From the Archives, November 23, 2014

Boxwell Greats: Lance Ussery

Lance Ussery joined the Craig staff in 1982.  He was part of a group that affectionately nicknamed themselves “Jerry’s Kids” after program Director Jerry Barnett.  Lance left staff in 1985 and returned for a brief run in ’86 and ’87.

Serving in the Activity Yard, Lance was known as a bit of wild child. A favorite story from 1986–the one year Barnett was absent–goes something like this (according to Lance himself): “I was known for wearing a bathrobe around the staff site and nothing else. I don’t remember the reason, but David Qualls and I begin wrestling on the ground. I have David pinned and my robe had become untied when that red headed little man [Kerry Parker] walked into the staff site of the activity yard. I don’t remember which week of camp it was but there were campers in camp. Henry Davis is the one who shouted, “Who the hell are you?” and got the response “I’m your program director!”

Lance moved to COPE in 1987, but left after that one summer.  However, it was when Lance returned for his third run that a new legend was born.

Hired on as COPE Director in 1992, Lance ran the COPE course for the next decade, expanding and developing Boxwell’s the High Adventure hub. It was during these years that not only did the physical COPE course expand, but the program expanded as well.  By the late 1990s, Corporate COPE now brought a variety of outside organizations to Boxwell to take part in leadership and group training. Indeed, Lance’s work became recognized around the nation! Lance became the COPE National Camp School Director in 1994 and 1998, served on the COPE National Task force from 1994-1996, and was the coordinator for the Southern Region Area 6’s COPE Inspectors from 1996 to 2002.  (This doesn’t even mention his work on Woodbadge and Brownsea staff, among other leadership trainings!).

Thus, Lance began his own COPE development company, building, inspecting, and maintaining COPE courses around the country, Upper Edge Adventures.  You can see Lance’s most recent contribution to Boxwell at the Boxwell Zipline.  There is undoubtedly more to come!

Ussery & Aldridge

COPE Director Lance Ussery (left) and COPE staff member Jeff Aldridge at a Scoutmaster’s Steak Supper in 1993.

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