Summer camp is approaching and thus it is time to change the banner! The new banner is above, but the original is below. The original photograph is by Russell Parham in 1989.
The photos from Christ “Kit” Eckert are some of the best quality we have, but apparently trying to remember some of these people is just reaching back too far!
Still, we want to wrap up the month with one more attempt. We’re stubborn like that!
Parnell, 1970. Two staff members sawing in the Activity Yard, located at the time between the dining hall and Showerhouse 2. The staff member on the left is Joe Tomasso. Who is the staff member on the right?
Boxwell Greats: Harry William “Beany” Elam
One of the names most staff members will be familiar with, but actually know nothing about, is Harry W. “Beany” Elam. Most know (or at least surmise) he was related somehow to WoodBadge, as Camp “Beany” Elam IS the Woodbadge camp, but beyond that little else. As a man who was involved in Middle Tennessee Scouting for over five decades, we can hardly hope to give a full biography here. However, we will try to fill in some holes!
We can find Elam very early in Middle Tennessee Council’s history. The first troop in MTC–Troop 1–was formed in 1916, but quickly lost membership. In 1922, Elam joined the troop and helped revive its membership. With strong Robertson County connections, Elam’s real service was with Troop 144, which he led for 43 years, serving over 1000 Scouts during his tenure, producing over 200 Eagle Scouts.
Of course, it is the Boxwell connection with which we are most interested. When Woodbadge courses began, they were hosted by the National Council at either the national headquarters at Schiff, NJ or at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. According to Wilbur F. Creighton’s _Boys Will Be Men_, the course was held at Rock Island in 1951. From there, “Beany” Elam directed the next six courses by the Middle Tennessee Council, MT-1 through MT-6 (1953-1961). At this point, Woodbadge was a week-long on-site camping course and the Woodbadge camp was located in what is today Site 6 at Camp Craig.
An old story goes says that Elam himself brought wooden shingles from his chicken house and built a bulletin board across the gravel road from where today’s permanent Woodbadge shed is built. This bulletin board was replaced in 1994 and the last Woodbadge held at Camp Beany Elam was MT-46, held in 2001.
Elam was a recipient of the Long Rifle Award and the Silver Beaver. He is shown here in 1975, the year of his death. Elam lived from March 25, 1902 to November 24, 1975. His art, writings, and Scouting memorabilia were on display at the National Museum (at least) as late as 2013.
It seems that the Kit Eckert photos have proven a bit of a challenge for us! Perhaps 1970 just wasn’t a good year to remember staff members! Hopefully this week will be better.
As before, the year is 1970. This time though we take a look at Stahlman’s Kitchen staff. The photo was originally labelled (by us) as “Kitchen Cook,” but the armless staff t-shirt suggests this was a regular youth staff member. In this case, the staff member is opening peaches!
So, any guesses on who this?
Parrish, Parrish and Willhite, Oh my!
The last few weeks we have been showing photos that are related to Boxwell and its leadership, but not on Boxwell directly. We continue that trend this week with an early to mid-1970s photograph of the Elk River SME (Sustaining Membership Enrollment) board.
What makes this photo important for our purposes is who is in the photo. Yes, Tom Willhite is clearly here, back in his days as Field Director for Area IV, but the photo also contains at least one other person of significant note. Standing next to Willhite, first person on the left, is Charles E. Parish. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Rock Island Boxwell is today named the Charles E. Parish Reservation!
It should be noted that this was a promotional photograph by the Council. If you aren’t familiar with “old school” photography, the marks you see in the margin of the photo are “crop marks.” These marks were made by the photographer when the photo was given to local media so that the newspaper would know where it was acceptable to crop the photo for publication.
As there may be other names that strike some of you as familiar, the full list of those in the photo is presented in the caption.