museum grand prairie middle fork campground homer lake interpretive lake of the woods golf rail trail

Scout Programs

Cub Scouts Boy Scout Merit Badges Girl Scouts
Fees and General Information  

Our staff can help your scouts earn their rank achievements and special awards. The Preserves provide the perfect setting for historical, environmental, and plant-related scout badges and patches. Our programs offer unique, hands-on opportunities to experience nature and history in an interactive environment.

If you don't find the exact program you are looking for, please contact us. We may be equipped to offer a specialized program for your group.

We also offer a variety of resources, including loan backpacks, loan kits, self guided trail brochures and more.

Contact

Museum tours
Katie Riopelle kriopelle@ccfpd.org (217) 586-2612

Other Scout Programs, and Interpretive Center Tours

Chelsey Walsh cwalsh@ccfpd.org (217) 896-2455

Cub Scouts

  • Tiger Cubs
  • Wolf Cubs
  • Bear Cubs
  • Webelos
  • All Scouts

Choose one, two, or three electives to design your own 60- or 90-minute program:

  • Elective 30: Plant a Seed
  • Elective 31: Learn About Animals
  • Elective 32: Feed the Birds
  • Elective 34: Conservation
  • Elective 47: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Elective 13: Birds: We will learn about native birds and how they are different from other types of animals. Take a hike to search for birds, and help us fill our bird feeders! (60-90 minutes)
  • Elective 15: Grow Something: Visit the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. At the Discovery Garden, we will plant flower and vegetable seeds indoors and outdoors (weather permitting). You can return on your own to see how they have grown! (60-90 minutes)
  • Elective 19: Fishing: We will learn about native fish, local fishing laws, and the rules of safe fishing. Rig a pole, practice casting, bait a hook, and wait for a bite! Fishing will be catch-and-release only; no fishing licenses are required for children 16 and under. We will provide cane poles. Please provide your own bait. (90 minutes)
  • Achievement 5: Sharing Your World with Wildlife: Visit our Homer Lake Interpretive Center, and find out what it is like to be an environmental educator. Learn about the animals that share our world and how we can protect them. (60-90 minutes)
  • Elective 14: Landscaping: Visit the Discovery Garden at Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, and help us care for our flower beds and vegetable gardens.? We will also plant seeds and make miniature greenhouses to take home. (60-90 minutes)
  • Elective 15: Water and Soil Conservation: We will experiment with different kinds of soil, visit an area of prairie or forest that has undergone a prescribed burn, and explore erosion control. After the program, your group can help clean up our lake as you discuss water pollution. (60-90 minutes)
  • Forester Activity Badge: Identify native trees and plants at the preserves, and find out why they are an important part of life here on Earth. (90 minutes)
  • Naturalist Activity Badge: Join us to learn about the different ecosystems that make up our forest preserves. You will examine an aquatic ecosystem up-close! (90 minutes)
  • Wildlife Conservation Belt Loop & Academics Pin: Visit our Homer Lake Interpretive Center to learn about the wild side of life: camouflage, food chains, natural resources, endangered species, and more! (90 minutes)
  • Hiking Belt Loop: Discuss the basics of hiking safety, then hit the trails for a guided nature hike. (60-90 minutes)
  • Fishing Belt Loop: We will learn about native fish, local fishing laws, and the rules of safe fishing. Rig a pole, practice casting, bait a hook, and wait for a bite! Fishing will be catch-and-release only; no fishing licenses are required for children 16 and under. We will provide cane poles. Please provide your own bait. (90 minutes)

Boy Scout Merit Badges
The Museum and Education Department would be happy to assist you in earning the following badges, working with your counselor.

Bird Study: Learn the parts of a bird and how birds are important indicators of environmental quality. We will explore why birds call, and identify different birds by their songs and appearance. Create your own field notebook, practice using a field guide and binoculars, and take a hike to look for native birds. (2-3 hours)

Environmental Science: We will perform experiments to discover how living things respond to changes in their environment and how to reduce the effects of an oil spill. Explore the history of environmental science, learn some ecological terminology, and review an environmental impact statement. Find out what the CCFPD has done locally to protect threatened and endangered species, and discuss related career opportunities. (3-4 hours)

American Heritage: We'll assist you in doing genealogy, finding places on the National Register, or researching an event of historical importance in the area. Find out how your town or neighborhood started or take part in a program about history with the staff of the Museum of the Grand Prairie.

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Girl Scouts

  • Daisy Scouts
  • Brownie Scouts
  • Junior Scouts

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District can enhance your Daisies' next field trip! Here's how:

Journey: Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden (It's Your World - Change It!)

  • Wildflower Walks
  • custom garden programs
  • free resources

Journey: Between Earth and Sky (It's Your Planet - Love It!)

  • Sensory Hikes
  • custom nature programs
  • free resources

Journey: 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals (It's Your Story - Tell It!)

  • Animals Safe & Sound
  • Red Robin
  • Birds
  • custom programs about other types of animals
  • free resources

For full descriptions of these programs, click here

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District will enhance your Brownies' Journey with programs ($25 for 60-90 minutes) to help them earn their Skill-Building Activity Badges. Free resources are also available-see below!

Journey: WOW! Wonders of Water (It's Your Planet-Love It!)

  • Senses
  • Hiker
  • Water Everywhere
  • Outdoor Adventurer
  • Water Quality Loan Box
  • free resources

Journey: A World of Girls (It's Your Story-Tell It!)

  • Letterboxer
  • Making Games
  • free resources

Journey: Brownie Quest (It's Your World-Change It!)

  • free resources

For full descriptions of these programs, click here

Journey: aMuse (It's Your Story-Tell It!)

  • Geocacher
  • Animal Habitats
  • free resources

Journey: Get Moving! (It's Your Planet-Love It!)

  • Gardener
  • Outdoor Adventurer (supports Camper Badge)
  • Energy Hike (supports Energize Award)
  • free resources

For full descriptions of these programs, click here

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Fees and General Information

60- to 90-minute program $25 for up to 20 scouts + $1.50 for each additional scout
2- to 4- hour program $50 for up to 20 scouts + $1.50 for each additional scout
(These programs may require 2 sessions to complete.)
Guided Hike (45-60 minutes) $25 (maximum capacity: 20 scouts per hike)
Guided Tour of the Homer Lake Interpretive Center (20 min): FREE (maximum capacity: 30 scouts per tour)
Self-Guided Tour of the Museum of the Grand Prairie (30-90 min): FREE (maximum capacity: 15 scouts per tour)
Self-Guided Tour of the Homer Lake Interpretive Center and/or the Nature Playscape at Homer Lake (30-90 min): FREE (groups of 10 scouts or more must contact shampson@ccfpd.org or 217-896-2455 at least two weeks before your visit) Self-Guided Tour

Reservations for all programs and tours must be made at least two weeks in advance. To better serve you, we require that scout leaders provide 1 adult chaperone for every 5 scouts. Nametags are appreciated.

For scout programs that take place outdoors, participants must dress for the weather. Some scout programs are only offered seasonally and at specific locations.

Please note: Participation in these scout programs does not fulfill all requirements for a badge or patch. Scouts will need to complete additional work in their pack or troop. Scout leaders must provide their own badges, patches, pins, belt loops, or awards.

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