Royal Rangers

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Royal Rangers is a church-based mentoring program designed to provide boys with challenging activities as they develop into godly men. An estimated 125,000 boys, young men and leaders participate in Royal Rangers through a network of 4,000 outposts active in all 50 American states. Royal Rangers has additional outposts located in 90 countries around the world. Royal Rangers charters are available to over 70 denominations or fellowships and can be adapted to meet each church’s individual needs. In addition, families, home school cooperatives, boys’ or group homes, schools, and other organizations may offer Royal Rangers if they gain the sponsorship and oversight of an eligible church.

"Ready. Ready for anything. Ready to work, play, serve, worship, live, and obey God's Word" is the motto for the Royal Rangers, a Spirit–empowered K-12 mentoring program for future men, which provides Christ-like character formation and servant leadership development in a highly relational and fun environment.

Royal Rangers was founded as a camping program. However in recent years other non-camping activities have been added. Additional areas of activity and learning include: drama/arts, technology, sports, trades, or ministry. This approach creates a distinctive among other mentoring programs by providing discipleship and the a robust range of activities.

Royal Rangers includes a merit award system whereby a Royal Ranger demonstrates specific knowledge and abilities. As a boy earns merits he is able to advance toward the highest honor available to a Royal Ranger: the Gold Medal of Achievement.


  • 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.[1] 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 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 plans 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 at Camp Eagle Rock in Eagle Rock, MO.
  • 2013 The new Ranger of the Year program is slated to be released after LEAD conference in March 2013.

Core program elements[edit]


The Royal Ranger Emblem. As worn by every Royal Ranger in the world.

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, Healing, Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Rapture. The four gold points denote 'the four ways a boy grows': mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. The eight blue points represent the virtues that make up the 'Ranger Code': alert, clean, honest, courageous, loyal, courteous, obedient, and spiritual.


The Royal Rangers flag is the Royal Rangers emblem centered on a white field.


With God’s help, I will do my best to serve God, my church, and my fellowman; to live by the Ranger Code; to make the Golden Rule my daily rule.


A Royal Ranger is: Alert, Clean, Honest, Courageous, Loyal, Courteous, Obedient, Spiritual.

ALERT. He is mentally, physically, and spiritually alert. CLEAN. He is clean in body, mind, and speech. HONEST. He does not lie, cheat, or steal. COURAGEOUS. He is brave, in spite of danger, criticism, or threats. LOYAL. He is faithful to his church, family, outpost, and friends. COURTEOUS. He is polite, kind, and thoughtful. OBEDIENT. He obeys his parents, leaders, and those in authority. SPIRITUAL. He prays, reads the Bible, and witnesses.


Ready. Ready for anything. Ready to work, play, serve, worship, live, and obey God's Word.

National honors[edit]

Gold Medal of Achievement[edit]

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 Buffaloes 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 (to December 31, 2012)[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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 (beginning September 1, 2010)[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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)

Special programs[edit]

Although Royal Rangers leaders, boys, and young men share many common interests, variety and diversity are also common. With these differences in mind the Royal Rangers program features a number of components of special interest to certain types of our membership. These special programs include: Frontiersman Camping Fellowship (FCF), Royal Rangers Alumni, The Outpost Ranger of the Year, The NSSP (National Shooting Sports Program), The National Championships, Brownells/NRA National Youth Shooting Sports Program, and the "Together Plan".

Royal Rangers worldwide[edit]

Royal Rangers ministers to young people in the United States and in over 90 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:

Training seminars[edit]

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:

General and new training[edit]

In 2013 many elements of training were made available online including; Ranger Safety, Outpost Chaplaincy, Preventing Child and Substance Abuse and more. National Elementary Education Conference and Ranger Safety Course were updated.

Adult leader training[edit]

Outpost leaders can participate in spiritual, Royal Ranger skill, and leadership development through opportunities provided to outpost leaders and organizational leaders.

Junior leader training[edit]

Equipping the next generation of boys and young men involves preparing them for leadership. In Royal Rangers, the process of preparing boys for leadership and engaging them in leadership roles today is an integral part of what we do. The process of training junior leaders currently takes place both within the local outpost as well as at the district level. Both play a vital role in leadership development in Royal Rangers. Boys can participate in local or district leadership training as well as the Trail of the Saber.

Additional leader training[edit]

Additional leadership training is available for instructors, organizational leaders, and more. A full list of national training events are kept updated online.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Obituary, Springfield (MO) News-Leader, June 17, 1989, page 2B

External links[edit]