The age-old tradition of outdoor camping combines with modern STEM-focused programming in Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma’s brand new Camp Trivera, opening in Oklahoma City this month. Occupying 17 acres just east of the Oklahoma City Zoo, the state-of-the-art camp is the result of a multi-year journey, one that began amidst controversy.
“I still remember one of my volunteers calling to tell me to turn on the TV, that Cookieland was on the news,” recalls Shannon Evers, chief executive officer with Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma.
Purchased by the Girls Scouts in 1948 using money from cookie sales and personal funds, Cookieland provided outdoor camping and programming experiences for generations of local troops. But, in 2016, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority was working out plans for a new turnpike, which required land acquisition to build, and both Cookieland and personal homes sat on parcels of land under consideration.
“The public meeting was heated,” said Evers. “People were very worried about their homes.”
The Girl Scouts engaged girls of various ages to discuss the dilemma of selling Cookieland or community members potentially losing their homes and help find a solution.
“The Turnpike Authority met with a group of our girls to explain the options, and in the end the girls decided to save the homes and sell Cookieland,” said Evers.
The Girl Scouts then turned their focus to building a new camp, and from the beginning, members have played an integral part of the planning and design process, including selecting features, programming and amenities.
Camp Trivera focuses on STEM and outdoor experiences, offering a year-round destination for troops and the community. Both traditional outdoor adventures, like camping, hiking, zip lining and kayaking, combine with indoor lodging options and an indoor rock climbing wall for the best of both worlds, with ample opportunities to explore STEM.
As a national organization, Girl Scouts seeks to place 2.5 million girls into the STEM workforce by 2025, and Evers said Camp Trivera will be an important resource in achieving that goal.
“There is a STEM surprise around every corner,” Evers shared. “We wanted to create a space that provides access to resources that further the progression of Girl Scout programming.”
For example, the outdoor pool can accommodate underwater robotics so girls can explore the science of buoyancy and weightless environments. A section of ceiling mimics the night sky so girls can study constellations and astronomy no matter the weather conditions. The kitchen is fully equipped for teaching and catering and even the architecture allows girls a peek into the world of construction.
Outdoor recreational opportunities abound at Camp Trivera including primitive camping, canoeing and hiking. Troops can opt to stay in a bunk room, a tree house or on the Dream Deck, a second story lounging space outfitted with hammocks and views of the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Every girl who stays overnight at Camp Trivera will receive a pass to the Oklahoma City Zoo, Science Museum Oklahoma or First Americans Museum, which is expected to open in spring of 2021. Camp scholarships are available and funded by an endowment included in the $12.5 million raised for construction of the camp.
The facilities at Camp Trivera will be available to rent for corporate events, weddings, reunions and other events, and metro girls are welcome to engage in community programming. Evers said Girls Scouts Western Oklahoma is working on drop-in and day camp opportunities for this fall.
“We are working on programming to help parents out while kids are learning virtually,” said Evers. “We will be following CDC guidelines to keep all of the girls safe because safety is always our main concern.”
For more information about the camp facilities and upcoming programming, visit camp.gswestok.org.