Prairielands Council Updates

YMCA Scout Swimming Registration Form

This is a great opportunity that is being provided by the Stephens Family YMCA. What we have are 8 different Monday's with 2 time slots for the lessons and advancement workshops. You can take lessons from 4PM to 4:45PM or from 5PM to 5:45PM. Due to Covid restrictions, the YMCA can only accommodate 6 Scouts in each session for a total of 12 Scouts each Monday.

Please be Scout Like and allow opportunities for all Scouts to attend before signing up for multiple sessions. The sessions are in a drop down below. If you do not see a date or time frame, that means that that particular date and time is at capacity. We hope to be able to offer more of these sessions in the future as the YMCA allows!


Please sign up here:


2020 Whitney M. Young Ceremony


The Prairielands Council presents our Whitney M. Young Dinner, bi-annually to honor community leaders who advocate for creating opportunities for minorities to experience the Scouting program. This year's recipients are Dr. Marietta Turner, Mr. Peter McFarland, Drs. Linda and Larry Atherton, and Mr. Kyle Kietzmann.

We would like to thank our Major Sponsors:  Busey, Cimtek, The Atherton Family, Shapland Land Management, Martin Hood, Bell Helmets, The Hood Family, The Knight Family, The Kangas Family, The Kuchenbrod Family, and The Schroeder Family.

Without the generous sponsors, we would not be able to carry out the mission of Scouting. Thank you very much for your support!


  Shapland Land Management

The Atherton Family  The Hood Family  The Knight Family

The Kangas Family  The Kuchenbrod Family  The Schroeder Family





Prairielands Council Summer Hours

During the months of June 2020 and July 2020, the Lee Service Center will be open Monday through Thursday from 8AM to 5PM.  The service center will be closed on Friday's.  If you need to make an appointment on a Friday, reach out to anyone on our staff and they can help you!


Summer Camp Closure Statement

Monday, May 11, 2020


Since 1932 Camp Robert Drake has been a place where you could hear youthful voices having fun, while the values of Scouting are being instilled.  The Prairielands Council has been working very hard to see if there was a path that would allow us to hold Scouts BSA Resident Camp and Cub Adventure Camp in June and July at Camp Drake. The Prairielands Council Board and Staff continually puts the health and well-being of our Scouts and Leaders first.  Based on the aforementioned statement, CDC Guidelines, the State of Illinois Recovery Plan, and other regulations and requirements related to COVID-19, it is just not feasible for us to hold our traditional summer camping programs this year.


Therefore, we are making the difficult decision to cancel our traditional Summer programs at Camp Robert Drake for 2020. As a result, we will be refunding money collected for this year’s summer camp.  We will plan to send refunds out around June 1st.


Additionally, our Cub Scout Day Camps in June and July are hereby cancelled. We hope to be able to re-schedule them as a day events or Twilight Camps in August or this Fall. We will keep you posted regarding Day Camps as we move forward.


We are hopeful that we might be able to allow units and individual families to reserve campsites later this summer for primitive camping, while practicing social distancing. Our Camping Committee, advised by Mike Graham, Senior District Executive are working together to see if we can possibly provide some limited programs at camp for our Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA members. Please be patient as we are working on these programs and should be rolling them out shortly.


In my 27 years of being a part of this great program, I never would have thought we would have no summer program. I have prayed that there would be a way to allow us to open camp this year. Currently there is not one!  I am sorry for what this means to our Scouts and Scout Leaders.  I am very grateful to all of you for all you are doing to remain active in Scouting during these trying times!

I know there are many questions with this closure, please see the attached FAQ’s.

May God bless you all and keep you and your loved ones safe in these difficult times.


Yours in Scouting,

Jared White
Scout Executive


Scout Shop & Service Center Holiday Hours

November 25-26 open from 9am - 6pm

November 27 open from 9am - 2pm

All Council Facilities are closed on Thanksgiving, November 28 and on November 29. 

All Council Facilities will reopen on Monday, December 2 at 9am. 



2019 Cub Scout Blue Advancement Uploaded

The 2019 Cub Scout Blue Advancement Sheet with all requirements completed at camp can be found by going to the following link: and clicking on "2019 Cub Blue Advancement"


2019 Fighting Illini Scout Camporee

The 2019 Fighting Illini Scout Camporee will be held on Saturday September 14! 

Check out for more information! 


Illinois Free Fishing Day



Council Facilities Closed 4/19

Council Service Center Closed

All Council Facilities will be closed on April 19, 2019. All facilities will reopen on Monday, April 22 at 9 am.


