From the Archives, June 18, 2017

Parnell Music Department

We recently told you about some of the updates to camp this summer. After a quick visit this week, we found one more that you probably need to know about. The expansion of Parnell continues…

While STEM continues in the Parnell Dining Hall, just down the road at the Trading Post another repurposing is taking place. The Boxwell Music Department is now housed here. As you can tell from the photos, it is fairly simple operation in some ways, but reportedly has had good numbers for the first week.

The centerpiece of the new Music Department is the Artiphon, an electronic instrument that connects to an iPad. From here, the instrument will play virtually any sound. As the instructors told me on Thursday, they had basically finished the merit badge and we’re going to have a big jam session on Friday. There were enough Artiphon’s for everyone.


A demonstration of the Artiphon

Parnell Music

Another view of the repurposed Parnell Trading Post

Parnell Music

The Parnell Trading Post repurposed as the Boxwell Music Department.

From the Archives, June 11, 2017

Sunday Medical Recheck, 1960s

Long before the Ten Day Out meeting, Sunday check-ins were a rather involved process. Troops arrived when they felt like it any time after 1pm (sometimes earlier) and there were no solid pre-counts on numbers for merit badges or campsites. It could be a bear.

One of the parts of check in that has disappeared is the medical re-check. At least as far back as the Narrows of the Harpeth Boxwell, Scouts have been required to have a medical form when they came to camp. By the 1960s, camp also had a medical re-check component: an on-site once over when you arrive before you went to go swim.

This photo is of one such re-check at Camp Stahlman. Scouts are getting a quick check-up before going on to take the swim test on the waterfront (also done for everyone on Sunday at the time). One of the neat components to this was that Scouts were given salt tablets to take during the week. Why? Because the thought was you lost so much salt through sweat you were more likely to cramp; the tablet would fix that problem.

Medical Recheck

Scouts getting a quick re-check before going to take their swim test. Sundays were busy!

From the Archives, June 4, 2017

Staff Week, Camp Parnell, 1993

Believe it or not, Staff Week 2017 officially begins today. So, in recognition of the fact that we are now entering the Summer Camp season, we give you some history on… Staff Week.

Pictured here is the Parnell Waterfront in 1993. Aside from the obvious historic fact that this shows Parnell when it was a working camp, the photo also shows some significant changes The poles in Parnell Bay are Railroad rails and they would be painted over every year; something that is not generally done now.

More importantly though are the docks. Today, the docks never leave their anchored locations; they stay put year round. From the 1960s all the way up through the early 2000s, the docks were disconnected at the end of every summer and taken to Parnell Bay, where they chained for the winter. Then, in the summer time, Stahlman’s docks were disconnected from the Parnell/Craig docks and the process started all over again. Ah, Staff Week.

(As a shameless plug, don’t forget to check out of “A Complete Summer: Parnell 1993” Special Exhibition page.)

Staff week docks

Painting the rails in Parnell. It appears to be Mark Sala (l) and Eric Cole (r) doing the painting. Note the docks in the background; Stahlman has already retrieved theirs.

From the Archives, May 28, 2017

Camp Parnell Updates

We’ll continue our Boxwell updates this week. This week’s change is another that is critically important, but also is not super “sexy.” Still, there will be a few out there who will be happy about this! ¬†As the new STEM program grows at Camp Parnell, updates needed to be made. So, two big improvements this summer, though neither of them photograph very well!

The first photo demonstrates a very simple fact: Parnell Dining Hall has water again! No more port-a-potties at the STEM Center. The other issue that has now been resolved is cooling. No more ceiling fans; new air conditioning units have been put in to the dining hall as well.

Is Parnell back up and completely operational again? No. But having the dining hall back in fundamental working order is a huge step!

Fire hyrdant

New Parnell Dining Hall Fire Hydrant

Air conditioning

One of two new air conditioning units at Parnell Dining Hall.

From the Archives, May 21, 2017

Waste Water Treatment Facility

(We apologize for the late posting; we had some weather issues!)

As the 2017 camping season approaches, it seems like this might be a good time to show some of the changes that have gone on at the reservation over the last year. Not all of these changes are “sexy,” but some were entirely necessary.

The biggest change in terms of scope, cost, and “un-sexiness” is a new waste water treatment facility. Located right next to the original facility on the road down to the Boat Harbor (the fenced area is the old treatment plant), the new facility is considerably larger and no longer allows any kind of waste to empty into the lake. The next time you visit Boxwell and you notice that the grass up around the Cripple Crab is especially green, well, now you know why!

Waste Water

The new treatment facility between Stahlman and the Boat Harbor. To orient yourself in the photo: directly ahead in the fence is the old treatment plant, to the right is Stahlman, to the left is the Boat Harbor, and behind is the Boat Harbor Maintenance area.