Earlier this summer The Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma announced they would be building a state-of-the-art urban STEM camp in the Adventure District in Oklahoma City. The new camp is a result of the closing of Camp Cookieland due to the new turnpike project.
“The path of the turnpike could have left the girls with partial camp lands and destroyed homes or taken all of the camp and saved homes,” said Koshia Silver, marketing director at Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma.
The Girl Scouts brought in girls of various ages and levels across the council to discuss the dilemma. The girls were asked to help find a solution using what they had learned in their Girl Scouts advocacy curriculum.
“At the end of the weekend the vote was unanimous, save homes and build a new camp,” Silver said.
Once the decision was made to sell Cookieland, it was time to start thinking about the future and what the girls envisioned for their new camp. These discussions included the want and need for a camp closer to the city that focused on STEM and the outdoors. Camp the City under the Stars and Skyline was born.
“As an organization we know and hear often how underrepresented women are in the fields of STEM, and as the largest girl only organization we feel that we can make a difference,” Silver said. “With over 39 STEM and outdoor curriculum subjects, Girl Scouts can be the place for girls to explore the world of STEM and outdoors right here in Oklahoma City.”
The vision is to support state workforce development plans by building a pipeline of women prepared for STEM careers.
As a movement Girl Scouts has a goal of placing 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025, Silver said, The Girl Scouts envisioned a year-round destination to serve everyone in the community. Silver said the community will be invited to use the space when it is not being occupied by Girl Scouts.
“We want our camp to be a destination for Girl Scouts, families, businesses both in-state and out,” Silver said.
How will it serve the community?
- School partnerships (annual field trips and other school events)
- Company picnics, meetings, retreats and team building
- Event rental
- Meeting space for clubs and organizations
- Birthday parties
- Partnership events and activities (Science Museum, zoo, etc.)
- Geekapalooza (signature Girl Scouts event in partnership with MetroFamily Magazine open to the public)
- Messtival (signature Girl Scouts event open to the public)
- Recruitment events
- Sibling Camp and Family Camp
How will it serve the Girl Scouts?
- Provide state-of-the-art STEM education opportunities.
- Afford low-income Girl Scouts and their families the opportunity to stay overnight in a safe and fun place.
- Provide an opportunity to partner with mission-supporting organizations to enhance the Girl Scouts experience.
- Offer thousands of adult volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills to model for the girls.
- Become a destination to serve not only our Girl Scouts, but all girls.
- Bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to life through innovative features and learning opportunities.
While the camp will be located in the city, it will sit on 14 acres on a 40-acre parcel surrounded by the open-air, just east of the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma will maintain the essential outdoor experiences the organization is known for while adding indoor opportunities and exposing the girls to STEM. Camping, hiking and kayaking will still be part of the experience. Girls will also have the opportunity to learn about physics by zip lining across the lake and can test their geological knowledge on the indoor rock wall.
“This will be a one-of-a-kind camp with tech and custom features throughout creating the perfect space for curious minds,” said Silver.
Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma have a partnership with the zoo, which will be helping to fund water and sewer infrastructure as well as providing even greater opportunities to the Girls Scouts including working with the veterinarians, real-life research and conservation.
Camp the City is scheduled to open summer of 2020. If you would like more information about Camp the City and Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma, visit www.gswestok.org.