Royal Rangers is a worldwide ministry of the Assemblies of God and is designed to provide youth with challenging activities while providing them with Christian instruction. Royal Rangers International is open to participation of both boys and girls, while the US only allows boy participation in chartered outposts. A camping theme has traditionally been at the heart of most activities, although other non-camping activities are included as well. The new areas of focus are: outdoors, drama/arts, technology, sports, trades, or ministry. An outpost or boy may choose any of the six foci or combination thereof as his primary skill focus. The new philosophy of Royal Rangers includes flexibility in regards to skill focus, uniforms, etc. is dubbed, "Royal Rangers 2.0" at LEAD conference 2012 to indicate a clear distinction between the previous outdoors-focused version and the new version that includes many areas of focus.
The program includes a merit award system whereby Royal Rangers must demonstrate specific knowledge and abilities. This ministry was developed by North Texas Youth Director Rev. John Henry "Johnnie" Barnes in 1962, and since then it has spread from the Assemblies of God to many other denominations (notably the International Pentecostal Holiness Church and Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)) and from the United States to over 86 countries. According to the national website for the U.S., Royal Rangers is a mentoring program for future men. Royal Rangers promotes Christlike character formation and servant leadership development for boys and young men in a highly relational and fun environment. The Royal Rangers mission is to evangelize, equip, and empower the next generation of Christlike men and lifelong servant leaders.
- 1 History
- 2 Flag
- 3 The Royal Ranger uniform
- 4 Honors
- 5 Royal Rangers worldwide
- 6 Training seminars
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
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- 1914 The Assemblies of God begins in April in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
- 1960 Rev. Burton Pierce comes to Springfield, Missouri as Men's Department Secretary. He helps develop "The Group of Brothers"—Burton Pierce, Lloyd Colbough, Charles Scott, Weldon Colbough, and Dick Champion—to pray for God's direction in the development of a new boys' program in the Assemblies of God.
- 1961 Rev. Pierce travels to Texas to meet North Texas District Christ Ambassadors President Johnnie Barnes. Rev. Johnnie Barnes is considered founder of Royal Rangers. Rev Barnes's memorial tombstone states that he is the Royal Rangers Founder and the handbooks as well state he founded the ministry in 1962.
- 1962 In January, Rev. Johnnie Barnes moves to Springfield, Missouri, to put together a program for boys. Rev. Charles Scott suggests the name “Royal Rangers.” Rev. Barnes becomes the first Royal Rangers national commander. The first pilot program is conducted at Webster Park A/G in Springfield, Missouri, with a second unofficial pilot program conducted at Bethel A/G, also in Springfield, using the same materials.
- 1963 The Royal Rangers Leadership Training Course is developed.
- 1964 The first district-wide "pow wows", large annual camps, are held. The Gold Medal of Achievement and the Medal of Valor awards are first offered.
- 1966 Royal Rangers ministries are set up in Australia and Latin America. The Frontiersmen Camping Fraternity (later Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship; FCF) is formed. The first Royal Rangers Week is held. It celebrates the Royal Rangers ministry and encourages reaching, teaching, and keeping boys for Christ.
- 1968 National Training Camps for Royal Rangers leaders are held in four states: Missouri, Colorado, New York, and California.
- 1974 The first National Camporama, a camping event that happens every four years, is held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ministry established in Worcester, England.
- 1977 The National Royal Rangers Council is formed and meets in Springfield, Missouri.
- 1986 The National Royal Rangers Training Center (now National Royal Rangers Center) at Eagle Rock, Missouri is dedicated. It is also called Camp Eagle Rock.
- 1989 National Commander Johnnie Barnes dies due to an apparent heart attack. For twenty-seven years he led the Royal Rangers, developing its ministry. (Commander Barnes is buried in Maple Park Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri.) Rev. Ken Hunt is named national commander. He guides the ministry for ten years.
- 1999 Rev. Richard Mariott is appointed national commander. He was the commander for the Northern California/Nevada District for seven years. His goals are to encourage Royal Rangers and develop new programs.
- 2002 Ranger Kids, the first portion of the newly revised Royal Rangers ministry, is tested and released to U.S. churches.
