Lumberjack Patch!

Scouts and leaders are encouraged to 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.   For Scouts, a limited number of Lumberjack patches are available for their assistance. Please RSVP to  that you can help on this extra day of service for the Prairielands Council.


Camp Candy helps All

The Camp Candy Sale helps Scouts, their unit, and the council gear up for the summer season.  This quick and easy fundraising opportunity will begin on Friday, February 26th for any unit to help their youth attend summer camping programs.  Your involvement with the Camp Candy Sale provides a jump-start to the summer outdoor program.


CAMP CANDY HELPS THE YOUTH:  Easy selling candy bars raise funds for Scout camping fees. Weekly drawings provide $100 camp scholarships, outdoor equipment, and gift cards for campers to gear up for the summer.  All candy sales staff members become eligible for council campership funds for additional support for Scouts in need. 


CAMP CANDY HELPS THE UNIT:  Scouts who sell candy will make an earlier commitment to attend camp, leading your program preparation time.  More preparation means a better outdoor experience.  If more Scouts attend camp, the unit grows stronger through the additional involvement and rank advancement. 


CAMP CANDY HELPS THE COUNCIL:  A portion of the Camp Candy sales proceeds will support the overall council camping operations, helping to improve our outdoor facilities.   If financial need is not an obstacle, more Scouts will be able to attend summer camps, making the overall camping program a success.


Plan to sell caramel, almond and crunch chocolate bars, starting Friday, February 26th as the Camp Candy Sale kicks off in the Prairielands Council.  All Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers are urged to earn their way to a variety of summer outdoor experiences.  Pick up your cases of variety packs or all-one-kind at the candy headquarters in your district.


Candy Sale Rewards

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.  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.


National Jamboree Education

The Prairielands Council National Jamboree Committee is hosting an informational meeting regarding the 2017 event at the Summit in West Virginia.  All eligible Scouts and their parents are invited to learn more about the National Jamboree details.   The informational meeting will be on Sat, April 2 at 9:30 AM, at First United Methodist Church (210 W Church St, Champaign IL). Topics for the meeting include:  payment schedule, campership process and deadlines, fundraising opportunities, program overview, contingent schedule (future participant meetings, shakedown), and the contingent patch design. 


Trail Tromp on April 2th!

Blaze the trail through the woods at the annual Trail Tromp hiking day at Camp Robert Drake on April 2nd. The Trail Tromp hiking day is hosted by Illini Lodge of the Order of the Arrow for all Scouts and their friends and families.  Everyone has the option to purchase trail memorabilia, depending on their hiking efforts and service options.  No registration is needed, but plan now to march in April.


National Jamboree Scholarships

There is an opportunity to apply for a National Jamboree Campership online. Camperships are intended for youth with financial need. External fundraising is expected along with the campership. Parent submits campership, and it can't be changed after submission. The deadline is Sept 1 2016 and notification will be about Oct 1 2016. Awards are on a scale up to $975.






Fund Scouting

It is more important than ever to identify community members and friendly businesses that can financially support Scouting in the Prairielands Council.  Each community has Scouting supporters from the past who have lost touch with the current program.  Your assistance in locating these individuals, such as Eagle Scouts and their families or unit leaders from past years, can help restore a supporting connection to the BSA.  Each community in the district is conducting a Friends of Scouting fund-raising drive.  Your help in locating additional donors will build our financial development for our future.


Camporee for All!

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




District Committee Meeting:  Attention all PF District Committee Members.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend the quarterly district committee meeting.  Monday March 7 at 7:00pm at IFSI on Gerty Dr.


PF round table meeting:  Wednesday March 9 at 7:00pm at the LDS Church on Windsor.  Joint meeting this month with the theme of Scouting tracking programming and other technology issues relevant to Packs, Troops and Crews.  All are invited to come.


Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop Leaders,

We have started the annual Friends of Scouting drive and need you to call the scout office ( 531-0217) or email myself ( or Lovetta ( ) to help us schedule your Friends of Scouting visit.  The council needs your support because 20% of their budget comes from this event.  We have already had great responses from this new program, but we are far from reaching our goal.  The new format is a done in the context of a game show and will be fun for all ages.