Prairielands on Penny for Your Thoughts

Our very own Scout Executive, Jared White, along side our Council President Randy Kangas and Vice President Gabrielle Martin we’re on WDWS Penny for Your Thoughts! Check out the podcast below! 


2019 Campership Form Available

The 2019 Campership Request form is available on our Summer Camp tab, as well as by clicking HERE.


OA Troop Visit Training



February 10, 2019 is our annual Troop Visit Training (TVT). This is a spectacular event put on our by Troop Visit Chairman and Vice Chief of Administration to teach you about how to effectively perform a troop visit. It starts at 3 PM and will be at the Illinois Fire Service Institute in Champaign, IL.

Following TVT will be our monthly lodge meeting informing you on all the upcoming opportunities within the lodge.


Attend and take your first step to becoming an active arrowmen!!


Council Facilities Closed Jan 30

Due to the inclement weather tomorrow and dangerously cold temperatures all Council Facilities will be closed on Wednesday, January 30 2019. The Robeson Scout Shop & Raymond Lee Scout Service Center will re-open on Thursday, January 31 at 9am. Stay warm!



Klondike Information

Registration Information

On Time Fee: $15 per Scout if paid before  Thursday January 24th 2019

Late Fee: $20 per Scout on or after January 24th 2019

Cub Scout Fee: $0 if attending with a Troop


Registration can be done by going to or going to  and clicking on “Tentaroo Online Registration” All fees are non-refundable.


Campsite Reservations

All campsites are on a first come first serve and may be reserved at the Scout Office by calling Susan Coller at 217-531-0219 or emailing at



Please be careful on the township roads that can be very slick on your way to camp.   The western option (Camp Drake Road) is usually okay on the hills but tricky on the sharp turns.  A better option is the straight and flat road to the south from Camp Drake, turning off of the Catlin-Homer Road.  Upon arrival at Camp Drake, please check in at the Training Center for up to date news on the Klondike operations.



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. 


Klondike Derby Action List

The gear required to explore the 2019 Klondike Derby has been distributed.  .  Look for the list on the website to help solve the events for the competition at the big challenge on Saturday, January 26, 2019 on the banks of the Salt Fork!


Klondike Dutch Oven Chili Cook Off

Open to all Units camping Out Saturday Night of the Klondike Derby.  Please bring your Chili in your Dutch Oven to the Mess Hall at 6:30 PM .  A decorated  Panel of Judges will decide the winner.  THE UNIT CHOSEN AS THE WINNERS GETS A BRAND NEW DUTCH OVEN !


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 26, 2019.  The lodge’s very own Vice-Chief of Activities Sam Hoogstraat will provide leadership to the lodge’s support of the largest single day event in the council


Klondike Derby Sled Race

As the starter yells “GO!” , the reins are tighten and the sled jump forward, racing down the plateau in a flying fury of boots, gloves, and snow.  The annual Klondike Derby sled race is the greatest sporting competition of the Prairielands Council winter event.  Don’t miss the Klondike fun at Camp Drake on Saturday, January 26. 


Pan of Gold Trophy

The patrol with the highest score at the Prairielands Council Klondike Derby is awarded the “Pan of Gold Trophy”, an actual gold miner’s pan, marked with the history of the past winning patrols through the years.  It takes quality leadership, strong teamwork, plus excellent Scouting skills and knowledge to earn the top honors amongst the 50 other Scouting patrols competing in the event.    The young men who earn the “Pan of Gold Trophy” exhibit the best talents for winter preparedness, complicated problem-solving, and team spirit.



If you think the Lombardi Trophy is the ultimate prize in all of sport, then you are sadly mistaken.   The Yukon Jack Plaque is the most coveted honor in the sporting field, awarded to the fasted sled racing team at the Prairielands Council’s annual Klondike Derby.  On the Camp Drake plateau, see the race on Saturday, Jan. 26, on the field where legends get trampled.


Platinum Award for Troops

The Program Wing of the Prairielands Council Camping Committee is planning to reward troops and their leadership in the recruiting and registering of Camp Drake campers in 2019.  The PLATINUM AWARD will recognize troop leadership in encouraging an increased level of summer camp attendance.  The goal for each troop is to increase the attendance level of Boy Scouts at Camp Drake in 2019.   Each troop will receive a personalized goal for their troop’s attendance at summer camp “on the banks of the Salt Fork”.  



