From the Archives, March 7, 2021

Boxwell Summer Camp

The 1995 Summer Camp Promotional video was recorded in the summer of 1994. This was the summer that the 1994 Capital Development Campaign was in motion, which would replace Camp Murrey with CubWorld. This explains why Murrey is not featured in the video even though it was open. 1994 would be the camp’s last summer.

But even if you didn’t know the video was 1994/1995 because we told you, you could probably figure out from the music. Mid-90s pop hits are all throughout the film, including the theme from Friends (“I’ll Be There for You” by the Rembrants”) and “These Are the Days” by the 10,000 Maniacs. Of course, the other song featured heavily throughout the video, even if you can’t hear it, is “Zumba.”

The “Zumba” performance is one of the real jewels of this video. Todd Metcalf had brought the song to camp with him in 1992 and was truly a tour de force when leading the song. 1994 was Metcalf’s last summer at Boxwell and for his final performance he wrote original verses honoring individuals on the staff for a performance that went on for 20 minutes. Standing next to Metcalf is Grady Eades. Because Metcalf knew Eades detested the song, he would sometimes pull the director on stage with him to sing “for the good of the program.”

The video also features Stahlman’s Roman Reese as a young staff member at several points in the video. The crosstie version of Stahlman’s Friday Night Campfire stage is shown as well.

Enjoy the 1995 Boxwell Promotional Video: https://youtu.be/dCa0wHZjveM

On This Day, March 6

On this day–March 6, 1980–E. E. Murrey, Jr. died. Edward Ennis Murrey, Jr. was a longtime treasurer for the Middle Tennessee Council, following in the footsteps of his father. Murrey was only 65 years old at his death. He had born in Marshall County and attending the University of the South. He served in WWII, though details on his service were not included in his obituary. He was founder of Volunteer Savings & Loan Association and served as is president until it merged with Security Federal in 1976. He had three children, two daughters and one son. He and his father serve as the namesake of the now defunct Camp Murrey.

From the Archives, February 28, 2021

Boxwell T-shirts: The Repost

As summer camp and the reunion for 2021 start gearing up, patch and t-shirt designs are in the planning stages. So, we thought we’d do a repost and then link out to a few items this week.

First, the links. In April 2019, we ran a brief series on Boxwell t-shirts. Below are the links to the Boxwell at Old Hickory Lake t-shirts. We also included a link to the famous Seymore Duck shirt post.

April 14, 2019: Old Hickory Boxwell T-shirts, 1960s and 1970s
April 21, 2019: Old Hickory Boxwell T-shirt, 1997
April 28, 2019: Old Hickory Boxwell T-shirt, 2014
August 4, 2019: Old Hickory Boxwell T-shirt, Seymore Duck

Second, the repost. Rock Island is the camp where t-shirts and a commissary first became part of the Boxwell experience. Below is the original post on Bob Alley’s Boxwell staff t-shirt from April 7, 2019.

From the Archives, April 7, 2019
Boxwell T-Shirts: Rock Island

It’s time to look at Boxwell t-shirts! Obviously, there have been quite a few of them, so we can’t possibly cover all of the shirts ever produced. However, we’re going to spend April looking at some popular Boxwell t-shirts over the decades.

This week’s t-shirt is the oldest Boxwell t-shirt we know of. This was the Staff t-shirt of Bob Alley when he worked on the Rock Island Boxwell staff in the 1950s. Clearly, there isn’t anything particularly special about the shirt. However, in a period before staff hats, a staff t-shirt was an easy to delineate Scouts from Staff.

“Staff” isn’t printed on the shirt anywhere, so how are we certain the shirt was a staff t-shirt. First, the Rock Island Commissary didn’t sell t-shirts and clothing like modern Trading Posts do. Second, Bob Alley told us it was a staff t-shirt. That seemed pretty definitive.

