From the Archives, April 30, 2023

Bazooka Merit Badge

With summer camp just weeks away now, it seemed like a great time to tell a story. This week’s tale–“Bazooka Merit Badge”–was told by David Dotson way back in 1999. The story itself comes from Camp Craig in 1987. While some of the specific details have changed, the story still works. The accompanying photo is from the Craig AY in 1986, when the program area was directly across the road from the program cabin. This isn’t THE Bazooka Merit Badge sessionā€¦ but it could be!

As Dotson explains, “‘Festus’ [AY Director John Estes] is coming from a tractor run and sees scouts running around the AY with Pioneering poles on their shoulders. The class, supposed to be First Aid Skill Award, was being taught by Tim Dukes. Tim decided it was too hot to do the stretcher drills that day, and wanted to play “Army” with the Scouts.

“Festus soon finds Dukes with a pole on his shoulder and restrains a great deal of anger and asks, “What is going on here?”

“Dukes replies, “Bazooka merit badge class.”

“Festus asks the only word that can come to his enraged mind, “Why?”

“Dukes deadpans: “He shot me first.””

Pioneering in Craig AY, 1986
Scouts working on lashes in the Craig AY, 1986

Website Updates, April 2023

A few quick updates as we approach the summer.

1) A new banner image is loaded. This is a crop of the 2018 July Fourth campfire. Full photo below.

2) The “In Memory” page was updated. See it here:

3) Some changes made to the staff roster, mostly current years, but one change to Parnell in the 1970s. Please review. If you can fill in holes, let me know.

More changes to come in the next few weeks…

2018 July Fourth Campfire
2018 July Fourth Joint Campfire at Weaver Amphitheatre. Photo by Grady Eades

From the Archives, April 23, 2023

The 2009 Reunion

The 2009 Staff Reunion wasn’t really a staff reunion, not officially at least. 2009 was the 50th Anniversary of Old Hickory Boxwell and the Council, pushed by Stahlman Camp Director Steve Eubank, decided to put an event. However, the planning did not even begin until camp had already begun that summer and none of the usual background work that went in to a reunion was done. Addresses weren’t updated and a big program was not created.

Instead, the 2009 event was, again, an anniversary event. While it was mostly promoted among former staff, it was open to everyone. Because of the late start, the event was actually held AFTER camp was over–the only reunion to do this. Thus, there were no program areas to visit and no real activities. There was a memorabilia display at the Crab, a light reception by decades at Craig, and then a larger group reception with some speakers at Stahlman Dining Hall. Staff photos were taken and the 50th Anniversary was over later that afternoon. It was a quick event!

Here, a group of 2000s staff sit at a table in Stahlman Dining Hall during the “formal program.” Steve Eubank is speaking as the group listens. Reservation Director Carl Adkins lurks in the background with his predecessor Ron Turpin seated nearby. In the foreground is Megan Kasper Aldridge (red shirt, left) and her father John Kasper (blue shirt with hat, right).

2009 Anniversary: 2000s Table
A table at the 50th Anniversary of Boxwell event in August 2009.

The Passing of Betty Claud

The VirtualBoxwell Team is sad to announce the passing of Betty Claud. Betty was the wife of Ranger Willie Claud. Born in 1933, Betty married Willie Dean in 1958. The two Centerville natives were the first rangers at Grimes Canoe Base when it opened. They moved to Boxwell in 1978 and remained there for the next 16 1/2 years. They had two children, Lori and Brian. Lori was well known among the Murrey families and Brian became an assistant ranger. After Willie retired in 1995, the couple moved back to Centerville. Willie passed in 2008 and Betty remained active in her community and church. She passed early on Friday, April 20, 2023. She was 89 years old.

Services will be held this Friday, April 28, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Charles L. Nickell Memorial ParkĀ in Centerville. The complete obituary can be found here:!/Obituary

From the Archives, April 16, 2023

COPE by Drone

How do you get a good photograph of the tallest building at camp? You get a drone.

We’re back with another in our exciting drone series from Ben Whitehouse. This time, Whitehouse traveled around the reservation documenting a variety of buildings, capturing their current state.

This visit allowed for these very unique views of the Al Hendrickson Tower. While great vistas are available from the tower, it is rare to get a good photo of the tower and even more rare from this angle. You can even see the COPE program area and the John Parish High Adventure building.

Al Hendrickson Tower by drone, March 2023
Al Hendrickson Tower by drone, March 2023.
Al Hendrickson Tower by drone
Al Hendrickson Tower by drone, March 2023