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South Fork

Spring 2018

Kia Kima Alumni Association MAGAZINE

IN THIS ISSUE Staff Spotlight: Brian “Jethro” Day Meet the Ranger The Ma’kya Trail Camp Memories: First Year on Staff


Calendar of Upcoming Events

Noah Feder’s memories of his first year on staff.

Alumni Spotlight: Brian “Jethro”Day

04 13 Alumni Updates

Meet the Ranger

07 16 KKSR Needs List

Only legends get to go by one name: Madonna. Bruce. Beyoncé. Jethro.

Day in the life of the ranger after one year on the job.

The Ma’kya Trail

Does it even exist? Fact or folklore?


03 12 Column: Camp Memories

Where are they now and what are they up to?

09 16 Donor Recognition

Letter from the Alumni President Fellow Alumni, What an amazing spring we’ve had! Since our last issue, the KKAA has been extremely active in building the organization and supporting our camp. As of this writing, our Camp Cherokee Tech Center is well on its way to completion in time for use this summer. I’d like to recognize our Service Committee chair, Brian Leith, and his team for all their hard work in raising the funds and workforce needed to take this project from an idea to a reality. Our last two service weekends were full of hard work, fun, and fellowship. Thanks go out to our friends at the Old Kia Kima Preservation Association for their help on the projects and hospitality by hosting us all for dinner in April. But don’t worry, our projects for Camp Cherokee don’t stop there! We are building a bridge made from reclaimed telephone poles from the old Climbing Tower and railroad ties from the Nature Lodge to cross the creek and swampy area near the lake on the trail from the Tech Center to Site 8, which will be capped off with another bridge constructed from the remains of everyone’s favorite camp vehicle. That’s right, Big Red will live again! As for our other projects, I have great news for them too. Daniel Hochstein and his Historical Committee are entering the final design phase of stage one of our Kia Kima Museum project which will feature a multimedia exhibit in the Dining Hall. This is leading up to a larger set of displays to be set up in the old Dining Hall which will include building improvements and teaching spaces. I’m also very happy to report that the NRA Foundation has given the KKAA a grant to help in constructing a Cowboy Action Shooting Range! The money will go to extending the berm and building the range itself. We will still need to source and provide the various targets, firearms, and sweat equity needed to complete the project. This issue of the Spring River will include a needs list for all our projects and for the camp itself, which is also available on our website. At our last meeting, our Board also agreed to raise the funds needed to replace the roof of the Nature Lodge and to build a beach

Executive Board President

Chuck Barber

volleyball court at Camp Cherokee. All of these improvements will help ensure our favorite camp on a lake will have a bright future for years to come. Let’s talk membership. We are currently sitting at around 85 members. I’m hoping to have us to at least 100 by the time you read this and I’d love to have us to 150 by August. Please remember to pay your dues if you haven’t already. The yearly rate is now only $25, or $20 if you’re serving on the 2018 KKSR Staff. Everyone receives a vehicle decal as well. Chairman Michael Downs has some awesome news too. If you’d like to contribute to one or all of our projects, he’s made it possible to now have your pledge collected in monthly installments! Please consider giving what you can. The Kia Kima Service Award has been designed and will be ready to earn by the time this magazine is published. Thanks to patch gurus Johnny Tracy (Merchandise Chair) and Mike Haskins for making this happen! Finally, Activities. Committee Chair Adam Leith has assembled an awesome team which have been putting on events all spring. Attendance has been strong and all have had a great time. Adam’s team is currently working on our Summer Staff Appreciation Dinner which will have a totally new concept this year and should be an event to remember. I’m so proud of all you do for Kia Kima. The dream of the KKAA was to bring together generations under a common cause and that’s exactly what you have done. Thanks for letting me be your leader. I can’t wait to share even more great news in the months to come! Have a great summer,


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


Andy Bland, George Clark Mark Follis, Jesse Henderson Jason Hood, Ken Kimble Mark Lawrence, Vincent Perryman Bob Winkler

South Fork


Andrew Schrack

Copy Editor

Daniel Hochstein

Staff Writers Noah Feder Mike Haskins


Chuck Barber 2018 President

PO Box 342855 Memphis, TN 38184



Kia Kima Alumni Upcoming Events Staff Appreciation Lunch

June 9, 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 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. 9–10, 2018 | Camp Currier Ahoalan-Nachpikin Lodge, Order of the Arrow

Lodge Family Banquet

Dec. 8, 2018 | Memphis University School Ahoalan-Nachpikin Lodge, Order of the Arrow For more information on events with our partner associations, visit the Mid-South Scouting Alumni & Friends Group at




