A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Prairielands Council Updates

2024 Scout Rank Advancement Day

Order of the Arrow Lodge 55 will be hosting a Scout Rank Advancement Day on Saturday, May 4 at Camp Drake from 9am-3pm. At no cost to your Scouts or Troop, Illini Lodge 55 members will be teaching Scout skills required for rank advancement to Scout Rank, Tenderfoot Rank, Second Class Rank, and First Class Rank. The areas of instruction will include First Aid, Knots, Tools, Cooking, Navigation, Nature, and Citizenship.


This is a great opportunity for your new First Year Scouts and other Scouts who are working on Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class or First Class to get many of the requirements for these ranks completed. This will also be an opportunity for your Troops to bring your First Year Scouts out to Camp Drake and familiarize them with the camp ahead of the summer.


There is no cost for your Scouts or Troop to attend. Those Scouts attending will only need to bring with them their Scout Handbooks, a lunch, water bottle, and rain gear (& other weather-related clothing, as needed). BSA registered leaders from your Troop will also need to be present with your Scouts.


Further information and sign up will be coming soon.


For questions contact Alyx Parker alyxparker@yahoo.com

2024 Spring Camporee

Mahomet Sportsmen’s Club
705 W Hickory St, Mahomet, IL 61853

Prairielands Council invites Scouts and Scouters to Be Prepared, share the Scouting
spirit, and learn more about nature and the management of our natural resources.
Scout troops, venturing crews, ships, and webelos are all invited to participate. There will
shooting sport opportunities, fishing, and more.

• The cost is $15 per person to participate (youth and adults).
• Check-in 6-8:30 PM Friday 4/19 and 8-8:45 AM Saturday 4/20; Completed Annual Health
and Medical Records for each participant (Parts A and B) required at check-in; unit leader
and SPL meeting with staff 8:30 PM 4/19.
• Flag ceremony and opening 9:00 AM 4/20; activities 9:30-12:00 and 1:30-4:00.
• Each unit is responsible for providing their own meals.
• Patrols are asked to prepare a song or skit for the closing campfire 7:30 PM Saturday.

Register Here:  https://prairielands.tentaroo.com/springcamporee

Camp Drake and Illini Lodge Polo Shirts

There are 3 Polo Shirts being made available to help fund Illini Lodge 55 events such as Pow Wow, Smiling Pumpkin, and much more.

These are all prepay and will not be ordered unless they are paid for in advance.

All proceeds will go to the Illini Lodge!


See and order the shirts here:  https://prairielands.tentaroo.com/polo

2024 Youth Recognition Dinner

Prairielands Council

Youth Achievement  Recognition Dinner



Saturday, February 10,2024                                      5:30pm- Doors Open to Public      

Holiday Inn Champaign                                              6:00pm– Program Begins

101 Trade Center Drive,Champaign, IL (see map on back)                       


$35.00per person due by Friday, February 2, 2024


Reservations received after February 2, 2024 will be $37.00 per person

No reservations will be accepted after February 8, 2024



Send your reservation to: Youth Recognition Dinner,  Prairielands Council, PO Box 6267

Champaign, IL 61826-6267 on or before Friday, February 2, 2024.


Persons wishing to sit together must send in their reservations together (10 seats per table). Names are required for name tags and table assignments. 


Don’t forget to include your Summit/Eagle Scout’s name on the list below.


Prairielands Training College is back and better than ever! This event will be taking place Saturday, February 10th, 2024 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church located at 2200 Philo Rd #8002, Urbana, IL 61802.

Opening flag ceremony will start at 8:30AM with the classes starting at 9AM and finishing by 3:15PM. The cost for the event is $20 and will include lunch.

Register here at: https://prairielandsbsa.org/.../prairielands-training...

2024 Camp Drake Staff Application

Any registered Scout, older than age 14 on June 1, 2024, can apply to be a Summer Staff counselor or a Counselor in Training. Camp Robert Drake is looking for energetic youth to serve as paid counselors to lead the duties during the 2024 summer. Interviews will be scheduled in January at the Raymond Lee Scout Service Center in Champaign. On-line applications are available at https://prairielands.tentaroo.com/camp-application   


If you have additional questions, E-mail at mike.graham@scouting.org with any special details.

2023 Prairielands Council Giving Tuesday Fundraiser

Our Council has a goal of raising $10,000.

