I was adopted at two years old through an open adoption. When I got old enough, my Mom wanted to put me in Boy Scouts until she spoke to my biological aunt who told her about the Royal Rangers. She liked the idea better since the program was Christian based. I started the Rangers while I was six years old while attending Calvary Temple A/G in Canton, Ohio, and Royal Rangers has been an integral part of my life since. Ron Clymer was my Commander throughout my years as a Buckaroo.
I have disabilities that make it seem as though I am not paying attention; Attention Deficit disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and Delayed Speech Thought Process (stuttering). The Tourette’s causes me to make noises that sound a little like barks and to twitch a lot. When I was younger it affected me more than it does now. With the Speech Delay, I know what I want to say but I just can’t get it out without stuttering. Ron Clymer understood these issues and took his time with me helping me memorize the verses, the Ranger Code and the Motto. It was hard work for me, Ron and my Mom, but I got through it, learned everything I was assigned and completed the Buckaroos. When I started the Pioneers, I had Commander Denny Bucher. I received the Prestigious Hawk Award. In my church, I was the only Pioneer to reach that high.
I was thinking about attending the Royal Ranger Junior Leadership Training Academy at one point in time, but my commander, Chuck Harlow, thought that I was not quite ready. At that time I started my first camp, the Junior Training Camp, to help me learn other camping techniques and work together in patrol to make camping fun. When the last day came, I was beaming from one ear to the other. I wanted everybody to know that I did this all by myself.
My next camp was Advanced Junior Training Trails, which was my favorite camp. We had about three different knots we needed to learn, the square knot, the sheet bend, and bowline. We learned how to measure out a topography map with a compass and within four days we tracked thirty miles. During our hike, we tried to identify the bird songs, animal tracks and several types of plants. During this time in my Rangers career, my family wanted to move from Ohio to South Carolina. We had to travel back and forth to Ohio. I completed the last camp, Junior Survival Camp. In this camp we learned to scavenge for food and live off of what we had. I received my graduation Saber Sword in Columbia, Ohio on Oct, 29, 2005. My favorite bible verse (Revelation 3:20) is printed on the sword.
Through the camps and the other activities I have done in the Rangers I have been blessed to have commanders who were by my side to encourage and help me all the way. I thank them for the opportunity they gave me to progress to where I am now. When I think about the Royal Rangers and what this group has meant to me, I think about the great time that I have spent with God and enjoying His presence in me and then sharing what I have experienced with others so they learn to feel His presence in their own ways.