From the Archives continues its focus on the important names of Boxwell history by going to Camp Parnell this week. Sitting outside the Parnell Cabin sometime in the summer of 1981 is Program Director Jerry Barnett (far left) and Camp Director Larry Green (far right). The staff member in the middle is, sadly, unknown.
Jerry Barnett was Program Director at Parnell and Craig from 1981 to 1992 with one year off in 1986. Often called the Barnett-Ragsdale Years, the 1980s were considered “the Silver Age” of Boxwell as two strong and consistent program directors returned every summer and created capable staffs in their visions. Barnett had served at Stahlman in the 1960s in the Activity Yard and in the 1970s as Kitchen Director and part of the Commissioner Staff.
Larry Green was a long-time professional Scouter, quite possibly one of the longest serving in the Council. Green worked with the ranger staff in his youth before becoming a professional. Once he joined the ranks of the professional staff, he had the unique distinction of being the ONLY person to serve as Camp Director at all three camps: Parnell in 1974 and 1981, Craig in 1982, and then Stahlman in 1992, 2002, and 2003. Green also served as Reservation director in 1996.
L-R: Jerry Barnett, Program Director, unknown Staff member, and Larry Green, Camp Director. Camp Parnell, 1981.
This week’s From the Archives photo hits several big names. A rather large photo, the picture still hangs in the Fehrmann Training Center (formerly Akers’ cabin, aka Ittabeena). While we don’t have an exact date, given the landscape and the condition of the dining hall in the background as well as the presence of these particular players, it is fairly safe to assume this photo was taken in 1960, shortly before camp opened.
So, who are “The Big Four” here? Most all of these men are Boxwell namesakes! From left to right are E. B Stahlman, Jr., R. L Parnell, Ward Akers, and E. E. Murrey. Remember that in 1960, these were the camps. Camp Craig wouldn’t appear for many more years and Camp Light was, of course, just a wilderness camp. There was no pool or COPE or the like there. Thus, this photo captures the big names in one spot for brief moment!
Of course, if you worked during these years, you know that these men continued to come up to camp. Akers’ Cabin (or Ittabeena) had trailers parked nearby where these men would often come to stay. Stahlman stayed more regularly than the others, but they were all there!
Boxwell’s Namesakes. L-R: E.B. Stahlman, Jr., R. L. Parnell, Ward E. Akers, and E. E. Murrey.
It has taken awhile, but VirtualBoxwell is now on Facebook! We hope to create a Staff Alumni community here, so tell your friends and spread the word!
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From The Archives continues to focus on big names from Boxwell’s history. This week we take a look into both Stahlman and Craig’s past with Program Director Ernie Ragsdale.
Ragsdale began his run as a program director at Camp Craig in 1977. Craig had opened in 1973, run for the next two years, and then closed in 1976. From 1976 to 1979, Craig remained open with Ragsdale at its head. In 1979, Stahlman closed and that staff moved to Camp Parnell. In 1980, when Stahlman reopened, Craig closed and the Craig Staff moved there, making Ernie Ragsdale program director at Stahlman. This was the Great Staff Switch and Ragsdale settled into his new camp. He remained Program Director at Stahlman from 1980-1989, with one year off in 1986. His good friend Jim Barr describes Ragsdale as someone who “NEVER had any money,” but was a “Program Director unparrelled [sic] in the history of Boxwell Res.”
Ernie Ragsdale passed away after camp in 1989.
Ernie Ragsdale at Woodbadge training, late 1970s.
Happy New Year to everyone! 2012 was a big year for VirtualBoxwell with our redesign and this new blog. Hopefully, 2013 will bring some surprises as well.
From the Archives is going to focus on Boxwell “celebrities” for the next several weeks. While the Boxwell Primer certainly holds a lot of good information, it is certainly worthwhile to visit some other folks from time to time. We will try to post photos of Boxwell staff members who are or were well known at camp or who still have some sort of tradition surrounding them. If you have suggestions, let us know.
The first “celebrity” is none other than Mrs. Pearl Schleicher. Mrs. Schleicher was the reservation’s cook and dietician from 1962 to 1994. With her husband John and sister Estelle, Mrs. Schleicher was a living legend. Mrs. Schleicher passed away in 2004, but for anyone who worked with her, so embodied Boxwell Reservation.
Mrs. Pearl Schleicher, camp cook, 1962 to 1994.