From the Archives, July 14, 2019

Showerhouse 1

As we said back in January, the mundane is only mundane until it isn’t, then it becomes interesting. We were also recently told that we never cover the 1960s. So, here is some mundane 1960s material for you to explore!

Seen here is Parnell’s Showerhouse One as it looked when it was first built in 1960. The basic design and usage of this particular building changed very little over the next thirty-eight years. Indeed, the style and function of this showerhouse was the same as those used at both Stahlman and Craig until they were torn down and replaced in 2001 and 2002.

The left had side of the building were Scout showers. This side was divided in two parts: one part was simply benches. This was a dressing and undressing area. The other was a group shower room. Eight Scouts at a time could take a shower. No stalls, just a room with shower heads, hot and cold handles, and a drain.

In the middle was the water trough. One end had a water fountain, the other end had a spicket. The center was a trough with a pipe that would spray water down into the trough. You could wash hands and brush teeth here.

The right hand side of the showerhouse was in divided in half. The first half, directly opening to the trough but closed to the other half, was the Scout toilet area. In this area was not only actual toilets, but a urine trough. ANd yes, the urine trough was exactly what it sounded like: a metal trough Scouts peed into. A sign identified this as “Scouts,” or as in 1960 “Campers.”

The other half other right hand side was the Staff/Scoutmaster side. This side was small and very simple. Two sinks (With mirrors!!), shower area with two showerheads (no stalls, just a small room), a toilet, and a urine trough. Done. Oh, and this side had a door.

Compared to every other Boxwell and most other Scout camps at the time, this was revolutionary. Today, it is seen as antiquated at best. Also note that the road to the showerhouse is not even graveled. It is just a plain, dirt road.

So there it is. A showerhouse in the 1960s. See? We cover all decades here!

Showerhouse 1

Camp Parnell’s Showerhouse One in 1960

Remembering the Staff, 2000s

Here is our final installment of “Remembering the Staff.”  Once we get the 2019 staff photos, we’ll upload those to the website.  In the meantime, let’s take a look back at 2009.  Carl Adkins was Reservation director and Steve Belew was the head ranger.  Nat Hudson was in his second year as Program Director at Stahlman as was Program Director Aaron Patten at Craig.  There were a slew of other programs by this point. Running the Boat Harbor was Michael Allen, at COPE Kyle Duckworth, at the pool John Kasper, and at the NRA Light Rifle Program was Pat “Old Soldier” Deugaw. Oh yeah, there was CubWorld too. Jody Looper was Program Director.

Featured here are the staff photos for Stahlman, Craig, Cubworld, the Pool, and the Administrative Staff.  Enjoy!

Stahlman Staff, 2009

Stahlman Staff, 2009

Craig Staff, 2009

Craig Staff, 2009

Reservation Administrative Staff, 2009

Reservation Administrative Staff, 2009

Pool Staff, 2009

Pool Staff, 2009

From the Archives, July 7, 2019

2014 Reunion: James Akers does the Ham-bone

This weekend marked the 5th anniversary of the last staff reunion, the one in 2014. The 2014 Staff Reunion was the fifth Reunion for Boxwell staff and the best attended. Though to be fair, the attendance likely had something to do with the set up of the Reunion.

Unlike the previous four Staff Reunions (1983, 1989, 1999, 2009), the 2014 Reunion was basically free. The Reunion Staff sought out donors to sponsor the event and were able to bring in enough donations to cover the primary costs of the event. The primary costs were mostly wrapped up in a dinner and a t-shirt. So, if you pre-registered for the event, dinner and a Reunion t-shirt were paid for by sponsors. If you just showed up… well, you had to pay a little.

The 2014 Reunion was slightly different in other ways too, though these differences were likely not all that important to most attendees. The Reunion had an “archiving” component: Danny Waltman manned a audio booth to record camp stories and Michael Seay had a scanning booth to scan old camp photos that people brought with them. The audio booth had a few takers, but the scanning booth quickly had more material to deal with than a one-person operation could handle!

In most important ways though, the 2014 Reunion was very similar to most of the other reunions. It occurred during camp so that old staff members could visit program areas and stomping grounds as well as take their families to camp activity areas, like the waterfront. There was a dining hall program and group photos. The Reunion also concluded with a meal, awards, and a campfire. In short, it was a lot like the camp experience, except condensed into a much smaller window!

This week’s photo is a highlight from the event. At the end of the dinner program, James Akers, son of the late Ward Akers, climbed up on a table and “ham-boned,” a skill he had learned from Ike Davis, the African-American cook at Rock Island Boxwell. You can’t make up those kind of moments.

[If you’re a former staff member, start tracking down your old staff friends. Work for 2021 Centennial Reunion is about to begin!]

James Akers

James Akers, son of Ward Akers, performs the ham-bone at Craig dining hall for the 2014 Reunion.

Boxwell Day, 2019

Happy Boxwell Day!

On July 5, 1921 the VERY FIRST Boxwell opened in Linton, TN.

A truck picked up Scouts going to camp at the intersection of the Belle Meade and Harding Road at 10am and 4:30pm.  Camp only ran for about three weeks at the time and cost less than $6 a week!

We are hoping to start a new tradition, not just here at VirtualBoxwell, but across Middle Tennessee Council by celebrating BOXWELL DAY–a day commemorating the opening of the first Boxwell.

To that end, we ask for two things from you:
1) Share this message far and wide.  If you use social media, share the post.  If you are looking on the website, share the link.  Spread the word so that everyone knows this is a new Middle Tennessee Council holiday!
2) Take this opportunity to share your favorite Boxwell stories in the comments AND, if you are staff member, contact an old friend and reminisce about years gone by!

Thank you to all the professionals, volunteers and staff members who have worked for almost 100 years to keep Boxwell alive and flourishing!

Happy Boxwell Day everyone!

Boxwell Day

Happy Boxwell Day! Leslie G. Boxwell surrounded by the four camps bearing his name. Boxwell was located at Linton, TN, the Narrows of the Harpeth, Rock Island, and Old Hickory Lake.