YES…that is Friday the 13th!!   The council deadline for unit rechartering is January 13, 2017 to complete the on-line membership process, collect the required signatures, and pay the necessary registration fees.   The BIG step in the process is to conduct a membership inventory within your unit to confirm the members and leaders. Use the details from the inventory to submit the membership retention into the on-line process.


Prairielands Training College

Prairielands Training College is set for Saturday, February 11 at The High School of St. Thomas More, 3901 N. Mattis, Champaign.  This outstanding and helpful training event is for adults age 18 and up.  Check-in starts at 7:30am and Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:30am and the Closing is at 4:30pm. The cost is $25 if registered by the deadline of 6pm on Monday, February 6th.

The 2017 PTC Catalog is available at:


2017 National Jamboree: A Once In A Lifetime Experience!

We are still looking for more Scouts to fill out the Prairielands Council Contingent.  Boy Scouts who are First Class and age 12 (or 11 and completed 6th grade) and under age 18  may attend. 

Venturers age 14 and up may attend with a crew from another council.  Call Steve Adams (217)531-0214 if interested.

See the attached flyer and sign up NOW!


The Outdoor Program

Please share the attached flyer with all Scouters in your council since they are all involved with the outdoor program. If the flyer has already been posted on your council web site, thank you.  If not, please have it posted right away.
The flyer has a link to our registration page.

Due to the growing popularity of our conference we have expanded it to two locations this year so more local council Scouters will be able to attend.  We will have subject experts from around the Region as well as from around the country at both conferences. Representatives from the BSA High Adventure Bases will also be on hand to share information about new program offerings.  Several of the leaders of National Task Forces will also be presenters at the conferences.  Your local Scouters will have a unique opportunity to talk personally with all these people in one location throughout the day.

Jump start your New Year by charging up your leaders when they attend one of the conferences.  We look forward to seeing your team in January!



 “Early Bird” discount expires in two weeks.  Do you have a Scout (age 14 or older and First Class or higher) or a Venturer who demonstrates leadership, but needs to improve his or her skills?  Would you like to see that “good Scout” become a “great Scout”?  Then get them signed up for National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) before the January 24, 2017 deadline (when the price goes up).  Offered over two weekends at Camp Drake (February 24-26 and March 10-12, 2017), NYLT is the premiere youth leadership development program.  Don’t delay, get your youth leadership signed up today!   For more information contact the Course Director, Jim Dieker at




Danville Hours

Your charter is due by Friday January 13, 2017.   Susan will be in the Danville office from noon-4 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017 to take your charters or help you with any questions.  Please stop by with your charter on Thursday.   Also, if you need anything brought to Danville, please call 217-531-0219 or e-mail by 6 p.m. on Wednesday January 11, 2017


Many Trails District Annual Business Meeting

The Annual Business Meeting of the Many Trails District will be held on Thursday, January 12 in Danville, beginning at 6:30 pm.  Please encourage your unit to send a representative to this 30 minute meeting.


Family Friends of Scouting Campaign

Each unit is asked to schedule a presentation during the winter months for their Scouting families. Please contact Mike Graham in the Danville Scout office (217) 531-0212





Pinewood Derby 101






IT’S BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER!  PINEWOOD 101.  Come bring your car kit and leave with a finished Pinewood Derby car.  It’s happening at the C U Woodshop at 1302 Parkland Ct in Champaign on Sunday January 22 from 11:00 – 3:00.


VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to make this a fun and successful event.  PLEASE contact Curt Ware if you are available to help in any capacity.  You can reach him at  or at 217-841-0445.  Lots of Cubs are counting on this event to make this a great Scouting memory.  A small amount of your time and your talent will go a long way in creating great memories for you and for the Scouts.



Tomorrow, Jan. 11, 2017 is the regularly scheduled unit commissioner meeting at 6pm and roundtable at 7pm AT A NEW LOCATION.  Both groups will be meeting at the Illinois Fire Services Institute on Gerty Dr, just north of Windsor Ave off of First St, turn just north of the Credit Union and go to the end of the road.


