One of the things about Scouting that has changed over the last 100 years is the intramural athletics dimension of it. Back in the 1910s and 1920s, Scout troops did all the things that Scout troops do today–they went camping and hiking and the like. However, troops also played other troops in baseball and football. A troop was a team and they traveled around the area to play other troops! And, even more interesting, these matches were printed in the newspaper!
“Columbia Scouts Play Locals Saturday,” The Tennessean, October 21, 1921, pg. 10
A Columbia troop plays a Nashville troop in football.
Boxwell Greats: James Johnson
The very first Reservation Director at Boxwell at Old Hickory was, not surprisingly, the LAST Camp Director at Rock Island, a man by the name of James Johnson. He went by the nickname “Foxy” in part because of his red fox-like hair.
To be honest, we don’t know lots about Johnson. He was at Rock Island by 1956 and stayed on at the “new” Boxwell through 1965. Obviously, as the Reservation Director at the new camp, he was responsible for hiring several critical individuals (such as the Schleichers as well as Jimmy Joe Jackson and Chester LeFever) and establishing what would become “Boxwell” for the next several years.
Of course, for younger staff, he was “the boss.” Generally, all accounts seem to be point to Johnson being strict, but fair. Every now at then though, a story bubbles up of Johnson hiding in the bushes across from Parnell Waterfront, keeping an eye on his staff. Perhaps the “foxy” nickname wasn’t about his hair! No one is really sure.
Johnson is pictured here on the far left. It is the only photo of Johnson we have.
James “Foxy” Johnson and unknown others.
Segregated Scout Camps
One of the more interesting–and little discussed–pieces of Council history is that there were segregated camps. According to _Boys Will Be Men_, “the first formal council-sponsored summer camp for black scouts” was in 1943 at the now non-existent Greenwood Park (https://historicnashville.wordpress.com/…/09/greenwood-park/). However, this article from _The Tennessean_ suggests that the Greenwood camp may have opened in June 1944.
The excerpt here is part of an article from June 18, 1944 in a sectioned titled “Happenings Among Colored People.”
An excerpt from a larger section on the African American Boy Scout Camp at Greenwood Park in Nashville.
CubWorld Development, 1994
Capital Campaigns are exciting occassions. They hold the promise of major renovations and upgrades. However, as we have seen previously with both the 1959 and 1972 campaign, things don’t always quite work out as originally planned. The same is true for the 1994 Capital Campaign.
Below is a blueprint for the renovations at Camp Murrey, or, more appropriately, for the development of Gaylord CubWorld. This is one of the 1994 blueprints for CubWorld developed by Grisham, Smith and Partners. Take a close look and you’ll notice some important differences!
There are only eight sites on this map, not the nine that actually exist. The Pirate Ship is in a different location and the parking area is a expanded as well. This Disabled Access Site is site 6, not site 1. There is also an expanded field sports area, including a soccer field, a baseball diamond, and a volleyball court!
But perhaps the most imporant difference here is that in the original plans for CubWorld there is an extensive Family Camp Sites area! Located across from what is the Stahlman Staff Site today and near the Travis-Adkins Boat Harbor Maintenance Area, the family camp area continued the Murrey tradition of family camping. Of course, as the area was to be completely paved, it was definitely a different kind of family camping than had existed previously.
Why did this not materialize? Honestly, we don’t know. It is a question we are currently researching. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating dead-end! Another example of the Boxwell that “could have been”!
A blueprint of the plans for CubWorld, August 1994. Note the changes from the actual CubWorld.
The Death of E. B. Stahlman
One of the nice things about newspapers is that you can find obituaries. Obituaries are a sad reminder of our mortality, but at the same time, they are an excellent way to sum up a person’s life. If you were a person like E. B. Stahlman, you might even get a front page notification that continues further inside the paper!
From the Tennessean, June 13, 1974, pgs 1 and 7.
Tennessean article on the death of E. B. Stahlman, June 13, 1974.