From the Archives, January 5, 2020

Boxwell Reservation History

As we explained back in October 2018, the history of Boxwell has been a changing story. Just like the Rock Island camp created a story for itself, so too did the Old Hickory Location. In fact, what you see here is one of the very first attempts at writing that “new” history.

There are several things that are interesting here and quite different from modern tellings of Boxwell Reservation. First, there is no mention of the different camps. Though Stahlman, Parnell, Murrey, and Light all opened in the summer of 1960, none are referenced here. Second, the history focuses a lot on the process of how the property came to be Boxwell. As the summer camp had not yet opened, there wasn’t much more to say.

This page came from the very first Staff Handbook in 1960. There was still plenty of time to build a history…

staff manual

Page Four of the first Boxwell staff manual, 1960

Interview Transcription Project

This young woman is Rachel Paris. I interviewed Rachel last year on July 12. We discussed Rachel’s time on the CubWorld staff, how CubWorld programs worked (wildly different from Boy Scout programs!), her long family connections with Boxwell, and what it was like to be a woman in an organization that often prides itself on its male-ness. We had a great conversation and I learned more than I could have hoped!

This was a shorter interview, but still ran a solid hour and a half. To be fair, Rachel was still working.

Rachel’s interview is one I need transcribed. Her experience provides insight into how the world of Boy Scouting–Scouting–has changed; she helps give a complete story.

Please, help me tell that story by getting me to my goal. Contribute to the Boxwell Interview Transcription Project:


CubWorld Staffer Rachel Paris, July 12, 2018

Interview Transcript Project

Today I introduce you to the legendary Jim Barr. I interviewed Jim on June 13, 2016. We discussed Jim’s time on Craig’s and Stahlman’s Waterfront, the Great Staff Walkout in 1976, the Staff Switch in 1979/1980, Tom Willhite, and, of course, Ernie Ragsdale. Ragsdale-Barr was as much an institution at Boxwell as was Willhite himself. And oh my goodness, the stories! Jim Barr is a story-teller!
Indeed, the interview ran almost three solid hours. There was still so much to talk about, I came back a month later for another two hours.
That’s five hours of Jim Barr stories and history on the record!
Jim’s interviews are ones I need transcribed. To describe Boxwell in the 1970s and 1980s without Barr and Ragsdale is like trying to discuss early U. S. History without Jefferson and Madison; it can’t be done.
Please, help me reach my goal. Contribute to the Boxwell Interview Transcription Project:

Jim Barr at his home, June 2016.