SPJST Youth Program Quick Links
- View Youth Club Handbook, Youth Department Forms, etc.
- Join an SPJST Youth Club – Click here for Youth Program contacts (State Youth Director, District Youth Counselors, and Youth Leaders)
- Camp Chaperone Training
- SPJST Summer Camp Registration
About Our Youth Program
“To build character among the young and to pursue educational, patriotic, social, and athletic recreation.” Those are the goals of the statewide SPJST Youth Program. SPJST’s youth program is a cooperative effort that reflects the great potential of SPJST – young and old – working together to achieve common goals and enjoying life together.
On an annual basis, youth clubs from more than 30 lodges across the state sponsor a wide range of social activities, community service projects, and charity projects. It’s about having fun, but it’s also about contributing to the welfare of the people of Texas. The youth program is coordinated by the State Youth Director who works closely with seven District Youth Counselors (DYCs) who are elected by each district. In addition, the program relies on the support of approximately 60 youth leaders and numerous parents who volunteer their time to support the program.
The educational aspect of the SPJST Youth Program is an integral part of local youth club activities. State and local programs address a range of areas, including human relations, nature, parliamentary procedure, juvenile decency, arts and crafts, fine arts, music, dramatics, and ethnic tradition. Youth club members range from kindergarten to high school senior.
The patriotic program consists of ceremonial rituals and an annual essay contest. The objective is to teach the operation of a free democratic society and majority rule. The social program includes parties, dances, picnics, pageants, hay rides, and family group activities.
SPJST also makes summer camping trips available to its active young members. Approximately 300 youngsters attended in 2016. To qualify for the free camp session, campers must attend a majority of youth club meetings (June through May) in the months preceding camp. SPJST youth can also attend camp for a fee determined by the District Youth Counselor. Contact your DYC for the fee.
Youth camp funds come from an annual allocation made by the SPJST Supreme Lodge. Professionals are hired for instruction in archery, aquatics, horsemanship, and as camp nurse. Much of the chaperoning and programming is done by parents and SPJST trained leaders. Typically, adult leaders receive training at an annual workshop held in the spring. The second workshop for high school youth club members is conducted during the second weekend in June.
*NEW* LEAD Program
The LEAD program (Leaders in Education and Development) is a new summer youth leadership program where 15- and 16-year-olds have the opportunity to develop their communication and leadership skills while they play a supporting role throughout the month-long SPJST summer camp program. “The objective is to see our LEAD team members develop into future paid camp counselors and help guide the next generation of SPJST summer campers.” A total of 10 youth will be accepted into the 2017 program. Those who are selected will begin their leadership regiment by attending and participating in a week-long SPJST training session for summer camp in June. Participants will receive certifications in areas such as CPR, lifegaurding, and first aid. They will return to all three SPJST summer camps in July and be assigned to groups where they will be relied upon for assistance with daily activities.
State Youth Achievement Day
In addition to the camp program, SPJST offers its young people a program which encourages participation in various individual and group contests. The program culminates with State Youth Achievement Day, held on a statewide basis on the first Saturday in August. The crowning moment of SPJST’s royalty competition is the coronation of the king and queen who are selected on the basis of a speech during which they are scored on speech content and delivery, stage presence, and an onstage interview. All of the individuals who compete for the honor are winners in their own right, having been selected to represent their respective districts as king and queen candidates.
More than 400 young people and adults from across the state participated in the 2016 SPJST State Youth Achievement Day (YAD) on Saturday, August 6 at the Frank W. Mayborn Convention Center in Temple, Texas. The competition covered talent, speech, and handicrafts.