Bringing up youth who live to love and serve the Lord is a primary goal of corps cadets. Unlike outreach groups that are focused on bringing new youth into the corps, corps cadets is a discipleship and leadership program for youth in grades six and above.
“Corps Cadets gives me an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with my young people,” said Major Shelley McClintock, Omaha Citadel, Neb., corps officer, whose brigade averages 16. “It gives adult leaders a vehicle to talk about the hard stuff, to ask the hard questions and challenges us all to base our thoughts, actions and reactions on the Word of God.”
The latest corps cadet curriculum called BOLD was introduced in 2015. The acronym stands for the elements of the program: Bible study, our heritage, leadership and discipleship. BOLD is designed to comprehensively cover critical issues of faith by focusing a lesson each unit on one of the elements. Three years into using BOLD, corps cadet leaders across the territory report it’s refreshing and effective.
“BOLD has so much deep content in it,” said Melanie Mowers, corps cadet brigade leader at the Royal Oak, Mich., Corps. “We’ve enjoyed the themes, and meeting together every week helps our group to grow in our relationships with Christ and each other.”
Themes for each unit are diverse, ranging from salvation to multiculturalism. All are designed to equip corps cadets with truth from God’s Word to boldly navigate rough waters and to develop into bold leaders. Each lesson is chock full of scripture, historical facts, resources and discussion questions to help students dig deep into the Bible.
“The BOLD material is intentional about presenting a biblical worldview without shying away from the hard issues our kids are facing,” said Barb Higgins, territorial youth leader development coordinator. “It’s based on the Bible and teaches biblical leadership, following Christ’s example to bring up strong, passionate leaders for Him.”
Upon completion of the five-year course, graduate corps cadets are eligible to apply for post-high school education scholarships which can be used for any accredited college or career training program. This incentive sometimes helps young people stick with the program, giving more time to disciple and equip them.
“I tell my corps cadets that in addition to discipleship, learning more about themselves and growing in their relationship with God, there are 4,000 other reasons to participate and complete their corps cadet lessons,” concluded Major Shelley, who says several of her brigade have benefitted from the scholarships. “A thousand dollars a year is huge for them!”