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!
In a world without coronavirus, today would have been the first day of staff week for the 2020 summer camp season. Unfortunately, there is coronavirus and more unfortunately, summer camp was cancelled as a result.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to post a little bit more than usual–a bit of a virtual summer camp. Less explanation and more photos. We bet you’ll like it.
So, since this would be staff week, here is the first page from the VERY first staff manual in 1960. Note that last line–it stays in the manual for at least a decade.
Two nights ago, we reported on the passing of Elizabeth Jackson. Thus, we thought this might be a good time to give a little information on here. In a period when “feminism” was either unheard of or a bit of dirty word in Scouting circles, Jackson was a program director at Boxwell.
Kathy Howard, the Murrey waterfront director, described Jackson a short and stocky, very physically fit, with short blonde hair. Well into her 30s and early 40s at the tiem, she was still a swimmer too. Vivian Connelly recalled getting to know Elizabeth well the summer she stayed at Murrey when her husband Ken was camp director at Parnell. According to Connelly, Jackson was liked by everyone, was very outgoing and very fair. She was the type of manager who ran things so smoothly, no one even realized anyone was in charge. Things just got taken care of. Jackson made it happen.
As for Elizabeth herself, we caught a bit of her on tape when interviewing Jimmy Joe Jackson in 2002. “I remember lots of things about Boy Scout camp,” she recalled. “I loved Boy Scout camp. I loved Boy Scout camp because there were not telephones down on Murrey side. There were no telephones. We had campfires at night time down there, out in the middle and all of us would come down out of tents, our four man tents and the two man tents on the side of them and talk. And we’d talk and we’d have more fun down there.”
In terms of photos, we only have one contemporary image of Jackson from her last summer at Boxwell, 1970. We posted the story three years ago. Here is the link, but the photo is reported here. Elizabeth was the blonde woman in the passenger seat.
The Human Sisters in the Boxwell Jeep with Audry Manis and Elizabeth Jackson outside the Cripple Crab, summer 1970
2020 is an important year for Middle Tennessee Boy Scouting. This is considered the centennial of the Middle Tennessee Council. The Nashville Council was organized in March 1920 and this was the predecessor to the Middle Tennessee Council. (If you are interested in the Council’s Centennial events, go here: https://www.mtcbsa.org/anniversary). Happy Centennial everyone!
While we do have some centennial events planned here at VirtualBoxwell, we have some more immediate concerns: website updates.
We have a new banner image. Shown here is Camp Stahlman on January 31, 2010 after a good snow. The photo is by Steve Belew, head ranger at the time. See below.