From the Archives, October 30, 2022

Sir Cecil’s Ghoul Patrol

As tomorrow is Halloween, we thought for this week we’d pull out one of the more… unique items in our collection. Seen here is the Sir Cecil Ghoul Patrol Patrol.

Sir Cecil Creape was a horror movie show host on WSMV Channel 4 from 1971 to 1973 and again from 1983 to 1985. As described by IMDB, Sir Cecil “was portrayed as a hunchbacked, buck-toothed Winston Churchill-like voiced monster host, who presented the movie and would act out skits during commercial breaks. His show was revived… during the first year of the cable channel known as The Nashville Network (TNN). His show was appropriately called ‘The Phantom of the Opry’.”

The man behind the character was Russ McCown, who passed in 1994. The patch was not a camporee patch, but a promotional tool by the Council. In short, the patch was a recruiting tool. Sign up and get a special patch.

If you aren’t familiar with the character, there are ample videos on YouTube. This will get you started down that rabbit hole:

Sir Cecil's Ghoul Patrol
Sir Cecil’s Ghoul Patrol recruitment patch, ca. 1971

From the Archives, October 23, 2022


While summer camp is the primary function of the Reservation, we all know that Boxwell is used for a great deal more. From staff reunions to OA events to Wood Badge to Winter camp to Cub and Family Weekends to Jamborees and more, the Reservation is utilized for a variety of functions.

An event that at one time graced the grassy fields of Boxwell Reservation was something called SHOWANDO (pronounced “Show and Do”). SHOWANDO was a single day, adult leader training blitz. Scouters arrived at 9am, were split into patrols, and spent the day engaging in practical demonstrations. The more than 20 stations included model campsites, lashing stations, fire starting practice, map reading, rope making, and more. Every 12 minutes a bugle blew to announce the move to another station to “Show and do” another skill.

The first of these events was held in April 1961, but others followed. The photo here dates from a May 1963 SHOWANDO. Clearly, the adult leaders here were working on building a fire. As an added dimension, this is clearly a competition. The first to build a fire and burn through the string won!

SHOWANDO Fire Building
Adult leaders build fires at the May 1963 SHOWANDO at Boxwell Reservation.

From the Archives, October 16, 2022

Lancaster Pirate Ship

At one time, there was only one pirate ship in Pirate’s Cove at Gaylord Cubworld. And that pirate ship floated.

The Lancaster Pirate Ship was named in honor of the Jim and Joe Lancaster families. It was built by John Cooper, brother of Tim Cooper, a Council Professional. The boat was not a real boat, but really a boat facade built on top of what was essentially a modified dock. The inspiration for the Pirate Ship–and much of what developed at CubWorld–came from Beaumont Scout Reservation’s Camp Grizzly Cub World in the Greater St. Louis Area Council.

The maiden “voyage” of the ship was being towed from Parnell Bay to its mooring at CubWorld. It continued “sailing” until the 2010 floods broke the ship, leading to its current beached location. It is seen here in all it’s initial glory, less than six months old in December of 1995.

Lancaster Pirate Ship
The Lancaster Pirate Ship in December 1995, about six weeks after its dedication on October 26.

Fall Book Tour, 2022

Cookeville Presentation, October 10

Cookeville, tonight’s the night. I will be giving my presentation on the History of Boxwell at 7pm this evening at Vol State’s Cookeville Higher Education Campus (CHEC) at 1000 Neal Street in Room 224. I’ll be giving the talk and selling and signing books.

This is a great opportunity to see those of you a little outside the immediate Nashville Area. I’ll hope you’ll come out!

When: Monday, October 10, 2022
Time: 7 PM
Where: Vol State’s Cookeville Campus
1000 Neal Street, Room #224 Neal Street, Room #224

October 10, 2022, 7PM, Vol State Cookeville Campus, 1000 Neal Street, Room #224

From the Archives, October 9, 2022

Prone Position

Before the wooden seated shooting desks that grace the rifle ranges today, there was a time when Scouts regularly fired their .22 rifles from a standing, kneeling, and prone positions. To do this comfortably, a cotton mattress was used.

Seen here is a rifle shooting merit badge session in the late 1970s at Camp Parnell’s rifle range. The photo is interesting for a number of reasons. First, of course, is the prone position on a cotton mattress. The prone position is not generally utilized any longer and cotton mattresses are long gone, but here’s what it looked like!

Second, the range is considerably more “open” than it is today, showing the changes in safety that have grown over the years. Additionally, until the mid-1990s, the range officer was often–not always, but usually–a Ft. Campbell soldier. There is clearly an instructor here, but it is unclear whether he is military or not… though the socks suggest he is not traditional staff.

Finally, the photo is actually slide that was part of a series used for camp promotion. Before VHS and then digital video, there was a period in the late 1970s and early 1980s, where camp promotion was done with a slide show. There was a script and set slide presentation. This is a slide from one of those camp promotion slide shows.

Prone Shooting
A slide from the slide reel used for camp promotion, late 1970s, early 1980s