You can donate by clicking below or via text. Text the word SCOUTS to 243725

The Prairielands Council has had many great achievements so far during 2023. A few of those achievements are listed below!

21 Youth have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and 1 Venturing Summit Award so far this year

340 Scouts BSA Members attended Camp Robert Drake for the 2023 Summer

140 Cub Scouts attended Camp Robert Drake during our Cub Scout Adventure Camp

120 Cub Scouts attended Day Camp at Camp Robert Drake and Wimple Park in Tuscola

200 Scout Reach youth attended Day Camp at Camp Robert Drake

Newly constructed Shower House/Storm Shelter at Camp Robert Drake

Thank you for considering Prairielands Council for your financial contributions!

Click here to donate:  https://giving.onecause.com/public/d04787a9-871e-4332-90eb-664c168eec59/fundraisers/edcc8e2a-9436-495d-83a2-53b1694864ae/donate?fbclid=IwAR34LDYyKLb7_t6qGsEtDPqt5UA2-3kI4BctqOB45PXMD-QTCRCrOkyQW5c

2023 Illini Lodge #55 Smilin' Pumpkin

Smilin' Pumpkin will be held on Sunday, October 29 at Camp Robert Drake. The event will start at 1PM and end at 4PM. The cost is only $10.

There will be fun activities such as:

  • Water Bottle Rocket Launching
  • Archery
  • Rock Skipping at the Salt Fork River
  • Cubs on Wheels
  • Sports Games/Soccer Challenge
  • Slingshot Shooting

Don't miss out on the fun! Make sure not to miss the Giant Pumpkin Target.

Register here: https://prairielands.tentaroo.com/pumpkin

If there are any questions please email Susan Coller at susan.coller@scouting.org or 217.531.0219.

Click here for a fun worksheet for all Scouts! 

2023 Fall Camporee - Maximum Bushcraft

The Prairielands Council, BSA Maximum Bushcraft Fall Camporee will take place at Camp Robert Drake on October 13-15, 2023. Below are some items needed for the event:


1) All meals

2) Stocked pantry or chuck box, if competing in cook off

3) Each Scout must have their 10 essentials on them at all times. Day bag, haversack, Backpack, Butt pack however but on them.

4)Hatchet one per patrol

5)Sheath knife on Scout

6) Axe Yard provisions for your campsite. 2 axe yards per unit recommended for this outing.  

7)#36 Tarred Bank Line for lashing. DO NOT BUY THIS FROM WALMART, IT IS OILED, NOT TARRED! The tar helps hold the knots tight. Purchase online from Bombproof Bushcraft or I will have some at the camporee for sale as well. A 1-pound roll has something over 1000 feet on it. But the 1/4-pound rolls are easier to handle, and you can give those easier to more than 1 Scout. www.bombproofbushcraft.com

8) Please bring your own lashing pole material, as much as you can. Make sure it's OK to cut these materials. I suggest a campout before this camporee somewhere you can harvest a lot of long branches or saplings. Each patrol will be building a camp. So, chairs, tables, kitchen gadgets etc....  Lots and Lots of lashing gear. Staves lots and lots. You will be allowed to harvest from downed wood at camp as well. But no sapling cutting will be permitted at Camp.

9)I recommend hand saws/limb trimming saws along with your bow saw. Scouts will be allowed to harvest from downed trees around camp. Much easier to carry those small saws. 


Adults: This will be fun camporee with your help. We need to help encourage the Scouts to use their imagination, teamwork and Scout skills on this one. I'm also asking you to follow and keep an eye on your patrols. There will not be a lot of time in a "classroom" structure.


Any questions please feel free to contact me.

Cell (815) 931-2405 or by email kamsflo07@gmail.com


The camporee fee is $12.00 per Scout. There is no fee for adults.  Based on interest and attendance, most sites will need to be shared.


Please register here: https://prairielands.tentaroo.com/fallcamporee



 Kris A. Hoogstraat

"Do Your Best"     "Be Prepared"

"It'll be a better day tomorrow when the Cows come Home." 


2023 University of Illinois Merit Badge University

The Merit Badge University will take place on Saturday, July 29 with registration starting at 8AM and lasting until approximately 6PM.

Morning class sessions will start at 8:30 AM and run until 12:30 PM. Lunch will run from 12:30 PM to 1:30PM. The afternoon sessions will start at 1:30PM and run until 5:30PM.

