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By using the approach of developing the discussions around what is the best delivery system to develop the best Program for the benefit of our Scouts, it allowed the discussion to focus on the best delivery of programs (the “Wish Book Theory” if all were a perfect world) versus going down a path of too many initial details that clouded again the agreed upon Mission of “What would be the Best Delivery of Programs to our Scouts.” So these first round comments are given in that spirit of that type of presentation. We did not focus on what properties to keep or that we may lose. That should come as the synergizes and the challenges are fully vetted later in the process. Value added Programming was the key to this discussion.

There is much synergy between the two council’s existing camps which can be developed into a complementary and supportive use to foster that all combined camp properties can be developed into profit centers for the combined councils and exciting delivery of programs. We did not focus at this time of sales of any properties or closings.

Forest Lawn and Holcomb Valley- These two camp properties have amazing synergizes that can be used to compliment and create value added programs. Example, the day and overnight hiking opportunities between the two camps could be expanded to create exciting starting and mid level high adventure type experiences for our Scouts. Trails between the two camps did exist at one time and could be re-activated with these programs being put into action. Holcomb Valley with 400 acres of large parcels of flat land, makes it an attractive off season horse venue for outside use and the SGV staff is expanded that off season opportunity. That same opportunity of facilities, during our summer season, with each camp having excellent horse facilities, again can expand the day and overnight adventure horse programs which will greatly increase the Scouts experiences as well as increase attendance from within and outside of our respective councils. This same type of synergies will increase outside off season usage as well. Also in peak weeks of the summer, the dilemma Forest Lawn has with capacity issues, might be solved with expanded joint venture use with Holcomb Valley, without expensive outlays of developing new campsites for two or three weeks out of the year.

Cabrillo Beach and Cherry Valley-Cabrillo Bach Youth Center would be a natural overnight gathering and step off overnight facility for Scouts traveling from out of council or even in council to start their sea-side camping experience. The two complimentary camps provide an overnight on the beach camping experience while being within walking distance of the Catalina Express-San Pedro terminal. Currently SGV Council is using their Trask camping facilities in the foothills of Monrovia to assist their CV Scouts accommodation needs. This would help and increase usage for both Cabrillo and Cherry Valley.
Firestone and Trask-With LAAC’s need for good in city camping facilities, a fully developed facility such as Trask would be very beneficial for those new and troops that need in city camping facilities and are not ready for mid to high adventure or even Forest Lawn or Holcomb Valley camps. Firestone is a great venue for Camporees but existing facilities are limited and Trask would be of great benefit to our Scouting demographics.
Log Cabin - A great camp that need more utilization. With the great addition of the traditional Scouts of SGV, the Quest beyond the Eagle could be reactivated and better utilization of this camp would allow LAAC to keep the camp open.

Order of the Arrow- Many of us have belonged to the OA and were past Lodge and Section Chiefs. There is great pride in our individual Lodges and Chapters. It is the feeling that both Lodges should remain in existence and if a merger were to occur, let the “Spirit” of the two Lodges meld naturally, if at all. The physical geographical area will be big enough to allow for the two Lodges to exist. Let time see if the Traditions and Customs could be melted together. If not, the initial recommendation is for the two to see where common energies would exist for the further benefit of the program without losing each Lodge’s Traditions and Identities by a combination and let the “Great Spirit” and nature take its course.
Existing Programs-We did not touch too much on this at all with the exception that joint promotion, publicity and synergize would be enhanced by wider and greater participation in already popular programs such as Boo Fest, Dodger Egg Drop etc.
What is important to existing programs is that the joining of the two council will give a larger volunteer base to draw from in Training and Activity committees that need a shot in the arm for those volunteers who are always stepping up to the plate. A joint merger would give the volunteer base a good boost which is needed in LAAC. That would definitely pertain to staff as well. Programs could use the expanded staffing infrastructure.
Again these are very preliminary and “Wish Book” thoughts but it again focuses on the Value Adding of Enhancement to our Programs delivered to our Scouts and to the potential bottom line in our camps as profit generating revenue sources for our combined Councils.
Submitted by:

Dave Tomblin
Vice President of Program, LAAC



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