Grady Eades is a graduate of Franklin High School who then attended college at ETSU and graduated from the University of Alabama. He has taught history at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin for twenty years. Grady is an Eagle Scout and a former Boxwell camp staff member. Married with a son in Cub Scouts he continues to be involved in scouting via his son's pack and by serving as a Middle Tennessee Council. His non-profit website, VirtualBoxwell.org, serves as a virtual museum of sorts for the camp.
For the Good of the Program: A Century of Middle Tennessee Scouting at Boxwell, 1921-2021 explores the history of Scouting in the middle Tennessee area over the last hundred years. The book argues that as society and Scouting have changed, so too has the program delivered at the local Scout Council's summer camp. And the changes have been enormous. In its earliest days, summer camp was seen as a vehicle for building citizens from the youth. Democratically elected Scout representatives had a camp council that made the rules for the camp, training them for adulthood. As time went on, an emphasis on fatherhood and family developed. The way meals were delivered changed to focus on family values and manners. Individual achievement and advancement became more important than working in groups. As the social tapestry of the nation became more diverse, so too did Scouting and who the program served.
For the Good of the Program is based on several years of research. It builds upon a century of newspaper articles and hours of personal interviews as well as the Council's own records. It looks at how Camp Boxwell became Boxwell Reservation, the leaders who ran the camp in its different incarnations, and how the program transformed over the decades. It includes some big fish stories from former camp staff as well as explores some necessary rabbit holes, such as how Boy Scouts handled segregation and homosexuality both at the camp and in their policy. It is the first book written on the Boy Scouts' summer camp program in Tennessee and only the second on middle Tennessee Scouting in general.
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