Girl Scouts, University of Utah team up for sustainable cabin project

Posted at 9:55 PM, Aug 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-04 09:04:34-04

PROVO CANYON, Utah – The Girl Scouts of Utah teamed up with the University of Utah on a project, and this week three new cabins made from trees previously believed to be a fire threat have opened in Provo Canyon.

The project to create the new, sustainable cabins in the area has been going on for about two years.

Callie Privett is one of the scouts involved in the project.

“I like them a lot, they are really nice,” she said of the cabins.

Camp Trefoil Ranch is the site of the new cabins, which are made from beetle infested pine that previously was viewed as a fire threat among the woods.

Erin Carraher, an assistant professor for the U of U School of Architecture, spoke about their partnership with the Girl Scouts.

“We found the most ideal partner in the Girl Scouts,” Carraher said. “They are really innovative. They’re really forward-looking, and they are really dedicated to providing both an amazing educational experience, and also fantastic buildings for their scouts.”

The only evidence of the previous damage to the pine is the occasional blue streaking that appears in the wood.

“We used really durable, high quality materials, because one of the core tenants of sustainability is that buildings will last a really long time, and they will be easily maintainable and they will be really well-loved,” Carraher said.

The Girl Scouts who visited the area would previously sleep on tents on platforms, but now they have access to cabins complete with bunk beds and a unique common table. Each cabin cost about $50,000.

“It feels good to have stuff like this going on, cuz, I don’t know, it makes you feel like you are actually doing something instead of just living in the present, you are actually helping with the future. So that’s what I like,” Privett said.

Lisa Hardin-Reynolds, the senior vice president of programs for Girl Scouts of Utah, said the girls involved in the project experienced several “Ah-ha!” moments during construction. She said she hopes the experience helps guide the girls into career paths involving things like science.

“It’s a gift for us to be able to help educate our girls and to introduce them to a science area that they never thought they could go into,” she said.

Camp Trefoil Ranch began operations in 1946 and serves girls between the ages of 5 and 18.