Directory History and Geography Spirit of the Horseshoe

1957 - 1966

Edited by David B. Woodward  [Contribute Info]

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1957 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

... Training was important to the health of Scouting in the Council. There were numerous training opportunities presented - "Train the Trainers" for adult Scouters; Junior Leader Training conducted by the Council; and, those opportunities for both adults and boy leaders presented at the Schiff Reservation in New Jersey. A number of Scouters took advantage of the Wood Badge Courses offered there and many of our boy leaders received special training at Schiff. These young men returned and became a part of our Council training sessions at Horseshoe that spring for 75 Scouts. Consideration was also being given to setting up a training program for Troop Senior Patrol Leaders at Camp Horseshoe the week before their Troop's arrival in camp to orient them to the Camp Program. It was thought that they could be of greater assistance to their Troop Leader during their camping period. This plan was adopted and first implemented in the 1958 season when our Camp facilities had been expanded. It was identified as Eagle Claw Training.


J. Holland Heck was Camp Director that summer. Edward "Casey" Jones, now a minister, returned to the Staff for another year. He had been a camper at Camp Horseshoe in 1941. Also on the Staff was Ernie Heegard who had been a camper in 1946. Among the other Staff members were Ed Fitzkee and Jon Boyer of Kennett Square; Tom Myers of Avondale; Bob Meir and Tom Orcutt of Phoenixville; Dave Taylor, David Neal and Gerald Shaw of Parkesburg; Doug Braendel, Dave Paulovich, Gil Siddall and Tom Hickman of Malvern; Joe Goss, Tom Shock and Dick Moran of Oxford; Dave Morris of Wagontown; and Dan Mauger of Paoli.

The Camp Expansion Fund Campaign had progressed to the point that President Ware had appointed a Camp Planning Committee who would see to the most efficient use for the funds and to set the plans in motion. Appointed to this group were: Harold Schramm, Harold Hannum, Dr. Anton Hess, J. Holland Heck, Richard Peterson and Fridjof Tobiessen. Tobiessen was put in charge of developing the architectural plans. This committee set goals for the expansion that would double the size of the Dining Hall facility; create four new camp sites of which two would be wooden shelters and two would be tent sites; establish the Senior Patrol Leader Training Camp at Timberline; build a new Nature Lodge if funds were available before the 1958 season; and open up the Lewis property with a trail or road for an Explorer Base which was to be staffed by a full time Staff member. In September the Committee gave the go ahead to clear land for the camp sites.


Dr. Anton Hess reported that fall that Camp again had been fully occupied. There were 955 Scouts who spent a week or more at Horseshoe. These campers represented 68 troops from the Council. It was also announced that J. Holland Heck would return in 1958 as Camp Director. Dr. Hess also proposed the new campsite names to the Board for approval. They were: Roberts, Rothrock, Octoraro; Lenni Lenape; Conestoga and Shawana. It was suggested that the Explorer Base campsites be named Lewis and Clark and Frontier. These names were approved.

Camp construction had been placed under the Board Leadership of Colonel John C. Bole and his committee. Plans proceeded for the projects to be completed by the next spring for the opening of Camp. This would be an appropriate way to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of our Camp. 

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1958 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

... Camp construction was under way with White Brothers of Coatesville being the successful bidder. In March, the new well was being drilled at the Explorer Base, Staff Showers were being added to the central Camp showers at Horseshoe and the Board had authorized the development of plans for two troop winter cabins. 

Joseph H. Balthis was the Chairman of the Camping Committee replacing Dr. Anton B. Hess who had resigned due to business conflicts. It was noted that a severe snow storm in March had damaged many of the trees in Camp. This would provide a good deal of clean-up work for the Order of the Arrow before Camp opened.


Construction progressed at Horseshoe and the Explorer Base. At the Base, two activities shelters and five Adirondack shelters were under construction. Ernie Heegard was the first Director of the Explorer Base that summer and was assisted by Pete Tobiessen of Berwyn.

OA Lodge under construction - dedicated 1959
Contributed by John B. Rettew III
In 1958, the Order of the Arrow Lodge Building neared completion. Much work had been done over the years since ground was broken in 1952. Many hands were involved in its construction over that period of time. The key motivator for the construction was Milt Jones of Parkesburg who devised many different schemes to raise the money for the building and to move along its construction. Many craftsmen played a part in its erection. Joe Coates of Oxford, a stone mason, agreed to build the fireplace if the Lodge would furnish the rock. He spent many weekends with Lodge members in completing the fireplace. The mantle piece was the work of tombstone maker, Marvin Knauer. He also made the marker for over the mantelpiece that is engraved with the Lodge totem. There was a time capsule imbedded behind that stone marker to be opened by future Lodge members.

