Website Updates, January 2020

Happy New Year!

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: 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.

2019 Staff photos for Stahlman, Craig, the Reservation, and Boat Harbor have been added.  Unfortunately, we have no staff photo for the CubWorld Staff at this time.

All copyright dates have been updated to reflect 2020.

Have a great year everyone!  We’ll see you soon!

The VirtualBoxwell Team

Stahlman snow

Camp Stahlman Dining Hall in the snow, January 2010

From the Archives, August 18, 2019

Passing the Baton

In March of 1920, the Nashville Council formed. Three months later, they hired their first Scout Executive, Vanderbilt track coach William Anderson. Anderson didn’t particularly want the job. But, after taking a Scoutmaster’s Handbook home and reading it for just one hour, he knew he had to accept the post. He stayed on for the next 27 years, overseeing Boxwell at Linton and the Narrows.

Anderson officially retired at his birthday in June 1947, but agreed to stay on for a few more months while a replacement was found. That replacement was Ward E. Akers. Akers originally hailed from Roanoke, Virginia, but he came to Tennessee through the Eastern Arkansas Area Council, where he had been an executive since 1941. Akers was an incredibly young 34 years old when he took the post on September 15, 1947. He would stay on until his forced retirement at the end of 1975, almost thirty years later.

Both track men at different points in their lives, here is Anderson “passing the baton” on September 15. The two men are front and center, Akers on the left, Anderson on the right. In the background, from left to right are treasurer E. E. Murrey, Assistant Scout Executives James Gribble and Talmadge Miller (both part of the Narrows Boxwell), and George Simpson, deputy regional executive of Region V. It is not an exaggeration to say that big changes both in the Council and at Boxwell would soon follow…

From “New Scout Executive Takes Over Duties,” Nashville Banner, September 16, 1947, pg. 8.

Akers, Anderson, Gribble, Miller, Murrey

Back Row, L to R: treasurer E. E. Murrey, Assistant Scout Executives James Gribble and Talmadge Miller, and George Simpson, deputy regional executive of Region V.
Up Front: Ward E. Akers and William J. Anderson

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.

Interview Transcription Project

This gentlemen is Ken Connelly. He’s retired now, but he was a professional Scouter for a long, LONG time. In fact, he was a District Executive in the 1960s and later Finance Director in the 1970s. He eventually got his own Council and then came back to Middle Tennessee as Council Executive in the early 1990s. He then went on to Regional and National Posts before retiring back in the mid-state area. He has vast experience!

And in terms of Boxwell, why does he matter? He was a Camp Director in 1967. He was the Finance Director during the 1972 Capital Development Campaign. He was on the “Blue Ribbon Committee” that investigated the Ward Akers allegations in 1975. He was the Council Executive for the 1994 Capital Development Campaign. In short, he’s been around for some pretty major moments.

We had a fantastic chat down at the Jet Potter Center on December 11, 2017. In fact, we spoke for over four hours!

This is an interview I need transcribed. Indeed, Ken’s interview is critical to understanding the inner workings of the Council at several crucial moments in Boxwell’s modern history.

Please, time is running out. There are only two weeks left in this campaign; help me reach my goal. Contribute to the Boxwell Interview Transcription Project: to get this interview transcribed so I can produce a history of Camp Boxwell for its centennial in 2021.


Ken Connelly, former Council Executive, on December 11, 2017