Special Tool Time this Saturday

An added opportunity for special service has been set for this weekend.    On Saturday, April 26th, special teams of volunteers are needed to assist with the SWIMMING POOL PAINTING and the CAMPSITE CLEAN-UP efforts.  The special projects will begin with assignments made at the Tin Shed starting at 9:00 am.  Lunch will be provided at 12:15 and recognitions will be presented to Tool Time workers at 3:00 pm.  It will be special!


Helping Camp Drake

You can assist in helping Camp Drake with some needed supplies for this summer maintenance requirements.  Units or individuals can help upgrade equipment by purchasing or donating new or nearly new equipment.  Units can also provide or donate needed supplies to assist Camp Drake in its operations.  The 2014 wish list is below.  What can you give to help?   Please call Mike Graham for specific item descriptions at 356-7291 x 6447.

picnic tables                        eye/ear protection                     small Buck /bow saws 

wheel barrels                      cases-toilet paper                     reams of 8 ½ x 11 copy paper

Lop shears                         rakes                                        short handle shovels

rock                                   paint brushes…2-3- 4              work gloves                 

battery charger 12v – 6       ax handles                                van for out-of-camp trips

gasoline weed-eater            sledge hammer handles             chainsaw safety gear




CONGRATULATIONS GO OUT TO TROOP 40 OF ST. JOE for being name “Organization of the Year” by the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce and for reaching a monumental milestone of celebrating 100 Years of Scouting in St. Joe!!! To all current, past and future leaders and Scouts of Troop 40, we salute YOU for keeping SCOUTING alive and well in Your community!!!!!!!


All Candy Bar money is due now to the Scout Office, if you would like to sell more candy contact Elliott Smith at 217 531-3011


Cub Scout Day Camps will be here before you know it….is your Pack signed up yet??? There will be two opportunities for Cub Scouts and there families to enjoy some great outdoor fun in the sun activities at our Cub Scout Day camps.  The Champaign/Urbana Day Camp will be June 9-13 at the Champaign County Fairground in Urbana from 9-3pm Monday –Thursday and from 9-1pm on Friday which is Family Day, the Camp director is Dakorie McElhaney at    Tuscola Cub Day Camp is June 16-20 at Ervin Park in Tuscola from 9-3pm Monday – Thursday and 9-1pm on Friday which is Family Day, Dave Johnson is Camp Director, for more information contact


Cub Scout Recruitment

Cub Masters start planning your Tiger Cub Spring recruitment now; we want all those Kindergartners to come join the fun!  Contact Lovetta Ash-Simpson at 531-0217 or to schedule your “boy talk” and sign up night.  We have lots of materials for recruitment Mini Mags, fliers, posters, etc. just let us know what you need.





Campers on the banks of the Salt Fork River are welcome to bring their own bicycles to Camp Drake for merit badge instruction, Vermilion TreX participation and transportation use as long as camp guidelines are followed.  Bicycle riding is permitted only on the gravel roads throughout camp and a helmet must be worn at all times during riding.  Recreational riding on the bike trail or for merit badge requirements will be allowed special opportunities to traverse other paths of the prairie area.  No bike riding is allowed on the grass or sidewalks and parking of the bicycles must be out of the path of camp service vehicles.




Join the Bugle Troop. Scouts can attend camp without their hometown Scoutmasters. This opportunity is available for troops unable to secure proper adult leadership. Provisional camping also provides leadership for Scouts who cannot attend camp with their troop or who wish to attend more than one week of camp. The Bugle Troop will be available during the 4th session (July 13-19, 2014). Reservations can be made by using the Bugle Troop registration form on the Camp Drake website.  Parents or leaders are welcome to join the Bugle Troop as assistant leaders for the entire week or specific days. 




  For younger Boy Scouts at summer camp, TWO OPTIONS for advancement sessions allow campers to work on requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks on their own schedule at Camp Drake.   Known as the Pollywog Program, first year campers practice their Scouting techniques in the Stiverson Family Shelter, located in central camp near the Friendship Circle to learn basic outdoor skills.  Designated counselors for the first year program provide guidance on rank requirements, as well as exercises to reinforce learning.  The two sessions are the same, offered once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  The two options allow the younger Scouts more flexibility in selecting the other merit badges they would like to attend at camp.



