Youth Programs

Bob Ukena, State Youth Director
Phone: 515-440-0277

WELCOME to our Youth Programs Page.

Our youth are our leaders of tomorrow. Now is the time to teach and mold them into the leaders we need to lead our world. Get them involved in our Youth programs. It is our job to promote positive reinforcement for them, so they can make this world a better place to live.

It was Fr. McGivney's dream to take care of the women and children. It is then our job to follow his dream and make it a reality. The greatest thing about the Knights Youth Programs compared to many of other youth programs are they are Catholic faith based.  Whether it is Coats For Kids, Soccer Challenge, Free Throw Championship, Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest, Essay Contest, or our very own Spelling Bee, get involved! Make it happen! Lead by example!

Make our Order known and attractive to the future Knights participating in the Youth Programs.

Make our Order known and attractive to the future wives of Knights participating in the Youth Programs.

One of the featured Programs for the 2013-2014 Fraternal Year is Coats for Kids.  If your Council sponsors 8 boxes of Coats for Kids from Supreme, your council gets credit for the 4 Youth Activities for the Columbian Award.  If your council sponsors 1 box of Coats for Kids from Supreme, you will make 12 children extremely happy in this upcoming winter.  Participate in this program, team up with other councils, find local sponsors.  Help those who really need it and put our principle of Charity at work!

We need to plant the seed early. The Youth Programs are a pouch full of seeds.  We need committed Knights and Councils to sow them.  I am here to help on any questions you may have.

I recommend all Grand Knights, Financial Secretaries, Council Program Directors, Council Youth Directors to order materials for ALL Youth Programs early in the Fraternal Year.  This way you can plan which ones you want to hold this year and you're ready if there is a last minute plan.

Never forget to tell fathers of participants about the Order of Catholic men sponsoring the activity.  They may be wondering about the Knights and maybe nobody has invited  to join the world's largest fraternal organization of Catholic men.  Hand them a Form 100.  Many active Knights today learned about the Order bringing their kids to the local competitions.  You never know, maybe that dad you recruit today will get his son in the hook 4 - 8 years from now.

Vivat Jesus!

2013-2014 Programs


There has been a degree of confusion caused by Supreme's decision to change starting age of both the Knights of Columbus Free Throw and the Soccer Challenge from a starting age of 10 years old to a new starting age of 9 years old. This problem has been exacerbated due to the fact that many Councils had ordered their Free Throw Kits prior to the age change being communicated by Supreme. This has resulted in some Free Throw Kits containing publicity posters targeting children 10 years old and older and other kits (those ordered later) that allow children 9 years and older to participate. This problem has been further complicated by the fact that State had ordered trophies for the Regional and State competitions that included only winners in the 10 - 14 age brackets.

For this reason, I have decided to have the (upcoming) 2014 Free Throw Competition continue for ages 10 - 14, and to start the 2014 Soccer Challenge (scheduled for October) and the 2015 Free Throw Competition (scheduled for January 2015) as the inaugural year for ages 9 - 14. By delaying the inclusion of 9 year olds, it will ensure that all Councils are allowing the same age participants to compete throughout their area competitions, and at all levels. I apologize for any confusion caused by this change.

Bob Ukena, Youth Program Chair

Soccer Program

Council Soccer Challenges usually held in September

District Soccer Challenges are held mid to late September

Regional Challenges on the weekend of October 4-5, 2014, click here for the 2014 Regional Soccer Challenge Schedule

State Soccer Challenge October 18th at 10:00 AM in the Pella Soccer Complex.

2013 Soccer State Winners

 Substance Abuse Poster Contest

Council Poster Contests and judging held usually in October

District Poster judging mid to late November

State Judging takes place at the Winter State Family Meeting

Free Throw Program

2014 KofC Free Throw Winners
Council Free Throw Report - 2015
District Free Throw Report - 2015
Region Free Throw Report - 2015
Schedule for 2015

Essay Contest

Council Essay Contest held usually January through February

District Essay Contest in early March

State Essay Contest judging in late March


Keep Christ in Christmas Poster Contest

Council Contest held in November with judging in December

District Poster judging Mid-January

State Judging Mid-February


Spelling Bee

Check out the 2014 Spelling Bee State Champions

Council Spelling Bee Participation Report

Council Spelling Bee Responsibility Information

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