For the past ten years, almost three-quarters of my life, I have been in Royal Rangers. I came into Rangers as a Straight Arrow. I had so much fun there that I didn’t want to leave. I worked hard on the advancements, earning every award in Straight Arrows and Buckaroos long before I moved up to the next group. Pioneers advancements were much harder than anything I had worked on before, but I loved the challenge they presented. Finally I moved up to Trailblazers. During my time in Trailblazers, I realized how close I was to earning my GMA. The thought of earning this award motivated me, and I nearly completed the work before I moved up to Challengers. Now, looking back on my years in Rangers, I realize how truly valuable this program is.
Until recently, I considered the value of Royal Rangers very hard to put into words. How could I evaluate it properly? But now I can finally answer this question. Royal Rangers must be evaluated by what it has done in the lives of those who are in the program. The value is determined by the results.
Bringing souls to Jesus is the highest priority for any Christian group, and Royal Rangers is an excellent tool for this job. At every powwow I have attended, many boys have come forward to receive Christ. If this ministry were meant only to bring kids to Jesus, it would be worth everything that has been put into it. However, Rangers is not limited to this aspect; Royal Rangers reaches and teaches boys.
One of the most significant things Rangers teaches is how to live as a Christian. The Ranger Code provides an excellent set of guidelines for everyday living. In many instances, I have referred to the Ranger Code to help me make decisions. Another outstanding skill taught in Rangers is discipline. It is impossible to consistently follow the Ranger Code unless you have the discipline to do so. Many other things are taught in Rangers, and each improves the boys’ lives.
Not only does the Rangers program reach and teach; it also keeps boys by providing a fun environment. Boys will like coming to have fun and learn about God, instead of coming just because their parents make them. I persisted in Rangers long enough to earn the GMA because I loved it. There was no way I was going to quit Rangers as long as I was having that much fun with my friends. The times I had with Josh, JD, Caleb, and others are irreplaceable.
Finally, Royal Rangers provides an excellent Advancement Trail for boys to work on. Any serious Ranger will learn skills and discipline for life through working on this trail. The Rangers who work hard can go on to earn the Gold Medal of Achievement. I believe that every Ranger should at least attempt to earn the GMA, and in the process they will learn much more about God than they would if they only came to class. During the time I was working on my own GMA, I matured in my walk with God and gained experience in living as a Christian in today’s world.
Royal Rangers is more than just a fun class on Wednesday night: it is a program which has impacted the lives of scores of men and boys. Since its formation, Rangers has brought thousands of souls to Christ, taught them how to live, and made them into strong men of God. Rangers continues to impact the lives of people, and its effect will be felt for many years to come. Results of this quality are extremely rare. What, then, is the value of Royal Rangers? There is no way to put a quantifiable value on the Rangers program. Royal Rangers is priceless.