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If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

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If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by Mark Jones on April 29th 2014, 5:20 pm

With the new change in leadership in the Royal Rangers. WE all know what we don't want but let's be positive and put down some things we do want in the program.

It's ok to qualify your request with what you know does or doesn't work form past experience. Yet please do that in a positive note.

1. Leadership is Key. National staff need to participate in Tent Camping with their local district at least 2 times a year. This means actually tent camping and participating in preparing and cooking meals using camping stoves and methods.

2. Focus. We need a set list of core skills that we can be known for. Our Niche.
It is important to maintain focus on skills and repeating those skills on a annual basis. These set skills make us subject matter experts and our Rangers will learn these skills and be known for them. This pertains not only to skills such as tool craft but as to Bible basics as well.

3. A Christian Scouting Organization. Church Boyscouts. Not only is it descriptive it is also real life and it is easy to explain what Royal Rangers is.

4. Ranger of the year. This program keeps us on track and sharpens our attributes.

This is just a few right off the top of my head. What can we share that will give someone some guidelines on what works in our Local outposts.
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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by ccm2361 on April 29th 2014, 6:36 pm

Wow you really nailed it Mark.  Cool

Mark Jones wrote:1.  Leadership is Key.   National staff need to participate...
I would add, National staff need to participate in the Ranger program at the Outpost level on a regular basis, otherwise people can get out of touch with the reality of Rangers at the local level.
Also, I think National staff members need to be experienced Ranger Leaders who have come up through Section & District levels & understand the Organizational level of Rangers as well as the local.

Mark Jones wrote:2.  Focus.  We need a set list of core skills that we can be known for.  Our Niche.
   It is important to maintain focus on skills and repeating those skills on a annual basis.  These set skills make us subject matter experts and our Rangers will learn these skills and be known for them.  This pertains not only to skills such as tool craft but as to Bible basics as well.  
I agree completely. Trying to be all things to all people never works, whether its in cars, clothes, ministry or anything else.  

Mark Jones wrote:3.  A Christian Scouting Organization.  Church Boyscouts.   Not only is it descriptive it is also real life and it is easy to explain what Royal Rangers is.  
We do need a clear cut definition of who we are & what we do, that is simple & easy to communicate to others.

Mark Jones wrote:4.  Ranger of the year.  This program keeps us on track and sharpens our attributes.
Only thing I would add is that I would like to see Ranger of the Year go back to being a contest, rather than something every Ranger could earn if they showed up enough.


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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by Claymore on April 29th 2014, 10:17 pm

STOP Making Changes just to Charge us More Money for them.

How many of the changes in Books, Patches, and Uniforms do you think would have come down, if National had to ISSUE them and pick up the cost??????

and

Come out with a GENERIC LEADER'S GUIDE without someone's name plastered all over it. Let's make it a Team Effort, this time.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by strods on April 29th 2014, 11:50 pm

echo the above,

5. Target the 1 Commander Outpost, if they can do it, anyone larger can. What I dubbed the One Room OutPost Education (1 ROPE). National isn't going to change the mind of mega churches quickly, but if they make it so simple, 1 brave man in every small church can step out and say, "Yes, I volunteer." then that 1 Commander gains 5 boys. Those five boys bring in 10 friends/family members. Church grows. That Outpost starts doing crazy things, like camping and getting out of the walls, maybe even service projects. Then, craziness happens like the community hearing of a church having the boys help the neighborhood, then people start checking out this crazy little church... but what pastor would want that problem

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by strods on April 29th 2014, 11:53 pm

6. Merit flex, not program flex.

A few suggestions:
Bible Merits
I hate the division of Orange and Brown and Spirit Lesson. It forces Commanders to either be creative or do 2 bible lessons or something when they have both DR and AR.

So I suggest this. Bible lessons. Keep the material we have, Add some more to update it sure, but instead of Orange, and Brown, and Spirit, Just have them count toward any advancement track and let the Commander determine by age, grade, experience what track they should be on.

Let the Outpost determine divisions. RK + DR, DR + AR, AR +ER,
The solo commander? Give them a break. It's all the Bible.

Skill merits
Similar, I respect the color division for primary focus, but let any color skill merit count towards advancement. Maybe I'm weird but I attract boys when they are in 6th Grade and older and they are interested in FCF. We still (and always will) run Trail of Grizzly but those initial 7 merits don't do anything for AR advancement. That's not right, when they are IMHO fundamental skills to the outdoors. That means a late addition interested in FCF Has to do double duty.

