Help Save Pico Blanco

Help Save Pico Blanco

The Pico Partners are fundraising to save Pico Blanco, an old boy scout camp in California. By preserving Pico Blanco, the group plans to maintain the conservational and cultural heritage that the old camp offers. The camp’s location has cultural significance to several Native tribes. Preserving the land and camp, the organizations involved hope to restore the space. Also, the local Esselen tribe, hopes to use it as an area for passing on traditional teachings, gatherings, and sacred practices. You can help by donating to the organization.

What is Pico Blanco?

Pico Blanco Boy Scout Camp is a summer camp in the Santa Lucia Mountains of California. The camp was founded in 1940 by the Monterey Bay Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The camp is on a site with redwood groves and a lake, and the camp is also near various hiking trails. The camp’s mission was to provide a fun and challenging outdoor experience for boys and young men. While at camp, the campers would learn valuable life skills such as teamwork, leadership, and self-reliance. Furthermore, the camp offers a wide range of activities, including hiking, swimming, fishing, and camping, as well as specialized programs such as mountain biking and backpacking.

The History of the Area Surrounding Pico Blanco

Indigenous people have a long history in California, specifically in the Big Sur and Ventana Wilderness regions. They arrived in the area approximately 12,000 years ago, following herds of game. Over time, they established permanent settlements and developed distinct cultures and traditions. The Esselen people, who lived in the Big Sur region, were known for hunting, fishing, and farming black oak acorns around Pico Blanco, which holds a central place in their creation story. The Esselen and other indigenous tribes lived in the region peacefully for thousands of years.

The History of Camp Pico Blanco

Boy Scouts from the Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey Bay Council #55 camped and built makeshift facilities around Pico Blanco from 1927 to 1934. In 1948, the Monterey Bay Area Council purchased 1,445 acres to build Camp Pico Blanco with a grant from the Hearst Foundation. In 1964, Congress created the Ventana Wilderness Area around the Pico Blanco region, which is still largely undeveloped today. Recently, developers have been pressured to build resorts and commercial ventures in the area, leading to concerns about protecting the unique natural environment. In 2022, the Boy Scouts of America chose the Pico Partners as the buyers of the camp due to their commitment to being stewards of the land. Part of this decision was the commitment to offer programming that inspires young people to love and learn from nature. (For a complete history of the camp and surrounding area, check out this link).

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