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Bridges of HSR

With the Octoraro Creek cutting through Horseshoe Scout Reservation, there has long existed a need to get to the other side. 

Edited by David B. Woodward  [Contribute Info]

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OA Bridge

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Horseshoe / Ware Bridge

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Bailey Bridge Story

This story written by Jim Dukovic appeared in Volume 7 - Issue 1 of the Octoraro Loop.
1985 - Contributed by James Dukovic  [Contribute Info] 

Heavy equipment aided with the site preparation.
1985 - Contributed by Anonymous
In Thailand, my wife and I walked over the bridge on the river Kwai, made famous in Hollywood. It triggered recollections of my involvement in getting a bridge over the Octoraro at the Horseshoe Scout Reservation.

The person who made our Horseshoe Bridge possible was a bridge builder extraordinaire; who added a vital brief chapter to our camp's history - Colonel David Pergrin.

In 1985, I was Program Director for the Council. Horseshoe faced a problem, both an exasperation and expense. Two camps and no way to get across the Octoraro for our Camp Ranger, Roy Cole, as well as the Scouts and leaders. Roy, living on the Ware side, had to drive 30 minutes to get to the other side of the Reservation to service Horseshoe.

Many avenues were pursued, none with success. I concluded that a "Bailey Bridge" might work having seen them work in Europe in World War II.

Army engineers look over the plans for the Bailey Bridge connecting Camps Horseshoe and Ware.
1985 - Contributed by Anonymous
I investigated but all my efforts seemed futile. I had about given up except for a person I had met when working in another council with a group of volunteers. I recalled working with a quiet, efficient and dedicated volunteer - David Pergrin. One day, David was visiting our Council Trading Post and stopped in to my office to say 'hello'. In our conversation, I happened to mention the dilemma and frustration in finding a Bailey Bridge. I was floored when he casually commented: "Maybe I can help. I will be meeting with the Commander of The Corps of Engineers in Washington, to help rewrite the history of the Combat Engineers."

In all my time, working with David, he never bothered to mention that he had commanded the most decorated unit in the history of the Combat Engineers. His unit, the 291st Combat Engineer Battalion, had fought across Europe, and had built, under shellfire, the first bridge to cross the Rhine River. Needless to say, Colonel Pergrin did what he had to do and we got our bridge!

Things begin to take shape as the army engineers assemble the modular bridge.
1985 - Contributed by Anonymous
Etched in my memory, is the scene along the Octoraro where the majority of our campers and leaders stood observing the spectacle, while a fully bedecked Army Engineering Battalion, that had bivouacked in camp the previous evening, now did their thing. And so, through the skills and labors of many men, the bridge was built, and for just one summer, the camp and Roy Cole in particular, enjoyed the benefits.

However, no good things last forever. When the Army discovered where one of their bridges had disappeared, and being short on Bailey Bridges for training purposes, the bridge had to return home after our camping season.

Colonel David Pergrin watches the bridge come together.
1985 - Contributed by Anonymous
As for Colonel Pergrin, at 87 years, he is still receiving decorations (52 honors so far), still going strong, having written three books. His story is best told in his book First Across the Rhine, that has sold 350,000 copies. His amazing story also has appeared in documentaries on television on the History channel. He's a world-class woodcarver and a lifelong Scouter. He is presently Eagle Scout Review Chairman for Cradle of Liberty where he has reviewed 691 Scouts for the Eagle rank.

David Pergrin stands unique as a Soldier, Woodcarver and Scouter. For an outstanding life of service, and a memorable contribution to the history of the Horseshoe Scout Reservation, we extend a sincere thanks and Scout Salute to David Pergrin - a bridge builder.  

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Bailey Bridge Pictures

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Other Bridges

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Bridge Videos

Octoraro 22 Lodge Chief AJ Moreno commemorates the reopening of the OA Bridge at the 2016 April Service weekend.
2016 - Contributed by Andrew Coe  [Contribute Info] 
This aerial drone video of the OA Bridge shows the new platform and new decking for the bridge reopened on April 30th, 2016.

2016 - Contributed by Anonymous  [Contribute Info] 
A.J. DiAntonio and Kean J. cross the Horseshoe-Ware suspension bridge in order to get a tour of the Innovation Center at Camp Ware during the 17th Annual HSRAA Reunion. 

2016 - Contributed by Andrew Coe  [Contribute Info] 
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