- 2003 Discovery Rangers and Adventure Rangers materials are released to U.S. churches.
- 2004 Expedition Rangers materials are released to U.S. churches.
- 2006 Rev. Richard Mariott announces that he will resign as National Commander on December 31, 2006.
- 2007 Rev. Doug Marsh is named National Commander. He was previously Director of Royal Rangers International. His appointment was effective February 1, 2007. Marsh will continue to also direct Royal Rangers International until a transition in leadership in that department can be made. Marsh is also the first National Commander to have been involved in the ministry of Royal Rangers as a boy, having earned his Gold Medal of Achievement.
- 2008 At their annual National Council in Springfield, Missouri. in March, Royal Rangers announces that by July 31, 2011 they will phase out the current uniform and phase in new uniform selections along with new training programs, awards and merits. Plans were also presented to expand the scope of the program beyond the traditional camping emphasis to include activities of common interest to all boys (i.e. sports, technology, trades, drama/arts, outdoors, and ministry).
- 2010 The new advancement system for Discovery Rangers, Adventure Rangers, and Expedition Rangers is released. This new system will run concurrently with the previous 2002 version until Dec 31, 2012.
- 2012 Royal Rangers USA celebrates its 50th Anniversary during its 10th National Camporama in Eagle Rock, MO.
- 2013 The new Ranger of the Year program is slated to be released after LEAD conference in March 2013.
The Royal Rangers flag is the Royal Rangers emblem centered on a white field.
The Royal Rangers Emblem is a stylized emblem containing points in three different colors: Red, Blue, and Gold. The four red points represent "the four main teachings of the church": salvation, baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, and The Second Coming of Christ. The four gold points denote the four ways a boy grows: mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. Finally, the eight blue points represent the virtues that make up the Ranger Code: alert, clean, honest, courageous, loyal, courteous, obedient, and spiritual.
Previously the motto was: Ready. Ready for anything. Ready to work, play, serve, obey, worship, live, etcetera.
The Royal Ranger uniform
The Royal Rangers uniform varies somewhat from one nation to another, with most nations using some form of the original all-khaki uniform.
The Royal Rangers uniform in the USA underwent considerable changes in 2009. Rather than utilizing one standard uniform, Royal Rangers now have the option of choosing from a variety of formats, ranging from a simple, low-cost T-shirt and jeans to a much more formal “dress uniform”. The newest uniform option, known as the “utility uniform”, utilizes a long-sleeved khaki shirt and navy blue cargo-style pants. The intent of this uniform was to provide a style that is comfortable and suitable for active use, while retaining its usefulness for more formal occasions.
Updates released after LEAD conference in March 2012 allow for a non-uniformed option. New awards such as medallions, coins, bolo ties, and hatpins were created for the non-uniformed outpost. These additional items can also supplement the medal drapes, ribbons, and patches that are currently used in uniformed outposts.
Ranger of the Year
Ranger of the Year is a competition held annually in which each Ranger is tested on his knowledge and skills. A Ranger's ability to qualify is based on the number of points they have earned from completing things such as merits or medals, attending camps, or wearing their uniform. This competition is held in every level (Outpost, Section, District,Region and National) and at the lower three levels, every person who gets more than 85% of their testing right gets a medal. At the Regional level, the person who gets the highest score becomes the National Royal Ranger of the Year for that Region. In the spring of 2008, it was announced that the Ranger of the Year competition would be suspended above the Outpost level for at least five years pending transitional changes in the group and an evaluation of the competition on the whole. In 2011, it was announced at the LEAD conference, that Ranger of the Year would be returning in 2013.
