HISTORY AND WEB LINKS ABOUT CAMP OUACHITA


The Ouachita Girl Scout Camp located on Lake Sylvia in the Ouachita National Forest, Perry County, Arkansas, was built during the Great Depression by the federally financed Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Work Progress Administration (WPA). The camp was in continuous use by the Girl Scouts until 1979 when the site was closed mainly for lack of an adequate supply of potable water. Because of the camp's historic significance, it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1994, a local citizen's group, Lake Sylvia Community Project Group, and a number of public and private organizations (Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District, Arkansas Trails Council, the University of Arkansas, and Arkansas Tech University) in conjunction with the Ouachita Forest Service began working towards restoring the historic Camp Ouachita/Lake Sylvia as a working facility.  Official dedication ceremony was held in September 2009.

Since, the U.S. Forest Service has operated the site and opened up the rehabilitated lodge and cabins for public rental. Limited by resource constraints, the Forest Service struggled at making the site economically sustainble.  In May 2016, the U.S. Forest Service made another attempt of public notice to partner with a local business or organization to operate and maintain the site.

Outdoor Life, a community outreach arm of New Life Fellowship - Perryville, looking for a location to host their ministry office and serve as a video production grounds for religious education material, submitted a business and operational plan to the U.S. Forest Service.  Effective 1 January 2017, Outdoor Life has operated Camp Ouachita under a Special Use Permit.  Camp Ouachita is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and remains a public domain for the public.  Outdoor Life is responsible for booking, reservation, maintenance and operation of Camp Ouachita's lodge and cabins.  Further, Outdoor Life will be working to promote and market greater public use of the facilities to reinvest back into the site, adding amenities in the cabins and lodge for economic sustainability.


Additional Links On The History And Background of Camp Ouachita
http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=4204
http://www.arkansaspreservation.org/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=145336
http://touramericashistory.blogspot.com/2012/04/camp-ouachita.html
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd502943.pdf
http://www.arkansas.com/attractions/detail/camp-ouachita-girl-scout-camp-historic-district/91670/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAQmoMRye3M
http://www.runarkansas.com/AT100/CampOuachita.htm
http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/blog/u-s-forest-service-seeks-proposals-for-camp-ouachita-girl-scout-camp