Bring a Buddy to Scouting

Every pack, troop, and crew is encouraged to host a fall recruiting rally in the near future.   Let your community know that Scouting welcomes new members throughout the year.  Encourage the current Scouts in your unit to bring a friend to enjoy the fun events.  Publicize your meeting times in your local media outlets, churches, and schools.  Many students miss the opportunity to join during the rush of the “back to school” season.


Key to Popcorn Sale Success and Safety

Informed parents are a vital role in conducting an organized fundraiser. The Prairielands Council Popcorn Sale is an important part of your child’s Scouting experience.  It provides necessary funding for all the great programs that your Scout enjoys from Prairielands Council and their unit.  Please assist your son in conducting a safe experience that will build his confidence when dealing with adults.  To make this year’s sale a success, we need your support.


  • Help your Scout set their goal and encourage them along the trail to success
  • Use the buddy system during the sale or find an adult to go with the sales team.
  • Make sure that your Scout gets the opportunity to sell to friends, neighbors and relatives.
  • Practice his sales pitch with him and review the product options.
  • Discuss security issues with handling money and never carry large amounts of cash

Announcing NYLT Youth Staff Interviews:

All past participants of NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training) are cordially invited to interview to be a member of the youth staff for the 2017 course.  Staff interviews will be conducted on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at St. Matthew’s Parish Center from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  St. Matthew’s is located at 1301 Lincolnshire Dr. (corner of Mayfair Rd. and Lincolnshire Dr.), Champaign, IL; the Parish Center is located between the Church and the School (which are all connected).  Look for the NYLT signs.


If you know of any past NYLT participants, please be sure that they are aware of this opportunity to serve on NYLT Staff.  If they would like to be on staff, but can’t make it on October 9th, please have them email Jim Dieker, 2017 NYLT Course Director, at and alternative arrangements will be made.


The Whitney M. Young Award Banquet is coming:  October 20th, 2016 at 6:30pm at the Round Barn Banquet Center hosted by the ScoutReach Committee to fundraise for the ScoutReach program.  Tickets are $75.00 for an individual or $500.00 for a table of 8.  Come out and enjoy an evening of music, great food, fellowship and an awesome speaker, Illini very own Dee Brown.  For more information contact Senior District Executive Lovetta Ash-Simpson at 217-531-0217 or the Scout shop 217-531-3010.  This is a great cause and a great event.  Come out and support our ScoutReach Committee and all the great work they do.




Many Trails District Committee Meeting

Youth membership will be the focus for the Many Trails District Committee Meeting Thursday, Oct. 13th  at the Hoopeston United Methodist Church.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm to discuss the fall recruiting season, as well as new unit organization.  The Many Trails District goal is to help packs, troops, and crews be successful in their mission.


Leader Orientation

All leaders are invited to the Many Trails Roundtable on November 10th  to discover the many support mechanisms within the local Scouting community.  The Many Trails District Roundtable will be an entertaining experience as Scouting leaders will be treated to training, activity info, fundraising details, and new BSA programs.  On the second Thursday of November, district leaders will present a variety of educational sessions for leaders, as well as updated materials on a variety of Scouting topics.  Each pack, troop, and crew is encouraged to bring a car load of leaders to share the information, fellowship, and training at the roundtable.




Upcoming events:  Prairie Fire Rocket Launch at Colbert Park in Savoy is October 15th, 2016 from 10:00am to 1:00pm.  This is a no charge event.  Bring your rockets and engines as Alex Valencic hosts a smoking good time for all.  As our supplies last (and yes we have more on order) they will be extra rockets and engines for sale at the site.  Rockets $3.50  Engines $1.50.


Roundtable Meeting next week Oct. 12th at the LDS Church, Champaign at 7:00 pm


Commissioner Meeting next week Oct. 12th at the LDS Church, Champaign at 6:00 pm



Membership recruitment is going strong.  Thank you to all the units who are really reaching out to youth in their areas to encourage them to join Scouting.  Please make sure you turn all your new applications in as soon as possible and pick up your new Rockets!!





Cub Scout Action at Pumpkin Day

The Smilin Pumpkin Outdoor Sports Fest is a great event for Cub Scouts to discover the fantastic activities at Camp Robert Drake. For a small $6.00 fee per person on Sunday, October 23, Cub Scouts and their families can enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities like archery, water bottle rockets, and pedal cars.  Spend the afternoon experiencing the fun of the fun aspects of Cub Scouting.


