From the Archives, June 29, 2014

Home Sweet Home!

Boxwell enters Week 4 this week, a week that historically has been the smallest of the summer season. The reason for this should be obvious: the July Fourth holiday falls this week!

Regardless, VirtualBoxwell continues its march through the decades, this week focusing on the 1990s.  As with our example on family style feeding, this week will also focus on a phenomenon that existed at one point, but doesn’t anymore: Program Area Staff Sites.

Program Area Staff Sites emerged in the mid-1970s, following the big group staff sites in teh 1960s and “Commissioner sites” in the early 1970s.  Staff began to be grouped together by program area.  Thus, Activity Yard stayed together near the Activity Yard program area.  The staff sites obviously including four man and two man tents, but all “living platforms”–tent platforms without any arms.  The living platforms connected all the tent platforms together.  Once covered by tarps, a compact little living unit was created.

Like everything, staff sites had benefits and drawbacks.  On the plus side, it helped build group cohesion and thus competition between areas.  They also kept staff near their program area to help keep an eye on things, particularly important in the case of the Waterfront.  But these benefits were double edged swords.  Staff sites also encouraged clannishness and often kept the staff split by age as the Waterfront stayed at the Waterfront and didn’t have to socialize with the new staff in the Kitchen if they didn’t want to do so. Another drawback: These staff sites had NO electricity!

Program Area Staff sites were replaced by a single group staff site (at each camp) in 2001.  A staff shelter was built and electricity returned to the staff.

Pictured here is the Activity Yard Staff site at Parnell in 1993.  You can see how there are multiple tents together, all facing inward and covered by tarps.

Parnell AY, 1993

The AY Staff Site at Parnell was found in the woods just below Showerhouse 1. Walk over the crosstie bridge and up the path you see here.

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