Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ranger Kids Training Conference (RKTC) in Ghana - Part 1 - by Andy Whitman

(I am doing the blog spot this time, as a "guest writer" and as the Royal Rangers International Liaison to Africa)

In October we finally held the long anticipated RKTC in Ghana. RKTC teaches Royal Ranger leaders from local churches how to work specifically with the youngest age level - the 5, 6, and 7 year olds.

This event was to be run by a team of American instructors since the specialized training is relatively new to our continent. The American team ended up missing their Aug. 2013 date and postponing their trip until August this year, and then notified me and the Royal Rangers (RR) in Ghana that they were cancelling altogether.

Walter Atsutsey, the national RR commander of Ghana, informed me that his leaders were extremely discouraged and appealed for help to save the RKTC. Although lacking in experience, we quickly put together a team of All-African instructors (I include myself, with the permission of our African RR leaders, as an "honorary African" since I reside in Kenya with my family). We believe in hindsight that this is the team that God really wanted and He did great things in this conference.
Stephen, Andy, and Mathias
Our international staff included Stephen Macharia (left) from Kenya, a very good friend. He is a dairy farmer and has long been a faithful laborer in Rangers, staffing many events in Kenya and even travelling with me to Malawi in the past. If you notice his tie, he is apparently always ready for Christmas, too.

On my opposite side in Mathias Kawerama, the national RR commander of Malawi. We have been all over Africa together and he is a first class instructor. He was the only one among us with experience running an RKTC.

Despite the Ebola fears in West Africa we flew from East Africa to Ghana to do our best, with God's help. Our flight was delayed approx. 11 hours so we were really tired when we arrived.

We joined additional instructors in Ghana on Tuesday and spent our first two days holding staff meetings, setting up classrooms and instruction sites, testing equipment, rehearsing our lesson plans, and tending to other logistical matters.

Pan Africa Staff

Our venue was a conference center in a remote region about an hour out of Accra, the capital. Even in West Africa, the classic baobab tree defines the landscape and we ate some wonderfully spicy food.

setting up the main meeting hall

On registration day, 79 trainees showed up - some from Togo and most from Ghana.


We divided the trainees up into eight patrols and held orientation. The official camp languages (all 3 in use at various times) were English, Ewe (pronounced like "a-way"), and French.

 Our West Africa Chaplain opened our conference up with prayer.

For the next two days we held intensive classes on working with Ranger Kids - classes such as day camping, puppetry, games, council fires, counseling, classroom management, music, nature craft, outdoor safety, using visual aids, etc., etc.

- To Be Continued -

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