The El Segundo Scout House Association Christmas tree lot is up and running this year! Read on about this long annual El Segundo tradition and the new safety protocols this season.
By Mike Rotolo
Despite the pandemic and the resulting restrictions on businesses and organizations of all kinds, fresh Christmas trees will once again be available for purchase at the Scout House Association’s Christmas tree lot on Grand Avenue. Read on for more details!
A Little History
The El Segundo Scout House Association has been around since the late 1940s, providing both support and a meeting place for scouting units in El Segundo. In 1956, the current building was moved from the east side of town, near where Northrop Grumman is now, to its current location on Grand Avenue east of Main Street. The Tree lot was originally located on the east side of the building until the skate park was built, at which time it was moved to its current location west of the building.
The Scout House is home to two Cub Scout packs (boys and girls from first through fifth grades) and four Scouts BSA troops (boys and girls from 11 years old or sixth grade to 18 years old). The Tree Lot is the main source of income used to provide utilities and maintenance for the building and to financially support each of the units that meets there.
The Scout House has historically thrived from the work of volunteers and continues that tradition today with the support of parent volunteers as well as local businesses. One such business includes Ramey Roofing, which provided a new roof for the building in 2018 at no cost.
A Lot of Trees
Approximately 200 families help make the Tree Lot happen, each donating their time in myriad roles that range from planning the event (scheduling, commercial sales, website updates, tree and supply purchasing) to operating the lot (offloading trees, cutting trees and putting them in stands, sales on the lot, online sales, and delivering trees). Scouts also help on the lot.
Each year we sell from 800 to 1000 trees, which takes a big effort. All proceeds go directly into the maintenance of our building and to each Scout unit.
The trees sold on the lot are only premium varieties, mainly Noble and Nordmann, and some Douglas Firs. They range in size from three to eleven feet, and all are shipped to the lot directly from the grower. The Tree Lot also offers flame retardant and flocking for all trees.
Once the trees are on the lot, “stand and carry” teams trim the bottoms and set the trees on wooden stands with water buckets, and the buckets are filled with water until the trees are sold.
Delivery teams then deliver purchased trees to homes in El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Westchester, and Playa del Rey at no cost, using our own trucks. A big thank you is owed to Washington Ornamental Ironworks’ Chris Powell, who donated our current truck, and to TG Construction, which donated our older truck.
Hand-decorated fresh wreaths are also available at the Tree Lot this season.
Tree Lot Hours are Mon. through Fri. 1pm-9pm and Sat. and Sun. 9am-9pm beginning the day after Thanksgiving and running through Dec. 19th or when all trees are sold. Visit online at esscouthouse.org.
Tree Lot Covid-19 Safety Measures for 2020
As a consequence of the pandemic, some things will be different at the tree lot this year to ensure the safety of both customers and volunteers. These include the following:
Temperatures will be taken upon entering the lot.
The number of people on the lot will be limited.
Contactless credit card sales will be available as will online purchases.
Masks are required on the lot, as is distancing.
Deliveries will be made to porches only, with no entry into the home.
The goal of the Scout House Association is to make shopping for a Christmas tree at our lot the safest way to get a tree this year.
Mike Rotolo is the president of the El Segundo Scout House Association.