Horseshoe is much more complex than just a week long merit badge program. Listed below are the numerous duties, obligations, programs and events that scouts participate in during camp.

Daily OccurrencesEdit


Every evening before dinner, the entire camp assembles on the parade field for Retreat. SPLs report to the program director who in turn reports to the camp director. The camp's cannon is fired and the American flag is lowered for the evening. The troops then each 'pass in review' as the horseshoe Drum and Bugle Corps plays.

Troops are graded on performing the correct movements, the quality of their marching, and even the appearance of their uniforms. At dinner each night, that day's winner is announced and the Marching Trophy is awarded to that troop. Each troop that wins is allowed to add something to the trophy. Each trophy is used for all seven weeks of camp so Paoli 1 has the rare opportunity to get the trophy early on and possibly even first.

Kitchen PatrolEdit

KP is a duty that all scouts, except for the SPL and a few of his staff, must perform in camp. It is a combination of waiter and busboy in which one scout at each table will be responsible for preparing a table, serving food, and clean-up after the meal is finished. Scouts rotate through a schedule and will end up having KP about every other day.

More information can be found here.

Lining UpEdit

Before each meal, troops must line up at their respective entrance and are admitted by a camp staff judge who decides which troop has the straightest line. Paoli 1 always lines up at the back entrance to the dining hall closest to the railing. The Troop does not always get the spot by the railing depending on who arrives first but we always line up at the back porch.

Paoli 1 is often one of the largest troops to assemble at this entrance which is a distinct disadvantage when attempting to form a straight line. However, not wanting to wait out in the sun, the Troop has developed the somewhat comical Conga Line command which helps Paoli 1 have the straightest line the majority of the time.

Clean CampEdit

Every morning before merit badges, a camp staff member inspects the campsite. He is looking to make sure that we are following all regulations (clothes lines must be at a certain height, fire buckets filled, etc.) and that the camp is clean (no trash on the grounds, bunks are orderly, spotless latrine, etc.). A perfect camp will receive a total of 35 points per day. If there are any problems, the inspector will deduct points from that 35 total. At the end of the week, an award is given to the troops with the cleanest camps.

Patrol DutiesEdit

In order to prepare for inspection each morning, patrols are assigned certain duties for each day. The duty roster is created much like the KP list except it is much simpler, the duties change, and each patrol always has a duty every day. These duties range from fire guard (topping off fire buckets, Indian pump, etc.) to latrine duty. Some task are easier than others but they rotate so each patrol gets an equal share of the burden.

Special Interest ProgramEdit

After merit badges are done with, scouts have the opportunity to participate in a SIP. Scouts do not need anything but an interest in a particular area and the time to contribute in order to participate. Each camp department (Swimming, Handicraft, Health, etc.) offers its own SIP with activities ranging all across their field of expertise. If a scout attends at least four of the five total sessions in one camp department then he will receive a SIP segment for this uniform.

Polar BearEdit

Early every morning in camp, scouts are awakened by a cannon blast and Tarzan yell. This is not only a wake-up call but also the signal to get ready for the Polar Bear Swim. Scouts roll out of their bunks, put on their bathing suits, and form up with their towels. Once the Troop is assembled they head off as a group to the pool where they will take the plunge into the icy water. Scouts who attend Polar Bear for five days in the week will receive a special segment. Generally the Troop goes Monday to Friday and Saturday is simply a make-up day for any scout who misses on a previous day.

More information on Polar Bear can be found here.

Occurring Multiple Times in the WeekEdit

Camp TrailsEdit

Either in SIP, merit badges, or just their free time, scouts have the opportunity to hike one or more of Horseshoe's four primary trails (Red, Yellow, Blue, and Nature). In addition to the experience and exercise of the hike, scouts will also receive a special segment for their uniform.

Standard Patrol AwardEdit

At the beginning of the week, all patrols in camp may register for this competition of sorts. The patrol must work together to meet several requirements which include participating in all camp-wide patrol games, keeping a daily patrol journal, and preforming a service project in camp. Depending on how well the patrols keep up with it and their luck in finding a project it can be either incredibly simple or a nightmare. All patrols in Paoli 1 participate and are recognized at the final campfire with a plaque. Achieving this award is a credit to the leadership of the new patrol leader in camp.

Standard Troop AwardEdit

Similar to the Standard Patrol Award but given to the entire troop. To earn this award there are a few more requirements such as all patrols in the troop must earn the Standard Patrol Award and the troop must also participate in all troop games.


On both Sunday and Saturday nights, the camp staff holds a camp-wide fire. The Sunday fire is basically an introduction for the new campers with a few goofy skits. The Saturday fire is much more serious. Awards and patches are distributed on Saturday night and it is also when the OA pageant occurs.

Camp GamesEdit

On every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday there is a camp-wide game in the evening. Sometimes the game is at the patrol level and sometimes it is run at the troop level but it always requires the scouts to run around camp and work as a team. One of the nights is typically a scavenger hunt while other games might include a game of man hunt where staff members evade campers or a station game where certain challenges await patrols at various departments within camp.

Troop NightEdit

Every Tuesday and Thursday in camp is troop night. This means that there is no camp-wide game that evening and instead it is up to the individual troops to provide their own entertainment. Typically, Paoli 1 will organize Milk Challenge for Tuesday and Movie Night on Thursday. These troop programs are sometimes tied into the requirements of scouts taking the communications merit badge.

