In 1926, Ohio Governor Alvin Donahey approved setting aside 55 acres of the Roosevelt Game Refuge for a Boy Scout camp. Since that time Camp Oyo has served Boy Scouts and other groups from Ohio and Kentucky. The name ‘Oyo’ is from an Iroquois word meaning “great water or principal river.” During the peak of the Great Depression in 1933, local Scout executive Harry Wagner approached the Civil Works Administration for assistance in building eight log structures. These improvements encouraged year around camping, earning Camp Oyo the distinction as one of the nation’s foremost Boy Scout camps. (Continued on other side)
In the early 20th century Ohio’s deer, wild turkey, beaver, bobcat, and other wildlife populations were facing extinction due to the widespread loss of forests combined with uncontrolled hunting. Ohio’s first wildlife area, The Theodore Roosevelt Game Preserve, was established in 1922 under the leadership of Ohio Governor Harry L. Davis. Its aim was to reestablish wildlife by creating a game and reforestation preserve on 15,000 acres of land, purchased using funds collected from hunting license fees. An additional 5,000 acres were purchased by the state agricultural extension division. Roosevelt Preserve quickly lived up to the dreams of its famous conservationist namesake, President Theodore Roosevelt, with programming that reestablished Ohio’s extirpated wildlife. A century later, the partnership between hunters and wildlife management continues to thrive in Scioto County.