From the Archives, May 25, 2014

Camp Craig, 40th Anniversary, Part IV

It would be impossible to conclude a series on Camp Craig’s creation without at least a brief discussion of Ward Akers.  Akers, the Council Executive from the mid-1950s to 1976, was the man single most responsible for Boxwell at Old Hickory.  Indeed, anyone truly familiar with the history of the camp knows that Akers had the foresight to lay down concrete slabs in Craig’s waterfront area when Boxwell was built in 1959, even though Craig itself did not arrive for another 15 years.  This is what we call vision!

Of course, we should also note on this 40th anniversary that with the possible exception of Camp Murrey–now Gaylord Cubworld–Camp Craig has undergone more change than just about any other camp on the Reservation.  It starts with just 13 sites.  What became site Thirteen was added later and for many years was simply known as “the Outpost” as it was off the upper loop and difficult to get to.  The camp itself used chemical toilets when it began and then moved to pit toilets.  Troops had to dump lye into the pit toilets well into the 1990s to cut down on the smell! New showerhouses were built in the 1980s.  Sites 15 and 16 were added in 1990.  In the 1994 capital development campaign, a new road was added and the Waterfront moved to Duck Head, an area previously out of bounds to program.  By the early 2000s, the washstands were removed and new showerhouses were built.  Sites 17, 18, and 19 were added as well. Craig has had quite the career of change from Akers’ original vision!

Pictured here is Ward Akers himself (left), speaking with patrons at the dedication ceremony on Craig Dining Hall’s veranda.  At the time, the Veranda gave a wonderful view down to the Craig Waterfront and the lake beyond.

Akers, 1974

Here is the visionary behind Boxwell at Old Hickory Lake: Ward Akers. Council Executive for approximately 20 years, Akers was oversaw Boxwell at Rock Island and was the driving force behind building a new camp at the newly created Old Hickory Lake.

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