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South Fork

Winter 2018

Kia Kima Alumni Association MAGAZINE

IN THIS ISSUE Hardy to Honduras Alumni Spotlight


Calendar of Upcoming Events

03 09 2017 Award Recipients

Alumni Spotlight: Ken Kimble

04 11 Alumni Updates

Hardy to Honduras

05 14 KKSR Needs List

From Troop Issue to Reservation Director to Advancement Officer at CBHS.

How Kevin Kuehl used his Kia Kima experiences to start a Scouting program at a Honduran orphanage.

History Column: Masera/Mesara/Mesera? What is the origin of the name and what is the correct spelling?

Staff Awards, Silver Thunderbirds, and the Distinguished Alumni Award

Where are they now and what are they up to?

08 14 Donor Recognition

Cover photo by Ande Demetriou (Troop 255 - Bartlett UMC)


Executive Board

Letter from the Alumni President Friends, It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the inaugural issue of South Fork! I’m sure you’ll agree that our Editor, Andrew Schrack, and his team have done a phenomenal job of putting this all together. I’m your 2018 KKAA president and my job is to execute the purpose and vision of our great organization. Since its founding in 2014, the Kia Kima Alumni Association has done some really great work. We’ve buried a time capsule at KKSR to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Kia Kima, funded and provided the labor to demolish the old climbing tower and secured a grant to build a best-in-class Astronomy program at our great camp. That’s just a few amongst the many improvements that our thousands of manhours and thousands of dollars have provided since our inception. In 2018, we plan to continue full steam ahead to add to that impressive list. At the time of this writing we have taken on three marquee projects for this year that will require the time, talent and treasure of our membership and sponsors. • Construct and equip a Tech Center at Camp Cherokee modeled after the excellent facility at Camp Osage • Construct and equip a Cowboy Action shooting range along with general improvements to the Shooting Sports program area • Complete the Kia Kima Museum adding a video element and many more exhibits and displays These projects will have an immediate and long-lasting impact on Kia Kima and help keep our camp at the forefront of the Scouting movement, attracting campers from across the country. We need your help to make this happen! We will be having several work-weekends this spring and fundraising is ongoing. These are in addition to our other ongoing services to the camp and staff which include a BSA National Camping School scholarship, Staff Appreciation Dinner at the end of the summer and sponsorship of the KKSR Leaders Guide. You’re reading this right now because you love Kia Kima enough to invest in its future. Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to anyone you know that also had their lives changed by their time at the Nest of Eagles. We’d love to celebrate cracking the 100-member mark this spring and hitting 150 by the close of 2018. I can’t wait to see you at one of our many activities and service projects this year. Please reach out to me if you’d like to volunteer for a committee or donate to a project. I can be contacted at (901) 355-1181 or at

Wishing you all a very happy new year!


Chuck Barber


Ryan Cooper


Andrew Hinson

Past President

Andrew Schrack

Camp Staff Liaison Jeremy Palazolo Alexandra Howard

Activities Chair

Adam Leith

Membership Chair Michael Downs

Merchandise Chair

Johnny Tracy


Daniel Hochstein

Service Chair

Brian Leith


George Clarke Mark Follis Jesse Henderson Jason Hood Ken Kimble Vincent Perryman Bob Winkler Andy Bland

South Fork


Andrew Schrack

Copy Editor

Daniel Hochstein

Staff Writer

Noah Feder


PO Box 342855 Memphis, TN 38184

Chuck Barber 2018 President



Kia Kima Alumni Upcoming Events Spring Social

Feb. 21, 2018, 7-10pm | Fox & Hound Cordova

Alumni/Staph Mixer

Mar. 21, 2018, 6-8:30p | Point Blank Shooting Range

April Work Weekend

April TBD, 2018 | Kia Kima Scout Reservation

Work Weekend

May 12, 2018 | Kia Kima Scout Reservation

Cherokee Takedown/OKKPA Barbecue June 30, 2018 | Old Kia Kima Old Kia Kima Preservation Association

