While we have covered this in the Stories and Legends section of the Primer, we felt like this particular story required another visit–with a limit more detail.
For those of you who don’t know, there has long been a story passed down through the years that behind the compound there are several cars buried. It seems outrageous to even consider, but as it turns out, the story is true. In an interview in September 2002, Tom Willhite explains how this could be.
“Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, you could get equipment at Ft. Campbell. You could get sedans. When I first started in Scouting in 1964, the council had a bunch of ’56 Chevrolets that were passed down from one DE to another. You know, they were Army surplus and [the Council] would get ‘em. They’d be in good shape. Didn’t have a whole lot of miles on ‘em. Old ’56 Chevrolet. They were not air conditioned, but one DE would sell it to another DE for a hundred bucks and the title was in the Middle Tennessee Council. So, we’d use it; I used one when I first started in Scouting in ’66, or ’64. I had a ’56 Sedan I used for a while until we started using lease cars… Eventually, all the old cars, we quit using ‘em. We would take ‘em behind the compound and park ‘em. Take parts off of ‘em, sell to people, parts off of ‘em…
“So, when I get there [as Reservation Director] in ’76, along in ’77 or ’78, I decide to start getting rid of that junk. So I sold [the junk] to a guy, with the Scout Executives’ permission, for $4000. He worked on [the pile of junk] for months, getting it out of there and finally he said, I don’t want no more of it. So, I sold [the junk] again to another guy for fifteen hundred dollars. And he got all he wanted. Oldman Construction company was always doing bulldozer work for us. So, we brought a bulldozer in, dug a big hole, smashed all those things and pushed them in the hole and buried them. All that stuff is buried behind the compound.”
The photo here is by Michael Seay. It is an aerial of the compound (and the back of Woodbadge) taken in 1978. You can see the road down to the dump (the large cleared area near Woodbadge Pond). The cars were buried up closer to the compound itself.