Day two of JLDA was one of adventure and discovery. All the groups were coming together as a unit. I saw young men who would typically not be in front of the action rising out of their safe places and taking lots of chances in front of people. I saw random acts of kindness, time management, and most of all, Christ at work throughout this camp.
I have always held to one truth when it comes to getting teenage boys actively participate in an activity: That activity must involve competition, girls, or explosives. Add any one of these three things into an event and boys of all ages (including us 50 something boys) will be all in. More on this in a minute.
Young men just ready to graduate from the four to five-year academy were giving their testimony about Christ in their lives. Adult men were praying over boys, and boys were laying hands upon men in the camp.
And most of all I saw examples of Paul’s instruction in 1st Corinthians to “act like men” throughout the camp as a pattern for Christlike boys to learn how to be Christlike men in a world that is committed to not letting that happen.
Back to Girls, Guns, and Games. Being a men’s ministry that is committed to the concept that boys learn differently from girls, along with the obvious reasons, Royal Rangers does not have girls in our camps. Therefore, we must find other ways to attract and keep these boys attention.
Enter Shooting Sports Action Camp – or SSAC for short (pronounced “sack”). SACC is guns, ammo, and competition. Before anyone calls local law enforcement to report an underground militia – let me explain.
SSAC is a safe, certified instructor-led way for a boy to learn about the correct, fun way to work with firearms. Participants learn basic shooting and firearm safety and participate in the Nations Postal Shooting competitions. This year they are focusing on small-bore rifle and shotgun shooting. They will get competition scores in several events, including target and trap shooting.
After about 8-12 hours of intense classroom training by our nationally trained and certified instructors, the boys will head out to the range for – you guessed it – some shooting. Yesterday I was told between lunch and dinner about 700 rounds were discharged. That’s a lot of ammunition!
In addition to that, the SSAC graduate will also earn 4 advanced level merits and two official NRA certifications. For those of you on your way to GMA and counting – that is a full year’s worth of skill merits in one week. Talk about a deal.
For more information on SACC and all of our other fun and exciting action camps, check out our training academy page at fellowshipwesleyanroyalrangers.org or, check our Facebook or Instagram pages for photos and stories.