Little Cabins on the Prairie
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.
A far cry from the rustic cabins—often little more than enclosed tents—that former Girl Scouts may recall from back in the day, the new bunkhouses at Camp Prairie Schooner outside of Kansas City, Missouri, are geared toward the 21st-century urban camper. 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.”
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.