Council Scouts

"'Council Scouts'—who are they, what are they—why? Best answer—do your best and find out for yourself." c1926 Leaders Guide

The Council Scouts was an honor society at Kia Kima that developed in the early years and continued until the 1940s. The first documented mention of the Council Scouts is in a Leader’s Guide from circa 1926: “‘Council Scouts’—who are they, what are they—why? Best answer—do your best and find out for yourself.” Scouts were elected to receive the honor, but it is unclear if Scouts were elected by the entire camp or by the existing Council Scouts. Scouts were then “taken into the Council Ring.”

The greatest honor to be won at Kia Kima is to be elected a Council Scout and receive an Indian name at a Council Fire held somewhere in the deep woods near camp. There are no rules by which this honor may be obtained—if a Scout does his best to live up to the Scout Oath and Law, is industrious and a good camper, he will quickly be elected by his fellows to a place at the campfire of the Council Scouts.
--1929 Leaders Guide

The Council Scouts may have expanded to the St. Francis Valley Council Camp in Jonesboro, AR, for one year in 1929. In 1929, June Davidson, the Assistant Camp Director for the St. Francis Valley Council Camp accompanied the advance team to prepare Kia Kima for the season. It was reported in the June 19, 1929, Council Fire that he, along the Kia Kima camp director, Willard Hays, had been “taken into the Council” at the first Council Scouts meeting for the summer. The following year in 1930, the St. Francis Valley Council paid Kia Kima $175 for the privilege of allowing their Scouts to attend Kia Kima, and the council did not recharter after 1930.

1933 Kia Kima Staff Sash

A Kia Kima Staff Sash with Council Scout designation and Indian name.

Council Scouts were identified by the letters "CS" on Kia Kima sashes. Some sashes also have the Scout's Indian name sewn vertically on the portion of the sash that hangs down on the right side. Council Scouts also likely had some alternative patches. In the 1931 Camp Director report, the Camp director inventories "Plain Emblems" and "Council Scout Emblems" separately. The inventory lists 2 Fourth Year emblems and 1 Fifth Year emblem under "Plain Emblems" while also listing 6 Fourth Year emblems and 3 Fifth Year emblems under "Council Scout Emblem."

1930 Kamp Kiwani Camp Sash

Kamp Kiwani Council Scout

The Council Scouts also existed at Kamp Kiwani, the neighboring Girl Scouts camp. The sashes worn at Kamp Kiwani also bore the letters "CS" with Indian names.

Council Scouts would also take special trips, hikes, and canoe floats off-camp. There is evidence in a cave outside of Calico Rock, AR, that the Council Scouts visited the cave on one of these trips.

It is uncertain if the Council Scout program continued when the Chickasaw Council summer camp program moved to Camp Currier. When Kia Kima reopened in 1948, the Order of the Arrow was adopted and fully replaced the Council Scouts.

Council Scouts