The Columbian Squires, the official youth organization of the Knights of Columbus, is a leadership development program for young Catholic men, 10-18 years old. There are over 25,000 Catholic young men in over 1,500 local units, called circles, throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Guam.
1. The Squires is designed to develop young men as leaders who understand their Catholic religion, who have a strong commitment to the Church and who are ready, willing and capable of patterning their lives after the Youth Christ.
2. A Squires circle must be sponsored by a council or assembly, but is run by and for young men, under the guidance of several Knights, who serve as counselors. Squires are to be leaders, thus, to the degree they are able, they are given the opportunity to lead, by running their own meetings, investing their own members, setting their circle’s agenda and implementing their program of activities.
3. Squires have fun. They meet new friends; they travel, play sports and socialize. Squires are serious-minded, too. Squires are involved in promoting vocations, marching in defense of unborn life, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, supporting Special Olympics and promoting Catholic education, among countless other activities. Thus, the Squires circle is an athletic team, a youth group, a social club, a cultural and civic improvement association, a management training course, a civil rights organization and a spiritual development program all rolled into one.
In Medieval times, a squire was a young man in training to become a knight. Squires learned through service, and, through their training, advanced toward the honorable goal of becoming a knight. Like the squires of old, Columbian Squires, through the Squire Advancement Program, will advance through various levels of training. The program has the goal of recognizing and rewarding each Squire for acquiring the skills and attitudes of Catholic leadership as he moves towards becoming a Knight.