ALUMNI FROM EVERY DECADE REUNITE AT HSRAA 5TH REUNION
From the November 2003 Octoraro Loop.
On July 12, 2003, the fourth annual Reunion of the Horseshoe Scout Reservation Alumni Association (HSRAA) brought together over 100 Camp Horseshoe and Camp John H. Ware, III alumni/ae at Camp Horseshoe. George Tzanakis, Chairman of the event enthusiastically commented ... "It did not disappoint!" Friendships were renewed, camp stories retold (with embellishments), pictures taken of young and old; and there was much laughter and a few tears as representatives of every decade of the Reservation convened at Kindness Center.
Many pioneer campers were there. Tom Gillingham, 90+ years old, who had camped at the Council's Camp Rothrock in the 1920's, is a 1926 Eagle Scout and was on the Horseshoe Staff when camp opened in 1928, enjoyed the fellowship and festivities along with his son, Frank, who journeyed from California. Tom also was the Camp Horseshoe doctor for many years. From the 1930's decade were Roland Minshall '32 followed by those of the 1940's that included Roland Smith '44, Fred Gates '44, John Rettew '44, Ernie Heegard '46 and Bill Trowill '48. Each of the subsequent decades was well represented.
Camp Ware Director Jim Montich was reunited with former Ware (Jubilee) directors Matt Christenson and Dr. Dave Mellinger. Dave, from Wisconsin, while Matt flew in from Idaho. They joined past Horseshoe CD's Ernie Heegard and Clarke Green.
The day's events included tours of both Camp Horseshoe and Camp John H. Ware, III conducted by Alumni committee members. Interesting Scouting memorabilia of early camp days was enjoyed, as were the old photos, videos of camp and the Reunion Issue of "The Octoraro Loop", HSRAA's newsletter. Decade photos were taken.
In the afternoon, all alumni/ae gathered with current Horseshoe staff and friends, to pay tribute to Bill "Biff" Davis at the Rothrock campsite in the dedication of a new pavilion constructed in his memory. Opening prayers and remarks were made by Reverend Gary Marshall followed by the Flag Ceremony and comments by HSRAA Chairman Bob Matje. Biff's widow, Sharon, extended her thanks and appreciation for the support that the HSRAA had given her and the family as well as the family's appreciation of the pavilion erected in Biff's memory. She then unveiled the drape from the commemorative plaque. "Taps" was sounded by the Color Guard from the Camp.
The evening Retreat Ceremony including an Order of the Arrow "call-out" of candidates was memorable. As our alumni/ae stood "tall" at Retreat, Camp Director Mike Berkeihiser reviewed the troops and all HSRAA members adjourned to Kindness Center for a sumptuous barbecue of beef and venison and fellowship.