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 100 summers to keep Boxwell alive and flourishing!
Back in August 2017, we posted a photo as part of a “Boxwell Zen” series by Chris “Kit” Eckert, camp photographer in 1970. It was a view from the Cripple Crab down the hill. The “zen” aspect was the sunset and darkened exposure of the photography. Today we present a slightly different version of the photo.
As we all do sometimes, Eckert took several photos from the top of the hill that day in 1970. There are at least eight in the series from this particular vantage point, all with different exposures. There are a couple of others where it appeared Eckert climbed on top of the roof of the Crab and took a few shots. We say “appeared” because we know that no staff member would ever do such a thing…
Shown here is a considerably lighter exposure. You can see how much the landscape has changed in the fifty years since the photo was taken. Not only are there no amphitheatre, trees, or flagpoles, there is a clear and direct view straight down to the Pump House. Of course, that direct line makes sense when one considers that the Pump House was a working part of camp at the time and pumped water out of the lake, straight up the hill, and into the (now unused) Water Tower. The sunset though is much less powerful, demonstrating that how we take a photo is important to the story we want to tell.
View from the top of the hill to the bottom of the hill, 1970
As amazing as summer camp is, some of the best moments at Boxwell can be found when no one is there and nature does its thing. And so, this week, your moment of Boxwell zen: a family of Canadian geese in Parnell Bay.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you out there from all of us here at VirtualBoxwell! Have a wonderful and safe holiday!
And, in what will now be an official holiday tradition, we give you this photo of DE Bob Groth (Camp Director at Parnell in 1980) sitting on the lap of Tom Willhite (Santa; Reservation Director, 1976-1994).
See you all again in 2019.
Tom Willhite as Santa Claus as a Council Christmas party; 1980 Parnell Camp Director Bob Groth “on his lap”