Remembering the Staff

Boxwell Reservation, 1982

A lot had changed by 1982. Hershel Tolbert was now Council Executive. In fact, Ward Akers had died in 1981. Tom Willhite was now Reservation Director. Ernie Ragsdale was Program Director at Stahlman, though we are ashamed to admit we don’t know who either his Camp Director or Commissioner was that summer. Parnell was closed in 1982, so at Camp Craig, Jerry Barnett was Program Director and Larry Green was Camp Director. Gladys Roberts completed a decade long run at Murrey in 1982. The Ski Dock was closed and would be for another 10 years. Willie Claude was Head Ranger. Both photos here taken by Business Manager Russ Parham.

Camp Craig Staff, 1982
Camp Stahlman Staff, 1982

Remembering the Staff

Boxwell Reservation, 1962

After looking at the previous Boxwells last week, this week we turn our attention to the Boxwell Reservations staffs of 1962. Ward Akers was Council Executive and James “Foxy” Johnson was Reservation Director. Chester LaFever was Program Director at Stahlman and the Camp Director (a District Executive then) was Charlie Biderman. Camp Parnell was led by Program Director Harold Hitt and Camp Director Ralph Manus. The Ski Dock was run by G. E. McCormack and Camp Murrey by Joan Hitt, Harold’s wife. Coleman Wright was the Ranger.

We only have a staff photo from Camp Parnell, but we present a second photo as well. We don’t know who all the people here are, but the man in the back left is James Johnson and the man center is Ward Akers. It’s a good shot of both men. If you know the other individuals, tell us!

Parnell 1962
Parnell Staff, 1962
Ward Presenting Award
Ward Akers presenting Award. Akers is center back, James Johnson to his right.

Remembering the Staff, 1922-1952

As we do every year, when summer camp begins, we take a moment out each week to remember former camp staffs–the ones who make the program possible. Without the summer camp staff, there would be no summer camp program!

At Linton, in 1922, Camp Boxwell had opened for its second summer. William Anderson, the Council Executive, was “General Management” and his Camp Director was a member of his track team, Hugh Nixon. The Swimming Director was local basketball celebrity Lallie Richter and of course Walter Whittaker was the head cook. All other staff were adult volunteers. There were no staff photos.

At the Narrows in 1932, the Great Depression was in its peak year while Camp Boxwell was in its 3rd year at the new location. Anderson was again out at camp but the Council’s Field Executive Robert DuBose was the Camp Director. Tallmadge Miller ran the waterfront and Walter Whittaker was the head cook. 1932 was the first summer with a youth staff–8 Eagle Scouts who were on site all summer to help the volunteer adult instructors. Future Camp Director James Gribble was among these. Among the adult instructors was living legend Rev. A. C. Adamz. Camp ran from Monday, June 20 to Monday, July 18: the shortest summer of Anderson’s tenure.

In 1942, the United States had officially joined the second World War, so all the news focused on the war. We know only that camp met that summer, Anderson was there as was Whittaker, and Melvin Williams was the camp director. Camp ran from Monday, June 1 to Monday, July 27.

In 1952, Ward E. Akers was now Council Executive and Boxwell had moved to Rock Island. After a capital campaign in 1951, the Council now referred to Boxwell as Boxwell Reservation, not Camp Boxwell, though it was still only one camp. Economist Clarence Jung was Camp Director with several assistants. Severl familiar names appear on the 1952 roster including Floyd “Q-ball” Pearce, John Parish, Barry Goad, and Richard Parker. Camp ran from June 29 to August 11.

The photo here is from the Tennessean, July 13, 1952, page 9B. Rock Island Scouts and staff enjoy summer camp in “Its Takes a Busy Program to Keey Boy Scouts Busy at Summer Camp.”

It Takes a Busy Program...
“Its Takes a Busy Program to Keep Boy Scouts Busy at Summer Camp,” The Tennessean, July 13, 1952, pg. 9B.

From the Archives, May 29, 2022

In Memory

In honor of Memorial Day, we thought we would try something a little different this week. This week’s post is in honor of all our staff friends and colleagues who are no longer with us.

Follow the link to see our list of staff who have passed. If there are names missing, please pass them on.

But more importantly, use the comments to share stories. Keeping the stories alive helps keep the individuals with us.

Take a moment this weekend and remember members of the service who are no longer with us. Take another moment and remember those staff who are no longer with us.

Reservation Flags Half-Mast
Reservation flags at Half-Mast for Pat Deugaw, 2011

Finding the Staff Veterans

Hello all. The Council is working on putting together a list of veterans for the new Boxwell entrance gateway. We’d like to help by compiling a list of veterans who served on staff.

So, either send a list ( or make comments below. Name the veteran, what camp, and what branch. Years on staff or in service aren’t strictly necessary, but share them if you know. The veteran can be alive or deceased. Assume we have no names; in short, give us everyone you can think of!

Thanks for your help!

For more information please contact Linda Carter, Assoc Director of Development for the Middle Tennessee Council, at

Camp Medic and Ranger Officer Thompson, Camp Stahlman, July 1960