And these are simply rule changes, nothing has to be added. Nothing has to be re-written. Just add some flexibility to commanders.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by RRCmdrBennett on April 30th 2014, 12:34 am

Strods, I like that idea of using orange and brown for either group and blues for AR track. I think SC lessons need to become a merit class of its own to allow AR to use them. I believe SC lessons would not be on the level of DR's though. I don't know how you would mesh RK+DR into one group since their curriculums are incompatible. 

I'd like to see the old service project brought back for GMA. 

Prune the merits doen to under 120 not counting bible merits. We don't need more merits than boy scouts. 

Add the merit requirements back to the handbooks. 

Visit smaller outposts around other districts.  Don't just cherry pick your world class outposts in Springfield. 

Reduce the advancement levels for each age group to 3. Just like ER does. Earning a level every 3 months or skipping 2-3 levels for a boy or girl who excels at home. Fewer levels with a required time span mean more than 15 patches no one will buy.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by Mark Jones on April 30th 2014, 1:22 pm

8. Bible. Keep your requirements Bible based.
Your program should mirror Biblical principles. Proud, haughty, How can I beat someone at something isn't really a Bible foundation. Books on idealogy should be limited to the Bible. Making book reading by noninspired authors is interestingly worldly at best. However IF there is a good book out there..you can suggest it for reading. Not mandatory it as part of a advancement system.

9. Outpost Meetings. Anyone serving in any level or staff position should be involved in the outpost in a weekly setting at least 3 months of the year. We have seen a major disconnect from real and perceived.

10. Drop the hot blue pants that show dirt like crazy and go back with a material simulair to the utility shirts. They wick moisture away and are good for almost any outing.

11. Go back to a 2 times a year Hi Adventure type magazine and show how to tips in them. Feature articles about real Rangers doing real things. If it's created by photoshop it's not "real".

12. Pictures in handbooks. Remove all the staged pictures and things that didn't happen as though they did. When you open a manual and you look at the pictures and you know first hand that never happened or the model never really was in those situations professed it's hard to be positive about that. Just keep it real. We need REAL life content.

13. Go back to posting the truth in numbers back on the AG site. Not posting data because of a bad report shows a lack of faith and of manipulation.

A few tips that will keep Rangers on the up and up. No real rocket science here but we have missed this in the past 7 years.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by RRCmdrBennett on April 30th 2014, 11:10 pm

I don't mind the pants and color just not very warm for colder climates.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by Phillip Gross on May 1st 2014, 6:09 am

We already do some of the things mentioned, such as using Bible Merits from other groups if needed. If one Comdr is out and we need to combine, then we do.

I never really thought I was "breaking rules", but rather just doing what needs to be done.
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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by Claymore on May 1st 2014, 11:08 am

Well, now with the I, II, III, and IV Bible Merits, I don't see how it really makes much difference.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by Mark Jones on May 1st 2014, 1:02 pm

12. Focus the spiritual at the end of the meeting as was done in the Johnny Barnes methods using a closing devotion. Tying in all you learned that night with God's Word.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by joecool on May 1st 2014, 3:57 pm

Phillip Gross wrote: I never really thought I was "breaking rules"

If Claymore had the national staff mindset and worked for them, he would've locked me up and thrown away the keys.  Wink 

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by strods on May 2nd 2014, 2:53 pm

Phillip Gross wrote:We already do some of the things mentioned, such as using Bible Merits from other groups if needed. If one Comdr is out and we need to combine, then we do.

I never really thought I was "breaking rules", but rather just doing what needs to be done.

We're running that now.  But for bookkeeping in like Navigator, I have to give one age group, proper credit "Genesis 1, etc" and the other "Alt Bible Lesson --" It's doable but irritating.  If we are targeting the 1Cmdr Outpost, can't we simplify it.

I guess if you want a suggestion rather than just a complaint what's wrong with this.
66 books in the Bible x 5 lessons per book = 330 total lessons
110 lessons per age group
Current requirements are 96
DR year 1 medal needs 36
DR year 2 "                " 72
DR year 2 "                " 96
AR year 1 medal needs 35 not counted to prior advancement trail (Flexibility for late additions)
AR year 2 "                " 72 "                                                                                               "
AR year 2 "                " 96"                                                                                               "
ER year 1 medal needs 35 not counted to prior advancement trail (Flexibility for late additions)
ER year 2 "                " 72 "                                                                                               "
ER year 2 "                " 96"                                                                                               "

Or is just completely too simple and crazy?

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by strods on May 2nd 2014, 2:56 pm

Mark Jones wrote:
13.  Go back to posting the truth in numbers back on the AG site.  Not posting data because of a bad report shows a lack of faith and of manipulation.  


