National CCS Information

Knights Supporting Scouting

Catholic Scouters,

The Knights of Columbus organization has long been a supporter of Catholic Scouting, recently holding charters for over 1100 units serving nearly 34,000 youth across the country. in addition, it has its own youth program called Columbia Squires which involves young men in programs to benefit the Church, the community, as well as in recreational and social activities.

In response to a message of Pope Francis during the World Meeting of Families in which he called for a new alliance between the Church and the family, the organization has decided to phase out these programs while re-focusing its efforts on providing financial and volunteer support to Scout units and other youth activities that are sponsored by parishes.

As a result, Knights of Columbus councils will be moving to end their charters as soon as practically possible, no later than 2016. The organization is encouraging councils to transfer their charters to the local parish where the mission and activity of Scouting will be more properly integrated into a comprehensive strategy of the parish's youth ministry under the direction of the pastor. The organization believes this is the best way to provide for the future sustainability of an authentic Catholic Scouting program and of the Catholic identity of the young men who participate in it.

If you belong to a unit chartered to a Knights of Columbus council or are a member of a diocesan Catholic committee on Scouting where such units reside, we ask that you contact your local Scout executive to facilitate a seamless transition for our youth members and adult volunteer leaders.

If you are a member of a diocesan Catholic committee on Scouting, we offer the following additional steps to facilitating the transition:

  1. Identify units chartered to Knight of Columbus councils, their unit leaders and Grand Knights.
  2. Discuss with unit leadership the implications and concerns with transferring the charter. Confirm their interest in transferring leadership and other support. Develop a plan for dealing with any concerns.
  3. Identify potential parishes to which the charter may be transferred.
  4. Arrange for a meeting with the parish pastor, unit leadership and BSA executive to discuss potential for transferring the charter.
  5. Assist in completing transfer paperwork, as direct by and submitted to the BSA executive, which should include a form from the Knights of Columbus releasing the Scout unit to the parish.

The Knights of Columbus organization is known for its charity toward others, loyalty to country and dedication to the Catholic faith. These are principles shared by Catholic Scouting in doing one’s duty to God and country and helping other people at all times. We look forward to a continuing relationship with the Knights of Columbus as we work together to promote authentic Catholic Scouting in our parishes.

Should you have any questions, concerns, suggestions or success stories, we would like to hear them. Please contact Elizabeth Olivas at 972-580-2114 or In addition, the attachments and other materials and resources will be posted on the NCCS website at May God bless your efforts and thank you for all you do to promote Scouting as Catholic youth ministry!

George Sparks 
National Chairman (2016-2019), NCCS 

Knights of Columbus FAQs 
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson Letter to NCCS 
BSA Announcement 
NCCS Response Letter 
Unit Transfer form (used to retain unit number and tenure and to transfer assets) 

Columbia magazine, columns of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson:

KnightLine magazine, columns of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson: