San Gabriel Valley Council

San Gabriel Valley Council
San Gabriel Valley Council
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Pasadena, California
Location Los Angeles County
Country United States
Founded Jan. 1, 1919
Scouting portal

Located in Los Angeles County, California's San Gabriel Valley, the Boy Scouts of America's San Gabriel Valley Council (#40) is one of five councils serving Los Angeles County. It is headquartered in Pasadena.



  • Valle De Sol District
    • Covina, Glendora, Charter Oak, La Verne, San Dimas and Claremont.[1]
    • The cities of La Verne, San Dimas and Claremont were added to Valle De Sol District when Old Baldy Council was split at the Los Angeles–San Bernardino county line on May 1, 2006 and was merged into San Gabriel Valley Council and California Inland Empire Council.
  • Former district called: Trails of the Valley District was moved into the Lucky Baldwin District and Mission Amigos District in 2010.


With the founding of the BSA in 1910, the first goal of the San Gabriel Valley scout leaders was to organize as new troops. Paid professionals, many of whom were YMCA leaders, were recruited to help start new Troops and spread the new scouting program. They were sent out into the San Gabriel Valley towns to organize new troops and recruit leaders. By March 1919, there were nine active troops with 190 boys in the SGV. The Pasadena Council (also known as the Pasadena District Council) of the Boy Scouts of America was organized March 3, 1919, with jurisdiction over Pasadena, Altadena and Lamanda Park.

A charter was granted by the BSA National Headquarters dated April 1, 1919 to the Pasadena District Council. Tallman Trask was hired to be the first Scout Executive. Trask had been a District Executive for the Los Angeles Council. He had also served as Los Angeles’ Camp Director. Prior to joining the BSA, Trask was an executive for the YMCA and had run several camps for them. By October 1, 1919, there were 15 active troops with 299 Scouts.

The Council’s name was changed in 1929 to Pasadena-San Gabriel Valley Council to better reflect the geographic area served by the Council. In 1951 the name was changed to San Gabriel Valley Council to shorten it and better identify the 29 cities and towns that made it up.

The current SGVC Scout center and Scout Shop, at the Smiser Scout Center, was dedicated on July 16, 1994. Smiser Scout Center 3450 East Sierra Madre Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91107, Phone: 626-351-8815.


  • Camp Huntington opened in 1920 (now closed) was at the mouth of Rubio Canyon. Many Scouts would take the Pacific Electric street cars (the Red Car) and then hike to camp. The camp was started by Henry Huntington.[6] The camp was near entrance of the Mount Lowe Railway, closed in 1938. By the early 1960s, the city's population had expanded and there were now houses built right up to the Camp’s fence line. So, it as decided to close the camp, as it was now in the town of Altadena.[7][8]

Trask Scout Reservation

Trask Scout Reservation
Trask Scout Reservation
Location Monrovia, California
Coordinates 34°11′31″N 117°57′45″W / 34.1919°N 117.9625°W / 34.1919; -117.9625 (Trask Scout Reservation)

Trask Scout Reservation is in the City of Monrovia, Ca. in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. It is located above the sawpit dam off of Monrovia Canyon Park.[12] Camp Trask offers, Cub Scout Programs, Family Camp programs and Boy Scout Programs on a year round basis. The Camp has a full size Fort used for many program activities, called Fort Rotary. The camp is in a riparian zone ecosystem. Canyon stream and the camp are shaded by deciduous trees, white alders and bigleaf maples, evergreen canyon and coast live oaks.


Originally known as Monrovia Scout Reservation, Camp Trask was bought in 1966. The Camp was dedicated as Tallman H. Trask Scout Reservation on May 13, 1972.

Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch

Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch
Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch
Location Fawnskin, California
Coordinates 34°18′10″N 116°53′46″W / 34.3028°N 116.8960°W / 34.3028; -116.8960 (Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch)

Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch, 7500' elevation, is located north of Big Bear Lake in the old mining district of Belleville in the Holcomb Valley on the site of the old Hitchcock Ranch. Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch is North of the town of Fawnskin. The road from Fawnskin to Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch is a 4WD road. Most use the Van Dusen Canyon Rd to get to the Ranch, as it is OK for 2WD. The Camp offers Boy Scout summer resident camp and a week long Oak Badge-National Youth Leadership Training class. One Hike offered is to the Big Bear Discovery Center.[13] Cougar Crest hike to Bertha Peak gives an amazing view of Big Bear Lake.[14] Spring creek trail offers a more level long hike. Not far from the camp is the Pacific Crest Trail. Near the camp is a USFS[15] public camp ground Holcomb Valley Camp Ground.[16]


Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch was formerly part of Old Baldy Council. The Scout Ranch was turned over to the San Gabriel Valley Council in 2005. The Old Baldy Council took title to the property in 1965 from William Hitchcock. The Hitchcock Ranch is still part of the Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch.[17] Guy Reide, Old Baldy's Scout Executive(1949 to 1966) in 1965 had the vision and work with William Hitchcock to have the Ranch turned into a Scout Camp. Loren Baldwin became the first camp ranger and Holcomb Valley held its first Boy Scout summer resident camp in 1974. Holcomb Valley is named after William F. Holcomb,[18] who discovered gold there and staked a claim in May 1860 with his partner. Holcomb became known for his marksmanship. After 10 years of prospecting he still had no major success. As food sources were diminishing, some of the prospectors hired Holcomb to hunt for grizzly bear to provide food for the long winter months. While trailing a bear he found Holcomb Valley. Bonanza and many other western films and TV shows were shot in Holcomb Valley.[19][20] For a short time under Old Baldy Council the camp was called "Camp Lipscomb" after US Congressman Glenard P. Lipscomb.

Camp Cherry Valley

Camp Cherry Valley
Location Santa Catalina Island, California
Coordinates 33°27′01″N 118°30′11″W / 33.4503°N 118.503°W / 33.4503; -118.503 (Camp Cherry Valley)

Camp Cherry Valley is a summer camp on the leeward side of Catalina Island, California, operated by the San Gabriel Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It is located two coves north of Two Harbors at Cherry Cove. The camp, valley and cove get their name from the catalina cherry trees native to the island.[21] It also offers non-Scouting programs on a year round basis.

Program and activities

Camp Cherry Valley has operated as a Boy Scout camp since the 1920's, but other groups use it as well. CIMI, the Catalina Island Marine Institute, runs a program from September through November, taking a winter break then recommencing February through May. The CIMI program caters to youth groups other than boy scouts. Being right on the Pacific ocean, the camp allows superb snorkling and scuba diving. During the summer the calm waters stay around seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Scouts sleep in two-person canvas tents set on wooden platforms located up the canyon under the cherry trees.

To reach the camp, Scouts take a two-hour chartered ferry across the channel, a 22-mile distance from San Pedro or Long Beach to Two Harbors and then hike 1.3 miles to the camp. The camp promotes itself to scouts with the Tribe of Torqua. The "Tribe" was instituted by Council Executive H. Benjamin "Skipper" Robinson as a special group of honor campers. The Tribe of Torqua remains strong to this day, with thousands of youngsters in its ranks.[22]

Tribe of Torqua patch
Dinning Hall at Camp Cherry


As of 2008, five main hikes were available for Scouts:


There is a small silver mine[23] located in the cove left from the time the western part of Catalina Island was full of such mines. The mine was shut down by orders from Abraham Lincoln, after he had got rumors the Confederate army may attack California to acquire gold and silver to fund their war efforts.[24] In 1864 Union Troops were put on the island to stop mining.[25]

Throughout the 1920s-1930’s, Scouts would travel via train from Pasadena to San Pedro, then take the Great White Steamer, SS Catalina, to Avalon. After arriving in Avalon, they would then travel up to Cherry Cove on the Betty-O, a Wrigley tour boat, now a Marina del Rey fishing boat.[26]

Cherry Valley opened in 1923. It was very primitive that first year. There was no pier so campers had to wade ashore or be shuttled from the Betty-O to shore via rowboats. Scouts ate at an “open air” Dining Hall and were plagued by yellow jackets. In 1947 scout now traveled directly from San Pedro to Cherry Cove on the H-10 Water taxi. They would continue to travel via water taxi until 1973.[27]

The original 1937 lighthouse was blown down in a storm in 1998. It was rebuilt in 2003 and christened "Thompson’s Light" in honor of Dr. Henry Thompson

The 1935 film Mutiny on the Bounty used the Cherry cove as part of its filming.[24][28][29]

Ta Tanka Lodge

Ta Tanka Lodge

The San Gabriel Valley Council's Order of the Arrow lodge is the Ta Tanka Lodge (#488).


  • Hunkpapa[30]— Lucky Baldwin and Mission Amigos Districts
  • Kiowa — Golden Eagle District[31]
  • Oglala Lakota — Rose Bowl District[32]
  • Teton Dakota — Valle Del Sol and Trails of the Valley Districts

See also

External links


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