Royal Rangers from four continents gather at Eagle Rock

Monday, July 24, 2006
Above, Royal Ranger leader David Guerrero tells his Mexican campers about the day's activities following morning devotions on Wednesday at the international camp at Camp Eagle Rock. In inset, Hungarian-born Royal Ranger Thomas Vigh strums a guitar while German Royal Rangers Samuel Maczey and David Gens listen. E. Alan Long / Carroll County News

EAGLE ROCK, Mo. -- Royal Rangers from at least four continents convened to the National Camporama of the Assemblies of God this week at Camp Eagle Rock in Eagle Rock, Mo.

Royal Rangers is an international Christian program for boys and in many ways resembles the Boy Scouts of America. According to Camporama spokesman Jon M. Hicks, around 5,000 men and boys attended.

National Camporama is an outdoor campaign event where boys and men from across the nation come together at the 1,500-acre Eagle Rock facility to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and competitions, including archery, air rifle and pinewood derby competitions, as well as activities including rock climbing, BMX and mountain bike trails, and a high ropes course.

Competitions are conducted and sponsored by national manufacturers, such as Daisy Outdoor Products, and Mathews Inc, parent company of Breenen Industries, maker of the Genesis bow

The event is held only once every four years, alternating each two years with a National Rendezvous.

Each day's activities concluded with an evening rally featuring nationally-known guest speakers including Tom Green, national director of Honor Bound Men's Ministries; Randy Ruiz, national evangelist and former Royal Ranger; Dave Roever, national evangelist, Vietnam veteran and Promise Keepers speaker; and Terry Raburn, district superintendent of Peninsular Florida District of the Assemblies of God.

Located some three miles south of Mo. Hwy. 86 near the Arkansas state line, Camp Eagle Rock has undergone significant improvements in the past few years, including the recent construction of what is Missouri's largest commercial kitchen. A large elevated concrete floor with removable canvas covering this year houses the pinewood derby competitions. Also this year was a line of several huge portable swimming pools, where campers could be seen lining up immediately after morning devotions.

Campers are divided into three color-coded districts, with a fourth for international participants, this year representing Australia, Mexico, Germany, Norway, Russia and other countries. There is also a separate camp for those re-enacting 19th- and early 20th-century camping lifestyles.

Among the campers, trading of hat pins and patches are popular pursuits, and campers are frequently seen wearing billed caps literally covered with enameled pins from across the nation and world.

Always held in July, the Camporama has a history of hot weather, with this year's being somewhat worse than usual. Heat exhaustion and dehydration, along with the usual bumps, cuts and bruises, are treated by a staff of eight doctors, paramedics and nurses.

The week-long camp closed Thursday evening with a large fireworks display, under the watchful eyes of area firemen. Friday was devoted to breaking down and cleanup of camps and picking-up of awards.

For more information about National Camporama or the Royal Rangers program, contact Hicks at the National Royal Rangers office, (417) 863-2781, extension 4192, or by e-mail at rangers @ag.org. More information about Royal Rangers may also be found online at www.royalrangers.ag.org.

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