The new Boy Scout tree house is ready to teach

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 12:48

Sustainability has become an important part of many people's lives. Technological advancements have made it more possible than ever to reduce your carbon footprint on the world. Not only do energy-efficient technologies like radiant heaters reduce monthly bill costs, but they benefit the entire planet. As more individuals adopt these devices in their homes, companies and organizations - especially those that cater to the nation's youth - have searched for ways they can make similar strides in bolstering their eco-friendly operations beyond floor heating.
One organization that encourages environmental awareness among younger citizens is the Boy Scouts of America. For the many kids who grow up learning about how to live off the Earth and be in tune with nature, it seems like a no-brainer for the group to incorporate eco-friendly teachings into their programs. And in 2013, they did by adding the Sustainability merit badge, reported Gizmodo. It joins the Environmental Science badge in teaching boys the value of conservation.
The Sustainability TreehouseThe way the Boy Scouts of America hopes to inspire children across the U.S. is with a new addition to the The Summit, a national center that sees thousands of visitors throughout the year in the wilderness of West Virginia. Joining the other attractions and activities at the location is the Sustainability Treehouse, a building commissioned by the organization, according to Jetson Green.
The Sustainability Treehouse is a project aimed at teaching visitors the importance of renewable energy and environmental conservation. These messages are inherent all around the design of the building, as it sits atop a few steel columns, which minimizes its impact on the forest floor below. It also incorporates some natural tree trunks for support that follow the winding staircases that reach up to the canopy above. Viewing platforms and the upward path make an adventure in of itself that gets kids excited about the next lesson taught in this treehouse trek.
This 125-foot tall building is meant to harness the yearning of Boy Scouts who wish they could live in a treehouse by presenting them with an amazing example of eco-friendly architecture that teaches children important practices.
Preparing the future, todayThe way the biggest impact can be made is by teaching the next generation informed practices that can help the environment. If they adopt such principles early on, they have the potential to make the biggest difference throughout the rest of their lives.
Interactive exhibits and demonstrations in the Sustainability Treehouse seek to captivate these young minds using all kinds of green technology. The entire building is powered using renewable energy sources that the Boy Scouts can learn about. Solar panels on the roof and in the canopy, as well as a wind turbine, provide electricity for the building, while a rainwater collection system provides purified drinking water. The designers implemented creative ways to show these processes to the kids, such as an arrangement of camping cups that catch falling rain and tilt to pour it into successive cups below it until it reaches a storage tank that purifies it.
The levels leading up the tree demonstrate the different ecosystems in the forest, while the platforms provide excellent opportunities for viewing and learning about the differences in the ground, canopy and sky settings.
By teaching the youth of the world, the Boy Scouts of America hopes to better the future by providing them with the knowledge to make a difference as they move forward in their lives.