Commander Tom Whittingham Honored for 45 years of Service
Commander Tom Whittingham from Outpost 16, in Lewiston, ME was honored at the Northern New England Assemblies of God Men's retreat on May 16, 2014. District Commander Tim Haynes presented Commander Tom with a certificate and a plaque in honor of his 45 years of service in Royal Rangers. Commander Tom will be stepping down from his position later this year.
On February 21-23, at Camp Fairhaven in Brooks, Maine, Winter Pow Wow, also known as Maine Yukon Day, took place. For the second year, the Southern New England District joined NNED for this amazing time of fun, fellowship, and drawing nearer to God. This year’s theme was “Into the Unknown”, and the Scripture verse was Hebrews 11:8-“ By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as
his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” boys and leaders from across both Northern and Southern New England came together to share in the fun of Winter Pow Wow. This year’s Camp Staff included Commander Ken Beaufort returning as Trail Boss, District Director Tim Haynes as Camp Commander, Commander Rob Cunningham as Registrar, and the famous Winter Pow Wow kitchen team of Sue Haynes, Sue Blodgett, Grace Beaufort, Linda Blomerth, joined this year by Linda’s granddaughter Samantha, as well as Katie Hatch, daughter of FCF’s Tim “Red Oak” Hatch. The kitchen ladies once again did a fantastic job of serving breakfast, unch, and dinner, and making sure that no boy or adult went hungry or thirsty!
This year’s Winter Pow Wow also had a distinct FCF flavor, as many members were present in their full FCF outfits, and put on an amazing blacksmith exhibition, as boys and adults alike were fascinated by iron being heated in a furnace, coming out as red hot, and then hammered into useful items. Many FCF- made items were on display and for sale. Indeed, the FCF brothers truly embodied the spirit of their motto; “To Give and To Serve” throughout the whole weekend!
On Saturday morning, following breakfast, it was time for the action to begin! The Yukon Race began with the Dog Sled Review, whereupon Patrol Sleds passing inspection, would then made their way to the various stations throughout the campsite, including the Fire and Hot Chocolate stop, Rescue Station, Matchless Fire, Fire Craft, Ladder Making, Marksmanship, Tomahawk Throw, Knot Tying, “The Wall”, and a new event: the Hockey Puck Shoot, where boys got to shoot pucks into nets for 50 cents apiece. The proceeds of this event went towards Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC). Over $400 was raised for missions!
In a cold winter, it was a blessing to have such a beautiful day for outdoor activities, with temperatures rising into the 40s, which definitely made the day all the more enjoyable! In the afternoon, it was time for the Dog Sled Competition, where awards were given to the fastest sleds from the Discovery, Adventure, and Expedition Dog Sled teams, who worked together to see who would be the first to cross the finish line. All of these events gave patrols valuable points that would go towards earning the big prize: Top Outpost at Winter Pow Wow! Ranger Kids were not left out either. Ranger Kids Coordinator Bethany Dean led Ranger Kids activities in the camp gymnasium, providing them with a variety of fun games and activities, and handed out awards to the winners in each event!
Boys and men also got the opportunity to participate in the Polar Bear Club, Yukon Jack 5-Mile Trek, and Snowmobile Trek. These challenges give boys and men the opportunity to experience winter camping at its best. And the warmer temperatures gave them the chance to sleep comfortably outside!
At Saturday night’s service, following an amazing time of worship, and some songs, skits, and yells, District Director Tim Haynes delivered an important message for boys and leaders, building upon the theme of this year’s Winter Pow Wow, “Into the Unknown.” He also gave the opportunity to respond with an altar call, opening room for Holy Spirit to touch and change lives!
On Sunday morning, trophies were handed out for the top patrols in each age group. The biggest prize, Top Outpost at Winter Pow Wow, went to OP#16 in Lewiston, Maine! The awards were the grand finale to an amazing weekend of fun, spiritual renewal, and great fellowship among boys and adults from both Northern and Southern New England, who will be coming together again in June at Summer Pow Wow in Gardner, Massachusetts. Winter Pow Wow is one of many ways that the Royal Rangers ministry mentors future men, and challenges them to go “Into the Unknown” with Christ!