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Royal Rangers

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Royal Rangers is a worldwide movement of the Assemblies of God designed to provide young people with activities while providing them with religious instruction. A camping theme is at the heart of most activities, along with a merit award system whereby Royal Rangers must demonstrate specific knowledge and abilities. Since 1962, this program, developed originally by North Texas Youth Director Rev. Johnnie Barnes, has since spread from the Assemblies of God to many other denominations (notably the International Pentecostal Holiness Church) and from the United States to over 73 countries. Most of the sponsoring churches sponsor Royal Rangers as an alternative to more secular youth movements such as Scouting. Royal Rangers International and Royal Rangers America do not consider themselves as part of the Scouting movement, although Royal Rangers Germany does.

Age groups

In the United States, the boys in Royal Rangers are divided into four groups

  • Ranger Kids (Kindergarten-2nd Grade)
  • Discovery Rangers (3rd Grade-5th Grade)
  • Adventure Rangers (6th Grade-8th Grade)
  • Expedition Rangers (9th Grade-12th Grade)

A Brief History of Royal Rangers

  • 1914 The Assemblies of God begins in April in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
  • 1962 In January, Rev. Johnnie Barnes moves to Springfield, Missouri, to put together a program for boys. Rev. Charles Scott suggests the name “Royal Rangers.” Rev. Barnes becomes the first Royal Rangers national commander.
  • 1963 The Royal Rangers Leadership Training Course is developed.
  • 1964 The first district-wide powwows (now called Camps) are held. The Gold Medal of Achievement and the Medal of Valor awards are first offered.
  • 1966 Royal Rangers ministries are set up in Australia and Latin America. The Frontiersmen Camping Fraternity (later "Fellowship"; FCF) is formed. The first Royal Rangers Week is held. It celebrates the Royal Rangers ministry and encourages reaching, teaching, and keeping boys for Christ.
  • 1968 National Training Camps for Royal Rangers leaders are held in four states: Missouri, Colorado, New York, and California.
  • 1974 The first National Camporama, a camping event that happens every four years, is held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • 1977 The National Royal Rangers Council is formed and meets in Springfield, Missouri.
  • 1986 The National Royal Rangers Training Center (now National Royal Rangers Center) at Eagle Rock, Missouri is dedicated. It is also called Camp Eagle Rock.
  • 1989 National Commander Johnnie Barnes dies. For twenty-seven years he led the Royal Rangers, developing its ministry. Rev. Ken Hunt is named national commander. He guides the ministry for ten years.
  • 1999 Rev. Richard Mariott is appointed national commander. He was the commander for the Northern California/Nevada District for seven years. His goals are to encourage Royal Rangers and develop new programs.
  • 2002 Ranger Kids, the first portion of the newly revised Royal Rangers ministry, is tested and released to U.S. churches.
  • 2003 Discovery Rangers and Adventure Rangers materials are released to U.S. churches.
  • 2004 Expedition Rangers materials are released to U.S. churches.
  • 2006 Rev. Richard Mariott announces that he will resign as National Commander on December 31, 2006.
  • 2007 Rev. Doug Marsh is named as National Commander. He was previously Director of Royal Rangers International. His appointment was effective 1 February 2007. Marsh will continue to also direct Royal Rangers International until a transition in leadership in that department can be made.

The Royal Ranger emblem

The Royal Ranger Emblem. As worn by every royal ranger in the world.

The Royal Rangers Emblem is a stylized compass rose containing points in three different colors: Red, Blue, and Gold. Each color has a different meaning.