Registering for Smilin Pumpkin

Smilin Pumpkin will be held on Sunday October 23rd at Camp Robert Drake.   The cost is only $6.00 per participant.  Don’t miss out!  To register click here.   Also, if you want to avoid long delays at check in at the event click here to get the registration card.   Fill it out for each youth participant before you get there and your check in will go much faster.  See you in October!


Orange in October

Orange you glad the leaves are changing to that wonderful Illini hue?  October is Orange Tiger month as the newest Cub Scouts roll into high gear during their initial meetings of the fall.  All pack leaders should help their first year den to insure a good start to their rookie season.  Continue to recruit first year families to grow the Tiger Den to full strength.  Other possible Tiger tips include:

  • Ask boys to invite 1st grade classmates to bring additional friends into den
  • Encourage leaders to complete the on-line training courses
  • Facilitate acquisition of supplies such as Tiger book and uniform
  • Promote earning Bobcat badge in first month of joining the pack
  • Invite all families to enjoy the Smilin' Pumpkin Sports Fest for outdoor fun


Full Cub Scout Trading in Post at Camp Drake

Three more great reasons to attend the Smilin Pumpkin Outdoor Sports Fest at Camp Drake:

  1. The Trading Post will be selling Cub Scout uniforms and neckerchiefs
  2. The Trading Post will be selling Cub Scout books and patches
  3. The Trading Post will be open from 12:30 to 5:00 pm that day


That day is Sunday, October 23.   Visit Trading Post Genius Robert Sloan at the Camp Drake Trading Post at the Smilin Pumpkin.


Cub Camp Launch

Prairielands Council Program Jungle Explorer Parker Arnholt is prepared to declare a “Wilderness Safari Cub Camp Launch” to pronounce the details for the 2017 Cub Scout camping options.  The 30 minute info session will follow the Boy Scout Camp Launch on Saturday, December 10th, beginning at 11:00 am in Auditorium A.B.C. at Presence Covenant Medical Center, 1400 W.  Park, in Urbana.  For four days and three nights, a safari theme will discover the tents, trails, and forests of Cub Scout Adventure Camp “on the banks of the Salt Fork”.




Hazardous Trees Removed

A TALL THANK YOU to George Lambert, Dan Sloan, and Jim Kirkpatrick for their woodchopping talents! The timber crew took the risky tops off of three hazardous Locust trees leaning towards Hartwell Howard cabin. The tree has previously caused damage to the Training Committee storage shed neat the Maintenance Building.  Thank you for your service to Camp Drake!



A pizza lunch will be served following the training for all volunteer Scouts and Scouters able to help guide Cub Scout shooters at the Smilin’ Pumpkin event from 1:00 until 4:00 pm.  Prairielands Council Shooting Sports chair Anthony B. Martin will be conducting a training session for Cub Scouts shooting sports instructors on October 23 from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm noon.  The training will review shooting safety procedures to allow qualifying individuals to conduct shooting sports area programs for council and district Cub Scout events.


Wood-chopping thanks

Camp Drake is grateful to the fabulous volunteer crew that helped with the wood cutting duties throughout the facility.  A few enormous dead trees were cut down and cut for firewood for the winter cabins.  A strong splitting crew made the logs just the right size for the wood stoves.   Thanks to all the adult volunteers for their efforts last Saturday.  Special thanks to Troop 224 and Scout Thomas Welch for their service to make Camp Drake a better place.




Lodge Leadership Development

Illini Lodge invites all Arrowmen to attend the annual leadership seminar to provide instruction on management techniques and Order of the Arrow operations.  The Lodge Leadership Development will be conducted on Sunday, November 13th .Topics for this session will review leadership styles, effective communications, and the committee structure of Illini Lodge.  All Arrowmen, both youth and adult, are encouraged to participate in this lodge-building activity.  Plan to prepare for additional Cheerful Brotherhoodlyness.


Save the Date for Beef and Rolls

The most joyous event for Illini Lodge #55 occurs during the most joyous time of year.  The 2017 Order of the Arrow Winter Banquet will take place at the Beef House in Covington, IN on Saturday, January 7th  to celebrate the year of brotherhood, service, and leadership. 





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