From the Archives, July 14, 2024

The Pennant Pincher

This is a National Camp School pennant. At the start of every summer, a group of inspectors come to Boxwell and inspect the camp to insure the facility is following national guidelines as prescribed by the BSA. Today we call these National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP) Standards. Camps still get a pennant when they pass the inspection.

This particular pennant is important because until just recently it was generally believed to be lost.

As it turns out, Pearl Schleicher, the camp cook from 1962 through 1995, liked to take the pennants. Mrs. Schleicher believed that the kitchen was the most important part of camp and even though these were not health inspections (that was a separate thing), she would often snag the pennant if she had the opportunity. Her kitchen director, a young Russ Parham, watched several such flags disappear in the early 1970s. Somehow, this particular flag ended up in the hands of District Executive Joe Keathley and with his passing, the flag has resurfaced. Just another twist in a camp personality!

Collection of Joe Keathley

1970 National Camp Inspection Pennant

National Camp Inspection Pennant from 1970

Website Update, July 12, 2024

2024 Staff Photos

We are pleased to publish the 2024 Staff photos.  Please visit http://www.virtualboxwell.org/staff.php and chose whichever camp you’d like review.

Or just check out the photos here.

Thank you 2024 staff for all you did for Scouting in the Middle Tennessee Council!

Craig Staff, 2024

Camp Craig Staff, 2024. Collection of Gavin Nixon.

Stahlman Staff, 2024

Camp Stahlman Staff, 2024. Collection of Ed Mason.

CubWorld Staff, 2024

CubWorld Staff, 2024. Collection of Jason Flannery

Reservation Staff, 2024

Reservation Staff, 2024. Collection of Jason Flannery.

Remembering the Staff

Boxwell Reservation, 2014

A mere decade ago, Carl Adkins was completing his 11th summer as Reservation Director. Steve Belew was finishing his last summer as Ranger. A host of Reservation-wide programs dotted the landscape. Michael Allen ran the Boat Harbor, while Ben Orban carried director responsibilities at COPE. James Bryant ran shooting sports and Sean Patten ran the pool. James Bosse 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 professional. As a result, Camp Director replaced the Program Director as the stability of the Scouts BSA camps. At Stahlman, Steve Eubank served as Camp Director. His program director was Lee Craft and Robert Hutcheson his Commissioner. At Craig, the Camp Director was Tony Turner. His program director was John “JJ” Norman with Perry Bruce as Commissioner. At CubWorld, the Camp Director was still a professional Scouter. In 2014, that individual was Ryan Vaden. Program Director responsibilities were shared between Melissa Paris and Gaylon Greer. 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 2014 of Stahlman, which is ironic as John Kasper was a Stahlman staff member!

Craig Staff, 2014

Craig Staff, 2014

Cubworld Staff, 2014

Cubworld Staff, 2014

Administrative Staff, 2014

Administrative Staff, 2014

From the Archives, July 7, 2024

Scout Circus

Every April for about a decade–1954 to 1962–the Middle Tennessee Council held a Scout Circus. A Scout Circus was enormous event, open to the public, showcasing Scouting. In effect, the Scouts of the Middle Tennessee Council put on an enormous stage show at the state fairgrounds in Nashville every night showcasing Scouting. It was a promotional event to top all promotional events.

The circus changed some from year to year, but included many of the spectacles one would expect to stay. The first circus opened with a parade of 10,700 uniformed Scouts with approximately 5000 participating in the twelve sections, or “events.” Cubs had a section playing different characters, depending on the theme, and also clowns! A section was devoted to demonstrating Scoutcraft and another to an emergency services demonstration. There was also an “Indian show” as well as a patriotic or reverential closing. The program began at 7:30 p.m. and ran approximately 90 to 120 minutes. Scouts sold tickets to the event.

Seen here in an image by _Nashville Banner_ staff photographer Bob Ray are four Cub Scouts rehearsing their parts before the big event in 1958. There were 8000 Scouts who participated in the program that year, making it one of the largest on record. According to the caption in the published photo, Monday, April 21, 1958, “John Foley and Philip Daugherty become a two-headed lady, Bill Hunt is transformed into a clown and Mike Spore becomes a strong man as Pack 45 of Christ the King Church gets ready for the Boy Scout Circus” (pg. 8).

Collection of John Cooper & Ernie Ragsdale

Cub Scouts prepare for the 1958 Scout Circus, April 1959. Photo by Banner photographer Bob Ray.

Happy Boxwell Day!

HAPPY, HAPPY Boxwell Day! TODAY IS BOXWELL’S ANNIVERSARY!!

On July 5, 1921 the VERY FIRST Boxwell opened in Linton, TN.

A truck picked up Scouts going to camp at the intersection of the Belle Meade and Harding Road at 10am and 4:30pm.  Camp only ran for about three weeks at the time and cost less than $6 a week!

We are hoping to start a new tradition, not just here at VirtualBoxwell, but across Middle Tennessee Council by celebrating BOXWELL DAY–a day commemorating the opening of the first Boxwell.

Share this message far and wide.  If you use social media, share the post.  If you are looking on the website, share the link.  Spread the word so that everyone knows this is a new Middle Tennessee Council holiday!

Thank you to all the professionals, volunteers and staff members who have worked for 100 summers to keep Boxwell alive and flourishing!

Boxwell Day, 2020