From the Archives June 17, 2018

Some Camp Stories I

A few months ago, I solicited former staff members for some information about their time on staff. Now that camp is up and running, it seems like a good time to publish a few of those!

From Rick Ehler, Stahlman, 1974, 1975, 1985; Boat Harbor, 1995-1998, 2009-2016
“When the boat harbor reopened in 1995 we lived in tents down at the harbor. We would adopt stray cats to stay with us to help with the raccoon problem. Every night one of the cats that have become extremely fond of me would jump on my bed and sleep next to me. One evening I felt the cat, jump on the bed around one or two o’clock in the morning. After shifting in my sleeping bag I realized that what had jumped on my bed was not a cat but a raccoon. I quickly grabbed my flashlight and a tennis shoe and scared the raccoon off.”

From Walter Person, Stahlman Waterfront, 1996 to Present
“June 1999 Jeremy McCraw was the water front Dir at Stahlman. Swim checks were taking place on a Friday morning for the staff. “Remo” came down in jeans and shirt. Jeremy said, “you can’t take the swim test in jeans.” Remo said OK and ripped his jeans and shirt off. Mccraw said not in your White tides. As Remo walked toward the water, Remo said, “OK as he ripped his undies off and proceeded to the water with his Birthday suit on as Jeremy SCREAMED NO YOU CANT TAKE A SWIM TEST TODAY AT ALL!!! BOY WERE WE LAUGHING!”

Remembering the Staff, 1960s

We continue our look at past staffs this week by looking at the 1960s.  Unfortunately, we have no staff photo for either Stahlman or Parnell for 1968. Murrey never did “staff photos” and Craig and Cubworld were still years in the future.  Ward Akers was still Council Executive, Bruce Atkins was Reservation Director, and Bobby Smith was the head ranger.  At the camps, Jimmy Joe Jackson was Program Director, while Richard Graves and Tom Parker shared the job at Stahlman.

So, since we don’t have any staff photos for you, we thought we’d go for the most mundane image we could find.  We give you the Camp Office, 1960s style.


The camp office before the 1972 Capital Development campaign.

From the Archives, June 10, 2018

The Sunday Night Campfire

Week 1 of the 2018 Summer Camp season starts today. Thus, we felt like the best way to kick-off the summer would be to look at the Sunday Night Campfire.

The Sunday Night Campfire has been part of Boxwell since the Rock Island Boxwell. This has traditionally been a kick-off campfire. Scouts are introduced to the high-octane energy of camp as well as some of the procedures and history. In theory, the collection of songs and skits of Sunday night set a tone, exciting Scouts for the week ahead.

And there’s a REALLY big fire.

Seen here is a Stahlman Sunday night campfire, specifically from 2004. The image is just of the fire itself, but let’s be honest–an impressive fire on Sunday night sets the stage for a great week. At least, as staff, that’s what we like to think. 🙂

Share your favorite Sunday night campfire skits, songs, or cheers in the comments.

Sunday Night Campfire

Stahlman’s Sunday Night Campfire, 2004.

Remembering the Staff, 1950s

Camp has begun, so it is time to revisit our “Remembering the Staff” series.  Every week while summer camp is going on, we will make a post showcasing the staff of different decades.  Remember, of course, that you can find all of the staff photos here:

So, following tradition, this first week focuses the Rock Island staff.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a Rock Island Staff photo for 1958.  In fact, we don’t have any Rock Island staff photos past 1955! This year, we’ll provide you with a 1958 bulletin from Camp Director Richard Parker about upcoming camp season.  You’ll note from the Staff Week date that things have changed much in the last 60 years. From the collection of Bob Alley.

1958 Rock Island

Letter from Camp Director Richard Parker to hist 1958 staff

From the Archives, June 3, 2018

Stahlman Activity Yard Entrance, 1960s

Staff Week for 2018 begins today. For those of us who have been staff members in the past, this week is both incredibly fun and an intense amount of hard work. In my interviews, a theme that often comes up is how surprised new staff members are by Staff Week. They’d never worked like that before!

Of course, that hard work from staff week bears fruit. Songs are learned, sites are prepared, tarps are hung, and program areas are prepared. By the end of the week, camp is ready to go; program is ready to begin.

And so, this week, a simple photo. Here is the entrance to Stahlman’s Activity Yard sometime in the 1960s. Unlike many other program areas, Stahlman’s AY has been in the same location since the opening of the Reservation in 1960. The smaller signs list merit badges and skills taught here. On the left, Pioneering, Camping, Cooking, and Signaling. On the right, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, and Hiking. ANd yes, the “Activity Yard” clearly began life as the “Activities Yard.”

Stahlman AY

The entrance to the Stahlman Activities area, sometime in the 1960s.