The Passing of Al Hendrickson

The VirtualBoxwell Team is sad to report the passing of Al Hendrickson on Monday, July 28, 2014.  Al was a critical component in the development of Boxwell’s COPE program, serving on COPE from 1986 to 1989.  He was also an active member in the Brownsea program. The COPE tower at Boxwell is named for Al.  Below is his obituary from the Hermitage Funeral Home and Gardens. 


Alvin Eugene Hendrickson

Hermitage, TN

Age 86, passed away July 28, 2014. He was born August 11, 1927 in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

Alvin served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War. He was in the Army, Navy and Air Force, before retiring from the Tennessee Air National Guard for a total of 40 years in the U.S. Military. He was a member of the Shriner’s and Masons for a number of years. He also served many of his retired years as a Boy Scout Master and dedicated numerous hours to Camp Boxwell, where he organized and designed the C.O.P.E. course, the repelling tower, and participated in multiple camporees. He helped many young men become Eagle Scouts. Alvin was a member of Faith Methodist Church, where he has served as Sunday School Superintendent and on the church board. He was loved by many and will be missed by all who knew him.

Preceded in death by parents, John and Julia Bylund Hendrickson; sister, Joyce Wilson; son, Michael Hendrickson. Survived by his wife of almost 52 years, Pauline Reed Hendrickson; children, Valerie McGuire (Gary), Alnita Baggett (Kevin), Brenda Dannel (Leroy) and Lori Brooks; daughter-in-law, Joy Hendrickson; grandchildren, Julia, Grace and Alison McGuire, Rhiannon Baggett, James Fox, Paul and Jeff Jewell, Lynnette Chance, Angie Orange and Amy Connell; 15 great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at the Hermitage Funeral Home, with Dr. Charles Worrell, Sr., with a Military Burial to follow in the Hermitage Memorial Gardens. Visitation with the family will be held Tuesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., and 2 hours prior to the service at the funeral home.

Thank you to Mr. Randy and the staff at the Hermitage Chick-Fil-A, where Alvin was a regular customer with Pauline, for the sandwiches, shakes, and love shown during his last years.

Special thanks to the staff and nurses at Avalon Hospice and Donelson Place for the kindness and loving care shown to Alvin.

From the Archives, July 27, 2014

Mattresses in the Compound?

Everyone who has worked Boxwell Staff is VERY familiar with the joys of cots and mattresses.  However, those who have worked in the last twenty years or so are familiar only with foam mattresses.  From the opening of Boxwell in 1960 until about 1994 or 1995, all of the mattresses at Boxwell were cotton.

The photo here shows Skip Marlin of the 1970 Boat Harbor staff on top of two boats being turned into the compound at the end of the summer.  What can be see quite clearly behind Skip are stacks upon stacks of cotton mattresses stored in the first bay of this compound shed.  For years–indeed decades–some mattresses were always stored up in the compound.

Cotton mattresses were a different beast than foam mattresses.  They were heavy and prone to mildew and mice.  Throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, when the staff put out mattresses, they also covered those mattresses in sacks, lovingly referred to as “fart sacks.”  By the 1980s and early 1990s, mattresses were primarily stored in the dining halls during the off season. As you can imagine, this cut down on infestation pretty dramatically!

Skip Marlin, Compound

Pictured here is Skip Marlin of the “Ski Dock” staff, returning boats to the compound at the end of the summer. What matters for our story though are the huge stack of mattresses in the background!

Website updates, July 2014

Because of the 2014 Boxwell Staff Reunion we have run across some real jewels in terms of staff photos.  While we are still processing the immense load of photos, we have run across a couple that have allowed us to update some history on!

Specifically, we have the opportunity to now post the 1954 Rock Island Staff photo.  This comes to us from Bob Alley, who worked at Rock Island from 1954 to 1958 and then at Old Hickory Boxwell in 1960.  We can also post the 1970 Boat Harbor Staff photo.  This is from the newly acquired collection of Joe Butt, who served on Boxwell staff from 1966 to 1971, including runs at Camp Murrey and the Boat Harbor (then known as the “Ski Dock”).

Check out the new photos at the links below:
Rock Island Staff Photos:
Reservation Staff Photos:

From the Archives, July 20, 2014

Ittabenna…Akers Cabin… Fehrmann Training Center… So Many Names!

The 2014 Staff Reunion brought forth literally a deluge of photos!  Our scanner, Michael Seay, couldn’t even get all the photos scanned! He worked through the Reunion dinner and then took MANY photos home to make sure it all got done.  The results are amazing! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be showcasing some of the results of the 2014 Reunion Archiving Project!

Our showcase starts off with a photo from James Akers, son of the indominable Ward Akers.  James Akers’ photos are of the construction of Akers Cabin. For those of you who worked in the 1960s and 1970s, you probably referred to the cabin as Ittabeena, as in “It would have been…”  Those who worked in the 1980s and 1990s referred to this location as Akers’ Cabin.  More recent generations have referred to the cabin and its renovations as the Fehrmann Training Center.

Regardless of the name, the photo here shows the original renovation of cabin in 1967.  Many of you may remember that during the summer, not only did Akers stay in the renovated cabin as a summer home, but E. B. Stahlman and other big camp names summered here in nearby trailers!  This photo shows Head Ranger Bobby Smith and an unknown other surveying renovation on this permanent fixture of Boxwell’s landscape!

Ittabeena Development

The FIRST renovation of Akers’ cabin. Known as Akers’ Cabin, Ittabeena, and the Fehrmann Training Center, this cabin has long been a critical location for Boxwell’s Summer Camp Program

From the Archives, July 13, 2014

The Travis/Adkins Aquatics Support Center

Summer Camp 2014 is over now.  There are still a few events that will take place at the Reservation, but the weeks of Scout Resident Camp are over and this staff will exist no more.  Another one for the history books!

In case you missed it, we wanted to showcase one of the newest additions to Boxwell. You may have missed it as it is a little hidden!  Located behind the sewer plant at Camp Stahlman, the Travis/Adkins Aquatics Support Center was built in the Fall of 2013 and used for the first time this summer.

What exactly is this building?  Essentially, it is a Boat Harbor Maintenance and Storage center.  There are three buildings in this fenced area.  One is clearly a storage area, while the other two are garages that can be used for repair or even teaching areas.  The Aquatics Support Center was funded by a donation from Phil Pfeffer, for whom the Boat Harbor itself is named for.

Boat Harbor Maintenance 1

The Emblem on the new Support Center for the Pfeffer Boat Harbor

Boat Harbor Maintenance 2

The Travis-Adkins Aquatics Support Center, located between CubWorld and the Sewer Plant. It was funded by monies donated by Phil Pfeffer.