History of Old Kia Kima (OKK)

Old camp Kia Kima traces its history back to 1916, just six short years after William D. Boyce brought Boy Scouting to this country on Feb. 8, 1910. The main campsite was situated on a bluff overlooking a pristine riverfront on the South Fork of the Spring River, in Sharp County, Arkansas. The name chosen for the Scout camp was Kia Kima, and could hardly have been more fitting. Kia Kima, in the Chickasaw Indian native language, means "Nest of the Eagles".

Old Kia Kima was operated (excluding war years) by the Chickasaw Council, BSA in Memphis for 47 years, closing in 1963.  For the next 31 years, the camp was in a state of abandonment and ruin until 1996 when OKKPA, Inc. was formed to begin the restoration.

The former camp is concentrated in a small corner of the property, fronting on the South Fork of the Spring River, and consists of 16 native stone and wood lodges as well as a number of other buildings, including a stone and timber central lodge. Boyce and George Billingsley purchased the original 43 acres that was the core of Old Kia Kima and donated it to OKKPA. Since then, the camp buildings have undergone extensive restoration after having been unoccupied and not maintained for over 35 years. Although many projects remain, with Restoration near completion, Old Kia Kima was reopened by OKKPA for Youth Group Camping in the Spring of 2002.

Today, OKKPA continues to expand its reach to qualified youth groups by expanding its facilities. 

The Old Kia Kima Preservation Association (OKKPA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit youth leadership and service organization formed to restore the former summer camp, and in so doing, establish links to existing Boy Scout programs, local civic organizations, and national youth service organizations. OKKPA is committed to the purpose of providing leadership guidance and assistance in establishing or supporting leadership training and service programs that  enrich the lives of young people


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