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Horseshoe Scout Reservation (HSR) is [[Chester County Council]]'s summer camp. The camp is located on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border along with its sister camp, [[Ware]]. Scout troops from all across the East Coast come to this premier camp run by [[Paoli 1]]'s own council.
Horseshoe Scout Reservation (HSR) is [[Chester County Council]]'s summer camp. The camp is located on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border along with its sister camp, [[Ware]]. Scout troops from all across the East Coast come to this premier camp run by [[Paoli 1]]'s own council.

Revision as of 18:25, 22 June 2011


Horseshoe Scout Reservation (HSR) is Chester County Council's summer camp. The camp is located on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border along with its sister camp, Ware. Scout troops from all across the East Coast come to this premier camp run by Paoli 1's own council.

Horseshoe Program

Paoli 1 can be found at Horseshoe during the first week of the seven week program. This week is typically at the very end of June and stretches into July (Some years this includes the Fourth of July). The first week of camp is typically the best because both the counselors and the camp grounds are fresh and ready to begin the summer.

Summer camp serves numerous purposes. First, it provides the fun experience you would expect from a summer program. Scouts are able to get away from home for a bit and have fun with their peers in an interesting environment. Second, the camp's daily function is as a merit badge factory. Scouts can easily earn four or more Merit badges each summer. 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 and the SPL and his staff.

Read more at:

Horseshoe Schedule

Horseshoe Duties and Programs

Horseshoe Facilities

Headquarters - The administrative hub of camp. The camp director and program director both work out of this building. SPL and SM meetings are frequently held here. It is also where visitors must register upon arrival and can be a great area to ask for general information. The camp's mail room is also in this building. Some merit badges like Communications are taught here as well.

Trading Post - Originally housed within headquarters, a new and separate trading post was built between HQ and the main parking lot. The trading post sells all type of items to the scouts in camp. Vouchers or special items for certain merit badges and programs can be bought here. Other scout items like pocket knives, Horseshoe or scout themed clothing, and patches can also be bought here. The trading post also sells snack food and drinks. The 'Slush Puppies' are their biggest selling item. Sale of certain foods is restricted depending on the time of day to prevent scouts from filling up on sugar before meals.

Parade Field - Despite not being a structure in an of itself, the parade field has been a focal point for Paoli 1 building projects lead by Dick Bensing and the HSRAA. The field has been leveled to be completely flat through numerous projects in the 2000's. A large stone wall with troop flags has been constructed to hold back the hill and a new walkway has been added to maintain the side border of the field. Simply maintaining the grass on the field is also a major chore.

Every night before dinner, all the troops in camp form up on the field for the Retreat Ceremony. SPLs report in, the Colors are lowered, and then the Troops pass and review.

Picnic Grove - Located between the parade field and health lodge, the picnic grove is a multi-purpose area. Several health themed merit badges are taught here, troop pictures are often taken here, and scouts use it as a rest area especially when practicing before Retreat. The area was reclaimed from a massive incursion of greenbriar through numerous Paoli 1 work days.

Health Lodge - The health lodge tends to all first aid needs in camp. Minor injuries that do not require a trip to the hospital are handled here. The building is air conditioned so it is also a great place for sick scouts or those suffering from heat exhaustion to rest until they recover. Scouts that require medication must periodically come to the health lodge to take it.

Goodman Pavilion - One of the newest structures on camp, the pavilion is located between the health lodge and parking lot. It is used to hold social gatherings, teach health merit badges, and to process the health needs of incoming troops.

Dinning Hall - The Allen Memorial Dinning hall is where all meals are held in camp. Scouts sit in groups of eight during meals and one of the scouts at the table is on KP (Kitchen Patrol). Grace is said before each meal and each meal either ends with a 'Big Idea' or a song followed by a somewhat orderly dismissal. In 2011 the dinning hall saw a massive expansion to accommodate the increased number of campers each week.

  • On Thursday, Outpost, all meals are made and prepared by the troops in their respective camps. On Saturday, several Paoli 1 parents prepare meals for the scouts and families. Also, scouts in Cooking merit badge may eat during their class session.
  • The dinning hall has a strict dress code policy to remember as well. Under no circumstances are open toed shoes, hats, sleeveless shirts, or bathing suits to be worn inside the building. Also, all scouts must wear their full Class A Uniform to be admitted for dinner.

OA Lodge - Just below the dinning hall is the Order of the Arrow lodge. It is the headquarters of Octoraro lodge 22, Paoli 1's chapter of the Order of the Arrow. It is used for OA meetings, OA snack, and has recently been used to accommodate the increased number of scouts and the lack of capacity in the dinning hall in 2010.

Showers - Just across from the dinning hall are the showers. They are of course broken into scout, adult, and staff showers. The showers were massively improved in 2004 and now include full bathroom facilities and more privacy for the bathers. There is also a separate facility just for SPLs and their most senior staff. The showers also house the only bathrooms outside of the campsites that are open and available for scouts 24/7.

Quonset Hut - The Quonset hut is located below camp craft, just above the entrance to the Stockade Trail. Scouts send all their supply requests here and hope for the best. The Quonset hut provides consumable necessities like toilet paper and cleaning products, required camp items like trash cans and Indian pumps, and nonessential items like specialty tools or building materials.

Camp Craft - Camp craft is located below the main parking lot, above the Quonset hut, and next to the Goodman Pavilion. All camping themed merit badges are taught here (Camping, cooking, wilderness survival, etc.). It is also the site for the Paul Bunyan competition.

Nature Lodge - Located above the main parking lot and next to the rifle range, all nature themed badges are of course taught here (Environmental Science, reptiles, mammals, weather, etc.). The Turtle Derby is also hosted by the nature staff.

