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.
The Sinquefield Invention Campus is a permanent facility at a Lake of the Ozarks Scout Reservation.
The Sinquefield Invention Campus consists of 4 areas: Invention Lab, Program Building, Metalworking Building, & the soon to be Trade Building. Each area has a different focus. The Invention Lab is focused on technology & inventing. It consists of a 6000 sq ft makerspace. It also consists of high-tech equipment such as laser engravers, 3D Printers, computerized embroidery machines, & more! The Program Building is focused on woodworking. Inside the Program Building is a full woodworking shop with all essential woodworking tools & a 5 x 8ft CNC Router. The Metalworking Building is a full blacksmithing & welding shop, consisting of multiple forges, a power hammer, knifer sanders, & multiple welders. Opening Summer Camp 2021, the Sinquefield Invention Campus will add the Trades Building. The Trades Building will focus on trades such as electricity, plumbing, automotive mechanics, boat repair, & more!
In addition to the Invention Campus, the Great Rivers Council has 2 mobile Invention Labs that can be taken anywhere in the Council.
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.