From the Archives, February 25, 2018

“The Bread Cure” by Mike Brown

I believe this took place in 1985 at Camp Parnell. Sean C. Gallager was the victim of a joke he kept making worse and worse. Sean C. worked in the commissary/kitchen off and on that summer, was a world champion Ping-Pong player, played a mean French horn(the trombone/French horn duet with Rob Prytula at Camp Craig is remembered lovingly by male deer all over the reservation) , and he spoke with a lisp.

At one time he was walking through the activity yard during the poisonous plants demonstration by the instructor. Poison ivy was the subject, and the counselor had an example for showing his group. Sean C. spied the sample and insisted that this was not poison ivy, but a simple creeping ivy. When the counselor disagreed Sean C. took the sample and rubbed it on his arms, showed his arms to the group, said “SEE!!”, and walked off to be caught by Jerry Barnett for mulch duty.

The day must have been hot and he must have used his arms on his face and brow to remove sweat a few times during his labors. When the red itchy patches began to appear he made the trek up the hill toward the health lodge. The con yard site was on the way and Matthew “Peanut” Bailey was the director at the time. He was seen by Sean C. and asked what the red itchy skin was. Peanut answered immediately that it was syphilis, and the at Sean C. had best get some bread on it to draw out the poison. Sean C., being no dummy, still headed up to the health lodge to get expert medical attention from the Ft Campbell medic Steve.

Steve took a look at the situation and immediately pronounced the verdict for the medical situation- An acute case of Poison Ivy.

Sean C. immediately informed Steve that he was wrong because he had been seen by the Great and Mystical Matthew Bailey, who had declared the rash to be none other that poison syphilis. Steve, aware that there could very well be other explanations, carefully asked whether Matthew had recommended a cure. Upon hearing it he agreed that white bread was probably the best way to draw the poison out and ease the itching flesh. He also recommended changing the bread every half-hour.

Sean C. dutifully went to the kitchen and withdrew his prescription of two loaves of Bunny Bread. He sat on the back steps of the loading dock and placed slices along his arms and then held two pieces in place on his face. He explained to all scouts and scoutmasters that he had a bad case of syphilis and was taking the bread cure for relief. After four loaves, I believe that Jerry Barnett finally ordered him to the health lodge for his calamine lotion.

Jerry later asked Peanut why he had told Sean C. it was poison syphilis. The answer that still reverberates in the annals of Craig/Parnell history was: “It seemed like the thing to say.”

Announcements! Announcements! Announcements!

The Anecdotes Project
March 2018
You may have noticed that the VirtualBoxwell posts this month have all been stories by staff members. This was deliberate. I want you to start thinking about YOUR camp stories.
Next week, on March 1, I will be sending out a Camp Anecdotes Questionnaire to former staff members. I will be asking about your favorite camp stories as well what made camp meaningful for you and your opinions/recollections of the various leaders you worked for. This questionnaire is in part for VirtualBoxwell, but it is also one of the last pieces of research for a project celebrating the centennial of Boxwell for 2021.
Thus, I need as much participation as I can get.
I won’t lie (a Scout is Trustworthy!): the questionnaire is going to take you a little bit of time. It is not multiple choice, but long form answers. But let’s be honest, none of us–NONE OF US–could talk about camp stories or the people we worked with or work for with a multiple choice form. All of us as staff members were just… too unique. 🙂
I want to thank you all in advance for participating and encourage you to start thinking. The Boxwell Staff Anecdotes Project is about to begin!
Grady Eades webmaster

Adkins’ Retirement

Today is the last day for Carl Adkins to serve in the position of Reservation Director.  He is officially retiring.  A party is planned to give him a proper send off.

We at VirtualBoxwell would like to say thank you and good luck to Carl as he begins the next phase of his life.  Serving from 2004 to 2017 makes Carl the second longest running Reservation Director and that is quite feat.

Congratulations Carl from all of us here at VirtualBoxwell!

Carl Adkins

2007 Staff ID photo of Reservation Director Carl Adkins. Photo by Carl Head.

From the Archives: November 29, 2017

Boxwell Reservation, 1989, WKRN News

This week’s posting is actually a repost from January 19, 2013.  Our following was small then, so hopefully we will reach a larger audience this time around!

Former staff member John Hickman discovered a series of news reports on Boxwell from 1989.  Broken up here into three parts, these were originally broadcast on WKRN-ABC the week of July 17.  It features sights and sounds of days gone as well as some familiar faces!  That’s right, Michael Allen, who is still on Stahlman’s waterfront is feature in the videos as well as John Hickman!

Thanks to John for the links!  Everyone else, enjoy.

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

Your Camp Anecdotes

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been running a series called “Camp Anecdotes,” little short stories from staff members about their lives at camp. We have more of these and will continue to share them.

However, we’d also like to hear YOUR stories.  Take a few minutes and write down your two or three favorite camp staff stories.  Keep it clean, but tell the story in as much detail as you would like. Send it on to and we’ll make your story part of “the archive.”

And, hopefully, we’ll post it here in the near future!