The Merit Badge University previously held in August at Camp Drake has graduated to the next level, and will be continuing on at the University of Illinois.

The inaugural Merit Badge U will be held at Loomis Laboratory on the beautiful University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Loomis Lab will be the centralized location for classroom badges that do not have specific locations needs. Other badges will be held at remote locations throughout the campus. The schedule of badges is still being developed, and space will be limited from some badges.

But wait, there's more!!! We will also have a 5 mile compass course that takes Scouts on a tour through our campus. This course was designed by Scouts, for Scouts, to complete Second Class requirement 3b.

Think you will work up an appetite doing all this learning? Cost of the event includes lunch at the University's brand new, state of the art, dining center at Illinois Street Residence Hall. It is not your parent's dorm food. It has all the looks of a Vegas buffet, with the cuisine to match!

The cost should be $25 per Scout, though some badges may have additional fees due to having to hire specialized instructors.

Any questions or offers of assistance can be addressed to MeritBadgeU117@gmail.com


Scouts wanting to attend can sign up here:  https://forms.tentaroo.com/view.php?id=10313329

Adults only wanting lunch can sign up here:  https://forms.tentaroo.com/view.php?id=10383641


2023 Membership Fee Increase Information


BSA’s emergence from bankruptcy represents a pivotal milestone in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)’s financial restructuring case and solidifies a path forward for survivors and the Scouting movement.


To preserve its mission, the BSA has had to take some extraordinary steps over the past three years to reposition the organization for the future. The BSA has streamlined its professional staff and volunteer structure, reducing costs throughout the movement while maintaining essential services to support the local councils who were critical partners during the bankruptcy.


To position Scouting for the future, the BSA will be required to increase the national annual membership fees for both youth and adults. This has been a difficult decision that involved the engagement of key stakeholders, but is essential to building a strong, safe, and vibrant Scouting program for our nation’s youth.


Effective August 1, 2023, the BSA will implement the following national membership fees which were approved by the National Executive Committee:


  • $80 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting participants ($5 increase)
  • $60 for all adult volunteers ($15 increase to provide general liability insurance and enhanced background checks) 
  • $25 one-time joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting (Not prorated and no change in fee)
  • $30 for Scoutreach (Not prorated)
  • $25 for Merit Badge Counselors (New Fee applies only for Merit Badge Counselors not already registered as leaders)
  • $50 for Exploring participants Youth & Adult ($5 increase)
  • $100 for a unit charter/affiliation fee (no change in fee)
  • $15 for Scout Life magazine


New Annual Membership Fee Process Announced – BSA Will No Longer Prorate Fees for New Members beginning August 1, 2023

Beginning August 1, 2023, all new youth and adult members who join Scouting will be enrolled in a 12-month membership cycle and BSA will cease prorating fees. Both youth and adults will pay the full annual membership fee and will renew their membership on the anniversary date of joining Scouting. All proration of membership fees will be eliminated. Each registered member of the BSA will receive an email notice with a registration renewal link beginning 60 days before the anniversary date they joined Scouting. Unit leaders will receive a copy of the email and should stay engaged in the membership renewal process just like rechartering.


It is important to note, existing members will renew their membership during their normal registration/recharter cycle through March 2024. Moving forward all members will renew on their anniversary date.

  • Existing members’ Anniversary date will be their unit recharter month.
  • New members’ Anniversary date will be the month they joined.


This new process will help streamline the rechartering and membership renewal process for units and councils. Additional information on this membership renewal process will be forthcoming in the very near future.


What does the National Membership Fee cover?

The national membership fee helps cover the cost of essential services to the local council and units. Services include expanded liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, enhanced criminal background checks, a variety of program resources, youth protection and leader-specific training, and the development of intellectual property for national, council, and unit programs. As BSA moves forward, the organization will continue to look at the membership fee structure and how we deliver the Scouting program for future generations.


Across the country and in each of our communities, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make in youth today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow. Our dedicated volunteers, staff, and Scouting families make this possible. Thank you for continuing to support one of the most valuable opportunities available to young people today.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is driving the youth and adult membership fee increase?

  • General Liability Insurance costs to protect volunteer leaders, staff, charter organizations, units, and youth.
  • BSA restructuring costs.
  • Enhanced Criminal Background check processes and investments in Youth protection and safety programs.


What steps has the National Service Center taken to manage costs?

