The Passing of Bill Freeman

The VirtualBoxwell team is sad to announce the passing of Bill Freeman. Bill was a long time Scouter and in recent years served as the Scoutmaster of Troop 200. For Boxwell, Bill was the Head Ranger, coming on after the retirement of Willie Claud in 1995. He stayed on at Boxwell through FOUR Reservation Directors: Larry Green, Ron Turpin, Pat Scales, and Carl Adkins. He retired in 2006. Boxwell was his second retirement with his first coming after 38 years with Nashville Electric Service. This connection with NES led to a great number of telephone poles being donated to Boxwell, including the uprights used for the Al Hendrickson Tower at COPE.

Bill loved to talk to people when they came up to camp, spending large chunks of time swapping stories. And of course, everyone who knew him for any period of time always commented on his enormous hands that would dwarf others when shaking hands.

Bill had been sick for awhile before his passing on December 3, 2022 at the age of 88. He is survived by his wife of 58 years and his children. Services will be held this Friday in Goodlettsville. Details in the link.

Bill Freeman on the tractor, mowing Boxwell in May 2003.

From the Archives, December 4, 2022

The Doughnut Meal

For most summers during the reign of head cook Pearl Schleicher (1962-1994), menus did not change dramatically. Sunday nights were ham and rolls, one lunch was hamburgers and another hot dogs.

Thursday morning was cantelope and doughnuts. While most mornings were scrambled eggs and either sausage or bacon, Thursday gave everyone a break. From the cooks to the kitchen staff to the Scouts, Thursday was a break from the norm.

Here is the interior serving line at Stahlman sometime in the 1980s. You can see the cantaloupe and the staff member in the background is serving a doughnut onto the tray. The aluminum foil cover bowl? It’s actually cup containing grape juice, possibly partly still frozen. And it looks like single-serve cereal was on the menu that day as well, judging by the tray in the foreground.

Doughnuts for breakfast
The serving line on Thursday morning at Stahlman in the 1980s. Doughnuts for breakfast!

From the Archives, November 27, 2022

Sunday Check-in

Sometimes, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Sunday Check-in is one of thsoe events. While every now and then, someone comes along to ‘crack the code’ of making check in smoother, big chunks of the experience remain the same.

Robert Ponder was a Parnell Staff member in the mid-1970s. Like many of you, in the years since Boxwell, Robert has dabbled with memoirs, writing down aspects of his camp or Scouting experience. He shared some of these with us and we thoughts we would pass along what he had to say about the check-in experience during his time at Boxwell. Some of this might sound familiar…

“Week-long camp at Boxwell Reservation was ritualistic: as regular as “Old Faithful’,” Ponder writes. “The process was easy. Each Sunday afternoon, parents brought their boys to camp (a sea of mayhem as 250 boys and their families descended at the same time). Gear was unloaded from the cars, piled up by campsites (mine was campsite 11-Saskatchewan), and relocated to the center of the campsite by flatbed trailer. While that was being done, campers and their parents walked down to the campsites to make tent selections. Most of the time, you knew who you were going to share the two-man tent with before you arrived. The only real question was which of the tents you were going to get. The older boys, of course, got the tents furthest from the Scoutmasters.”

“At this point, some of the parents would say good-bye,” Ponder continues. Other parents, in particular those who were having difficulty parting with their sons, would hang around for the health check and swim test. After the swim tests (necessary for determining the abilities of each of the campers), any straggling parents were asked to leave. The scouts and scoutmasters were finally on their own.”

See this photo from Camp Craig in 2009. Are things all that different?

Unloading luggage, 2009
Scouts unloading luggage on Craig’s upper loop, 2009

Council Social Media

Greetings everyone! If you’re interested in keeping up with the Council’s different social media platforms, follow this link:

And of course, there’s the various VirtualBoxwell social media platforms as well: