Kia Kima traces its history back to 1916; the original camp was situated on a bluff overlooking a pristine riverfront on the South Fork of the Spring River. 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".
The original camp operated as a BSA summer camp for 47 years before land was swapped and a new camp was built several miles upstream. Its current location still sits on the banks of the south fork river. Kia Kima Scout Reservation is divided into two camps, Cherokee and Osage, and has been in operation continually since 1964.