You are hereDecember 2012 Newsletter

December 2012 Newsletter


Sustainability Continued: Water and Power Conservation

This month, we continue our look into the Conservation and Ecology measures that Camp Emerald Bay has taken to become a leading environmental education center. Follow the entire story online.
In 2009, environmental and economic forces made for a perfect storm of scarce resources on Catalina Island, which began a five year rate hike that increased water prices by over 300% to $25.43 per 100 square feet, more than six times the average rate paid by a Los Angeles resident. In response to the seismic shift in rate structures, all of the youth camps, non-profits, businesses and property owners on the island formed a consortium to voice their concerns about Edison’s practices and protect themselves from further gauging. Camp Emerald Bay, however, took an alternate route as prices began to skyrocket. Instead of waiting and hoping that a collective outcry from ratepayers to pull rates down, Emerald Bay invested heavily in resources and strategies that could help us lower our consumption to a point that we would not need to to raise our prices. The result is that Emerald Bay remains the best deal on Catalina Island and features a cutting edge ecological curriculum that has changed our camp culture into something entirely new. Read the entire story here!

Webelos Bridging Preparation

2nd year Webelos will be bridging very soon out of Cub Scouts and into the Boy Scouts, which means that Cub Scout parents should begin planning now for your Webelos’ first year as a Boy Scout. In particular, attending some sort of summer camp in the first year as a scout is one of the most reliable indicators of whether or not that scout will make it to the highest rank in Scouting, Eagle. Based on an analysis of our records in the Western Los Angeles County Council, 80% of the Boy Scouts who went to summer camp in their first year stayed in the program past the first year, and 70% of those who stayed went on to reach the rank of Eagle Scout. That is an impressive rate, given that nationally only about 5% of Boy Scouts reached the rank of Eagle in 2011. This means that for troops and parents alike, summer camp attendance is by far the best way to keep boys involved in Scouting and the best way to make the program valuable to them. What do first year scouts do in their first year at camp? Camp Emerald Bay and Camp Whitsett have fantastic first year programs that will do the lion’s share of work advancing young scouts to First Class, and those scouts who either cannot go to camp with their regular troop or who want to do their advancement before arriving at camp can attend our First Year Boy Scout Camp at Camp Josepho, which focuses exclusively on the needs of first year scouts to get them excited and involved in the program from the get go.

Lobster for the Holidays

The flavors of Fall—pumpkin pie, mulled wine, turkey stuffing and … lobster? The first weekend of October was the opening of Lobster season, meaning that divers throughout California spend many of their evenings trolling the rocky sea bottoms for the delectable crustaceans, which are easiest to catch at night as they scurry between rocky overhangs and crevices to feed. Giancarlo Hamner, who has worked on the Emerald Bay staff for the last several years and currently works as a Dive Instructor for Malibu Divers, goes hunting for “bugs” as often as he can and even bagged enough to feed his family for an alternative Thanksgiving spread. Catching the creatures, Giancarlo describes, is quite an "exhilarating" process that involves stunning them with the intense beam of your flashlight, then grabbing them with a gloved hand (!), measuring the carapice, and then, if of legal length, tossing them in a bag. Prepare yourself to gather your own invertebrate Holiday Feast by getting your Advanced Certification through Rugged O at Emerald Bay this summer!

Holiday Recipe: "Not-Your-Momma's" Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts are this season's surprise wild-child—they are like the gawky, D&D-playing kid with acne who came back to her high school reunion with an edgy haircut and a record deal. Try this recipe for a spiced up side-dish at your next holiday gathering.
  • 12 oz. thickly sliced lean bacon, cut crosswise into small strips
  • 1 onion,. thinly sliced
  • 8 Garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 lbs. Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and halved (optionally)
  • Course Salt and Black Pepper
  • Sugar (optional)

Cook bacon in a large pan or skillet until browned (about 8 minutes). Remove Bacon strips, add onion and garlic to bacon fat. Cook over moderate heat until softened. Remove vegetables and add Brussel Sprouts, stirring occassionally, unbtil golden brown. Combine all in pan and add salt and pepper to taste as well as several pinches of sugar. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until sprouts are just tender.

Questions? Call or email the WLACC Camping Department: (818) 933-0130 or