The Importance of Advancement

This past weekend, over 50 Rangers gathered at Camp Williams for the Frontiersman Camping Fellowship (FCF) Trace. The weekend was a bustle of activity and events. We initiated 7 new Frontiersmen members, had 4 members advance to their Buckskin (one of which was a boy who had been involved for exactly 1 year), recognized 3 new Wilderness Members who completed their Wilderness Vigil in December, and even hosted an FCF Scout Competition. This was in addition to our competitions, cooking, fellowship, and powerful services that Commander Chad Hutson spoke at. As an organizer and facilitator of the weekend, it was exhausting to say the least. However, when I think back to the look in both the boys’ and men’s eyes as they watched others step up in their advancements, I knew it was worth it.

One of the 7 mentoring methods for Royal Rangers is achievement. In Rangers, we believe that boys and men should be recognized for their hard work and achievements. This encourages continued growth and teaches the lifelong lesson that we must always be striving to improve ourselves. The symbol of FCF is a blazing campfire with 5 logs underneath. The fire represents the warmth of Christian love, the light of personal witness, and the usefulness of dedicated service. The 5 logs represent the 5 elements needed to keep the spirit of FCF alive. FCF members are encouraged to:

  1. Demonstrate Courage
  2. Pursue Achievement
  3. Develop Friendships
  4. Practice Leadership
  5. Display Woodsmanship

Sound familiar? These elements are pretty similar to the mentoring methods we are encouraged to use to help develop boys into Christlike Servant Leaders.

Achievement is vital to our development as men and leaders. In Romans 13, Paul commends us to “Render to all men their dues. [Pay] taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due.” Proverbs 3:27 says “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” When others do things that are deserving of praise, we should do all in our power to give them that encouragement. When we recognize the good and positive things people are doing to improve themselves, we are showing respect to their hard work and labor. This in turn encourages them to continue working as well as creates incentive for other boys and men to “step up their game.” Since last weekend, I have already had numerous individuals contact me requesting more information on how and what they need to do to get their boys and leaders either into FCF or to advance to the next level.

When we as leaders make it a priority to advance ourselves in our training or knowledge, we show our boys that their journey will never end. Our boys look to us as examples of how they should act. When we become complacent, we are telling them that it is okay for them to become complacent. Maybe you have been sitting on the fence about attending an NEEC or NRMC to get your trained and Advanced patch as part of your Outpost Leader Advancement Levels. You may be stuck at Bronze as part of our Organization Leadership Training and need to start your next online class so you can move closer towards your platinum (I’m talking about myself). Maybe you’ve been a Frontiersman for the past 5, 10, or 20 years, and you are feeling a tugging to take the next step in your FCF advancements.

Whatever the case may be, let me encourage you to take the next step. God calls us to continually better and improve ourselves. We need to continue to work on our advancements so that we can then celebrate our achievements. I can’t wait to hear my Lord celebrate my achievements one day when he says “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter in.” How about you?

Your Brother in Christ

Samuel “One Mok” Mathis