Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, Camp McKee is a true gem of Scouting. The beautiful 900+ acre reservation holds campsites, hiking trails, camp buildings, and a 15 acre lake. McKee is surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest and is located within easy driving distance of the Red River Gorge, Cave Run Lake, and Interstate 64.
Camp McKee has a rich history and a special sense of place. American Indians occupied the area before the early European settlers arrived; in fact, the Shawnee settlement of Eskippakithiki was less than 5 miles away. McKee’s highest point, Grape Knob, would have offered a good observation point for Daniel Boone or a Shawnee. Years later, the courthouse in Mt. Sterling was built with stone mined from Grape Knob.
In 1945, P.L. and Gertrude McKee deeded over 300 acres of land to the Blue Grass Council for one dollar, and the first official camporee on the property was held in 1946. More land on the borders of Montgomery and Powell Counties was added in the 1950s.
Clearing for the lake and construction of the campsites and buildings began in early April 1959. The next year, the new camp hosted over 1300 Boy Scouts during its first summer camp season. As the number of Scouts in the Blue Grass Council increased over the next two decades, more campsites and buildings were added to support a greater number of campers.
As time went on, the camp adapted to better serve the needs of the Scouts. In 2003, the newly-constructed Stamler Dining Hall replaced the old dining hall and hosted 360 campers and staff every week in air-conditioned comfort, a first for McKee. Since that time, a new climbing tower, high ropes course, retreat lodge, and numerous program area shelters have been constructed on the camp property.
Named after original land donors P.L. and Gertrude McKee, Camp McKee has been serving the Scouting community for over 55 years. The camp property is located just 8 miles from Interstate 64 and close to its junction with Interstate 75, making it easily accessible to the entire Eastern United States. McKee hosts hundreds of Scouts during the summer camp season and thousands during the off-season, and is also available for non-Scouting groups to rent.