Scouting in Illinois has served youth since 1909. The state was the home of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) founder, William D. Boyce. There are 13 Boy Scouts of America local councils in Illinois. Six councils in neighboring states also serve parts of Illinois.

Abraham Lincoln Council is headquartered in Springfield, Illinois and serves central Illinois. It operates Camp Bunn in Hettick, Illinois, Camp Illinek in Springfield, Illinois, and is served by the Illinek Order of the Arrow Lodge. The council website is Abraham Lincoln Council.

Blackhawk Area Council is headquartered in Rockford, Illinois and serves southwestern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois. It runs Canyon Camp, located between Stockton and Apple River, Illinois, as well as Camp Lowden near Oregon, Illinois, and is served by Wulapeju Lodge #140. The Council was formed by the merging of the U.S. Grant Council in the west and Blackhawk Council in the east portion of what is now the Blackhawk Area Council. Formerly, the two councils each had one camp. The council also owns a cabin in Mount Carroll, Illinois. The word Wulapeju (one spirit) refers to the merger of the Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak (Chief Blackhawk's name) Lodge and Wetassa Lodge #227 as part of the council merger. Some older members of the former Wetassa Lodge still proudly wear their pre-1973 raccoon Wetassa Lodge flap on their uniforms. Blackhawk Area Council Camp Lowden celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2010.

Buffalo Trace Council is a Boy Scout council based in Evansville, Indiana that serves southwestern Indiana and southeastern Illinois. Its affiliated Order of the Arrow lodge is Kiondaga Lodge.Buffalo Trace Council.

Sinnissippi Council served Scouts in Wisconsin and Illinois, before it merged with Four Lakes Council. It is now called Glacier's Edge Council and is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. Glacier's Edge Council

The Greater Saint Louis Area Council is based in Saint Louis, Missouri, and serves Scouts in the Saint Louis Metro area, southeast Missouri, and southern Illinois.

Illowa Council serves Scouts in western Illinois and eastern Iowa in the Quad Cities area.

Lincoln Trails Council has its headquarters in Decatur, Illinois, and is served by Woapink Lodge #167.

The Lewis & Clark Council was formed from the 2009 merger of Okaw Valley Council (OVC) and Trails West Council (TWC). The Lewis & Clark council has its headquarters in Belleville, Illinois. The Lewis and Clark owns four camps: Camp Joy in Carlyle, Illinois, and Camp Sunnen in Potosi, Missouri, Camp Warren Levis in Godfrey, Illinois, Camp Vandeventer in Waterloo, Illinois. There are six districts in the Lewis & Clark Council which are the Illini District, Black Gold District, Kaskaskia District, Cahokia Mounds District, Piasa Bird District, and St. Clair District. Okaw Valley Council and the Trails West Council merged to help curb operating costs and increase efficiency on January 6, 2009 to create the Lewis & Clark Council.
The two councils from which Lewis & Clark has been formed are themselves the product of mergers. The Trails West Council was founded in 1991 when the Piasa Bird Council and the Cahokia Mounds Council joined. The Okaw Valley Council was somewhat older at the time of the merger; it was formed in 1965 following the consolidation of the Kaskaskia Council and the Mississippi Valley Council.
The Order of the Arrow is represented in this Council by the Nisha Kittan Lodge, part of the regional section C3-B. The Nisha Kittan lodge #112 replaced Kishkakon Lodge #32 (TWC) and Taleka Lodge 81 (OVC).

Mississippi Valley Council is headquartered in Quincy, Illinois, and is served by Black Hawk Lodge, Order of the Arrow. This council serves Scouts in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. The Mississippi Valley Council is one of 22 local Scouting councils in Illinois.

Northeast Illinois Council has its headquarters in Highland Park, Illinois. It runs Camp Sol R. Crown in Trevor, Wisconsin, Camp Oakarro near Wadsworth, Illinois, Camp Dan Beard in Northbrook, Illinois and Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation near Antigo, Wisconsin. The council is served by Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Lodge #40.
Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation is a Boy Scouts of America property located in Northern Wisconsin and serves the Scouts of the Northeast Illinois Council based in Highland Park, Illinois. Originally a logging camp, the Scouts purchased the land and first had campers in 1929. The camp is 1,560 acres (6 km2) in size. The camp serves over 2,300 scouts each summer in addition to hundreds of leaders, cub scouts and high adventure treks. Scouts attending Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan have the opportunity to work on over 65 merit badges and attend hundreds of engaging programs. Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan also operates a nationally accredited high adventure base that offers units 11 unique trek opportunities. Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan, as of 2014, is one of only a few bases nationwide that has a perfect BSA accreditation rating.

Pathway to Adventure Council is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. In April 2014, it was announced that Chicago Area Council, Des Plaines Valley Council, Northwest Suburban Council, and Calumet Council would be merged. The new name was announced in November 2014. The New council went into effect on January 1, 2015.

Prairielands Council (previously Illiana Council) is a local council of the Boy Scouts of America formed in 1991 by the merger of Arrowhead and Piankeshaw Councils. The council serves Scouts in east central Illinois and western Indiana. The headquarters is located in Champaign, Illinois; an auxiliary office is located in Danville, Illinois.

Rainbow Council is headquartered in Morris, Illinois. It serves communities in Will, Grundy, and Kankakee counties. Currently Ted Karns serves as the council Scout Executive. Rainbow Council has made a concerted effort to focus on unit support and kicked off 2014 with the motto of "One Council; One Mission."
Rainbow Council operates Rainbow Scout Reservation (RSR) near Morris, Illinois. This over 700 acre property hosts year round camping, including Boy Scout and Cub Scout Resident Camping. RSR runs a complete Boy Scout Summer Camp program as well as Cub Scout Resident Camps each summer. Programs at RSR include a high quality first year camper program, expanded programs for older scouts, and over 50 merit badges. RSR has earned a reputation for its highly dedicated and enthusiastic staff.

Shawnee Trails Council serves Scouts in Kentucky, Illinois, and Tennessee.

The Three Fires Council of the Boy Scouts of America is located in Illinois. In 1992, it was formed from the merger of Two Rivers Council and DuPage Area Council (named for Dupage County); it was briefly called "Two Rivers-DuPage Area Council". Its council service center is located in St. Charles, Illinois. Three Fires operates Camp Big Timber near Elgin, Illinois and Camp Freeland Leslie near Oxford, Wisconsin and Scout Shops in St. Charles, Illinois and West Chicago, Illinois. It operates the BSA Adventure Camp jointly with Des Plaines Valley Council near Rochelle, Illinois.

The W. D. Boyce Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves youth in central Illinois, from Lincoln to Ottawa, and Peoria to Bloomington.

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