January 18, 2023, Greater Los Angeles Area Council, BSA

Dear Camp Cherry Valley Campers, Staff, Alumni, and Greater LA Scouting Family -

For the last seven months, key members of the staff and board have worked tirelessly towards creating an opportunity to continue the legacy of camping at Cherry Valley, Scouting’s original and first island camp. We were keenly aware of the generations of Scouts, hundreds of thousands of us, who have experienced the joy and fun and unmatched waterfront camp experience that Cherry Valley has offered since 1923. 

As you may recall from earlier emails, our lease is up and we did not have $10M+ to invest in the camp - funds that would have made us competitive for a new lease from the Catalina Island Conservancy, our landlord. For the last seven months, we have partnered in good faith with the Conservancy on a solution that would have allowed us to sublet the camp during the summer. We were initially told that this new arrangement would be in place by the end of August 2023. 

Regretfully, late last week, with a summer sublet still elusive, ongoing expenses, and no way to commit to staff and campers that we would actually be able to camp at Cherry Valley, Greater LA Scouting made the painful decision to empty and vacate the property at the end of the month.

I know that this comes as difficult news for more than a few, and I understand. However, our campers, our staff, and Scouting as a whole can all take enormous pride in the lives changed, the unforgettable memories, and unequaled adventure that Cherry Valley has provided to so many youth for so long. 

We’ll lower the American flag one last time on January 31st and bid farewell. 

If your troop has a camp deposit for Cherry Valley, we’ll be reaching out to you next week in the hopes that you will join us at Camp Big Horn instead. 

If you’d like to be a part of our final volunteer work party at Cherry Valley, please keep your eyes on our Facebook page for more information. 

Thanks for all you do to make the magic of Scouting possible. 

Bob Kurkjian

Chief Executive Officer and Scout Executive

Greater LA Scouting

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