Special Agent, US Secret Service 1997–2000, 2002: Waterfront Staff 2003: OVB 50 Miler Director/Health Lodge 2004–2006: Waterfront Director Only legends get to go by one name: Madonna. Bruce. Beyoncé. Jethro.


rian Day (as he’s known outside of KKAA circles) played a huge role at Kia Kima throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s. A towering presence on the waterfront, he served as Aquatics Director for three years after previously running the OVB 50 Miler program. Like many of you, Jethro found his way to staff through the Order of the Arrow. “Around 1996 or 1997, I was serving as Chapter Chief of the Eluwak Chapter for Lodge 558. . . . I’d credit [District Executive Trey Moore] and the lodge officers at the time with recruiting me to work,” he writes.

I LEARNED THE VALUE OF HARD WORK. I LEARNED HOW TO DO A JOB RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, AND DO IT COMPLETELY. In just his first year on staff, Brian was given the nickname Jethro by then-director Jim Boksa, thanks to Day’s resemblance (in many ways) to the Beverly Hillbillies character. Boksa also provided him with a formative Kia Kima memory that year. Day writes, “Boksa fired me from his waterfront for a day for leaving my buddy tag on the in-board. I never did that again.” That was one of many lessons that shaped his career: “I learned the value of hard work. I learned how to do a job right the first time, and do it completely.”

Jethro’s photo is still on the bulletin board in the Cherokee Staff Center.

His career in law enforcement began at Yosemite National Park as a Law Enforcement (LE) Park Ranger and continued in the Collierville Police Department. After a return as an LE Park Ranger again for the state of Tennessee, Day has served since 2015 as a member of the US Secret Service.

Special Agent Brian Day in front of Air Force One.


Brian sums up beautifully how his Scouting career prepared him for his role as a Special Agent: Scouting teaches fundamentals such as responsibility, accountability, leadership, teamwork, dedication, and self-reliance. Scouting provides the ability to interact with people from different backgrounds, different cultures, and religions. Scouting has a paramilitary structure and a chain of command system. These are all characteristics and fundamentals that help me to do my job. I often work as part of a team where I have to complete my own tasks and responsibilities to enable the success of the team. I interact with people of different religions, cultures, and ethnicities, both in the USA and overseas. I work within a chain of command structure and I often work with partners from all branches of the military. Learning these principles early and often in Scouting provided me with what I needed to be successful in my career.


Noah Feder, Staff Writer


Even while working in the Chicago field office, with plans to transfer to the President’s or Vice President’s detail in a couple of years, Jethro thinks back fondly to his time along the South Fork waters: “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the friends and memories I made during my time in Scouting and at camp. . . . Don’t ever let the spirit and the heart of the place lose its way. It’s the staff’s responsibility, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. “⛺

Brian currently lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife, Ashley, and two daughters. Brian can be contacted at

Kia Kima Alumni Association Service Award The Kia Kima Alumni Association Service Award was created to encourage campers and alumni to work and give back to Kia Kima Scout Reservation. Anyone who performs 10 hours of service to camp will eligible to purchase the KKAA Service Award medal and accompanying patch for $10 total. For the purpose of this award, work performed during the summer camp season by summer camp staff is not eligible as service hours, but staff are still eligible to earn the award by giving service during the off-season! When you have completed the service hours, please email them to Johnny Tracy at and include the dates, hours, and projects on which you worked.




“My favorite part of the job has got to be knowing that everything that I am working on is going to bring enjoyment to a kid and make them smile.”


very morning, the sun rises over Kia Kima spreading its rays over the treetops and across the fields and trails that Scouts have hiked for over 50 years. The birds shake off the drowsiness of the night and begin their songs and start looking for food as camp slowly comes to life in the morning sun.


However, the day starts before the sun rises for Kia Kima ranger Michael Holder. Michael–or “Mike”–begins the morning with his wife, Amanda, at 5:30 A.M. with a pot of coffee and begins to get ready for the day. Amanda starts breakfast and wakes up their two children, Drake and Jenna, to get them ready for daycare. After breakfast and a quick cleanup, Amanda says goodbye to Mike and drops the kids off at daycare and goes to work in Ash Flat.