Camp Takedown/Summer Banquet July 14, 2018 | Kia Kima Scout Reservation

Partner Alumni Upcoming Events Friends of Scouting Banquet

Feb. 22, 2018 | Shelby Farms Lakeside Ballroom Chickasaw Council, BSA

Council Recognition Banquet

Mar. 22, 2018 | Memphis University School Chickasaw Council, BSA

Spring Ordeal

May 19, 2018 | Kia Kima Scout Reservation Ahoalan-Nachpikin Lodge, Order of the Arrow

Operation Delta

April 14, 2018 | Camp McCain, Grenada, MS Chickasaw Council, BSA

Fall Ordeal

Sept. 7, 2018 | Camp Currier Ahoalan-Nachpikin Lodge, Order of the Arrow

Wood Badge Banquet

Oct. 8, 2018 | Camp Currier Wood Badge Staff, Chickasaw Council

Vigil Honor Induction

Nov. 10, 2018 | Camp Currier Ahoalan-Nachpikin Lodge, Order of the Arrow




KKAA and Chickasaw Council Board Member Advancement Officer at Christian Brothers High School KKSR Staff: ‘91-’95, ‘98-’00

Troop Issue, Asst. Program Director, Tower Staff, COPE Director, OVB Director, Reservation Director


ven before finding a Cub Scout den, Ken Kimble had a love of the outdoors: “From as early as I can remember, I was fascinated with outdoor adventure and wilderness. Particularly, I loved books on Robinson Crusoe, Native Americans and the lure of the mountains.” This passion led him to become an Eagle Scout and active member of the old Chickasah Lodge #406 and to join the Kia Kima staff in 1991. As it did for so many staffers, working at Kia Kima provided a lifelong foundation. Ken writes (from a car to Hardy, AR): “My experience in Scouting . . . provided the opportunity for me to meet the guys who would eventually become my best friends to this day. A core group of us get together on a regular basis and spend weekends on Lake Thunderbird as well as pretty serious backpacking trips throughout the western United States. . . . We’ve been in each other’s weddings and remain the closest of friends despite moves all over the country.” As one of the unique staffers who continued to serve as a professional Scouter, Ken worked in both the Memphis and

Dallas councils, eventually leaving the BSA in 2011 after serving as Chickasaw Council’s Finance Director. Today, he continues to serve his community. “I always said if I wasn’t working for the Scouts, my dream job would to be on the staff at Christian Brothers High School, my high school alma mater,” he writes. “Both Scouting and CBHS made me who I am today and in 2014 my dream came true to head back to the Brothers to organize and lead a $25 million Capital Campaign.” While the skills Ken honed as a professional Scouter certainly help his work at CBHS, the relationships are just as important. While helping CBHS grow may not be exactly like the “countless trash runs and gross and laborious work projects” at KKSR, Ken’s secret to success is the same: “If you enjoy the company of your co-workers and look forward to going to work, it really doesn’t matter what career you choose, you’ll be successful and you’ll never feel like you have a ‘job.’” With his oldest daughter set to join Cub Scouting soon, Ken will be able to pass those lessons along as a Den Leader as well! ⛺




How the experiences of Kia Kima empowered alumnus Kevin Kuehl to start a Scouting program at the Finca del Niño, a children’s home in rural Honduras.


hen I decided to live in Honduras for two years as a missionary at the Finca del Niño, I had no idea how much Scouting and my time as a staff member at Kia Kima helped to prepare me for all that I would encounter. The Finca is a children’s home in a rural area of Honduras’ northern coast and is the home to about 35 orphaned children. You may know that the Central American nation of Honduras is one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Additionally, Honduras is faced with one of the highest murder rates in the world due to drug trafficking, gang violence, and political instability. Needless to say it is a country confronted with many challenges, and its children are especially vulnerable. First, the living conditions in Honduras, of course, are very different from our own, but I must say that my past experience living in a staff tent in Cherokee helped me to jump right in.


