Girl Scouts Swap Cookies for Tiny Houses

Blog posted On September 12, 2018

A new five-day Girl Scout Camp in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota resulted in two habitable tiny houses built entirely by Girl Scouts in grades 6 to 12.  The first Power Girls camp was hosted by the Girl Scouts River Valleys and Dunwoody and took place in Camp Lakamaga.  The goal of the camp was to teach girls the skills they needed to build a home from start to finish.  The products of the camp will be donated to an organization chosen by the proud Girl Scouts. 

The first camp was so successful, a second camp is already filling up for next summer.  The project’s site manager and dean of construction services and building technology at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis said the camp is “about exposure and empowerment.  I can’t help but think what this program would have meant to me growing up.”

Through the Power Girls camp, the organizers hope to teach girls new skills they otherwise would have no exposure to.  All of the materials for the homes were donated by local businesses and the work was overseen by Dunwoody college students.  The camp helped participants learn about construction and architecture and get on track to earn the new STEM-related “Think Like an Engineer” badge.

Tiny houses have appeared everywhere from home search shows to environmental conventions.  Compact design, repurposed materials, and low energy emissions make them an attractive option for environmentally conscious homeowners, frequent travelers, or extreme downsizers.  Some metropolitan areas have also found tiny houses an effective solution to sheltering homeless populations.  Major US cities including Dallas, Detroit, and Portland have all construction “microhousing” communities for homeless residents.  Some of these communities are funded through city initiatives while others are volunteer-based or crowdfunded.   The low-cost communities provide a creative solution to helping citizens overcome homelessness. 

Girl Scout mom, Jacci Olafson, was proud of her 11-year-old daughter Maddie’s newfound construction interest.  She said, “she walked downstairs, put on her hard hat and said, ‘I’ll show you what I know.’  It’s been really cool to see that confidence.” 


Sources: Curbed, Star Tribune