Methods and Curriculum
ABOUT Conquest & Challenge
METHODS AND CURRICULUM
What age groups are Conquest and Challenge for?
The Challenge and Conquest Youth Ministry Program is designed for 5th – 12th grade Boys and girls. Conquest also offers 2 add on programs for younger boys: the Father and Son Leadership Program for boys in K-2nd grade and the Conquest Junior Leadership Program for boys in 3rd and 4th grade.
Do Conquest and Challenge offer a curriculum for the whole year?
Yes, Conquest and Challenge both have 3 age specific curriculum – 5th/6th, 7th/8th and High School. On the Youth Ministry Packages section of this website, you can find an in-depth explanation about what makes the Conquest and Challenge curriculum unique and you can download the curriculum maps. Conquest and Challenge are intended to be used as a Youth Ministry program in a parish or school, led by teens, and is not a Religious Education program or curriculum. They can complement Religious Education or Confirmation prep but are not intended for that purpose.
Are Conquest and Challenge a Catholic Youth Ministry program?
Yes, Conquest and Challenge are 100% Catholic, using the YOUCAT and Gospel as a basis for the curriculum. Our materials promote a deep devotion and love to Jesus, in the Eucharist, the sacraments, the Church, the Pope, the Blessed Virgin Mary and saints. Our Conquest and Challenge materials include a prayer book with all the basic Catholic prayers – like how to pray the Rosary. Our kits also include a Saint and Virtue Calendar to connect the young people to the liturgy and feast days in the Church. The Team Leader Guidebooks contain the curriculum and do not have an imprimatur because they change each year and are updated with new activities and videos.
Why do Conquest and Challenge promote a teen led and team based method?
In Conquest and Challenge, we believe that small group peer mentoring is an effective way to reach young people. Our program materials are developed and shaped around the method of breaking the youth group into smaller teams of 8-10 youth, led by a teen who is 1-2 years older than them. The activities are team based and teen led each week. Our team leader guidebooks put the material in the teen’s hands and the youth minister focuses on working with the teen leaders each week. We offer an online training series for teen leaders to get equipped to lead teams.
How are Conquest and Challenge service driven, and why are service projects part of the curriculum?
Conquest and Challenge offer 50+ service project options each year that the teams can work on. The projects are age specific and are varied to help the youth experience different forms of service. We believe that there is more joy in giving, not just receiving and that a youth group comes alive when they are service driven. Conquest and Challenge service projects try to encompass all of the areas of service and solidarity mentioned in Renewing the Vision.
What does a weekly activity for Conquest or Challenge look like?
On the Youth Ministry Packages section of this website you can find a detailed explanation of the Conquest or Challenge weekly activity and a sample to download from one of the team leader guidebooks.
Why are Conquest and Challenge groups gender specific and not co-ed?
Challenge is developed specifically for girls 5th -12th grade and Conquest is for Boys 5th -12th grade. Both programs are parallel with the same weekly curriculum themes, but the activities and presentation of the themes are adapted to better reach boys and girls respectively. Since we promote a teen led and team based method of youth ministry, we find that is more effective for a young man to lead a group of boys and a young woman to lead the girls. The team can relate better to the team leader and will participate more if the opposite gender is not present. If you have a co-ed group, you can begin together (group time), then break out for the team activities and then finish up together –even planning a joint apostolic project. Conquest and Challenge are very flexible, and while gender specific is recommended for middle school groups.
Typically how many girls or boys make up a team? How old should the team leaders be? How do I find or train team leaders?
A team consists of 1 to 2 team leaders with 8 – 10 team members. Your youth group may have several different teams, some smaller and some larger. Team leaders should be mature enough to lead a team of younger kids. We recommend that the youngest team leaders be in 8th grade since the youngest teams will be in 5th/6th grade. Most of the current Conquest and Challenge team leaders are in high school and we have about 800 teens leading groups across the US and Canada.
I have youth in 5th through 8th grade, but not enough to make different teams. Can I combine the grades?