The Points of the Royal Rangers emblem

  • The Four Red Points represent the Four Main Teachings of the Church, which are:

*The IPHC adds Sanctification as the White Background

  • The Four Gold Points represent the four ways a person grows, as Jesus grew up as described in Luke 2:52 (And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man., KJV)
    • Mentally
    • Physically
    • Spiritually
    • Socially
  • The Eight Blue Points represent the eight points of the Royal Ranger Code
    • Alert : "A Ranger is mentally, physically, and spiritually alert."
    • Clean : "A Ranger is clean in body, mind, and speech."
    • Honest : "A Ranger does not lie, cheat, or steal."
    • Courageous : "A Ranger is brave in spite of danger, criticism, or threats."
    • Loyal : "A Ranger is faithful to his church, family, outpost, and friends."
    • Courteous : "A Ranger is polite, kind, and thoughtful."
    • Obedient : "A Ranger obeys his parents, leaders, and those in authority."
    • Spiritual : "A Ranger prays, reads the Bible, and witnesses."

Royal Rangers flag, pledge and motto

Royal Rangers have their own flag, which is the Royal Rangers emblem centered on a white field. There is no pledge to the Royal Rangers flag, but there is a Royal Rangers Pledge:

With God’s help, I will do my best to serve God, my church, and my fellowman; to live by the Ranger Code; to make the Golden Rule my daily rule.

Royal Rangers also have a motto, which is:


The meaning of the motto is:

Ready for anything! Ready to work, play, serve, worship, live and obey God's Word!

The Royal Ranger uniform

Like the Boy Scouts, Royal Rangers have their own distinctive uniform. Other nations have variations of the uniform, but in the United States, the Royal Ranger uniform consists of a khaki shirt and khaki slacks with black or brown shoes. For the oldest group, Expedition Rangers, the classes are divided into subgroups by theme. Each of these subgroups (Air Rangers, Sea Rangers, Trail Rangers, and High Action Rangers) has its own distinctive uniform. (Air Rangers uses a flight suit, Sea Rangers uses a navy style uniform, and High Action and Trail Rangers simply use casual Ranger Wear) The standard Class "A" Uniform is used for formal functions and is worn with a tie in the colour of the age group (Leaders wear Navy Blue) as well as drape medals. The Class "B" Uniform is worn for other functions and is worn with a bolo tie. Each age group has a specific color bolo tie to wear; However, many choose to wear one that they have custom made. Rather than drape medals, ribbons (called merits) are worn on the Class "B" uniform. On the shirt is the following items

  • Left sleeve (top to bottom)
    • Staff Patch or Designation (If applicable)
    • District Name Strip
    • Outpost Number
  • Left shirt pocket (top to bottom)
    • Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship Membership Pin (If applicable)
    • Group Name Strip (Age Group for boys, generic "Royal Rangers" name strip for leaders)
    • Name Tag (For leaders only, though if a boy has won Ranger of the year his Ranger of the year Name Tag goes here)
    • Event Patch
  • Right shirt pocket (top to bottom)
    • Bronze/Silver/Gold Wings (For those involved in aviation)
    • Leaders' Award Ribbons (Class A and B Uniforms)
    • Merit Ribbons (Boys wear ribbons for merits they earn, leaders wear ribbons for merits they teach)
    • Drape Medals (Class A and B Uniforms)
    • Training patch
  • Right sleeve (top to bottom)
    • Royal Ranger Emblem patch
    • National flag (only in some countries)
  • Shirt collar
    • Title or Leadership Insignia (ex: Jr. Leader bars or Sr. Commander bars)

Different types of headgear are worn on the uniform, depending on the level of training of the boy or leader. For the Class A uniform, a beret is worn with the default beret being a royal blue beret with the Royal Rangers emblem on it. Other berets can be worn based on the training event attended, such as the navy blue beret worn by leaders for attending the National Training Camp (NTC) or the Maroon beret of the Junior Training Camp (JTC) for boys. A series of different types of headgear is available to boys through the Junior Leadership Training Academy (JLTA) in each district. Although some districts have developed various kinds of headgear for their own specific camps, the camps that are a part of the JLTA are the only nationally recognized hats.

