Old Kia Kima youth camp near Hardy, Arkansas

About Old Kia Kima

Old Kia Kima is a restored former Boy Scout summer camp that is now owned and operated by the Old Kia Kima Preservation Association (OKKPA). Old Kia Kima is located in the Ozark Mountains near Hardy, Arkansas and provides camping facilities to qualified youth groups so they can experience the Spirit of Kia Kima..

Old Kia Kima traces its origins back to 1916, just six short years after Boy Scouting was founded in the United States on February 8, 1910.

The camp is 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" which in the Chickasaw Indian native language, means "Nest of the Eagles".

1951 Waterfront on the South Fork
of the Spring River
Photo by Henry D. Fleming, August 1951

The original camp Kia Kima operated (excluding World War II years) as a Boy Scout summer camp for 47 years, closing in 1963. For the next 33 years, the old camp was in a state of abandonment and ruin until 1996 when Old Kia Kima Preservation Association was incorporated.

The Old Kia Kima Preservation Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, youth leadership and service organization that was formed in order to restore the former camp Kia Kima. OKKPA seeks to develop corporate, civic and private organizational financial support for historic restoration of the camp grounds, lodges and support facilities and for supporting youth programs whose objectives are closely aligned with the organizational mission.

The restored camp is concentrated in a small corner of the original 160-acre property and consists of 16 native stone and wood cabins as well as several other buildings including the Thunderbird Lodge, a stone and timber structure which houses a museum, including a complete collection of Norman Rockwell Scouting prints.

Restored Thunderbird Lodge

In April 2015, Old Kia Kima was named as an Arkansas Historical site.

For more information about camping and facilities available at Old Kia Kima, see our Frequently Asked Questions.

For more history of Old Kia Kima, see Old Kia Kima History.

Old Kia Kima is not associated with the Boy Scouts of America or Chickasaw Council, BSA.
Old Kia Kima Preservation Association is responsible for Old Kia Kima and this website.