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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Royal Rangers celebrate 50th anniversary

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A new activity at the Royal Rangers Camporama this year included a zip line, which offered campers a challenging, adrenaline rush for those who braved the heights. Additional activities included football, soccer, and water games, shooting ranges, frontier activities and high ropes courses.
Royal Rangers celebrated its 50th anniversary during its 10th quadrennial Camporama at the campground in Eagle Rock July 9 through July 13.

Over 5,200 campers attended the event, which was highlighted by a variety of activities ranging from frontier living to technological games.

"Royal Rangers is a mentoring program training boys to be men," said John Hicks, national programs coordinator. He has been involved in Royal Rangers since 1975. "We provide Christ-like character formation in a camp setting. The kids enjoy a variety of activities throughout the day, and in the evening, we meet at the amphitheater for evening services and worship."

Activities include high ropes, soccer, football, rappelling, shooting ranges for trap, BB and rifles, archery, water sports and a frontier camp to teach young campers life skills of the frontiersmen."

Each geographical region of the nation is represented with a frontier skill, so campers are not only learning about the way forefathers survived, but a bit of history about the geographical history.

"Campers can choose a character representing their geographical area, such as a mountain man or frontiersman, develop a skill, such as tomahawk throwing, flint knapping, or making knives," said Hicks. "The frontier village is geared to keep older campers engaged in learning a skill so they will continue to come back and mentor to younger campers."

The camp is set up in regional sections, so campers and their adult leaders can socialize, make new friends and mingle with others from neighboring states.

"We have campers set up in districts and regions," Hicks said. "Missouri is part of the Gulf Region, which encompasses Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Missouri."

Each district and region design their own hat pins unique to their area to trade with other campers.

"Pin trading is a big thing here at camp," Hicks said.

There are also shirt or vest patches and other memorabilia that campers can purchase at the general store, located on the midway of the campgrounds.

"We have 1,500 acres here at the campground," Hicks continued. "There are wi-fi hot spots, charging stations for cell phones and Internet access available to campers and adult youth leaders. We have several first aid stations set up throughout the camp and a number of misting tents to keep the boys cool."

The majority of campers are young men and boys, but some areas, especially international clubs such as Russia and Germany, allow young women into their Royal Rangers program. Other international groups represented at this year's Camporama included Australia, Indonesia and the Caribbean Islands.

"This is more than just a camping event," Hicks said. "This is an opportunity to help shape these young campers into the godly husbands, fathers and community leaders."

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