The 2019 Golden Camp Cups will be handed out to all Scouts planning to attend week-long resident camp this summer.  Bring your Golden Camp Cup to the banks of the Salt Fork in June or July to receive surprises inside your vessel.   Contact Illini Lodge to join the cup craze!


Summer Previewed at Klondike Derby

During the PENGUIN MARCH excursion at the Klondike Derby, Boy Scout program highlights will be featured for Camp Drake 2019.  Illini arrowmen will be serving up summer camp program information, along with a special feature on activities.  This sneak peek into the 2019 summer   will offer advancement details, Vermilion TreX options, and mighty night highlights.


Camp Staff Interviews

Any registered Scout, older than age 14 on June 1, 2019, can apply to be a Counselor in Training. Camp Robert Drake is looking for energetic youth to serve as future paid counselors to learn the duties during the 2019 summer. Interviews are scheduled for this Saturday at the Klondike Derby.  E-mail at  to RSVP


Klondike Press Release




For additional information, contact Camp Director Mike Graham at the Prairielands Council Service Center, 356-7291 ext. 6441 in Champaign/ 427-5243 at Camp Drake or TEXT to  841-1464.




The annual winter challenge is slated for Camp Robert Drake on Saturday, January 26 near Oakwood.  Just like the artic conditions of Alaska, Boy Scouts will travel via snow sleds with their survival gear attached for a series of cold-weather challenges.   The Klondike Debry competition is the ultimate winter sporting event including contests of strength, speed, and outdoor techniques.   Scout patrols will be tested on survival shelter making, lashing rescue gear, and fire building in freezing conditions.  The Klondike Derby is an amazing team-building experience for boys in grades 6 to 12.


Scout patrols from over 40 troops from Illinois and Indiana will converge on Camp Drake.  Several of the troops will have camped overnight in tents in the winter weather. Following the opening flag ceremony at 9:00 am, each group of 6 to 8 Scouts (a patrol) will traverse the ice and snow across the prosty terrain to contests of skill throughout the camp.  The skill competitions judge each patrol on teamwork, Scout spirit, and skill level.  Twelve contests are spread across the 410-acre camp, involving this year's adventure theme of “PENGUIN MARCH”. 


The grand finale, following the skills competition, is the championship sled race. At the end of the day, all of the patrols and their sleds are lined up on the large plateau field.  Upon the signal, Scouts pull their sled like a team of huskies, sliding across the snow as fast as possible.  The “Yukon Jack” trophy is presented to the winning patrol at the Klondike Derby. 


All of the Scouts enjoy the Klondike Derby's activities and ceremonies, making it year after year, the largest single day Scouting event of the Prairielands Council.  Over 375 Scouts and leaders from throughout the 9 county council are expected for the highlight event of the winter.  Klondike Chairman Kris Hoogstraat of Ashkum has recruited over sixty volunteer staff members to conduct the event. 





OA News From Winter Banquet

Founders Award to Honor Arrowmen

One of the highlight moments of the 2019 Illini Lodge Winter Banquet was the acknowledgement of the long term Order of the Arrow efforts of Kacey Clarkston Troop 234 in Westville  and Bobby Butler of Troop 25 in Mahomet.  Both Arrowmen have been active in Illini Lodge events and service throughout their Scouting careers.   The Founder’s Award is a national OA honor in remembrance of E. Urner Goodman, who started the Brotherhood of Cheerful Service in 1915.    Congratulations Bobby and Kacy!


Exclusive Illini Lodge Honor

Each year at the Illini Lodge Winter Banquet, dedicated Arrowmen are distinguished with the Ken Frederick Award.  This honor was created in commemoration of a dedicated Scouter and Arrowman from Troop 55 in Tolono.  The award is presented to youth and adult arrowmen for their hard work for the lodge during the past year.  The recipients of the Ken Frederick Award are Kenny Clarkston of Troop 234 in Westville and Kent McMahan of Troop 32 in Paxton.


New Lodge Chief and Officers Inducted for 2019

The pinnacle spectacle of the 2019 Illini Lodge Winter banquet was the induction of new Lodge Chief Ben Hoogstraat .   Using the long-standing chief confirmation ceremony, Ben accepted the responsibilities for the lodge operations for 2019 as he accepted the tomahawk and pipe.  The new chief then inducted the officers for the upcoming year:   Ryan Henderson as the Vice- Chief of Administration,  Sam Hoogstraat as the Vice- Chief of Activities, Kyle McGregor as the Vice- Chief of Inductions , Clayton McConnell as the Lodge Secretary, and Ethan Richards as the Lodge Treasurer.  Best wishes for the new chief and the officers for a great year in the Brotherhood of Cheerful Service.


