Club History

The West Shore Fencers Club at the YMCA is a recreational and competitive club offering instruction in foil and saber, and open bouting in all three weapons. Fencers develop agility, dexterity, speed and strength while learning the intricacies of attacks, parries, and ripostes.

The West Shore Fencers Club was originally based in Camp Hill during the late seventies through the early nineties, and was composed of fencers with different reasons for engaging in the sport - nationally competitive college and high school fencers, semi competitive recreational fencers, and casual non-competitive but having a great time anyway fencers.

These individuals came from many different backgrounds - lawyers, teachers, computer programmers, auto-mechanics, doctors, students, and many others. Fencing is a sport well suited to anyone with an interest and a willingness to embrace it. It was in this setting where teen-aged Steve Daggs met Coach Dann.

Steve met Coach Dann (or Mr. Dann, as all of his students invariably addressed him) at  a basic beginner course back in the early eighties. That course introduced him to a sport unlike any he had previously been involved in - and he had been reasonably successful in the various standard boyhood sports of the day - football, baseball and basketball - but fencing was a breed all its own. It led him on to compete at a national level, train at the Olympic Training Center at Lake Placid, and earn varsity letters at the United States Naval Academy. It instilled a sense of discipline and fair play in a sport that is rooted in formalized politeness.
That original club disbanded in the early nineties, following the untimely passing of Thomas Dann. That is also when Steve stepped away from fencing.

In 2012 Steve Daggs was inspired by his child's interest in fencing to find it again. But when Steve searched he was disappointed to find that fencing had disappeared from the Harrisburg Area. So, after nearly 20 years since he last competed, he took up the sword again, and began rebuilding the club he recalled from his youth.

Steve found a new home for the West Shore Fencers Club at the YMCA West Shore and began teaching classes. After a few years, Steve had several other enthusiastic fencers to help coach/teach classes and a nice base of fencers from all ages, competitive levels, and walks of life much like the club he remembered.