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Where to start..

Post by Sasiki on March 5th 2015, 12:37 am

To introduce myself, I am a 30 year old Alabama native and have 3 kids; 6 and almost 4 year old boys and an almost 1 year old girl. I am a systems administrator at a large wholesale nursery and am currently enrolled in an online college for business administration. I have been volunteering with our children's church for 6 years as a mentor and sound/media operator at a Church of God. Several months ago, my wife and I started an every other week rotation teaching the 5th and 6th grade class.

As my son is now an appropriate age to begin extra curricular activities, I 'think' I have felt the Holy Spirit tugging at me to step out of my comfort zone and do more for Him. I've not ever thought of myself as having leader qualities but I'm also a very humble person, generally placing others before myself.

In comes the consideration of Royal Rangers.I grew up in an Assembly of God church but did not participate in Royal Rangers. Being in children's ministry for several years has really opened my eyes to the emotional hurt and neglect that haunts the lives of so many kids. I want to step out of the boat and do more than what I'm doing. I want to start an Outpost.

We currently have a 2 hour Wednesday night service. The first hour is game time and divided by grade.. 1/2, 3/4, 5/6. There are usually 30 boys in attendance. Royal Rangers would likely fall into that first hour, in leui of game time for those who wanted to join and actively participate. I would imagine they'd all jump in at first then fizzle down to about 25.

Am I crazy for considering this? What kind of personnel, financial and time resources would be required? What questions do I need to ask and what do I need to expect?

I have the full support and participation of our children's pastor and a council member. These are the only two I have mentioned it to.

Our church is growing. We are reaching lost people. This would be another step in that direction.

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Re: Where to start..

Post by Claymore on March 5th 2015, 2:05 am

Sasiki, welcome aboard.

Colin Powell's 5th Rule of Leadership: Be careful what you ask for, you just may get it.

Having a Ranger Outpost gives you the opportunity to really pass on good values, Christian Teaching, and develop leadership in boys.  I have heard Youth Pastors say that they can tell which young men had been in R/R by their Team-Work & Leadership Abilities.

There's good information in the Ranger Basics Handbook.  There is also probably hundreds of years of experience among the guys here, and you don't always have to ask for it to get their opinion on a subject.

Administrator Chris has set up much information here for Outpost Leaders.  There is also information archived in our previous Forum

http://rangerchat.forumwise.com/

Chris had to set up a new home here for us because of spam, 'bots, and similar problems, but there is still a lot of good material to be found there.

I am in Alabama Outpost #28 (Red Bay).  Feel free to shout out specific questions.  Guys here are also quick to share Lesson Plans and other Training Material with anyone who asks.

You may also see some disagreements here (among ourselves and with District/National HQ).  The Forum is pretty lenient about freedom of thought, so long as we try to be "overall" constructive with our criticism.

Also:

Here is a link to the Royal Rangers Outpost Locator. It's pretty simple to use.

http://royalrangers.com/locator/

Since it only shows "Currently Active Chartered" Outposts, there are probably about 3 times as many "Less Formal" Outposts around.

But this will give you a Point-of-Contact with other Leaders. If you call or e-mail, I'm sure that 'most-all would be happy for you to observe a couple of meetings.

While you cannot tell by just looking at the Locator, I would recommend that a Potential New Commander go and look at smaller outposts (smaller towns & churches) to see how they do the Program. You may get intimidated by seeing what the Mega-Churches have, and believe that you can never achieve that kind of activity.

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Re: Where to start..

Post by strods on March 5th 2015, 9:39 pm

Wow, huge question, but one of my favs. For reference, I have been where you are, actually starting an outpost from the ground up. Many pastors and missionaries tell how they were called to their roles. My calling was to Rangers. May God have mercy on your soul.
And yes, you are crazy, but that’s okay, it’s a job requirement. 
Let me give you a few pointers, a “to do” list, that worked for me. Feel free to change as you like. This is digital not written in stone.
#1 and constant. Pray, can’t pray enough. When in doubt, pray. When breathing, pray. When done with that, pray some more.
2 & 3 can be done at the same time, and it sounds like you already have done some.
#2 Survey your possible Rangers, how many do you have and what grades do they fall in. You don’t need super accuracy, you just need an estimate to figure other numbers. For your reference, there are four age groups that Rangers divides into,
K-2 Ranger Kids, often shortened as RK
3-5 Discovery Rangers, often shortened as DR
6-8 Adventure Rangers, often shortened as AR
Highschool Expedition Rangers, often shortened as ER

