About Us

History of Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp

In June 2008, Beatrice Johnson, a resident of Johnson County, Arkansas, passed away and bequeathed 160 acres of land to the MO-ARK Kiwanis District, provided that the District construct a camp on the property for children. On May 8, 2009, following an inspection of the property by a group of area Kiwanis members, District Governor John Hoffman appointed a task force with the purpose of evaluating the property location and feasibility of developing a Kiwanis camp for children, the task force prepared a concept plan calling for the property to be developed in phases, with the first phase being primitive camping with no permanent facilities. In August, 2009, the District Board approved the concept plan and authorized the task force to proceed with the project and the formal acceptance of the property. The property was legally deeded to the District in January 2010, allowing full access to the property and receipt of the royalties from natural gas wells located on the property. In October 2010, the task force voted to name the camp “The Missouri-Arkansas Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp” in honor of the camp’s benefactor. The task force also voted to ask the District Board to approve the formation of a new District Foundation for the purpose of continuing to develop and manage the operation of the camp. Bylaws and articles of incorporation were approved by the Missouri-Arkansas Kiwanis District Board on February 25, 2011. A non-profit corporation named the Missouri-Arkansas Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp Foundation was formed and registered pursuant to the laws of the State of Arkansas on November 17, 2011. Chuck Raney, a member of the Ft. Smith Commissary Kiwanis Club and the leader of the task force, was elected as the first President of the foundation board. The camp was formally dedicated on April 14, 2012.

Quick Facts

A project of the MO-ARK District of Kiwanis International to provide children opportunities to connect with nature

Located on 160 acres of pristine land adjacent to Lake Dardanelle in Johnson County, Arkansas
Located across the highway from a major Corps of Engineers recreation area.
Features several miles of hiking trails, pavilion with electricity, water, and picnic tables, primitive camping areas, and restroom facility

Future development includes an education center, nature overlook, activity / recreational areas, camper cabins, showers, kitchen facility

The Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp is approved by IRS as a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization