other even though they were directly across the Octoraro Creek from each other. The impending Scenic Rivers Act prompted our further talks of this project. However, it was not to be that year.

Once the big equipment took care of the remaining stumps and rocks, the road started to really take shape.
1980 - Contributed by Anonymous
In April, as trucks were hauling materials into the new road area from Ridge Road, the Lane family that owned the property over which we had to travel, blocked the road. The Council contested this move, stating that the road that led to the Grey Horse Church property was an un-maintained Cecil County road. The Lane family felt otherwise. A meeting was held with the Lanes and the County Commissioner. The County took a neutral stand regarding the road...we were at an impasse. A quick appeal made to the Board resulted in the decision to acquire the Lane Farm property for $300,000 - 375,000. 

Late that month, Robert Lorgus, Samuel W. Morris, Pete Cirrocco and Scout Executive Test met with the Lane family. After many hours of negotiation, they had hammered out an agreement for the Council to buy the property which also included a number of building lots which the Council would acquire for future sale. The Board approved the purchase and it was agreed to sell off excess lots on the New Bridge Road or the Lane property to defray the expense of purchase. The Board expressed its gratitude to the committee for their hard efforts. We were back in business building the high ground access road into Horseshoe and we had acquired nearly 100 new acres of property adjacent to Camp with a number of buildings that would help for storage and the like. Funds for this were to come from the Capital Improvement Fund and a mortgage to be paid off by 1985.

A study was also being made at Horseshoe of another timber sale project to provide income for the Council. A bid had been tendered for the project subject to the review of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Forester. In addition, Christmas trees planted on the property were harvested this year and sold to the Berwyn Troop 11, Paoli Troop 81, Willistown Troop 100 and Willistown Troop 78 for their annual Christmas tree sale to raise funds for their troop programs.

Once the debris was removed, the new walls could be laid.
1980 - Contributed by Anonymous
Other work begun this year was the renovation of the Ware Service and Training Center, construction of Sloan Lodge as an year-round building at Ware and the kitchen facilities at Horseshoe. The new kitchen was one of the most up-to-date ones in any Camp of our sort. Other work was done on renovating Browning and McIlvaine Lodges, the Kindness Center building and building a new parking lot adjacent the Campcraft area. 


In 1980, assisting Ernie Heegard were Rob Hopkins and Rob McCarter. Rob Hopkins had charge of the Camp administration and Rob McCarter was in Program. The Program Director this year was Howard Doran of West Chester and Pete Motel of Troop 106 was the Health Lodge Director. John Kemmerer of Devon was Maintenance Director and Dave Woodward of Coatesville was back at the Nature Lodge. Jim Yentz was Handicraft Director; George Rambo, Manager of the OA Building; Andy Fish in Campcraft; Pete Ross, Aquatics Director; Alan Hicks was Dining Hall Director; and Karl Winsch back as Staff Helper with Matt Christenson as Assistant.

At Camp Jubilee, Rob McCarter served as the Assistant Camp Director and Bruce Robertson served as the Aquatics Director. Also on the Jubilee Staff were Craig Hoover, Maintenance; Mike Noel, Field Sports Director; Kip Volkman, in charge of Commissary and Trading Post ; Ted Jelsema, Nature Director and Tod Jelsema, Campcraft Director; and, Rich Lewis as Handicraft Director. Jubilee was now offering added programs and opportunities for advancement.

The Paul Bunyon Field Day banner hangs in the background behind the signpost highlighting the Campcraft department's offerings.
1980 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III
Activities this summer included the running of the Obstacle Course in Campcraft, Hunt for debris from Mt. St. Helens, the Water Carnival and Paul Bunyon events on Saturday and the Turtle Derby. "Delicious Diving Della" returned that year making a big splash for the benefit of the campers!

Camp Horseshoe saw one of the highest percentages of troops camping ever. There were 90 troops there in 1980 which represented 92% of the troops in the Council. This not only put us at the top of all Councils in the Northeast Region but also in the United States. The Webelos experimental camp went well and would be officially adopted as part of our camping Program and that of National's in the future.

A Wood Badge Course was held this summer at Jubilee with Nick Govatos serving as Course Director (Scoutmaster) with the former Course Director Dr. John Torello serving as Senior Advisor. The Wood Badge training was the top type of training that Scouting offers. Our courses attracted many from our Council and others from outside our Council. Originally devised as a week long course, it was offered over three weekends to attract more candidates. It was patterned after concepts of Sir Baden- Powell's original training which emphasized the "Patrol Method" and that had been adapted for the BSA program.

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1981 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

Sloan Lodge in Early Fall
2006 - Contributed by James Buczala
... The renovation of the Council's Service Center was continuing as well as the work at Camp Jubilee on the new Sloan Lodge winter camp building this winter. The addition of the Lodge would enable more campers to take advantage of the Council's winter camping program. Each weekend at both camps were full from October to May with troops taking advantage of the facilities. There was much discussion about the bridge to connect both camps; however, it always came down to being able to secure the estimated $200,000 funding. The "highway" or better known as the high ground access road to Horseshoe was under construction with some of the work being done by the Army Corps of Engineers. 


Matt Christenson - Horseshoe Program Director, Jubilee Camp Director, Octoraro Lodge 22 Chief and much more...

1981 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III
This summer Ernie Heegard's Staff put on another superb dinner for the Board members at Camp. Matt Christenson was the Camp Director at Jubilee, bringing with him the ideas and lessons he learned at Horseshoe and applying them to the Jubilee program. Both he and Ernie were complimented at the Board Meeting on the great job they were doing at both camps. It was also announced that the Campmasters' Lodge was being reconditioned and turned into a winter camp lodge for troops. It would be called Schramm Lodge.

That summer the new "highway" was finished and the Horseshoe Boat Docks had been shifted to the north side of Camp over Flagpole Hill. There also had been a new road cut down the side of the hill to gain access to the docks.


In August, authorization to proceed with the construction of the Mahlon Rossiter Visitor Center addition to the Camp Horseshoe Headquarters was granted. This addition was made possible by an anonymous contributor to recognize the fine work of Mahlon Rossiter as his son's Scoutmaster in Troop 66 of Westtown.

... It was also reported that the summer camp attendance was better than ever and that the Red Cross organization's use of the Camp facilities the week after regular camp went well.

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