Located between Lee’s Summit and Independence, Missouri, Camp Prairie Schooner’s 176 wooded acres sit high on the bluffs of the Little Blue River, creating a wilderness experience only 15 miles from downtown Kansas City.
The Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri hired el dorado to design a new bunkhouse and shower facility on the site. The 7,200 square foot building contains many new features to add to the campers’ experience.
Prairie Schooner features a dining hall, five permanent units, two buildings for troop use, a 40-foot rappel tower, archery range, swimming pool and zipline. Bunk rooms, flex rooms, kitchens, WI-FI, and conditioned bathrooms allow year-round use for up to 40 campers.
A large, modern shower facility is available to all of the 250+ girls at the campground during the summer, and ‘council rings’ provide social and program opportunities for the entire camp. el dorado also designed custom furniture and bunkbeds for the facility.
Architect Douglas Stockman of El Dorado Inc. explains that his firm designed the structures for city-dwelling youngsters “with some of the comforts of being at home, plus technology as a tool for the activities associated with camp.”
Two El Dorado principals, Douglas Stockman and David Dowell, enlisted the elbow grease of students in their fifth-year design studio at Kansas State University to help design and fabricate the bunkbeds that line the cabin walls.
Vernacular strokes include the roof-line—uninterrupted gables that evoke traditional bunkhouse architecture—and cladding.
Though one might not categorize corrugated metal as strictly regional, Stockman explains, “It’s widely used throughout Missouri and is the cheapest material you can find that requires virtually no maintenance”—a tactical fiscal choice for the nonprofit organization.
Each building is set apart by vibrant colors applied to the ends—the hues are based on Girl Scout cookie boxes—that also provide nightlight-like illumination when the sun sets.
With these modern-day lodges for Kansas City campers heading to the country, a Missouri architecture firm puts a fresh face on a 100-year-old Girl Scout tradition.