From the Archives, June 4, 2017

Staff Week, Camp Parnell, 1993

Believe it or not, Staff Week 2017 officially begins today. So, in recognition of the fact that we are now entering the Summer Camp season, we give you some history on… Staff Week.

Pictured here is the Parnell Waterfront in 1993. Aside from the obvious historic fact that this shows Parnell when it was a working camp, the photo also shows some significant changes The poles in Parnell Bay are Railroad rails and they would be painted over every year; something that is not generally done now.

More importantly though are the docks. Today, the docks never leave their anchored locations; they stay put year round. From the 1960s all the way up through the early 2000s, the docks were disconnected at the end of every summer and taken to Parnell Bay, where they chained for the winter. Then, in the summer time, Stahlman’s docks were disconnected from the Parnell/Craig docks and the process started all over again. Ah, Staff Week.

(As a shameless plug, don’t forget to check out of “A Complete Summer: Parnell 1993” Special Exhibition page.)

Staff week docks

Painting the rails in Parnell. It appears to be Mark Sala (l) and Eric Cole (r) doing the painting. Note the docks in the background; Stahlman has already retrieved theirs.

From the News, May 31, 2017

Tapping Out Walter, 1947
With the start of camp right around the corner, this will be the last From the News posting for awhile. We hope you’ve enjoyed the series.
This week’s post is about an OA tap-out at Boxwell in 1947. Wa-Hi-Nasa was still in its first decade at this point and tap-out ceremonies at Boxwell were common, as were day long ordeals in the middle of camp.
This article though is important though not just because it refers to an OA ceremony, but because it inducts 65 year old camp cook Walter Whitaker, who had been working at Boxwell almost since its beginning in 1921. Indeed, the facts that Whitaker is given the honor AND is referred to by his whole name in the article (instead of just “Walter”) in a time when segregation is still going strong in Tennessee and in the Boy Scouts are pretty important moments in their own way.
“Scout Society Adds 12 to Rolls,” The Tennessean, July 29, 1947, pg. 13.
Walter Whitaker OA

OA ceremonies at the Narrows Boxwell

From the Archives, May 28, 2017

Camp Parnell Updates

We’ll continue our Boxwell updates this week. This week’s change is another that is critically important, but also is not super “sexy.” Still, there will be a few out there who will be happy about this!  As the new STEM program grows at Camp Parnell, updates needed to be made. So, two big improvements this summer, though neither of them photograph very well!

The first photo demonstrates a very simple fact: Parnell Dining Hall has water again! No more port-a-potties at the STEM Center. The other issue that has now been resolved is cooling. No more ceiling fans; new air conditioning units have been put in to the dining hall as well.

Is Parnell back up and completely operational again? No. But having the dining hall back in fundamental working order is a huge step!

Fire hyrdant

New Parnell Dining Hall Fire Hydrant

Air conditioning

One of two new air conditioning units at Parnell Dining Hall.

From the News, May 24, 2017

“With the Scouts,” July 10, 1921

Throughout the 1920s and into the 1940s, the local newspapers ran sections specifically about Boy Scouts.  These went under various names, such as “With the Scouts,” as seen here, or “Boy Scout News” or something else.  The Tennessean gave a whole page for several years called “The Nashville Scouts’ Own Page.”  The news was similar: council news, yes, but predominantly Troop news.  After all, writing articles was part of what a Scribe did!

Here is an article from July 10, 1921.  The second part is some troop news (rather brief this week), but the first part is about Boxwell.  Indeed, this article is discussing what the very first week at the very first Boxwell was like…

“With the Scouts,” The Nashville Banner, July 10, 1921, pg. 14

Linton Boxwell

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.