As we discussed back in 2014, the Scouting legend William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt came to Boxwell to stay for awhile. The article though looks at Hillcourt’s history and even gives some explanation of his involvement with the Scout Handbook and how writing the 9th Edition brought him out of retirement.
Harwell Wells, “Despite His Age, He’s Still into Scouting,” The Tennessean, June 19, 1986, pgs. B1 and B2.
In honor of the passing of Claus “Dutch” Mann, we thought we would do something a wee bit different today. The very first interview we ever conducted for preserving Boxwell’s history was with Dutch in 1996. Fortunately, one small story he shared connects with this month’s theme of camp vehicles.
Some background first. In 1971, Boxwell and camps around the nation moved to what was known as “the Commissioner System.” Program Areas were basically done away with and camp was divided into a clusters, each with a set of Camp Commissioners. Each Commissioner staff took over the duties of the previous program areas, save the Waterfront. In other words, the duties of Activity Yard, Con Yard, Handicraft, Field Spots, and site leader were all rolled up in each commissioner staff, of which there were five.
At Stahlman in 1971, Kerry Parker, Jerry Barnett, and Dutch Mann were three of the five Camp Commissioners leading commissioner staffs. They decided to have a little fun with the job by utilizing one of the MANY military screen vehicles found at the compound at the time. As Dutch briefly explained in 1996…
“We had an old Army staff car that in the compound we decided that Jerry Barnett and Kerry and I decided to get dressed up like Generals and for flag formation we, we pulled up, we had a driver and we pulled up, we made like we were 3 generals and called everybody to attention and we had a swagger sticks and we had inspections of the ranks and so everybody was dressed. We chewed a few guys out and we had a lot of fun with that and then after the inspection why then we had the flag lowering. We had a lot of fun with that command car.”
The VirtualBoxwell team is sad to report that Claus ‘Dutch’ Mann passed away today. Visitation and funeral service information can be found here: http://www.nealtarpleyparchman.com/tributes/Claus-Mann.
Dutch joined the Stahlman staff in 1964 as the range officer, where he stayed for several years. He became a Stahlman Commissioner when the reservation moved to the Commissioner system in 1971. It was at this time that Dutch started the Boxwell Gizmo (yes, that Gizmo). He moved to Camp Parnell and ran Field Sports for several years in the 1970s. IN 1976, when the Great Staff Walk Out occurred, Dutch was one the men who walked out, though he came back several days later. Dutch spent most of the rest of his tenure as a Craig-Parnell staff member, mostly as Handicraft Director in his later years, but he did spend on summer in the 1980s back at Stahlman as Activity Yard Director. He was part of the group that orchestrated the first staff reunion in 1983. Dutch’s last summer was 1996, though he remained connected to the camp, carving the awards for the 2014 Staff Reunion. Dutch remained active before finally succumbing to cancer this year.
Claus Mann, age 93, of Clarksville, passed away Saturday, March 25, 2017, at Brookdale of Clarksville.
Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, March 29, at 11:00 AM, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Williamson Memorial Gardens, in Franklin, TN, where full military honors will be rendered. Visitation will be Tuesday, March 28, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, at Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home, with a Celebration of Life following at 7:00, and Wednesday, March 29, from 9:30 AM until the hour of service, at the church.
Arrangements are entrusted to Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home, 1510 Madison Street, Clarksville, TN 37040; (931) 645-6488. Online condolences may be made at www.nealtarpleyparchman.com.
It would be impossible to discuss work vehicles at Boxwell without talking about tractors. In the early years, tractors were just for mowing. Staff/Summer camp work was done the trucks. About 1975, the trucks were replaced with tractors as the work horses of the reservation.
There have been a number of tractors available to the staff. There was a big John Deere in the 1970s and through the 1980s. There was also a Massey-Ferguson for much of this time. After Tom Chaffin killed the Deere by running it into a tree in 1990, another Massey Ferguson was purchased. Throughout the 1990s (and beyond), these two tractors carried the workload. About 1997, an International (which had been reserved only for the rangers) was added to the mix. In more recent years, a Ford has been added in and the Masseys retired.
IN the photo here, we can see the Massey Ferguson 150 and the International tractor, both being used by Stahlman staff. The roll bars were added in the mid-1990s. We’re not sure what exactly is happening here, but luggage run in the most likely activity. Still, we’d like to believe this is the start of a high speed tractor race!
A potential tractor race between the Massey 150 and the International? We hope so!