I was I believe eight years old. My school had established an after school program similar to the Earth Service Corps other schools have. Meant to get children interested in the outdoors and the natural world. To make a long story short I needed a new sleeping bag for a camping trip (My first alone.) the program had planned. My mother quite happily took me to Wal-Mart and bought me a new sleeping bag. I somehow talked her into letting me get a new pocket knife for the trip. Convincing her to let me have a new pocket knife for a trip I would be alone, with about twelve other children and a few adults, must have been a feat in and of itself.
Not quite sure how I pulled that off. But I did. Overtime I lost that knife, though. Through the smoke and haze of time I remembered very little about the knife. It became important to me several years ago to find that model of knife and find again for my collection. It signified a few hallmarks in my short life. The fine people at KnifeForums.com and BladeForums.com were very helpful. They knew exactly what knife and model it was.
I was fortunate enough to find a new, in package "Kamp King" for $4.99 on eBay. One actually older than the one I had. This one has a trademark on the package of 1986. Incredible. This pattern is what many call the "scout" or "camper." If you're familiar at all with the Victorinox "Pioneer" and it's military variant the "Soldier" then you know the origin of this design. Imperial/Schrade and other knife companies mass produced this pattern for about 50 years. The "Kamp King" itself dates back to around 1955 or so. Camp knives meant for scouts, basically. It was part of their "Jackmaster" lineup.
It's also a bit of a sad reminder of how things "used to be." Imperial made economically friendly knives for Wal-Mart under their own label and the "Ozark Trail" brand for around two decades. You could walk into any Wal-Mart and find one of these or a similarly badged (Ozark's had red nylon scales) version for about $5. And while they were made "overseas" their quality was still the same beneath the budget friendly die cast metal bolsters and plastic scales. Based on what I remember from my youth the original one I had, eventually had blades turned quite black. Perhaps a mid-level carbon steel was used similar to the "Old Timer" model steel.
For collectors they're both valuable and worthless. Valuable for sentimental reasons and worthless because they made them in fairly prolific numbers. As I said I was able to find one brand new on eBay. It actually only took me 2 minutes to find one. As I type this I did a quick search on eBay simply for "Kamp King." Results popped up with 91 total auctions. Three of which feature brand new in package vintage models. One of which is from the later half of the 1950's with a compass still in a package. So if you're looking, you can find them easily.
They also made a "Super Kamp King" for an unknown period of time. It featured a shifted around pattern with the addition of a pen blade and "beverage can opener" for sodas and juices that required holes to be punched into them prior to the advent of the pull tab. These are rare, but can be found on eBay still.