Thanks to Chief Lester, a loan from the Camp Expansion Fund was secured that permitted the Lodge Building to be completed. The Lodge Chief this year was Charles Ax, Jr. The labor was provided by our Lodge Brothers who spent many weekends of their time dedicated to the work at hand. While much effort was expended on the Building, our Lodge members also made great headway in preparing Camp for the opening day.

Scouts enjoy new Rothrock adirondacks
1958 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III
The Horseshoe Camp Staff was again headed by J. Holland Heck. Edward "Casey" Jones was back once more to serve as his Assistant and Program Director. James Fairful and Robert Meier were Commissary and Business Managers respectively. Lynn Ritchey was Waterfront Director assisted by Sandy McGinnes, Jon Boyer, and Tom Shock. At Campcraft was Kenneth Pence with Tom Orcutt, Jerry Shaw, Bill Givler and Wayne Brown. Norman Kaucher was Conservation Director; Arza Elder, Handicraft Director and David Paulovich in charge of the Trading Post. Other Staff members included David Morris, David Hess, Dan Mauger, Joe Goss, John Burton, Wayne Jenkins, James Crothers and Richard Moran. Pete Tobiessen of Berwyn Troop 11 was new to the Camp Staff this year as was Fred Berkheiser of Coatesville and Wayne Brown of Colora, Maryland. Among the Staff members was Dick Wyttenback of Devon.

The Camp Echo provides an insight into Camp activities that year. There was a Pioneers and Indian Game; a midweek campfire which was led by Ernie Heegard, undoubtedly, with some lively songs and tall tales; an Indoor Field Meet in Kindness Center; and, the Saturday night Campfire Indian Pageant put on by the Order of the Arrow. The Pageant this week was "Colena and the Going Up Ceremony."

However, the main event of the week, as it had been for many years, was the "TURTLE DERBY!" Our friendly Box and Painted turtles were collected each week by campers. There were all varieties...spotted ones, a turtle with only three legs and ones with special markings. On Saturday evening after supper, the big event would take place on the Parade Field where a ring was drawn to mark the course. Once the turtles were released in the center of the ring, the campers would hoot and holler for their favorite to win. Upon completion of the event, the turtles were released for campers of another week to find and race. For many young campers, it was the highlight of their week in camp to have a winner.

1958 saw the opening of the Council's new Explorer Base from which special expeditions for older Scouts were developed. Director of the Base was Ernie Heegard who would commute between both the Base and Horseshoe. 

Reflecting on the Explorer Base of which he was Director, Ernie Heegard comments in 1994:

"The Base was much more than a canoe base. We had hiking trips and other assorted expeditions. The Base, however, was self-defeating because there was just so much that could be done with limited acilities and resources. Scouts would enjoy the first year there but did not return for other years as they do with the Camp Horseshoe programs.

The Council was recognized for its top Scouting Programs at the Region III meeting that year. Summer Camp attendance that summer reached 1,192 Scouts and Explorers representing 79 Troops. This placed the Council in the top six Councils in Region III.


A decision was made to spend Capital Funds being held for memorial purposes as requested by the Trustees of the E. H. Lawrence Estate. Upon satisfying the Trustees, funds were released for the construction of a lodge at the Explorer Base. It was named in memory of E. Hibberd Lawrence and has become known as Lawrence Lodge, an all purpose building. E. Hibberd Lawrence, after whom the Lodge was named, died in 1954. He had been a farmer on the Tudor Farm in Avondale. He had taken much interest in community affairs and undoubtedly had taken great interest in the work being done in the Council and by Chief Lester. 

Also, work had commenced this fall on the two new winter lodges for Camp Horseshoe to complement the new Adirondack campsites that were opened in the past summer. They would be ready for service later in the year.

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1959 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

... In the meantime, plans were made to have repairs made to Browning Memorial and McIlvaine Lodges at Camp. In addition, the Camp Construction Committee was requested to study and make recommendations on the installation of a fence around the Horseshoe pool. A rifle range was also proposed for Camp. All projects received the 'go ahead' from the Board.


Work had progressed on the new Rifle range at Horseshoe in 1959. Members of the Brandywine District devoted many hours at Camp working on that project. The new facility was called the "Norris B. Slack Memorial Rifle Range." A Range Officer had been assigned from Fort Meade, Maryland to be in charge that summer. Also, work had been approved to construct a roadway from Browning Lodge to the top of the hill past the Parade Field and Headquarters, running to the Picnic Grove and to connect with the road to the White House at the Dining Hall. 

Although it had been agreed early in the year that the Council Executive would serve as the Camp Director, a later decision was made to turn that responsibility over to G. Ernest Heegard. He was the logical choice having been a camper since 1946 and thereafter serving each year in different Staff jobs until the present. He brought a high degree of energy and a knack of working with the other Staff members to form a sound team and an exciting program for the Scouts (and leaders). He also brought with him the perspective of the Scoutmaster; for he continued to serve as a Scoutmaster of Willistown Troop 78, a position he held until 1994.