If you have a Boxwell t-shirt, take a picture and send it our way. Staff t-shirts are the top priority, but all Boxwell t-shirts are important. When you send the photo, please try to include the year if you remember! Contact us at webmaster@virtualboxwell.org or virtual.boxwell@gmail.com. (Copy and paste the address; hyperlinking leads to incredible amounts of spam!)

Rock Island t-shirt
Staff T-Shirt at the Rock Island Boxwell, 1950s

From the Archives, February 21, 2021

War Canoes

The Narrows of the Harpeth Boxwell was blessed with an amazing waterfront. The waterfront was perhaps the most popular feature of the Narrows Boxwell… well, besides the rattlesnake eating. Part of what made that waterfront experience were war canoes.

The war canoes were two large ten-man canoes. There was a man in the stern and one in the bow and four pairs in the middle. They were enormous. And generally, they were used for one thing… racing.

At the end of every week of there was a water carnival. The carnival was open to the public, but it was mainly parents that attended. The carnival consisted of a variety of races. Quite a few were swimming races, but some were canoe races as well. The grand finale of the carnival was the war canoe race, where teams raced up the river, around the Harris Street Bridge, and back to the waterfront.

What happened to the war canoes is unclear. They did not appear to survive the transition to Rock Island, but for the Narrows Boxwell, they were a highlight! Pictured here is a war canoe in 1932 finishing up a race.

War Canoes at the Narrows
A “war canoe” at the Narrows of the Harpeth Boxwell, 1932

From the Archives, February 14, 2021

Namesakes: Rudolph Light

As this year is Boxwell’s Centennial, we thought it might be worth exploring the backgrounds on some of the people you’ve heard of but probably know very little about. The Reservation is dotted with names of people who were once significant to the Middle Tennessee movement, but are basically forgotten today. So, to kick off, we thought we’d start with… Dr. Rudolph Light of Camp Light fame.

Rudolph Alvin Light was a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1910. He attended a military academy in his youth before attending the University of Southern California, where he studied physics and chemistry. Light spent most of the 1930s in college and graduate school, earning degrees from Yale and Oxford. His final degree was a doctor of Medicine in 1939 from Vanderbilt University, which brought the twenty-nine year old to Nashville. He performed two years of internship at the University hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

Light returned to Nashville after his internship to serve on the surgical staff at Vanderbilt. His employment was interrupted in 1943 when joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps to serve in the Second World War. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his work during this years. In 1946, he retunred to become director of rehabilitation services and director at surgical research at Vanderbilt Hospital. It was during these years he was critical in establishing the S. Rudolph Light Laboratory of Surgical Research for Vanderbilt, financed and named for his father. In 1958, he accepted a position as a visiting surgeon at Oxford until 1962. His professional associations included New York Academy of Science, the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, and the Southern Surgical Association.

With both his family and his work at Vanderbilt involved in pharmaceuticals, an exploding field after World War II, Light also became a philanthropist. Light was a president of the Nashville Symphony Association and the Nashville Civic Music Association. He was involved in the Nashville Educational Television Foundation, which established WDCN-TV, the forerunner to WNPT Nashville’s Public Television station. He was also director of the Middle Tennessee Heart Association and Tennessee Heart Association. Light was also deeply involved in the Nashville Children’s Museum.

Light became involved with the Boy Scouts of Middle Tennessee when Lem Stevens becames President after Leslie G. Boxwell’s retirement. He joined the Executive Board and helped moved Boxwell from the Narrows to Rock Island. He served as chairman of the Health and Safety Committee and even served as chairman on the Camping Committee during the early 1950s. As his service continued, Light recognized the shortcomings of the Rock Island location and help champion the move to the Old Hickory location. Light himself gave $75,000 to the campaign and served on the Planning Committee that developed the plans for the reservations physical layout and facilities.

Light died January 12, 1970. His family asked the contributions be made to the Middle Tennessee Council. Light had four children (one natural, one adopted, two stepchildren), and six grandsons at the time of his death.

Rudolph Light from _The Tennessean_ January 13, 1970, pg. 1