Ed Barnard (ewb@CHERRY.CRAY.COM)
Wed, 21 Jul 1993 12:35:44 CDT
This being my first posting, I'll start with a brief intro. I'm Ed Barnard
in Minnesota, thankfully living on high ground. I've been a Royal Rangers
leader for 10 years. I discovered SCOUTS-L a couple of weeks ago. My boy
Jakob (age 10) is working on his Master rating (the highest) in Pioneers, and
received every Webelos award available -- he's now a Tenderfoot.
I would very much like to collect email addresses of other Royal Rangers
leaders out there. Please write me! (Until now, I've been too shy to ask...)
Here's my perspective on Royal Rangers; nothing here is intended to be either
offensive or defensive. :) Yes, RR is administered through the Men's
Ministries department of the Assemblies of God. Most RR outposts (i.e.,
troop/pack) are chartered through the local A/G church. The Senior Commander
(scoutmaster) is thus under the authority of the local church's pastor.
Much of Royal Rangers is modeled on the Cub/Boy Scouts. Camping and group
activities are very good ways to catch a boy's imagination and enthusiasm.
However. We are NOT competing with the Scouts. Royal Rangers is the most
effective evangelistic outreach available to the Assemblies of God. The
purpose of Royal Rangers is to teach boys how to be Christian men. Royal
Rangers teaches boys what they will NOT learn in school -- or, generally
speaking, from the Scouts. Every rank advancement, from age 5 on up, requires
some Bible knowledge (e.g., quote John 3:16 from memory), working into a
knowledge of Church doctrine by time they hit the teen years. The Royal
Rangers leaders must be positive Christian role models -- again, something
they may never see at home. In short, the purpose of Royal Rangers is
"reaching, teaching, keeping boys for Jesus." We are providing a working
model of how to live an explicitly Christian life in today's society.
How do we handle movement from one age group to another, and how do we
handle large groups? The answer probably varies slightly from place to place,
but here's how _I_ do it.
1. Royal Rangers is usually associated with the local church, and usually
meets at the local church. The problem here is that local churches tend
to be small (most have less than 100 adults on an average Sunday
morning). This means the number of boys in Royal Rangers is also small.
We don't have the high visibility (obviously) of the Scouts. We often
have to take the "one-room schoolhouse" approach, with a wide range of
ages/rank advancements in a given group. In general, all groups meet at
the same place at the same time. We split the boys into Straight Arrows
(5-6), Buckaroos (7-8), Pioneers (9-11), Trailblazers (12-14). Our
particular program meets at the same time as the youth group, and the
age 15+ boys generally prefer that -- that's where the girls are.
2. Given the above, advancement from group to group is simple. It's by age,
not grade, and the boys usually switch groups at the beginning or end of
summer. Nobody's going to a "different" pack/troop/post -- it's all
under the same Senior Commander.
You might note from the above that our program appears weak for the age 14-17
boys, which is where the Boy Scouts really shine. However:
1. The real purpose of Royal Rangers is to give the boys the Christian
foundation for living the rest of their life. If we've done our job, this
will have happened by age 14.
2. There's the Frontiersman Camping Fellowship. It's open to both teenage
boys and men, tough to get into, and lets you stretch as far as you care
3. The Royal Rangers Gold Medal of Achievement is the rough equivalent of
Eagle Scout. It's arguably more or less difficult (depends on the boy)
to achieve; the major distinguishing feature is the Christian study, work,
and service required.
Thanks for listening to a long answer to a short question. You other Royal
Rangers out there, please show yourselves!
Ed Barnard, Cray Research Inc, email@example.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City