The much-anticipated new edition of the Boy Scout Handbook is now scheduled for release on January 22. Also releasing on that date is the revised Scout rank badge. Our council Scout Shop has pre-ordered eight cases of new books and several dozen Scout badges to meet your expected needs.


  • Current Boy Scouts will be able to use their existing books throughout 2016, and they may switch to the new books at any time.
  • New Boy Scouts joining after January 1, 2016 must use the new 13th edition book.
  • As of January 1, 2017 all Boy Scouts will then use the 13th edition book.




On May 1, 2015, a new Cub Scout program rolled out with over 80 brand-new awards tied to advancement. While we have deep stocks of all the new Cub Scout adventure loops and Webelos adventure pins, those stocks are not bottomless. We also have no sales history to fine-tune our purchasing for this traditional Blue and Gold season.


Therefore, our Cub Scout packs who know what they will need for awards are asked to order early, in January where possible. Then if there is a surprise run on specific items we can act quickly to keep all of our Scouts and leaders happy.


Thanks for your help as we sort through these new adventures together!



Save the Date for the Drake Spring Marksmanship Challenge

Be sure to target Saturday, April 2 for the Spring Marksmanship Challenge, to be held at the Nogle Shooting Sports Facility at Camp Drake.  The Spring Marksmanship Challenge is open to all  Scouts and Venturers interested in testing their marksmanship abilities..


Prairielands Training College

The Prairielands Training College will be held on the north side of Champaign on Saturday, February 13th, 2016.  The fantastic training experience allows leaders to select specific educational topics to discover a wide array of Scouting information.  Participants can choose from almost fifty different classes to learn new skills, uncover helpful information, and strengthen leadership abilities. 




Many Trails District Annual Business Meeting

The Annual Business Meeting of the Many Trails District will be held on Thursday, January 14 at the Second Church of Christ in Danville, beginning at 6:30 pm.  All chartering organization representatives, Executive Board members living in the district and current members of the district committee are encouraged to attend and participate in the selection of the District Chair and the District Committee. The purpose of this gathering will be to nominate the volunteers for positions of the Many Trails District Committee, as well as the District Chairman, for service to Scouting in the upcoming year. This group of volunteers will serve for the 2016 year.   Please encourage your unit to send a representative to this 30 minute meeting.




Bold Klondike Derby

The fantastic winter extravaganza known as the 2016 Prairielands Council Klondike Derby is set for Saturday, January 30th, 2016 on the plains of Camp Robert Drake near Oakwood.  Event Chair Kris Hoogstradt of Ashkum   announced the theme of “BOLD IN THE COLD” as the challenge for Scouts to enjoy the winter climate and the outdoor activities.  A special bonus for this year’s event encourages troops to bring along Webelos Scouts to discover the fun at Camp Drake.  Please note the registration deadline of Jan. 22 for fees for the event.   Share the attached information with your troop committee and all Scouting families.   In order for a successful winter event, all participants should be properly prepared for the weather with clothing and equipment.




Pinewood Derby Rules!

Just a reminder about the official rules for the 2016 Prairielands Council Pinewood Derby Championships.  All of the big racing action is getting ready to go.  Please follow the guidelines so that all participants will be eligible to attend the council race set for Saturday, April 9th.  There is a copy of the rules on the homepage of the Prairielands Council website, .  Please copy these requirements for the pre-race inspection and distribute them to all your Cub Scouts.


AOL Honors at Boy Scout Camp

For all recipients of the Arrow of Light award in late 2015/ early 2016, Illini Lodge #55 at the welcoming campfire will conduct a special recognition each Sunday of the summer camp at Camp Robert Drake.  As a commemorative honor for achieving the highest rank in Cub Scouting, all Scouts who earned the Arrow of Light this year will be called up on stage during their week of camp attendance.  The first day of summer camp is an important step for a new Boy Scout.  The National Honor Society of Scouting will honor these hard working Scouts for their achievement and challenge them to seek the lofty goals within the Boy Scout program



On COMPASS DAY, Scouts will be introduced to Camp Drake opportunities through outdoor merit badges, such as Archery, Fishing, and Orienteering.  All new Boy Scouts will receive a COMPASS as recognition of participation in COMPASS DAY.  When a COMPASS DAY participant attends Camp Drake in 2016, he will receive an official “Camp Drake souvenir.” April 2nd is set for a fun filled orientation for current fifth grade Scouts.  An activity filled day of Boy Scout Camp programs for any younger troop members and their parents from throughout the council.  All newer Boy Scouts are invited to attend this special orientation, as well as their troop junior leaders and Scoutmasters.





Camp Staff Interviews

Any registered Scout, older than age 14 on June 1, 2016, can apply to be a Counselor in Training. Camp Robert Drake is looking for energetic youth to serve as future paid counselors to learn the duties during the 2016 summer. A day of interviews is scheduled for Sunday, January 17 at the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center in Champaign.  E-mail at  to RSVP


Foaming Flyer

Look through the pines of the plateau to see the Camp Drake foaming flyers soaring with the red-tailed hawks.  Illini Lodge will be bringing these same tri-winged boomerangs to a troop meeting near you as a reminder of the future fun this summer.  Have your OA Troop Representative make reservations for the green gliders to soar over your Scouts in the coming month.




Winter Banquet

Attention Arrowmen!!Our annual winter banquet is in just FOUR DAYS!!  The excitement is building quickly and this is going to be a great event!  It's not too late to sign up!  Don't miss your chance to go to the 2016 winter banquet!  Be there in Covington Indiana at the Beefhouse of I-74, the brotherhood hour starts at 11 Central and the banquet starts at noon Central!!


Trophy for Top O.A. Troop

A fabulous Table Top Trophy will be presented as a part of the opening ceremony for the 2016 Winter Banquet at the Beef House in Covington, IN on January 9th, 2016.  The troop with the top total number of Arrowmen and their guests with paid registration by noon on Friday, January 8, 2016 will be recognized for their Cheerful Spirit with a glamorous traveling treasure to display at their meeting place for the upcoming year.  Remember to promote Illini Lodge’s most enjoyable banquet ever conducted to your troop members.


The top three troops so far are:

Troop 25 with 17

Troop 234 with 16

Troop 50 with 16






Thank you to those of you who have been online and completed your re-charters!  As other units start the computer part of this process don’t forget that you need to leave time to gather signatures on the completed forms (roster, charter agreement and JTE worksheet).  The deadline is 10 DAYS AWAY!  All signed and paid for re-charters need to be turned in by Friday January 15.  Office closes at 6:00pm.  If you can’t get the JTE worksheet done by the 15th you can turn that in a week or so later.  You do need your re-charter data to complete the JTE worksheet.


And, yes, the raffle is still on.  For Prairie Fire district units, all units who have turned in complete, signed and paid for re-charters by the Jan. 15 deadline will be entered into a drawing for a $100.00 MC gift card for their unit.  (Being privately funded – no council funds being used for this promotion).



Thank you to everyone who attended last night’s Prairie Fire District meeting.  It was very productive and we have some great ideas being planned to be offered this upcoming year.  It will be a busy spring!!  Last night we also had a changing of the guard.  Long standing District Chair Dan Strole stepped down as Chair and was replaced by Chad Beckett, lately of Holy Cross Pack 9 and Troop 9.  Many, many thanks to Dan for building the committee back up again and a warm welcome to Chad who will be an outstanding leader for the district.  Thank you to ALL the volunteers who are doing work at the district level and providing a robust program for all our Scouts and Scouters.



The next UC meeting will be held on Wednesday Jan. 13, 2016 at 6:00pm at the LDS Church, far east end of the building.



The next roundtable for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will be held Wednesday Jan. 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm at the LDS Church on Windsor Rd.  We will be discussing JTE issues in both sessions.  Cub Scouts will also discuss upcoming Blue and Gold planning and FOS presentations.  Boy Scout session will hopefully also cover the upcoming Klondike Derby.  Please come.



Saturday Jan. 9 – Scout shop open.  OA banquet.

Wednesday Jan. 13 – PF UC meeting and Roundtable

Friday Jan. 15 – re-charter deadline !!!!

Monday Jan. 18 MLK day – All council facilities closed

Sunday Jan. 24 – Council Pinewood 101

Saturday Jan. 30 – Council Klondike Derby at Camp Drake

                                Deadline for summer camp deposits per scout

Wednesday Feb. 10 – PF UC meeting and Roundtable

Saturday Feb. 13 – Prairielands Training College

Saturday Feb. 20 – Council Youth Achievement Recognition Dinner (formerly the Eagle banquet)

Friday Feb. 26 – candy bar sale begins

Friday – Sunday Feb. 26-28 -  NYLT session 1




Do you have a Scout (age 14 or older and First Class or higher) or a Venturer who demonstrates leadership, but needs to improve his or her skills?  Would you like to see that “good Scout” become a “great Scout”?  Then get them signed up for National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) before the January 26, 2016 deadline (when the price goes up).  Offered over two weekends at Camp Drake (February 26-28 and March 11-13, 2016), NYLT is the premiere youth leadership development program.  Don’t delay, get your youth leadership signed up today!   See the attached flyer for more information or contact the Course Director, Jim Dieker at

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