I’ve written a few times about my son’s involvement in Royal Rangers (although perhaps not enough). He’s been earning merits and studying the Bible since kindergarten and he’s finally old enough to join their Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship. This is an optional branch within RR where boys and leaders learn skills and trades from the frontier days.
Schnickelfritz had to attend a Frontier Adventure and pass tests that involved throwing a knife & tomahawk, setting a trap, and starting a fire with flint & steel. Now he’s able to attend special camping events (called rendezvous) where he’ll learn about black powder shooting, dress in mountain man or voyageur clothing, cook in a Dutch oven, and more (even though I’m a mom and a female, I’m highly jealous). In order to advance he needs to learn a trade and right now he’s leaning towards becoming an apprentice to his own outpost commander, who does blacksmithing.
Right now he’s learning how to build primitive shelters and primitive snares for trapping so this is very much a scouting program. However it’s also a scouting program run by the church. For his regular Royal Rangers advancement he has to work on Bible merits as well as the skill merits. To advance in FCF he has to perform 60 hours of volunteer service for the outpost, church, community and missions work.
If you’re feeling frustrated with the path taken by the Boy Scouts, you may want to give Royal Rangers and Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship a try.