Website Updates

Happy New Years’ Eve! As we prepare for 2023 here at VirtualBoxwell, we’ve made a few site changes. All pages have been updated to reflect 2023 for the copyright. Also, as we do every three months or so, we have a new banner image on the main website ( and the blog ( Below is the original image from former Ranger Steve Belew in the winter of 2010.

We’re tinkering with a few ideas for this year that we hope to roll in the next few weeks. Some should be pretty interesting, but one is going to be a site update. With the development of the Skilled Trade Center at Parnell, we’ve finally accepted the end of Camp Parnell as a resident camp. So, some time in the next month or so, we will update the Camp Parnell map to reflect the current reality on the ground. In the meantime, be sure to visit the “Classic Parnell” page while it is still up!

Fort Cub at CubWorld, Winter 2010, photo by Steve Belew
Fort Cub at CubWorld, Winter 2010, photo by Steve Belew

From the Archives, December 18, 2022

Unloved Staff hats

Staff hats have been part of the Boxwell staff tradition for a long time. The first staff hat was introduced in 1972 and there has been a new staff hat every year since 1977.

Every year’s hat brings a different design. As a result, not all staff hats are universally loved. Some hats just don’t quite hit the mark.

And thus was the case of the 1986 staff hat. While Tom Willhite’s red hat from the Co-op with a patch sewed on by his wife Marie was a long-standing tradition itself by 1986, this particular patch did not resonate. The design reminded the staff of the Amoco gas station logo. As a result, this became known as a “Amoco hat.”

1986 Staff hat
The 1986 Staff hat patch, aka “the Amoco hat.”

From the Archives, December 11, 2022

To Boldly Go…

The STEM Center at Camp Parnell brings a whole lotta new to Boxwell. Usually when we think of camp, we think of First Aid, Swimming, Leatherwork, and maybe even Environmental Science. STEM brings a whole host of new merit badges and skills to the table.

This also means the STEM Center brings new elements of pop culture to camp. Popular culture has infested songs and skits for years. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much. Regardless, it is an attempt to making Scouting and camp relevant to a new group.

So perhaps it should be no surprise to see the starship Enterprise from Star Trek in the STEM center. The print out shows one of the many ways Drafting can take Scouts on new adventures. Or, if you will, can let Scouts “boldly go where no one has gone before.”

USS Enterprise
An schematic of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek for Drafting Merit Badge, 2019

The Passing of Bill Freeman

The VirtualBoxwell team is sad to announce the passing of Bill Freeman. Bill was a long time Scouter and in recent years served as the Scoutmaster of Troop 200. For Boxwell, Bill was the Head Ranger, coming on after the retirement of Willie Claud in 1995. He stayed on at Boxwell through FOUR Reservation Directors: Larry Green, Ron Turpin, Pat Scales, and Carl Adkins. He retired in 2006. Boxwell was his second retirement with his first coming after 38 years with Nashville Electric Service. This connection with NES led to a great number of telephone poles being donated to Boxwell, including the uprights used for the Al Hendrickson Tower at COPE.

Bill loved to talk to people when they came up to camp, spending large chunks of time swapping stories. And of course, everyone who knew him for any period of time always commented on his enormous hands that would dwarf others when shaking hands.

Bill had been sick for awhile before his passing on December 3, 2022 at the age of 88. He is survived by his wife of 58 years and his children. Services will be held this Friday in Goodlettsville. Details in the link.

Bill Freeman on the tractor, mowing Boxwell in May 2003.