The Detters Mill to Camp Ganoga Great Canoe Race and Sleepover of 2002

Updated 01/22/2003 04:32 PM

S.S.S. YORKSHIRE, Ship 25 of the York-Adams Area Council BSA, is pleased to extend an invitation to all Sea Scout Ships and Venturing Crews in the Chesapeake Flotilla Wardroom to the  Detters Mill to Camp Ganoga Great Canoe Race and Sleepover of 2002.  The race will be held on Saturday, 4 May 2002 from 1200 noon until 1700 hours.  At the takeout area, Camp Ganoga, there will be room for a supper grill or barbecue (supply your own food and equipment) followed by the awards ceremony and then an opportunity to camp overnight Saturday at Ship 25's nearby Sea Scout Base in Emigsville.  The sleepover  will be available for every unit that wishes to enjoy relaxed Scouting fellowship Saturday night (i.e. barn dance and sleepover) before returning to their home ports on Sunday.  We hope that all units will wish to sleepover and join in the fun.

The canoe race will cover 19.21 miles of the Big Conewago Creek in York County, Pennsylvania from Detters Mill (N 40 0.927', W 76 55.414') downstream to the site of the York-Adams Area Council's former Camp Ganoga (N 40 5.963', W 76 45.726').  See canoe race overview map for general location details.

Race leg distances:

Launch to switch off #1                                            3.85 land miles

Switch off #1 to switch off #2                                   6.75 land miles

Switch off #2 to switch off #3 (Camp Cann-edi-on)    6.04 land miles

Switch off #3 to finish line (Camp Ganoga)                2.57 land miles

TOTAL RACE DISTANCE                                            19.21 land miles

Start date/time:  Noon on Saturday, 4 May 2002

Entry fee: $5 per canoe, payable to "Ship 25 B.S.A."  The money will be used to procure suitable awards for the winning teams.  

Entry deadline: because of the suddenness of the need to find an alternate location, entries will be accepted up to the time of the starting gun, noon on 4 May 2002.  If you have time, mail a note with your entry fee to Skipper George Kain, Ship 25 BSA, PO Box 14, Emigsville, PA 17318.  HOWEVER, as a courtesy, please at least send Ship 25's skipper, George Kain, an email to confirming how many canoes you will be entering, so awards can be purchased in anticipation of your paid entry fee. Also please advise how many male/female youth/adults will be sleeping over at Sea Scout Base - Emigsville.

Award categories:  The number of awards presented will be a function of the funds raised and available to buy the awards.  There will definitely be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place overall awards.  Whether there will be funds available to also include leg segment awards depends on the number of paid entrants.

Equipment: Unfortunately, due to the short time available to organize this alternate event, we have not had time to arrange for canoe rentals for those units without their own canoes.  Each unit will have to be responsible for its own equipment this year.  We have been advised that Len Bostian  (a Harford District Scouter) at Adventure Bound Outfitters in Jarrettsville, MD has rental canoes available. His phone number is: 410-557-7116. His store is located behind Smith Hardware in Jarrettsville. Callers should identify themselves as participants in the canoe race since he gives a "Scout Discount". Of course, the yellow pages will also provide you with additional canoe rental options.

Launch location: North corner of the intersection of Harmony Grove Road and Conewago Road (see canoe launch map)  Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Shaffner have graciously given us permission to park in their field just on the south downstream side of the Harmony Grove bridge over the Conewago.  We will launch there, paddle upstream under the bridge, then turn around for a shotgun downstream start with the upstream edge of the bridge as the starting line.  View launch area.

Switch off point #1: East corner of intersection of PA Route 74 and the Big Conewago Creek on property of Mrs. Crone who has graciously given us permission to park in her field.  Switching off crewmembers is optional, and not required. (see canoe_switchoff_1 map).  View switch off point #1.

Switch off point #2: South bank of Big Conewago Creek immediately before Bull Road Bridge on property graciously made available by Mr. and Mrs. Gingerich.  You have drive up Bull Road (eastwardly) a short distance and enter their gated property and then proceed back down the hill to the shoreline.  Switching off crewmembers is optional, and not required. (see canoe_switchoff_2 map).

Switch off point #3 (YWCA Camp Cann-edi-on): East side of Sheep Bridge Road on south bank of Big Conewago at YWCA Camp Cann-edi-on.  Ample parking is available.  Switching off crewmembers is optional, and not required.  (see canoe Camp Cann-edi-on map).

Hykes Mill dam:  downstream after Camp Cann-edi-on and before Camp Ganoga is a 1.5' high dam which has been breached.  Extreme caution is advised!  Portage around it if you are in any way unsure of your ability to shoot through the breech!  If you elect to shoot through the breech, you do so at your own risk! (see canoe dam Ganoga map).  View Hykes Mill dam.  The host race committee reserves the right to REQUIRE units to portage around the dam instead of shooting the breech depending on water conditions on the day of the race.

