From the Archives, December 31, 2023

Cowboy Action Shooting

One of the newer attractions at Boxwell is the Cowboy Action shooting range. Located in the field that used to occupy Parnell Archery range, the new range has an Old West feel to it.

Part of what makes the range so impressive is that you can fire three different firearms here. Also, this is the ONLY place on the reservation where a Scout is allowed to fire a handgun.

Seen here is a Staff Week photo from the berm. Reservation Director Jason Flannery (yellow) is assisting with the set up of the range for its first summer in 2019.

Cowboy Action Shooting
Cowboy Action Shooting range set up, Staff Week 2019. Photo by Dakota Gordon.

From the Archives, December 24, 2023

Rock Island Waterfront

This is easily one of the best photos of the waterfront at Rock Island. The Waterfront was located not down on the point of peninsula, but northern bank, just down river from the Rock Island itself. This view is looking downstream on the Caney Fork River.

The image shows the two waterfront “cribs”–the docks with false bottoms in the middle. One was for Beginners, the other for non-swimmers. In between was the swimmers’ area, complete with an inflatable raft. Canoes were racked on land, but the rowboats are plainly visible here.

The photo also gives us an idea of how deep this river was, particular in comparison to the waterfronts at Old Hickory Lake. Note the high rocky banks in the background and the rock outcropping in the foreground. This waterfront hit deep water very quickly!

Rock Island Waterfront
The waterfront at Rock Island Boxwell, ca. 1955. Cooper-Ragsdale Collection.

From the Archives, December 17, 2023

A Boxwell Mug

When you’re connected with Scouting for an extended period of time, you develop a nice collection of knick-knacks. Coffee mugs have a long tradition as commemorating various events. Reservation Director Tom Willhite literally had SHELVES of mugs.

Seen here is one of the MANY coffee mugs Willhite was given over the years. The design is the popular early depiction of the Reservation. You can see this same design on early Boxwell t-shirts–staff and Scout alike–from the 1960s into the early 1970s.

This mug likely comes from Willhite’s run as Parnell Camp Director in 1967, though it could have been after his return in 1976 as Reservation Director.

A Boxwell Mug
A coffee mug with the Boxwell Reservation map on it, ca. 1967. Photo by Russ Parham; Collection of Tom Willhite.

From the Archives, December 10, 2023

A Crab Flag Ceremony

Every now and then we run across something that doesn’t exist anymore, but doesn’t today and we really don’t know anything about it. Exploring history is fun like that!

Seen here is a flag ceremony, which is nothing special. What is special are the details. The pole itself is telephone pole, not a metal post like all the others in camp at this time. The dirt pile suggests this was a relatively new addition. The building in the background is unquestionably the Crab. So, here is a flagpole just out the backdoor of the Crab and we had no idea this ever existed!

The uniforms and the pole itself suggest late 1970s. The current flagpoles were donated by the Nashville Scottish Rite Foundation* in 1980 and were built in February 1981.

* This same group donated the flagpoles at the Jet Potter Center in 1977.

Flag Ceremony at the Crab
A flag ceremony outside the Crippled Crab, late 1970s. Collection of Howard Olson.