Gold Medal of Achievement
The Gold Medal of Achievement (GMA) is the highest honor a boy can earn. It was first offered in 1963 with the first recipient completing its requirements in 1964. In its 50-year history the GMA has been earned by over 6000 boys ages 12 through 17. The average age of a boy earning the GMA is approximately 16 years of age. This indicates that a boy has been involved in Royal Rangers for at least 4–5 years before earning his GMA. At this time, slightly less than 1% of the boys involved in Royal Rangers each year earn the GMA. As a result of its challenging merit trail, it is truly a coveted award for any Royal Ranger boy. The youngest boy to receive the GMA was Christian Miller in 2009. Christian had earned over 100 merits and had finished his first of five Gold Buffalos before receiving his GMA. He received his GMA the day he turned 12, being the first person to do so. It was presented at a ceremony in Montgomery, Ohio, by National Commander Doug Marsh. Matt Brookbank and Jordan Pingleton also earned their GMA on their 12th birthdays. Both had over 75 merits earned by their twelfth birthday as well. 
Requirements (Expire Dec 31, 2012)
- Be at least 12 years old (and at least in the 6th grade), but less than 18 years old or high school graduate (whichever is later)
- Have been a Silver Medalist for at least 3 months
- Have completed 24 merits, 16 of those chosen from a required list and 8 personal choice
- Have served in a (junior) leadership position for at least 6 months
- Have written a 500 word essay on “The Value of Royal Rangers to Me”
- Have completed a Christian Service Project
Gold Buffaloes A Gold medalist who earns above and beyond the GMA requirements may qualify for a gold buffalo if they complete the following requirement:
- Six additional green and/or silver skill merits. Gold and sky blue leadership merits may also be used in combination with the green and silver skill merits.
Requirements (Starting Sept 1, 2010-Present)
- Be at least 12 years old (and at least in the 6th grade), but less than 18 years old or high school graduate (whichever is later)
- Gender requirement: must be male.
- No less than 9 months as a Silver Medalist (may be waived for boys in the 8th grade or older)
- 12 months in a leadership position
- Recite from memory the Royal Ranger Pledge, Code, Motto, meaning of the Emblem points, and Golden Rule
- Present the plan of salvation
- Complete the GMA Capstone Project (Submit Capstone Project Checklist with the application.)
- Complete a District Review Board process
- Merits needed include 3 green core: Healthy Body, Bible, and Global Missions. In addition to the core green merits any 4 red, gold, or sky blue leadership merits will satisfy the additional core requirements. Eleven elective merits can be any green skill and/or silver skill merits. The 11 electives can be a combination of any activity or area of focus such as outdoors, technology, drama/arts, ministry, trades, and sports.
Silver Buffaloes Gold medalist who earn above and beyond the GMA requirements may qualify for a silver buffalo if they complete the following requirements:
- One Gold Leadership merit
- Two Green Skill merits
- One Brown Bible merit composed of 8 lessons (2 lessons of which can be alternatives)
The Honor Gold Medal of Achievement
The Honor Gold Medal of Achievement or HGMA is a new award given to boys who not only complete the highest award in Royal Rangers but have over the course of their time in the program completed the highest medal in each of the four groups. This is similar in how the buffaloes are awarded for additional merit work above their medal's requirements. Requirements for the HGMA are:
- Expedition Ranger
- Read and/or listened to the Bible in its entirety
- Presented the plan of salvation to his pastor
- Ranger Kids Gold Trail Award (after September 1, 2001)
- Discovery Rangers Gold Eagle (after September 1, 2001)
- Adventure Rangers Gold Medal of Achievement
- Expedition Rangers E3 Award (or the Achievement, Activities, Service, and Leadership medals; all four medals after September 1, 2001)
Royal Rangers worldwide
Royal Rangers ministers to young people in the United States and in over 87 countries. The largest organization outside the United States is in Australia, with groups in all areas except Northern Territory and Western Australia. The other countries that have a Royal Rangers program are:
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Royal Rangers has a variety of different training opportunities for adult leaders and boys, or Junior Leaders. Training takes place in various parts of the country and is mostly given at the District and national levels. The following are for adults:
- Ranger Basics: this course provides the entrance into the ministry and is the first step in training.
- Ranger Essentials: this course provides instruction in how to conduct spiritual services.
- Ranger Safety: is an online course to equip leaders with skills necessary to keep the boys, themselves and their churches safe from many different dangers and threat.
- First Aid/CPR: is recommended for all leaders who take boys on outings outside of the church. Can be taken through any nationally recognized provider such as Red Cross, National Safety Council, or the American Heart Association.
