Horseshoe Scout Reservation is Chester County Council's week-long overnight summer camp. The camp is located on the Mason-Dixon Line, the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland border, along with its sister Cub Scout camp, Ware. Scout troops from all across the East Coast come to this premier summer camp.
Camp Horseshoe's website can be found here.
The packing list for Camp Horseshoe can be found here.
The Horseshoe Program[edit | edit source]
Paoli 1 can be found at Horseshoe during the first week of the camp's seven-week program. The first week is typically at the very end of June and stretches into early July. Some years this includes the Fourth of July but often scouts will be home for the holiday or even before June even ends. The first week of camp is often considered he best because both the counselors and camp grounds are fresh and ready to begin the summer program.
Camp Horseshoe serves numerous purposes. First, it provides the fun experience you would expect from any summer program. Scouts are able to get away from home for a week and have fun with their peers in a unique environment. Second, the camp's daily function is as a merit badge factory, of sorts. During the weekdays, Scouts attend four separate merit badge classes during the day. This easily allows scouts to earn four or more Merit badges during the week, all the while acquiring numerous scouting skills toward rank advancement. Third, Horseshoe is the first troop activity after the Birthday and the change of command. It is a test for all the new Patrol Leaders, the Senior Patrol Leader, and the Staff Patrol.
In essence, Camp Horseshoe is the place where scouts learn the most from the scouting program. In addition to the tangible skills and badges they will learn, the experience of camp helps each boy grow and better as an individual.
When not participating in camp activities, Paoli 1 scouts spend their time living in a campsite known as Lisle. Lisle is a completely unique campsite located near the lowest point on camp. Much of Camp Horseshoe has been constructed or improved by a Paoli , in large thanks to former Scoutmaster Dick Bensing. Lisle, differing from all other troop campsites at Horseshoe, is 100% a Paoli 1 creation.
After a series of bad floods, the old campsite Paoli 1 used was relocated further inland and away from the Octoraro, thanks to a donation by the widow of troop alumni Clifton Lisle. A latrine was built and soon the rest of the camp sprung up around it. Original lean-to and tent accommodations were gradually phased out as construction on the camp progressed. The camp is now full of one-of-a-kind open-air pavilion bunk houses, styled in a modified Adirondack build. Each of the five patrols, the Staff Patrol, adult leadership, and Man Scouts have their own pavilion.
In addition to the living accommodations, the rest of the campsite has been greatly improved over the years. The standard latrine has been upgraded internally and a section was added to allow for showers. The flag pole has recently been replaced with a larger and more modern pole. And a large archway has been constructed over the main entrance. The fire circle was rebuilt in 2010 with new benches and a new bridge to it.
Currently, the field below the camp, nicknamed "Bensing" by the scouts, is being developed. It has been cleared to provide for a convenient practice field for marching but also as a small athletic field for the troop. Also, it provides a rear driving entrance if needed by the various work projects and possible room for further building expansion.
Further Reading[edit | edit source]
Information regarding the various locations and facilities of Camp Horseshoe can be found here.
For a look at a typical schedule of camp activities and programs go here.
For more detailed information of the actual activities, programs, and duties that a scout would experience in camp go here.
On the Saturday night campfire, numerous patches are handed out to recognize the accomplishments of all the scouts in camp. A full list of patch segments can be found here.