The value of Royal Rangers to me is that it has benefited my life in many ways. Rangers has benefited me mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. Some of these skills or benefits came easy, and some - came hard. I had a lot of fun, and there were several times I didn't want to finish; but I'm glad that I completed the task that was set before me.
I figured out pretty quickly that it was going to get tough. Shortly after coming to Outpost #77, I became the senior patrol guide and had to learn to be a leader. As senior patrol guide, I was the one who made sure everything in the patrols ran smoothly. When I first started at the position, I was timid. I was new, and Ryan Jakab had just finished eighth grade, earned his GMA, and moved on. I wasn't very familiar with the way things ran or how everybody would react to a new guy in charge. It wasn't easy for me, but with the help of my Commanders and parents; I stepped into the role progressing noticeably along the way. I had to learn to push myself past what I thought was my limit. I had to step out of my comfort zone and press on. It wasn't easy for me to get up in front of people and lead. Sometimes I just felt like quitting. In the end, I found it rewarding to keep going.
I had some great times in Rangers most of which came from campouts. I went on plenty of them including Pow-Wow's, National Rendezvous, and other group campouts. It was pretty cool being senior guide on camp outs because Commander Heiliger would always say, "Brandon, you're suppose to make sure all of the work gets finished- you're not suppose to do it all yourself." So, I'd always sit in the hammock and tell everyone what needed to be done, or I would help Commander Guyton in the kitchen. I thought that was pretty fun, but it wasn't like I got that many samples. The commanders had some ideas about their own fun. One unforgettable Pow-Wow, they were picking on me because for 1½ years I had everything except my service project done. They cracked jokes on me the whole time. They were calling me 'little-a' GMA, because I was almost a GMA, but that was their way of getting me to finish the work that I was already so close to finishing. Other than campouts, I enjoyed doing the more active merits like cycling, basketball, archery, black powder rifle, and so on.
Royal Rangers benefited me socially. I made a lot of friends at outpost #77, and I also made a lot from other outposts. I got to spend a lot of time with them at various outings or competitions as we worked, played games, or just hung out.
Most importantly, Royal Rangers has benefited me spiritually. Through the Bible merits, the weekly devotions that commander Tarris would do, the devotions we had on campouts, and the overall Christian character displayed by the commanders, there was a lot to learn; and a great example to follow to help guide me in my Christian walk.
Royal Rangers was fun. I've got a lot of good memories, but I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for a great group of commanders and my parents' help. Their dedication to see me finish strong was priceless. They pushed me and encouraged me to keep going. Even when I was ready to give up - they were there. There were a number of commanders that were with me almost every step of the way to make sure I finished my GMA. I would like to say a big thanks to the following commanders: Comm. Tim Heiliger, Comm. Tom Tarris, Comm. John Guyton, Comm. Kevin Comalander, Comm. Tom Carico, and to my dad as a commander and parent. He was at every outing he possibly could. He helped me when I needed it, and he taught me to be a better Ranger and a better leader. I'd like to say a special thanks to Comm. John Guyton for going out of his way to make sure my service project was a success. If it hadn't been for him things wouldn't have ran as smoothly as they did. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped me on my service project. I'd like to thank my mom. She was always pushing me to finish what I started; I wouldn't have earned this award without her. Thanks for all your support.