Mike, after checking his to-do list, hops in his truck for a quick inspection around camp, and after consulting the to-do list one more time, starts a seemingly-endless list of things to improve, fix, or replace around camp’s many buildings. Holder is the current camp ranger at Kia Kima Scout Reservation, and is no stranger to the Ozark foothills. “We’ve both lived in this area our whole life,” he said. He was born in Salem, only 30 minutes from camp, and later graduated from nearby Highland High School. Amanda, who Mike has been married to for four years, grew up in Evening Shade in western Sharp County. The previous ranger left Kia Kima in 2016, and the position was vacant for nearly a year while a search was underway. Holder heard about the open ranger position from former ranger Larry Counts. “I met Larry through my old boss,” he said. “He introduced me to the job, and I was very blessed to get it.” Among the many responsibilities of the ranger are general upkeep and repair of buildings on property, landscape maintenance, keeping tabs on water lines across camp, and maintaining Kia Kima’s fleet of camp trucks. All of that upkeep generally keeps Holder fairly busy. “My biggest challenge has been time management, juggling normal life and camp life,” he said. Larger projects, like the new bathroom renovations at the Camp Osage staff center and the new Tech Center for Camp Cherokee are also on his list to finish for the spring. Many camp staff members and Scouters travel to camp on work weekends to help with these projects, but there’s always more to do. “My busiest time of the year is in April and May,” he said. “I’m wrapping up projects and trying to get camp opened.” When he does get spare time, he says the job does have its benefits. “The best perk is the solitude and the river,” he said. “I really enjoy hunting and fishing, and I truly enjoy just working on my own things and watching Drake and Jenna grow and learn everything Kia Kima has to offer.” As the sun sets over camp, Holder picks up his tools and climbs back into his truck to head back home for dinner with his family. After dinner, and a brief trip to Ash Flat for supplies for the next day, he spends some quality time with his kids before making his next day’s to-do list. Just like every morning, he’ll wake up again tomorrow morning at 5:30 and start the process over again, but to him, it’s the best job in the world. ⛺ Are you interested in volunteering your time to camp? The KKAA hosts a number of work weekends throughout the year to support camp through work on various projects. In addition, a list of small-scale projects that can be adopted by troops or small groups of friends can be found on the Alumni Association’s website at

Mike and Amanda Holder pose with their family in a fall photo. From left to right: Drake, Mike, Amanda, and Jenna.

Mike Haskins, Staff Writer




Ma’kya (Hopi language): Eagle hunter


he Ma’kya Trail is the El Dorado of Kia Kima history. Many campers and staff over the years have plunged off into the woods to find and hike a trail that supposedly ran around the boundary of the Reservation. Over the years, interest in the Ma’kya Trail would come in cycles with successive groups of staffers attempting to reblaze and reopen the trail but they never had as much success as the original group. It eventually became a common joke that one would have to “make ya a trail” before you could hike it. For a trail that was only operational for a relatively short period of Kia Kima’s history, the Ma’kya Trail—and the idea that a forgotten trail exists somewhere on the Reservation—has certainly become a recurring piece of Kia Kima folklore throughout the staff generations.

the Associate Adviser. Several Explorers at the time included Johnny Fletcher, Ron Naro, Doug Whitney, Steve Whitney, and Bill Graves.

The Spark of an Idea

Dan McGuire returned the following month on March 10, 1971, with updated plans for the proposed trail. In addition to the map, he also presented on behalf of the post a proposed patch that could be earned by Scouts. The patch would sell for fifty cents and all net profits from the trail patch would go into the camp operation budget. If at any time Post 331

The original Ma’kya Trail was designed and built in 1971 by Explorer Post 331. Post 331 was an Explorer Post focusing on service projects and was largely comprised of Kia Kima staff. The Post Adviser was Dan McGuire (also serving as Cherokee Aquatics Director at the time) with Frank Mund as


The idea for a hiking trail at camp sparked from a conversation with Frank Simonton, the Camp Director. Dan McGuire and members of the post met with Joe Clarke, the camp ranger, who helped them plot out a new trail on a property map. On February 10, 1971, Dan McGuire and Bill Graves presented their plans for a five-mile hiking trail to the Chickasaw Council Camping Committee. The committee was receptive to the idea but asked for one change: make it longer. They asked the post to extend their proposed trail from five miles to ten miles so that it could satisfy the hiking requirements of Second Class.

discontinued operating the trail, the operation and equipment would be assumed by the council. A motion was made and passed by the committee to give Post 331 the authority to build their new trail.

