Passing the Baton
In March of 1920, the Nashville Council formed. Three months later, they hired their first Scout Executive, Vanderbilt track coach William Anderson. Anderson didn’t particularly want the job. But, after taking a Scoutmaster’s Handbook home and reading it for just one hour, he knew he had to accept the post. He stayed on for the next 27 years, overseeing Boxwell at Linton and the Narrows.
Anderson officially retired at his birthday in June 1947, but agreed to stay on for a few more months while a replacement was found. That replacement was Ward E. Akers. Akers originally hailed from Roanoke, Virginia, but he came to Tennessee through the Eastern Arkansas Area Council, where he had been an executive since 1941. Akers was an incredibly young 34 years old when he took the post on September 15, 1947. He would stay on until his forced retirement at the end of 1975, almost thirty years later.
Both track men at different points in their lives, here is Anderson “passing the baton” on September 15. The two men are front and center, Akers on the left, Anderson on the right. In the background, from left to right are treasurer E. E. Murrey, Assistant Scout Executives James Gribble and Talmadge Miller (both part of the Narrows Boxwell), and George Simpson, deputy regional executive of Region V. It is not an exaggeration to say that big changes both in the Council and at Boxwell would soon follow…
From “New Scout Executive Takes Over Duties,” Nashville Banner, September 16, 1947, pg. 8.