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Royal Ambassadors an alternative to Boy Scouts


BIRMINGHAM, AL (BP) — As the Boy Scouts of America seriously considers lifting its ban on gay and lesbian troop leaders, churches across the Southern Baptist Convention may turn to the Royal Ambassador program, which for decades has shaped boys into responsible followers of Christ.

“Royal Ambassadors (RA) espouses many of the same virtues and character-building activities that are found in Boy Scouts but with the added benefit for Southern Baptists that our primary goal is developing boys into men who understand the mission of God and carry the Gospel with them into the world,” Richard Bodenhamer, a marketing specialist at Woman’s Missionary Union, said Jan. 29.

Royal Ambassadors is the Southern Baptist missions organization for boys in grades 1-6. Challengers engages young men in grades 7-12 in missions education.

Based on 2 Corinthians 5:20, the Royal Ambassadors motto is “We are Ambassadors for Christ,” providing boys with a lifestyle goal.

Horace Maddox, a member of Blackshear Place Baptist Church in Flowery Branch, told Baptist Press he has been involved in RAs for many years, first as a student and then as a leader.

“I still get visits from men who are dads themselves

now that stop by my house to talk about some of the camping trips we went on, some of the activities that we’ve been involved in like the Royal Ambassador Racers and the sports teams that we’ve had down through the years and the impact that it’s had on their lives – getting involved in RAs in their churches,” Maddox said.