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About Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay, located on the undeveloped West End of Catalina Island, enjoys unparralleled access to the natural gems of Catalina's singular ecosystem. The secluded beaches and coves that surround us boast world-renowned snorkeling and diving, frequently counted among the top ten destinations in the world. For the terrestrial naturalists, the hiking trails that radiate from our camp provide the perfect opportunty to spot the endemic Catalina Island Fox or the famously anachronistic Bison. This well-preserved environment, under the care of the Catalina Island Conservancy, provides a uniquely accurate window into the natural history of California.


The recorded history of Emerald Bay dates back to the 18th century when Chumash Indians, Spaniards, and the odd pirate occupied the land. In the mid-19th century the Johnson Brothers used Emerald Bay to graze cattle and ship them to the mainland. The occasional corral fencing from Johnson's Landing (as it was known at the time) can still be found in our campsites to this day. It wasn't until 1925 that the Crescent Bay Area Council founded the Boy Scout facility that we know today. For fifteen years the camp served hundreds of local scouts and scouters until, in 1940, the Navy requisitioned the camp for  underwater demolition training. Some of our oldest staff cabins are the remnants of the officer and trainee housing from this era. In 1946 Camp Emerald Bay re-opened with roughly 80-100 campers and 15 staffers- a mere fraction of the numbers we serve today.


The camp has continued to grow and now serves over 5000 scouts in a summer with a staff of roughly 150 young men and women dedicated to produce a unique and unparalleled scouting experience. Additionally, the Spring and Fall Seasons have become an increasingly popular time for school, church, business, and organization retreats and events.

Emerald Bay is more than a resort or weekend away. We work, through Environmental Education, Marine Science Initiatives, and Ethics and Leadership Training, to build good people.