Blazing the Trail

Post 331 quickly began work that month on building their new trail, and it took a lot of steady, hard work to get it ready in time for the summer. Dan McGuire recalls using a twentyfive yard piece of a rope to measure the trail as they worked. The Explorers would “leap-frog” down the trail as they blazed through the woods to get a fairly accurate 10-mile trail. The original trail markers were metal lids from cans that were painted orange and nailed to the trees. A single can lid was simply a trail marker; two can lids with a number indicated where a hiker would need to take a compass bearing. After two or three weekends, the trail was finally completed and ready for the 1971 summer camp season. The name Ma’kya Trail was selected. Ma’kya is a Hopi word for eagle hunter. The original 10-mile trail followed meandered far outside the camp boundaries following several old logging roads and dry creek beds. Scouts hiking along the trail would see many

different points of interest, some of which can still be found today while others have disappeared back into the hills of the Ozarks. Hikers in the early ‘70s would see a natural spring; an old saw blade dated June 1902; a broken caterpillar track; Spanish moss; an old homesteading cabin made of handhewn logs; an old homesteading site with a rock wall and the remains of a porch foundation; the remains of a sawmill; a 70-year-old wagon rim; an old gravesite with a simple, plain stone; and several other things. The trail guide gave this description for another one of the points:



Fade Away

After several years of use, the Ma’kya Trail slowly fell into disrepair. As the guys of Post 331 got older, they slowly moved on from camp staff to other jobs, and the Post eventually folded. After several years, the trail fell into disrepair and began to disappear as nature began to reclaim the paths. Since that time, there have been several attempts to revive the Ma’kya Trail with varying success, and it was successfully reopened for a few years in 1985-89. Other attempts were made, including using the name “Ma’kya” to describe a Leave No Trace hiking program in the mid-2000s. These attempted revitalizations would only last for a few years before the trail would inevitably fade back into a mere memory.

The Current State of the Trail

More recently, Rhonda Wright has been spearheading the current incarnation of the Ma’kya Trail for the past several years. Although the old trail wandered off-camp quite a bit, Rhonda has been working to make sure the new trail stays within the property lines while still exploring all the corners of the Reservation. Parts of the trail have been designated with metal trail markers that are reminiscent of the Appalachian Trail. Although the new trail does not follow the exact path of the original trail, traces of that trail still linger and can be seen by Scouts hiking around the Reservation. ⛺ Andrew Schrack, Staff Writer


A scanned copy of trail guide from 1976 is available courtesy of Mark Lawrence. It can be viewed on the Kia Kima Alumni Association website at



Noah Feder

My first year on staff in 2002, I wasn’t quite sure why I was there. As a camper, I’d looked up to our UC (“Camp Guide” for the under-30 set) Derick “Spanky” Simmons, and he and Travis Tate certainly gave me some gentle encouragement to sign up. Despite that fact that no one else in Troop 270 had any interest in joining me, I sent in an application.

One evening stands out in particular: sitting in the staff center, probably listening to one of Matt Appling’s tall tales or Hinson’s acoustic jams, I found myself near a healthy debate about what card game to play next. (This particular summer, no one brought a TV to the staff center, so we poor deprived souls didn’t even have a VHS player to pass the time.)

A few weeks after my phone interview with Camp Director Peter Abell, I was getting dropped off (in full Class A, groan) by my mother for 3 weeks of working at the Osage Nature Lodge. Within minutes of her departure, I was overwhelmed: a beatup pickup with a Jolly Roger flying from the cab barreled into the staff area, and out hopped Andrew Hinson, Ryan Cooper, and John Burruss, with nary a sleeve to be found on any of them. They unloaded a couple dozen staff racks in 10 seconds flat and immediately prepared to pile back in, shouting:

David Pfaffenroth was guiding this debate and asked me my opinion of Texas Hold ‘Em. Having been soundly defeated too many times by my MUS friends back home, I declared my strong aversion to all forms of poker. David was actually trying to gain support for poker as the evening’s game of choice and informed me that he was a big fan. In my adolescent need for approval from an older (17-year-old) staffer, I quickly backtracked and threw my support in for whatever game he wanted. David replied, “Noah, you don’t have to say you like something just because someone else does.”

“Shotgun!” “Driving!” “Dangit!” (or a PG-13 equivalent)

Clearly, I was in for quite a summer (or 12). My nerdy, privateschool self had been on dozens of campouts, served as SPL, and been through my Ordeal, but I was definitely in over my head. Ill-prepared both socially and materially, I was paired up with fellow new staffer Tim “Mitch” Endsley in the most boring tent in the history of the staff area. Our only adornment was a yellow-bulbed shop light, so most evenings were spent in the staff center building itself.