#3 Survey your possible Commanders, technically, yes, 1 brave man can run an outpost, and there are several men on that site that do or have done it. But if it is at all possible, do your best to seek brothers willing to share the ministry with you. I find it always beneficial if you can do this within your circle of men, but if that is not forthcoming I think the next best option would be a statement from the pulpit. The pulpit would also be a good “first announcement” of the outpost. Stress that you are seeking to start a ministry to mentor the boys, and that takes men!
The cost of Command, Time is the most. Wednesday nights and plan a camp a month in good weather.
The benefits . . . where do I begin. An excuse to camp every month, a place in these boys’s hearts for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. For many boys you will be the father figure they don’t have. Additionally, I have never found a better men’s group then Ranger Commanders. If there men seeking manly fellowship, this is for them.
From what you are saying about 30 boys, in children’s ministry ages, that would be Ranger Kids and Discovery Rangers. At minimum, I would encourage shoot for 2 commanders for each group. There is a volume of Rangers to think about to, if a group is heavy, try to get another Commander there. (You can’t have too many! Smile

4 Train your commanders. Once you have a few brave men who will join with you. Start planning, Training. To give you a ministry overview, yes the Leaders Handbook is good. I’d recommend 1 for the outpost you can share. You may want to look up the District Coordinator for your state and simply say, “We’re starting up and would like guidance.” He can help to arrange the official “Basics training”. He would likely also know of the closest outpost to you, be it officially chartered or not. Having an outpost you could buddy up with would be good.
There is also a lot of information available for self-training. This site, RoyalRangers.com, elsewhere. Dive in the water’s fine. Have a notepad to write down questions that come up. Post them here, we’ll help. I was a very self-taught commander and I’ve come to be one of the better informed in my state.
5 Plan your first year In your education, 1 word of caution. You are not seeking to be an expert before you start. You are seeking to be able to see the mountain in the distance and mile down the road. You don’t need to know every bridge and valley. Just the upcoming mile in general and especially the focus on the next few feet.
Learn enough to be able to plan your first year. Not every lesson, but get an idea of what merits you want to cover. You don’t have to read the entire lesson pack, but the requirements sheets are only 1-2 pages long, and give you a good overview. Then you can study up on the first merit and start your outpost. As you wind down your first merit, leaders can study up on the second. Then repeat
Besides lesson plans there are a few questions that you are going to want to hammer out. Some of this will be the Pastor’s call, but ask the questions. These are a list of the common big ones. If you want the voice of experience, here is some of it.
Genders: Will Rangers be boys’ only or Co-ed? Official Nat’l policy says boys only here in America, but it’s co-ed overseas. There are also Co-ed outposts here stateside, that are simply unchartered and they do fine.
If boy’s only, what do you do with the girls? Jesus loves them too. The official Nat’l counterpart program Mpact, and it is fine, but there are other options like American Heritage girls, and such. If you have a separate program, there will be question of staffing for them, and since likely the programs will meet at the same time, the question is where? What rooms, or corners of rooms will who be?
Theme: In 1962, Rangers was a Camping ministry and it stay that way for 40+ years. Now, technically you have more options. You can have an outpost with Rangers advancing and never have to camp once . . . on paper. We here at this site have found when rubber meets the road, that tried and true camping program still works for us at least. If you and your outpost decide to go with that, then I do feel you will have an easier time of it, but to be honest, no camping is not your only option any more.
Ages: Rangers grow up. Typical startups convert the k-6, and then it’s a coin flip on the middle school students. Regardless, What happens when a Ranger grows up? The highest medal a Ranger can earn is the Gold Medal of Achievement (GMA), it’s our version of the BSA Eagle award. Well, a Ranger isn’t even eligible for the GMA until his Freshman year, and the VAST majority of Ranger need several years in high-school to earn it, if ever. When a Ranger grows up, is transition to Youth Group mandatory? Can a Ranger stay in Rangers and you expand to have the elder ages (Adventure and Expedition)? Do you want to try and have separate meeting times to allow a Ranger to be in both?
Uniform: What shall your Rangers look like? T-Shirts are acceptable uniform now and are the cheapest. Opposite end of the spectrum are Khakis that are the replacement to the beige uniform of yesteryear. I like the medium option of the Vest. They do look good, are inexpensive ($15) and give the Rangers a home for the merit badge they are earning.

