Remembering the Staff, 1980s

Remembering the Staff, 1980s
This week we remember the staff from 1986. Unfortunately, we only have a staff photo from the Craig staff for that year.
Nevertheless, 1986 is an interesting year. Generally, the 1980s are considered “The Barnett-Ragsdale Era” because of the long-running Program Directors Jerry Barnett (Parnell/Craig) and Ernie Ragsdale (Stahlman). However, in 1986, neither man was Program Director! At Craig, the Program Director was Kerry Parker; at Stahlman, the Program Director was Harold G. Tracy. Tom Willhite was still Reservation Director.

Craig 1986

The Camp Craig Staff in 1986. Kerry Parker (far right, green shirt, red beard) was Program Director.

From the Archives, June 26, 2016

New for 2016: Parnell STEM

Perhaps the biggest “new to Boxwell” in 2016 is the change at Camp Parnell.  If you haven’t been following, Parnell’s last summer was 1998, which means that camp has basically been dormant for over 15 years!  This year though, that status changed.

This summer Camp Parnell, or more specifically, the dining hall at Camp Parnell, reopened for Scouts.  The dining hall has been re-classified as the Parnell STEM Center.  For those who don’t know, STEM is the newest fad in the world of education and is an acronym for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics.  A STEM emphasis is designed to put training in fields that will most help students compete in 21st century society.  For Scouting, this means the merit badges of Engineering, Digital Technology, Electronics and the like.  (You can find the specifics behind the BSA STEM program here:

So, what does this mean for Parnell?  The Parnell STEM Center is the dining hall transformed into a STEM Merit Badge center.  There are four teaching areas and a conference space. The STEM Center offers merit badges in those mentioned above as well as Robotics and Nuclear Science (and more!).  In many ways, the STEM Center is another way to attract older Scouts to what Scouting has to offer by using a dedicated space for those merit badges, not unlike COPE or the Boat Harbor.  What is different is that  there are computers everywhere!

The photos below give a glimpse of the STEM Center is like.  There are lab coats for the Scouts.  Kits to practice electronics.  Little robots to program.  Desktop Computers as far as the eye can see.  And, of course, Parnell Dining Hall being used again for the first time since the summer of 1998.

STEM Robotics

One of four teaching areas inside Parnell Dining Hall. This one is dedicated to Robotics and Nuclear Science.

STEM Robot

One of the programmable robots that Scouts use at the STEM Center.

STEM Programming

Kerry Parker checking out one of the four teaching areas inside Parnell Dining Hall. This one is dedicated to programming.

Remembering the Staff, 1970s

As we’ve mentioned before, on our Facebook page, we do a weekly “Remembering the Staff” post, but we normally don’t here because we have all the staff photos posted elsewhere.  However, 1976 is just too big a year to NOT comment on!

1976 was a CRITICAL year in the history of Boxwell. Ward Akers was pushed out in 1975 and when he left Reservation Director Ed Human left too. Hershel Tolbert came in as the new Scout Executive and Tom Willhite became the new Reservation Director.
As if this wasn’t exciting enough, 1976 was also the year of the Great Staff Strike. Threatened with the possibility of having a room and board charge taken out of their checks, virtually all of the adult staff walked out hours before camp began. Among the several who walked was Stahlman’s Program Director, Garland Russell. This ended up elevating Russell Parham to Program Director at Stahlman, making him (at that point) the youngest Program Director ever at 21 years old–an anomaly that would continue for another 20 years!
Thus, these photos are of a staff in the midst of some serious growing pains!
Parnell 1976

Parnell Staff, 1976

Stahlman 1976

Stahlman Staff, 1976

From the Archives, June 19, 2016

New for 2016

Just about every summer has something new at Boxwell.  Sometimes it is a big change; sometimes it is something small and subtle.

This week’s photos are quite literally the newest additions to the Archives, added just last week after Staff Week ended.  The two photos–one from Craig and one from Stahlman–both focus on the Archery Range and the “special guests” found there.  For Craig, there is a bear and a cobra.  For Stahlman, a bear, a hog, a turkey, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex!

It is possible these have been used in previous years, but this is the first time we’ve caught the change.  It is an amusing approach to the merit badge!

Craig Archery, 2016

Craig’s Archery Range, 2016. Note the additions present here!

Stahlman, Archery, 2016

Stahlman’s Archery Range, 2016. Note the T-Rex to the right!

From the Archives, June 12, 2016

Taking A Break

We’re going to keep it simple this week.  Staff Week has just ended at Boxwell and Week 1 of Scouts is about to begin.  Thus, this seemed like a good place to just post of photo of staff members after a long day of work.

These are Stahlman staffers, ca. 2000.  Cory Younts is holding the dog, but we aren’t sure who the others are.  Regardless, it is clear a hard day’s work has been completed!

Collection of Roman Reese.


Stahlman staff taking a break at the dining hall.