He probably doesn’t know this, but David’s words that night made for a massive boost to my self-confidence. Like many nerdy teenagers, I was desperate for the approval of my peers and would gladly try to match their tastes in an attempt to fit in. The simple concept that matters of taste shouldn’t impact the friendship and respect of my fellow staffers (or classmates) was mind-blowing at the time. That sense of belonging as a part of the staff, regardless of age or background or interests, remains one of my most favorite memories of Kia Kima. ⛺




CAITLIN CLARIDGE (Staff ‘13–’14)

NOAH FEDER (Staff ‘02–’09, ‘11–’14)

CURTIS GEORGE (Staff ‘90–’91)

Dr. Caitlin Claridge graduated from UAMS College of Medicine on May 19, 2018, with her MD degree. She will be an OB/GYN resident at Case Western in the fall.

Noah Feder married Emily Duke on March 9, 2018, in a small ceremony at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

Curtis George was recently elected to serve as Vice President of the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society, Zeta Tau Chapter at East Tennessee State University for the 2018/2019 school year. Curtis is currently pursuing a degree in Parks and Recreation at ETSU.

JON GRIZZLE (Staff ‘94–’01, ‘03)

MIKE HASKINS (Staff ‘07–’18)

ALICIA HENDERSON (Staff ‘09–’14)

Jon Grizzle recently published his second book: Team Building A La Card: Affordable Adaptations of Team Activities. He’s still using his skills that he learned in C.O.P.E. as a professional facilitator for BRIDGES USA in Memphis.

Mike Haskins graduated on May 12, 2018, from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications, specializing in Public Relations and with a minor in business administration.


Alicia Henderson has accepted a position as an optional 8th grade teacher in the Empowerment Zone with Shelby County Schools. She has also been named a Hernandez Fellow with the Alliance for Catholic Education and will be attending Notre Dame for her English as a New Language certification.

To be included in future issues, email the editors at

ANDREW HINSON (Staff ‘96–‘03)

ADAM HOWARD (Staff ‘08–’13)

ALEXANDRA HOWARD (Staff ‘13–’18)

Andrew Hinson (left), current KKAA Treasurer, pictured with the 4th place Shoulder trophy won by his team, Shoats & Skins, at Memphis in May BBQ Fest.

Adam Howard married Kendyll Smith on April 28, 2018, in Texarkana, Arkansas. They currently live in Dallas, Texas while Adam attends grad school at Rice University.

Alexandra Howard graduated from Rhodes College on May 12, 2018, with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology.

CHRIS NELSON (Staff ‘12–’18)

SCOTTIE THOMAS (Staff ‘12–’16)

RHONDA WRIGHT (Staff ‘08–’18)

Chris Nelson graduated in May from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology.

Scottie Thomas graduated in January from the Memphis Police Academy. Since then, he has been protecting the streets of the City of Memphis as an officer with the Memphis Police Department.

Rhonda Wright has been selected to serve as the chair of the National COPE and Climbing Task Force. Rhonda will be responsible for coordinating the efforts of the regional task force chairpersons for COPE, climbing, caving, and canyoneering standards, policies, and initiatives for the National BSA.




Members with Kroger Plus Cards who enroll in the Kroger Community Giving program can contribute to the Kia Kima Alumni Association every time they shop 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 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.


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

Name: Address: City:


Donation Amount:








Apply donation to (choose entire donation to one or write in amount for each): Cherokee Tech Center Supplies Cherokee Nature Lodge Roof Cherokee Volleyball Court Cowboy Action Shooting Range General Fund Amount Attached: Paid by Check: #:


Bill Me: OR


Credit Card: Exp:



Mail to: Kia Kima Alumni Association PO Box 342855 Memphis, TN 38184 OR Please send PayPal contributions to:

Needs List

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

Makerbot 3D printers Drones 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

Donations & Tributes Anonymous Jay Baker Dave Burrows Adam Foster Sylvia Henry Andrew Hinson Paula Hinson Walter Hoehn Justin Kerr David Kiggins Jeff Lichterman Brian Leith The NRA Foundation Grant Alex Peters Jody Ratcliff T-Mobile Grant; Matching Donations Johnny Tracy David Zelinski

Miscellaneous • • • • •

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

Zuzu’s Petals


Anker Technology Portable Power Packs AT&T Silent Auction Jabra Wireless Accessories

Jamond Bullock Silent Auction: Painting Mark Lawrence Cherokee Tech Center: Computers 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.

Outdoors, Inc. Silent Auction



South Fork

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