History of Camp Kootaga
Camp Kootaga is the Boy Scout Camp located on Route 47 thirteen miles east of Parkersburg, West Virginia. It is a part of Allohak Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is home to Nendawen Lodge of the Order of the Arrow (OA). Camp Kootaga continues its tradition of being a nationally accredited camp for over 15 years. Camp Kootaga is part of the George A. Stevenson Scout Reservation. Camp Kootaga is 500+ acres and located on the Hughes River.
The camp is open year round with its most active time being June, July and August. Kootaga also hosts weekends for local Boy Scout units, Venturing units, Learning for Life units, Cub Scouts, and Webelos weekends. Nendawen Lodge also hosts OA events.
There are multiple camping locations on the George A. Stevenson Scout Reservation and is used to host events and Council Camporees. The camp features a low COPE course, a climbing Tower, shooting sports ranges, and several hiking/biking trails.
The camp has a waterfront area, a climbing wall, a swimming pool, a trading post, shotgun, rifle, and archery ranges, a health lodge, outdoor chapel, dining hall, and multiple cabins. Also, contained on the property is a water treatment area, a residential ranger house, 15 campsites, basketball court, bouldering wall, and Gaga pit.
The Dominion Gas Dining Hall is a full-service food facility able to produce 3 meals a day for campers.
Short Historical Summary
Don B. Lowe purchased the property known as Camp Kootaga in 1922 under the Gim-O-Gash tribe of the Boy Scouts of America. The first long-term summer camp was held that year on the banks of the Hughes River in the Kootaga region. This camp consisted of one or two Troops from the Parkersburg area with Don B. Lowe as the Camp Director during the early years.
In 1929 Col. R. L. Cole brought a Kiowa Indian named J. Dougannah to help with the camp program. He gave Indian names to the Leaders and named the Boy Scout camp “Kootaga” which means “Good Friends”.
Through the years, Camp Kootaga has gone through many changes, but one thing has remained constant: helping develop young men into upstanding citizens and outstanding individuals.
This year we celebrate ninety-five years of long term summer camping on this site and we are very proud to say that the commitment of the next ninety years burns strong in all of our hearts and minds. We would like to extend a sincere thank you on behalf of the adult Leaders, campers, and staff to all of those who have given in the past to help make camp a place where so many young boys have grown to men. Without caring people like you, Camp Kootaga may have today been just another farm or tract of land.