So tarantulas are bigger than wolf spiders...but neither one really bothers people. Rats raiding the kitchen? At least they aren’t as big and destructive as Taz the raccoon. Sharing a tiny bedroom with three other guys brought me back to the days of living in the Tool Shed or tenting with Noah Feder or Mark Winkler. This, as well as sharing communal spaces with about fifteen other people, was old hat--just like the staff center. We picked up our food rations early each morning at the bodega just like campers at the Cherokee Commissary, and I became the go-to guy for starting the cooking fire in our outdoor stove. The nearest town, Trujillo, was just about as exciting as Ash Flat. Swimming in lakes and rivers was a daily activity. Walking everywhere, intense humidity, burning trash, ticks, dust, flooded rivers--for all of these things I had been well prepared by my time at camp. The Scout Motto rang truer than ever for me.

As much as these aspects of camp life helped me to feel comfortable and ease into my new surroundings, there were even more important advantages that being on Kia Kima staff provided me. My job at the Finca was teaching middle school science. Of course, the classes were taught in Spanish, and I hadn’t taken a science course since high school biology. Despite these apparent hurdles, teaching came naturally for me. Thanks to my time as a merit badge instructor, I knew how to engage a classroom and to make it fun and exciting. Science was a blast! We did experiments, built contraptions, and explored nature. Because of the way that we teach merit badges at camp, I wasn’t afraid to enable my students to try new things and have fun while learning.

into two groups: los ositos (Cub Scouts) and los escouts (Boy Scouts). On our first outing we got up before dawn and went out fishing in the ocean. We would spend days hiking through the tropical forests nearby or swimming in one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen. We practiced knots and had fire building competitions. We milked cows and harvested coconuts. We looked at the stars with a telescope. Especially with the Cub Scouts, we would play games that challenged them to think creatively and work together. The boys even proudly raised the Honduran flag on Independence Day in front of the whole school.

IN ALL OF THESE ACTIVITIES, OUR BOYS FOUND FREEDOM TO BE THEMSELVES. THEY On top of all this, my ability to teach Scouting skills to others FOUND THE SAME JOY IN SCOUTING THAT I became especially useful in helping our boys be boys. It is ALWAYS HAVE. difficult for kids who have lived in an institution for much of their lives to relax, to try new things, and to be themselves. Scouting provides this outlet for leisure and self-discovery for so many young people around the world, so it made sense to develop a scouting program for our boys at the Finca. We split

Nearly every Saturday morning I could count on one of the boys to shout out to me from their porch, “¿Y ositos? Are we going to have Cub Scouts today?” If my answer was “no,” the disappointment was tangible.


The ultimate activity of all was the hiking and camping trip to the torres—the cell phone towers that were perched on top of a distant hill. We talked about it for months before it finally happened. All the boys excitedly packed up a little school backpack, filled up their water bottles, and started hiking. They climbed up the rocky trail like mountain goats while the other adult and I were left to chug along behind them. We finally made it to the top and their smiles were huge as we looked out over miles of land and sea in all directions. Just like on the trips with the Trailblazers up to Mesara, something happened during that ascent that changed these boys. They had accomplished something great, and they knew it! Once at the top they relished it. This marked the apex of their achievement. I know that the experience of Scouting changed our boys for the better.

Baden-Powell insisted, “We are not a club or a Sunday school class, but a school of the woods.” That’s what I saw demonstrated in the boys at the Finca: out in nature they were able to learn and grow in ways that made them happier, healthier, and more true to themselves. As I was leaving the Finca after my two years there, I received a card from one of the boys, and he had written:

THANK YOU FOR TEACHING US TO BE SCOUTS AND THANK YOU FOR TAKING US TO THE TOWERS. The mark that Scouting left on these boys filled them with gratitude. I too am grateful for the ways that Scouting and my time at Kia Kima shaped me to be able to pass on the gift of Scouting to others. ⛺

KEVIN KUEHL (Staff ‘07 –’11) Kevin Kuehl worked on staff at Kia Kima Scout Reservation from 2007–2011. He worked in Camp Osage Scoutcraft and served as the Camp Cherokee Program Director for two summers. Kevin graduated from Georgetown University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in culture and politics. He earned his master’s in ministry at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. At Creighton, Kevin worked as a graduate assistant in the Schlegel Center for Service & Justice facilitating alternative fall and spring break service and justice trips for college students. Kevin is currently a novice in Grand Coteau, LA with the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), a Catholic religious order of priests and brothers. Kevin can be contacted at




lthough the pronunciation has stayed the same, the spelling of the mountain’s name and spring has changed throughout the years. “Are you sure you spelled that right?” is a common question posed by staff and alumni anytime a new sign, plaque, or map is made and many current signs still vary in their spelling. The plaque on the side of the Thane Smith Cabin marking the pump spells it “Mesera Outpost,” One of the trail signs spells it “Masera” and another as “Mesara.” The reason for these spelling variations is that the spelling has differed throughout the years. The name originally came from a family that owned part of the land prior to the Cherokee Village Development Corporation. When the Chickasaw Council acquired “Six Acres” in the early 80s, the staff began using the name based on oral tradition and standardized a spelling of the name. Over the years, the “accepted” spelling evolved through the different generations of staff.

The 1964 contracts and legal documents from the Cherokee Village Development Corporation shed some light on the original spelling of the name. In those documents, the CVDC and the Chickasaw Council refer to the parcels by the original owners: the “French lands,” the “Hobgood Tract,” and the “Mesara Tract.” The original Mesara Tract consisted of the land laying south of the South Fork River (in present-day Camp Osage) while the Hobgood Tract and French lands lay north of the river. It comes as no surprise that staffers have varied in their spelling as the CVDC lawyers misspelled it as well! One of the initial negotiation letters called it the “Messara Tract,” but this spelling was not used in any later documents. In September 2016, the US Geological Survey’s Board on Geographic Names designated “Mesara Spring” and “Mount Mesara” as the official names for the spring and summit. ⛺


KKAA Awards Staff Awards


he Annual Banquet was held on December 20, 2017 and several awards were presented. The Awards Committee was chaired by Spencer Nesvick. The Staff Awards were presented to outstanding 2017 KKSR Staff members and were voted on by the current staff members who served alongside them. The awards were presented by Alexandra Howard, the Osage Program Director. For a full history of previous recipients, visit

Best First Year Director: Danny Van Horn

The Best First Year Director Award was presented to Danny Van Horn. Danny served as the Cherokee Waterfront Director in 2017. Danny ensured that John A. Cooper Lake was one of the most popular program areas and worked hard to keep safety at the forefront.

Rookie of the Year: Riley Heasley

The Rookie of the Year Award was presented to Riley Heasley. Riley worked as a merit badge instructor on the Cherokee Waterfront and went above and beyond during the summer. He continuously volunteered for work crews and made it happen.


Best Work Crew Leader: Michael Waldo

The Best Work Crew Leader Award was presented to Michael Waldo. Michael served as the Osage Scoutcraft Director. He made sure his work crews were able to creatively finish all their tasks while still keeping high morale and drive.

Most Enthusiastic: Henry Zeringue

The Most Enthusiastic Award was presented to Henry Zeringue. Henry worked staff in Osage Scoutcraft and always went out of his way to include singing and skits throughout camp activities. As a testament to his enthusiasm, this is the third year in a row that the staff has selected Henry for Most Enthusiastic.

KKAA Awards Silver Thunderbird


he Silver Thunderbird is an award presented to alumni for the impact they had on Kia Kima while they were serving on staff. Silver Thunderbird recipients are the staff members that Scouts, Scouters, and staff remember when they think back on their time at camp. The Silver Thunderbirds were presented by Spencer Nesvick, the Awards Committee Chairman. The information below was written as part of their nominations.


