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Camp Parnell is named for R. L. Parnell, a member of Middle Tennessee Council who gave considerable money for the creation of the camp during the 1959 capital development campaign. One of Boxwell's three resident camps, Camp Parnell was built when the Reservation opened in 1960. The dining hall was all but completed in 1960 and the camp was adorned with GP Mediums for the Trading Post, Handicraft and Camp office for several years. Like Craig, Parnell does not have a working kitchen.

For a brief period in the early 1970s, all three resident camps (Craig, Parnell, and Stahlman) operated simultaneously. By 1976, Craig and Parnell entered into a two year rotation--one would be open and operate for two years while the other remained closed. After two years, the two flip-flopped. This rotation ended in 1998 when Parnell was in operation for three years in a row. Beginning in 1999, Craig was reopened and Parnell has remained closed ever since.

Much like Stahlman, Parnell benefitted from the 1972 capital development campaign. This campaign--the largest in Scouting history up to that point--led to the creation of a permanent camp office as well as a permanent Handicraft and Trading Post. In the 1990s, Parnell's showerhouses and toilet facilities were updated from the 1960s origination to include a women's facility. However, since the camp has been closed much of the camp's facilities and infrastructure have begun to deteriorate.

Interestingly, Parnell houses of the great legends of the reservation. In the late 1980s, Parnell staff climbed onto of the roof of the dining hall and painted "See Rock City" in "safety purple" paint. While much faded, the phrase is still there. No photos are known to exist.