Camp Candy Fundraiser
The 2016 Candy Sale begins February 26, 2016 and ends April 1, 2016. This year we welcome World's Finest Chocolate as our new supplier.  Pre-sale orders are now being taken from packs, troops, and crews that want to be ready for opening day!  Units that are taking part in the sale should submit a Sales Order Form by February 13 if they wish to reserve candy.  All units, with or without a pre-order, must turn in a Council & Unit Agreement before they can take candy for the sale.  - See more at:
Council Candy Sale Incentives
To encourage early sales and early turn-in, a weekly drawing will be held for Scouts who have turned in their money. Drawing tickets will remain included in the hopper throughout the sale, unless selected as a winner. Remember—tickets are issued per box paid in full ($45 for VARIETY, $45 for ONE KIND). Make sure to track how many and what type your Scouts sell.
            >Drawing tickets will be issued per BOX of candy sold.  Weekly deadline is 1:00 pm prior to drawing (3/4, 3/11, 3/18, & 3/28) at the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center.  Candy Bar chairs must turn in the money for Scouts to become eligible for the drawing.
            >Payments can be by check or larger denomination bills. Large quantities of $1 bills and change will not be accepted.  Winners for the weekly drawings will be announced on the following Monday via e-mail newsletter.
            >Weekly top selling Cub Scout and Boy/Venture Scout will receive a $10 Walmart gift card.  The Council’s overall top seller will receive a Remote Controlled Drone with Camera and District top sellers will receive a Walmart gift card.
Actually, it will be more chain-sawing and wood-splitting, but you get the idea.   Please help clear the dead wood out of campsites, program areas, and camp roads on Saturday, March 5, starting at 9:00 am at Camp Drake.   Ranger Ed needs a little more support for removing the excess limbs and branches throughout the central camping area.   Please RSVP to  that you can help on this extra day of service for the Prairielands Council.
The National Jamboree is held every four years and is the highlight of the Scouting experience for those attending.  The National Jamboree will be held Wednesday, July 19 through Friday, July 28, 2017 at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.  Including travel this will be a 12-14 day adventure for all participating. The Prairielands Council contingent will consist of a Boy Scout Troop of 36 Scouts and four leaders plus a Venturing Crew of eight youth and two leaders.   The contingent will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.  Once the contingent is full a first come, first serve waiting list will be kept for alternates in the event that a spot comes open.  To register, log on to the council website, and follow the National Jamboree link.  A $500 deposit is due to secure a Scout’s registration with the contingent. 
National Jamboree Excitement
In 2009, the BSA purchased 10,600 acres of property adjacent to West Virginia’s New River Gorge National River area in order to create the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. The Summit is the new home of achievement, adventure, and innovation in Scouting. With world-class facilities and a focus on outdoor action sports, the Summit welcomes Scouts to a whole new jamboree experience in summer 2017. The excitement of the jamboree features a large visitor area, where day-users can try out some of the activities that the Scouts are doing around other parts of the Summit. Look to 2017 where Venturers, a branch of the BSA that includes young women, will be part of the jamboree. Whitewater rafting and kayaking, rock climbing and bouldering, and mountain biking are just a few of the activities offered at the Summit. There’s also skateboarding, BMX, shooting sports, and zip-line challenge courses. And that’s just the beginning.
2016 Illinois Stem Scouts Novaree!
The excitement for this next year's Illinois Novaree on April 16th and 23rd, 2016 is fantastic! Mark your calendars now, because this year's is going to be absolutely amazing!  As with our previous years, this will be a two-Saturday event, covering all areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  The event is, once again, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where you can take advantage of resources and expertise you won't find anywhere else.  Participants will be able to sign up for up to four different classes from all areas of Science and Technology.  The bonus excitement will be working with the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois to offer classes where Girl Scouts can earn awards as well. Visit
When is Scout Sunday this year?
There’s a short answer and a longer answer.  Short answer: It’s the Sunday before Feb. 8 — the birthday of the Boy Scouts of America. That means this year, Scout Sunday was Feb. 7, 2016. Longer answer: Each chartered organization can adopt any specific Sunday to celebrate. Officially, the BSA says a local church may celebrate “on the Sunday most acceptable to the pastor and congregation.” In the United Methodist Church, for example, the second Sunday in February is set aside for Scout Sunday. That means this year it’s on Feb. 14, 2016.  The final answer is to commemorate the connection between Scouting and your faith organization. 
Camp First Aid Position Open
One of the key staff members on each summer camp staff is the all-important health officer, who oversees the medical care of participants, staff, and guests during the summer camping season.  Camp Drake is looking to hire a licensed health care provider to guide the camp support system for emergency treatment, as well as day-to-day assistance to campers needing treatments.  The applicant is required to be at least 18 years of age.   Housing is provided at the First Aid Room for the employee to reside at Camp Drake each six day period of the camping season.  Please contact Camp Director Mike Graham at  for additional information about the position.
New Cub Scouts Shooting Sports Awards
Dennis Kampa, chairman of the National Camping School Task Force and author of BALOO training, says “Cub Scouts love awards”, and new shooting sports activities have them. The first level of the recognition is a shooting sports patch. The new program has four of those, so there is one for Tigers, one for Wolves, one for Bears and one for Webelos. And that’s earned by the level-one requirements which is basically just safe operation and a little bit about how to use it. And then from there, there’s another level of recognition.
“There’s a device for each discipline, so there would be one for BB guns, one for archery and one for slingshots, which would be worn on that patch, so kind of a two-step process. First the patch, and then as the Scout goes through the various disciplines there would be another pin that attaches to that patch as they master that skill as well.”.  The Prairielands Council will look to implement to the Shooting Sports awards as part of the Cub Camps throughout the council this summer.
Pinewood Derby
Let those cars roll!!  Don’t forget to put April 9, 2016 on your calendars – the Council Pinewood derby race.  For 2016 rules and regulations,  please check the Prairielands BSA council website or click here:
That’s right “Let the Games begins”!!!  Prairie Fire District along with Troop 103 is hosting for the first time a gaming Camporee!!!  Come test your skills against fellow Scouts/Scouters and take away a trophy and the “Win”!!!  this all will be held at Lodge Park in Monticello, IL. On April 15-17, 2016, for the very low cost of $13.00 per person, lunch in a bag will be provided on Saturday!  See the attached flier for more details or contact Eric Hawley.   See under upcoming events fliers.
Feb. 9:  Unit commissioner meeting at 6pm at the LDS Church on Windsor.  If you are unable to make the meeting, please either call Linda Atherton, or send her an update on your unit via email (
Feb. 9:  Prairie Fire roundtable.  7pm at the usual location (LDS Church on Windsor).  Boy Scout session on the changes in the newly released Boy Scout handbook.  Cub Scout session on Pinewood Derby, Spring recruitment and Summer activities.
Friends of Scouting Fundraising in February
The annual Friends of Scouting family fund-raising campaign will begin in February with unit presentations throughout the district.   The Friends of Scouting campaign is an important component in helping packs, troops, and crews to solicit funds for the Prairielands Council. The fifteen minute program highlights important mission of the Boy Scouts of America and reviews the need for financial support. Each unit is encouraged to schedule a presentation for their Scouting families this spring.
All Invited to North Fork Campout
Enjoy a relaxing weekend campout with 100 of your bestest Scouting buddies!  Fun Scouting events are planned for the North Fork Lodge near Danville.  The 2016 Many Trails Spring Camporee will be held on the weekend of May 20-22.   The campground has scenic trails, a wonderful fishing lake, and an excellent shooting sports area.  For more info, please contact Camporee facilitator Robert Sloan at
Klondike Correction
In the sports page of Challenge Events winners, the correct patrol to have the highest score at the TEXTING station of Kent McMahan was the  SCORPIONS PATROL  of Troop 157 of Cissna Park, IL.  Congratulations Scouts on your fine achievement.   Apologies for the error.   The activity involved semaphore flag messaging, of which Judge McMahan instructed the Scouts to “never semaphore flag signal while driving!”
