Many religious groups sponsor Scout troops. There is a minimal religious component to American Scouting and in a few cekebrated cases, boys who were athiests have been excluded. Some religious groups want more control over the Scouting program and who belongs. They have formed their own Scout units, but the Boy Scout Association has a legal lock on the word "Scouting" in the United States. Only the
Girl Scouts have been given permission to use the word. It is
trademarked, which is why one religious group which has its own
program calls them "Royal Rangers"--they can't use the word "Scout".
The Royal Rangers are an international Christian scouting program ministering to the needs of boys and girls. One Royal Ranger describes the program:
We wear a great uniform with badges that are earned through an interesting and challenging advancement program. Our weekly meeting include a wide range of activities with a fun programme period designed to help you earn your advancement badges. Through devotions and Bible study we learn about God, ourselves and the world we live in. Through games we learn sportsmanship, teamwork and leadership skills. As well as meetings each week, Ranger groups go on regular outings like hiking, camping and canoeing.
The Royal Rangers were founded as a boys' ministry by the Men's Ministries of the Assemblies of God. The program has since spread beyond just that one denomination to many churches in many countries. The objective of Royal Rangers is to REACH, TEACH, and KEEP boys and girls for JESUS
Figure 1.--This Royal Ranger group wears a Scout-like uniform>
Royal Rangers appears to be a reaction to the more secular Scouting movement. There is a religious element to Scouting and boys proclaiming aethiesm or even agnosticism have been excluded. Many Scout groups are sponsored by Churches. However the religious element in most Scout groups is minor. The Royal Ranges have relogion as the core of the program. While several denominations participate, they are primarily fundamentalist, evangelical protestant denominations.
Royal Ranger activities are divided into many age group units.
Straight Arrows: Kindigarden through 1st Grade. The weekly program has a profound effect on young boys. Its popular Indian theme provides a storehouse of ideas for special emphases and ctivities.
Buckaroos: 2nd & 3rd Grade. The Buckaroo program features a western theme. A Buckaroo learns both the fundamental truths of the Bible and the Royal Rangers ministry. One of the first things a Buckaroo is taught is the Royal Rangers Code.
Pioneers: 4th & 5th Grade. A Pioneer participates in challenging activities such as camping, hiking, first aid, nature study, crafts, Bible study, and Christian service.
Trailblazers: 6th through 8th Grade. This adventure allows the Trailblazer to become self-reliant and appreciative of God by developing his outdoors knowledge and skill.
Some Royal Ranger groups wear Scout-like uniforms. It is unclear if there are national-uniform standards or if uniforms are adopted by local groups. Some Royal Ranger groups in the 1990s report having trouble getting the boys to wear their
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