  • Completed a new staff structure and streamlined both the professional workforce and the volunteer structure, while maintaining essential services.
  • Reduced the National staff workforce to support essential services.
  • Reduced expenses throughout the National organization.


What is the new membership fee for youth and adults? Will the fees go up again?

  • The new adult membership fee is $60, and the youth membership fee is $80 annually.
  • The BSA will continue to evaluate the membership fees and keep our councils and unit leaders informed of any further changes to the fee structure.


What benefits and services are provided to the local council with the new fee?

  • Expanded GLIP protections for Chartered Organizations and volunteers.
  • Enhanced Criminal Background checks.
  • Investments in BSA safety resources and training.
  • The employment of a new Youth Protection Executive and support staff.
  • The National Council provides the following essential services to councils:
    • The use of BSA Intellectual Property – Youth Safety, Cub Scouts, Scouts, BSA, Venturing, Camp Standards, Training and Program development etc.
    • Legal
    • Human Resources
    • Information Technology – Rechartering, Scout Book
    • Accounting Resources
    • Council Services Support
    • Membership & Marketing Support
    • Crisis Communications and support
    • Safety & Membership Standards Support
    • A variety of training support for youth and adult leaders
    • Health Insurance & Benefits


What benefits and services are provided to the unit with the registration fee?

  • Expanded General Liability Insurance protections for the chartered organization and unit leaders in the event of an incident.
  • Program research and development including, Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Exploring.
  • Access to Youth Protection Training, Incident Reporting and Scouts First Helpline: 1-   844-Scouts1.
  • Access to leadership specific training for adult leaders.
  • Investments in program literature and resource development.
  • Ability to purchase Uniforms, Insignia and Recognition for youth and Adults.
  • Provides access to Membership, Marketing, and Brand Center resources.
  • Provides important technology support including Scout Book, on-line registration, on-line advancement, and rechartering, My. Scouting, BeAScout, and BSA Brand Center for digital assets.
  • Access to the four BSA High Adventure Properties including Philmont Scout Ranch, Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier High Adventure Base, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

Click here for a membership Fee FAQ to answer any more questions you might have!



2023 Spring Camporee

Prairielands Council Spring Camporee—April 28-30, 2023

Prairielands Council invites Scouts and Scouters to Be Prepared, get into nature, share the Scouting spirit, and camp under the big white oak trees at beautiful Lodge Park on the banks of the Sangamon River near Monticello for the Spring Camporee. Nature is our inspiration and theme!
• Scout troops, venturing crews, ships, and webelos(with a host unit) are all invited toparticipate. The cost is $15 per person to participate.
• Check-in 6-8:30 PM Friday 4/28 and 8-8:45 AM Saturday 4/29; Completed Annual Healthand Medical Records for each participant (Parts A and B) required at check-in; unit leaderand staff meeting 8:30 PM 4/28.
• Flag ceremony and opening 9:00 AM 4/29; challenge activities 9:30-12:00 and 1:30-4:00.
• Each unit is responsible for providing their own meals.
• Patrols are asked to prepare a song or skit for the closing campfire 7:30 PM Saturday.
• Co-hosted by Troops 6B and 6G, Urbana and Troop 490, Monticello.
Prairielands Council Spring Camporee—April 28-30, 2023


Register here:  https://forms.tentaroo.com/view.php?id=9719681

2023 Klondike Derby

The 2023 Prairielands Council Klondike Derby at Camp Drake on Saturday, January 28, 2023 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Scout patrols will enjoy a western themed series of team events. Get your Yukon Territory sled ready for transport and racing.  A drawing was held at the Camp launch for cabin and campsite reservations, but there is still space available for overnight camping.  The cost of the event is $15.00 per person. An early bird fee of $12.00 is available, if paid by January 20, 2023.  


Register Online Here: https://forms.tentaroo.com/view.php?id=9464366

2022 Prairielands Council Fall Camporee

All Prairielands Council Troops and Crews are invited to the 2022 Camp Drake Commemoration Camporee. The Camporee will be held the weekend of October 14-16, 2022. The Camporee will be filled with activities from the past, as well as highlights of the current program. The Cost for the event is $12 per participant, if paid by September 30, 2022. After September $30, the fee will increase to $16.


Units can register here:  https://forms.tentaroo.com/view.php?id=9093804

OA Fall Pow Wow

The Illini Lodge Fall Pow-Wow will be held at Camp Drake on the weekend of September 30th through October 2nd. There will be a Friday night ceremony, Saturday morning service projects, and Saturday afternoon themed events and competitions. The Ordeal and Brotherhood Ceremonies will be held Saturday night.  The cost does include meals!

