The Development Plan for Boxwell Reservation
Have you ever wondered what the original development plan for Boxwell Reservation was? We all know that Boxwell today is not QUITE how the reservation was originally planned, but what was going to be different?
The map attached is the original working plan for Boxwell. As you can tell, the map is early enough in the process where only the land secured through the Corps of Engineers is identified. The land in between would be purchased through Ward Akers’ efforts before Boxwell opened for camping in 1959.
There are a variety of differences in the early Boxwell. For instance, #18 notes where the original Camp Chapel was going to go… nowhere near Don Stafford Chapel today. Note also how what will become Stahlman sprawls along the waterline.
Also of interest is that you can see quite clearly that would be a third Scout resident camp–what today we know of as Camp Craig–was planned from the very beginning. Its location was a bit different, but Akers was thinking about it from the very beginning.
Take a good look at the map and the key. We’ve kept the original dimensions so you can really see it. This is a fascinating view of what could have been!
The original development plan for Boxwell Reservation, late 1950s.
As we approach summer camp 2016, it seems like an appropriate time to start gearing up for the new summer! So, the next week or two will be about reminding us of some recent history.
With that in mind, below is a photo from Craig 2015 by Meredith Maguirk, the camp photographer. A little cross-dressing has long been a part of Boxwell skits, especially with Camp Craig’s stage. Our best guess is this a Gizmo skit, but we would love some clarification.
So, who are the people and what is going on here?
Two unknown Craig Staff members in “grass” skirts and plastic coconut bras.
The Transformation of Camp Light
Part of the original development of Boxwell Reservation, Camp Light has existed since 1960. For anyone who has roamed around the area, it is clear that the camp was originally going to be a working camp. Fire roads were cut as was a cul-de-sac for a dining hall. There are even rumors that slabs were laid down for a waterfront in the area between Duck Head and Fehrmann. However, the monies for the complete development of Light never materialized.
However, by 2004, the finances had been secured for development of a pool and construction was well underway at Camp Light. This was an important development. Not only did the pool mean a shift in the way aquatics related activities would take occur on the reservation, it was also the final step in the transformation of Camp Light. COPE had been at Light for 20 years and the shotgun range for 15. The John Parish High Adventure Center was built in 2002, allowing outside groups to better utilize COPE. The arrival of the pool led this part of Boxwell to complete its transformation into the High Adventure Area. All that remained was a gateway to introduce the area; this would come in 2005 with the Josh Sain High Adventure Gateway.
Pictured here is the construction of the pool in March 2004.
The construction of the Camp Light Pool (officially the DeBartolo Swimming Pool) in March, 2004.
We’ll be taking a break from the Unknowns game when camp starts up, but for now, we thought a “fun” photo might be worth a look.
By 2004, the Boxwell pool was open and as you can imagine, it was a hit with the staff. This photo from Jeremy Gillard is one of a series of photos of Staff Pool Party on July 5, 2004.
So, the questions for this week are: who is this person and what camp did he work?
If popular, we’ll do some more next week!
An unknown staff member at the Pool Staff Party in July 2004.
Going to Camp in the 1920s
The first Boxwell remains something of a mystery to us. We know (more or less) where it was and from Creighton’s _Boys Will Be Men_ we have some general information, totalling about four pages of text and about half of this is background for creating the camp.
Still, we do know that this camp worked differently than modern Boxwell. One of the major differences was that Scouts and troops did not all come under their own power on Sunday afternoons. For decades at Old Hickory Boxwell, parents and leaders ferry their Scouts out to Boxwell and drop them off, beginning the check-in process. At Linton Boxwell, most Scouts came by a Council provided truck!
This photo is from the _Nashville Banner_, September 1929. The caption simply reads, “Boys from all the sections except those near Linton went to camp in this big truck. All aboard, let’s go!” Creighton explains further: “After planning camp throughout the spring and counting the days until it began, scouts rattled in streetcars out to the juncture of Harding Road and Bellemeade Boulevard in West Nashville, where they met John Holmes with a truckload of weary campers and their paraphenalia headed home. The returning group crawled down from the truck and the new group clamored up, then waited. Coach Anderson always rode in the trcuk and his secretary met him so he could take care of the previous week’s mail and paperwork” (51).
Given the transportation and the dress of the riders, going to camp in the 1920s was a very different experience!
Special Thanks to the staff at the Nashville Public Library for providing the image.
Scouts went to Boxwell by truck in the 1920s and 1930s.