The Camp Arroyo Grande property is one of the hidden gems of the Central Coast. Tucked unassumingly in a small canyon just above the village of Arroyo Grande, its rustic buildings, oak tree-studded hill, and historic tabernacle are both a surprise to new visitors and a reassuring experience of nostalgia for returning families. Camp AG has been home to Camp Tacanneko, a day camp run by Camp Fire of the Central Coast, for 50 years. As a former Camp Tacanneko camper, and now as a parent sending my own children as campers, I know the benefits of Tacanneko firsthand. Campers learn outdoor skills, practice traditional and new camp songs, make hand crafts, learn archery, and, perhaps most importantly, become confident, independent young people. Camps like Tacanneko allow campers to practice 21st century skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity every day.
I would suggest that the city of Arroyo Grande consider ways to expand opportunities at Camp Arroyo Grande, by partnering further with Camp Fire and similar organizations to increase opportunities for young people throughout the Five Cities to enjoy outdoor learning and real-world problem solving and creativity. The opportunities to invite school groups for field trips, use the property for team-building retreats for area organizations, and to increase access to the property to allow for year-round usage are compelling. Rather than consider ways to increase the value of the property before selling it for commercial development, let’s take the chance to cherish this beautiful, historic, and unique location in the heart of Arroyo Grande. Generations of young people and their families deserve the right to enjoy Camp Arroyo Grande for years to come.
-- Hillery Dixon - Arroyo Grande