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Catholic Committee on Scouting

Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

Catholic Committee on Scouting

Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

June 2020 Update

Dear Scout Friends,

As we enter the summer months, many Scout programs have had to cancel or adapt to non-gathered formats because of the continuing restrictions mandated by the government. One example of an adaptation is noted below from the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois. It has also been suggested that we do some adaptations to facilitate participation in more religious awards over the summer, too. I’d like to explore this concept further – details are noted below.

In other news, the Springtide Research Institute published a study that documents the importance of having adult mentors involved in the lives of young people. Scouting has been a great resource for providing these mentors for years and I hope programs continue to be a bright spot in the lives of young people. Knowing that heathy adult/youth relationships are an important part of a young person’s development, we have a wonderful opportunity to role model what it means to be a Christian in the world today. Let’s rise to that challenge and be Christ for others in our various Scout programs!

Yours in Scouting,

Kyle Holtgrave

Chair, Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting

Director, Office for Catechesis

Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

1615 West Washington Street

Springfeild, IL 62702-4757

Office: (217) 698-8500 x. 154


Committee Chaplain:

Fr. Steve Arisman, Pastor, Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, Mt. Zion & St. Isidore, Bethany


ScoutFest 2020

This event, scheduled for the fall in St. Louis, has been postponed until next year.

American Heritage Girls Catholic Faith Awards

AHG has officially launched its own duty to God program with the introduction of Catholic Faith Awards! Four different programs have been developed, one for each program level of the AHG organization. These curricula have been granted the Nihil Obstat from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The Nihil Obstat (literally translated means “nothing stands in the way”) is an official “stamp of approval” from a Church censor that the content of the publication is not objectionable on doctrinal or moral grounds.

Ad Altare Dei

Ad Altare Dei classes continue to meet in Springfield once government officials allow us to do so. Scouts can start attending at any point in the calendar. To be eligible, a Scout must be in 7th grade or older and have been active in BSA for at least 6 months. Please have a workbook and a Bible for these classes. Workbooks are available at the Scout office or online at https://www.scoutshop.org/catalog/product/view/id/1770. We start at 6:30 pm at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 1615 West Washington Street, Springfield.

  • Summer months are kept open so Scouts can focus on Summer Camp

  • Future dates for the 2020-2021 school year are pending once COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are eased

Pope Pius XII

To be eligible for the Pope Pius XII emblem, one must be a freshman in high school (or 15 years old) or older and a registered youth member of a BSA unit. If you have a Scout interested in earning the Pope Pius XII emblem, please contact me at (217) 698-8500, ext. 154.

Mary the First Disciple and Spirit Alive

Members of Girl Scouts and other organizations have religious awards, too! If there is interest in having groups from either the Mary the First Disciple recognition or the Spirit Alive recognition, I will be happy to organize something.


Missio is a new religious recognition for high juniors and seniors. More information about this program will be developed in future correspondence.


Camp Connect provides girls an opportunity to continue their Girl Scout experience while traditional camps are put on hold

SPRINGFIELD, IL – (MAY 26, 2020) As summer camps across the country are closed due to the continued threat of the Coronavirus, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois (GSCI) is introducing virtual camps, giving girls of all ages an opportunity to continue or discover their Girl Scout experience. Camp Connect will allow girls to virtually interact with other campers, engage in badge activities, get outside in their yards or neighborhoods in fun and creative ways – practicing social distancing while sharing core Girl Scout values having fun.

“This last few-months has been difficult for most children, being isolated from school, friends and the activities that connect them to the world,” GSCI Outdoor Program Manager Chloe Machula said. “We have found a number of creative ways to keep girls socially and educationally engaged, ensuring they’re learning new skills, actively working to be good stewards of the environment and creating fun and memorable experiences, even when the social climate has shifted.”

The virtual camp experience will kick off Friday, May 29 with the first virtual camp-out. Girls (and families) can pitch a tent in the yard, create a pillow fort in the living room, make dinner over the campfire or s’mores in the microwave.  The virtual camping experience is designed to inspire imagination and confidence.  Experiences will be shared on social media with the hash tag #GSCICampout.

In addition, Camp Connect will allow girls to meet on zoom with camp staff and their fellow campers. They will be provided a box of activity supplies to use throughout the week independently, with their families, or with the other girls in the camp session. Each age level will have their own camp group with other girls their age. Themes for the first three camp sessions include Animals, Outdoor Skills and Nature, and Cooking.

The first session will begin June 8. All girls, both Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts, are welcome to participate. Space will be limited to make it possible for girls to make individual connections with others. The cost is $50 per person per session, which includes the registration fee for 2020-2021. Financial assistance is available.

For more information and to register for Camp Connect visit www.getyourgirlpower.org


Membership Statistics ~ BSA Units Chartered by Catholic Parishes and Institutions

2014:   57 units, 1251 youth members, 537 adult members

2015:   59 units, 1569 youth members, 595 adult members

2016:   57 units, 1492 youth members, 601 adult members

2017:   52 units, 1105 youth members, 484 adult members

2018:   47 units, 961 youth members, 437 adult members

2019:   45 units, 1016 youth members, 375 adult members

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: Pisa Bird District, Cahokia Mounds District, Railsplitter District, Redhawk District, and Two Rivers 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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1615 West Washington St.
Springfield, IL 62702

(217) 698-8500


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