Boy Scout Program Chair John Marquardt is encouraging all Prairielands Council troops to get Camp Hero Rip Studwell to visit their meeting for Camp Drake this spring.  A vital function of a quality troop program is a weeklong outdoor experience and a “Rip Studwell Night” will help prepare Scouts, families and leaders for the event.    After your troop sets up a date and location for Camp Drake, a special promotional program, a “Rip Studwell Night”, can be scheduled to excite the Scouts and inform the parents.  Mr. Marquardt has recruited helpful “FOAM FLYERS” to PREVIEW the summer fun.  Be sure to invite potential new members in addition to the fifth grade Webelos in your area.  Start planning now to get your troop ready for a great camp opportunity.
Pocket Folder of Cub Camping Wisdom
Each Cub Scout pack should have received their special “Pocket Folder of Cub Camping Wisdom” with all of the details and registration forms for each of the Cub Camps this summer.  If your pack does not have the details, please contact your district executive for your folder.  These information sheets will assist your pack in organizing efforts for the summer camps.
Camp Royalty in Blue and Gold
The thrills of ‘Medieval Times” will reign as a part of Cub Scout Adventure camp for the four-day, three-night excursion of outdoor games and special events. Cub Scouts and leaders live the Scouting life through a series of set programs followed by open program areas each afternoon. Extra emphasis will be focused on the archery and BB gun shooting sports, as well as aquatic activities at the swimming pool and boating area. Campers can bring their own camping gear, but tents and cots will be provided, as needed. See the Cub Scout Adventure Camp Leader Guide, also known as “The Lantern”, for added details.  The dates include: Blue session-July 6-9 or Gold session-July 24-27. 
Set your heading for Camp Robert Drake on Saturday, April 2, 2016 for all 5th graders and their guides for COMPASS DAY .  Members of the Camp Drake staff will conduct a camp wide orientation for boys, their families, and troop leaders new to the week-long camping outing.  Participants will travel throughout program areas of Camp Drake and experience an abbreviated version of a typical “Day in Camp”.    A Scout who participates in the COMPASS DAY will be awarded a compass as recognition of participation at the closing awards program after supper.  There is no fee for the program, but pre-registration is required to the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center for attendance by Wednesday, March 30th.
Camp Staff Openings
According to Program Director Parker Arnholt, a few summer camp positions are still open for the summer of 2016. Any Boy Scout who will be 14 years of age by June 1, 2016 can apply to serve as a Counselor-in-Training for two weeks of the summer.  The C.I.T. positions are great for older Scouts, who would like to be on the Camp Staff in the future.
Tool Time Work Days
Tool Time in the Prairielands Council means volunteers helping to improve your favorite Camp Drake. Each of the Saturdays will begin at 9:00 a.m.  A meal will be served at 12:15 on 3/19, 4/16, and 5/7.    If possible, each work team is encouraged to bring their own outdoor tools for brush clearing, raking, and/or tree trimming. 
Merit Badge Registration Open
Merit badge registration is open for Camp Drake 2016.   Get your Scouts online as soon as possible.  After your deposits are paid, get your code and get on your way! Go to
Arrowmen on the Prairie
All Illini Lodge members beware of the Spring Fellowship at Camp Drake on April 29 to May 1-30, 2016.  The weekend will be filled with fun events and inspiring ceremonies. Afternoon contests and games will be organized around a theme, The Spring Fellowship will also include brotherhood ceremonies, lodge leadership organization, and the last chance for the 2015 Ordeal candidates to complete their call-out.
Big Boots on Trail Tromp
Although Saturday, April 2 is the date for the 2016 Trail Tromp, there will be BIG BOOTS on the Onaquispasippi Trail that surrounds Camp Robert Drake.  Beginning at 9:00 am, trompers will enjoy the scenic beauty of the perimeter path alongside hikers of many abilities and age groups.  There is no cost or registration fee, but the trail patch and medal will be available for purchase.  Please check in at the Camp Drake Dining Hall for your official “Trail Tromp” map before heading out on the hike.
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