Best Practices: Dave White

Best Practices by Dave White

Dave White was the chief ranger of a Stockade at Bethany Baptist Church in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Up to 45 boys attended regularly assisted by 15 rangers and helpers. They ran a full program from September to May. Here’s how they did it:

Achievement

“We emphasize the importance of the rangers working with each boy in their post. They are responsible for assigning weekly projects and following up to make sure it gets done. Some of the achievement is done in the post meeting as well. Boys who miss meetings or start mid-year have to catch up with the ranger’s “encouragement.”

Awards

“We have an award each month for the Builder and the Sentinel who have earned the most points for attendance, wearing the shirt, bringing their Bible and doing achievement. At the end of the year, we have overall awards for individual boys and we send a couple kids to Camp Kaskitowa.”

Discipline

“We have faced some very difficult situations for a couple boys who live in the neighborhood around the church and attend. It was hard to get them to face up to their actions. We have a progressive system of discipline. First we talk to the boys, then we take off points, then we speak to Mom or Dad, finally we ask them to sit out a few meetings. With some boys, we’ve done all those things. Still the boys have returned and their behavior has improved. We don’t like to just send a boy into the comer. We want him to understand why he has violated a rule.”

Post Check-in

“All boys first come to a place in the gymnasium where we have a general check-in. We collect shares and note what they brought. Then they go to their rangers to get any achievement they have done during the week recorded. We have several rangers playing games and talking to the boys who have checked in.”

Planning

”After we stop in May, we do a complete evaluation of the past year. Then we plan the entire program for the coming year so that we are ready to go by September Then we meet monthly to work on details.”

Outings

“We have fall, winter and spring campouts. Plus special events like field trips, service projects and hikes. We take part in the Detroit-area events like the pinewood and space derbies. We also have men in the church not associated with our Stockade who are Prayer Partners and are matched to individual boys. We do two social functions with them. “We found that if we don’t do activities outside the weekly meetings, our relationships with the boys aren’t as close as they should be.”

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