Members can register here:  https://forms.tentaroo.com/view.php?id=9069012



2022 Prairielands Council Cub Fun Day

Prairielands Council, BSA Cub Fun Day is happening on Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 1PM to 4PM at either Camp Robert Drake, located at 9994 Camp Drake Rd, Fairmount, IL or at Illinois Fire Institute located at 11 Gerty Dr, Champaign, IL 61820. The cost for the Day is $10 and that includes fun such as BB Guns, Bows and Arrows, Crafts, and much more. If you have any questions feel free to call the Prairielands Council Office at 217.531.0219.

2022 Camp Drake Merit Badge University

On Saturday August 6, 2022 at 9:00 AM, the Prairielands Council will be offering Camp Drake Merit Badge University. For this first ever Merit Badge University we will be offering the Woodworking, Plumbing, Traffic Safety, Scouting Heritage, and Farm Mechanics Merit Badges! There will be a morning and afternoon session for each Merit Badge with lunch offered in between. Registration for the event will start at 8:30AM and the morning session will run from 9AM until Noon. Lunch will be served from Noon until 1PM. The afternoon sessions will start at 1PM and run until 4PM.
Scouts will be able to complete Woodworking, Plumbing, and Automotive Maintenance.
The prerequisites for the other merit badges are as follows:
Farm Mechanics - Requirement 5
Scouting History - Requirements 5, 6, and 8
Traffic Safety - Requirement 5
The cost for the day will be only $20, which will cover materials for the classes and lunch for each Scout, Leader, or Parent. Parents and Leaders will not be charged for the day.

2022 Prairielands Council Pinewood Derby

The 2022 Prairielands Council Pinewood Derby will be held Saturday, March 26th at St Peters United Church of Christ located at 905 S Russell St, Champaign, IL 61821.

Car check in will be Friday, March 25th, 2022 at St. Peters UCC from 5PM to 7PM or Saturday, March 26th from 10AM to 11AM. The race will start at 11AM on Saturday, March 26th.
The race is open to all Scouts.  There is a Race Division and a Show Division.   The cost to register is $10 per Scout. For more information call Lovetta Ash-Simpson at 217.531.0217 or lovetta.ash-simpson@scouting.org.

2022 Pinewood 101

Pinewood 101


Pinewood 101 is back!  This event will be held on Sunday, January 23 from 11AM to 3PM.  The workshop will be held at the CU Woodshop(Knox Array/Popcorn Warehouse) located at 1305 N. McKinley Ave, Champaign, IL 61821.  This will be a great event for those people who need help preparing their Pinewood Derby Car.

2022 Praireilands Council Klondike Derby

Chasing the Signs of the Yeti!

Look to the deep woods for the next big winter event of the Prairielands Council. The 2022 Klondike Derby will challenge Scouts BSA members and Venturers with cold-weather team events. Prepare for the sledding adventure on the windy plains of Camp Robert Drake, beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday, January 29, 2022. All Scouts and Venturers are encouraged to organize their patrols for the ultimate teamwork contests.

Winter Camping is an Option for Troops & Crews

Cabin and campsite space for the 2022 Prairielands Council Klondike Derby will be selected at random following the Camp Drake Launch on Dec. 4 at the OSF Medical Center in Urbana. Please contact Susan Coller at susan.coller@Scouting.org to get your Troop or Crew in the Klondike Cabin/Campsite drawing.

2021 Camp Drake Trail Race

The 2021 Camp Drake Trail Race is back! The race will be on November 13, 2021 at Camp Robert Drake. We encourage you to save the date in your calendar as we are preparing for a great race!


RUN/WALK the trails of Camp Drake for fun and fitness.  Illini Lodge of the Prairielands Council is hosting a Fitness Event that is open to everyone! All run/walkers will receive a special sports t-shirt, along with a patch medallion.  Parents can escort their youth.

Join the back to nature adventure at the Camp Drake Trail Race on the banks of the Salt Fork River at 9994 Camp Drake Road near Fairmount, IL.   For runners, there are other races to choose along the forest paths and ridge crests.


All updated information and how to register is posted on our webpage below: www.campdrake.com/TrailRace  


We look forward to welcoming you back to Camp Drake!