Holiday Family Camping Weekends

All Scouts and Scouting family members are invited to enjoy Memorial Day Weekend or Labor Day Weekend at Camp Robert Drake this summer.  Experience a woodland retreat away and get back to nature.  Families can enjoy the facilities at Camp Drake at their own pace.  Both weekends will be open for tent camping and limited activities for all ages. All of the campsites are available for use, along with a few of the program areas options during the event.  The cost for the entire weekend of camping and activities is $20.00 per family or $8.00 per individual for the entire four-day period.  Meals are not included and alcohol is not permitted. Campers will be able to use camp facilities at their leisure. 


On-line Training at Your Leisure

Important informational training courses are offered on-line for all program levels within the Boy Scouts of America.  Web-based Training for any Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Venturing leader is the most convenient method of training all leaders can take.  Many courses are online courses that are very short and are available through the BSA Web site.  As the summer season approaches, aquatics activities require Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat courses, which are easily completed on-line. For brand-new leaders, there is Fast Start Training, where one course is for Cub Scouts and another for Boy Scouts.  Commissioners should take the Fast Start for whichever type of unit they serve most.  The Youth Protection course is valuable for everyone and required for certain Scouting positions. There is also a Hazardous Weather training to help keep your outings safe. The link to MyScouting for the Boy Scouts of America on-line training center website is .  You will need to set up an account in the on-line learning center by using your identification number of your BSA membership card.  If you cannot find your BSA membership card, contact Susan Coller at (217) 356-7291, ext. 6441.



The Many Trails District of the Boy Scouts of America held its annual Spring Camporee from May 16-18, 2014, at the North Fork Lodge and Outdoor Club, north of Danville. IL Over 100 Scouts and leaders from throughout the 9 county Prairielands Council enjoyed the festivities, despite the less than typical temperatures. The skill contests were judged on teamwork, Scout spirit and skill level. The outdoor contests for Scouts tested their knot tying abilities, hiking stick creations, pioneering gateways, and open fire cooking.   Awards were presented for the best Scouts in a variety of categories.


Top Marksman for Shotgun Shooting was Samuel White of Troop 30 in Rantoul.  Best Fisherman of the weekend was Lane Coffey of Troop 25 in Mahomet. The Most Entertaining Skit by a Late Troop was “Soda Drinking” by Troop 118 in Hoopeston. Pumpkin Surprise, created by Troop 95 of Tuscola, won the cooking competition.  The top Scouting volunteer for the weekend was James Kirkpatrick of Fithian for his leadership and guidance to promote the camping education of Boy Scouts in our area. A special thanks goes to Dr. Don Rokosch of Danville for hosting the event with tremendous camping facilities.  All of the Scouts and leaders attending the event greatly appreciated the wonderful campgrounds and recreational opportunities available at the North Fork Lodge and Outdoor Club.




Take the Cub Scout Leave No Trace Pledge

Following the nationwide push for a greener environment, Cub Scouts are encouraged to learn more about the newest camping techniques using the Leave No Trace strategy.  This great award for outdoors enthusiasts provides a guideline for Cub Scouts to enjoy the natural world.  Follow the Pledge: I promise to practice the Leave No Trace front country guidelines wherever I go:  1) Plan ahead.   2) Stick to trails.  3) Manage your pet.  4)  Leave what you find. 5)  Respect other visitors.  6)  Trash your trash.    Introduce your Cub Scouts to the best methods for care of the forests and wildlife through the Leave No Trace Award.



Cub Scout Adventure Camp Jumpstarts New Webelos

Cub Scout Adventure Camp provides an early opportunity for Cub Campers to begin advancement requirements for newly transitioned Scouts.  Current Bears (3rd graders) who move up to the Webelos program are able to enjoy a tremendous advantage by attending Cub Scout Adventure Camp.  Many program requirements are easily fulfilled by attending the camp and participating in all of the outdoor programs.   All levels of Cub Scouting are encouraged to attend the four-day, three night program with activities geared up for all ages.  Packs can reserve their session with a $25.00 site deposit for the June 29 to July 2 Blue period or the July 20-23 Gold period.   Get your copy of the Cub Scout Adventure Camp Leader Guide at





BUGLE TROOP offers 2nd Option for Camp Drake

A secondary opportunity is available for Scouts looking to enjoy a great summer camping experience at Camp Robert Drake. 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 council website.  Parents or leaders are welcome to join the Bugle Troop as assistant leaders for the entire week or specific days. 