- Rangers Ministry Academy: this academy is where the Royal Ranger leader is ultimately trained in the correct function of the ministry.
- National Rangers Ministry Camp: is designed to give leaders professional training in camping and leadership, plus the opportunity of outstanding fellowship and adventure in the outdoors. NRMC replaces the previous National Training Camp (NTC). National Rangers Ministry Camp is a prerequisite for the Trained level of the outpost leaders advancement level training system.
- Ranger Kids Training Conference: is designed to give leaders training in various techniques and methods of leadership. Leaders will also receive training in various aspects of the Ranger Kids ministries. RKTC is being revamped an replaced by the National Early Elementary Conference (NEEC). NEEC will have a shorter time frame.
- World Class Outpost: seminar is designed to expose the outpost leadership team to a successful set of practices, methods, strategies, and tools that will enable them to develop into a "World Class Outpost". The outpost leaders are encouraged to attend and complete this event together.
- The new Outpost Leaders Advancement Levels (OLAL) is a new training system that denotes a leaders level of training through four steps. The first step is Ready level which requires Ranger Basics and Ranger Essentials. Safety level requires Ranger Safety an FA/CPR course. Trained level requires NRMC or NEEC; prior completion of NTC or RKTC is also accepted in lieu of NRMC/NEEC. The Advanced level requires World Class Outpost and two additional elective modules from the Rangers Ministry Academy. Additional practical hands-on requirements are needed at each level as well. After completion of Advanced level, a leader who has led a boy through from beginning of his group's advancement trail to its highest medal may apply for the Medal of Excellence award.
- Training Academy is designed to give leaders the ability to teach the modules required for the Rangers Ministry Academy. It is the first academy a potential certified instructor must complete in order to attend any of the national academies. TA replaces the older Instructor Certification Seminar (ICS).
- Instructor Trainers are selected after they complete the requirements of the new TA. Instructor Trainers assist in training future Certified Instructors (CI).
- National Training Trails, Winter National Training Camp, and National Canoe Expedition: have been discontinued at the national level. Additional advanced training in these camps will be held at the local district level in a new format called, "Action Camps". Local districts may offer more training in other areas of focus in addition to the outdoors.
- The Pre-Requisite Study course: is the first step in preparing recommended leaders for Training Academy and National Academy. Successful completion of the Pre-Requisite Study Course and test is required before an application to attend Academy can be submitted. The study course materials are available at any time. A minimum of three to six months is recommended to prepare for Academy training
- National Royal Rangers Academy: National Academy is a national training seminar designed to train recommended leaders to become staff members for national training events.
- Advanced National Royal Rangers Academy: is a national training seminar designed to train recommended leaders for the specialized leadership roles of the Camp Commander and Senior Guide for the various national training camps.
- Academy Instructor: is a national training seminar to instructors that will teach at national academies.
- Obituary, Springfield (MO) News-Leader, June 17, 1989, page 2B
- The Official website of Royal Rangers in the USA
- The Official website of Royal Rangers International, the liaison between the United States Royal Rangers and other national programs
- The new online curriculum delivery system site
- A new web site designed to explain the new RR2.0 philosophy
- The official site for Rangers in Australia
- A website containing a great deal of information concerning the culture of Royal Rangers
- The Mississippi District Website
- The Southern New England District Website
- The Stonewall Royal Ranger Website. Outpost 1 Sonewall,Mississippi
- http://www.erlac.com (Spanish)
- http://exploreyrd.org web official de Republica Dominicana (Spanish)
- http://www.exploradoresdelreyhn.net Honduran Royal Rangers (Spanish)
- http://www.exploradoresdelrey.net (Spanish)
- Royal Rangers in Chile (Spanish)
- Royal Rangers of Iglesia Asambleas de Dios de Sierra Bayamón en Puerto Rico (Spanish)
- The Official website of Royal Rangers in Singapore
- The official site for Royal Rangers in Germany
- The official site of the Louisiana Royal Rangers
- The official site of the Northern California and Nevada Royal Rangers
- The official site of the South Texas Royal Rangers
- The official site of the North Texas Royal Rangers