Expanded Camp Prairie Schooner Aquatics Center Supports the Development of Girl Scouts in Kansas City

Camp Prairie Schooner, located just northeast of Kansas City limits, serves the Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri. The camp recently broke ground on the renovation of their existing pool into a new Aquatics Center. The 4,000-square-feet space will provide a variety water experiences to campers, along with much-needed all-season shower house and storage facilities for the camp.

The aquatics center will engage Girl Scouts of all ages and abilities while celebrating the surrounding nature of the camp. After the renovation, the pool will feature a zero-depth entry to meet varying ability needs and will be surrounded by natural boulders, defining the amenity spaces on the expansive pool deck. The Girl Scouts will also be able to expand their educational offerings, including kayak and scuba diving training programs. New cooling off features provide day campers with a splash ground and bubbler located outside the facility for passersby.

A large poolside rock-climbing wall provides opportunities for Girl Scouts to develop critical traits like strength, courage and determination within a safe and fun environment. Special coordination with artificial rock fabricators Total Habitat and the project’s aquatics consultant Water’s Edge resulted in this unique feature, which allows campers to climb the wall within the pool and jump safely into the water.

The site plan also includes a new splash pad and quadruples the gathering and instructional space surrounding the pool.

Helix principal Doug Stockman has a long-standing relationship with the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri, having designed the camp’s award-winning Trail Center, located just down the trail. The design of the new shower house drew from the design of the cabins, utilizing the same materials and forms in a cohesive manner.  

One end of the new shower house provides heated locker rooms, restrooms, indoor and outdoor showers for Girl Scouts; the other end of the building provides kayak storage and a small staff office.

The Aquatics Center broke ground on September 7, 2018 and is being built by Centric Projects. Other design team members include Olsson Associates (M/E/P, structural and civil engineers), Water’s Edge (aquatics designer), Total Habitat (artificial rock fabricators), Tom Neppl Design (landscape design architect) and Vireo (landscape architect of record).

This $2.5 million project is a true community investment, being supported by over 100 generous foundations, individuals, and corporations, including Girl Scouts and their families. Lead donors include the Sunderland Foundation, the JE and LE Mabee Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation, the Edward G. and Kathryn E. Mader Foundation, the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation, and the Sosland Foundation.

In August, we hosted a design workshop at our office for Girl Scouts ages 7-12, using the aquatics center as an interactive learning opportunity to teach young girls about careers in architecture, engineering and construction. The workshop encouraged Girl Scouts to imagine and design their own solutions to the challenges our team faced when developing the project. The event was led by an all female team representing Helix, Vireo and Centric.

We are thrilled to be working with the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri on such an impactful project that equips young women in our community with confidence, space to grow and adventurous experiences.  

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