Girl Scouts Camp Assessment // Katie Bauer

2/1/2014

Our studio completed a series camp assessments for the Girl Scouts of America, NE Kansas and NW Missouri Council. This provided the opportunity to explore the role of architect as programmer, researcher, and planner. Through our own camp observations, user group survey data, and precedent evaluations, we helped the Camp Property Committee better understand their existing facilities. 

 

Design + Make has a long standing relationship with the Girl Scouts of America, NE Kansas and NW Missouri Council. This past fall our studio was introduced to members of the Camp Property Committee in effort to help them with long term planning of their five camps: Camp Daisy Hindman, Camp Tongawood, Camp Prairie Schooner, Camp Oakledge, and Camp Winding River. This gave our studio the opportunity to develop our skills in research and programming.

 

To help the committee understand the existing conditions of each camp, we compiled our research into visually compeling arguements and presented them at monthly meetings. We conducted an analysis identifying the highlights and insufficiencies of camp facilities and activities.  Our criteria for qualitative analysis was derived from the most basic elements that make a camp successful. We chose a series of lenses that include circulation, dining, sleeping, gathering, hygiene, and activities.  

Circulation

Dining

Sleeping

Gathering

Hygiene

Activities

Camp Averages of each Lens

To understand the preferences of girl scouts, leaders, and camp staff we studied survey data taken from each user group.  We also looked at other precedent camps for comparisons.

This exercise was critical in our understanding that architect is more than just designer or maker. From our analysis, we learned it is important to have unique activities per each girl scout camp because that is what is prefered. However it is also important to have adequate facilities which the council is currently lacking. We hope that our discoveries of the camps will aid the girl scouts as they create master planning efforts.

 

Written by Katie Bauer