Once a WeekEdit

Troop EventsEdit

During the course of the week, all troops have the opportunity to request certain opportunities. Due to the number of troops in camp and the limited available time these events sometimes have to be shared between two or even three troops. They are:

  • Troop Shoot - All scouts of the troop are invited up to the rifle range for a brief rifle shoot. Ammunition for this round of shooting is free for the scouts and they may have the opportunity to shoot two to four times if time permits. The rifle range is quite a hike from Lisle but the Troop generally always signs up for this program.
  • Troop Archery Shoot - Just like the rifle shoot but at the archery range. Unlike rifle, this event is not nearly as popular and is rarely held for Paoli 1.
  • Troop Swim - The Troop all heads down to the Pool for a few hours for this incredibly popular event. Scouts can wade in the white section, dive in the blue section, or join the annual game of water polo in the red section. You'll be hard pressed to find a single scout back in camp during the troop swim.
  • Troop Tubing - Those wishing to have some fun tubing the Octoraro will pick up tubes at the Quonset hut and then head up past the nature lodge to the rafting put-in down the road. The Oct lazily runs around the camp from here and the journey ends at Taylor beach just next to Lisle. Generally a good time is had by all even if the water gets a bit too shallow for comfort in places. Scouts must wear close toed shoes for this event.
  • Color Guard - Each Retreat ceremony has a different troop assigned to the color guard. Due to Paoli 1's size, it is very likely that the Troop will be selected for one of those days. Four scouts (typically of Color Patrol) will be detached from the Troop's formation and formed up in front of the entire camp to carry the Colors. They will still pass in review but this time they lead the way for all the troops following them.

Minor CompetitionsEdit

Over the course of the week there are a handful of smaller competitions held throughout camp not including marching or the Clean Camp award. These awards are usually given out during Sunday Lunch. They are:

Obstacle CourseEdit

Over the week, Camp Craft builds an obstacle course complete with mud pits, rope nets, and wooden scaling walls. Individual patrols compete on this course for the best completion time.

Track MeetEdit

The Health lodge hosts an endurance and health contest at the troop level involving all types of track and field events as well as standard personal fitness events. Paoli 1 almost always places in this minor event.

Inter Troop ShootEdit

Three shooters from each troop (One youth rifle, one youth shotgun, and one adult rifle) head up to the Rifle Range for this competition. The rifle shooters each shoot five rounds at their designated target. Scores are determined based upon grouping size, not actual placement on the target (a wide dispersal "all in the black" is not as good as five shots in the upper corner nearly all through the same hole). following the rifle shooting, each troop has one scout shoot shotgun at five clay pigeons.

The event is judged in the following way:

  1. The rifle targets are collected, marked youth or adult, and also marked with the troop's number.
  2. The targets are separated into youth and adult and then each pile is ordered from best grouping to worst grouping.
  3. Points are awarded to the targets. The worst grouping gets 1 point, the second worst gets 2, and so on until the best target gets the score of the total number of shooters.
  4. The youth and adult scores are added together for each troop.
  5. In the event of a tie with the rifle scores, the results of the shotgun shoot are the tie breaker.
  6. In the event that there is still a tie then the shotgun shooters will be called back for a sudden death shootout. This happened once in recent years in which Parker Peterson represented Paoli 1 and fought a ferocious battle through approximately fifty clays before finally triumphing over his opponent.

Paoli 1 last won the Inter Troop Shoot in 2010, 2011, and 2012

Inter Troop Archery ShootEdit

The archery shoot is similar to the rifle shoot but a bit less formal. It is of course also held at the archery range. Scouts compete to prove who is the best marksman with a bow in camp.

Speed Climbing CompetitionEdit

Two scouts from each troop compete in a timed climb of various walls up at COPE.

Peter and Mark Zibinski won it for Paoli 1 in 2012.

Inter Troop Swim MeetEdit

The Aquatics Department hosts a swim meet between the troops in multiple competitions.

Saturday EventEdit

Each Saturday afternoon, the camp staff hosts a massive competition which alternates between Paul Bunyan and Water Carnival every week. Because the program is seven weeks long, for Paoli 1 it also alternates for us every year. Odd years are Water Carnival for week one in camp and even years are Paul Bunyan.


Thursday is Outpost day. Instead of having meals in the dining hall, KP retrieves food from the kitchen staff and then prepares it for their troop within their own campsite. Any scout that requires a major hike, over night sleepout requirement, or cooking requirement can complete that requirement on this day. Retreat still takes places like normal for those scouts not on outpost or KP.


Vespers at Horseshoe is not a religious service like the name might imply. It does however stick to its roots in the psalms. Vespers is simply a camp-wide song session. Attending is a requirement for Standard Troop.

OA PageantEdit

The pageant is held during the Saturday night campfire at the end of the week. Order of the Arrow volunteers act out the roles of Native Americans through a short scout related ritual and a following tale of the Lenni Lenape people.

OA Tap-outEdit

One evening at camp always has an Order of the Arrow tap-out ceremony at Retreat. OA candidates are picked by OA members dressed as Native Americans and then put through a small ritual as the rest of the camp observes while still in formation. Paoli 1 has our own ceremony and thus does not participate nor do we offer any of our own members for this tap-out.