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CYC - Christian Youth Crusaders

Sponsor: Free Methodist Church of North America


Motto: Increase in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and Man. Luke 2:52

---Not to be confused with the 1930's "Christian Youth Crusaders" program, that was the youth program for the Kentucky State Citizens Committee, an anti-alcohol temperance group. ---

Appears to have been created along the lines of most religious youth groups of the time, similar to scouting programs with a nod to the specific faith. Uniforms, earned emblems and fond memories are common. Like other youth programs - the CYC evolved out of youth programs in place that had been studied and modified, launching in 1939.

Originally it was only open to boys and girls 12-14 years of age. 3 meetings a week were normal: Sunday School, a meeting later on Sunday (afternoon or evening) and a meeting during the week. The Sunday School meeting was to focus on the spiritual side of CYC, the later Sunday meeting was to visit the sick or elderly, prayer groups and such. The meeting during the week was to focus more the on the club aspect of the CYC - earning emblems, learning first aid, etc.

Later the CYC had different age groups:

  • Heralds: Grades 1-3

  • Cadets: Grades 4-6

    • Pals - 4th Grade​

    • Volunteers - 5th Grade

    • Messengers - 6th Grade

  • Crusaders: Grades 7-9

    • Knights (Boys)​

    • Pilgrims (Girls)

The Service Year began on September 1 of any year. The "color" for the Cadet level was yellow. It appears that the button-style pins (the earned emblems) were also color-coded; red pins for Pals, green pins for Volunteers and purple pins for Messengers. There were 10 earned emblems for each year/level and extra emblems that covered such topics as camping, nature study, etc.

Like all youth programs, the CYC grew and changed through the years.

A kindergarten group was later started called Joybelles.

The Canadian program used the same logo for CYC, but their earned emblems were different form the USA program.

The Ten Required Pins


Side by side comparison of the 2 known sizes of CYC earned emblems. Shown are CYC Cadet "Sword" emblem 5/8"

and CYC Cadet "Key" emblem 7/8"

Each year, starting on September 1 the CYC member moved up the ladder and was encouraged to earn a new set of the 10 required pins. Every level was a little bit harder to earn. To earn the Fairbairn Award, the highest honor in the Cadet level of CYC, it was nexessary to earn all 10 pins each of the 3 years for the Cadet program, for a total of 30 Award Pins. 


Each level was color-coded. Shown here is the red "Pal" level of the 10 Required pins:


The Helmet Award Pin helps the Cadet to learn about Salvation and being a Christian


The Shield Award Pin teaches the Cadet about Prayer and Faith


The Breastplate Award Pin helps the Cadet to do Good Deeds of Righteousness


The Belt Award Pin helps the Cadet to learn about Truths in the Bible


The Shoes Award Pin helps the Cadet to learn about those who are carrying the Gospel of Peace to others.


The Sword Award Pin teaches the Cadet about the Bible - the Word, which is the Sword of the Spirit.

God and Church Pin.

Teaches the Cadet about doctrine, living the Christian life, and the history and work of the Free Methodist Church.


A Cadet learns to Live with Others


A Cadet Learns New Ideas


A Cadet Builds a Strong Body


Star Pins were earned for doing extra good work.


1965 CYC Cadet Trails Handbook


Old felt CYC emblem


Highest Awards for the CYC program:

The Todd Herald Award for the Herald level


The Fairbairn Award for the CYC Cadet level

  • Charles V Fairbairn Award for boys

  • Lena M Fairbairn Award for girls

  • The Roberts Award for the CYC Crusader level


Examples of 2 of the 10 Required Pins

from the Messenger level of the Cadet program. These have words on them.

Woggle for the official CYC neckerchief



Various Nature related pins for the Crusaders program


CYC Camper pin, earned at a CYC camp



Missionary study is an important part of the cyc.


CYC Crusader Cadet patches:

  •  Pals - red

  • Volunteers - green

  •  Messengers - purple



A Christian Youth Crusader "Herald" level sash from the 1976 era. The Herald level was grades 1-3. It appears this level had 4 earned patches for each grade; white patches for 1st grade, yellow patches for 2nd grade and blue patches for 3rd grade.


Canadian Christian Youth Crusaders patches (above) and a Canadian CYC Cadet level sash (right)


CYC Certified Director pin

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