Kitchen staff rarely gets the love they deserve. While one of the hardest work and most essential jobs on staff, the kitchen staff is often made of first year staff members. As we all know, a poor first year experience in the kitchen can taint a person for years.
Yet despite how critical these jobs are, Kitchen staff are often forgotten. There are few staff photos of just the kitchen staff. And again, because so many are first year staff, sometimes whole groups just disappear. The accepted wisdom is, if the staff member is any good, he will move out to a program area. Conversely, to be program staff and sent back as a director was a duty no one wanted.
In our archives, we only have a handful of Kitchen staff photos. Here is one: the 1996 Parnell Kitchen Staff. While they didn’t know it, they were one of the last Parnell Kitchen staffs. L-R Front row: Jimmy Nichols, Ross White, James Littlefield; Back Row: Jason Pedersen (Director), David Lavender, Jamil Matthews, and Robert Worden.
The move to Rock Island was fairly abrupt. The Council announced the move on April 11, 1949. Camp was set to open June 26. Docks and the Crib had to be build, a kitchen erected, and so much more. Imagine building a camp from scratch in approximately 9 weeks.
Camp would run for nine weeks that summer with each week holding approximately 125 to 150 Scouts. Scouts camped “bivouac” style that first summer–individual two and four man tents around the property, but campsites by troop would be introduced the following summer. 1949 was the last time Ward Akers would serve as Camp Director.
It was a lot of work. Here are some of the adult leaders taking a break to test out the first purified water from the Caney Fork River. Some were professionals and some were volunteers. From left to right were Floyd “Q-ball” Pearce, Field Executive Talmadge Miller, Everett Hertenstein, Field Executive Floyd Laney, Field Executive Craig Ayers, Council Executive Ward Akers, and local Scoutmaster Wayman Hillis.
As a group of early 2000s Stahlman staff continue to ponder how to say good-bye to the Stahlman dining hall, we thought we might give a nod to those years. Seen here is Camp Stahlman at an assembly. It is a familiar sight with staff to the left and Scouts to the right.
In the center is the Camp Commissioner, Chris Hubbard. Hubbard had been part of the Stahlman staff since 1997, spending his years in the Con-Yard. Indeed, he had finally made it to Con-Yard Director in 2000 before being plucked for this single year appointment as Commissioner. Andy Verble was Program Director and the Camp Director was Chris Daughtrey, a professional Scouter.
No real story here, just a nod to early 21st century Stahlman staff as they plan a mini-reunion for June 23 and 24. Good luck ladies and gentlemen.