From the Archives, June 11, 2023

Pioneer Camp, 1959

An unremarkable, yet intriguing photo this week. As we explained a few weeks ago, Middle Tennessee Council secured rights to what is now Boxwell Reservation in 1957. A September 1957 camporee inaugurated the property to camping with 1500 Scouts on the property in a single weekend, more than Rock Island had seen all summer!

The photo here is not from the 1957 Camporee, but from other troop camping in the two years before Boxwell opened. Here we see Scouts from Troop 204 eating breakfast on a pioneered quadpod table. What’s important for us is the background.

Before the capital campaign, before the campaign’s construction began, before almost anything else on the Reservation was built, there was the Pump House. Donated by the Clover Bottom Developmental Hospital in 1959, the Pump House was the first building constructed on the propert. After all, if you’re going to mix concrete and build buildings, you need water.

Charlie Ray Smith, who contributed the photo, recalled the camp-out, remarking that from their camping location, the troop could hear construction at Camp Parnell in that Spring of 1959.

Pioneer Camp, 1959
Scouts from Troop 204 in front of the Pump House, Spring 1959

Remembering the Staff

Boxwell Reservation, 1972

We continue to look at Boxwell Reservation staff this week, particularly 1972. 50 years ago Ward Akers was still the Council Executive and Ed Human was Reservation Director. Ittabeena was built for Akers, while Human’s family stayed at Murrey. We aren’t sure who ran Murrey in 1972, but everyone agrees the Kathy Howard ran the waterfront there. Garland Russell was in his second year as Program Director at Stahlman with Andy Russell as his Camp Director (again, a professional Scouter). At Parnell, David Farrar was Program Director and Vester Parsley, Jr. his Camp Director. Both camps were working through their second year under the “Commissioner System,” which essentially broke the Activity Yard into 4 smaller AYs and tied them to a different campsites. No one liked it. Bobby Smith was the Ranger and John Stewart ran the Ski Dock. The 1972 Capital Development Campaign was underway.

We have absolutely no staff photos from 1972. However, as an interesting side note, 1972 was the year VERY FIRST staff hat was used. And so, we present you with the first staff hat from the collection of John Stewart and a closer look at the patch from the personal patch collection of Q-ball Pearce.

1972 hat
The staff hat from the first year they were issued, 1972. Special Thanks to John Cyril Stewart for keeping an intact hat!
Staff Patch
An original, and slightly used, Boxwell Staff patch from 1972.

Boxwell History Presentations

Just a reminder: Grady Eades (the VirtualBoxwell guy) will be wrapping up his spring book tour on the history of Boxwell. These are the final presentations this spring, so now’s your chance to come see the show! There will be a presentation on the camp’s history with books for sale (and signing) afterward.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 5pm
Gallatin Public Library
Gallatin, TN

Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 7pm
Linebaugh Public Library
Murfreesboro, TN

Here’s a little local promotion from the Murfreesboro Voice: