Green Oak Ranch
About the Ranch
The following is the history of Green Oaks Ranch, courtesy of Chico Goff, Executive Director and Chaplain of Green Oak Ministries:
Green Oak Ranch is a historic camp in Vista, California where people have always discovered healing, hope, and helpful personal transformation.
A Heritage of Healing
Look around at the beautiful, undeveloped hills around Green Oak Ranch and feel the spirit of this historic property. The 142-acre Ranch was part of the original 2,288 acre “Rancho Buena Vista,” Mexican Land Grant from the early 1800s. It was during this time that the Kumeyaay and Luiseno Indian Tribes considered the land their home. Wars between nations would change “ownership” of the land but never her purpose to help those who were hurting.
In later part of the 1800’s, the West was an ever-changing canvas. One of the brushes that brought the strokes of change to the land was the expansion of the Stagecoach. The property where Green Oak Ranch resides today was a vital part of opening the left coast to new opportunities and new people. Some of the buildings on the Ranch date back to those early days when the Ranch helped people discover the wild, wild west. If you are quiet, you can almost still hear the clatter of the stagecoach rolling into the stop right here on the property, connecting people with the vital information and supplies of their day.
Hope and Help During the Depression
The Great Depression (1929-1933) was a bleak time for Americans. Yet, hope and recovery rose out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” – a massive public works program that sustained families, revitalized the economy and restored dignity to millions. One of the most popular “New Deal” programs was the Civilian Conservation Corp or CCC which provided jobs to young men, Veterans, and Native Americans. The CCC was launched under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur. The land of Green Oak Ranch was home to the local CCC in San Diego. The CCC is credited with improving the physical condition of these men, heightening morale, and increasing their employability. It also increased public appreciation for the environment, and the need to manage and protect our natural resources. Some original buildings from 1835 are still in use today at the Ranch.
Green Oak Ranch Answers the Call
In 1942, the Ranch became “Camp Vista,” leased by the U.S. Army as a base for the Western Defense Command, responsible for protecting our coastline from attacks by land, air, and sea. As many as 800 men were stationed here at one time. After the Allied victory, the Camp also housed the Navy while they worked on a local water conservation project. We are proud to be part of the history of the U.S. military and honor that history as we continue to serve veterans through our camp and retreat ministry today.
Green Oak Ranch and NCVSD
We are truly grateful to Green Oak Ranch for allowing us to host Stand Down in such a beautiful space every year. We thank the staff for all their help in making the North County Veterans Stand Down happen. For more information on the ranch please visit their website here.