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The Heart Beat of Camp High Point

In the 1980’s, the older girls from Tall Timber began beating a drum after Taps was played on July 3 and continued until the wake up bell on July 4. The drum was initially just a linen mattress cover stretched over a cubby and beaten with a stick, but after the tradition had continued for about 10 years, a real drum was donated. The ceremony was eventually moved from Tall Timber to the north doorway of The Ark, where the girls had an all-night party, slept and took turns beating the drum. This was known as “The Heart Beat of High Point.” The ceremony was performed each year until the neighbors across the creek lodged a noise complaint in the late 90’s. Although the ceremony was discontinued, the Heart Beat of High Point continued through the lives of all who camped there.


The Girl Scouts decided to close Camp High Point along with several other wilderness camps in 2016; however, that was not the end thanks to foresight and careful planning. The Conifer Area Girl Scout Council was merged with four other councils to form one state-wide council in 2008, a process which began a few years prior. Early during the realignment, the Conifer Council worried that properties may eventually be sold should any financial difficulties arise during the merger. Therefore, they formed Conifer Area Properties (CAP)—a non-profit property holding company—for the purpose of owning and maintaining the two local Girl Scout Camps, Camp High Point in Mena, AR and Camp Karlton Kemp in Texarkana, AR. The two properties were eventually deeded back to the Girl Scouts with the condition that ownership would revert back to CAP before being sold, which happened shortly after Camp High Point’s 70th Anniversary.


CAP is governed by a Board of Directors, who are dedicated to preserving the legacy of these two camps. CAP’s mission is to provide outdoor recreation areas for youth organizations—no longer exclusively to the Girl Scouts but now to any youth organization that wants to utilize the sites. The properties are also available to rent for various other purposes, such as family getaways, corporate retreats, weddings, etc.


Camp High Point and Camp Karlton Kemp both have notable anniversaries this year, but they will not be celebrated until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Camp High Point was purchased in 1945, and the first summer camp was held there in 1946. A reunion will be held at Camp High Point on April 24–25, 2021 to celebrate its 75th Anniversary. The land for Camp Karlton Kemp was donated in 1960, making 2020 its 60th Anniversary.


Camp High Point and Camp Karlton Kemp are still going strong.


Their legacy continues.


Their hearts beat on.

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