There still may be more snow in our forecast but SPRING is right around the corner and with that it’s time to think about RECRUITMENT!!  It is time to start seriously planning on recruiting more members to your unit.  Get them familiar with your program and youth before that busy summer camp season.  Now is the time to start approaching those kindergarteners and inviting them to pack activities and events.  The can feel a part of your great program before the official signup date of June 1.  Each new Cub who joins still gets a Zebco fishing rod and reel.  Regional fishing activities are being planned to further that theme.  Each new Boy Scout who signs up (and the Boy Scout who recruited him) each receive an adult Zebco fishing rod and reel.  Please be in contact with your school(s) and arrange a date and time for the Spring Boy Talk, then CONTACT Lovetta with that information  (217-531-0217 or  There are recruiting strips that can be worn on the official uniform for recruiting a youth into the BSA.  (That includes you, too, Venturers).  Be creative and think of fun recruiting events.  Share your great ideas with us at the office!!


Are there any Scouts/Scouts Leaders available to help with one of the 12 points of the Scout Law of that being “HELPFUL” if so , I (Lovetta)  have the perfect service project for you.  Ms. Ella Ellzey is an elderly lady living alone that is in need of having her driveway and walkway shoveled when it snows (maybe tomorrow).  If you are available to help her, please call 217 353-1781, her address is:  1504 N. Ridgeway Ave, Champaign.  This is near Western Bowl. 






Color the Camp Drake Patch

Win a fabulous Camp Drake hoodie by creating the color scheme for the 2016 Camp Drake patch.  In addition, the winning youth will receive special recognition with a plaque with the actual patch used for the “Dare to Be Prepared” during their week of camp in 2016.  The winner will also be immortalized on the web pages of  for their artistic talents in patch colorization.  See attached.


Tools Needed for Camp Drake

Camp Drake would appreciate any hand or power tools for its workshop, garden tools for outdoor work, or recreational equipment that you no longer need.  Hand tools or power tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, saws, etc., help with the many mechanical requirements of camp maintenance.  Garden tools, like rakes, shovels, or weed whips, allow additional volunteers to complete projects on service days.  Any outdoor recreation equipment will be put to good use with the Scouts at summer camp.  From fishing rods and tackle to camping gear, from golfing supplies to boating equipment.  Please contact Mike Graham at the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center at 356-7291, x 6447  if you can provide a gift for Camp Drake. 


Important Summer Camp Program Updates

The 2016 Camp Drake administration is pleased to announce some important updates to our program for the summer! Click this link to see all the important updates: The updates are also posted on and We are excited to see you this summer! If you have any questions about any of the summer camp program please email Parker Arnholt at #DareToBePrepared




Arrow of Light Plaques and Arrow Kit Coupon

Illini Lodge of the Order of the Arrow has created an impressive framed certificate for all Arrow of Light recipients in the Prairielands Council to be presented at the time of the award ceremony.  This colorful plaque displays the name and year of the recipient recognizing there achievement in earning the highest award in Cub Scouting.  As an incentive to continue their Scouting path, the Brotherhood of Honor Campers (OA) is providing an arrow kit coupon to be used this summer.  The coupon will be good for a free arrow kit.  These new Boy Scouts will be able to enjoy the fabulous facilities at Camp Drake.  Contact OA Clerk Susan Coller at 217-531-0219    to order your ARROW package


COMPASS Day is April 2nd

An activity filled day for FIFTH GRADE Cub Scouts and their parents from throughout the council is held at Camp Drake this spring.  These newest Boy Scouts are invited to attend this special orientation, as well as their troop junior leaders and Scoutmasters. There is no fee for this event, but participants must use the registration form to reserve their attendance.  Experience a day of Camp Drake in action, months before opening day in June. 




Counselors-in-Training for Summer Camp

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. 




Elections for New Members

All troop/team leaders should review their Order of the Arrow materials to prepare for the election requirements.  Whether you plan to conduct the election on your own or bring in assistance from your lodge, it is important to designate the date of your election and announce it to the unit as early as possible.  Please inform your Scouts early about the date of your OA election, in order for Scouts with the 2nd Class rank to focus on completion of the eligibility requirements.  Contact your OA leadership, if you need assistance in conducting the election in your troop/team.


Troop or Team Representative

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.





Space  for Venturers 

The Prairielands Council National Jamboree Committee is looking for Venturers to attend the big event in 2017.  A special crew contingent is being organized for Venturers age 14-20 at the time of the event on July 17-28, 2017.  Held at the Summit in West Virginia, the National Jamboree will include programs such as rock climbing, cross-country mountain biking, ropes challenge courses, zip lines, and lake kayaking. The STEM Quest area will offer high-tech, state-of-the-art exhibits.


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