Camp, that summer was the place to be, for it was decked out with its new buildings and a tremendous "Scouting Spirit." That year Pete Tobiessen was in charge of the Explorer Base with a number of Explorer Posts taking advantage of its high adventure type program offered in canoeing and special trips.

G. Ernest Heegard (Horseshoe camper and Staff 1946 - 1987 and Leader to present) comments on "Bottoms":

"Bottoms? Bottoms was a burro that we had at Camp in the 1950's. We would load him up with supplies to be taken over to the Explorer Base and then lead him down the back trail. Once we got to the Octoraro, Bottoms stopped dead in his tracks and would not cross the creek until he was relieved of his burden. When he was unloaded, we would ease through the water to the other side where we would have to repack him with the supplies.

The following summer Bottoms did not return to Camp much to the chagrin of some of the campers. After being asked on numerous occasions about Bottoms, we had to paint a sign and put it up at Headquarters saying that he had died. That seemed to stop the many questions."

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1960 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

Seth Pope was now Chairman of the Council Camping Committee. In February, he reported that plans were approved by Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Schlaanstine for the enlargement of the Camp Chapel with a dedication set for July at Camp. A plaque was erected at the start of the Chapel Trail to commemorate this work. Also announced was the plan to build an "all purpose" building at Horseshoe at the point of the road across from Kindness Center for weekend camping, Camp Commissioners, and other uses. This was later known as the "Campmaster's Lodge."


Early 1960's Camp Staff with Ernie Heegard.
Contributed by John B. Rettew III
Camp Horseshoe, under the leadership of Ernie Heegard, was at capacity in the summer of 1960 as were both the Jamboree troops and the Philmont Scout Ranch expeditions. 1440 Scout Camper weeks were spent at Horseshoe this summer...a record!

In the fall, the Explorer Posts, many of whom were now coed, held a Coed weekend encampment at Horseshoe. This was a Council "first." Robert Bunting reported that the event was fun for all and very successful. The Explorers also had a Gettysburg Pilgrimage and Lehigh (University) Day.

The fall Order of the Arrow "Ordeal" weekend at Horseshoe was a success and so was a Council-wide "Get Out the Vote" campaign by troops. The latter event was strongly supported by the Commissioner staffs in each District. The Commissioner's Training Conference was held at Horseshoe this fall.

Hurricane "Donna" hit Camp that fall with vengeance! By the time the storm passed high water had damaged the roads and the bridges at Camp. Nearly $2000 worth of damage had occurred.


Colonel Bole reported that plans were complete for the new Campmaster's Lodge at Camp. Mr. Pope announced that plans were made for 1961 to provide "Pioneer" type camping at the Explorer Base. Later this was identified by the name "Jambo-style" camping. This style camping opportunity was given troops who wanted to prepare their own meals in the campsite after being provisioned with food supplies by the Camp Staff similar to how provisioning is done at Jamborees.

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1961 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

Camp Horseshoe had nearly 1200 Scouts in attendance in 1961. The Jambo style camping at the Explorer Base this year proved to be well received. The Camping Committee was anticipating an even higher attendance in 1962.

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1962 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

The repairs to the Stockade cabin floors and the re-roofing of the Trading Post were accomplished that spring by the Order of the Arrow. Troop 13 of Oxford, both Scouts and leaders, provided a valuable "Good Turn" for Camp Horseshoe by refurbishing the interior of the Health Lodge while the Order of the Arrow re-roofed the building. The electric line and roadwork for Camp Jubilee were also slated for completion during the year. A 59.9 acre piece of property adjacent to Camp became available and the Board decided to purchase it in order to secure the isolation of Camp.


Camp Horseshoe had another record breaking year along with Camp Jubilee. While both Horseshoe and Jubilee were so-called 7-Day camps (Sunday to Sunday camp period) this year, the decision was made to have Jubilee go to a 6 Day plan with the camp week ending on Saturday. It was decided that for the next season fees would be increased to $21 per Scout at Horseshoe and $16 at Jubilee. 

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1963 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 
... Summer Camp for the troops provided excellent support for their advancement programs. It was apparent that much of a troop's merit badge work was accomplished at Horseshoe where emphasis was given to the aquatics, nature and campcraft badges. The instruction provided by the Camp Staff was unequaled as a result of the fine preparation done by Camp Director Ernie Heegard. The quality of the program was directly related to the camp leadership.