Camp Drake Leadership Opportunities

Summer camp is one of the best opportunities for youth to experience the important skills of leadership in action.   The week-long camp period allows for Scouts to function in a tiered level of responsibility.  Here are a few important options for young men to experience leadership at Camp Drake:


There is no better way for a Senior Patrol Leader to earn his green bars than by experiencing a week at the helm of his troop at summer camp! Daily SPL meetings will be held to inform youth leadership of daily activities, notices, and responsibilities. While adult leadership is always kept in the loop, Senior Patrol Leaders are charged with organizing their troops and keeping them informed of all the goings-on at Camp Drake! The Camp Drake Senior Patrol Leader Award will be bestowed upon those who fulfill their hefty responsibilities throughout the week.


Lord Baden-Powell preached the patrol method for his Scouts, and we do the same at Camp Drake! The BIG Games on Monday night allow patrols to put their skills to the test. Youth leadership is encouraged in all troop activities at Camp Drake.


Experience leadership amongst a group of Honor Campers, as Illini Lodge conducts several important programs throughout the camp week.  All arrowmen are encouraged to join in the ceremonies, guide a camp-wide event, or assist in service in facility building.  Develop your leadership in service to other Scouts.


Another option for leadership development is 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.  The “DRAKE CORPS”   members will be able to participate in certain traditional camp activities, including the adventure options, but will also serve as an assistant in conducting camp events.  These Scouts will camp and eat with their own troop, but will be charged with a certain level of responsibility in order to earn their “staff shirt”. 


Annual Health Form Required

The national Boy Scouts of America camp policy mandate medical examinations. All youth participants and adult leaders must present evidence of a physical examination annually for the weekly camp session AND a health history completed by the adult participant or a parent (for youth participants). Copies of the medical form will be available at the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center in Champaign and the Danville Service Center. Completion of all sections of the form is necessary for Boy Scouts and leaders  camping oveernigth at summer camp. Please bring these forms to camp and present them to the health officer during check-in procedures. All physicals and health histories must be on file with the camp health officer in case of emergency. At the end of camp, it is the responsibility of the troop leader to pick up all medical forms  prior to the Saturday check-out. As a part of the Sunday afternoon orientation tour, all Scouts and adult leaders will receive a medical evaluation by the camp Health Officer.


OA Elections Due

During the spring, new candidates for membership are selected throughout Illini Lodge.  This is the next generation of honored brothers who will become the future leaders of our important organization.  The most critical role in the duty of the Troop Representative is to assist in the Unit Election procedures for their troop. It is vital to the health of Illini Lodge that new members are elected each spring in a fashion that will inspire increased participation in Scouting as an arrowman. Please help improve the quality of Order of the Arrow operations by supporting your troop representative this spring.

Bring Seating for Ordeal Call-Out

One of the most prestigious events of the Illini Lodge year is held four times throughout the summer at Camp Robert Drake.  The Call-Out Ceremony on Wednesday night is the pinnacle of Order of the Arrow recognition as over one thousand Scouts, leaders, parents, and guests will witness the meaningful spectacle of new arrowman achievement.  Almost every arrowman remembers their moment of initial membership in the Brotherhood.  All Prairielands Council Scouters and their guests are encouraged to bring a chair for the Call-Out Ceremonies this summer because the event will be held on the plateau.  In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the lodge,  a special Call-Out Ceremony will provide inspiration at a new location.  Please show your support for the efforts of Illini Lodge in honoring the newest group of arrowmen. 


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