Great Training at Camp Drake

Congratulations to Course Director Jim Dieker and the 2016 National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) course graduates. Thirty participants successfully completed the two weekend curriculum and are prepared to take on new life and Scouting challenges. Mr. Dieker has the distinction of earning his fourth bead as the director of the NYLT course—the first Scouter to do so in Prairielands Council!  Director Dieker was assisted by his exemplary cadre of youth and adult staffers. Delectable dishes were prepared and presented by superlative chefs Carol Lang and Tony Martin. Plans are already underway for NYLT 2017!



Get ready to rev those engines and show off some real cool cars this Saturday April 9th at the Council annual Pinewood Derby Race taking place at Judah Christian School in Champaign!  It’s not too late to sign up for the low cost of $6.00 dollar per car and we will have an “Open Race” for siblings, Scouters and those who just like to have fun!!  Come register at the Scout Shop anytime between 9:00-6:00pm or call Glenn at 531-3010.


Attention Boy Scouts Troops looking to meet their Service hour requirement for rank advancement and for those that just want to do a “Good Turn Daily”!  We have an awesome opportunity for you to be a part of the “Distinguished Citizen Award “ celebration on May 12th, 2016 at The Hangar in SavoyWhat we need are Boy Scouts (about 10-12) and 2-4 adult leaders to help supervise on May 11 about 5:00pm (day before the event that evening) to help sweep and mop the hanger that we will be using to honor Kyle & Phyllis Robeson.  The council will supply the materials needed all we need from you is your strong muscles and willing spirit!   Contact Senior District Executive Lovetta Ash-Simpson at 531-0217 or on or before April 15th please.  Oh and we will have pizza & drinks for you.



Day Camp, Day Camp and yes more Day Camp!!!!  This year we are having three different Day Camp themes in three different areas, but all Scouts can go to all three camps if they like!!  Camp Drake theme is “ Scouting in the Woodsunder the direction of Scout leader Kent McMahan, Urbana/Champaign  theme is “Scouting’s new STEM Program” being coordinated by Scout leaders Art Urban and Doug Robinson and last but certainly not least, Cub Day Camp in Tuscola with Dave Johnson and Jake Maestas as your leaders have lots of activities centers around “WATER & LUAU”!!  all three  camps will cost only $30.00 each to attend and all will have BB’s, Archery, cool crafts, and much more!!!!  So get out there and sell those candy bars and pay your way to all three camps!!  For more information contact Day Camp Advisor Lovetta Ash-Simpson at or call 217 531-0217.  For informational flyers and registration forms and Cub Camp coordinators’ guides go to  it is under the “summer camp” drop down menu.


Speaking of camps…  Camping Chair, Bob Bantz, is looking to have more accurate information about how many scouts are attending some form of camp this summer.  Watch for a form to complete at your district roundtable.  Or send the following information to Mr. Bantz (at 76 Piatt St. Mahomet, IL 61853 or call him at the end of summer at 217-377-7554):  Unit number and number of scouts in unit.  Number of Scouts attending  Day Camp, Number of Scouts attending Camp Drake for summer camp, Number of Scouts attending an out-of-council summer camp, and Number of Scouts attending a High Adventure Camp (even if it’s not a BSA camp).  Finally, since one scout may attend more than one summer camp experience, how many different scouts attended at least one summer camp (count only one camping experience for each scout for this answer).  Mr. Bantz is looking for the percentage of Scouts who attend at least one summer camping adventure.  This information will go a long way to helping us understand and then better provide camping experiences for all scouts.  It’s also a criteria for the Journey to Excellence worksheet.





April 13, 2016 is the date for the annual SUMMER KICKOFF!  Plan to attend the combined roundtable starting at 6:30 at the LDS Church.  There will be pizza, cookies and soda and an information packed meeting. Council calendars will be available.   Is there an event or program that you want to hear about?  Contact Linda Atherton ( and we can get it on the agenda.  Have an event or program that you want to promote, let Linda know about that as well.  The goal is to provide YOU with the information YOU want.  Note:  this is the last roundtable of the year.  The next roundtable is in August 2016 and is the FALL KICKOFF and popcorn orientation.  There will be no unit commissioner meeting in April.  Anyone who is free to come to the church at 6:00 and help set up would be greatly appreciated.



Our fabulous Friends of Scouting team is looking to finish up this year’s appeal.  Most of the packs in the district have had very successful campaigns.  We still need to schedule presentations for most troops in the district.  We need to have all Troops on the schedule in the very near future, SO BEFORE YOU FORGET THIS MESSAGE:  CALL LOVETTA ASH-SIMPSON (217-531-0217) OR EMAIL HER:  LOVETTA.ASH-SIMPSON@SCOUTING.ORG AND GIVE US THE BEST DATE FOR YOU TO HAVE THE TEAM COME AND MAKE A REALLY FUN JEOPARDY STYLE GAME PRESENTATION.  PLEASE EMAIL NOW.!!!!



