Old Kia Kima youth camp near Hardy, Arkansas

Frequently Asked Questions

Who, What, Where, Why?

Who: The Old Kia Kima Preservation Association (OKKPA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed to restore the former Boy Scout summer camp, and in so doing, provide facilities to qualified youth groups so they can experience the spirit of Old Kia Kima.

OKKPA does not charge for use of Old Kia Kima. However, we do require a $150.00 deposit which is refunded on departing camp as provided in the Facilities Usage Agreement.

What: Old Kia Kima is a camping destination for qualified youth groups to facilitate youth leadership development. The camp consists of 16 Native Stone Cabins, group cooking and dining facility, bathhouse, Thunderbird Lodge, chapel, covered bridge, Activities Pavilion, tent camping area and pioneering Pole Barn situated on approximately 40 acres of the original Kamp Kia Kima in the northeast Arkansas community of Cherokee Village.

Where: Old Kia Kima is located at 26 Kolo Drive, Cherokee Village, Arkansas, 72529 approximately 150 miles North of Little Rock, AR, 150 miles Southeast of Springfield, MO, 150 miles Northwest of Memphis, TN, and is adjacent to the small town of Hardy, AR where U.S. Highways 62 and 63 intersect.

Why: We want future generations to experience the Spirit of Old Kia Kima, to learn the values of Integrity, Achievement, Responsibility, and Courage, and to utilize the Camp to pass this along to future generations, "just like we did". This will be our legacy.

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How do I make reservations to bring my Youth Group to Old Kia Kima?

  • Find reservation information HERE.

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Where can I find directions for driving to Old Kia Kima?

The address for Old Kia Kima is 26 Kolo Drive, Cherokee Village, Arkansas, 72529. Directions can be found on Google Maps and other GPS Apps.

From Memphis:

  • Take I-40 thru West Memphis then I-55 north toward Blytheville.
  • Beyond Marion, exit onto Highway 63 towards Jonesboro and Marked Tree.
  • Stay on Highway 63 all the way to Hardy, Arkansas.
  • Drive through downtown Hardy to the intersection of Highways 62 and 63 (near McDonald's).
  • Turn left onto Highway 62.
  • Travel about 1.4 miles then turn right onto State Highway 175. Follow this road for about 1/2 mile until you see a right turn sign pointing to Old Kia Kima. This is Griffin Road.
  • Follow the yellow lettered Old Kia Kima signs. Continue on Kolo Drive until you see the Old Kia Kima sign and entrance on the left side of the road.
  • There are four marked gates for Old Kia Kima. Gate 1 is the primary gate where the main campground is located.

Here are some road maps to Old Kia Kima including instructions on how to get to OKK during high water.

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What is the Camp Usage Policy and which Youth Groups can use the camp facilities?

It is the policy of OKKPA that the restored Old Kia Kima will be devoted to imparting to a new generation of youths the same high standards and values that the founders and members of OKKPA received and benefited from as Boy Scouts during the years that Old Kia Kima was the long-term camp for the Chickasaw Council, Boy Scouts of America, Memphis, Tennessee.

The youth organizations approved to use our facilities must abide by their own written rules, as well as OKKPA rules, while using Old Kia Kima including but not limited to the number of adults-to-youth ratios, training required by the responsible adults, and youth protection measures.

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Who can make reservations for camping at Old Kia Kima?

Designated adult qualified group leaders. Adult leaders must be at least 21 years of age.

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What is OKKPA?

The Old Kia Kima Preservation Association, Inc. (OKKPA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit youth leadership and service organization (EIN # 71-0783653), registered as a Corporation in the State of Arkansas.

OKKPA was founded in 1996 by a group of former members of Boy Scouts who desired to contribute their time and financial support to restore their former summer camp. In doing so, provide facilities to qualified youth groups so they can experience the spirit of Old Kia Kima.

OKKPA seeks to develop corporate, civic, and private organizational financial support for historic restoration of the campgrounds, lodges and support facilities and for initiating or supporting youth programs whose objectives are closely aligned with the organizational mission. The Old Kia Kima Preservation Association, Inc. currently owns the former summer camp property, known as Old Kia Kima, consisting of 43 wooded acres in Sharp County, Arkansas, near the towns of Hardy and Cherokee Village, a popular retirement and summer resort area offering many outdoor activities and facilities.

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What facilities does Old Kia Kima have?

There are 16 Native Stone cabins, built in the 1920's and restored in 2000. These summer cabins are screened and each can accommodate 4 campers for a total sleeping capacity of 64. Each cabin has four beds with mattresses. (No electricity)

The Activities Pavilion is the former Dining Hall that was constructed in 1954. This structure was completely restored and converted into nearly 4,000 square foot Activities Pavilion complete with lights and fans. It is a perfect place to get out of the weather. There is also a double-sided bath house with showers just outside the Activities Pavilion.

The Group Cooking and Dining Facility has seating capacity for 96 in an open air dining area. The cooking area is lighted, has a vented hood and is setup for dutch oven cooking, charcoal grilling and propane gas cooking. The kitchen has sinks with hot & cold water, a refrigerator, microwave, small convection oven, ice machine, cabinets and shelves. Cooking pots, pans and utensils are provided. There are two lockable storage rooms on either side of the kitchen that can be used for storing supplies. There is a single bathroom adjacent to the north side storage room. Old Kia Kima does NOT provide individual plates, cups, silverware or products such as paper towels, napkins, paper plates, plasticware or charcoal.

The Campfire Amphitheater was a new addition in 2002. It seats over 100 and is a part of the Old Kia Kima camping experience. No group should miss taking advantage of this impressive facility!

The Old Kia Kima Chapel was built and dedicated in Spring 2005 to Ralph and Martha Jane Young. This rustic covered chapel built of natural fieldstone and cedar timbers will seat 60. It is available for church, vesper services or meetings. It also offers an open view of a quiet wooded setting across Spirit Creek.

The Thunderbird Lodge is a two story native stone building built in 1926 and beautifully restored in 2002. It houses "the Spirit of Old Kia Kima". Interior use is available by reservation only for special functions such as Court of Honor Ceremonies, Camp Church services, Leadership Training Programs, etc., and requires adult supervision while in use. The porches and roofed deck of the lodge are always available for use as activity and instructional areas.

The Bath House has separate toilets and hot showers on either side of a covered assembly area with outdoor seating. Campers are responsible for providing their own personal toiletries. The lower level storage area can be used as a storm shelter in the event of severe weather.

The Camp Office, walk-in freezer/refrigerator and Quartermaster's Storage includes a large 12' x 16' walk-in freezer/refrigerator available for week long camping at a nominal cost of $200.00, a covered porch which doubles as a camp activities area, and a Quartermaster's storage area with shelves.

The Pioneering Pole Barn, added in 2002, provides rope supplies and cedar poles for pioneering projects such as towers, tripods, rope bridges, etc.

A Tent Camping area has been added in the meadow just below the Activities Pavilion and includes picnic tables and running (cold) water. Dish washing facilities are available at the Activities Pavilion bath house.

The Ole 97 Covered Bridge, built in 2002, doubles as a covered assembly area and offers an open window view of a quiet wooded setting across Spirit Creek.

The Camp Staff Cabin, affectionately known as the "Rat's Nest" was rebuilt in September 2001 and dedicated to George Billingsley. The cabin has two rooms with a total of 4 bunks and is for adult leaders only. It is available by special reservation / request.

The Old Hospital was restored in 2007. It is just south of the Thunderbird Lodge. This building has electricity and running water and is reserved for the camp Ranger.

The Old Dining Hall was restored in 2016 as an Activities Pavilion with 4,000 square feet of covered space with ceiling fans and lighting. It is also equipped with movable audio-visual equipment suitable for making presentations, showing movies, etc. There is a Gaga Ball pit located on the west side of the Activities Pavilion.

Youth Groups use of the river for swimming as well as boating is acknowledged to be at your own risk, with the requirement that your Group Leader assumes full responsibility for providing trained and certified Lifeguards equipped and versed in appropriate group Safe Swim & Safety Afloat procedures. The waterfront area does include a swim dock as well as a Lifeguard station and Buddy Board. Buddy Board must be checked out with the camp ranger. The waterfront may not be available during times of high river water or other dangerous conditions.

How many people can we bring to camp at Old Kia Kima?

The limit is a total of 70 people. That total includes youth plus adults.

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What activities does Old Kia Kima provide?

Camping groups are responsible for providing their own program activities. However, Old Kia Kima has a few things that might interest you.

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When is Old Kia Kima open for camping?

Weekend Camping (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) is available from late April through late October.

Week long Camping (weekends & weekdays) is available from early May through late August.

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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.