Every week, across the country, thousands of faithful leaders diligently work to provide a fun, valuable experience to the boys attending their Royal Rangers meetings. These leaders have caught the vision for mentoring boys into Christlike manhood and understand the role a well-planned and well conducted program can have in that process.
Experienced leaders also realize that one of the most appealing aspects of Royal Rangers is the activities they enjoy outside the weekly meeting. Meetings are important and form the backbone of any Royal Rangers program, but a consistent program of diverse activities will bring energy and excitement to an outpost like nothing else.
During the summer months when the weather is more hospitable, outposts commonly enjoy a variety of outdoor activities from camping and backpacking to ball games and picnics at the lake. When cooler weather starts rolling in, some outposts are tempted to pause their activities until better weather returns. In truth, the winter months provide many opportunities for fun activities. The options available may vary widely from one area to another as would the climate, but here are some ideas that could keep the adventure continuing in your outpost throughout the winter months.
A lock-in is a great way to provide a fun activity when the weather outside is frightful. A lock-in is essentially an event where the group enjoys a variety of activities indoors, typically at the church, and then spends the night there. Activities could include games in the gym, hide and seek, and video games. You could even include some outdoor activities if the weather permits, such as a campfire time. As the night gets late and it’s time to slow things down, a couple good movies will put most of them straight to sleep. (And all the leaders say AMEN!)
Lock-ins are easy to prepare and can be conducted at minimal cost, which makes them a great activity for boys to invite their friends. Lock-ins have long been a favorite in many outposts.
Crafts have always been a fun activity for boys, and many boys thoroughly enjoy making some new creation and getting a little messy in the process. Christmas is a great time for crafts as it gives boys the opportunity to make something they can give to someone as a gift. Crafts can be done either during the weekly meeting during the Program Feature time or as a separate event. Many outposts schedule their Ranger Derby races during the winter months when opportunities for outdoor activities are more limited. Companies, such as Hobby Lobby or Tandy Leather, can be a great resource for craft ideas for boys of all ages and skill levels.
Nearly every community has some type of sporting activity taking place during the winter months. Basketball and hockey games can be a fun experience for a group of boys. If no professional or college teams are available in your area, consider taking your group to a high school game. Your boys may take interest in watching teams play that they may be a member of when they get older. Some of your older boys may be playing on teams that your younger ones would enjoy watching.
Your area may offer other activities that could be a great interest to your boys. Look around and see what’s available for kids in your area. Some possibilities might include the following:
These are just a few of the great variety of activities outposts can enjoy during the winter months that will keep your current boys engaged and create opportunities for new boys to join. By providing a diverse program of year-round activities, leaders can insure to provide something for every boy, keeping the adventure going regardless of the weather outside.