From the Archives, March 29, 2020

Elizabeth Jackson

Two nights ago, we reported on the passing of Elizabeth Jackson. Thus, we thought this might be a good time to give a little information on here. In a period when “feminism” was either unheard of or a bit of dirty word in Scouting circles, Jackson was a program director at Boxwell.

Kathy Howard, the Murrey waterfront director, described Jackson a short and stocky, very physically fit, with short blonde hair. Well into her 30s and early 40s at the tiem, she was still a swimmer too. Vivian Connelly recalled getting to know Elizabeth well the summer she stayed at Murrey when her husband Ken was camp director at Parnell. According to Connelly, Jackson was liked by everyone, was very outgoing and very fair. She was the type of manager who ran things so smoothly, no one even realized anyone was in charge. Things just got taken care of. Jackson made it happen.

As for Elizabeth herself, we caught a bit of her on tape when interviewing Jimmy Joe Jackson in 2002. “I remember lots of things about Boy Scout camp,” she recalled. “I loved Boy Scout camp. I loved Boy Scout camp because there were not telephones down on Murrey side. There were no telephones. We had campfires at night time down there, out in the middle and all of us would come down out of tents, our four man tents and the two man tents on the side of them and talk. And we’d talk and we’d have more fun down there.”

In terms of photos, we only have one contemporary image of Jackson from her last summer at Boxwell, 1970. We posted the story three years ago. Here is the link, but the photo is reported here. Elizabeth was the blonde woman in the passenger seat.

Humans, Jeep, 1970

The Human Sisters in the Boxwell Jeep with Audry Manis and Elizabeth Jackson outside the Cripple Crab, summer 1970

The Passing of Elizabeth Jackson

We learned today of the passing of Elizabeth Jackson, longtime program director at Camp Murrey (ca. 1963- ca. 1970), wife of Parnell Program Director Jimmy Joe Jackson, and mother of staff member Larry Jackson.  She passed in October of 2019. The following is the obituary from the

Elizabeth Ann Wolff Jackson
NASHVILLE, TN — Age 92, Elizabeth Ann Wolff Jackson, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister, entered into eternal peace on October 18, 2019 while surrounded by her loving family. She is survived by her daughter, Cathy Ellen Jackson Turner and husband, Rick; granddaughter, Lacy Ann Turner Huddleston and husband, Jarrod; great-grandson, Landon Jackson Huddleston; nephew, Edward Louis Tumlin and wife, Mary Lynn; nieces, Cynthia Ann Tumlin and Victoria Jackson Bridges. She was preced¬ed in death by her husband, Coach Jimmy Joe Jackson; loving son, Larry Stewart Jackson; and sister, Eleonora Catherine Tumlin. Mrs. Jackson was born in Irvine, Kentucky on March 14, 1927 to the late Louis Edward and Lettie Stevens Wolff. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervi¬sion from Middle Tennessee State University. Mrs. Jackson worked in education for over 35 years to positively impact children’s lives. She taught at Turner Elementary School and Napier Elementary School before advancing into Administration at Cole Elementary, Donelson Elementary and Jo¬elton Middle Schools. She concluded her career in Education as a Middle School Director with Metro Nashville Public Schools. While her family and public education were her passions, Mrs. Jackson was an active member in her community. As a follower of Christ, she was a member of Wood¬bine United Methodist Church, and later attended Trinity United Methodist Church and led in many church activities. Elizabeth Ann volunteered with Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cathy’s Dance Studio and was a member of Franklin Garden Club. Family and friends will serve as Pallbearers with Mrs. Jackson’s caregivers serving as Honorary Pallbearers. Family and friends will assemble for a graveside service to be conducted on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Woodlawn Me¬morial Park (Park View section on the south side of Thompson Lane). Woodbine Funeral Home, Hickory Chapel, 615-331-1952.


Council Centennial, March 25, 2020

“Boys Day”

Early Scouting had an intense emphasis on citizenship. While today, we might see this in flag ceremonies or the pledge or simply completing the Citizenship series merit badges, Scouts in the ’20s and ’30s took this responsibility much more seriously. Scouting was about training boys to be responsible citizens in the nation and that meant getting real life practice.