Yes, you can surely use the 5th/6th or 7th/8th grade curriculum for middle school teams ranging over several grades. We suggest always using the younger age group curriculum so that in coming years, the material does not get repetitive.
I don’t have enough boys to run a Father & Son Leadership Group and a Junior Leadership Group. Can I combine them?
Yes, it is suggested to run the Junior Leadership Group for boys ranging in age from 5-9 years old. 10 year olds could be moved to the Conquest middle school group for 5th/6th (even if they are in 4th grade).
ABOUT Conquest & Challenge MEMBERSHIP PACKAGES & KITS
What is included with a Conquest or Challenge Annual Membership Package?
An annual membership includes a license to use Conquest & Challenge for one school year, an adult leader kit (with over $250 of promotional materials, Curriculum & Training Guides, Online Access to the resource center and online video training series.) The adult leader kit is included in the Annual Membership Package and includes an adult leader t-shirt, the Conquest or Challenge promo kit, the 5 book Conquest & Challenge Leadership Series, 3’x5′ banner and other pieces. The Annual Membership Package also includes a coupon for 1 free team leader kit and T-shirt, ($52 value), and 6 free member kits and T-shirts ($144 value). You need to purchase the Annual Membership Package in order to purchase team leader kits or member kits. The Annual Membership Package for 2016-17 is $749.95. Click on the Youth Ministry Packages from the main menu on our website to see our kits!
What comes in a Team Leader Kit? Why do I need these to get Conquest and Challenge up and running?
A team leader kit includes the 4 Team Leader Guidebooks, which contain the annual curriculum. Without the Team Leader Guidebooks you really cannot get Conquest or Challenge started. You can choose the grade level you want for the team leader guidebooks – 5th/6th, 7th/8th or High School. The team leader kit also includes a bag, a virtue and saint calendar, a member prayer book, and other fun items. The Team Leader Kits can be found on the store and cost $39.95 each. (Remember – you get 1 free team leader kit and team leader T-shirt with the Annual Membership Package.)
What comes in a member kit? Why are they important?
A member kit includes a cinch bag, virtue and saint calendar, member prayer books, and other fun items that change every year. They are optional add-ons but really complete the experience for a boy or girl because it helps build a sense of unity as part of the group. Even more importantly, it provides them with a member / prayer book and virtue & saint calendar which can help them grow spiritually and learn about their faith. The member kits can be found on the store and costs $11.95. (Remember – you get 6 free member kits with the Annual Membership Package, and 6 free member T-shirts.)
Do all team leaders need to have the Team Leader guidebooks?
A team may have two leaders who share a set of guidebooks yet the books should not be shared among several different teams. This is so that the teens who are leading the teams can have the material in their hands. The Team Leader Guidebooks are meant to be just that – workbooks which the team leaders write in and make their own.
Can I purchase a set of books for the team leaders without the other kit items ? Can I purchase additional Team Leader shirts for my additional team leaders?
Yes, you can find the Conquest and Challenge Team Leader Book series and t-shirts a la carte on the store without purchasing the entire Team Leader Kit. Challenge and Conquest also offer adult leader kit shirts a la carte.
What about adult volunteers supplies?
You can purchase an Adult Leader t-shirt for all adult volunteers on your team as well as Team Leader books for those who train the youth leaders.
Why must I purchase and annual membership package, I just want some curriculum?
Conquest and Challenge are a youth ministry comprehensive programs that run weekly and concurrent with the school year. We offer much more than a book of curriculum, and there are many pieces that all work in conjunction together for the adult leaders, team (teen) leaders, and members. The annual membership package is a license to run the program for a period of one year, providing the parish, school or institution with the rights to use the name, logos, materials, online resources, promotions, etc. Challenge and Conquest are priced competitively lower than other Catholic Youth Ministry programs, especially in all of the resources that are provided.
Do you offer Conquest or Challenge Retreat Guides and materials for Youth Ministers?
