Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma

STEM-Centered Camp Trivera Offers Girl Scouts New Urban Adventures

Client

Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma

Market

Non-Profit

Outdoor Pool

A place to swim AND learn subaquatic robatics

Lodging Highlight

Corridor ceilings double as planetarium

Civil & MEP Engineer

CEC

Structural Engineer

ZFI Engineering

Project Objective

Encourage STEM education

Influencers

Girls Scouts consulted on design

Outdoor Camping Feature

Post Oak treehouses surround main lodge

Working with Topography

Lakeside amphitheater nestled in natural rock formations

Contractor

Lingo Construction Services

Landscape Architect

HFSD Landscape Architect

The Girl Scouts Organization is more than just a troop of girls who sells our favorite cookies door-to-door each spring. It’s through leadership programs, skill building and outdoor adventures that Girl Scouts live their mission of promoting courage, confidence and character.

When the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma sold their previous camp due to a turnpike relocation project, the opportunity arose to build a new camp tailored to their STEM-centered educational program and mission.

Creating the Girl Scouts’ Vision

To help create the design narrative for their new camp, REES hosted multiple listening sessions with a sample of the local Girl Scouts’ 14,000 girls, staff and volunteers. It was vital for our team to understand how the new camp would promote the STEM focus.

The Girl Scouts wanted the new camp to function in two main ways:

  • to promote outdoor activities connecting the Scouts directly to nature
  • to encourage the exploration of STEM-centered education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) – a growing focus for the Girl Scouts

REES worked with the Girl Scouts to design the Camp Trivera – an outdoor urban oasis in the center of Oklahoma City that is tailor-made for the Girl Scouts and with the help of the Girl Scouts

Location perfectly suited to outdoor education

Situated on 19 acres in Oklahoma City’s Adventure District, Camp Trivera’s proximity to the Oklahoma Zoo and Science Museum opens the opportunity for collaborative and educational efforts with the Girl Scouts. The heavily wooded site located off Northeast Lake is a prime location for on-site excursions including kayaking, camping, hiking or propelling across an 800-foot zipline.

Camp Trivera takes full advantage of its natural surroundings. The Girls Scouts took great effort in preserving trees during construction when they worked with the Oklahoma Forestry Service to identify and tag which trees to retain and which to remove.

Two nature trails wind their way through the grounds past several natural springs – one of which was discovered during construction. Passing through a butterfly garden planted with local flora and fauna, the scenic trails lead to a lake-facing amphitheater fit to accommodate up to 250 people. Nestled into the land’s natural topography, the Hawk’s Landing Amphitheater features two wood-burning fire pits fittingly named “Make New Friends Firepit” and the “Brownie Smile Firepit”.

Three post oak treehouses are featured on the property giving the girls a place to camp without running water or electricity.

Camp Trivera’s main lodge includes an extensive covered outdoor patio offering expansive views of the campgrounds and Oklahoma City. A two-story stone wall is the focal point of the patio with one side boasting both a gas- and wood-burning fireplace while the other side features a boulder wall the Girl Scouts can climb without a harness.

Design doubles as educational tool

Camp Trivera is one of eight STEM Centers­ of Excellence within the Girls Scouts U.S. system. By 2025, it is projected Camp Trivera will help foster 2.5 million girls into STEM-focused careers.

Throughout the Camp’s grounds, intentional designs double as both decorative embellishments and (more importantly) as academic tools educating the Girl Scouts about STEM subject matter. Some of the STEM-inspired designs include:

A Real Life Lesson in Engineering and Architecture

One distinct feature throughout the Camp is exposed ceilings showing everything from duct work to electrical cables. This intentional design is meant to teach the girls about engineering and architecture. It was important to the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma to teach the girls how buildings function and why they are designed the way they are.

Design Illustrating Earth Science

Outwardly, exterior bricks may appear to be laid in an ornamental fashion, but they are strategically layered to represent the different geological strata found in Oklahoma – a literal geology lesson right on the wall. Just inside the main lobby, a rock, mineral and fossil collection only heightens the earth science lesson.

A Tribute to Vanguards of STEM

Also found within the main entrance is an interactive Wall of Women which celebrates trailblazing women in STEM fields. This focal point praises excellence, innovation and wisdom. It is meant to inspire the Girl Scouts, campers and all visitors to Camp Trivera.

Hands-On Study in Simple Machines

Within the main lodge, a pulley system helps campers transport their luggage to bunk rooms on the upper level while learning principles of physical science.

Climbing the Earth’s Crust

The focal point to the large Gathering Place is a floor-to-ceiling, brightly colored rock wall. As Girl Scouts climb up the rock wall, decorative labels identify the geological strata – the various rock layers in the earth’s surface.

Prisms of Light Teach Optics

Adjacent to the rock wall is a colored glass wall featuring hues most associated with nature. The glass wall is designed to transform the large gathering room into different colors throughout the day – all dependent on the time of day when the sun hits the different glass panels.

Bright Colors and Expansive Windows Spur Creativity in STEM Lab

This open classroom setting features bright colors and floor-to-ceiling windows. The bright colors are meant to joyfully inspire the girls to create in innovate. The huge windows bring the outdoors in and serve as an additional source for inspiration.

More Than Recreation – Pool Teaches Subaquatic Robotics

The zero-entry outdoor pool, aptly named the Trefoil Pool, is 10 feet at its deepest point allowing the Girls Scouts an opportunity to explore underwater robotics. Additionally, the Cookie Legacy Cabanas offer a place to study after a robotics lesson.

Scouting Basics Woven into Design

The Innovation Lounge is an area for small group gatherings or breakout lessons. Each area is partitioned by colorful ropes featuring different knots taught to the Girl Scouts.

Learning the Importance of Water Conservation

Inside the main restroom, Girl Scouts can learn about water conservation and engineering via 3D art projected onto the walls.

Stargazing from a Treehouse

Girl Scouts can recline on the porches and landings of the treehouses near the lake. The areas offering unobstructed views of the sky to provide an opportunity for stargazing and learning about astronomy.

Planetarium Illuminates Living Quarters

The corridors outside the bunk rooms are intentionally darker to not only encourage restful sleep but to also support the illuminated constellations featured in the indoor planetarium.

Rainwater collection demonstrates benefits of irrigation

The lodge’s exterior steel beams offer a lesson in water conservation by serving as downspouts to collect rainwater used to irrigate the camp’s grounds.

The Typical Camp Life

The focal point of the camp is the main lodge, decorated with the unmistakable Trivera pattern – or triangular emblems. Housed in the lodge are administrative offices, a flexible 350-seat event space, a STEM classroom, a refashioned trading post upcycled from a rusted trailer, a covered porch and three fireplaces.

Bunk Rooms Inspired by The Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts played an integral role in the design process. One of the areas where their input was most important was the bunk rooms located on the second floor. During a design session, young Girl Scouts imagined their dream bunkroom themes, from caverns to whimsical forests to chemistry labs. These wishes were brought to life with custom-made wall coverings and activity walls.

It was during focus group sessions that the girls indicated privacy was most important when it came to lodging. Each bunk bed features its own curtain, light and outlet. To make the experience more fun (and to keep the girls from feeling homesick), the exterior of each room is fashioned to look like a house. Each room is outfitted with its own roof, porch light and mailbox.