Totally support regardless of program changes. It seems to me to be the only way to see if what is running is working.
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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by strods on May 2nd 2014, 3:16 pm

RRCmdrBennett wrote:
I'd like to see the old service project brought back for GMA. 
Very true, in fact we maintained the service project on an outpost level here. For comparisons, I know what trips up may Life Scouts to Eagle is that service project, and I think it proves it's worth. Our outpost doesn't even talk about SMA and GMA being tied to years for that reason. We use the Master Ranger rank and stress you earn your SMA and GMA through finishing service projects, so likely not until high school.
This is what we run by:
Group Advancement Chart
I think it is more realistic expectations.

RRCmdrBennett wrote:
Prune the merits doen to under 120 not counting bible merits. We don't need more merits than boy scouts. 
Add the merit requirements back to the handbooks. 
I don't have an issue with a variety of merit badges. I feel that is how an outpost can tailor themselves. Especially, when winter comes, those electronics and other badges are pretty fun.

One thing I'd like to see is the phase out of Honor GMA. I get the concept, honor the ER's who have been around. I suggest that honor be promotion to Jr. Commander / Lt. Commander, depending on age.
There is a lot of biblical examples of passing the torch, becoming of age. Moses to Joshua, David to Solomon, Jesus to Peter, etc.

I know we've had debates on the position of GMA be it AR/ER and honestly I'm on the fence. I'm about 51% to 49% preferring it where it is, tied to a service project, allowing a young man up to four years to get it done. But regardless there should be something at the end of ER to represent coming of age, and "Well done good and faithful servant. You have been responsible in small things, be trusted with more."

Check the same link above and you'll see our ER track too
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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 2nd 2014, 7:47 pm

The Jr Cmdr has always been tied to the GMA. Normally a GMA is 15-17 yrs old a good age for coming of age. If they want to keep Honor GMA just award that at same time as GMA is presented like you would a gold buffalo. Its hard enough to keep HS boys involved but to try and get them to do another identical system in the last 2-3 yrs of HS. Those years are tough filled with girls, cars, jobs, SATs, and college prep.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by Mark Jones on May 3rd 2014, 5:09 pm

#14
I would like to see the GMA brought back up to a little older young man. Most boys at 12 years old can bogger up most any service project. It's beyond their abilities. I think that is why they dropped it. A older boy can do a nice job on something...boys at 12 and 13 well... it's like expecting the devil to repent..it's just not in them to do so.
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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 3rd 2014, 11:26 pm

That exactly why JB's patterned Trailblazers and AST Rangers after the 7 steps to Eagle Scout. There was no service project back in my day but the amount of work required usually meant one was HS when it was finished.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by ccm2361 on May 4th 2014, 1:35 pm

it would be nice to see the GMA restored to something a Ranger has to work for.

Today it seems like a kid just has to show up on a regular basis & he is in.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by Mark Jones on May 8th 2014, 1:49 pm

The 3% for GMA's is a hard number to process. Only 3 out of 100 boys actually go through the long list of do's. It takes a team to get a boy through the GMA. The boy the parent (mom in most cases) and the leaders.

The 23 years I have been doing Rangers. Out of all the hundreds of boys that have gone through the program only a handful are GMA's.

I think if we look back to these Numbered Steps we will see a lines up with the Bible. Pride being only in God and what He is doing really. We borrow from the world in this case the boyscouts tailoring over to PRIDE and accomplishment (Look at me and my bad self)...now before anyone blows a gasket. I point to Col 3:23 do it as unto God. That verse has been on every certificate I have printed in the past 18 years...GRIN! These past 7 years over 800 a year.

WE need to apply "With God's Help" sometimes we get it bassackwards.

It's Good stuff. The GMA is a good reward for a long hard road. We just have to be careful we are not about beating others at doing something and missing God in the middle of it.

Mark Jones

ccm2361 wrote:it would be nice to see the GMA restored to something a Ranger has to work for.

Today it seems like a kid just has to show up on a regular basis & he is in.
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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 8th 2014, 9:00 pm

I believe that is Chris's point that nat'l keeps trying to up that percentage by watering it down to nothing but a participation award. It needs to stay a 1-3% award.

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Re: If you could have a outpost your way what would you want it to look like?

Post by Mark Jones on May 9th 2014, 7:06 am

I agree wholeheartedly. 1 to 3% should get the GMA. Yet the fools instead of creating a rompin stompin child of the king program like we had in the Johnnie Barnes erra have taken that program and wrapped it around 1 to 3% of the boys. Absolutely idiotic. (Seems like a good idea) GRIN!

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