"Retreat" is a ceremony that occurs at 5:45 PM every evening at Camp Horseshoe. All camp staff, scouts, and adult leaders form on the parade field in Class A Uniform for a ceremonial lowering of the American Flag. The flag ceremony is augmented with all troops passing in review in a marching competition.
Preparation and CompetitionEdit
During the Retreat ceremony, several camp staff judges observe the troops and judge them according to their uniform presentation, discipline when stationary, and marching skill. The winner is announced each night at dinner and the marching trophy is awarded to that troop. After each victory, the winning troop is allowed to add to the trophy. In past years, many troops including Paoli 1 have simply added their troops' sticker to the trophy.
n camp, troops are allowed to practice on the actual parade field only after 5:30 with fifteen minutes until the ceremony begins. This is signaled when the music begins to play over the loud speakers. Most troops that practice beforehand use the main parking lot before finally running through it all a few times on the actual field.
Paoli 1 frequently practices during the day in free periods and also during SIP, which is jokingly referred to as "Marching SIP". Due to Lisle's distance from the parade field and parking lot, in 2009 the Troop began to practice behind Lisle campsite toward Taylor beach and the pool trail. In 2010 the area was cleared and by 2011 grass had begun to grow nicely in what is unofficially called "Bensing" after another of Paoli 1's most influential scoutmasters. The Troop now uses this all-purpose field for quick and informal practices whenever possible. The Troop may sometimes just use the large space in Lisle to construct quick formations before then marching up to the Parking lot or Parade Field.
Phase One - RetreatEdit
When the music begins playing, it is a signal to all troops that they have fifteen minutes to be in position and ready to go. To start, all troops line up one after the other on the side of the parade field adjacent to the picnic grove. On the opposite edge of the field by the flag pole both camp staff and adult leaders line up, Scouts on KP are brought out and formed up along the "bottom" of the field by the dining hall and the camp's Drum and Bugle Corps is stationed at the head of the field by the troop flags and headquarters. In the line of troops, Devon 50 is always positioned first in line while Paoli 1 is positioned in the middle of the group, typically a little closer to the rear.
Formation - Whereas in the Memorial Day Parade the troop is formed more or less in height/age order, the formation for Horseshoe is much different. Typically, the troop is formed off of the "L" base. The front row and the furthest right column is comprised of the most senior and best marchers available. (When seen from above this skeleton of a formation resembles an upside down and mirrored "L".) Because marching is graded at Horseshoe, it is imperative that the formation hold its shape. Having senior scouts in the most crucial roles ensures that the formation remains tight and together. This skeleton of experienced marchers maintains spacing so the body of the troop can line up off of them. The scout at the angle of the "L" is known as the "point-man." He is in both the front rank and furthest right column so all scouts in the troop line up off of him.
Marching into Position - Retreat officially begins as the music ends and the camp director signals "attention." The Horseshoe Drum and Bugle Corps then begins to play "Horseshoe" (a beat familiar to Paoli 1 scouts) and the camp goes in motion. Starting with the color guard and then Devon 50, each unit begins to go through preparation to march. With so many troops simultaneously giving orders and the drums playing, it is imperative that the SPL add "Paoli 1" to the beginning of each order (at least when the Troop is stationary) and that the scouts listen carefully for both their SPL and the staff member calling cadence. It is equally important that the SPL give his commands with the beat of the bass drum and thus for the cadence man to call cadence in time with the beat.
(It may be helpful to first read Marching to better understand the following sections.)
The commands at this time are:
"Paoli 1, Cover Down." - The Scouts put their arms up to check their spacing and straightness. Scouts in the "L" will be touching the shoulders of the scouts next to and in front of them. Other scouts will not necessarily be doing so if their arms are too short but they will still have their arms fully extended in the air. While doing this they will make sure they are directly behind the scout in front of them and use their peripheral vision to ensure that they are in line with the scout on their right (ther need not worry about those behind or to the left because those scouts should then up off of the first scout and so on down the line).
"Ready, Front." - Cover Down is canceled and arms go down. Other troops may slap their sides at this command but Paoli 1 does not slap... ever. DON'T SLAP!
"Paoli 1, Mark Time March." - Cadence starts to be called in time with the bass drum as the troop begins to step in place.
"Paoli 1, Forward March." - The front row steps forward and the rest of the formation follows them while keeping their spacing.
"Paoli 1, Mark Time March." - Having moved forward the formation stops its forward progress.
"Halt!" - All scouts stop marching in place and the cadence ceases.
"Paoli 1, Right Face!" - In unison the Troop and SPL turn to face the parade field.
At this point, Paoli 1 should have only moved slightly up the field and are approximately directly across from the flag pole and camp director. The Colors, and a few other troops have already turned the corner at the top of the field and are now by the troop flags facing across the length of the field toward the "bottom" and the Dining Hall.
Flag Ceremony - After all troops are in position and the drums have stopped playing, the program director marches down onto the field as rimshots are played on one of the snare drums. He arrives mid-field and orders "Senior Patrol Leaders report!" Starting in order from first to last, the SPLs step forward, salute and report. A typical Paoli 1 report would sound like this:
"PAOLI 1! 44 on line, 6 on staff line, 8 on KP. Colonel Clifton Lisle reporting, sir!"
A full report might also mention scouts on outpost, scouts out of camp for medical reasons, scouts in the health lodge for medical reasons, scouts in the picnic grove and unable to march, scouts back at camp for outpost KP, scouts on color guard, and even adult leaders on "artillery".
Once all troops have reported, the program director reports to the camp director. Then the camp is put in parade rest as "Retreat" is played by a bugler. The command "attention" is then given. As the camp snaps to attention, the camp's cannon is fired and the bugler plays "To the Colors." All members of staff line and all SPLs salute but all other scouts remain motionless. DON'T SALUTE! The flag is lowered and the command to drop salutes is given. Four members of camp staff fold the flag, salute the camp director, and then march off the field to more rimshots from the snare drum. At this time the program director, now with the flag, takes position in front of the color guard.
Phase Two - Passing in ReviewEdit
The SPL will aboutface and order "Paoli 1, left face!" while himself doing a right face. Because Horseshoe requires each troop to march at a full stride, it is imperative that the SPL wait before giving the order to march. Some troops march slowly and may even stop on the field without warning. Therefore, the order to march is given only after the troop in front of Paoli 1 is nearing the first flank.
After left facing, the marching orders are:
"Paoli 1, cover down!" - The troop realigns themselves for any shift that may have occurred during their facing movements.
"Paoli 1, mark time march!" - When the preceding troop is doing their column.
"Paoli 1, forward march!" - When the preceding troop is doing the first flank.
"Column right, march!" - The Troop executes a right column at the edge of the field coming as close to the stone wall and troop flags as possible without risking a collision on the turn.
"Right flank, march!" - As one, the troop pivots this time close to the staff line, the camp director, and the flag pole.
"Eyes left!" - All scouts turn their heads to the left and the SPL also salutes the camp director. Scouts in the column furthest to the left however do not turn their heads but remain facing forward. During this time, the scout calling cadence stops and the troop must rely on the bass drum as their guide for staying in steep.
"Right flank, march!" - Now at the far end of the field, the troop pivots again.
"Mark time march!" - The Troop marches in place either at the edge of the field or earlier if other troops ahead have not vacated the field.
"Fall out to the dining hall."