For over 70 years Pine Tree Society has been offering recreational outdoor experiences for children and adults with disabilities on the shore of North Pond; however providing healthy overnight accommodations for all campers were limited by the old cabins. The cabins from the 1970s were not built to meet the needs of today’s diverse technology and equipment that allows more people with disabilities to be active with their friends and families in the outdoors. The replacement of the camper cabins is part of the nonprofits’ capital campaign to modernize the campus and to expand the program services throughout the seasons to welcome more campers of all abilities.
The new cabins were designed to meet the requirements of the summer sessions to accommodate 16 campers with 6 staff, then families and small groups using the campus in the shoulder seasons. This desire for flexibility between supervision and privacy also needed to maintain open circulation and choices to maximize everyone’s abilities for their own independence. The cabins also incorporate flexible furniture, bathing choices in the bathrooms, plenty of high outlets for mobility and medical equipment, and mechanical system is available for the more extreme temperature days that are a challenge for some campers.
While trying to balance the program requirements the new cabins provided the opportunity to exceed accessible design requirements to meet campers’ needs. The cabins were limited to size due to shore land zoning and maintaining the primary circulation route for campers along the sloping site.
As the camp nears completion of their fundraising with the last two cabins expected to be completed in 2016, the cabins complete the heart of camp and one of the favorite camper views when they arrive at camp.
Jill S. Johanning, AIA
CES, Inc., J.M. Kilby, Bennett Engineering