Virginia State Circle's Advice on...
How to Start a Columbian Squires Circle!
So you'd like to start a Columbian Squires Circle in your Council, Assembly, School, or Military Base. Wonderful! This is an awesome program for any of the aforementioned groups (we'll just say Council from here on out...you can fill in the appropriate term as needed) to implement. It teaches good leadership skills, steeped in strong Catholic values, to the generation who will lead our future. In addition, sponsorship of a Columbian Squires Circle in good standing fulfills all four youth activity requirements for the Columbian Award. How do you begin?
Here we will give you a step-by-step list of what to do. If you have already done some of these, skip ahead to the next number. Be careful, though...do not just skip around. This list is in a very specific order, and it is meant to save you time and effort.
1) Get your Pastor’s approval! We want to ensure that our activity is not in conflict with the Pastor’s current or future activities. We are 99% sure that this will not conflict, because other groups are not centrally focused on leadership development.
2) Get your Council’s approval. Make a motion within a Council business meeting. The motion will be to start and fully support a Columbian Squires Circle subordinate to your Council. As this motion does not necessarily carry any funding requirements (expected, but not required), it does not need to be tabled, published, and voted on at the next meeting. It does, however, deserve a discussion.
3) Name a Chief Counselor. This will be the man in charge of advising the Circle’s officers and other Counselors.
4) Get volunteers to be other Counselors, including a priest to be the Father Prior (think Chaplain). An optimal Circle has a Chief Counselor, Father Prior, and three other Counselors…one per committee (Spiritual [run by the Father Prior], Service, Circle, and Membership). A minimum should be three (3) total – Chief Counselor, Father Prior, and one other Counselor. Any less and you lose functionality. There is no such thing as too many.
5) Have each Counselor fill out the Form 4348 – Youth Leader Application. The Grand Knight then signs, and forwards to the State Deputy. The State Deputy signs, and forwards on to Supreme. In addition, have the Father Prior fill out the Form 4371 – Father Prior Application. These MUST occur, for the protection of our children. Do this ASAP, even if you have no other forms submitted. Another step that is highly recommended is to have each Counselor undergo VIRTUS training. While this is not required by the Knights of Columbus, it is a necessary step for those in the Arlington and Richmond Dioceses who volunteer with youth.
6) Will the Squires meet at your Council home? If not, where? Figure this out, and then continue.
7) After having the Council’s 100% support, a meeting location, and the adult leadership in place (this is the hardest part), you need Supreme’s consent (easy) and to recruit the young men (somewhat easy).
8) Supreme Stuff – Did you fill out a Squires Inquiry form? It is Form 2935 under Council Forms. If you have not, click the link and fill it out online. It will take 30 seconds, and Supreme will send you some necessary materials. Also get Circle Form 457 – Notice of Intent to Form a Circle. Download and fill it out (you will need the information for your Chief Counselor), and have the Grand Knight sign it. Mail it to the State Deputy (copy the Columbian Squires State Chairman), who will sign it and send to Supreme. This will ensure Supreme sends you a Circle Development Kit, which contains more necessary goodies.
9) Once you receive the Supreme’s stuff, start recruiting! Get the young men involved. If you have questions about this, we can answer them in an e-mail (contact information is below). Likely, you already know how to recruit.
10) Once you have 10 young men lined up, you will hold an Investiture (think 1st Degree). We will provide the ceremonial team for you.
11) Have Circle elections. It is entirely permissible, and recommended, that you have officer elections prior to this Investiture, so that the group 'hits the ground running.'
12) The last thing you do is fill out the Circle Form 460 – Notice of Institution. You must submit the at-least-10 Squires membership form #280s (like the KofC Form 100, but brown) with it.
13) In response, Supreme send out the Squires Circle Organizational Kit, that includes the Notary (think Recorder) book, gavel, Bursar (think Treasurer) supplies, etc.
14) The rest is gravy (Installation of Officers, Charter Ceremony, etc.)
That's it! You now have a fully functioning, leader building, Catholic-value reinforcing, Knight of Columbus creating machine on your hands. Give them some guidance, then step back and prepare to be amazed!
Esto Dignus! Be Worthy!
The Virginia State Circle
Contact us if you have further questions
For the Forms referenced above, either click on them individually or go to the Supreme Forms pages here: Council Forms - Circle Forms
The Squires New Circle Development Guide (NCDG) gives instructions as to the process we described above, including images of the forms. It is a good reference tool.
The Council is expected (but not obligated) to financially back the Circle’s beginning. This includes $2.25 per squire to start (cost of the pin and patch given to each Squire), as well as some seed money (to cover postage, various cost-of-doing-business expenses, etc). How much is up to each Council supporting a Circle, though the recommended support is $500. It is entirely up to your Council. This is a one-time investment, though. Circles are expected to become self-reliant within their first year, holding fund-raisers and activities that bring in revenue.
* Sponsorship of a Columbian Squires Circle in good standing fulfills all four youth activity requirements for the Columbian Award.