Rock Island Commissary
Though it was the third camp, the Rock Island Boxwell was the first version the camp to have a commissary. Scouts at Linton had walked to a nearby general store for goodies while Scouts at the Narrows mainly benefited from treats being brought in from the outside or made by Walter Whittaker. At Rock Island, a new model emerged.
The Rock Island commissary was located just up the road from the the “dining hall” (the three big tents that made up the eating area). The facility was pretty simple, just a tent and some wooden slats. The tent had electricity to power its ice cream and cola coolers. You could also buy candy here. Indeed, there were no t-shirts or teaching materials sold here, just snacks and treats.
James Akers, one of Ward Akers’ sons, remembers that the Commissary was open all day and the staff–just two or three people–slept in the back of the tent. In fact, as Akers humorously explained, “I worked in the Commissary that was almost NEVER closed. I was in there 7 days a week. It was the only place to get something to eat that was “fun” and bad for you. It was there that I got addicted to Dr. Pepper. I still drink it. (Diet now, of course.)”