[Nov. 11] – Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles and Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio (GSSGC) are happy to announce that escrow has closed on the sale of Skyland Ranch, a camp property in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains.
The camp – which was owned by the previous Long Beach Girl Scout council beginning in 1951 and acquired by GSGLA in 2008 – was purchased by sister council GSSGC on Nov. 10, 2015. Although ownership has changed, the camp will remain in the Girl Scout family, available to all Girl Scouts.
The sale of the camp was prompted by a two-year strategic property planning process by GSGLA, which resulted in GSGLA’s member- and board-approved recommendations to review Skyland Ranch for the purpose of determining the feasibility of securing external funding or transferring ownership to another nonprofit to undertake the ownership and operation of Skyland as a camp for continued use by GSGLA members. Currently GSGLA owns and/or leases two other mountain camps – Camp Lakota in Frazier Park and Camp Osito Rancho in Big Bear – as well as 10 program centers. These facilities are used by staff and volunteers to host programs in leadership, financial literacy, outdoor adventure, STE[A]M (science, technology, engineering, art, math), and healthy living.
“When we began our Voices to Vision property planning process three years ago, it was our hope that we could consider ways of keeping as many of our properties as possible in the Girl Scout family. It was a thoughtful and deliberate campaign. We understood the importance of these properties to our members,” said Lise L. Luttgens, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. “It was a great alignment of our shared vision and dreams that we were able to work with Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio to make this transfer a reality. The outcome couldn’t be more perfect: We know that our sister council will continue to invest in the future of girls by making this camp their signature outdoor experience. I am so grateful to all who have been involved: Our board, our staff, and our members kept our girls at the center of the discussion, and Girl Scouts will benefit greatly.”
Skyland Ranch just celebrated its 65th anniversary, which was highlighted by a reunion of Girl Scout alumnae known as Friends of Skyland Ranch coming in from around the country to celebrate.
“This is particularly special component of the property plan insofar as Skyland has been lovingly cared for and supported by this local Girl Scout alumnae and volunteer community. The sale of Skyland to our sister Girl Scout council was an ideal opportunity, and we are so pleased that our members can continue to make wonderful memories there,” Luttgens continued. “As an added bonus, San Gorgonio has hired our Skyland camp ranger, Ron Sabala, who is beloved by our volunteers and supporters.”
GSSGC chief executive officer Cynthia H. Breunig echoes Luttgens’ enthusiasm: “The acquisition of Skyland Ranch opens up exciting possibilities for all Girl Scouts in Southern California,” she said. “Camp activities encourage active lifestyles, offer girls new challenges, promote positive self-esteem, present leadership opportunities, enhance reasoning skills, and produces new generations of environmental stewards. Our board of directors, council staff, volunteers, and expert consultants all recognized these benefits, examined the feasibility of acquiring this special property, and concluded unanimously that Skyland Ranch will be our council’s legacy to our girls and community.”
Located on Highway 243, about 10 miles above the city of Banning, Skyland Ranch consists of 191 wooded acres surrounded by Department of Forestry land at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet. GSSGC’s board of directors has earmarked funding to immediately begin needed renovation and improvements, and bring Skyland Ranch back to consistent use. Within a year, it is anticipated that Skyland Ranch will be recommissioned and offer year-round camping at an easily accessible location for Girl Scouts.
GSSGC will soon announce a capital campaign to accomplish substantial property improvements and fund extensive girl programming over the next five years.
“Our council’s commitment to sustain and grow camp properties honors camp’s long and storied history as a signature Girl Scout program,” said Breunig. “The fact that GSSGC can now almost immediately begin offering year-round camp programs significantly expands our present capacity to serve the girls of the Inland Empire. Our vision for expanded facilities at Skyland Ranch, particularly comprehensive STE[A]M camp programming and a leadership center, offers GSSGC limitless possibilities for future growth as a vital community resource to Riverside and San Bernardino counties and beyond.”
Both councils attribute the seamless transition of ownership to the Friends of Skyland Ranch group, for stepping up and offering encouragement and support, as well as real estate brokers Corey Waite of Colliers International and Karen O’Brien of Bruin Trojan Realtors. Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio also thanks Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles for making the transfer smooth and easy, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Prospectors Federal Credit Union for offering favorable financing options to the council.
ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS OF GREATER LOS ANGELES (GSGLA)
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles serves more than 40,000 girls in partnership with more than 20,000 volunteers throughout the diverse communities of Los Angeles County and parts of Kern, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. The council engages girls through programs in Leadership, Business and Financial Literacy, Outdoor Adventure, STE[A]M (science, technology, engineering, art, math), and Healthy Living. To join, volunteer, reconnect, or support, visit www.girlscoutsla.org or call 213-213-0123.