When I am coaching a track meet or football game, I am often approached by players from other teams that know me. So, it was no real surprise when Luke Weaver came to me at an indoor track meet a few years ago. I am always happy to chat with young men I have worked with in the past. So after talking for a few minutes and finding out what event he was competing in, we went our ways.
This spotlight profile will feature Luke Weaver. Luke currently serves as the Senior Patrol Leader at Outpost 292, Fellowship Wesleyan Church’s Royal Ranger Program.
This particular day, I had another thought mind. You see, no matter what light we see the Royal Rangers in, we never honestly know them.
Time to do some checking up on Luke.
Luke presents himself very well. He is well-mannered, respectful to adults, and always agreeable. He seems to do well in school, and most of the Rangers like to hang around with him. In fact, for the most part, Luke has been a model Royal Ranger.
About five years ago, when I presented Luke and his parents with the Royal Rangers Junior Training Academy(JTA) idea, Luke and several other boys signed up for that first year of training camp without hesitation.
If you are new to Royal Rangers or just not sure what JTA is, just click this link for a full explanation. But, to put it briefly, JDLA is a 5-year program designed to prepare and disciple young men into Christlike Servant Leaders both within the church and in the secular world with a strong focus on mentoring and staff training.
Last Sunday, we were able to honor Luke for this accomplishment. Out of an estimated five to six hundred Royal Rangers in the New York District, 19 of them started JDLA in Lukes’s first class. On graduation day, Luke was one of only three Saber Candidates to meet all the requirements to wear his Saber last year.
There are many reasons a boy might not finish. Luke was faced with all of them. I will not mention some here due to personal reasons and to protect Luke’s privacy. But last year, Luke was faced with a dilemma.
Luke is an athlete. A pretty good athlete, and has been playing travel soccer for years. Many college scouts attend travel soccer tournaments, and last fall was a big one for Luke. The last tournament of the Summer, and he was going into his junior year of high school. This is when a college might notice a young and coming player.
But Luke’s final year of Leadership Academy was the same weekend as this tournament. Luke came to me early to let me know about this conflict. I gave him some advice and let him know he had about a month to decide.
We then checked to see if he could miss a day and a half of the academy. The answer was that Luke had to attend all the sessions and that classroom time could not be made up. Graduation from the academy is not for every boy, and Luke had to decide. This was up to him.
I know that every boy has to face similar decisions, and Luke could see the long-term benefits.
Yes, Luke did miss the soccer tournament. He graduated from the academy as one of only three boys in the state. I am not sure every boy would have made that same decision. I am not sure if every parent would let them. But Luke’s parents allowed him to decide.
Luke’s decision only reinforces what his high school coach told me that winter day. Luke is an extremely hard worker and always finishes strong; A high-character kid who can really be counted on.
That says enough for me.
I think we need more young men like Luke Weaver in this world.
Congratulations Luke. We are all proud of you.
Want to be the first to know if an upcoming event at OP 292? If you haven’t signed up for calendar notifications from Outpost 292, now is the perfect time to do that. Just scroll to the bottom of this page, and when I update the calendar, you will get an automatic email. No more searching for those lost flyers I keep sending home.
As always, thank you for the opportunity to work with your boys, and if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at any time.
Have a great Easter, and I hope to see you all in two weeks when we resume.
OP 292 Coordinator
Western Section Communications Coordinator