Rancho Grande is a 200-acre off-grid baseball camp and environmental sanctuary where young athletes come throughout the summer to enjoy world-class baseball coaching and competition, improve their skills, and enjoy the beauty of the Los Padres National Forest.
Founded by Richard Murad, owner of Beach City Baseball Academy in El Segundo, California, Rancho Grande Baseball Camp features:
- Four Pony regulation “Bronco” fields for players 12 and under with a 220-foot center field (adjustable for younger kids)
- A pre-tournament warm-up area
- Batting cages
- A half-field for infield work and instruction.
- Well-maintained restrooms and snack stands
- Select teams will be invited to compete at weeklong events throughout the summer.
- Winners from each weeklong tournament will be invited to play the Tournament of Champions the last week of the summer.
Rancho Grande also offers three spring-fed ponds, hiking and horseback riding, a spectacular night sky, and all the amenities you’d expect at a working ranch: bunkhouses, a mess hall, and rustic meeting areas, a large organic garden, chickens and pigs, turkeys, and other animals. We believe nature is a great place for reflection, personal growth, and experimentation; the great outdoors are just that—GREAT—plus they provide one of the best learning environments available. We believe Rancho Grande Baseball Camp is a place where lifelong friendships, unforgettable moments, and healthy lifestyles will be forged.
Our values and mission
Respect, reciprocity, and recreation are the values that inform everything we do at Rancho Grande Baseball Camp.
- Respect for the land—the place—that sustains us.
- Reciprocity: giving something back for everything we take.
- Recreation: remembering we’re here to play hard and have fun.
The vision of Rancho Grande Baseball Camp is to reconnect young people with the land and its ancestral stewards, while offering a world-class baseball experience. We will introduce campers to Los Padres National Forest and to respectful, reciprocal living and interaction on the land, while providing superior baseball skills training and competition. This opportunity for joyful immersion in an unplugged, well planned, off-grid environment will benefit campers, coaches, the land, the greater Ojai community, and future generations.
Our commitment to recreation
Baseball is at the core of Rancho Grande Baseball Camp’s existence and we know baseball. The successful model we’ve established at Beach City Baseball Academy features a well-organized baseball school, camps and clinics. We also coach travel club teams for ages 9-18 and host an international baseball tournament every spring, attracting world-class teams such as the German National Team and our sister team, the Kitasuna Baseball Academy of Tokyo, winners of the 2015 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Our environmental commitment
- Engaging a design team whose primary directive is land stewardship and youth inspiration
- Planning to rehabilitate the land, bringing back natural vegetation in areas that have been overgrazed
- Designing our site to demonstrate regenerative principles in the development of the land, its facilities, and its farming practices:
- Off-grid photovoltaic electricity generation
- Solar water heating
- Water harvesting, re-use, and aquifer-recharging strategies designed to return a net gain to the aquifer
- Low-flow/no-flow/compost toilets, as permitted
- Graywater systems, rainwater harvesting
- Integrated on-site organic food production/waste cycling/water management systems (animals eating scraps, fertilizing soil, producing vegetables, feeding animals and soil, etc.)
- Environmentally friendly holistic management of livestock
- Local sourcing of food and other goods we can’t produce on-site.
- On-site refuse reduction strategies; re-use and recycling of all possible materials
- Drought-resistant grass infields; dirt outfields, living windbreaks and other strategies for reducing ballfield water needs
- Planting native trees to enhance the overall watershed ecology
- Preservation of dark skies (no night games or attendant stadium lights).
- Energy-efficient, sustainable building materials and use of passive solar design
- Limiting baseball camp to three months/year
- Restoring ponds and streams as part of our watershed stewardship planning
- Whole-systems thinking and transparency reflected in everything we do.
Our promise to the community
As we have for the community of El Segundo, we are committed to demonstrating respect and reciprocity for the people of Ojai by making Rancho Grande available to the community for:
- Camps for special needs kids
- Free access for local youth teams
- Retreats, ceremonies, and other community gatherings
- Benefiting the Rose Valley Community with
- “Sheltering in place” in the event of emergency
- Enhancing the watershed, reducing downstream erosion, and boosting biodiversity
- Sponsoring a travel team made up of local players, enabling skilled young people to compete at the highest levels without having to pay for uniforms, coaching, or tournament fees
- Encouraging parents to stay/eat/recreate in Ojai while their athletes are at camp
- Minimizing traffic by scheduling weekly arrivals and departures at non-peak hours; providing shuttle service.
- Working with the community on larger environmental issues like the riparian zone along Hwy 33.
- Reaching out to other nonprofits who share our commitment to enhancing environmental values among young people
- Making Rancho Grande available to local schools for nature/Permaculture field trips
The Rancho Grande code
We will display our values prominently and reinforce them at every opportunity:
- Live each day with courage.
