There is a great value in the Royal Ranger program and it has truly had a large impact on my life and an affect I will never forget. I am thankful I had a chance to be part of such a great experience and I will always look back on the program and see what it has taught me through all of these years. But to really measure the value of Royal Rangers, I have to think about the programs I went through and see what they really did in my life.
First, I was in Straight Arrows and it was really different than anything I had done before. Even at such a young age I was learning a lot, and even growing socially. When the time came, I moved up to Buckaroos and was presented with all new awards to earn and goals for which to strive. I really enjoyed giving all I had to the program. When I finished the Buckaroos, the names of the programs changed so I moved up to Discovery Rangers. In this new program I had a bad experience in my life in which I really needed something to really fall back on and to look forward to and the Discovery Rangers really helped me to have an outlet every Wednesday night. I completed all of the work in Discovery rangers and moved up to Adventure Rangers. But even in Discovery Rangers all I could think of was how great and hard it would be to reach the GMA, the highest award possible to earn. I wanted this award more than anything because if I wouldn't have tried I would have felt like I let myself down and as well feeling that I would just wasted my time in working in Adventure Rangers, so I worked as hard as I possibly could to get all the necessary badges to earn the GMA.
When I think about all Royal Rangers has taught me I think about the Code: how a Ranger is Alert, Clean, Honest, Courageous, Loyal, Courteous, Obedient, and Spiritual, and how I always found pride in trying to live up to the code. I read the Bible as much as I could to grow spiritually, and followed my responsibilities to be loyal, and tried to be obedient, clean and honest in everyday life. Also, I think about the Pledge: 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. I always remembered this and followed it in ways of treating others the way I would want them to treat me, and made sure to always try being the best I could to serve my mends when they needed something. I respected them and helped them the best I could and the same with my church. All of these things I learned and this helped me in my regular life and they really mean a lot to me.
Along with growing spiritually and mentally I also grew socially. Though the programs teach many valuable things to remember about the Bible and about camping, etc... another important thing is how to get along with your fellowman and even how to make mends. I made many mends and those mends and I stayed in Royal Rangers together for a very long time. If I hadn't joined Royal Rangers I think that I would have had trouble getting along with others and it would be very hard to make mends, because I changed schools a lot and went from home schooling to public school back to home schooling and then to private school. Royal Rangers was there every Wednesday night and I associated with those kids and it helped me to make transitions socially.
To me, the Ranger program is more than just a thing to take part in on Wednesday nights and not to take seriously but it is opportunities to learn and set goals and to get awarded for the hard work you do. I never took these programs for granted, but I always gave my all to this program. And though I did see a lot of my mends leave the program, I never wanted to myself. I wanted to stay in Royal Rangers and eventually earn my GMA so badly that I tried my best to get the Adventure Rangers program started. At that time, once you finished Discovery Rangers, you would go to a youth program but I talked with the senior commander, he spoke with the pastor, and the church added the Adventure Rangers program.
So, after thinking about every aspect of these programs, I cannot help but think of the value of Royal Rangers in my life. Over eight years I have learned innumerable things about the Bible, camping, and many other things, and that has made a great mark on my life. In the end, its easy to say the value of the Royal Rangers is endless. The ministry has radically changed many lives and changed so many people, and I can honestly see that in my own life.