Situated in the wilds of West Virginia, The Summit is an adventure center for the millions of youth and adults involved in the Boy Scouts of America. It is set on former strip mining land that was converted into a nature preserve and will permanently host the BSA’s Jamboree gatherings, which are held every four years and bring over 30,000 scouts to the site.
The Boy Scouts of America / Trinity Works commissioned Volume Inc. to design an exhibition program that tells a sustainability story through the actual Sustainability Treehouse. Designed by Mithun, the Net Zero structure meets the standards of the Living Building Challenge: all its power comes from the sun and the wind, all the necessary water is rain-captured, and all its waste is recycled and reused.
The main challenge was to create an experience that would engage Boy Scouts eager to find the next adventure activity—zip lines, climbing areas, a skate park—and leave them with a new perspective on sustainability. The design avoids outdated and formulaic exhibit solutions and instead delivers information in surprising and unexpected ways, down to the humorous and slightly irreverent tone of the exhibit text.