One of the most overt ways this was done was with something called “Boys’ Day.” For a number of years, high achieving Scouts “took over” government for a day (well, an hour). This could be state government or local government or pieces of both. Boys’ Day meant Scouts in the role of Governor, adjutant general, and treasurer.

Creighton and Johnson outline this event as the culmination of a “Boys’ Week” begun in 1922. The week was generally held the first week of May, there were a variety of themed day, such as Boys Day in Industry and Boys Day in Church. The taking over of government offices was the capstone event, preceded by a parade of Scouts through town. For many years, there was a poster contest too, with the results displayed in shop windows.

By the early 1940s, Boys Week had become Youth Week, culminated in a Citizenship Day. Both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts participated. The practice seemed to have died out after about 1946, but that meant this was a hallmark event in Nashville for a solid quarter century.

Image from _Nashville Tennessean_ April 27, 1924. Caption reads “Nashville, among several hundred cities and towns in the United States, now begins observance of Boys’ Week, an annual event under the auspices of Rotary International.”

Boys Week

Cartoon from _Nashville Tennessean_ April 27, 1924

“Youthful Governor Finds Job Easier than Horton Does as Boys Rule State for Hour,” _Nashville Tennessean_, May 6, 1932, pg. 22
“Scouts to Offer Services to Governor, Mayor,” _Nashville Tennessean_ February 13, 1931, pg. 16
Leland Johnson and Wilbur Creighton, _Boys Will Be Men__, Middle Tennessee Council: Nashville, Tennessee, 1983, pgs. 76-77
“Boys and Girls Take Over Rule for Day with ‘Wise, Iron Hands,” _Nashville Tennessean_, May 1, 1942, pg. 10
“Scouts To Take Over Public Offices Today,” _Nashville Tennessean_, May 3, 1946, pg. 48

From the Archives, March 22, 2020

Parnell Lunchtime, 1985

Two incredibly mundane photos this week, except they aren’t! Today, Parnell dining hall has been transformed into the Reservation’s STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) Center. This means the floor space is partitioned into large cubicles, or teaching areas, for Robotics and Electricity and the like. It’s impressive, but it is a wild re-engineering of the space.

Originally, Parnell Dining Hall was… well, a dining hall. It was a wide open space and people ate meals there. And people ate meals there from 1960 until 1998, when Parnell closed. In the off season, the dining hall was used as a storage facility, mostly for cots and mattresses.

Shown here is the Parnell Dining Hall in 1985. The building is still is good shape and still being used for its intended function. Still, it is in a bit of a hybrid state. By 1985, the entire reservation has moved to cafeteria style feeding (trays), but the square tables are relics of the monitor-host (family style) system. Still, as long as the pitcher for bug juice was filled and the program was entertaining, it is doubtful most Scouts–or even staff–were aware of or even cared about the changes.

Parnell lunch

Parnell Dining hall at lunch time, 1985

Parnell 1985

Parnell Dining Hall at lunch time, 1985

From the Archives, March 15, 2020

Parham and Schleichers

There is often no explaining why it is people took photos of the things they took photos of! What may have made perfect sense at the time become head scratchers twenty or thirty years down the road. And that’s the case here.

This week’s photo is photo of Russ Parham, Reservation Business Manager, center, speaking with Pearl Schleicher, the head cook, and her husband John. What the topic of conversation was is lost to history. Other photos in this group put the year about 1990.

Of course, what does make the photo interesting are the personal stories and how camp life evolves. Parham had started in the kitchen working for Schleicher in 1970 at 15 years old. By 1976, he had been Kitchen Director, a Commissioner (under the Commissioner system), and then Program Director. Within another five, he was Business Manager and having conversations like this regularly with Schleicher.

Schleicher came on in 1962 and stayed until 1994. To say she had a deeply personal connection to Boxwell would be an understatement. But that bond that Schleicher and Parham formed is just one of the many personal stories that made camp life so important to so many…

Parham and Schleicher

From left to right: Pearl Schleicher, Russ Parham, and John Schleicher, Stahlman kitchen, ca. 1990