Over 80 Scouts, Scouters, volunteers and family members braved the muggy weather to join in the fun at the 17th Annual HSRAA Reunion held at both Camp Horseshoe and Camp John H. Ware 3rd on July 9th. With the theme "Investing in Our Future", two key programs were highlighted during the reunion - the new Innovation Center at Camp Ware, and the Cub Day program being organized by Octoraro Lodge #22 and Chester County Council.
Participants hiked or drove over to Camp Ware to visit the new Innovation Center, which features 3D printer and laser etching as marquis attractions. The Innovation Center is housed in the shop area of the Handicraft Pavilion, and serves now as the hub of activity for these sought-activity programs.
The Camp Ware staff also guided the reunion participants over to Macaleer Lodge, which currently serves as the Nature Center during the summer camp season. All were treated to a few friendly captive snakes and walls adorned with lots of unique displays for Boy Scout and Cub Scout programs.
Before venturing back to Camp Horseshoe, HSRAA's chairman John Kemmerer and Camp Ware Director Bill Hohl honored HSRAA Staff Member of the Year Will Warram for his more than 20 years of service to Camp Staff. Will served in many different departments, including Shooting Sports, Aquatics, and Maintenance.
Back at Horseshoe, reunion class photos were taken, with the decade groups going back as far as the 1930s. After viewing the evening retreat and OA callout ceremony, participants enjoyed a steak dinner cooked by Dick Bensing. Ernie Heegard got the crowd warmed up with a song ("Zumgali Gali") after dinner, and the Horseshoe Choir gave an inspiring vocal and organ performance. Octoraro Lodge Vice Chief Luke Carstens took a few moments to discuss the upcoming Cub Day activity planned for October 2016, an event focused on Cub Scout retention by hosting a centrally-located carnival of fun games, crafts and camping.
The HSRAA board also honored as HSRAA Staff Member of the Year Dr. David Mellinger, long-time Health Officer for Camp Horseshoe and former Camp Jubliee (now Ware) Director. "Dr. Dave's" service record as a staff member goes back over 30 years, and he has made an indelible impact on countless lives.
Scout Executive Charlie Rogers was invited to speak to the HSRAA audience, and he recognized Director of Camping Ray Hayden for his 15+ years of service to HSR in that capacity. Ray recently took a position with Philmont Scout Ranch as Director of Facilities and Maintenance.
Finally, HSRAA Chairman John Kemmerer conducted the favorite part of the HSRAA reunion - the annual business meeting. All nominees for the board were elected, including Dick Bensing, J.B. Rettew, Jake Segal, A.J. DiAntonio, Damon Sinclair, Steve Miller, Matt Griffin, Dave Woodward, and John himself.
Some participants then headed over to Achgeketum for the Saturday evening campfire, others stayed beyond that for the Vigil Honor Ceremony, and some even stayed long enough to visit Chapel for Sunday Faith Services the next day. But one thing's for certain, no matter how many miles you walk on Horseshoe soil, the dust in the mocassins only keeps accumulating.