Class "B" uniforms can also include the beret, and various types of Royal Rangers ball caps. The brown and navy blue campaign hats are reserved for wear at JLTA camps, and national training events respectively. These are not worn in any other venue in Royal Rangers.

Class "C" uniforms are worn in more relaxed settings, such as field day events or campouts. A Class "C" uniform consists of blue jeans or slacks and a Royal Ranger T-shirt. Additionally, an awards vest can be worn on the Class "B" or "C" uniform. The following items can be placed on the awards vest:

  • Left front (Top to Bottom)
    • For Discovery or Adventure Rangers:
      • Group Emblem
      • Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship Membership Pin (If applicable)
      • Ranger of the Year Name Tag
      • Class A Medals (maximum of 6)
      • Advancement Patches (maximum of 2 rows)
    • For Expedition Rangers:
      • Group Emblem
      • Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship Membership Pin (If applicable)
      • Ranger of the Year Name Tag
      • Achievement Medal Level Insignia
      • Class A Medals (maximum of 9)
  • Right front (Top to Bottom)
    • For Discovery or Adventure Rangers:
      • Royal Rangers Emblem
      • Title or Leadership Insignia (ex: Jr. Leader bars or Sr. Commander bars)
      • Training Patches (maximum of 2 rows)
      • Advancement Patches (maximum of 3 rows)
    • For Expedition Rangers:
      • Royal Rangers Emblem
      • Title or Leadership Insignia (ex: Jr. Leader bars or Sr. Commander bars)
      • Training Patches (maximum of 2 rows)
      • Spirit Challenge Patches (maximum of 2 rows)
  • Back of vest (Top to Bottom)
    • Merit Patches (centered at top of vest)
    • Activity Patches (centered at bottom of vest)
    • Trail patches for 25, 50, or 100 mile hikes (centered above activity patches)

Some countries have other emblems than described here.

Ranger of the year

Ranger of the Year is a competition held annually in which each Ranger is tested on his knowledge and skills. A Ranger's ability to qualify is based on the number of points they have earned from completing things such as merits or medals, attending camps, or wearing their uniform. This competition is held in every level (Outpost, Section, District, and Region) and at the lower three levels, every person who gets more than 85% of their testing right gets a medal. At the Regional level, the person who gets the highest score becomes the National Royal Ranger of the Year for that Region.

Royal Rangers Gold Medal of Achievement

The Gold Medal of Achievement

Royal Rangers Gold Medal of Achievement is the highest honor a boy can earn. It is equivalent of the Eagle Scout award in the Scouting program.

The Gold Medal of Achievement (GMA) is a medal of great distinction and honor. It was first offered in 1963 with the first recipient completing its requirements in 1964. In its 40 year history the GMA has been earned by over 5000 boys ages 12 through 17 years of age.

The average age of a boy earning the GMA is approximately 16 years of age. This indicates that a boy has been involved in Royal Rangers for at least 4-5 years before earning his GMA. At this time, slightly least than 1% of the boys involved in Royal Rangers each year earn the GMA. As a result of its challenging merit trail, it is truly a coveted award for any Royal Ranger boy.

GMA recipients must:

•Be at least 12 years (and at least in the 6th grade), but less than 18 years old or high school graduate (whichever is later).
•Have been a Silver Medalist for at least 3 months.
•Have completed 24 merits, 16 of those chosen from a required list and 8 personal choice.
•Have served in a (junior) leadership position for at least 6 months.
•Have written a 500 word essay on “The Value of Royal Rangers to Me”.
•Have completed a Christian Service Project.

The requirements for the GMA can be found here:

Royal Rangers worldwide

Royal Rangers ministers to young people in the United States and in over 67 countries. The largest organization outside the United States is in Australia, with groups in all areas except Northern Territory and Western Australia. The other countries that have a Royal Rangers program are:

The Americas (22 countries)

Europe (24 countries)

Eurasia (4 countries)

Africa (4 countries)

Asia/Pacific (13 countries)

External links