Trophy for Top O.A. Troop

Congratulations to Troop 25 of Mahomet, IL for earning the 2019 Illini Lodge Table Top Trophy.   Troop 25 had the top total number of arrowmen and their guests with paid registration by noon on Friday, January 4, 2019. The runner – up units were Troop 234 of Westville and Troop 158 of Clifton.  The honor of the fabulous Table Top Trophy was announced at the 2018 Winter Banquet at the Beef House in Covington, IN on January 6th, 2018.


Lodge Donates $1,000 to Prairielands Council

Illini Lodge contributed $1,000 to the Prairielands Council Endowment Fund at the Order of the Arrow Winter Banquet at the Beef House in Covington, IN on January 6th, 2018.   The Brotherhood of Cheerful Service presented a James E. West Fellowship to Philip Wachter, in honor of his servant leadership to Scouting. In addition to recognizing Philip for his service to the lodge and Camp Drake,   the donation to the Endowment Fund will support the council with long-term financial support.




YPT Last In Person Chance


Still need Youth Protection training? Don't want the hassle of doing it online? Come on out to Illinois Fire Service Institute tomorrow, Wednesday January 8, 2019 at 6pm for the last youth protection in person training before recharters are due! The training will be during the Prairie Fire District Commissioner meeting and will finish around 7:30 to allow those leaders to attend the roundtable. RSVP to or just show up!


Question about whether you have YPT? Email or call us at or 217-356-7291. 


NFL Player to Speak at Winter Banquet


PRESS RELEASE                                                                  


For additional information, contact Staff Advisor Mike Graham at the Prairielands Council Service Center, 356-7291 ext. 6441 in Champaign/ 427-5243 at Camp Drake or TEXT to  841-1464.


NFL Player to Speak at Winter Banquet

Former Chicago Bears defensive star Al Harris will provide the keynote speech at the 2019 Illini Lodge Winter Banquet on January 5th.   During the great years of the 1980’s Bears defense, Al Harris helped make his team into a championship caliber club. As a defensive end and linebacker for the “Monsters of the Midway”, Al Harris had over twenty quarterback sacks during his 12 career in the National Football League.  As a consensus All American defensive end at Arizona State University, Al Harris began his professional career as a first round draft pick (ninth overall) of the Chicago Bears in 1979.     Mr. Harris will speak on his experiences in professional football, as well as the importance of leadership and teamwork in our daily lives.


Illini Lodge of the Order of the Arrow is excited to hear details of leadership skills at the highest level of professional sports.   The Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society within the Boy Scouts of America.  Upon achievement of the First Class rank in their Scout troop, youth are eligible to be elected by their peers to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow lodge.  Lodge members, known as Arrowmen, serve the local Scouting council, Scout camp, and the community by leading district events and service projects.  There are over 450 arrowmen in Illini Lodge of the Prairielands Council, headquartered out of Champaign, IL. 


The annual Winter Banquet is a celebration of the achievements of the past year for Illini Lodge.  Exceptional youth leaders are recognized for their dedication to Scouting and to their community.  The 2019 Illini Lodge Winter banquet will be held Saturday, January 5th, at the Beef House in Covington, IN, beginning at 12:00 noon  (IL time)











Service to Council

Two or three Scouters are needed to assist the Prairielands Council with the year-end inventory count.   On Thursday, December 27, volunteers and staff will count all of the merchandise for the Robeson Scout Shop in preparation of the year-end audit.  Beginning at 9:00 at the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center, the project should be completed by mid-afternoon, if enough volunteers participate.  Lunch will be provided to all counters. 


If yo uare able to volunteer please call 217-356-7291 or email us at


Special Council Announcement

To: Prairielands Council Volunteers

From: Prairielands Council BSA


By now many of you may have seen the articles in the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets regarding the Boy Scouts of America weighing filing for bankruptcy. I want to take this opportunity to clarify some key points and also reassure you that this is a national BSA Charter issue, and does not involve Prairielands Council.


First, let me clarify that the articles referred to are speculative in nature and no decisions have been made nor are any imminent.  As we understand it, national BSA has not filed for bankruptcy.  Furthermore, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is often a financial restructuring, not a liquidation. I believe the future of the Boy Scouts of America remains bright.


In reality, the national BSA has had a Task Force in place for over two years that has been evaluating how best to effectively deal with handling claims to our general liability insurance fund, many of which go back 30, 40, even 50 years, while fairly compensating victims who suffered abuse through their Scouting participation.


