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Tippy Tap

Build a hands-free wash station for your next camping trip using recycled materials and a tree.

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  • Where will you set up your tippy tap at your campsite? Is it visible?
  • Will you do this adventure inside, outside or at camp?
  • What materials will you use to build your tippy tap? The stand?
  • Form groups of two or three to do this project.


  • Collect all of the materials you will need.
  • Take a look at your materials. How you can build a water faucet that does not require any electricity or running water. Can you make it hands-free?
  • Brainstorm and draw a few designs in your group.
  • When you think you have a good design, it’s time to start building.
  • The nail or plastic may need to be warmed slightly in order to punch any holes. You can use a lighter or matches to warm the nail.
  • Your tippy tap should only pour water when it is tilted forward.
  • How can you further automate your system? Create a system to fill your tippy tap using a bucket, valves and tubing.
  • Test and revise your design until you have a working model.
  • Compare the models your group has come up with. How would you determine which model works best?


  • What do you know now that you did not know before?
  • Would this be a useful device in your daily lives? What about for someone living in a community without access to running water? Why or why not?
  • How would this device affect your environmental footprint?
  • What elements of STEM did you use today? Science? Technology? Engineering? Mathematics?
  • What did you like about this adventure? What did you not like about this adventure?
  • How would you do this adventure differently?
  • Remember to submit your activities on our Scouts for Sustainability Take Action Map

Keep it Simple

  • Learn about why handwashing is important and effective. How does washing your hands help kill bacteria and viruses? What sorts of things make handwashing work? Hot water? Soap?

Take it Further

  • There are probably lots of people in your community who could use a tippy tap! Who might not have access to soap and water on a regular basis? Try partnering up with other community organizations and make tippy taps for people or groups who would appreciate them!