Yes, Challenge offers a retreat series with leader guides and materials for the participants. We currently have 3 different retreats available: Iced Out, Survivor and Journey. You can find these materials on the store.
ABOUT Conquest & Challenge RESOURCE CENTER and ONLINE TRAINING
How do I get access to the adult leader and team leader online resource centers?
After your annual membership order is complete, you will receive a password in August to access the adult leader and team leader resource center online. There are hundreds of files that complete the curriculum on the resource centers.
How do I get access to the adult leader and team leader online training series?
After your annual membership order is complete, you will receive a password in August to access the adult leader and team leader resource center online. The videos for the training series are in the resource centers.
ABOUT STARTING A Conquest OR Challenge Group
I am a parent and would like to start Conquest or Challenge at my parish or school. How do I get started?
Ask your pastor or principle for permission to license the Conquest and / or Challenge Youth ministry program to the parish or school. Once they agree, you can complete an order online for an annual membership or call our customer service line and someone will assist you with your order.
I am a youth minister or campus minister and would like to start Conquest or Challenge at my parish or school. How do I get started?
It’s very easy – you can simply got to our registration page and complete an order online for an annual membership at www.missionnetwork.com/register-conquest or www.missionnetwork.com/register-challenge. If you prefer to go through customer service, you can call 855-556-6872 and someone will assist you with your order.
How do most groups pay for the Annual Membership and materials? Should I charge members and if so, how much?
Most Conquest and Challenge groups charge an annual membership to the kids and include their kit. For most families it is seen in the same way kids would pay for soccer or dance classes. The best way to determine the annual registration fee per member is to calculate the annual membership cost including all member kits and team leader kits, and then divide this by the number of estimated members in your program. Each member will then pay a fee to help offset the cost of the program to the parish or school. For example, if you had a Conquest or Challenge group of 30 kids and bought the annual membership package, 25 member kits and 4 team leader kits – it would end up costing each kid less than $50 a year. If you divide that up over 10 months, it’s only $5 a month. That is including their kits with t-shirts, bags, calendar, prayer book etc. Fundraising is also recommended for groups as well. Some parishes or schools prefer to pay for entire program and that works too.
Who will manage the finances as well as the other administrative aspects of the program?
The entity (parish or school) who license the program will manage the finances for the program and provide the permission forms for all participants in the same manner that after school programs or faith formation classes are managed.
Who do I contact for more information or assistance placing an order?
Please call 855-556-6872 for assistance. Our customer service representatives are available to assist you Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm EST.
How can I find out if there is Conquest or Challenge near me?
Do you offer local or national training events to help people get Conquest or Challenge started?
Yes, we can either connect you to other local groups for training opportunities or see about the possibility of coming to your location to offer regional training if you have a large group of people interested in starting Conquest or Challenge. We are not currently offering any Conquest or Challenge National Leader Conventions with training.
ABOUT Conquest AND Challenge CAMPS
Where can I find information about the Conquest or Challenge Summer Camps?
Do you offer a National Conquest or Challenge Camp?
Yes, Conquest offers a National Conquest Camp each year. Challenge does not currently offer a national camp but rather promotes the network of regional camps with the same camp theme/activities.
ABOUT RELATED PROGRAMS
What is ECyD? What does it mean that Conquest and Challenge are powered by ECyD?
You can find a detailed explanation of ECyD and how it enriches Conquest and Challenge on the ECYD page of this website.
How is Pure Fashion connected to Challenge and why is it offered as an Add- On Program?
Years ago, Pure Fashion was born as a project that several Challenge groups did. It has since grown to be an amazing program for girls to grow in modesty and virtue. It is in the works to be adapted as an-add on program so that the richness of the Pure Fashion program can benefit the Challenge clubs as well. Visit www.purefashion.com
What is Mission Network and how is it connected to Conquest and Challenge?
Mission Network Programs USA, Inc. is the parent non-profit corporation of Conquest and Challenge and many other programs such as Pure Fashion, Mission Youth , LTP, and Pilgrim Queen. For more information, visit www.missionnetwork.com.