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.

From the Archives, May 14, 2017

Camp Graffiti 2

After last week’s response to the staff graffiti, we thought we would post some more! Who knew graffiti would be so popular?

While most graffiti at Boxwell is simply listing names of a particular area staff for a given year, sometimes it gets a bit more elaborate. There are always artists on the camp staff and camp graffiti gives them a chance to let their flags fly!

So, this week is some more art from the Stahlman Handicraft. This is a work by Alex Cox, who worked both Stahlman and Craig staffs (primarily Stahlman) beginning in the mid-1990s, before ending his run as Stahlman Commissioner in 2002.


Baden-Powell graffiti, the handiwork of Stahlman Staff member Alex Cox, late 1990s, early 2000s.

From the Archives, May 7, 2017

Camp Graffiti

If you’ve worked camp staff, you’ve seen camp graffiti. In fact, you’ve probably participated in created graffiti. ¬†For the most part, Boxwell graffiti is harmless stuff. Generally, it is nothing more than camp staff members literally leaving their marks. Sometimes a staff will all sign a wall or the inside of a door. Over the years, there have also been pieces of furniture that have been covered with staff names as well. Believe it or not, much of this graffiti has been lost as furniture is destroyed or walls are painted over and the process begins anew.

There are still plenty of examples left though! This week’s photo is a message from Stahlman Trading Post Staff member Will Gentry. While there are other names here, it is Gentry’s message to the future that truly resonates with the camp staff experience.

If you can’t make it out, here are Gentry’s words: “To Absent friends, This is my home, and there is no other place like Camp Stahlman[.] Take my advice, enjoy it while it last’s [sic]. My most fond memories have come from this place. You don’t know what you have till it’s gone. Cherish the time you spend here, for one day you miss it and theres no place like Camp Stahlman.”

Stahlman Graffiti

Trading Post graffiti message from Will Gentry.

From the Archives, April 30, 2017

The Linton Waterfront

The Jimmy Stevens-Beany Elam Collection has a lot of great images in it. We’ve seen some early photos of Woodbadge as well as some of the hand-drawn art of Beany Elam himself. The examples over the last few weeks show what a treasure this collection is.

However, part of what has really excited us are a handful of original photos from the first Boxwells. Buried in the collection are (just!) four photos from the Linton Boxwell and about 12 photos from the Narrows of the Harpeth Boxwell. None of these photos are especially amazing, but they are the ONLY actual photos from these Boxwells we possess.

So, this week a photo of the Linton Boxwell Waterfront. Located on the Little Harpeth River, this photo shows a set of wooden stairs leading down to the actual river itself. There’s not a lot to point out here, but it should be noted that the Boy Scout program at this point (1920s) had not yet developed the buddy system. So, this was an every man for himself exercise!

Linton waterfront

The only original photo we possess of the Linton Boxwell waterfront.

From the Archives, April 23, 2017

MT-3, 1956

Trying to find one drawing to encapsulate the work of Beany Elam is like trying to find one Beatles song that exemplifies the entire catalog; it can’t be done. Indeed, we could easily spend the rest of the year simply showcasing Elam’s work and never quite capture it completely.

Nevertheless, this week we make an attempt to demonstrate the artistry of Beany Elam to those who may not be familiar. Elam was a prolific sketcher. From more detailed drawings like this one to caricatures of individuals he worked with to simple stick man drawings, Elam was constantly creating.

This drawing is one of many Elam completed for the various Woodbadge sections he was involved with. This particular drawing was for MT-3 in 1956. Elam was Scoutmaster of this Rock Island Woodbadge training. The initials carved in the tree are the staff for Mt-3 (D.S. for Don Starin, E.D.R. for Ed D. Roberts, J.G. for Jim Gray, B.E. for Beany Elam, Y for Wayne Yearwood).


Artwork created by Beany Elam for MT-3 at Rock Island, 1956.