The Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship was founded during the
summer of 1966. For some time prior to this date, the Royal Rangers national
commander had felt the need for a special honor society to give
recognition to older boys and men who had distinguished
themselves in advancement, training, and camping.
The early American frontiersmen was an excellent example of man's ability to adapt to the outdoors and the wilderness.
His achievements were also an example of courage and determination.
The national Royal Rangers Office, therefore, made the decision to base this fellowship on the lore and tradition of these early frontiersmen.
The first FCF chapter was the Sequoia chapter, it was organized in the Southern California District on July 8, 1966. High in the San Bernardino Mountains, in a clearing surrounded by gigantic trees, a large group of Royal Rangers sat around a blazing campfire. As they waited, a feeling of mystery and expectancy filled the air.
Suddenly, the blast of a hunter's horn shattered the night's stillness and echoed through the trees. National Commander Johnnie Barnes stepped into the firelight dressed in a buckskin outfit and coonskin cap. As he began to explain the new FCF program, a hum of excitement rose above the sound of the crackling campfire.
Assisted by two district leaders, Ron Halvorson and Rob Reid, these men proceeded with the first FCF call out. After pledging to endure a time of testing, the candidates were led away carrying a large rope to a mountain top nearby for an all night initiation.
Later, as the members [five boys and five men] were officially inducted into the fellowship at the final friendship fire, they sensed that this ceremony was a milestone in Royal Rangers history.
That same year, three more chapters were organized in the Northern California, the Southern Missouri, and the Iowa Districts. This exciting and unique fellowship has so captured the imaginations of boys and men that the program has grown to include organized chapters in the majority of our districts.