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New book shares history of Delmarva Scout Camp

A new book detailing the history of a popular Delmarva Scout Camp in Sharptown, Maryland is now on sale.



“Go Forth To Serve:  A History of Henson Scout Reservation, Camp Nanticoke, 1965-2020,” features decade-by-decade highlights; stories about programs, pranks and progress; and a list of the hundreds of summer camp staff members who have served over the years. 

It’s co-author Dan Shortridge says the initial manuscript was written by the late Dr. G. Kenneth Gerlach, a longtime principal in Dorchester County, Maryland - who died in 2008.


“The story really goes back to the early 1960’s when it was called The Nanticoke Scout Reservation," said Shortridge. "It was founded by the Del-Mar-Va Council of the Boy Scouts of America. They needed another camp because scouting was booming and they started up this camp in Dorchester County, Maryland. Dr. Gerlach was a local Scout master then.”

Shortridge says Dr. Gerlach’s troop helped clear many of the trails for the new camp in what was a forested area.


“In 1996, he wrote a manuscript on the early history of the Camp; the history of the Nanticoke and Choptank (Indian) tribes and published that," said Shortridge. "It was sold at the Camp Trading Post. I happened to be on Camp staff back then as a young Scout and a lot of us on staff just fell in love with the early history.” 

Shortridge began editing Dr. Gerlach’s manuscript after his death, supplementing it with his own research, interviews and stories gathered from nearly 50 people across the years.


Shortridge says because there are no week-long camps at the Henson Scout Reservation this summer due to COVID, the book offers campers and staff a chance to celebrate its past and support its future.


The book is available for purchase here.


Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.