As today is Easter, we thought this story about Floyd “Q-ball” Pearce would be apropos. The story is from Gordon Bryan from November of last year. The story takes place at Stahlman in 1970. Ted Naylor was Program Director and Joe Keathley was Camp Director.
“Trading patches was a popular hobby at the time, and Q-Ball was reported to have a great collection. Not sure where he kept the patches, maybe in the back of the handicraft tent or in his quarters at the OA Lodge.
“One day Q-Ball’s collection disappeared, and there was great speculation among the staff concerning the thief’s identity. Q-Ball, who could go from smiling and friendly to sullen in a heartbeat, devised a plan to get his patches back.
“He gathered all the staff – no leaders allowed – in the dining hall one afternoon. Several tables had been moved and a large circle of chairs arranged in place of the tables. Q-Ball stood in the middle of the circle with a bowl of water and a towel. He asked us to be seated and to remove our shoes and socks.
“As we sat in the circle, facing in toward Q-Ball, he slowly went from staff member to staff member, washing our feet. The staff was stone silent as Q-Ball continued his loop within the circle, telling the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. The farther he went around the circle, the more emotional became the staff. Some of us looked on the spectacle with skepticism, many others with eyes that became more dewy with every foot washed.
“Finally, one staff member burst into tears when Q-Ball got to his feet. Can’t remember which staff member it was, or if he was indeed the thief, but Q-Ball had his patches back by the end of the day.”
The general rule of thumb amongst the staff is “Staff Stuff Stays Staff Stuff.” As caveat to that is, “The names have been changed to protect the guilty.” In other words, there are a lot of shenanigans that the staff have gotten into over the years. Most of the stories will never be told here as we try to honor the Staff Rule, but there are a few that have gotten out over the years. As summer camp is about to begin, it seemed like a good time to do a repost round-up on those stories.
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 is now an official holiday tradition here, we give you this photo of DE Buff Groth (Camp Director at Parnell in 1980) sitting on the lap of Tom Willhite (Santa; Reservation Director, 1976-1994).
See you all again in 2021, the Centennial of Camp Boxwell. We have a few things planned…
If the scene you see here look a little foreign to you, it is probably because this is not scene you would ever see at a modern Scout camp. At the first Boxwell at Linton, however, this was a common sight. In fact, it happened three times a day!
When Scouts came to camp in the 1920s, they had to bring a mess kit with them. And while there was a cook who prepared all the meals, the Scouts chose from among their own to serve (like a monitor) and then everyone was responsible for cleanign their own kit.
The caption on this photo read, “Washing dishes after the noon meal. After the boys wash their plates in the river they are required to scaled the plates in boiling water. Sanitation is stressed.” This was summer camp in the 1920s!
“Boy Scouts having a great time at Camp Boxwell,” Nashville Banner, July 2, 1929, pg. 13.