Congratulations to this year's Silver Beaver Award Recipients! They are Mike Potts (Champaign, IL), Randy Kangas (Champaign, IL), Dustin Boyer (Arcola, IL), and Matt Crawford (Monticello, IL). The Silver Beaver award is the highest honor that a council can bestow upon a volunteer for a lifetime of service and dedication to Scouting. This year's recipients will be recognized at the 2016 Adult Leadership Celebration on Sunday, November 6 at 4:00 p.m. at the Carle Forum in Urbana. Register today to join us as we recognize the contributions of these four very special Scouters!


Go to for registration form.


The Next Season of Scouting

Every sports season has a cycle from beginning to end in a period of months.  The Scouting season is a year round timeframe, with just different programs during the different times of the year.  Take time now to invite new members that are available to join after the fall sports season.  Scouting can offer fun events to families all around the calendar.   Publicize your meeting timers in your local media outlets, churches, and schools. 


Earn Special “Fill It Up” Patch

Any popcorn seller who completely fills up the spots on the Take Order sheet will receive a special edition patch.  As part of the High Achievers program from the Campmasters Popcorn Company,  Scouts can earn an exclusive CAMPMASTERS FUL-FILLED emblem for their uniform.    Popcorn is the official snack food of the State of Illinois!


Military Donations

 If you have not contacted your area American Legion or V.F.W. Post, look up these groups in your community.  They have traditionally been great supporters of Scouting.  Campmasters Popcorn, working with the Prairielands Council will continue a great program for the fall sale. Consumers are able to make a purchase of popcorn for donation to military personnel, using a standard order form.  The form includes columns that give consumers the option of buying popcorn for the troops at two price levels.


Upcoming dates!!  Mark those calendars!!


Thursday Oct. 20, 2016:  Whitney M. Young Awards Banquet to support ScoutReach.  Honoring for their service and dedication:  Dr. Barbara Gillespie, Mr. James Ayers, Mr. David Hood, and Mr. Curt Ware.  For more information contact Lovetta Ash-Simpson at 217-531-0217.


Saturday November 5, 2016  Woodbadge Rendezvous.  Cost $20 per person and an opportunity to enrich your critter memorabilia collection.  All proceeds benefit scholarship programs to send your adult to Wood Badge.


Sunday November 6, 2016:  Council Volunteer Leadership Celebration honoring District Award of Merit recipients and Silver Beaver recipients amongst other excitement.  Location:  The Carle Forum.  Doors open at 4:00 and program starts at 4:15 followed by hors d’oeuvre reception.  Cost:  $15.00 per person.  Deadline to register; Fri. Oct. 28.  For more information contact Sharon Kirk at 217-531-0218.


Training:  POST   Prairielands One Stop Training offering Youth Protection training, Den Chief training, Boy Scout Leader Specific Training and Den Leader training.  Saturday Oct. 29, 2016.  Sign up online at or complete form at the Scout Office.  No charge, but preregistration is required.




November Roundtable in Danville

All leaders are invited to the Many Trails Roundtable on November 10th to various aspects of the Scouting program.   The Many Trails District Roundtable will be an entertaining experience  at 6:30 pm, and Scouting leaders will be treated to training, activity info, camping details, and  BSA programs.  On the second Thursday of November the featured presentations will start at 7:00.  Final comments and prize give-a-ways will conclude the meeting by 8:00.  Each pack, troop, and crew is encouraged to bring a car load of leaders to share the information and fellowship at the roundtable.


Live Training for Youth Protection Class

For any Scouting volunteer looking to learn about Youth Protection policies of the Boy Scouts of America, a 45 minute class will be held on Thursday, November 10th in Danville, beginning at 7:00 pm.   This required training course is open to all adult Scouting participants at no charge.  It is similar to the on-line training session that is available at  Please help promote the training session to all other leaders in your unit.  This training session, either on-line or in-person is required for all volunteers who plan to be registered on a unit charter in 2017.




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. If we get the rockets we ordered back in September in to the office there will be extra rockets and engines for sale at the site.  Rockets $3.50  Engines $1.50.  We have 200 on order.


Roundtable Meeting next week Oct. 12th at the LDS Church, Champaign at 7:00 pm.  Council President, Kyle Kietzmann and Scout Executive, Steve Adams will be there with an update on the current state of the Provisional Charter and to answer questions. 


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!!  Believe it or not we will soon begin preparing your re-charter packets and rosters and it is MUCH easier to get your Scouts into ScoutNet and internet re-chartering BEFORE the rosters are printed in November.




Tips for the Smilin’ Pumpkin Sports Fest

This is a great first time event for Cub Scouts and their families to enjoy their outdoors and discover Camp Drake.  Dress appropriately for the weather and be prepared to walk the various trails to the fun events.


Please be aware that the approximate attendance is 300+ Cub Scouts and family, so there will be some lines for activities, but that is why there are 4 different shooting ranges.


The check-in process can be quicker if your Pumpkin Participants have their Smilin ’Pumpkin Registration Cards filled out before you get into the check-in line in the Dining Hall.   Please enter at the south end (nearest the parking lot) of the Dining Hall.  Check-in goes even faster if you are pre-paid by Friday, Oct. 21.


The Trading Post will be open from 1:00 to 4:00 pm with Camp Drake souvenirs, Cub Scout supplies, and snacks.  Cub Scout uniforms, books, and other Scout Shop items will be available.


Nature Fun at Smilin’ Pumpkin

One fantastic feature for the 2016 Smilin Pumpkin Outdoor Sports Fest will be fun of nature exhibits.  Talented naturalists will be presenting educational info on the wildlife around Camp Drake. The crawly creatures will be visible at the SPIDER SHELTER, on the east side of the main parking lot in central camp.   Mark Sunday, October 23rd  on your Scouting calendar for a great afternoon “on the banks of the Salt Fork!”


Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award

The Smilin Pumpkin Outdoor Sports Fest is a tremendous event for the promotion of blue and gold adventures.  Many of the requirements for the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award are introduced, and several are completed by participating in the events.  Although the weather will start getting colder, the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award can still encourage nature observation, conservation projects, and visits to an area park.  The Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award can be earned multiple times for each year of your activities in the pack.


Smilin’ Pumpkin Camping

The last weekend of October is typically one of the last good weekends of the year for decent camping weather…especially when Cub Scouts are involved. There are still cabins and campsites available at Camp Drake for rent for the weekend of Oct. 21-23.  Take advantage of having a home base for the big Smilin’ Pumpkin Outdoor Shooting Sports Fest. 


Cub Scout Adventure Camps promoted at Camp Launch

Due to the large scale magnitude of safari activity plans for the Camp Drake 2017 Cub Scout Camping season,   a room of increased acreage has been discovered for the festivities of the official Cub Adventure Camp Launch on Saturday, December 10th, 2016.  The Illini Lodge Camp Promotions Team will host the event at the Presence Covenant Medical Center, 1400 W. Park St.  in Urbana.  The jungle camp adventures will be so magnificent that the Camp Launch will be conducted in Auditorium A, B, and C on the first floor of the facility.  The special program will begin at 11:00 am. All key Cub Scouting leaders are encouraged to attend the Cub Adventure Camp Launch for summertime information such as program highlights, administrative details, and promotional materials for your Cub Scouts.




BB Training Prior to Smilin Pumpkin

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.  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. 


Boy Scout Recruiting

Recruiting patches are available for Boy Scouts who bring a friend to join the troop.  As students have moved into a new grade in their school, new activities are appealing as young men grow.  Remember to offer joining options for the middle school boys in your communities.




Committee Involvement

The OA operations of Illini Lodge depend on a wide variety of committees to complete the plethora of duties set each year.  Each lodge committee is led by a youth chair and an adult advisor who are responsible for their area of expertise in the lodge.  In order for all of the goals of the lodge to be accomplished each year, many Arrowmen are needed to assist with the important tasks.   Committees include:

            Ordeal                        Health & Safety                      Lodge Service

            Activities                     Camp Promotions                   Communications

            Ceremonies                 Brotherhood                            Leadership Development

            OnaQ Trail                  Cub Relations                         National Events

Opportunities to join a committee will be presented at the Fall Pow Wow in October. 


Shooting Event Looking for OA Staff

The day at Camp Drake starts with a tasty pizza lunch, followed by program support for nearly 300 Cub Scouts and their families as shooting sports ranges are set up throughout the camp facility.  Arrowmen of all sizes are needed to help with archery, slingshots, bb guns, bicycling, pedal car races, sports events, and much more.  Please plan to help on Sunday, October 23rd from noon until 5:00 pm at Camp Drake.  These service hours can count towards rank requirements in your troop.


Fall Pow Wow

The OA Fall Pow Wow is the weekend at Camp Drake.  Come out and join in the fun!   If you haven't done your Ordeal or Brotherhood yet, now would be the perfect time to do it.

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