The Evolution of COPE, Part V
It should be no surprise that COPE had become not only an incredibly strong program at Boxwell, but a cornerstone of the offerings at the reservation. It seems only logical then that as COPE updated its course and the challenges presented there that the inherent fun of COPE expand outside the official COPE boundaries.
Completed before the start of spring 2013, the Boxwell Zipline was the not only the newest edition to the reservation, but a “teaser” of sorts to what COPE offered. The zipline stretched through the forested area from the Health Lodge, down between Camp Parnell and the High Adventure Area (Camp Light), where COPE is located. The zipline though is not your typical one line stretch. Instead it spans several platforms in the trees!
Built by former Boxwell COPE alumni, most notably Lance Ussery and Bo Collier, the Zipline demonstrates COPE’s ability to challenges Scouts to engage in new adventures!
The Entrance to the new Boxwell Zipline, located between Camp Parnell and the High Adventure area.
The Evolution of COPE, Part IV
Having grown from humble beginnings in the early 1980s, by the 1990s COPE was an undeniable success. Not only was the program a wonderful draw for older Scouts, but because of the work of leaders such as Lance Ussery, Boxwell’s COPE had become an example to Council Scout Camps across the nation.
Unlike other programs at Boxwell, COPE had the unique ability to be marketable to those outside of Scouting. The program’s emphasis on team-building and trust between colleagues and participants made it attractive not only to Scout troops, but also to non-Scouting groups. Thus, by the late 1990s, Corporate COPE had become a thriving program for the Council. Under Corporate COPE, not only could Scout troops come participate in the COPE program in the off-season, but so could businesses looking to develop their leadership team.
To that end, in the early 2000s, a High Adventure Shelter was built at Boxwell in 2002. While technically not part of COPE proper, the John L. Parish High Adventure Center was designed to serve those groups participating in Corporate COPE activities. With a kitchen, a meeting area, and multiple rooms with bunk beds for those staying overnight, the High Adventure Center was the perfect complement for the Corporate COPE program.
The John L. Parish, Sr. High Adventure Center, the hub for Corporate COPE activities, 2002.
The John L. Parish, Sr. High Adventure Center from behind. Camp Light, Boxwell Reservation, 2002.
The Evolution of COPE, Part III
By the time the early 1990s rolled around, COPE was a thriving and growing program. Not only did COPE have a strong summer camp program, but it expanded into what has become known as “Corporate COPE.” In Corporate COPE, outside (non-Scouting organizations) could pay a fee and come participate in team-building exercises at Boxwell
This level of activity required some updated facilities. By 1992, a new COPE Tower (officially christened the “Al Henderickson COPE Tower) was funded by Bill Walker and opened for use. The tallest structure in Wilson County at 70 feet, the “new” COPE tower has become an icon of the reservation, just like the Cripple Crab.
The photo included here is a little unorthodox. While there are plenty of photos of the tower itself, there are very few photos FROM the tower. This photo is part of our General Collection and shows the view from COPE tower in the mid-1990s.
A rare view of the Reservation from the top of COPE Tower, the tallest structure in Wilson Co. for over 20 years.
The Evolution of COPE, Part II
“A great search for adventure is really at Boxwell for 14 and older Scouts with this program called Boxwell COPE: Challenging Outdoor Physical Encounters. A course of events to give Scouts fun and excitement at ground and just really just great excitement up in the trees. Climn in a giant’s Ladder, a cargo net, walking a log 35 feet high, and traversing a Burma bridge to a platform, then a slide for a life. A great week with fellow scouts.”
Obviously, by 1987, just a few years into the program, COPE had become a major selling point, given its own special promotional segement in the 1987 promotional video. The text above is from this video and highlights the quick growth COPE was enjoying. With the Boat Harbor having closed in 1976, this was the first high adventure program for older Scouts Boxwell had provided in many years!
The still pictured here is from the 1987 promotional video. It aligned with the “walking a log 35 feet high” portion of the text.
A still from the 1987 Boxwell Promotional video. These short films were used to promote Boxwell to troops to increase attendance.
Here’s an article on the reunion that ran in today’s Lebanon Democrat.