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 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 HawleyIf you haven’t already, please sign up as soon as possible so that adequate facilities and food can be arranged.


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!!

Prairie Fire District Members.  Please mark your calendars.  The next district meeting will be Monday May 9, 2016 (not the first Monday of the month!!!) at the Illinois Fire Safety Institute on Gerty Dr.  Please note the date change and plan to attend.




Royal Buffet Kickoff

The annual program planning kickoff will distribute the new dates for Scouting at the Many Trails Roundtable for April.   District volunteers will provide the traditional delightful Scouting informational talks for your Scouting groups.  Outdoor opportunities will be previewed at the roundtable on the second Thursday of the month (4/14) at the Royal Buffet on the north side of Danville,   from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  The wide array of Cub Scout and Boy Scout camping options will highlight the presentations


May Camporee will be Warmer!

The 2016 Many Trails Spring camporee will be held on the weekend of May 20-22 where fun Scouting events are planned for the North Fork Lodge.  The campground has scenic trails, a wonderful fishing lake, and an excellent weather report.  Plan now to be part of the rewarding outdoor weekend.





The marksmanship Challenge had over 35 Cubs, Boy Scouts and Venturers participate in a very windy Spring Shooting Event.  The Cubs all earned the brand new Cub Scout Shooting Sports patch. They can now earn specialty pins for BB / Archery / Sling Shot to put on that pocket patch. The Shooting Sports Patch and Pins can also be earned at Day Camp, and Adventure Camp.  Boy Scouts and Venturers had the unique opportunity to shoot 4 classic military rifles. They were competing for Top 10 Shooting Sport Trophies. This special event highlighted rifle shooting available in Camp Drake's Trex program as well as Venturing High Power Rifle.

A big thank you to Prairielands Council Shooting Sports Committee members Wayne Frankie, Dave Atchley, Carson Lewis, Gary Fry and Tony Martin as well as brand new NRA Rifle Instructors Daniel Byrne, Jennifer Colclasure, George Colclasure, Rob Dailey, John Heebner and Derick Tharp.



The brave participants at this year’s Compass Day got a wide range look at Camp Drake and what it has to offer. The 5th graders participated in a wonderful nature walk, pedal car races, and even learned how to build a fire! The Scouts thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with Camp Staff! Laugher, cheering, and fabulous Camp Drake fun could be heard throughout the day from the boys. They ended with a fantastic archery shoot!



Although it was a cold and windy day, 55 determined hikers marched the Onaquispassippi Trail at Camp Drake for the Trail Tromp. Trompers included 5 packs, 6 troops and a crew.  Congratulations to these winners:

1. Carson W                Troop 55            Clone Trooper

2. Ian W                      Troop 101           Darth Vader Chocolate

3. Lawson P                Pack 25              Flash lite

4. Robin B                    Pack 98              Star Wars Tin

5. Jacob M                   Pack 119            Clone Trooper

6. Carter B                  Troop 157           Fishing pole

7. Lucas R                    Pack 55              Gift Card

8. Daniel U                  Troop 88             Gift card





Any Cub Scout signing up for Cub Scout Adventure camp can have a Camp Drake: Medical Times crown, courtesy of Illini Lodge 55. The Blue and Gold Knights are chasing the dragons of excitement along the banks of the Salt Fork River this summer!   HUZZAH!  The beautiful crowns will make any Cub Scout fell like royalty in the woods.  Ride the kayak around the Poncho moat.  Pick up your crown for each Cub Scout planning to attend a Cub Camp at the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center in Champaign.




Special Camp open to All Troops

Troop 158 of the Prairielands Council will be hosting a campout with the theme being a continuous flag retiring for the entire campout.  The campout will be April 29 to May 1, 2016. For registration/campout information please see our Facebook page at Troop 158 Campout. You can also call Kendra Warner 815-409-3134 or email for more info.




2016 CENTRAL REGION RENDEZVOUS                                           

The Central Region Rendezvous is open to all Sea Scouts, Venturers, Explorers, and Boy Scouts at least 14 years old.   The Rendezvous is May 21, 2016. Events begin at 9:00 AM on Saturday and the closing Bridge of Honor will conclude around 8:00. Come early on Saturday and eat breakfast.   The Rendezvous will be at Camp Illinek on Lake Springfield off of Iron Bridge Rd. To get to Camp Illinek take exit 90 (Toronto Rd) off of I-55.

Cost:                           $22 per person                         This includes 3 meals, a t-shirt, and program.

Camping Option:      $4/night includes tent camping field, modern restrooms, and meals.

What to Expect: Expect nothing less than a wet and wild weekend, we guarantee that there is no better way kick off your summer! Fun Awaits…

ï‚· Sailing Races and Sailing Instruction                     ï‚· Boating Triathlon

ï‚· Cardboard Canoe Races                                         ï‚· Paddle-less Canoe races

ï‚· Canoe Tug-of-War                                                  ï‚· Kayak & Canoe Races

ï‚· Water Games


If you no longer wish to receive future messages from Prairielands BSA, please unsubscribe here.