That I think will be a fair bit of conversation for now. I feel like I’ve likely overloaded you and if so I apologize.

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Re: Where to start..

Post by strods on March 5th 2015, 9:46 pm


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Re: Where to start..

Post by Sasiki on March 5th 2015, 9:57 pm

That'll take a while to soak in! Lots of good information and points to ponder! I also found your document on the other thread. I'll take a look at it as well. I just discovered that the regional coordinator lives basically in the next city over so I'm sure we'll get together soon.

There is a Royal Rangers Outpost at a nearby AG. It would probably be a good idea to talk to that commander sit in on one of those meetings.

I will respond to more of your comments when I have a little more time. This obviously takes much preparation! Never being involved in the program, I am automatically at a slight disadvantage in regard to knowledge of how it all works. Just because I was never involved doesn't mean our kids shouldn't have the opportunity though. Most in our church have been Church of God forever. The CoG just adopted the program so I don't have any internal resources to reach out to.

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Re: Where to start..

Post by Claymore on March 5th 2015, 10:03 pm

I just noticed that your folks are Church of God.

Good news & bad news:

Good news is that the Church of God has just officially adopted Royal Rangers as their Boys' Ministry about 2 years ago, so you will not be much behind other COG churches getting into the Program.

Bad news is that the Support Structure for Church of God is pretty new.  They just had a Leadership Conference in Birmingham about 2 weeks ago, and they generally have a Royal Rangers Workshop there.  (I didn't make it, this year.)

We are Church of God, but got Chartered in Alabama prior to COG officially adopting R/R,  so 'most-all communication that I get is just from Huntsville & District HQ.

You might also want to see if your church would purchase the TracClub outlines for a year (about $33.00). With the kids that you have, I would suggest the Discovery Rangers Trac. It will have meeting outlines, activities, and Bible lessons for a full year. It would help you to prepare how to run the program and would give you something to print out and show the Pastor/Board of Elders.

I'm pretty sure that the TracClub site also has a sample Lesson that you can look at prior to purchase.


Last edited by Claymore on March 5th 2015, 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Where to start..

Post by Sasiki on March 5th 2015, 10:06 pm

Is it the same regional commanders and such? Can Church of God participate in the training events and such that are put on by the Assembly of God?

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Re: Where to start..

Post by Claymore on March 5th 2015, 10:22 pm

"Officially", Church of God has their annual Royal Ranger get-together at Camp Utopia. I haven't been there, yet.

I have also received invitations to attend the regular Royal Ranger District & Commanders functions in Huntsville.

So as far as I know, you can attend either or all as time permits.

If you look at the map, our outpost is about as far away from anything in Southeast Region as possible (even Puerto Rico is in this Region), so I don't make many "around the Headquarters Flagpole" events.

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Re: Where to start..

Post by Claymore on March 5th 2015, 10:39 pm

Also, don't get intimidated or overwhelmed by anything that you hear from us or Headquarters.  It's not about District, it's not about Regional, and it's not about National HQ.  It's about giving something to the boys that they wouldn't get elsewhere.

Our Administrator,  Chis only had 2 or 3 kids at his meeting last week, I had 5.  It's easy for our eyes to go to the big, flashy stuff at District, but THAT's not where the difference is being made in the kids' lives.  It's with the Outpost Commander who is there with them; week after week.

