From the Archives, February 12, 2023

The Re-Birth of Parnell

Camp Parnell’s last summer as a resident camp was 1998, though no one knew it at the time. The site was used for a year or two for other purposes–Webelos summer camp and a Venture week–but nothing for more than 2 weeks and nothing like a resident camp experience.

Parnell’s slow rehabilitation began in 2004 with the introduction of teh NRA Light Rifle program, referred to as the NRA Marksmanship Program at the time. As a program from the rifle shooting merit badge, the NRA program utilized the Parnell Rifle Range as its base of operations. And for the next decade, the NRA Program at the rifle range was the only regular Scouting activity going on at Parnell.

The program was headed by long-time Parnell/Craig staff member Pat Deugaw. Known to an earlier generation at “the Kool-Aid Man” for his bug juice breaks during staff week, the NRA Program gave him a new nickname, one that reflected his 23 years of military service: “Old Soldier.” Deugaw is seen here the first summer at the Parnell range, flanked by range assistants Jimmy Bumpus (l) and Cole Cunningham (r).

NRA Light Rifle Staff, 2004
The NRA Light Rifle staff, 2004. L-R: Jimmy Bumpus, Pat Deugaw, Cole Cunningham

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