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About Camp Emerald Bay
 Opened: 1925
          Camp Emerald Bay is a 60 acre developed camp ground located on the undeveloped western end of Santa Catalina Island. It is reachable by boat, approximately twenty-five miles across the Pacific channel from the ports of Long Beach, San Pedro,camp emerald bay catalina and Marina Del Rey, California.  The summer camp began in 1925 when Crescent Bay Council chose the undeveloped beach known as Johnson's Landing at Emerald Bay as the location for its fourth annual summer encampment after organizing as a Scout Council in 1922. Previous Crescent Bay camps had been held in Temescal Canyon, Russell Ranch and Saugus.   
          Even though the site was covered with cactus, without buildings, improvements or electricity, Emerald Bay was impressive enough to convince Council staff that the search for new locations for future summer camps was over. Arrangements were made with the Catalina Island Company to secure Emerald Bay for 1926 and beyond as a Crescent Bay Boy Scout Camp. In the first few years, 70 to 80 scouts in each of two sessions made the boat ride by steamship to Avalon and then by Council Sea Scout boat on to Johnson's Landing for a ten day camping experience. 
          From those humble beginnings, Emerald Bay has become a nationally known camping destination hosting upward of 5,000 scouts per year. The camp affords unparalleled access to Catalina's ecosystem including world-class snorkeling & diving in nearby secluded coves and beaches. "E.B." features extensive aquatic and adventure based programs which are acknowled as among the best offered by any scout camp in the United States.
          Camp Emerald Bay is operateded by the Western Los Angles County Council through a lease with the Catalina Island Conservancy

Camp Layout & Facilities

Emerald Bay has a large ocean-front swimming and aquatics center created by three connecting floating docks. There is a modern dinning hall that serves several hundred scouts at a time, trading post, health lodge, training center, boat house, the Pennington Marine Science Center, handicraft lodge, staff & ranger cabins, archery and BB gun range, showers, campfire arena and parade grounds. Camping is primarily in two-person wall tents in seventeen campsites. There are 20 cabins sleeping five people each.

Aerial View of Camp
circa Early 1970's
Docks & South Hill

Older floating docks can be seen along with older staff cabins
at base of undeveloped "North Hill". Older dinning hall can be seen nestled in trees. Camp sites are seen at top left.
Current docks as seen in front of "South Hill" cabins
and Ranger residence. Unnamed ridge line hills in background.

Dinning Hall & Parade Grounds
  "A"Dock & Doctor's Point

Dinning hall as seen from waterfront and across the
parade ground early in the morning.
Boats arrive and depart at "A" dock. Doctor's Point,
formerly known as Arrow Point, can be seen above dock
and to the left. Behind the point is Doctor's Cove.


Waterfront & Dock
As Seen from South Hill, Looking North
circa 1946
  Waterfront & Docks
As Seen from South Hill, Looking North
circa 2010
camp emerald bay catalina  

Camp Emerald Bay's first permanent structures were built in
1928 & 1929. They included a dinning hall (hidden by trees on
the left) and the first dock (seen in the approximate location of today's "B" dock). This view of Camp is what the Crescent Bay Scouts
returned to in 1946 after the Camp was controlled by the military
from 1942-1945.
By 2010, the present 3-part dock dominates the waterfront.
Buildings can be seen throughout South and North Hills
while the camp's extensive fleet of boats & canoes can be
seen lining the beach. Most of the trees now present in
camp were planted in the 1930's (and have grown
considerably in the last eighty-plus years).

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Camp & Campsite Map

Scouts live in tents while at camp. The originals, called pyramid tents, were used between 1925 -1927 and were brought to Emerald Bay by barge at the beginning of the camping
season and removed to the mainland when camp closed. These tents were replaced by
ridge-pole type tents on cement slabs in 1928 and then replaced by cabins in the 1930's. Two-person wall tents erected on wooden platforms replaced what remained of the cabins after World War II. Today, campers sleep in the same wall tents on spring cots
brought into camp in the 1950's, essentially unchanged for the last sixty years.

Campsite with Pyramid Tents
circa 1926
  Campsite with Wall Tents

camp emerald bay catalina        

Between 1925-27, Camp Emerald Bay had one campsite consisting
of nine pyramid tents, each sleeping up to eight scouts. In the days before sleeping bags, lines were constructed to air out bedding.
Today's tent campsites look
very much like they did in the 1960's.

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Camp Emerald Bay Topography Map

camp emerald bay catalina map

Approximate Camp Boundaries shown in green.

Description from Crescent Bay Area Council Flyers 
circa Late 1950's

CAMP EMERALD BAY . . .60 acres -alt. 10 feet
     Camp Emerald Bay on beautiful Catalina Island is an island paradise for Scouts, Explorers and leaders with interests
in aquatics, Scouting skills, hiking, advancement, handicraft, adventure, riflery, and Order of the Arrow activities. This site is
primarily used as a summer camp with organized periods for units under their own leadership. Paid reservations and fees
insure attendance at this popular camp. Weekend cruises on the ship Manta by reservation can be made through your local
Council Office, GRanite 7-4226. Camp folders and leader's planning meetings insure "Good Camping". Resident Ranger.

Camp Emerald Bay Water Transport Map  
  circa Late 1950's-1960's

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