Jeff worked at camp from ‘89–’94, and in ‘16. He worked in handicrafts, COPE, Tower, and as the inaugural ATV Director. Jeff grew into a man here, learning many different skills including leadership, mentoring, accomplishing tasks, setting goals, and flexibility. In 2016, Jeff Hodge returned to camp staff to set up the pilot ATV program. While on staff, he provided leadership and mentoring to a new generation of staff and campers through his love and dedication to Kia Kima. Jeff truly embodies what it means to keep the Thunderbird blazing in his heart.

RHONDA WRIGHT Rhonda Wright has worked tirelessly at Kia Kima for 10 years and has served as the Ozark Venture Base Director. Rhonda has transformed the high adventure aspect of camp and truly established Kia Kima as a regional high adventure destination. Rhonda has engaged and recruited many staff members to continue coming back each summer. She has also inspired people with life-long passions that continue even after they leave camp. One of the things that sets Kia Kima apart is the high adventure opportunities, and Rhonda Wright is the prime reason for such an oustanding program.

Distinguished Alumni Award


he Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to an alum who has contributed extensively to Kia Kima throughout their life. This is the highest award that the Association bestows. The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented by Brian Leith, the 2016 Distinguished Alumni. The 2015 Distinguished Alumni was Drew Armstrong.


Jason Hood has worked tirelessly for Kia Kima and for Scouting ever since he left staff. Jason has served as the Cherokee Program Director, Order of the Arrow Lodge Chief, OA Region Chief, served on multiple National OA Committees, Chickasaw Council President, and currently serves as the AhoalanNachpikin Lodge Adviser. Throughout the years, Jason also continued to help Kia Kima wherever possible and attended camp as an adult leader with his son’s pack and troop. Jason currently serves on the national committee for the Scouting Alumni Association and has served on the KKAA Executive Board for the past three years. Jason has continuously had a vision for how both Kia Kima and the Alumni Association can advance and he works to share and improve that vision.




CHUCK BARBER (Staff ‘93–’04)

JIM CHARBONNET (Staff ‘03–’15)

ERIN COATES (Staff ‘08–’14)

Chuck Barber was promoted in December to Senior Trainer, Business Sales for the Southeastern United States at T-Mobile, Inc. Chuck’s previous role at T-Mobile was as the Business Sales Account Executive for Memphis.

In August 2017, Jim Charbonnet took a position as the Automotive Instructor at Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center. CATEC is a technical high school in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Jim currently lives with his wife, Stephanie.

In November 2017, Erin Coates moved to St. Louis to take a position as the Director of Development for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), St. Louis Chapter. Erin previously was the HR Manager for Cowboy Jungle, Inc. located in Greensboro, North Carolina.


(Staff ‘12–’16 | Staff ‘13–’16)



(Staff ‘02–’06, ‘08–’11|Staff ‘09–’10)

(Staff ‘02–’08)

Jonah Deickhaus and Amanda Wright were married on July 11, 2017 in Senatobia, MS. Jonah and Amanda met while working together on Kia Kima Staff. They currently live in Southaven, MS.

Michael and Katie Downs welcomed their new baby boy, John Michael Downs, on September 5, 2017. Sophia (age 2) is the proud older sister.

Daniel and Whitney Hochstein welcomed their second son, Harry Michael Hochstein, on June 21, 2017. Carter (age 2) is the proud older brother.


To be included in future issues, email the editors at

MICHAEL HONEY (Staff ‘08–’13, ‘15–’16)

SPENCER & KATE NESVICK (Staff ‘00–’06, 08)

JOEY SCOTT (Staff ‘07–’08, ’17)

Michael Honey recently took a position as an electrical engineer with the U.S. Air Force working at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. Michael manages the electrical utilities contract and other electrical intensive projects for the base.

