First-ever Invention Jamboree introduces
Scouts to new technologies and tools
Nearly 300 Scouts and adult leaders from Missouri and Kansas attended the first-ever Invention Jamboree presented by the Boy Scouts of America, 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 who came to the Jamboree got to participate in activities including robotics, welding, blacksmithing, woodworking, graphic design, shooting, climbing, flying radio-controlled drones, conducting search-and-rescue operations using geo-spatial mapping, and more.
All attendees also spent time in the reservation's Sinquefield Invention Lab, the center of the council's Invention Campus and Invention Scout program and the only facility of its kind at any Scout camp in the nation.
Experts who were on hand to work with Scouts included professional inventor Steve Goldstein; designer Eric Mosul; Dr. Rob Duncan, former vice chancellor of research at the University of Missouri and currently professor and distinguished chair in physics at Texas Tech; Dr. Annette Sobel, associate professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; and members of the prize-winning robotics team from the FIRST® LASER program at Camdenton High School in Camdenton, MO.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson also made an appearance at the Invention Jamboree, visiting on Saturday afternoon to observe various activities, meet some of the Scouts and Scout leaders, and even try his hand at operating a radio-controlled aerial drone.
In addition to working directly with Scouts, the guest experts served as judges for the Jamboree's invention competition. The Scout winner of the competition was Michael Powell of Troop 706 in Columbia, MO, who used CAD software and a 3-D printer to create new designs for “camping beads” collected by Scouts to mark participation in specific campouts and activities. The adult winner was Morgan Dailey of Troop 6, also in Columbia, who used various power and hand tools to build a portable “ladder ball” game.
“The response from everyone who came was overwhelmingly positive,” said Thomas Yang, Invention Scouts Executive and Director of Sinquefield Invention Lab & Program Building. “We think this event is a model for what Scouting can be in the 21st century.” In all, 40 different Scout troops were represented at the event, including eight all-female troops, Yang said, with girls comprising 35% of the total Scout attendance.
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 was presented by the Great Rivers Council and co-sponsored by the Missouri Innovation Center and the Buttonwood Business Center, with support from the National Academy of Inventors, VentureWell, ESRI, Saint Louis University Geographic Information Sciences Department, State Technical College of Missouri, and the Midwest Woodworkers Association.
Scouts learning about different types of drones