since the 1930s as a meeting place for Laguna Beach Girl Scouts and a
program center for many visiting Girl Scouts from around Orange
County. The structure is owned by the Girl Scout Council, however the
land on which it sits is owned by the city of Laguna Beach. For many
years, the city has made this land "ours" for only $1 a year. (Thank you, Laguna Beach!)
Unfortunately, because of financial stress and the anticipated
high bill for stabilizing the Bluebird Canyon slide area, Laguna
Beach city staffers have decided that they must sell the four, more
or less, vacant lots they own in that area. One of these lots is the
one that is occupied by the Girl Scout House.
Though we were originally told the City Council meeting to discuss
the sale would be in October, I have just learned that it is
currently scheduled for the evening of Sept. 6, the first day of
school in the Laguna Beach School District -- a day when many
interested parties will be understandably preoccupied.
Laguna Beach Girl Scouts love their special meeting place. It is
used by many troops on a weekly basis and is also a great spot for
girl overnights, camping exercises, parties, adult leadership
meetings, Girl Scout ceremonies, and other special events. Many women
in Laguna Beach still remember the happy times they spent at the Girl
Scout House years ago. It is a place where memories are born.
The Girl Scouts, which serves girls ages 5 through 17, are a vital
part of our community. You see us each year marching in the Patriots
Day Parade and selling cookies in front of the supermarket, the
library and the post office. But behind the scenes, there is activity
that is not so obvious.
Girl Scouts last year collected coats for Laguna Beach
organizations that help the homeless, gathered food for the needy,
created blankets and quilts for children in distress, sent gifts and
letters to individual U.S. Marines in Iraq -- and this is just a
Besides helping others, Girl Scouts learn to be strong young
women. Girls are encouraged to challenge and expand their mental,
physical, emotional and spiritual selves. They go camping, horseback
riding, surfing and rock climbing. They learn crafts, practice
keeping a budget, attend self-defense classes, perfect dance steps,
and go sailing -- all in a safe and friendly environment.
The Girl Scout Council of Orange County needs the help of the
Laguna Beach community to convince the City Council to maintain a
dedicated space for the Girl Scouts in Laguna Beach to meet and enjoy
There are many ways this situation can be approached and, we hope,
creative ways to solve the problem. Both the Girl Scout Council and
the city are strapped for money. But the girls and young women of
Laguna Beach need your help. Girl Scouting helps make Laguna Beach a
wonderful place to grow up.
* KATIE LANG SLATTERY is a lifetime member and has been a Girl
Scout leader since 1983.