Boy Scouts put off their decision. With all the pressure from within and without, they will probably allow openly homosexual scoutmasters and workers sooner or later. Girl guides allowed lesbians in a few years ago and now a relatively high part of their staff is lesbian. (If you want the Girl Scout saga, including planned parenthood etc., go to LifeSiteNews or the National Catholic Register as I can’t add much.)
Fortunately for girls, some moms broke off and formed American Heritage Girls www.ahgonline.org over this and the removal of “God” from the pledge. I suspect a similar group may form but it will take time for them to become a force. It already happened in Canada but the new group is small and struggling.
Even if this group forms, will it be the best think for Catholics? I know of three all-boy programs that were designed from square-one with a Catholic vision and are having success. If you know more, please add in the comments
Blue Knights is series of books by Ecce Homo press that direct boys in virtue formation. Each year covers 10 virtues and going through them all the boys get sew-on patches that at the end of the year form a shield.
Blue Knights simply sells the patches and books as-is and leaves each group to run it and promote it on their own. Such a system simplifies things but can cause problems when you run into a snag.
It works well with the younger crowd (5-10) but even the director of Ecce Homo told me that by 9 or 11 most boys are tired of it and want to move on to something else. See the two below.
Fraternus is the opposite of Blue Knights, not much written material but lots of support. They sponsor full-time youth ministers shared by several parishes to run each group. As such, they are either in your area or not; the program isn’t really complete enough to run on its own. They focus in the south – they’re in a triangle between Nashville, Jacksonville, and New Orleans.
Their focus is a new vision of Christian manhood. They generally run a middle school and high school group. Unlike the other two which have a mirror girls program, Fraternus stands on its own.
In a way Conquest is the best of both worlds: it works for both younger and older, it is full enough to run on its own but often has support available. The programs are sold as all-inclusive packs. As well, training sessions are available and in some regions, you can get a priest to come to your club regularly.
Conquest runs with 3 levels: 2 for elementary school that focus on specific virtues in a three-year cycle, and one for middle and high school that focuses on responding to teens questions and helping them serve.
Of those listed here Conquest is the biggest. What I think puts it above any other is the way it responds to teens’ questions.
[Disclosure: read my bio, I write some of the Conquest stuff. However, I don’t get paid and write because I believe it is one of the best programs for boys.]