The Prairielands Council, BSA is an independent not for profit corporation chartered in the state of Illinois. We have our own budgets and assets, locally managed and wholly owned. Dollars given locally, stay local. Through the generosity of generations of supporters, we own our own camp, offices, and investments and manage them through our own local board of directors.


Let me further assure you that the Boy Scouts of America has always been at the forefront of protecting children from abuse and providing a safe environment for our life-changing programs.


Everyone cares deeply about all victims of child sex abuse and are steadfast in our deep belief that even one incident of child abuse is one too many, and at no time in our history have we knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth. We always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.


Should you have any concerns about the health of the BSA, our youth protection policies, or Prairielands Council, please contact the Scout Office and we will be responsive to your inquiry.


It is our sincere hope that the national organization can effectively navigate through the murky waters that many other organizations face in today’s environment.


Thank you for your continued enthusiastic involvement in Scouting programs and Prairielands Council.  Your efforts make a difference both now and in the future.



Randall Kangas                                                           

Prairielands Council President                                   


Jared White

Prairielands Council Scout Executive


Scout Shop Phone Number: 217-356-7291



New Scout Executive Named

To: Prairielands Council Staff and Volunteers

From: Prairielands Council BSA

Subject: New Scout Executive Named



We are pleased to announce the selection of Jared White as Scout Executive of the Prairielands Council, headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, effective January 16, 2019.


Jared began his Scouting career as a District Executive for the Greater St. Louis Area Council in St. Louis, Missouri.  He later served as a Senior District Executive, District Director, and Field Director within the Greater St. Louis Area Council.  He currently serves as the Assistant Director of Field Service for the Greater St. Louis Area Council.


Jared is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow who enjoys working outside, completing home improvement projects, and working on his project car.

Jared and his wife, Christina, have 3 children, Jack (9) a Bear Scout, Levi (6) a Tiger Scout, and Molly (4) a Scout sister. 


Please join me in congratulating Jared as he joins in partnership with our volunteers and staff here at Prairielands Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to our youth!


End of the Year Sale


YES!! Year End Sale

Get great Scouting deals at the Robeson Scout Shop at 3301 Farber Drive in Champaign on Saturday,  December 8 . From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, fabulous bargains on Scouting merchandise will be available for your holiday shopping. This one-time option will provide Scouting paraphernalia at discount prices. GREAT GIFT S FOR YOUR SCOUTS.  Look to make plans to stop by and shop on Sat. 12/8/18.


Memorabilia Auction…YES! 

As part of the Year End sale at the Robeson Scout Shop, special Prairielands Council, Camp Robert Drake, and Illini Lodge memorabilia will be sold.   Put in your bid for some one-of-a kind items.   Special camp wear, original patches, and a Sammy Stave water bottle are just part of the items up for bid at the YES auction this Saturday in Champaign.


Giving Tuesday Updates & Instructions

Giving Tuesday 


Prairielands Council is excited to be participating in Giving Tuesday on November 27, 2018. Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and kicks off the giving season! We are also excited to announce that donations made to Prairielands Council through Facebook on November 27, starting at 7 am, will be matched up to $250,000, with a cap of $7m total from Facebook! 


Please mark out 7 am (CST) on your calendar for Tuesday, November 27 and plan to give and support the Scouting movement here in Central Illinois. All money raised on giving Tuesday, stays locally and helps provide opportunities for Scouts that they can’t get anywhere else, facility upgrades at Camp Drake, training opportunities for leaders to ensure a quality program for our Scouts, and much more!  The closer to 7 am that your gift is made, the higher likelihood that it will be matched.  Regardless of the timing or size of your gift on Giving Tuesday, please consider sharing on social media to amplify your impact as you encourage others to support local Scouting.


Base donations of $1,000 or more WILL be eligible for the exclusive 2018 Kanfer Gallery Artwork recognition piece "Falling Snow" that features the Camp Drake Friendship Circle (but not the match).  DETAILS.

How  to Donate:

  1. On, Tuesday, November 27 at 7am go to 
  2. First, find our first post with our "Giving Tuesday Fundraiser" OR click on the "Donate" button. 
  3. Complete the steps to submit your donation by inputting your credit card information.



Please remember to wait until November 27 at or after 7am to complete your donation! Our Giving Tuesday fundraiser  on Facebook will not show up until that date.


Need help? Feel free to message us on Facebook on November 27 for any questions! We will be by our messenger!


And, as always, we & the Scouts of Prairielands Council appreciate your donation.