Frank Rodgers came to Camp Horseshoe as a leader in Troop 114 of Devon in 1963. Each year since that time he returned to spend time in camp whether it was as a leader or in his involvement with the Order of the Arrow and the Vigil Honor. While there are many stories he could tell of his days in camp, what has impressed him has been the adult leaders with whom he has been associated over the years and the role they have played in the development of the character of the young people and the shaping of their lives. In 1994 he relates:

"People such as Troop 114 Scoutmaster Harry Weber and Council Junior Leader Training Scoutmaster Charlie Bradford had the unique ability to know and understand the boys they dealt with...their likes and dislikes and understood the way they thought...they knew how to motivate the boys to achieve their full potential. Ernie Heegard was such a person. When he was Camp Director, Ernie would make the rounds of camp several times a day....tough to keep up with him. However, if a Scout would call out 'Ernie!' ... Ernie would promptly stop and give that boy his complete and undivided attention. He set a great example for us as leaders and for the Scouts!"

Consideration was being given to conducting another Capital Fund Drive in 1963 to meet the needs of the Camp and Council related to the Long Range Plans earlier accepted. Ketchum, Inc., who had helped in the prior Camp Expansion Fund program, was under consideration once more. A special meeting was held in June to make a survey of major camp facility needs at both Horseshoe and Jubilee. Held at Camp, the members of the committee under the leadership of Raymond Schlaanstine were President Pope, Camp Director Ernie Heegard, Richard "Link" Rice, George Hopkins, Philip Howse of Brandywine District, Clarence Parker of Conestoga, Harry Murvin and John Harley of the Brandywine District and Scout Executive Don Simpson.

The results of that meeting set forth the following recommendations that were later presented to the Board:


Camp Horseshoe -

-          a well to supplement present water supply;

-          Camp Storage building and maintenance shop;

-          Camp Ranger's Home - on Scout Camp area at entrance for more efficient year-round control;


Jubilee Camp -  

-          Swimming Pool with central shower facilities;

-          Camp Ranger's Home;

-          Administrative building;

-          Storage and Maintenance building;

-          Three additional Troop tent campsites, with latrines, etc.


And, construction of a connecting road between Scout Camp and Jubilee (via the old Conestoga wagon road) with a "low water" bridge spanning the Octoraro Creek.

A pre-campaign survey conducted by Ketchum indicated that there was an excellent opportunity for the Capital Campaign to be successful. Ketchum was later hired for the Campaign.

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1964 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

... Camp Horseshoe and Camp Jubilee were again filled with campers. Our attendance was over the 1600 mark with 65 Troops being represented. In addition, the campers were spending added camping weeks at both sites. Both camps received high marks at the Regional inspection. 


Plans were well along to build the Camp Jubilee pool to be ready by the 1965 season. The well was being dug at Jubilee and work was commencing on other projects. ...

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1965 - Contributed by John B. Rettew III  [Contribute Info] 

Camping during the period from October to May at Camp Horseshoe continued to be popular for all troops. The relatively new Rothrock and Roberts Lodges complemented the Browning and McIlvaine winter lodges. And, yes, many of our hardy Scouts enjoyed the Adirondack shelters at Camp in spite of sub-freezing weather! Ray Schlaanstine reported that all sites were taken for the entire winter camping season.

Jubilee Pool is getting sides.
1965 - Contributed by Anonymous

Bids were accepted for the construction of the Jubilee Pool. At the February Board Meeting the Viking Aquetech Pools, Inc. company of King of Prussia was selected to build the pool for a maximum cost of $39000. Other work at Jubilee was authorized that spring.


Camp Horseshoe under Ernie Heegard's leadership, was one of the a highlights of the Scouting year for the boys in our Council. A special day was held at Horseshoe for all Webelos Cub Scouts in July. This gave them an opportunity to see first hand what fun was in store for them upon joining Boy Scouts.

Among the Staff traditions at Camp Horseshoe was the "Staff Will." The document was produced on the final day while the Staff was closing down the Camp, before their Staff Banquet and their return to "civilization." One gets a sense of the spirit of the Staff by reading these wills. That year we note that Bill Givler was a Provisional leader along with Ray Carr. They were "willed" a supply of buddy tags for their Scouts who 'swim' up the trail from Taylor and a longer rest period." Bob Lull, Dave Riskette and Steve Bell were the Nature Staff and their will was directed more at the animals..."To the snakes we leave our sympathy." Among the Program Staff mentioned were George Gruss, Ron Walter, and Steve Kurash. Larry Marshall and Frank DiMarzio at Handicraft were willed "more hot water for the showers and a years supply of mice and other friendly animals." Mark Gruss was at Campcraft that summer and at headquarters was John Souder and Mickey Givler. To Ernie Heegard that summer "we leavea new song list...a front row seat for such activities as well drilling, bleacher building, pump fixing, etc.."

At Camp Jubilee in the summer of 1965, the Staff included Dick Bellis, George Tay, Jerry Bruce, Mike Kelly, Jim Tay, Jim Getz and Dave Sell. Jambo-style camping was popular among the troops who attended Jubilee and they formed a close alliance with that style camping. ...

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