Posts Tagged ‘Sinquefield Invention Lab’

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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Chess set made by Boy Scout at Sinquefield Invention Lab
now on display at World Chess Hall of Fame

by Dean Minderman

A metal and wood chess set designed and built by a Boy Scout at the Sinquefield Invention Lab now is on display at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis.

Chandler Francis, a 17-year-old who lives in Blue Springs, MO and is a Life Scout in Troop 49 in Nelson, MO, made the set during the summer of 2018 to earn his Metalworking merit badge.

The Sinquefield Invention Lab, which is located at the Great Rivers Council’s Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation near Laurie, MO, was established in 2017 “to facilitate hands-on education and invention of new ideas and technologies, while utilizing problem-solving skills, creativity, and imagination in a team environment.”

The Metalworking badge requires learning about alloys, metalworking techniques, and safety. The Scout chooses one of four options – sheet metal mechanic/tinsmith, silversmith, founder, or blacksmith – and then must complete a project.

Francis (pictured) used the Invention Lab’s Epilog laser to create the wooden board for the set, and, with the assistance of camp counselor Justin Tattich, made the metal pieces at the reservation’s nearby blacksmithing pavilion.

While the badge requires Scouts to forge two objects — one with a decorative twist and one with a hammer-riveted joint – Francis created all 32 pieces needed to make a complete set using a variety of forging techniques.

“We congratulate Chandler on being featured at the World Chess Hall of Fame,” says Doug Callahan, Scout Executive of the Great Rivers Council. Callahan says the camp and council are “proud to have helped him in this endeavor, and we hope his creativity inspires other Scouts.”

October 2018
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now on display at World Chess Hall of Fame

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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