Since 1910, the Boy Scouts of America have taught boys helpful life skills, such as camping, volunteering, and leadership training. Last year, turmoil erupted in the organization concerning gay members, causing many scouts to leave.
The following organizations offer similar Christian program alternatives to the Boy Scouts:
1. The Southern Baptist Convention's Royal Ambassadors
Motto: We are Ambassadors for Christ
Founded in 1908, the Royal Ambassadors (RAs) has been teaching boys grades 1 through 6 for more than 100 years. The RAs participate in activities similar to those of the Boy Scouts, such as camping trips and model race car racing. The RA's membership currently tallies in at about 6,300 adult leaders and 31,000 youth members.
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The RA program is highly focused on missions work, whether it is fundraising for their churches' current missions, participating in mission trips, or working on myriad missions related tasks. Also unique to the RAs is Bible telling, where boys earn patches for memorizing various Bible stories.
After graduating from the Royal Ambassadors, boys from ages 12 to 17 join the Challengers. Like the RAs, this program places heavy emphasis on missions. Every month, a Challengers chapter focuses on a different missionary around the world.
Challengers learn about the culture of the area as well as the missionary's specific role in the community. In addition, Challengers also learn practical application of Bible stories as well as how to plan and lead special projects.
3. The Assemblies of God Royal Rangers
The Rangers pride themselves on their flexibility with cost, uniforms, staffing, curriculum, and activities. This flexibility is how the Assemblies of God work with chapters and individuals to ensure that all can participate.
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Every four years, there is a large gathering of several thousand Royal Rangers called "Camporama." The most recent Camporama featured lumberjack shows, high ropes course, zip lines, and a waterslide.
4. The Seventh-day Adventist Church's Pathfinders
Motto: The love of Christ compels us.
This co-ed program welcomes all youth including those who are not from their denomination.Like the name suggests, Pathfinders often go hiking and camping. They teach other forms of exercise, building, leading, and serving. The Pathfinders' primary focus is on community service. The Pathfinders aspire to embody the philosophy that, "Children learn best by example, rather than precept."
5. The Calvinist Cadet Corps
The Calvinist Cadet Corps website states that the three broad objectives
of the group are to practically apply God's word, to look for God through nature, and to show that strong men are servants of God. Founded in 1952, this program is nondenominational.
However, the majority of members still come from denominations linked to Calvinism. The Cadet Corps' primary emphasis is teaching its students the Gospel. Most chapters of this club are in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and the Pacific Coast.
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