Aquatics Training Program at Camp Drake

With the merger of BSA Lifeguard with the American Red Cross—which is good news in that BSA Lifeguard is now more readily accepted by other institutions—the requirements demand a larger focus on the legal aspects of lifeguarding and several other requirements that do not permit BSA Lifeguard to be effectively taught during a regular summer camp week.  However, this loss does allow us to present you with TWO special programs: BSA Swimming & Water Rescue and Paddle Craft Safety!!!  These adult supervision programs are meant to supplement the Safe Swim Defense & Safety Afloat trainings given at the beginning of each Scout week.  Each program will instruct basic skills and rescue techniques in the respective areas of swimming and boating much as the old BSA Lifeguard did, but with more opportunities to specialize!  Nationally, these programs are “strongly recommended” for your Qualified Supervision with your unit’s Aquatic activities.  Don’t let you or your older Scouts (age 16 and up!!) miss out on the opportunity to build your own troop aquatics program!




An option in leadership development has been created to allow Camp Drake campers to attend a week of summer camp and serve on the Camp Drake staff at the same time.  Scouts interested in joining the “DRAKE CORPS” must be at least fourteen years of age and have attained the Star rank.  These Scouts will meet with the Program Director on afternoon of the first day of camp to review their area assignments and set a schedule for the week.  The “DRAKE CORPS”   members will be able to participate in certain traditional camp activities, including the activities that are part of the Vermilion TreX Older Scout Program, but will also serve as an assistant in conducting camp events.  These Scouts will camp with their own troop, but will be charged with a certain level of responsibility in order to earn their “staff shirt”. 



The cleanliness and safety of troop campsites is an ongoing concern during your week at Camp Drake. All campsites will be visited daily by the Camp Commissioner Robert Sloan to review camp operations and assist in camping needs. This visit will be conducted with the Senior Patrol Leader or his designee so the Commissioner can make suggestions for campsite improvement, or offer congratulations for a job well done. The Robert Drake Award ribbon is presented to all troops that maintain clean and safe campsites, as determined by the Camp Commissioner.



Cub Scouts


Cub Packs Invited to Spring Camporee

The Ultimate Outdoor Challenge awaits the Blue and Gold campers as the fun of the Spring Camporee is just around the corner.  Cub Packs are invited to enjoy the events at the North Fork Lodge and Outdoor Club, north of Danville on May 16-18, 2014. Youth members will have the opportunity to try Archery shooting, and Fishing, with BB gun shooting for the attending Cub Scouts.


Added Options for Adventure Camp

Boys that are currently in the third and fourth grades will graduate up to advanced program status and be eligible to select two added program features during their Cub Scout Adventure Camp session. During Cub Scout Adventure Camp in 2014,  the SUNRAYS program will offer extra program options.

                        KAYAK TREK                                  ACTION ARCHERY

                        NIGHT HIKING                               PEDAL CAR RACING…..and more

 Space is limited for certain time frames for each program.  Please use the Cub Scout Adventure Camp Program Reservation Chart to reserve your activities.  Keep a copy for your den/pack and return the forms to the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center,  3301 Farber Drive in Champaign, 61826  or


Pack Pool Parties a Great Day to Swim

Your pack, troop or crew can have your own private pool party this summer at Camp Drake.  Throughout the summer months, the Camp Drake pool is available for rent on Saturdays.  The Boy Scout summer camp takes a break each weekend, making Saturday afternoon or evening a great option for special aquatics events.  Remember, there are lights on the pool to continue the fun into the evening.  Please use the Camp Use Application from to reserve your splash.   All BSA swimming events must follow the Safe Swim Defense plan, so please review those details from the Boy Scouts of America website at


Arrowhead Award Ceremony Recognition at First Campfire

All of the Arrow of Light recipients who attend Camp Drake this summer will be recognized at the opening campfire for this achievement.  During the festive atmosphere of the welcoming camp skits, each new Boy Scout that has earned the Arrow of Light will be called on stage by members of the Illini Lodge Ceremonies Team to receive a special Arrowhead Award for their achievement.  As a part of the presentation, these new Boy Scouts participate in a motivating program that encourages their attainment of the highest goal in Boy Scouting, namely the Eagle Scout rank.  The ceremony is very impressive and uplifting.