Rifle Range - Located next to Nature is the camp's rifle range. The small range provides scouts the opportunity to learn marksmanship, firearm safety and maintenance. There are eight positions and an equal number of .22 caliber rifles for scouts to use under the heavy supervision of the rifle staff. Attached to the rifle range is a shotgun range. The small range allows one shooter at a time to shoot trap. The camp provides 12 gauge shotguns to be used to target the clay pigeons. Each troop has the opportunity to have a troop shoot and the best marksmen from each troop may compete in the inter-troop shoot.

All precautions have been taken in camp to make the range as safe as possible. All the weapons have been specially made or modified to be single shot weapons. Ammunition is safely stored and only distributed immediately before shooting. Staff members carefully monitor the firing line and give precise instructions while controlling the range. Scouts are not even allowed to enter the range's perimeter without permission.

Handicraft - Handicraft is located down the hill from HQ, the parade field, and the dinning hall but above Eagle grove and the Athletic field. While camp craft deals with outdoors skills, handicraft focuses on building and crafting items. Merit badges that can be taken here include leather working, basketry, art, and metal working.

Athletic Field - A massive open space at the bottom of the hill, between Eagle grove and archery/the pool, the athletic field is used for many different badges and activities. Some camp games are held here, sports is often taught here, and the space exploration class launch their rockets here just to name a few. The Order of the Arrow bridge connects the OA circle on the opposite side of the Octoraro to the athletic field.

Archery Range - The archery range is located in a small grove of trees that separates the open areas by the pool and the athletic field. Archery and sports merit badges are run from here. Like the rifle ranger, troops can sign up for a troop archery shoot or participate in the inter-troop archery shoot.

The Pool - The pool lies at the bottom of the hill next to the archery range and at the terminus of the pool trail (the driving path originating at Taylor beach and the foot path starting by Lisle. Polar Bear is held here every morning, and the aquatics staff run their programs here during the day. There is also a free swim period before Retreat each day. The pool is also the site of the Water Carnival competition.

COPE - Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience is located way out beyond the rest of the programs, out past headquarters and handicraft. It is a series of rope courses and climbing towers and is a unique course. Only older scouts (14+) can attend programs here which include both mountain biking and the COPE climbing program. COPE programs also take up a scout's entire schedule and don't allow him to take as many merit badges. That combined with the incredible distance from Lisle to COPE makes it a rare choice for Paoli 1 scouts.

Flag Pole Hill - Flag Pole Hill is one of the most remote locations in camp. It is located up the main driveway near COPE. Flag Pole Hill is, as the name would suggest, the home to the camp's primary flag pole. It is, however, rarely used now. Scouts used to be sent to the hill to lower the flag during the Retreat Ceremony, the lowering of the flag being signaled by the firing of the cannon.

Chapel - located past the COPE course, the Horseshoe chapel is the site of the Sunday religious service. The hillside chapel commands an incredible view and frequently has a nesting Eagle family nearby to add to the view. The service is a nondenominational Christian themed service that includes singing of religious hymns and short prayers. Paoli 1 does not require non-Christian scouts to attend the service.

Eagle Grove - A grove of trees planted at the end of the athletic field opposite of the Archery range. Generally, the opening Sunday campfire is held in Eagle grove.

Taylor Beach - Located just below camp Lisle, Taylor beach is the largest beach on the Octoraro Bend. Many camp sponsored activities occur at the Beach or us it as a starting or end point. Paoli 1 also uses Taylor beach for other recreational activities.

Stockade Trail - The name of the main driving road that services the majority of the campsites. The trail starts at the Quonset hut and ends at Taylor beach, just below Lisle. There it becomes the pool trail and continues through thick brush to the pool and athletic field. There is also a branch of the stockade trail that ends at Lenni Lenape campsite just above Lisle. Camp staff frowns upon people actually using vehicles on the trail and the entrances is normally chained just like the Cabin driveway (except there is no combination, no one ever seems to have a key, and it's locked for no real reason).

Bridges - Camp Horseshoe has two suspension bridges across the Octoraro. Scouts are generally not allowed the cross these bridges and generally they will have no reason to. One bridge crosses to Camp Ware and the other goes to the OA fire circle.

Trails - Horseshoe has four primary trails that scouts have the option of hiking during the week. They are the nature trail, red, yellow, and blue trails.

Campsites - The majority of camp facilities are clustered to the north and east of the camp while campsites are either spread around the perimeter or clustered in the southwest. All camps have a latrine and bulletin board but that is the only universally shared feature. Many camps are simply tent camps with two man tents erected on platforms scattered across the campsite. Others are Adirondack camps with small rectangular bunkhouses. Both types of camps sometimes will have a lean-to or open pavilion.

Camp Lisle

List is a completely unique campsite. Much of Camp Horseshoe has been built or in some way was improved by a Paoli 1 project (largely thanks to Dick Bensing) but the Lisle campsite is a 100% Paoli 1 creation.

After a series of bad floods, the old campsite was relocated further inland and away from the Octoraro thanks to a donation by the widow of Clifton Lisle. The latrine was relocated and soon the rest of the camp sprung up around it. Original lean-to and tent accommodations were gradually phased out in a massive building project. The camp is now full of one-of-a-kind open air pavilion bunk houses in a modified Adirondack style. Each patrol (including staff) has its own bunk and most recently a separate Scoutmaster's Quarters has been.

In addition to the living accommodations, the rest of the campsite has been improved as well. The standard latrine has been upgraded with an attached shower facility, 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. Prior to that, the bridge to the latrine and the bulletin board were also replaced.

Currently, the field below the camp, nicknamed "Bensing", is being developed. It has been cleared to provide for a convenient practice field for marching but also as a small athletic field. It also provides a rear driving entrance if needed and possible room for further building expansion.

Horseshoe Patches

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.