As a group of early 2000s Stahlman staff continue to ponder how to say good-bye to the Stahlman dining hall, we thought we might give a nod to those years. Seen here is Camp Stahlman at an assembly. It is a familiar sight with staff to the left and Scouts to the right.
In the center is the Camp Commissioner, Chris Hubbard. Hubbard had been part of the Stahlman staff since 1997, spending his years in the Con-Yard. Indeed, he had finally made it to Con-Yard Director in 2000 before being plucked for this single year appointment as Commissioner. Andy Verble was Program Director and the Camp Director was Chris Daughtrey, a professional Scouter.
No real story here, just a nod to early 21st century Stahlman staff as they plan a mini-reunion for June 23 and 24. Good luck ladies and gentlemen.
This week we’re sharing quick recollections from Bill Murphy, Parnell staff member from 1968 to 1972.
A Camp Tradition… In 1968 there was a staff tradition that anyone who overslept had pitchers of ice water thrown on him in his bunk after breakfast was over. I made the mistake of over sleeping and held the record of 38 pitchers of ice water being thrown on me. That record stood at long as I was on staff, I don’t know how many years it was the record. The worst part of over sleeping was not the ice water but reporting to Coach Jackson for your punishment, a week of breakfast duty in the mess hall in addition to all your other duties at camp. Needless to say I only over slept that one time.
On the Medics… In 1970, Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division loaned both camps a medic and a sergeant for the rifle range. They slept in the back of the first aid tent immediately across the road from office tent. Both of these soldiers were Vietnam Veterans and the rifle range sergeant was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. (We just didn’t know it at the time.) He slept with a huge Bowie knife under his pillow. David Smith and I lived in the adjacent tent directly behind the trading post so we could have a giant fan cooling us each night. I was the camp bugler that summer and had to get up early to play revelry. The soldiers asked me to wake them each morning as I was headed to the mess hall but not to go in their tent and never touch them while they were sleeping. So I would stand outside their tent and yell until they responded before I went to the mess hall.
On Friendships… In the 5 years I worked there I made a lot of friends. I was an usher in a staff member’s wedding. Another staff member was a groomsman at my wedding. One of the staff became a priest and I was one of the Lay Presenters at his ordination ceremony. I learned a lot about life and people. I also learned about repairing equipment hanging around Ranger Bobby Smith and Kerry Parker. Ranger Smith and Kerry were fixtures around Boxwell for many years. They were some of the men behind the scenes making sure the physical plant and all the equipment worked.
On the Jackson Family… There are a lot of other memories about Coach Jackson and his family. Larry, his son, was the Parnell AY Director in 1970. If you look at the Camp Parnell – 1970 picture archive on Flicker, Larry is featured in the first picture wearing a Smoky the Bear Scout hat at a campfire leading a yell [shown here]. Larry was a great boss who ‘kicked your rear end’ if you weren’t pulling your weight and patted you on the back when you did. I remember him saying thank you a lot. Larry was working at a bar in Knoxville around 1972 or 1973 while attending UT to earn money for his fiancée’s engagement ring. He was killed by a robber late one night in the parking lot. I reached out to Coach at the time and then subsequently to encourage him to come to the first reunion in 1983. Coach told me he wasn’t going to come until he got my letter. The reunion brought back a lot of good memories about Larry and it helped being around people who knew, cared about and respected Larry.