The Y will lose, but kids can use, Catalina camp

first_imgThe Glendale YMCA will end 80 years of running a Catalina Island campground at the end of this year, but the camp’s new manager will allow some 1,700 Glendale kids to continue to use it for their summer program. On Dec. 31, the Glendale Y will hand over management of Camp Fox to Guided Discoveries, a science-education group, the Catalina Island Conservancy announced. But Guided Discoveries’ one-year lease with the conservancy requires it to give the Glendale Y priority use of the 3 1/2 acre, 30-cabin campground on Buttonshell Beach. “We want to preserve the historical basis for the Y’s using Camp Fox and benefiting the kids of the Y,” said Mel Dinkel, chief executive officer of the conservancy charged with stewarding the 48,000-acre island. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Guided Discoveries, a Claremont-based group that also operates a tall-ship expedition and the Toyon Bay campground on the island, is stepping in after lease negotiations broke down between the conservancy and the Glendale Y. The conservancy declined to renew the Y’s lease as some $1.2 million in repairs piled up in recent years. A landfill nearby also requires a cleanup. A septic-system problem led the county Department of Health to cite the camp in 2003, though it was allowed to reopen at half capacity – about 9,000 campers per year. The Glendale Y said the push by the conservancy to open the camp year-round strained equipment and facilities, while the conservancy blamed the Y for letting the campground fall into disrepair. “We felt that we gave it our best effort and the conservancy either felt the proposal was short of what they were looking for or really wasn’t interested in the Y being there,” said John Thomas, chief executive officer at the Glendale Y. Thomas said the Y is negotiating with the incoming operator and the conservancy on how to best tackle the repairs. The Glendale Y has already spent some $200,000 on repair plans. The lease with Guided Discoveries – for 8 percent of the camp’s annual gross income – will expire Dec. 31, 2007. Ross Turner, Guided Discoveries’ executive director, said his group would consider running the camp after 2007, but Glendale Y officials said they would not at this time. Any camp operator will still have to grant the Glendale Y priority access, Dinkel said. The Glendale YMCA hosts about 1,700 kids at Camp Fox each year for summer and weekend camps. Guided Discoveries arranges for about 5,000 to visit the camp, which it has subleased for nine months for its marine science program. “We want to make it the best possible YMCA camp, and we want to make it the best possible outdoor education center,” Turner said. eugene.tong@dailynews.com (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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