540 Minutes of Program Excitement

The Program Registration form is now available at the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center, the Danville Scout office or at .  It is designed for Cub Scout leaders to choose the program for their Cub Scouts.  Each age group of Cub Scouts attending camp will choose their specific activities from a long list of options. This system allows you to choose what program opportunities you would like for your Scouts.  There are 90 minute super sessions and some 45 minute fun sessions.  Each den has a total of 540 minutes to reserve their activities.  All ages of Cub Scouts are encouraged to explore the abundant options for advancement, enjoyment, and thrills at Cub Scout Adventure camp.  Prepare your den of Cubs for the ultimate outdoor escape this summer.  Cub Scout Adventure Camp will provide a wide range of outdoor action. 






This is the last week to sign up for SF14 at the low price of $20! After the Scout Office closes this week, the price will rise to $25 for the weekend to accommodate for food that will need to be ordered. If you have a Lodge Speed Pass, you still need to let Susan Coller know that you will be in attendance so that you will be down on the list. 


Cabin prices will remain at an additional $10 and will be given out on a fist come, first serve basis. (Lodge members who reserve cabins will be placed in group cabins based on what "Lodge" they are in for the weekend.)


The price for becoming a full member of our Lodge and the Order of the Arrow is $20 to cover the cost of the sash. BUT! This weekend will be the unveiling of the special 20th anniversary Lodge Flap, the new Lodge Fleeces, and many other brand new apparel!


As promised in the last email, there is going to be a big big big event during the weekend. NOW, it is all finalized and is ready to be revealed!


The Champaign Bomb Squad is going to be making a visit to Camp Robert Drake during SF14! And yes, they are going to blow stuff up and every participant is going to get the opportunity to witness it! To add to it, the "Lodge Chief" of the winning "Lodge" for the weekend is going to have the opportunity to be the honorary detonator, how many other chances are you going to have to BE THE ONE to BLOW SOMETHING UP???


So get signed up for SF14 NOW. Bring your friends, your troop mates, and the guy in the corner who wears the flap, but never the sash! This is going to be the best weekend ever hosted by the Lodge and we need EVERYONE to be there!




Each Troop (or Team) Representatives has a brand new pair or Camp Drake sunglasses awaiting them for their special role in their unit.  Illini Lodge 55 is recruiting youth & adult arrowmen to serve in an important role in the lodge. Order of the Arrow Troop (or Team) Representatives are a youth liaison and his advisor serving between the local O.A. lodge and his unit. The representatives serve as a communication and program link to the unit Arrowmen, as well as adult leaders and Scouts who are not presently members of the Order. They do this in a fashion that strengthens the mission of the lodge and the purpose of the Order. By setting a good example, they enhance the image of the Order as a service arm to the troop or team.  Their image will really look good in their new sunglasses.


Brotherhood Opportunities

Scouts and Scouters who are already Ordeal members in Lodge 55 may choose to seal their membership in the Order by completing Brotherhood ceremonies. The ceremony will be held at the Spring Fellowship and during each week of summer camp. Please encourage all current Ordeal members to participate in this important commitment to service.


Committee Involvement

The OA operations of Illini Lodge depend on a wide variety of committees to complete the plethora of duties set each year.  Each lodge committee is led by a youth chair and an adult advisor who are responsible for their area of expertise in the lodge.  In order for all of the goals of the lodge to be accomplished each year, many Arrowmen are needed to assist with the important tasks.   Opportunities to join a committee will be presented at the Spring Fellowship in May.


New Lodge Flap available at Spring Fellowship

The 2014 edition of the Illini Lodge flap will be on sale at Camp Drake at the Spring Fellowship. Illini Lodge members will be able to purchase this re-designed emblem with a blue or orange border.   Find a deer in your headlights this summer.


NOAC is a GO for the Illini

Illini Lodge is forming the greatest group of OA Bucks to ever attend a national event in the history of Illinidom. The Illini Lodge contingent will enjoy fabulously entertaining shows, high quality leadership training, awe-inspiring Native American events, nation-wide sporting challenges, plus more Arrowrific activities each day. If you haven't checked out the NOAC website lately, they have added a lot of great information there including details on some of the shows, events, games and trainings that will be available. There is still time to sign up and attend this fabulous event at Michigan State University.





June Weekend is a Blast!

Venture crews from throughout the Midwest will gather at Camp Robert Drake near Oakwood, IL.  The program for the Venturing Summerblast has grown to become the maximum outdoor activity for all of the Prairielands Council.  The fun and games will be set up on June 13-14. From early morning to late at night, Venturing talents will cycle and shoot, swim and explore the woodlands of Camp Drake.  The days will be filled with one activity after another throughout the camp and beyond.  Set your calendar now for June at the Venturing Summerblast.


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