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Bethel United Methodist Church
Spring City, PA



History of Troop 4


Everything has a beginning. Troop 4’s official beginning was in the late fall of 1968 when several members of the Bethel United Methodist Church saw a need for a boy scout troop in the area and set off to make it happen.

The original members of Troop 4’s organizing committee consisted of Robert Wartman (Scoutmaster), Charles w. Linderman (Assistant Scoutmaster), Harry Van Riper (committee Chair) Sam Guest (Equipment Coordinator) and Wilson Schaeffer (committee member).

Bethel Grove

The Scout Hut (or the Bethel Grove Social Building, as it was formerly known) is the home of BSA Troop 4 and is used for regular weekly meetings, training and other Troop events. Its history dates back to 1924 when church members George Thomas and Seneca Mowere bought the land where the building stands and donated it to the church. Shortly thereafter, they poured the foundation for the building and then completed construction. The building was subsequently remodeled in 1955 in memory of church member Harry Wiand and its primary use since the 1960s has been by Troop 4.

The Carousel located in Bethel Grove was built in 1928 and was manufactured by the Mitchell Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. An original, vintage 1927 magazine advertisement marketing it as the “Mitchell Merry Whirl” hangs inside the Scout hut.



Early Activities

The first major camping trip the Troop participated in was the Chester County Council Fall Camporee at Hibernia Park in Coatesville. One of the primary memories that has been passed down of the event was that it rained and the scouts got wet in their new tents. In addition, the Troop also attended the French Creek District Spring Camporee at French Creek State Park in April of 1969.

The first Winter Camp was attended in March of 1969 at Camp Horseshoe where the Troop stayed in Roberts Cabin (Nature Lodge). Winter camp was always fun with the Troop, it always started with the adults dropping all the Scouts at the old entrance to the camp and then they hiked to the cabin. The adults went ahead to get the cabin ready (or so they said). Tales of the Horseshoe Creeper was always told to the new Scouts on the ride to the camp

and then when the Scouts would hike past the old Canal Lock, a couple of older Scouts would sneak ahead and hide in the old Canal Lockhouse and scare the young Scouts by jumping out of the Lockhouse in the dark as they passed. Every Saturday night at all Winter Camps was movie night (16mm in the beginning). One of the first movies viewed by Troop 4 at Winter Camp was Nanook of the North, a documentary of Eskimo life. Roberts Cabin was used until the early 1980s when Schramm Lodge was converted to a Troop Cabin for Winter Camps.

In 1973, Troop 4 took its first trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. At that time, the trip took three weeks including a five-day, four-night cross-country bus ride from Downingtown and a four day return bus ride home.

Looking Forward

In 2018, Troop 4 will celebrate its 50th Anniversary of serving the community and providing life-long memories for many scouts. This rich history would not be possible without the selfless support of Bethel United Methodist Church.

Summer Camp

For the first year of summer camp at Horseshoe Scout Reservation, Troop 4 called Conestoga as home. The following summer the Troop switched sites to Sherwood Forest and used this site until 1974 when they moved to Taylor. Finally, in 1982 Troop 4 settled in at Kit Carson and has called this site home for a week every summer since.