Here is a link to the page that has the sample materials on it. Go all the way to the bottom of the page:

http://royalrangers.com/resources/index.cfm?targetBay=70a2056e-6db7-4c51-897f-c0a0c74425bc&ModID=18&process=ShowResource&ResourceGUID=4b883dee-145e-4919-b985-5a28146e1509

I would suggest that you START looking at the "Sample Weekly Meeting Guide" at the far-bottom. This will give you an idea of the meeting outlines, and it will refer you to the samples for the Bible Study, Merits, etc.

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Re: Where to start..

Post by ccm2361 on March 9th 2015, 6:52 pm

Sasiki wrote: I want to step out of the boat and do more than what I'm doing. I want to start an Outpost.

Welcome to the forum

It is a noble thing you about to undertake & the lives of many kids will be changed because it.

I can not tell you what an honor it is that you chose to come to us.

There is a lot of Ranger experience here, as Claymore pointed out, we have folks from big Outposts with many Rangers & tiny ones with few Rangers.

We will be glad to help you in any way we can. Cool

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Re: Where to start..

Post by Canadarangers on August 30th 2015, 12:30 am

Sasiki, From one new guy to another...Here is the one thing that I have discovered

1. KISS method.. Keep is simple and start out with 2 groups. you have enough leaders willing, then add another. Healthy growth will come slowly, but not too slowly.

You are blessed to be in the USA and launching Rangers with all the proximity to everyone else. I live in Canada about 8 hours travelling to the nearest border crossing. My Pastor's are on board and the Church Board is welcoming the thought of a mid week kids ministry. They said that money is not an issue either at this point which is good cause the exchange rate really sucks right now. There is lots of excitement building in the church right now because of this and our launch is set for Sept 15.

Have you made any headway with your outpost launch?

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Re: Where to start..

Post by RRCmdrBennett on August 30th 2015, 7:35 pm

Welcome aboard.

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Re: Where to start..

Post by AlexL on September 8th 2015, 2:44 pm

Sasiki wrote:To introduce myself, I am a 30 year old Alabama native and have 3 kids; 6 and almost 4 year old boys and an almost 1 year old girl. I am a systems administrator at a large wholesale nursery and am currently enrolled in an online college for business administration. I have been volunteering with our children's church for 6 years as a mentor and sound/media operator at a Church of God. Several months ago, my wife and I started an every other week rotation teaching the 5th and 6th grade class.

As my son is now an appropriate age to begin extra curricular activities, I 'think' I have felt the Holy Spirit tugging at me to step out of my comfort zone and do more for Him. I've not ever thought of myself as having leader qualities but I'm also a very humble person, generally placing others before myself.

In comes the consideration of Royal Rangers.I grew up in an Assembly of God church but did not participate in Royal Rangers. Being in children's ministry for several years has really opened my eyes to the emotional hurt and neglect that haunts the lives of so many kids. I want to step out of the boat and do more than what I'm doing. I want to start an Outpost.

We currently have a 2 hour Wednesday night service. The first hour is game time and divided by grade.. 1/2, 3/4, 5/6. There are usually 30 boys in attendance. Royal Rangers would likely fall into that first hour, in leui of game time for those who wanted to join and actively participate. I would imagine they'd all jump in at first then fizzle down to about 25.

Am I crazy for considering this? What kind of personnel, financial and time resources would be required? What questions do I need to ask and what do I need to expect?

I have the full support and participation of our children's pastor and a council member. These are the only two I have mentioned it to.

Our church is growing. We are reaching lost people. This would be another step in that direction.

If I were you this is what I would do.

0- Go to the Royal Rangers website to learn more about the program.
1-Divide the groups as mentioned before.
2- There are four RR groups, RK (Ranger Kids. K-2nd Grade) DR (Discovery Rangers 3rd- 5th Grade), AR (Adventure Rangers 6th -8th Grade), and ER (Expedition Rangers 9th - 12th grade)
3- Buy tracclub for each of the classes. Tracclub.org... Give each group leader the login info to get familiar with the lessons and skill merits for the groups they will be teaching.
4- Buy handbooks for each class, and give a book to each Group leader to get familiar with the group.
5- Get Outpost Leader Advancement Levels training for yourself and your group leaders.
6- Organize an agenda, meet with your group leaders, and so forth.

This is what worked for me.

Best,

-Alex

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