Men Make a Difference at Royal Ambassadors Camps

Have you ever wondered what makes attending a Royal Ambassadors camp such a unique experience? The first time I experienced the excitement that comes from attending an RA camp, I was ten years old. I was invited to join the RA chapter at First Baptist Church, since our church did not have an RA chapter. It was at RA camp that I first heard the words of the RA Pledge spoken at flag raising. I watched as boys and men recited the RA Pledge together, and I could see in the eyes of the men that they had a passion for living out the words of the pledge. At RA camp, I learned about archery, basic Campcraft skills, and missions. I still remember the words from a campfire service. The words were spoken by young men who performed a campfire drama called “My Life Was Never the Same,” which illustrated how people’s lives are changed forever when they accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

I was 23 years old when I began serving as an RA leader at our church, and I took a group of boys to RA camp that summer. The first day in the swimming pool, I spent 45 minutes in waist-deep water, repelling boys who were determined to dunk an RA leader. When I crawled out of the pool, victorious but very exhausted, another RA leader commented to me that this must be my first time as an RA leader at camp. I asked him how he could tell, and he replied that experienced RA leaders will stand in chest-deep water, so the water is over the heads of boys. That makes it easier for leaders to repel the boys. I learned this lesson the hard way, and then I began learning how experienced RA leaders work with campers at RA camp. I began developing relationships and friendships with men who made a commitment to attend RA camp with their boys and who attended other churches with RA chapters.

For several years now, I have had the opportunity to travel and attend many RA camps. I encourage the volunteer RA leaders and the young men who are working with the boys in addition to participating in the RA camp experience. There are many images that come to my mind that help to illustrate how RA camp is a very unique experience. I recall how men spend time teaching boys Campcraft skills, basic marksmanship, archery skills, and other activities they enjoy. How veterans demonstrate respect for the flags and teach young men how to handle and fold them correctly. How missionaries share their personal experiences and pray that RAs will participate with God in His mission. How dads spend time with their sons at RA camp and participate in activities such as fishing. How RA leaders work all week with the boys they bring, memorizing six verses in Romans known as the “Roman Road” so that all the boys earn the right to wear a bracelet they can use to share the plan of salvation with others. How boys develop new friendships at camp while eating hotdogs together. Warm summer evenings around the campfire. Watching young men who are doing a campfire dramatization share a Bible story with the boys. Reciting pledges to the US flag, Christian flag, and the Bible, and reciting the RA Pledge.

Royal Ambassadors camps provide a unique opportunity for boys and men to spend time together. It is a rite of passage for boys to attend an RA camp and learn new skills and spend time with men who will share what it means to be a man of God. Royal Ambassadors camps provide a great adventure for boys and young men that provide life-changing opportunities to grow in a relationship with Christ. Each year, a large number of boys will make commitments to Christ. I encourage you to pray about scheduling the time to spend a week at RA camp and sharing the RA Motto: “We are Ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20 HCSB). I know that many boys will thank you for your commitment. See you at RA camp!

 

Keith Mack is the state Royal Ambassadors director for Texas. Contact Keith at Keith.mack@texasbaptistmen.org.

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