The history of FCF is one of color, filled with exciting stories of trace’s and rendezvous past, and livley characters that tell tales of his exploits, capturing the adventure seeking heart of every boy who listens to his yarns.
Originally called the Frontiersmen Camping Fraternity, it was founded in the summer of 1966. For some time, Johnnie Barnes, our first National Commander and founder of Royal Rangers had felt that we needed a special honor society to give recognition to leaders and older Royal Rangers who had distinguished themselves in advancement, training and camping.
The early American frontiersmen was an excellent example of a man’s ability to adapt in the out of doors and the wilderness. His achievements were also examples of courage and determination.
The National Royal Rangers office then made the decision to base FCF upon the lore and traditions of these early frontiersmen.
The first FCF chapter was organized in the Southern California District on July 8, 1966. High in the San Bernardino Mountains in a clearing surrounded by gigantic ponderosa pine trees, a large group of Royal Rangers and leaders sat around a blazing campfire. As they waited, a feeling of mystery and expectancy filled the night air.
Suddenly, the sound of a hunters horn was heard , shattering the nights stillness. As the echo of the horn was fading through the trees, National Commander Johnnie Barnes stepped into the fire light dressed in a buckskin outfit and coonskin cap. As he began to explain the new FCF program, a hum of excitement rose above the crackling campfire.
Assisted by two district leaders, Ron Halvorson and Bob Reid, these men proceeded with the first FCF call out. After pledging to endure a time of testing, the candidates were lead away to a nearby mountaintop for an all night initiation.
Five men and five boys were officially inducted into the fraternity at the final friendship fire, it was here that they sensed that this was an important milestone in Royal Rangers history.
In September of that year, the second FCF initiation was held in Southern Missouri near Lake of the Ozarks, inducting five new members. Northern California and Iowa districts also organized FCF chapters that same year.
Today, there is an FCF Chapter in every district in America. FCF has even spread overseas to nations like Austraila and Singapore!
The history of FCF is one of excitement and adventure that continues to be written even today. Will you be a part of it? Do you have what it takes to be a Frontiersmen and become a member of FCF? If you do, then we will see you around the campfire soon!
Highlights in the History of FCF
- The first FCF initiation was held at Fort Pinecrest, Twin Peaks, California, July 8, 1966.
- The first National FCF President John Eller was appointed in 1970.
- Frontiersmen, Buckskin and Wilderness advancement levels are intoduced, 1970.
- The first FCF handbook produced by Gospel Publishing House was released in 1971.
- First National Rendezvous held at Evangel College and Fantastic Caverns, Springfield, Missouri, 1972.
- Fred Deaver is elected to serve as National FCF President, 1974.
- FCF adopts the terms Young Bucks and Old Timers for Ranger boys and leaders in 1975.
- Second National Rendezvous, Dogwood Valley, Blue Eye, Missouri, July 1976.
- The Trappers Brigade program is announced at the 1978 National Royal Rangers Council.
- The four original territories are split into eight territories, 1980.
- The third National Rendezvous is held at the Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, 1980.
- The fourth National Rendezvous is held at Hungry Horse, Montana, 1984.
- The fifth National Rendezvous is held at the National Royal Rangers Training Center (NRRTC or Camp Eagle Rock), 1988.
- The Frontiersmen Camping Fraternity name is changed to Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship to better describe the mission of FCF in March, 1991.
- The FCF Initiation is replaced with the Frontier Adventure, 1991.
- The FCF Motto “Ad Dare Sevire” or “To Give and To Serve” was adopted in 1992.
- The sixth National Rendezvous is held at Camp Eagle Rock, 1992.
- The Flame of Honor medal is created in 1994. Fred Deaver of the Kansas District, and National FCF President is awarded the first medal.
- Pathfinders Missions is founded, 1995
- The seventh National Rendezvous is held at Camp Eagle Rock, 1996.
- The eighth National Rendezvous is held at Camp Eagle Rock, 2000.
- Rick Dostal is named National FCF President in 2002.
- The Trail of the Grizzly is introduced in 2002.
- The National Scout and Assistant National Scout elections are replaced with a Scout selection process, and eight National Scouts (one per region) are selected through a selection process in 2002.
- Fred Deaver is named FCF President Emeritus, 2003.
- Jim Rounsville is named National FCF President 2005.
- The Bronze, Silver and Gold Pathfinder designations are created for Pathfinders, 2005.
- The ninth National Rendezvous is held at Camp Eagle Rock, 2008.
- Paul Walters is named National FCF President 2009.
- The Outstanding FCF Service Award is created in 2011. Herman Geesaman of the Penn-Del District is the first recipient.
- The tenth National Rendezvous is held at Camp Eagle Rock, 2014.
- The FCF Experience workbooks are released at the LEAD 2016 National Conference.
- The eleventh National Rendezvous is held at Camp Eagle Rock, 2018.
- John Hembree is named National FCF Coordinator in 2019.