Youth Programs


soccer110The Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge is a competition designed for players to demonstrate the most basic soccer skill – the penalty kick. Open to all boys and girls in your community, ages 9-14, where each player will be allowed 15 shots at the goal from the penalty line (12 yards from the goal). Winners progress to the district, regional, state and international levels.  CLICK HERE for more information including forms.

Since 1972, councils have sponsored the Knights of Columbus International Free Throw freethrow-125Championship for boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14 (starting in the fraternal year 2013-2014)

The championship is set up to have the contestants compete within their own gender and age group. All competition starts at the local level. Winners move on to the district, regional, and state or provincial levels. From there, some make it to the international level for championship competition in their group.

To sponsor a competition, all your council needs is the Free Throw Championship Kit (#FT-KIT), a couple of basketballs, a hoop and a bunch of kids. It is a great way to get out into the public and introduce the Order to your community — while providing youths with a rewarding activity that yields a chance for local, state or provincial, and international recognition.  CLICK HERE for more information.

ESSAY CONTEST: The theme of the essay contest is “The Importance of Religious Freedom.” The contest opens the doors of young minds, enabling the entrants to be creative, thoughtful and introspective in their work.

1st place winners will receive a check for $300, and 2 runners-up for each grade level will receive $100.

As Catholics we are called to participate in the political life of our country. This can be difficult at times because our beliefs are often misunderstood and unpopular. Also, laws and regulations from our governments can be contrary to our beliefs and threaten to force us to violate our conscience. Discuss the challenges we face in this area, the importance of religious freedom, and the idea of the Catholic in the public square.

The Order encourages all councils and assemblies to sponsor the Knights of Columbus Essay Contest at schools in their communities. The essay contest is a creative way to encourage young people to become citizens who are firmly grounded in the Faith.

Eligibility: Open to all Catholic students in public, private or parochial schools. Essay Submissions will fall into two groups.

Group A: Grades 4 thru 7 (Optional for Council, Chapter and State Levels Only – Does Not Advance to Supreme) CLICK HERE for state information.

Group B: Grades 8 thru 12 (Qualifies for submission to State and Supreme)

The Order has expanded the Knights of Columbus Essay Contest to all Catholic students — in public, private or parochial schools — in grades 8,9,10,11 and 12 during the current school year. The contest has also been expanded to go through the different levels of competition to the international level.
CLICK HERE for more essay information including forms.


The Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest is open to all young people between the ages of 8 and 14.


Contest entrants compete in one of two age groups – ages 8 through 11, and ages 12 through 14. (Note: Some school systems may have different age brackets for their elementary and middle schools. In some area, it may be appropriate to group students by grade rather than age. Sponsoring councils should use their own judgment in deciding how to group participants. Each local, regional and state competition many have up to four winning entries, one from each age category.)



Council Level: Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest kits, which contain all the materials needed to participate in the contest, can be ordered from the Department of Fraternal Services by calling (203) 752-4625. If there are multiple schools participating, ask each school to conduct a preliminary judging. The winning entries (one for each topic in each age group) along with the accompanying entry forms for each poster, should be collected by the council from a school representative to be judged along with the winners from other schools for the council contest.
CLICK HERE for more poster information including forms.


SCHOLARSHIPSOne of the most overlooked Knights of Columbus Programs is the State Scholarship, designed specifically for high school seniors planning to enter College or continuing students currently enrolled in a College or University. It is important to emphasize that this is a Council activity and not run by the state. It depends on all Councils and Brother Knights to actively promote this valuable Program that supports the youth of our State. The Primary Contact for questions from the Scholarship Applicants is the Council Grand Knight and his Council scholarship program chairman.

At the annual State Convention, The California State Council will award eleven scholarships in the following categories:

  • Academic: Seven $1,000 student scholarships to those entering or resuming college,
  • Religious: Three $1,000 scholarships (Jerome J. Junk Memorial Scholarship) to those
  • who are, or will be, attending a vocational religious school, and
  • Squire: One $1,000 scholarship (the Father Joseph Geary Scholarship) to a
  • current or former Columbian Squire entering or resuming college.
  • In addition to the scholarships awarded by the California State Council, the Past State Deputies Association will award one $750 Scholarship to an eligible applicant from any of the three above categories.

Qualifications for Academic Scholarships (March 1 deadline)

Academic applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. A member of the Knights of Columbus in good standing in a California Council,
  2. The spouse, son or daughter of a K of C member in good standing in a California Council,
  3. The spouse, son or daughter of a deceased member who was in good standing with a

California Council at the time of his death,

  1. A member in good standing of a California Columbian Squires Circle,
  2. A former Squire and son of a K of C member in good standing in a California Council,
  3. Submit the complete application by March 1.

Qualifications for Religious Applications (March 1 deadline)

Applicants for the Religious scholarship must be in good standing with his / her diocese or Order (seminary or school of formation). The deadline for Religious applications is March 1.  The  deadline is timed to be shortly after the diocese makes assignments.