- Take pride in your work.
- Always finish what you start.
- Do what has to be done.
- Be tough but fair.
- When you make a promise, keep it.
- Ride for the brand, not yourself alone.
- Talk less and say more.
- Remember that some things aren’t for sale.
- We are also committed to Permaculture principals:
- Earth care: Rebuild natural capital.
- People care: Look after self, kin, and community.
- Fair share: Take what you need and share the rest.
The Rancho Grande Experience
It is our hope that by giving these young players a few days “off the grid,” away from cellphones, social media, and video games, immersed in the game that they love while in the great outdoors, we will be giving them an experience to remember the rest of their lives.
The bonding that takes place when you’re sitting by a campfire – whether talking about the stars or the number of strikeouts – is a lifelong gift. We are excited to be able to share this and all the gifts of Rancho Grande Baseball Camp with you and your children!
What others say about us
My son has participated in the past two international tournaments hosted by Beach City and we have been lucky to host a German player last year and a Japanese player this year. What a tremendous gift this was to have our son learn a different culture and in the process develop a friendship with two baseball players who live in two different countries.- Ed and Debby Holly
“As a single mother I can’t thank Beach City Baseball Academy enough. They have taught my son what it means to be on a team, play with integrity, and to respect all but fear none.”- Leslie Murphy
“Honestly, this experience was one of the highlights of our year. We felt it was such an accepting, safe place where our kids could be themselves, without being judged and discounted. The volunteers and Mr. Murad have shown such generosity in time, facility, and loyalty to our family, other families, and the community at large. I have no doubt they will do the same for players, family, and community in Ojai.”- Lori Brown Boisen
BCBA has given endlessly to this community and is always thinking of new ways in particular to help those in need. Anything that BCBA puts together is top-notch and always done with love and the kids’ best interest at heart. I think them getting this new facility would be so awesome for kids with special needs—something that would play a huge role in their overall development and benefit them in countless ways.- Anthony and Joanne Morris
Thank you for your consideration.
“I hope you are fortunate enough to work with BCBA in your community, and I would be happy to speak with anyone to elaborate on any of the above.”- Jon Kraft
Dylan’s enthusiasm for baseball has continued to elevate since being introduced to this program.- The Garcia Family
At BCBA, they are generous with their time and are sincere in building children’s abilities and attitude. They want what’s best for each child and make their programs accessible to all.
“We are very excited to hear they are expanding their facilities to other locations. Now more people will be able to experience for themselves the greatness of becoming part of an extraordinary and successful organization. We highly recommend Beach City Baseball Academy to any parents that want the BEST for their children.”- Josie Rodriguez
“My son, Joseph, has been attending Beach City Baseball Academy’s special needs clinic for the past year and we are so grateful that such a program exists! Joseph just started to love the game of baseball. The clinic has helped him gain a level of confidence on and off the field with each session he attends. It is giving him that bridge of social interactions that other typical kids take for granted. Baseball has helped him make a connection with his typical peers.”- Maria and Neil Glickman
“I feel so lucky that to have BCBA nearby as I am raising my son. I know that the parents in the Ventura/Ojai area will feel the same.”- Jill Faulkner, single mom
“One thing that I find most endearing about Dr. Murad and the BCBA program is their commitment to helping kids of all abilities. Their Special Needs Baseball program is such an important part of this community, changing the lives of children and families by providing a loving and safe place for kids to learn and play baseball.”- Michele Leach
“As a parent of a special needs child (10 year old son with Down Syndrome), BCBA has already gone above and beyond in providing free batting practice and a new fitness program for our kids. Services like this are very difficult to find, especially in developing specific skills for baseball. Tomas has been on a typical little league team for four seasons now, and is thriving being in an Inclusive environment. The thought he could attend a baseball camp at your new camp is so exciting. This would allow him, and so many others, to be just like any other child in developing their love of baseball.”- Christine Parra
“The Academy has brought much value to the community and enhanced many lives of families that have passed through its doors through scholarships, sponsorships, donations, international exchange programs and the special needs clinic.”- Greg Carpenter
We have had the pleasure of participating the past two years in being a host family for a player from Germany during BCBA’s international tournament. This experience has been invaluable for my son and our entire family. He was able to play alongside players from other countries and made friends that he has remained in touch with from the international teams. BCBA planned activities for all of the boys and included the families throughout the weeks.- Kim Bickerton
“BCBA has briefed its special needs families on BCBA’s Rancho Grande Baseball Camp Project, and in particular, BCBA’s plans for special needs children at the Camp. We urge you to approve the project so that BCBA may continue with its mission of improving the development of all of the children that BCBA serves.”- Nolan and Kisu Lam
“The presence of Beach City Baseball Academy has benefitted our community and its expansion to a new site would certainly benefit the residents, economy and civic life of its new community.”- Sen. Ben Allen
“In these times, I found the heart of the [BCBA] group to be so refreshing. My experience with the staff has been nothing but positive and supportive to children and young adults. In my opinion, the more participants and opportunities there are for young people the better the chances of those young people becoming leaders and successful. I write this to offer my support to the Beach City Baseball Academy project at Rancho Grande.”- Ned Colletti
July 29, 2016 To Whom it May Concern, I am writing this letter in support of Richard Murad and his project to evolve the Rancho Grande property on Rose Valley Road, a former cattle ranch that was overgrazed for many years, to a well balanced agroecosystem that enhances the local and regional ecology, contributes significantly […]- Warren Brush
BryanScordamaglia 237S.LomitaAvenue Ojai, Ca 93023 July 20, 2016 To Whom It May Concern, I am writing in support of the Beach City Baseball Academy’s (BCBA) plan for Rancho Grande in Ojai’s Rose Valley. As a current resident of Ojai and the parent of a former Beach City player, I am excited by Mr. Murad’s decision […]- Bryan Scordamaglia
July 22, 2016 To Whom It May Concern: I am writing to express my support for Beach City Baseball Academy, a successful business in my district. As the state senator representing district 26, I named Beach City Baseball Academy our 2015 Business of the Year, because of its exceptional contributions to our community. Beach City […]- Ben Allen
August 17, 2016 To Whom It May Concern:, This letter is in reference to Beach Cities Baseball Academy and Richard Murad. Beach Cities Baseball Academy (BCBA) is mote than a youth sports organization and a baseball travel team organization. Beach Cities Baseball Academy is a community organization that is there to help the boys and […]- Peter Gianusso
July 27, 2016 To Whom It May Concern, It is with great pleasure that I give the Beach City Baseball Academy my highest recommendation to continue to grow their program through a baseball camp and additional facilities in Rancho Grande. I have had the pleasure of working with Richard Murad and the Beach City Baseball […]- Steven Eno
“Oh my goodness Richard, I am struck speechless! There are no words that can truly express our heartfelt gratitude for your amazing generosity and all it will do to benefit the youth of our community! Beach City (of Ojai!)’s generous donation is going to really help in making so many young players dreams of playing baseball happen, we cannot thank you enough. We look forward to welcoming you ‘home’ as this becomes your neighborhood & community as well!On a personal level as well I am very excited to become a part of Beach City Baseball in Ojai and have our off-season players take part in all you will have to offer.” — Kim Maxwell, president Ojai Valley Little League
“As a current resident of Ojai and the parent of a former Beach City player, I am excited by Mr. Murad’s decision to select a site in Rose Valley to build a world class baseball campus and strongly encourage the City of Ojai and the County of Ventura to support his plans. I believe the addition of the facility will be an economic benefit for the community while benefiting local players who lack access to quality facilities and skilled coaching.
“We are excited to have BCBA once again in our neighborhood. After spending one season in the Ojai Valley Little League, I believe the kids will benefit tremendously from the presence of Rancho Grande. To date Richard has already been extremely generous to the league and I would expect this to continue in the future as local players are welcomed to Rancho Grande and exposed to the quality coaching, facilities and the positive environment my son was fortunate to be a part of for 3 years.” – Bryan Scordamaglia, Lomita Ave., Ojai
Warren Brush, Permaculture design consultant (to come)
Ojai City Council members (to come)
Where we’re located
Rancho Grande is located in Rose Valley, about 20 miles northeast of Ojai, a town nestled in a scenic valley surrounded by orange groves and natural beauty. The town is easy to explore and an ideal destination for family vacations in California, offering boutique hotels, art galleries, and concerts in the park, summer festivals, and recreation opportunities, including hiking, wine tasting and spiritual retreats, as well as the farmers’ market on Sunday with local organic produce.Chain stores are prohibited in Ojai to encourage local small business development and keep the town unique. Ojai is known as a destination for wellness and fitness, from luxurious spa resorts to more casual,
Chain stores are prohibited in Ojai to encourage local small business development and keep the town unique. Ojai is known as a destination for wellness and fitness, from luxurious spa resorts to more casual, all-inclusive health and fitness packages. While kids are playing baseball, parents can enjoy time off, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. It’s an ideal week (or weekend) vacation that the whole family can appreciate, while their child gets a wonderful experience playing baseball in an awe-inspiring outdoor environment. Ojai is close to many other destinations; it is less than a 2-hour drive north from Los Angeles and a 45-minute drive south from Santa Barbara.