Remembering the Staff, The 1980s

We’re up to the 1980s now in our Staff Remembrance program.  Unfortunately, we do not have a staff photo for Stahlman in 1987, nor are we sure that such a photo even exists.  However, the program director that summer was Ernie Ragsdale and he led a motley crew: Trent Craig as Commissioner, Jim Barr at the Waterfront, Jim Armstrong in the ConYard, Jack Holt in Field Sports, Web Webster in Handicraft, Mark “Mr. Mushroom” Johnson at Trading Post, and Tom Roussin in Kitchen.

We do have a staff photo for Craig staff in in 1987 (Parnell was closed as part of the two year rotation). The Program Director was Jerry Barnett with Mike Brown in the Activity Yard, Pat Deugaw (known here as “The Kool-Aid Man”–“Old Soldier” would come over a decade later) in Field Sports, Joey Boyd in Handicraft, David Qualls in Trading Post, and Mike “Yard-Ape” Yarbrough in Kitchen.

Craig 87

Camp Craig Staff, 1987

From the Archives, June 25, 2017

Happy Birthday to You!

Now that camp is well under way, it is hard to not think about mealtime program. There are skits and songs, Gizmo, and of course the dreaded “Announcements.”

And then there is the poor unfortunate soul who has his birthday while at camp. This person gets the supreme honor of being surrounded by the staff in close quarters, who begin to serenade the Scout. Then, realizing this was the “wrong song,” the staff shouts “Happy Birthday to You!” repeatedly at the Scout.

Here is that process unfolding at Camp Stahlman in 2004. We don’t know when these “celebrations” began, but imagine they will continue for some time…

Birthday song

A Scout being “serenaded” by staff for his birthday.



Remembering the Staff, The 1970s

The stars really aligned on this one, but in all the wrong ways!  Camp Parnell was closed in 1977 as part of its new rotation with Camp Craig.  Craig and Stahlman were both open, but for neither camp do we have a staff photo.  Either one was not taken or one simply has yet to migrate into our hands.

At Stahlman, the Program Director was Russ Parham and the Camp Director (still a professional then) was Allen Jones.  At Craig, the Program Director was… wait for it… Ernie Ragsdale!  The Camp Director was Don McKinney.

The photo here is of the 1977 Staff Hat patch–the first year of the Tom Willhite staff hats.  Patch from Boyd Williams of Middle Tennessee Council Patches.

1977 Boxwell Staff Hat Patch

1977 Boxwell Staff Hat Patch

From the Archives, June 18, 2017

Parnell Music Department

We recently told you about some of the updates to camp this summer. After a quick visit this week, we found one more that you probably need to know about. The expansion of Parnell continues…

While STEM continues in the Parnell Dining Hall, just down the road at the Trading Post another repurposing is taking place. The Boxwell Music Department is now housed here. As you can tell from the photos, it is fairly simple operation in some ways, but reportedly has had good numbers for the first week.

The centerpiece of the new Music Department is the Artiphon, an electronic instrument that connects to an iPad. From here, the instrument will play virtually any sound. As the instructors told me on Thursday, they had basically finished the merit badge and we’re going to have a big jam session on Friday. There were enough Artiphon’s for everyone.


A demonstration of the Artiphon

Parnell Music

Another view of the repurposed Parnell Trading Post

Parnell Music

The Parnell Trading Post repurposed as the Boxwell Music Department.