Finish line and takeout point (former BSA Camp Ganoga):  Mr. and Mrs. Phil Grosh, friends of Scouting, have kindly made the facilities of our former York-Adams Area Council Camp Ganoga, now in their private ownership, available to the Ganoga race.  There will be ample parking, and a place to have a picnic and awards ceremony.  Because of the ban on open fires, plan to bring along a gas grill for cooking.  Potable water will be available. Pet the llama, see the goats and meet Pedro, the Boys Life burro.  (see canoe dam Ganoga map).

Safety IssuesYour unit's entry in the Great Ganoga Canoe Race signifies that you have read, understood, and are complying with all water safety and other relevant provisions of the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting.  Click here to review the entire guide if you need a full refresher.

Support crews and spectators:  Maps will be given out at the launch area to enable support crews and spectators navigate by road to the various switch off points and the finish line.  PLEASE do not park, however, on any private property except where permission has been obtained in advance as indicated.  As good Scouts, we have goodwill with the local landowners, and we don't want to lose it.

Low Water IssuesWater levels were deemed sufficient for the race as of 4/15/02.  The water level may improve or deteriorate between now and race day.  It is believed that even if the water level drops slightly, units should still be able to float their canoes the entire length of the race, although there may be a few stretches where participants might have to get out of their canoes and pull them along for short periods.  Suitable footgear is therefore highly recommended.  For technical folks, you can monitor the Conewago's stream height and flow in real time at

Directions to the launch area coming from the south: 

  1. Proceed north on Interstate 83 to US Route 30 at York, PA (labeled old Exit 9-W).  Take Route 30 West exit (labeled old Exit 9-W).

  2. Proceed west on US Route 30 a distance of 2.4 miles to PA Route 74 (Carlisle Road).  Turn right (northwest) at end of exit ramp.

  3. Proceed northwest on Carlisle Road (PA Route 74) 5.7 miles through the town of Dover, PA.  Just north of Dover, on your left will be Harmony Grove road.  Turn left (west northwest) on Harmony Grove Road.

  4. Proceed west northwest on Harmony Grove Road 3.9 miles to the bridge over the Big Conewago Creek.  Just before the bridge on your right is Conewago Road.  Turn right on Conewago Road and proceed about 200' to a mailbox on the left (north) side of the road.  Turn left at the mailbox and proceed onto and around the left edge of the field to the bank of the Conewago and the launch area.  View launch area.

Directions to return to the south from Camp Ganoga:

  1. Proceed south 1.6 miles on PA 295 (Susquehanna Trail) to onramp for Strinestown Exit of Interstate 83  (old Exit 12).

  2. Proceed south on Interstate 83 to your destination.

Directions for those units that wish to camp out Saturday night at the Emigsville Sea Scout Base, homeport of Ship 25, before returning to their homes on Sunday: (view map to Sea Base) (view topo map of Sea Base)

  1. After getting on I-83 at the Strinestown Exit (old Exit 12), get off at the next exit, Emigsville (old Exit 11).

  2. Turn left at the light at the end of the Exit ramp onto Church Road (PA Route 24).

  3. Proceed to the next light at the intersection of Church Road and North George Street (PA Route 111).

  4. Cross over the intersection, and then immediately bear left up the ramp on Starview Road over the railroad tracks.

  5. As soon as you have crossed the railroad tracks, continue along the tracks about 300' until you come to  where the Starview Road bears right and goes up a hill at a traffic control sign that says, "STOP - Except Right Turn."  Stop, then proceed straight ahead on the Liverpool Turnpike.  (Don't go right- don't go up the hill) .

  6. At the north end of the Liverpool Turnpike, you will come to a cul-de-sac with a gravel lane leading up to our farm.  There will be a wooden post reading "KAIN - 3591".  

  7. Call Skipper Kain on his cell phone at 717-880-8730 if you get lost. 

Amenities at Sea Scout Base Emigsville, aka Skipper Kain's farm:

Over one hundred acres of open fields, grasslands, and mixed hardwood forests.

Three ponds for canoe practice, fishing, or swimming.

Potable water.  Go easy, though - we're on a well, and it's a drought.

A barn with hardwood floor for those units not wishing to bother with tents.

110 v. and 220 v. electric.

Saturday night social activity - we have a hardwood dance floor in the barn, and a bandstand with CD and tape system - bring your favorite CD's and tapes and dance the night away!

VCR player available.  Bring your favorite video.

Send out for pizza.

Latrine facilities are primitive, but adequate.

Questions?  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, etc., feel free to contact Ship 25's skipper, George Kain,, 717-848-3500 (work), or 717-764-9361 (home).  Please do come, and we'll all join together in the great fellowship of Scouting at its best.

History Notes: This canoe race route is essentially the route used between 1966 and 1990 by the York-Adams Area Council, BSA for its annual Exploring Division Canoe Race.  Ship 25 is pleased to be able to host this history flashback, and to have the opportunity to show some good old York County hospitality to its many friends in the Chesapeake Flotilla Wardroom.

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