What is Jlda and why should i attend?

Equipping the next generation of boys and young men involves preparing them for leadership.  In Royal Rangers, the process of preparing boys for leadership and engaging them in leadership roles is an integral part of what we do.  The process of training junior leaders currently takes place both within the local outpost as well as at the district level.  Both play a vital role in leadership development in Royal Rangers.  Boys and young men who attend the Junior Leadership Development Academy (JLDA) will be equipped with skills, experiences, and spiritual challenges steering them to become the young men God created them to be.  Boys are forged into men through adventure at JLDA.

"Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man.  The masculine heart needs a place where nothing is prefabricated, modular, nonfat, sip lock, franchised, on-line, microwaveable."  - John Eldredge

Trail of the tomahawk (entering grades 3 to 6)

The Trail of the Tomahawk consists of three camps completed in a maximum of four years.  The camps include Merit Camp, Ranger Training Camp (RTC) 1, and RTC 2 and may be completed in any order.  A cadet who has completed all three camps will finish his Trail of the Tomahawk and will receive a genuine, pre-1840's style tomahawk as recognition of his accomplishments.

trail of the saber (entering grades 6 to 12)

The Trail of the Saber consists of four camps completed in a maximum of seven years.  the fist two camps, Junior Training Camp (JTC) and Advanced Junior Training Camp (AJTC), may be completed in any order, but are prerequisites to the third and fourth camps.  For the third and fourth camps, cadets must complete any two of the camps listed below.  A cadet who completes all four camps will finish his Trail of the Saber (camp requirements), and will receive a genuine, 1860's style saber as recognition of his accomplishments.  Please note that completing the Trail to the Tomahawk is not a pre-requisite to completing the Trail to the Saber.

Cycling Action Camp  |  Canoe Action Camp  |  Backpacking Action Camp  |  Shooting Sports Action Camp  |  Survival Action Camp  |  Missions Action Camp  |  Winter Survival Action Camp  |  Aquatics Action Camp  |  Others as curriculum is developed  |  Junior Academy (serve as JLDA staff)


  • Ranger Training Camp (RTC) 1

    During Ranger Training Camp (RTC) 1 the Trail of the Tomahawk cadets will learn their role in patrol and develop core leadership attributes.  Boys will also be trained on the safe operation and proper shooting techniques of an air rifle.

    Junior RTC Staff

    For boys who completed RTC 1 back in 2018, yet still need a third camp to complete their Trail to the Tomahawk.  Boys will learn the importance of servant leadership and have opportunities to serve and lead their peers who are attending RTC.  

  • Junior Training Camp (JTC)

    Junior Training Camp (JTC) prepares a young man to minister effectively through the organization of his local church.  Through this experience he will understand church leadership roles, discover how to uncover God's plan for his life, and find how he can serve others.

    Ham Radio Action Camp

    HRAC is designed to provide training and experience in the use and benefits of amateur radio as an exciting hobby along with use during emergency situations.  This action camp is loosely based off of the Green Amateur Radio merit and will include instruction and hands-on application.  Attendees will learn skills such as signal propagation, antenna types and efficiency, transmitting modes, operator license requirements and acquisition, and the proper use of both a mobile hand held unit and a fixed base radio unit.  Additional, temas will set-up a temporary installation and make contact with other hame radio operators.  This is not a merit camp, so trainees who desire to complete and receive the Green Amateur Radio merit will have to do so in cooperation with their local outpost.

    Junior Academy

    The purpose of Junior Academy is to develop Rangers to serve as Camp leadership for all Royal Rangers Junior Leadership Development Camps.  A young man will experience a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ during his training at the Academy.  He will learn things about himself and what he needs to do to follow the Lord's will for his life.  Participants learn the importance of assuming their role of leadership within their church, while training other participants to become leaders as well!  While no single event can accomplish the overall objective of JLDA, Junior Academy is part of the polishing process that is designed to produce mature young men who are ready to adduce increasingly important positions of responsibility in their outpost, church, school, and community.

  • Sixth Grade

    6th grade is a flex year, meaning that young men have the option to finish their Trail to the Tomahawk or get an early start on the Trail to the Saber.


    JLDA was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, which makes it impossible for some cadets to earn their Trail to the Tomahawk without a contingency plan.  Therefore, in 2022 only, seventh graders who need a third Trail to the Tomahawk camp will have the option to serve as Junior RTC Staff members.

    Unfortunately, a similar arrangement can not be extended to young men who have or who will turn 18 before earning their Trail to the Saber.  The National Royal Ranger office has a firm stance that the only way 18 year olds can participate in Royal Rangers is as adult leaders.  One option for someone who needs to complete additional Trail to the Saber camps, but who is about to age out of the ministry, is to attend an extra JLDA by going out of state.  A second option is to participate in a Pathfinders Mission Trip.  

camp schedule

Arrival  |  Friday  

5:00pm - 8:00pm     Arrival / Check In / Set up sleeping quarters

6:00pm - 8:00pm     Supper provided

8:00pm                     Orientation / Opening Ceremony

Departure  |  Sunday

10:00am                    Awards Ceremony

11:00am                     Dismissed to break camp

General Camp Information

JLDA participants will be tent camping and will have shower house access.  Five meals from Friday supper to Sunday breakfast are included.  A detailed packing list will be provided after registration.