From the Archives, March 1, 2020

The Big Four (Revised)

Every now and then, we here at VirtualBoxwell make mistakes. The joy of research is realizing that what you THOUGHT was correct at one point, turns out to be incorrect with a bit more digging. Fortunately, new discoveries help change the existing story and allow us to write new narratives.

That’s the case this week. Back in April of 2018, we posted the below color photograph of “the Big Four.” After some recent research in the Nashville Banner, it turns out that half of these individuals were incorrecty identified. From left to right are F. Murrey Acker, E. B. Stahlman, Ward Akers, and Representative J. Carlton Loser. The Scouts folding the flag in the background are Melton Abernathy, Thomas Smith, and James Seay.

The line up makes sense, once put in context. These four men were posing outside Stahlman dining hall on the day of the Reservation’s dedication ceremonies, July 9, 1960. F. Murrey Acker was president of the council and gave the primary dedication address. Stahlman, whose brother James was the event’s master of ceremonies, read letters, telegrams, and messages from dignitaries who would not be present, such as Governor Buford Ellington and Senator Al Gore, Sr. Ward Akers himself was absent from the program that day, allowing the volunteers to run the show.

J. Carlton Loser was the Tennessee’s representative from Nashville to the U.S. Congress. He had been instrumental in passage of the special act of Congress that allowed the Council to purchase the core Boxwell property from the Corps of Engineers, securing the title for construction. While the specifics of what he said do not appear to have not survived, the papers did note that when Loser rose to speak, he was greeted with a standing ovation. His work was known and appreciated.

Later that month, Loser came back to Boxwell and toured the whole property with Akers, Ackers, E. B. Stahlman, James “Foxy” Johnson, and Scout leader Paul Huff. He had a hot dog with Scouts at Parnell, visited the Ski Dock (Boat Harbor), and attended flag lowering at Stahlman. Of the Scouting project, Loser remarked, “I’m glad to have had a part in this great project. The greatest contribution to our nation is made through the training of young people engaged in such activities as Scouting.”

Big Four

Dedication, July 9, 1960. F. Murrey Acker, E. B. Stahlman, Ward E. Akers, and Rep. Carlton Loser [updated March 2020]

Boxwell Day, 2019

Happy Boxwell Day!

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.

To that end, we ask for two things from you:
1) 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!
2) Take this opportunity to share your favorite Boxwell stories in the comments AND, if you are staff member, contact an old friend and reminisce about years gone by!

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

Happy Boxwell Day everyone!

Boxwell Day

Happy Boxwell Day! Leslie G. Boxwell surrounded by the four camps bearing his name. Boxwell was located at Linton, TN, the Narrows of the Harpeth, Rock Island, and Old Hickory Lake.

Boxwell Transcription Project: GoFundMe

Would you be interested in seeing a complete written history of Boxwell for its centennial? If so, I need your help.

I need to raise $6000 to take 100 hours of interviews to human transcription service. These services are fast and accurate, but tend to run about $1 a minute. It’s a big amount, but necessary to finish this story.

In order to complete the book for 2021 centennial, I need these interviews transcribed this summer. I’ve exhausted every avenue I can think of, but none return transcripts with the accuracy and speed I need to complete the project on time.

$6000 is a big request; are the interviews worth that amount? Yes. I have interviews with camp staff members and professional Scouters, past and present. I have interviews with Scouts who attended Boxwell in the 1930s and 1940s and one when Boxwell integrated in the 1960s. I have conversations about Rock Island, the Old Hickory farm operations, life at Camp Murrey, and the capital development campaigns. And more stories on staff shenanigans than you can imagine.

There is a story here that needs to be told, but I need your help to tell it. This fundraising campaign will be open until the end of May. From there, I will spend the rest of the summer getting these interviews transcribed and processed. I hope to have the entire history written by the end of summer 2020.

Any amount you can contribute will help. Together we can create something people read for decades to come. Thanks for your help.

https://www.gofundme.com/boxwell-history-transcription-project

GoFundMe

For the Good of the Program: A Century of Summer Camp at Middle Tennessee’s Boxwell

Happy Boxwell Day!

Happy Boxwell Day!

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.

To that end, we ask for two things from you:
1) 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!
2) Take this opportunity to share your favorite Boxwell stories in the comments AND, if you are staff member, contact an old friend and reminisce about years gone by!

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

Happy Boxwell Day everyone!

Boxwell Day 2018

The four Boxwells: Linton, Narrows of the Harpeth, Rock Island, Old Hickory Lake

Notice

Hello All,

We’re taking a small hiatus.  We’ll be back the first Sunday in June with regular postings.  Enjoy the nice weather and see you in two weeks with some more Boxwell history!

The VirtualBoxwell Team