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January 2021 Newsletter


Dear Scout Friends,

Blessings to you all on this feast of St. John Neumann! I hope your Christmas season is going well. As we start the new year, I would like to finish work the Duty to God day camp program so these can be ready when the weather warms up and outside gatherings are in order. I have a meeting scheduled for Sunday, January 24 at 7 PM for anyone who would like to help.

The following Sunday I am hosting Counselor Training as part of the University of Scouting virtual event hosted by the Greater St. Louis Area Council BSA. Details are below.

Finally, with Scout Sunday approaching (February 7 for Boy Scouts of America, March 14 for GSUSA), having parish celebrations is not ideal due to ongoing pandemic restrictions. Please work with your local pastor to reschedule any parish celebrations at a later time when it is safer to do so. Attached is a guide for Scout Sunday celebrations. If you have a favorite tradition that you would like to share with the rest of the diocese, please send me the details and I will be happy to pass that information along!

Yours in Scouting,

Kyle Holtgrave

Chair, Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting

(217) 698-8500 x. 154

(217) 622-4994 (cell)


Fr. Steve Arisman

Chaplain, Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting

Pastor, St. Francis Solanus, Quincy

Catholic Committee on Scouting Meeting

St. George Trek

Older Scouts are invited to join other Catholic Scouts from around the country on the St. George Trek at Philmont Scout Ranch. The 2021 Saint George Trek begins on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the participants meet, get to know one another, train, have fun and pray. Then it's off to Philmont Scout Ranch where they will hike the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains. While hiking, they will experience a program that is designed to encourage the integration of morality, values, spirituality, faith, scripture and vocation in their lives as young Catholic Men and Women. Before returning home on Friday, July 23, 2021, they will be asked to commit their own continued discernment as well as bringing their experiences home to their respective dioceses, so they can become effective peer leaders and role models for their fellow scouts. For more information about the St. George Trek, go to http://www.nccs-bsa.org/index.php/st-george-trek.

Counselor Training

The next Counselor Training will be held online through the University of Scouting program hosted by the Greater St. Louis Council BSA on Sunday, January 31 starting at 1 PM. The purpose of Counselor Training is to familiarize adult leaders on program requirements for the Ad Altare Dei, Pope Pius XII, Mary the First Disciple and the Spirit Alive religious programs for Scouts. Leaders should bring the appropriate leader guide for the program(s) they wish to facilitate. If you would like to host training in your area of the diocese, please contact Kyle Holtgrave at (217) 698-8500, ext. 154 or email .

Religious Activities

The NCCS-BSA website has links to a variety of religious activities that Scouts can work on virtually to earn patches as part of their Duty to God. For more information, go to http://nccs-bsa.org/index.php/religious-activities/virtual-lesson-weblinks.

For information about religious activities and recognitions for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire USA, go to https://nfcym.org/programs/nccgscf/religious-recognition-programs-patches/. These awards are open to all and are not limited to members of GSUSA or CFUSA.

Fast Start Training for Leaders of Catholic Chartered BSA Units

The National Catholic Committee on Scouting has a series of “fast start” papers for adult leaders of BSA units sponsored by Catholic parishes and institutions. These papers give basic information about your role as a leader in a Catholic organization and where to find more resources to help the unit grow in its Catholic identity. These fast start papers are attached and are also available from the National Catholic Committee on Scouting at www.nccs-bsa.org.

Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting

The Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting serves the 28 counties in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. This area covers all or portions of 4 Boy Scout Councils and 2 Girl Scout Councils including:

  • Girl Scouts of Central Illinois: Adams, Brown, Cass, Christian, Douglas, Greene, Macon, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Sangamon, Scott and Shelby Counties
  • Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois: Bond, Calhoun, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Jersey, Macoupin, and Madison Counties
  • Mississippi Valley Council BSA: Eagle Ridge District ~ Adams, Pike and Brown Counties
  • Greater St. Louis Council BSA: Piasa Bird District, Cahokia Mounds District, Arrowhead District, and Redhawk District
  • Abraham Lincoln Council BSA: All districts ~ Honest Abe District, Log Cabin/Railsplitter District, Lincoln Home District
  • Prairielands Council BSA: Prairie Fire District ~ Douglas County; Many Trails District ~ northern portion of Edgar County

Counties include:

Adams, Bond, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Greene, Jasper, Jersey, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Sangamon, Scott, and Shelby

We're Here To Help

The Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting (DCCS) is a group of Catholic lay people and clergy who give guidance, vitality and leadership to the spiritual programs that are available for members of Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts USA and kindred scouting movements in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

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(217) 698-8500


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