Chickasaw Council

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Chickasaw Council (#558)
Chickasaw Council logo.png
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee
Country United States
Founded February 22, 1916

7,339 youth 4,135 adults

(as of January 13 2015)[1]
President Jimmy D. Lackie
Council Commissioner Andy Wilson
Scout Executive Richard Fisher
 Scouting portal

The Chickasaw Council is a local council of the Boy Scouts of America that serves Scouts in Shelby County, Tennessee, as well as Crittenden county in eastern Arkansas and fifteen counties in northwest Mississippi.[2] It was founded on February, 22 1916 to oversee the many Boy Scout troops already present in Memphis, Tennessee.[3] The Chickasaw Council has two camps: Kia Kima Scout Reservation and Camp Currier. The Chickasaw Council is also home to the Order of the Arrow Ahoalan-Nachpikin Lodge 558.


The council was originally known as the Memphis Council before changing its name to Chickasaw in 1925. The former Delta Area Council of west Mississippi and their Koi Hatachie lodge 345, Order of the Arrow, merged into Chickasaw Council in the early 1990s.[4]


The council is divided into 8 districts; as well as the Exploring programs.[5]


Kia Kima Scout Reservation[edit]

Kia Kima Scout Reservation
Kia Kima Scout Reservation.png
Totem Thunderbird
Location Hardy, AR
Coordinates 36°20′40″N 91°35′32″W / 36.34455°N 91.59223°W / 36.34455; -91.59223
Founded 1916
Founder Bolton Smith

Kia Kima Scout Reservation is a nationally accredited Boy Scout summer camp in the foothills of the Ozarks in Hardy, Arkansas. The name "Kia Kima" means "Nest of the Eagles" in the Chickasaw language. Summer camp at Kia Kima generally begins during the 2nd week of June and runs through the second week of July. A Cub and Webelos Resident Camp is generally offered during the first week in June. There is also a winter camp offered which starts after Christmas and lasts several days.[6]


Bolton Smith, a Memphis investment banker and the first president of the Chickasaw Council, purchased and donated the original 160-acre (0.65 km2) Kia Kima site in 1916. He went on to serve as vice president of the Boy Scouts of America and is the only Chickasaw Council Scouter to ever receive the Silver Buffalo Award. The main campsite was to be situated on a bluff overlooking a riverfront on the South Fork of the Spring River, in Sharp County, Arkansas, near Hardy. The Hardy, Arkansas area was a logical choice for a summer camp as many Memphis families had vacation homes there, where they traveled to escape the summer heat in the city. Kia Kima first opened in 1916.

This area of Arkansas became a center of camping and outdoor activity. As one of the first camps in the area, Kia Kima attracted other camps and was instrumental in the continued development of north central Arkansas. The first Scout Executive of the Chickasaw Council was a young man named Edward Everett, who served as the first camp director of Kia Kima. His wife served as the director of a nearby girl’s vacation camp, Miramichee.

In the early days, Scouts came to the camp as individuals, mostly because in those days few Scoutmasters could arrange for a week off from work to accompany their troops to camp. The individuals were then put into lodges with other scouts whom they stayed with while they were there. Later, with growth in the scouting movement in Memphis, more and more troops began to come to camp as a unit, and learn and practice organizational skills as well as individual camping skills. A special sash was presented to Scouts who qualified as good campers at the old camp. The camp provided many activities including camping, cooking, swimming, pioneering, life saving, canoeing, rowing, handicrafts, archery, a rifle range, field sports and games and plenty of hiking.

As a result of transportation costs and a shortage of supplies and leadership, Kia Kima was closed for summer camping during the World War II years. The camp reopened in 1948. Also in 1948 the Chickasaw Council adopted the Order of the Arrow as a part of its camping program. Chickasah Lodge of the Order of the Arrow was founded at Kia Kima and held its first Ordeal Ceremony there that year.

The 1950s and 1960s were a tremendous growth period for the Scouting program in the Memphis area and the use of Kia Kima grew during those summers. The lodges were no longer the preferred method of Scout camping. By this time, most troops were coming to camp under their own leadership. Many more campsites were needed to accommodate the additional troops wanting to attend summer camp. There was little room left for expansion on the then existing 160-acre (0.65 km2) tract. By the early 1960s, the Council's Executive Board was seeking property alternatives.

West Memphis, Arkansas businessman John Cooper had owned property in the Hardy area adjacent to the existing Kia Kima property and in the late 1950s and early 1960s conceived and developed the Cherokee Village resort community near Hardy. Over the years Cooper supported the old camp in various ways such as providing a water supply pipe, a rifle range, a septic field, and numerous other services. The land where Kia Kima was located was in the heart of Cherokee Village, and Cooper's continued development of the community made his acquisition of the Scout property desirable.

In the fall of 1963, Cooper approached the Council's Executive Board with a proposal to exchange a 540-acre (2.2 km2) tract a few miles upriver from the old camp on the edge of the sprawling Cherokee Village for the 160 acres (0.65 km2) of the old Kia Kima property. In addition, his construction crews would build a dining hall, water system, other buildings, roads and a lake for the new camp. After deliberation, the offer was accepted and work began immediately on the new camp Kia Kima. The new camp was ready for its first camping season in 1964.


Camp Osage[edit]

Camp Osage was originally the main camp and opened in 1964. It is the larger of the camps at Kia Kima Scout Reservation with 15 unique campsites. Camp Osage offers traditional camp programs including nature, ecology, scoutcraft, handicraft, shooting sports, the trailblazer 1st year program, and aquatics. All aquatic activities, including swimming and boating, are held at the Osage beach on the South Fork River. All meals in Camp Osage are served in the dining hall.

Osage offers a modern trading post which supplies campers with program supplies for merit badges, snacks, and Kia Kima memorabilia. Two shower facilities are offered on camp, Central and East. Osage is also home to Kia Kima's administration building.

Camp Cherokee[edit]

Camp Cherokee was established in 1965 as an “outpost camp”. While it is no longer an outpost camp, it does differ from Camp Osage. All troops that camp in Cherokee retrieve their meals from the centralized commissary and prepare the food in their campsites. Meal information is provided in advance so units may bring additional recipes and condiments to supplement their meals. Units are camped in a broad horseshoe shape around the camp. This allows for all program areas to be in sight of each other.

Cherokee is home to John Cooper Lake, the site of its waterfront, which includes small boat sailing, motorboating, and other merit badges available only at Cherokee.

Camp Currier[edit]

Camp Currier first opened in 1925 in Eudora, Mississippi. It was named for Elizabeth Currier, a prominent Memphis originally from Geneva, Switzerland, who donated the land. The current ranger is Dennis Johnston. Camp Currier is a 300-acre (1.2 km2) property owned and operated by the Chickasaw Council for many years. It was started as a full-year camping ground as opposed to Kia Kima which was only open during the summer. During World War II, Camp Currier was used as the summer camp because gasoline rations made Kia Kima impractical.[7] In the 1940s and 1950s, the camp was used as a Summer Camp, but is now a weekend camp for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of the Chickasaw Council.

Program and activities[edit]

Venturing Officers' Association[edit]

The Venturing Officers' Association (VOA) is an organization composed of the Chickasaw Council's Venturing Officers, Crew leaders, and advisers. It represents the non-traditional programs, such as Venturing and Sea Scouts. The VOA sponsors a fall and spring Council Venturing Weekend where all Venturers in the Council are invited to come together for activities ranging from climbing to shooting to canoeing and includes a fireside hangout on Saturday evening. The VOA also does substantial work towards growing Venturing, supporting Venture Crews and Sea Scouting Ships, and developing high-quality experiences for Venturing youth.


Scoutbase is a Council-wide event, held every other year since the mid-1980s. This event, though local in nature, is nationally-recognized and attracts numbers from 6,000-10,000 people from all over the country. The event, generally held in mid-October, was held at the Millington Naval Base until 2006, when it moved to the Paul Battle, Jr. Arena area in Tunica, Mississippi until at least 2014. The event has a number of events, activities, exhibitions, displays, and special shows. Scoutbase is generally held every other year.

Order of the Arrow[edit]

Ahoalan Nachpikin Lodge.png
Totem Bear
Location Section SR-6
Founded January 1, 1995
Membership 850

The Order of the Arrow is represented in Chickasaw Council by Ahoalan-Nachpikin Lodge No. 558 /ɒhɒlɪn nɒpɪkɪn/. This arm of Scouting's National Honor Society claims over 1000 members and is the second largest lodge in OA Southern Region Section 6. Ahoalan-Nachpikin is composed of six primary officers, 12-14 Committee Chairman, and their respective advisers. Ahoalan-Nachpikin promotes and hosts such events as LOAC (Lodge Order of the Arrow Conference, similar to NOAC), Fall Fellowship, and Ordeals.


Chickasah Lodge 406[edit]

The Chickasaw Council first began its honor society as the Order of Kamp Kia Kima or Council Scouts. Every week at summer camp the campers who best exemplified the Scout Oath and Law were led to a secret campfire circle in the woods and given an Indian name. They would then meet periodically throughout the year. In 1948 the Chickasaw Council adopted the Order of the Arrow as a part of its camping program. Chickasah Lodge of the Order of the Arrow was founded at Kia Kima and held its first Ordeal Ceremony there on August 7, 1948 by a ceremonial team from Ittawamba Lodge 235 of the West Tennessee Area Council. It adopted the Thunderbird as its lodge totem as the thunderbird was already the emblem of Kia Kima. Chickasah held its first Brotherhood Ceremony in the Spring of 1950. It then held its first Vigil Ceremony on December 14, 1952 at Camp Currier.[8][9]

Koi Hatachie Lodge 345[edit]

Koi Hatachie was founded in 1946 by the Delta Area Council under the original name White Panther. The first Tap Out ceremony was at summer camp in July 1946 with the first meeting of the Lodge in December 1947. During Camp Tallaha's campfire programs, there was a legend of an old Choctaw Indian Chief and his constant companion, a white panther. After the Chief was killed, his white panther was said to continue to roam the land around the camp looking for his old master. The legend was so central to the camp that when the lodge was founded, the white panther was adopted as the totem and name. White Panther was used from 1946 to 1956 when the lodge changed its name to Koi Hatachie. Most Lodges had adopted Indian names and Lodge 345 wanted to conform. Koi Hatachie was thought to mean White Panther in the Choctaw language, however it was later realized to not actually have a meaning.[10]

Lodge merger[edit]

When the Delta Area Council was merged into Chickasaw, the two Order of the Arrow lodges were also merged. In 1994 Fall Fellowship was a joint event between the Koi Hatachie and Chickasah lodges. The fall elections were held during the fellowship at Camp Tallaha, located outside Charleston, MS, to select the new Lodge Executive Council . It was agreed to have a balanced representation of leadership from the two merged lodges. After an arrowman from Chickasah was elected Lodge Chief, nominations were then limited to members of Koi Hatachie for 1st Vice Chief. All the other offices were open to arrowmen from either lodge. Only the position of 2nd Vice Chief ran opposed. The event offered identically designed pocket and back patches featuring the combined totems of the Thunderbird and White Panther.

Later, the newly elected lodge officers met at the Chickasaw Council office to determine the new lodge totem and name. After several attempts, they selected the black bear and the name Ahoalan-Nachpikin, which means "We Who Love the Outdoors" in Lenni Lenape. The new lodge was officially chartered on January 1, 1995. It was a member of Section SR-9 from 1995 to 1997. It was then moved to Section 6-N which later became Section SR-6.[11]


Initially, each district in the lodge was represented by its own chapter. However, in August 2000, a restructuring occurred to form four chapters, each divided into two or three districts. The Okla Kamassa chapter was later added bringing the total to five.

Chapter Translation Districts
Lippoe Blaknik Wise Flying Squirrel Wolf River District (Former Loosahatchie and Nashoba Districts)
Macheu Machque Great Bear Thunderbird, Twin Banks, Southeast, and Scoutreach Districts
Nashoba Tohbi White Wolf in the Choctaw Malmaison, Tallaha, and Washington Districts
Sakima Machque Chief Bear Eastern District
Okla Kamassa Strong People Northwest Mississippi District


The lodge supports year-round weekend camping, training and special events at each of the council camps. Usually, a Lodge Order of the Arrow Conference (LOAC), two Ordeals, a Summer Fellowship, a Fall Fellowship, and a Banquet are hosted by the Lodge.


Among the many projects supported by the Order of the Arrow over the years were:

  • Construction of the new fire ring at Kia Kima
  • Installing new tile flooring and roofing for the administration building at Kia Kima
  • Road maintenance at Camp Currier
  • Campsite and tent construction at each of the council camps

Camping Promotion[edit]

The lodge's camping promotion program include:

  • The lodge hosts a special dinner each year for Scoutmasters to kick-off the camp promotion plan.
  • The lodge sponsors a promotional brochure for Kia Kima.
  • The lodge has the goal to visit every Scout troop in the council to promote the camping program.
  • The lodge sponsors promotional efforts at council events such as Scout Base.
  • The lodge publishes a "Where To Go Camping" guidebook for Scout troops.
  • The lodge chief and adviser represent the lodge on the council executive board and camping committee.
  • The lodge sponsors weekly Brotherhood Ceremonies, Fellowships, and Call-Out Ceremonies at Kia Kima during the summer camp season.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Council Statistics". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Area Coverage/Maps". Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ Chickasaw Council (1959), Gordon Morris Biography, Dalstrom Papers, Special Collections, University of Memphis 
  4. ^ Hook, James; Franck, Dave; Austin, Steve (1982). An Aid to Collecting Selected Council Shoulder Patches with Valuation. 
  5. ^ "Chickasaw Council Online". Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Kia Kima Winter Camp". Kia Kima Scout Reservation. Retrieved September 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Camp Currier". Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ "OKKPA: Chickasah Lodge History" (PDF). Retrieved August 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Chickasah Lodge History". Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Koi Hatachie Lodge History". Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Ahoalan-Nachpikin Lodge History". Retrieved November 10, 2011.