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From the Fall 2017 Octoraro Loop.


Over 100 HSR alumni came out to indulge in friendship, fun, and great food at the annual HSRAA Reunion celebrating Camp Horseshoe’s 90th year this past July. Reunion stalwarts such as J.B Rettew III and Jim Battenfelder were there, but other familiar faces like “Big Joe” Sivco also showed up.

Some reunion happenings: a huge cache of Ken Yeager's Royal Order of Siam slides were scanned, and a camp tour conducted by Horseshoe staff brought all the alumni up to date. Former Campcraft Director and past HSRAA chairman, Bob Matje Jr., won the pioneering competition in the 2017 Masters’ Challenge, while Projects Chair Dick Bensing and Tony Wetzel provided an amazing steak dinner after the evening retreat on the parade field.

Dinner entertainment included the musical stylings of both Ernie Heegard and the Camp Horseshoe Choir. Dick Bensing provided a projects update of the landscaping project around the shower house, while Camp Directors Dr. Dave Mellinger and Bill Hohl honored the HSRAA Staff Members of the year: Steven “Mookie” Reich from Camp Horseshoe, and Sam Moore from Camp Ware. Congratulations to these dedicated staffers who are always striving to provide the best camper experience!

Longtime alumnus Joe Eagan was invited to speak about the formation of HSRAA nearly 20 years ago, and the critical need of such an organization for the survival of BSA camps. Examples of the projects and services HSRAA has provided benefiting Scouting in Chester County Council were provided. Eric Lorgus also took to the microphone to speak about his time as a camper and a staffer at Camp Horseshoe, with stories about Ernie to boot.

The alumni unanimously approved the slate of 2017- 2018 HSRAA board members, including a few new members like Ben Linskens, Richard “Stick” Smith, and Chris McConnell. Plus a few returning members including Andrew Coe and Andrew Smith.

As the sun dimmed over the Western loop of the Octoraro Creek, alumni found their way over to Achgeketum Circle to witness the OA pageant and see a new generation of Scouts recognized for their efforts throughout the week. The Saturday night campfire, much like the rest of the program, was a solemn reminder to the alumni, while the buildings and landscapes may change over time, the tradition and Spirit of Horseshoe always shines bright!

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