Historic Camp Arroyo Grande has been put on the auction block and is intended to be sold! This unique and historic 29 acre campground is located just above the Village of Arroyo Grande and has served campers of all ages for over a century. In fact, the Central Coast Council of Camp Fire will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at Camp Arroyo Grande with its traditional one week day camp called Camp Tacanneko; which has served over 7,500 children and youth over the years.
On March 11, 2016, the City of Arroyo Grande’s Historic Resource Committee voted to initiate the designation process to designate the Tabernacle and Methodist Campground property as a local historic resource. The Methodist Camp property has a long tradition in the City. John F. Beckett is the name largely associated with the campground property, having donated more than fifteen (15) acres for the development of the grounds and the Tabernacle, which will be 120 years old next year. The Campground was the host of many revivals over the years. The property was also the site of Chautauqua, which was an adult education movement started in the 1880’s in New York. These events drew many locals and visitors, helping to shape the community of Arroyo Grande in early years.
Camp Arroyo Grande was originally granted in trust to the Arroyo Grande Methodist Episcopal Church by Mr. Beckett who is one of the founders of the City of Arroyo Grande and the local Methodist congregation. Through the years the responsibility of maintaining property and adhering to the intents of Mr. Beckett’ trust were transferred to the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, which is located in Pasadena, California; http://www.calpaccamps.org/. Despite being a significant location of historic importance, with a unique twelve side barn-like tabernacle;
the proposed uses for the property upon its sale are the development of houses, a men’s drug & recovery center and other private uses which will remove the property from the use and enjoyment of our Central Coast community.
Though future ownership is uncertain, it is Camp Fire’s hope that the camp will remain accessible for local public use, as a preserved historic site and camp. Camp Fire has been the most consistent user group for Camp Arroyo Grande since its founding in the 1890’s. Camp Arroyo Grande has been, and is, a safe, secure and convenient location for families to drop off and pick up their children, in the heart of the village of Arroyo Grande; however, the children feel like they are far out in the countryside. The historic twelve side Tabernacle, cabins, amphitheater, pool and cafeteria provide a superb venue that hosts up to 200 young campers each year for our summer day camp.
Camp Fire has approached Cal-Pac for a long term lease agreement which would preserve the Camp’s status as an historic community resource, meet the intents of and honor the trust created by John F. Beckett. Camp Fire is also considering a fundraising campaign directed at the purchase of the camp. In any event, Camp Fire encourages the public to contact the Arroyo Grande City Council requesting the Public Zoning designation of the property does not change.
Camp Tacanneko 2016 day camp is scheduled for June 13-17 from 9:30-3:30. The 50th anniversary celebration will be conducted on Tuesday June 14th from 4:30-9:00. The public is welcomed as Camp Fire will be honoring the many volunteers that has made Camp Tacanneko possible.
Camp Fire Central Coast of California is a youth development organization serving San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties for 80 years. It’s after school programs, clubs, day camps and residential camps have impacted thousands of children, youth and their families producing confident and caring youth and future leaders. Camp Tacanneko is a week long, adult volunteer-led, traditional day camp experience for boys and girls leaving K-11th grade. Campers experience nature and activities in a unique Central Coast environment. Each day campers participate in music, arts & crafts, swimming, archery, dance, cooking, learning outdoor skills and Camp Fire traditions.
For more information about Camp Fire, Camp Tacanneko, or its vision for saving Camp Arroyo Grande please call 805-773-5126.