2016 New Year Report

Summary of 2015

2015 was a busy time for Sturtevant Camp and the Friends of the San Gabriels. It was a year of restoration, improvements, new procedures, marketing, and meeting a lot of new people. Here are some of the accomplishments:

  • The Friends of the San Gabriels purchased Sturtevant Camp in April, 2015. 95 donors made this purchase possible. Donations continue to be received periodically.
  • The US Forest Service approved the organizational permit in July 2015.
  • Over 200 volunteers worked diligently during the summer and fall to conduct fuel reduction (fire clearance), improvement of the heliport trail, cabin painting, re-routing the trail into Camp, posting of an introduction and welcome sign, creation of retaining walls, and miscellaneous repairs and maintenance. Termites are under control.
  • Water tank #2 (the redwood tank) was re-commissioned and Water tank #3 (poly tank) was converted to a potable tank. All three water tanks are now plumbed into a single system providing over 5000 gallons of storage water. New water treatment procedures and tank rotation insures good quality water with better chlorine retention time.
  • Eighteen new hosts have been trained, with several that have spent time in Camp.
  • New sheet sets were purchased and now the guest cabins have matched sheets. A new procedure to always provide sheets, pillow cases, and blankets has been put in place.
  • The guests cabins have begun their transformation to theme cabins. Cabin 1 = Pack Train Rest Stop; Cabin 2 = Forest Friends Hangout; Cabin 3 = Bob Cat Lair (new wall hanging in progress); Cabin 4 = The Bear Den (new wall hangings and decorations are in place.
  • Coffee is set out on weekend days, the main lodge is propped open to welcome hikers inside, a set of nine chairs are always out for hikers to rest, cabin brochures are posted, and a host is in Camp to greet hikers, as well as provide information for the Camp. This has resulted in numerous reservations during 2015 and into 2016.
  • The number of likes on Facebook and followers on Instagram has increased significantly. Newsletter signups are now over 1000.
  • A new reservation system is in place to ease the front end and back end operations. The website has its own theme, but is still linked to Adams’ Pack Station, Friends of the San Gabriels, and Big Santa Anita Canyon websites. The url for sturtevantcamp.com and sturtevantcamp.org was secured.
  • Reservations for both the main area and retreat cabin were some of the highest in years. This trend is continuing for 2016.
  • The Camp has been signed up with Groupon and HipCamp. Ads on Facebook will begin showing on Facebook in January 2016. This will be targeted to people who have searched online for camps to stay in.
  • A Grant proposal was submitted to LA County Parks and Recreation for $170,000 repairs, maintenance, and restoration. The California Conservation Corps will provide the labor. The approval is on schedule for early 2016 with work to begin late spring.

Cabin improvements in the newly named Bear Den

And for the New Year – 2016:

The focus for 2016 will be to continue with infrastructure improvements, marketing, and guest satisfaction. Here are some of the plans.

  • Complete the transformation of the guest cabins to theme cabins (add decorations and interpretive signs).
  • Get the microhydro (water-based electricity) back online. There has not been enough water for several years. We will have sufficient water at least through early summer and then may have to revert back to the generator.
  • Paint the inside of the bathhouse, retreat cabin, and manager’s cabin. Replace carpet in the retreat cabin and manager’s cabin with wood flooring to provide for more durability, easy cleaning, and prevent the need to vacuum. Refinish the floor of the honeymoon cottage and put sealer on the walls.
  • Continue to expand marketing sources.
  • Introduce Theme Weekends. See the weekends we have scheduled so far HERE