Posts Tagged ‘Great Rivers Council’

Scouts to learn invention skills at first-ever Invention Jamboree

by Dean Minderman

Scouts from all over the USA will get a chance to exercise their creativity with a variety of tools and technologies at the first-ever Invention Jamboree, presented by the Great Rivers Council from Friday, September 13 through Sunday, September 15 at the Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation in Gravois Mills, MO.

Taking advantage of the Reservation’s unique features. Scouts attending the event will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with everything from 3-D printers and aerial drones to welding and woodworking equipment at the Jamboree’s participatory Invention Stations. Attendees also will get to meet working inventors; see invention-related exhibits; and take part in an optional invention competition.

The main activity of the Jamboree will be the Invention Stations, which will be grouped into three “paths” named after famous Missouri inventors George Washington Carver, Edwin Hubble, and James Fergason.

Each path has its own theme and will include four stations, letting Scouts participate in activities including robotics, welding, blacksmithing, woodworking, graphic design, shooting, climbing, flying radio-controlled drones, conducting search-and-rescue operations using geospatial mapping, and more.

All groups also will spend time in the reservation’s Sinquefield Invention Lab, which serves as the center of the council’s Invention Campus and Invention Scout program and offers access to equipment including 3-D printers, computer-controlled C&C machines, laser engravers, and more.

The optional Invention Competition will provide an opportunity for Scouts and adult leaders to showcase their own inventions, with separate divisions for each, and prizes and plaques for the top three places.

Participants will have the opportunity to explain, demonstrate and get feedback on their work from a panel of judges including professional inventor Steve Goldstein and Dr. Rob Duncan, former vice chancellor of research at the University of Missouri and currently professor and distinguished chair in physics at Texas Tech.

Located on the Osage Arm of Lake of the Ozarks near Laurie, Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation includes 450 acres and a mile and one-half of shoreline. The premier Scout camp in the Midwest, the reservation encompasses 13 scenic campsites for year-round use; a state-of-the-art swimming pool; facilities for climbing, shooting sports, and more; and the Sinquefield Invention Lab, the only facility of its kind at any Scout camp in the nation.

With headquarters in Columbia, MO, the Great Rivers Council of Scouts BSA serves youth and adults in 33 counties in central and northeast Missouri. The Council’s Invention Scouts program is made possible by generous support from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The Invention Jamboree is presented by the Great Rivers Council and is co-sponsored by the Missouri Innovation Center and the Buttonwood Business Center. The Jamboree is open to members of Scouts BSA, Venture Scouts and Explorers from all Councils. For more information or to register, please visit

May 2019
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Sinquefield Invention Lab in the news

by Dean Minderman


The official opening of the Sinquefield Invention Lab and Training Center at the Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation has drawn press coverage from across Missouri and the USA.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured the Lab in a story by reporter Allison Colburn published on Thursday, July 13 and headlined “Does your kid have a wild imagination? He or she could become an Invention Scout.”

Colburn’s story explains the concept of the Lab and briefly recounts the story of how it came to be, along the way quoting Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation; Doug Callahan, Scout executive of the Great Rivers Council, which operates the Lab; and Lab manager Brendan Bagby.

Then on Monday, July 24, the Columbia Missourian published a feature story about the Lab by reporter Michael Cali, “New mid-Missouri invention lab offers Scouts a place to build their ideas.”

The feature includes quotes from Dr. Sinquefield and Babgy; Invention Scouts executive Thomas Yang; inventor and Scoutmaster Steve Goldstein, who helped Dr. Sinquefield develop the idea for the Lab; and from several Scouts who have had a chance to work in the Lab.

That story got picked up by the Associated Press, and with variations on the headline “Invention lab lets Missouri Boy Scouts build ideas,” ran in newspapers across the country, including the Centre Daily Times (Philadelphia), Bradenton Herald (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, FL), Bellingham Herald (Seattle-Tacoma, WA), Miami Herald, Modesto Bee, Sacramento Bee, Belleville News-Democrat, Charlotte Observer, News & Observer (Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, NC), Rock Hill Herald (Greenville-Spartanburg, SC-Asheville, NC – Anderson, SC), Fresno Bee, TriCity Herald (Spokane, WA), The State (Columbia, SC), Hilton Head Island Packet, Myrtle Beach Sun News, and

In conjunction with their story, the Missourian also produced a short video, which you can see in the embedded window below.

August 2017
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Sinquefield Invention Lab now open
at Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation

by Dean Minderman


The Sinquefield Invention Lab and Training Center at the Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation is officially open.

Owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America Great Rivers Council and built with funding from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the 6,000-square-foot facility (pictured) is designed to provide Scouts and students from across Missouri with an opportunity to work with technology and become inventors and entrepreneurs for life.

Sitting on a bluff-top overlooking the Lake at the 44-mile marker, the Invention Lab currently houses laptop computers, 3D printers, laser engravers, CNC routers, embroidery machines, Scan-n-Cut machines, littleBits, soldering equipment, with woodworking tools and materials in a program building nearby.

More equipment, including vinyl printers and multimedia software, will be added later. In addition to providing access to a variety of tools, the lab also will offer instruction on leadership, business, creativity, and sustainability.

It will serve as the flagship of a new pilot program called Invention Scouts, and also will be available to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, Explorers, students, and adults from across Missouri.

“We want to help Scouts, students, and adults to make their ideas come to life,” said Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. “Becoming an inventor and an entrepreneur is so much more than just technology. It’s also about understanding business, manufacturing and production, leadership, marketing, creativity, and most importantly, how we can use what we learn to serve the community.”

The Great Rivers Council (GRC) is the first council in the Boy Scouts of America to own and operate an Invention Lab and to offer Invention Scouts, a pilot program designed to inspire scouts to become inventors and entrepreneurs for life.

Invention Scouts is coeducational, so young men and women ages 11-21 can join, and no prior scouting experience is required.

Merit badge instruction currently includes entrepreneurship, inventing, woodwork, radio, engineering, game design, electronics, sustainability, model design and building, sculpture, and graphic arts.

Drew Wood, the Invention Lab’s Summer Camp Director, said, “In the lab we provide the opportunity for Scouts to use equipment they may have never seen before. We give them time to use their creative juices to design and create brand new things. They are challenged through merit badge requirements and competitions.”

“We are very proud to open the Invention Lab this summer to our Scouts in camp,” said Doug Callahan, Scout Executive of Great Rivers Council. “It will become a resource for local community youth as well as attract Scouts from other states to learn the business of invention.”

The Great Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America serves 33 counties in central and north east Missouri and serves over 5,000 young people in 250 Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews, and Explorer posts. Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation is Missouri’s premiere destination Boy Scout Camp serving Scouts in the Great Rivers Council, throughout Missouri, and neighboring states.

You can learn more about the Sinquefield Invention Lab and the Invention Scouts program at

July 2017
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at Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation