Wooo Who Ranger! Sam's Throne Campout and Rappel!

March 17th - 18th, 2012. Just 10 minutes out of Mount Judea (pronounced 'Mount Judy')
in Arkansas.
Special Thanks to: James Evans for the help with the Rappelling and gear.  Your a good man!
Marshall, Cody, Rob and Jay for sharing these pictures. Thanks to Jimmie for taking video. Thanks to Connor and Josiah for belaying.
Many more did a great job and were a big help. Thank you!

Link to the Devotion on youtube.

Click on a picture for a larger view.

A group of Rangers from 3 Outposts including some family and friends enjoyed a perfect 75 degree campout and sunny and breezy weather. It was refreshing to enjoy the star lit night and the fellowship around the fires.

We left the Ranger Annex at 5:30 pm. Got a call from one of the boys they were running late and I asked them to meet us at Ozark AOG. He said ok. While at Ozark loading up I wondered where in the world was the Klika's! I called and found out the reason they were late was because they were rear ended by a car on the way to meet the Ranger van. So we made arrangements for Rob and has son Cole to drive over and pick them up while the police officer finished the accident report.  Thankfully no one hurt and they met us about the time we arrived at the event location.

We arrived at the base of Sam's Throne... and after about 10 minutes of the twisting and turning sometimes you think you will meet your rear bumper on some of those turns we made it..no BIG Trucks on this road.

The National Forest Park was 3/4 full with tent campers and we had the front spot up by the rappelling cliffs about 500' away. Camp was set up quickly and a fire was kindled for a late night supper. I was worried about a spot to camp and God was faithful with the best spot for us.

We had a large group and 2 fires and the evening went by so fast we didn't have the usual council fire... I figured with the Rappel Training in the morning and the devotion we would be good to go.

At 11:30 pm I was tired and went to my tent. Through the night I could hear the night owls hanging out around the fire. Talking and adding wood all night long. Some men and boys live for this so let them be. At 5:30 am I heard one of the boys starting to chop on some wood.. "enough with the hatchet, people are trying to sleep", about 30 minutes later same thing.

At 6:45 a.m. I was up and the day was perfect. A warm breeze, a warm March sun and 3 boys hanging out around the fire 2 asleep in their chairs covered by a blanket. Several just camped out in the open as it was perfect weather and no bothersome bugs.

At 6:50 a.m. I told the boys they could start chopping up firewood and soon and very soon the campers started showing up around the fires. Breakfast of all sorts showed up. We put the boys to making Swedish Fire Torches to cook on and they were a good idea and the boys were able to cook on them with out being cooked themselves while others did the normal around the big fire and we all got to watch everyone else and their antics around the camp fire. After most everyone was done eating and cooking we had our Council fire Devotion.

Did you know they Rappelled in the Bible? Sure did. To my amazement the Sunday before this event our Pastor's sermon was on Rayhab and the scarlet cord. Lord lead me to tie this in with our event and to teach on faith and partial faith. WE can believe something is true. For example we can believe the Bible is true from cover to cover. That is partial faith. Once we put our trust in what we believe that is faith...the same can be said about Rappelling. We know the rope and hardware will hold us, we can believe it will...still partial faith. Once over the edge and down the rappel and off rope we then have real faith in what we knew...because we learned that we could trust in what we knew.

A altar call was given with all repeating the ABC's of salvation and all were reminded that if they were to die today where would they go? Heaven or Hell. 22 people repeated the salvation prayers and a big amen was had by all.

Rappel training then took place with a over view of what we were doing the gear and procedures we would be following. Of the 22 there 17 rappelled. I would say 12 were first time rappellers. We setup 2 ropes and a gear bag rope and did our best to follow all the safety practices with many reminding each other of those rules.

It was a perfect day and a perfect event. God blessed us with safety and a challenge in a perfect place. I told the Adventure Rangers Group Sunday night that guys,  these trips are like someone walking around handing out 100.00 dollar bills. Your just missing out on so much when you don't go.

2 of the young men finished the Rappelling requirements for the actual rappels.  Each did 10 Rappels. They had free pass through to get on the ropes so they could earn that number. Earlier in the week we went to the local Climbing Gym and got Belay certified and learned some knots and did some climbing inside...yet this was REAL! The looks and the expressions and the concentration on these boys faces...priceless as life lessons were taught and these folks grew this weekend in good ways. The best part. They had fun and drew closer to God by his Holy Spirit.

Click on a picture for a larger view.


Rangers need to be Ready for Anything.  Take those Rangers out into God's handy work.  Trust in God and remember, With God's help I will do my best to serve God, my Church and my fellow man.  With God's leading and His help we can go and do the GREAT Commission.  I praise God for Royal Ranger Ministry.  It's good stuff.  We need to get the Word out and Reach, Teach and Keep folk for Christ. 


Mark Jones