It’s not too soon to be planning for the Prairie Fire Spring Camporee.  This year’s event hosted by Troop 121 will be a take off of Amazing Race with games, skills, challenges scattered around in theme areas.  It should be great fun.  A more complete informational flyer with details will be available soon, but put the date on your unit calendar.  Friday – Sunday April 21-23.  We need help with ideas and running areas.  If you or your unit would be interested and willing to participate as an organizer for this event please contact either Frank Marquart at or Dan Baker at







TRAIL TROMP 2017  >>>Hike the Onaquispassippi Trail during Camp Drake’s Annual Trail Tromp

SHOOTING SPORTS CHALLENGE   >>>  Enjoy a fun shooting afternoon at the Shooting Sports area

ROCKET DAY   >>>   ALL Scouts will be able to launch rockets into the   Camp Drake skies


Klondike Pancake Breakfast

For the First time ever a Saturday Morning Breakfast will be served! Pancakes and Sausage! It is a free will donation style breakfast! Served from 7:30 AM till 8:30 AM .  All the overnight campers are encouraged to attend.   Plus the Saturday travelers have a good reason to show up early.   Warm your tummy for the big event. 


Summer Camp Staff

Summer camp staff interviews will be held February 11, 2017 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Champaign Scout office.  You will receive your interview time once you fill out your application.  Go to to fill out your application on line.   Applications close on January 31, 2017.




Cub Placemats Guide you to Camps

Packs from throughout our nine-county council can use the Cub Camp placemats to preview the outdoors and get ready for the warm summer fun of Cub Camping.  The info guide will navigate your path to Cub Camping fun this summer.  Pick up your Cub Camping placemats starting Feb. 1  to decorate your special meeting in February and March at the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center in Champaign or the Danville Scout office on the east side of the council. 


Arrow of Light Plaques for Highest Honor Cub Scouts

All Cub Scout pack leaders are encouraged to obtain colorful plaques displaying the name and year of the Arrow of Light recipients recognizing there achievement in earning the highest award in Cub Scouting.  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.   Contact Program Clerk Susan Coller at (217) 356-7291, ext. 6441  to obtain plaques for your honored Cub Scouts.




Summer Camp Fees

The change in the calendar to the new year means a “heads-up” are in order for your Scouting schedule. Please note  the initial deposit due on January 28, 2017 to provide a $10.00 discount to individual Scouts planning to attend this year’s summer camp of the Prairielands Council.   Please share these details with your Scout families as soon as possible.


Merit Badge Sign-Up for 2017 Camp Drake

When the $25 deposit per Scout is received at the Scout Service Center in Champaign, your troop contact person will be e-mailed a username and password to go on-line to sign up your troop for advancement sessions.  On February 1, 2017 on-line merit badge registration opens on our website.   Go to  for more details.


Klondike Derby Action List

The gear required to explore the POLAR BEAR JAM for the 2017 Klondike Derby has been distributed.  Look for the list to discover the events for the competition at the big event on Saturday, January 28, 2017 on the banks of the Salt Fork!




The Area 3 Venturing Conference is being held January 20-21 at Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church in Mt. Zion, Illinois. This is the perfect opportunity for youth, adults, and professionals to learn more about the Venturing program from the top experts in the region (and the nation!). Take classes like: advisor specific training, recruiting and retaining members, STEM-ifying your unit, Sea Scouting, summer trip planning, the Venturing awards program, and more!

Come out for just a day, or there are sleeping facilities available at the church! Food is provided. More information and registration is at: merit badge registration opens on our website.   Go to  for more details.




Klondike Service

In fine Klondike Derby tradition, lodge members have been asked to serve at the council winter challenge at Camp Robert Drake on January 28, 2017.  The lodge’s very own Vice-Chief of Activities Blayne Beeson will provide leadership to the lodge’s support of the largest single day event in the council.


Table Trophy for Top Troop 50 Villa Grove

At the Winter Banquet, Troop 50 from Villa Grove had the top total number in attendance of arrowmen and their guests with paid registration.  Accepting the award on behalf of the troop, Larry Van De Veer expressed his happiness for the award returning to its home in Douglas County. Troop 50 arrowmen were recognized for their Cheerful Spirit with a glamorous traveling treasure to display at their meeting place for the upcoming year.  Illini Lodge #55 has hosted a friendly competition between troops attending the 2017 Winter Banquet for several years as promotional encouragement for as many arrowmen and their guests to attend the annual new year’s feast.  The fabulous Table Top Trophy was presented as a part of the opening ceremony for the 2017 Winter Banquet at the Beef House in Covington, IN on January 7th, 2017.


Important Elections for Troops

Whether you plan to conduct the election on your own or bring in assistance from the council, 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. Under the Order of the Arrow link on the Prairielands Council website are the forms and procedures for the successful completion of troop/team elections in the lodge.  All troop/team leaders should review their materials to prepare for the election requirements.   Contact your OA leadership, if you need assistance in conducting the election in your troop/team.  Election consultants are ready to help your troop conduct a successful Order of the Arrow election.  



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.


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