Remembering the Staff, The 1970s

The stars really aligned on this one, but in all the wrong ways!  Camp Parnell was closed in 1977 as part of its new rotation with Camp Craig.  Craig and Stahlman were both open, but for neither camp do we have a staff photo.  Either one was not taken or one simply has yet to migrate into our hands.

At Stahlman, the Program Director was Russ Parham and the Camp Director (still a professional then) was Allen Jones.  At Craig, the Program Director was… wait for it… Ernie Ragsdale!  The Camp Director was Don McKinney.

The photo here is of the 1977 Staff Hat patch–the first year of the Tom Willhite staff hats.  Patch from Boyd Williams of Middle Tennessee Council Patches.

1977 Boxwell Staff Hat Patch

1977 Boxwell Staff Hat Patch

From the Archives, June 18, 2017

Parnell Music Department

We recently told you about some of the updates to camp this summer. After a quick visit this week, we found one more that you probably need to know about. The expansion of Parnell continues…

While STEM continues in the Parnell Dining Hall, just down the road at the Trading Post another repurposing is taking place. The Boxwell Music Department is now housed here. As you can tell from the photos, it is fairly simple operation in some ways, but reportedly has had good numbers for the first week.

The centerpiece of the new Music Department is the Artiphon, an electronic instrument that connects to an iPad. From here, the instrument will play virtually any sound. As the instructors told me on Thursday, they had basically finished the merit badge and we’re going to have a big jam session on Friday. There were enough Artiphon’s for everyone.


A demonstration of the Artiphon

Parnell Music

Another view of the repurposed Parnell Trading Post

Parnell Music

The Parnell Trading Post repurposed as the Boxwell Music Department.

From the Archives, June 11, 2017

Sunday Medical Recheck, 1960s

Long before the Ten Day Out meeting, Sunday check-ins were a rather involved process. Troops arrived when they felt like it any time after 1pm (sometimes earlier) and there were no solid pre-counts on numbers for merit badges or campsites. It could be a bear.

One of the parts of check in that has disappeared is the medical re-check. At least as far back as the Narrows of the Harpeth Boxwell, Scouts have been required to have a medical form when they came to camp. By the 1960s, camp also had a medical re-check component: an on-site once over when you arrive before you went to go swim.

This photo is of one such re-check at Camp Stahlman. Scouts are getting a quick check-up before going on to take the swim test on the waterfront (also done for everyone on Sunday at the time). One of the neat components to this was that Scouts were given salt tablets to take during the week. Why? Because the thought was you lost so much salt through sweat you were more likely to cramp; the tablet would fix that problem.

Medical Recheck

Scouts getting a quick re-check before going to take their swim test. Sundays were busy!

Remembering the Staff, 1950s

Camp has begun, so it is time to revisit our “Remembering the Staff” series.  Every week while summer camp is going on, we will make a post showcasing the staff of different decades.  Remember, of course, that you can find all of the staff photos here:

So, following tradition, this first week focuses the Rock Island staff.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a Rock Island Staff photo for 1957.  Last year, we didn’t have a 1956 staff photo, so we provided you with a welcome letter from the camp directors.  This year, we’ll provide you with a 1957 thank you letter from the Camp Directors Richard Parker and Don Starin. From the collection of Bob Alley.

Thank you

An end of season Thank You Letter to Bob Alley from the 1957 camp directors.