Otto Gustav Nesvick joined us 9/2/2017 weighing in at 10lb 12oz. He is named after his GreatGreat-Grandfather. Currently he is learning to roll over, crawl, walk, and memorize the Scout Law. He has already mastered the clove hitch but is still working out the bowline.

Joey Scott has taken a position as a Secondary Social Studies Teacher at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School in the Metro Nashville Public Schools. Joey currently lives in Nashville with his wife, Elizabeth Scott.

JONATHAN TALBERT (Staff ‘10–’13)

IAN ZERINGUE (Staff ‘10–’14)

OLIVIA ZERINGUE (Staff ‘13–’15)

Jonathan Talbert recently purchased his own truck in November. Jonathan has been driving full-time for Prime, Inc. since July 2016.

Ian Zeringue graduated from Mississippi State University on December 8, 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a minor in mathematics.

Olivia Zeringue graduated from Mississippi Sate University on December 8, 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in communication (concentrations in public relations and journalism) and a minor in Spanish.




Members with Kroger Plus Cards who enroll in the Kroger Community Giving program can contribute to the Kia Kima Alumni Association every time they at Kroger. Kroger donates a portion of their proceeds at no cost to the individual. Members must enroll again in the program each year, so if you have previously participated, you will need to sign up again for 2018. You can sign up online at Kroger’s website.


Amazon purchases made through will donate a portion of Amazon’s proceeds to the Kia Kima the Alumni Association. All purchases must be made through the Amazon Smile website as opposed to the regular Amazon site to qualify for the donation. This does not add any cost to your purchase.


The Kia Kima Alumni Association welcomes and will help facilitate gifts-in-kind made to Kia Kima Scout Reservation. The following page has the Needs List for Kia Kima. This Needs List is continuously updated on the Alumni Association’s website. If you make a donation and deliver it directly to the Reservation, please inform our Treasurer so that he can credit your donation for tax purposes.


Many companies and organizations will match contributions made by their employees. The Kia Kima Alumni Association is registered with Benevity and several other of the major programs utilized by companies. If your company uses a program that the Association is not registered with, please email

The Kia Kima Alumni Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at 13

Needs List

Kia Kima Scout Reservation Program Needs • • • • • • •

Weather Station (Nature Lodge) State Flags (4’4”x5’6”): Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana Canoe Trailer .22 pistols 12 gauge / 20 gauge shotguns DeLorme InReach units Sailboat/Motorboat

Maintenance • • • • • • • • • • • •

Hand tools: Rakes, shovels, woodworking tools Commercial weedeaters, leaf blowers, chainsaws Large tool box 72” zero turn mower Refrigerator (Commissary) Ice Machine Pressure Washer 5 1/2” deck board Picnic table repair lumber LED lights for shop R 15, 16, 17 tires Trucks, Vans, Trailers

Miscellaneous • • • • •

Used Class A uniforms Spotlights (Council Ring) Commercial copiers and printers Washing machines and dryers (Staff Centers) Tent canvas ($700/tent)

If you make a donation and deliver it directly to the Reservation, please inform our Treasurer so he knows to send you a tax letter.

Donations & Tributes Chuck Barber James Crain Walter F. Hoehn Jr. Justin Kerr Jody Lawrence Mark Lawrence Lexis Nexis Matching Contributions Nesvick Trading Group Joey Reinagel Dave “Truck” Robinson Steve Rosen Andrew Schrack Jon & Kathy Schrack In Honor of Joey Scott Nicholas Hudson Ernesto Viganas Johnny Tracy T-Mobile USA, Inc Grant; Matching Contributions Larry Viles


Anker Technology Portable Power Packs Mark Lawrence Picnic Table Lumber



South Fork

Profile for Kia Kima Alumni Association

South fork I (Winter 2018)  

Quarterly magazine of the Kia Kima Alumni Association

South fork I (Winter 2018)  

Quarterly magazine of the Kia Kima Alumni Association


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