From the Archives, July 30, 2023


Feelin’ like you had a bad day? A bad week? Well, at least you didn’t get slimed.

Here is Reservation Director Jason Flannery in June of this year, getting slimed in Craig Dining Hall. Scouts BSA camp’s theme this year was Back to the 90s and a part early 90s culture–for kids at least–was getting slimed. If you ever watched Nickelodeon, you’re familiar with this phenomenon.

Flannery Gets Slimed
Reservation Director Jason Flannery getting slimed, June 2023, Camp Craig.

The Passing of Perry Bruce

VirtualBoxwell is sad to announce the passing of Perry Bruce. Bruce’s history with Boxwell is long and complex. He attended Stahlman as a Scout in 1967 and joined the Parnell staff in 1971.  He served in the Commissioner system both as a program aid and as a Commissioner.  He did a year in the Trading Post as well, when the Parnell Commissary was still a wooden shack.  These years included brief stints at the newly created Camp Craig and Grimes Canoe Base.  In the fall of 1975, he joined the ranks of the professional Scouting staff, working as a DE for the Upper Cumberland district, serving Putnam, Jackson, Overton, and Clay County.  While the position was not a great fit and Bruce only stayed on for about seven months, his time not only overlapped with the end of the Akers era into the Hershel Tolbert years, but he established a good working relationship with Tom Willhite, who was his Field Director. Bruce helped with the 1976 Bicentennial Jamboree and Wood Badge that same year.  His troop in MT-18 included Steve Eubank, Russ Parham, Tom Young, and Bill Freeman. His relationship with Willhite brought him back to Parnell as Program Director in 1980 and his relationship with Eubank that brought him to Wood Badge staff, where he served on MT-33 through MT-37, the last as Scoutmaster in 1993.  Bruce returned to camp staff for the third time in 2012 as Craig’s Commissioner.  In 2018, he began his run as Craig’s Camp Director in 2018, running all the way through the 2023 summer camp season.  At assembly he was often greeted with chants of “Bruce, Bruce, strong as a moose!”

Outside of camp, he worked for the US Corps of Engineers, starting in 1980.  His Scouting experience proved helpful as much of the work he did with the Corps was in the same counties he served as a DE. He remained active in Scouting both officially and unofficially. Indeed, Bruce was part of a “renegade” group that dubbed themselves the “XDEs” (ex-District Executives) who were responsible for the first two staff reunions in 1983 and 1989.  These associations also brought Bruce into fold in 1994 to help with the sounding for a new Craig Waterfront.  In the 1980s and early 1990s, Bruce would return to camp with Troop 9 (of which he was Scoutmaster from 1976 until the troop folded in 2015) as the Bandito, a fictional character of his creation meant to harass the staff.  The mysterious “Ranger Willie’s Secret Police” was another such prank on then Program Director Jerry Barnett.  Bruce had a razor sharp wit and loved word play.  Some gentle harassment was not out of the question.

Bruce was an Eagle Scout and was awarded the Long Rifle Award and the Silver Beaver.

Perry Bruce passed away on July 21, 2023 after a long battle with cancer.  He leaves behind his wife Phyllis.

Funeral Service will be held on Monday July 31st at the Hermitage Funeral Home ( 535 Shute Ln, Old Hickory, TN 37138). Visitation is from 11 am-2 pm with the service to begin at 2pm, followed by burial at 3pm. Here is the official obituary:

Perry will be buried in his Scout uniform. Please Dress in Class A.

From the Archives, July 23, 2023

Trails of Boxwell

As fall approaches, Boxwell shifts from summer camp to other program, including troop campouts, Cub Scout events, and adult training, such as Wood Badge. There’s a barely a free weekend on the calendar before Thanksgiving.

In recent years, following the transition of Wood Badge to the 21st century leadership program, many Wood Badge projects have been done around camp. We’ll showcase some in the future, but among the projects are trails, campfire area facelifts, and even a chapel area. Wood Badge has been very active in giving back to the Reservation.

Seen here is the result of one of those Wood Badge project. This is map of all the Boxwell trails by Amy Rochelle from MT-68. The map traces all the modern trails around the Reservation. Some of these trails follow old fire roads, but others are wholly unique Boxwell trails, taking the hiker through little seen parts of the property.

Boxwell Trails, 2023
Map of the trails of Boxwell by Amy Rochelle, MT-68, February 2023

From the Archives, July 16, 2023

Pool Construction

As hard as it may be to believe, the Boxwell Pool is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Construction began in the fall of 2003 and the pool officially joined the Boxwell program in 2004. It has offered a variety of new programs, including SCUBA, which just wouldn’t be realistic in Old Hickory Lake!

The impact of the pool has been quite large. All of the swimming for Cub Scouts are now done at the pool, even though they originally began in Pirates Cove (Murrey Waterfront). The pool added yet another area where buddy tags were required that wasn’t IN camp, which required a rethinking of that process, eventually leading to colored armbands. The pool also offered a recreation area Scouts were more familiar with, often taking focus from the waterfronts at free swim. The floating objects were at attempt to address this.

Seen here is a construction photo from December 2003, taken by John Kasper, future Pool Director. The photo shows off the deep end of the swimmer’s section pool. John’s daughter Megan Aldridge stands on the pool floor for comparison, while the Hendrickson COPE Tower appears in the background.

Pool Construction, December 2003
Megan Kasper stands in the deep end of the Boxwell pool during construction.

Remembering the Staff

Boxwell Reservation, 2013

A mere decade ago, Carl Adkins was completing his 10th summer as Reservation Director. Steve Belew was Ranger. A host of Reservation-wide programs dotted the landscape. Michael Allen ran the Boat Harbor, while Ben Orban and Kyle Duckworth shared director responsibilities at COPE. James Bryant ran shooting sports and Sean Patten ran the pool. William Bridgers was running the NRA Light rifle program at the yet-to-be-rehabilitated Camp Parnell.

In the main camps, there were some familiar names. Camp Director was now a volunteer position, no longer the responsibility of a DE. As a result, Camp Director replaced the Program Director as the stability of the Boy Scout camps. At Stahlman, Steve Eubank served as Camp Director. His program director was Lee Craft and Tod Burnham his Commissioner. At Craig, the Camp Director was Tony Turner. His program director was Nate Danielson with the freshly returned Perry Bruce as Commissioner. At CubWorld, the Camp Director was still a professional Scouter. In 2013, that individual was Scott McCray. Program Director responsibilities were shared between Jake Jones and Nick Klomfas. Larry Green was back as Camp Commissioner, a position he continues to this day.

Shown here are staff photos of Craig, CubWorld, and the Administrative staff. All photos by John Kasper. We do not have a 2013 of Stahlman, which is ironic as John Kasper was a Stahlman staff member!

Camp Craig Staff, 2013
Camp Craig Staff, 2013
CubWorld Staff, 2013
CubWorld Staff, 2013
Administrative Staff, 2013
Administrative Staff, 2013