Our mission is to facilitate hands-on education and invention of new ideas and technologies while utilizing problem-solving skills, creativity and imagination in a team environment.
Invention Labs are a permanent facility at a Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation and a portable Invention Trailer that comes to you. An Invention Lab can even be a nearby Makerspace, or your parents garage workshop, anywhere there are tools and knowledgeable people to safely help you build your invention.
First of its Kind Facility Overlooks Lake of the Ozarks from Blufftop at Camp
Sitting on a blufftop overlooking the Lake at the 44 mile marker, this 6000 square foot facility will provide Scouts and students from across Missouri the opportunity to work with technology and become inventors and entrepreneurs for life.
The Invention Lab currently houses laptop computers, 3D printers, laser engravers, CNC routers, embroidery machines, Scan-n-Cut machines, littleBits, soldering equipment, and a program building featuring wood working tools and materials. More equipment including vinyl printers and multimedia software will be added later. In addition, the lab offers instruction on leadership, business, creativity, and sustainability. In the summer of 2019, the Sinquefield Blacksmithing and Welding Building was built, which includes forges and welding equipment.
The inspiration behind this project began in 2012, when three scouters invented Chess2Go; a chess set that can fit in your pocket. Chess2Go is now sold across the nation. Wishing to foster more innovation with fun, Scout Leader Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield sought to create a Scouting program centered around inventorship and entrepreneurship. The Invention Scouts is now that program.
“We want to help scouts, students, and adults to make their ideas come to life,” says founder Dr. Sinquefield. “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.”
With its opening, the Great Rivers Council (GRC) becomes the first council in the Boy Scouts of America to own and operate an Invention Lab. Merit badge instruction currently includes entrepreneurship, inventing, woodwork, radio, engineering, game design, electronics, sustainability, model design and building, sculpture, and graphic arts.
The newly built Invention Lab will serve as the flagship of Invention Scouts, and will provide Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, Explorers, students, and adults across Missouri the opportunity to utilize the facility.
GRC is the first council to have Invention Scouts, a pilot program designed to inspire scouts to become inventors and entrepreneurs for life. It is coeducational, so young men and women ages 11-21 can join, and no prior scouting experience is required.
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.”
“In schools is it popular to push for STEM, and for kids to learn those are facts. The Invention Lab is more than that; creativity and innovation will never go away. This is a timeless program which makes it super cool for Scouts” Camp Program Director Daniel Wright said.
Sustainability is another theme of The Lab. GRC used many recyclable materials for its completion. The tables are repurposed restaurant furniture. The work tables were made from wood leftover from the construction.
You can learn more about Invention Scouts at InventionScouts.org.
The Sinquefield Invention Campus is open the entire 8 week summer season. With the addition of the Invention Lab in May 2017, the Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation has become one of the BSA’s most unique camps. The Invention Campus serves all levels of scouting including Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, and the American Heritage Girls.
The Invention Campus offers a wide variety of merit badges, taught by our fine Invention Lab staff. Our current list of merit badges offered in the lab include Inventing, Game Design, Engineering, Sustainability, Chess, Salesmanship, Entrepreneurship, Radio, Photography, Movie Making, Digital Technology, Sculpturing, Graphic Arts, Model & Design, Woodcarving, Woodworking, Metalworking, and Blacksmithing. Every year, the Invention Lab expands its caliber of merit badges. This past summer, we debuted merit badges such as Nuclear Science. As the program continues to grow, we will continue to expand the number of merit badges offered.
In addition to our merit badges, the Invention Campus offers its unique iLab program. The iLab program was designed to give scouts hands-on training with cutting-technology and equipment such as laser engravers, 3D Printers, CNC Routers, etc. In this day and age, it is imperative that scouts learn these skills; as it will prepare them for an increasingly tech-oriented future. Through the iLab program scouts will not only master the skills to use such high-tech equipment, but they will able how to use that knowledge to synthesize and create and to ultimately improve their communities.
The Invention Campus also offers the Adult iLab program. We began this program in 2017 because many adult leaders and parents were interested in learning about what their scouts were doing in the lab. Like the scouts, it too is imperative for adults to receive hands-on training with laser engravers, 3D printers, etc. The Adult iLab program has become one of most unique and successful programs at summer camp.
The Sinquefield Invention Campus offers a council-wide offseason program. Below is a summary of programs offered. As we continue to grow, the Invention Campus will offer more offseason programs.
Our most popular offseason program for Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Explorers is the Invention/Merit Badge Workshop. The council offers several scheduled weekends in the spring and fall.
Units can also schedule their own Invention/Merit Badge Workshop Weekends. If your unit would like schedule an Invention/Merit Badge Weekend Workshop, please fill out the following documents:
Our most popular offseason program for Cub Scouts is the Invention-NOVA Family Camp. Our Family Camp is currently the fastest growing camping program at LOTOSR and the Great Rivers Council. It is available to all levels of Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts must earn adventures in order to advance. Through out Invention-NOVA Family Camp, we use the amazing resources of the Invention Lab to teach scouts various adventures. Our goal is to combine fun with learning. Some of our most popular adventures include Earth Rocks!, Germs Alive!, Super Science, Digging in the Past, A Bear Goes Fishing, and Build It. In addition to the adventure learning, cub scouts get to participate in activities such as archery, bb guns, wrist rockets, swimming, bouldering, and gaga ball. Beginning in 2019, Spring NOVA Family Camp will be hosted at the Missouri Military Academy. Fall NOVA Family Camp will continue to be hosted at the Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation.
There are two Invention-NOVA Family Camps a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Our dates for 2021 are April 30th – May 2nd (Spring) and August 27th – 29th (Fall). Registrations will open in January 2021.