Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mighty Morphin' Royal Rangers

BMS kids on a day hike over Christmas holidays

Here and there people have been speaking about the Royal Ranger program. While this blogger embarrassingly spent the greater part of the past two months calling it the RURAL Ranger program (it’s an outdoor education program – it made sense to me!), the ROYAL Ranger program is a Christian based scouting and discipleship program that will be introduced to Bulembu Ministry Swaziland’s children within the next few weeks.

“It’s all about creating an environment where kids can learn how to experience deeper intimacy with Christ,” says Jason Mitchell, Bulembu’s Royal Ranger coordinator. “It’s not all about teaching scouting skills, even though that’s part of it. It’s about capturing their attention through the scouting and then taking them into deeper waters with Jesus.”
The Royal Ranger programs is an outdoor leadership program where children learn scouting and camping skills but also are provided with a safe environment within which they can tackle the tough issues that come with growing up.

“It’s not easy being a kid,” says Jason. “The Ranger program gives these kids a chance to be mentored. The kids meet once a week for group activities and leadership training and then once a quarter they participate in a camping experience.”

So that’s the program.

And here’s the building:

Nice, right?

Well not yet but it will be soon.

The building is now beginning to be renovated to house the Royal Ranger program’s offices as well as the storage facilities for all the camping and scouting equipment.

This particular building sits along the main street in town between the Bakery and the Clinic but on the opposite side of the road. It was the first building ever in Bulembu and served as the original Havelock Mine Offices. Since BMS was established the building has been left in its dilapidated state as town planners waited for the perfect reason to restore it. And now, the Royal Ranger program provides the perfect reason to do so.

While preliminary renovations have begun this week there is no estimated completion date for this project. 
The interior of the new home of Royal Ranger's offices.
 Panorama of where the building (far left) sits in town. You can see the Clinic on the top right.

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