So, who were our first District Commanders?
When George Kupfer called a meeting in late July for the newly-appointed district staff to plan the first ever Pow Wow at Spencer Lake Bible Camp, nobody could have imagined the blessing this initiative would bring. Sharon (Gene Morrison’s wife) and Dorothy Forrester, George’s work secretary at the time, expertly hand made the awards, Reverend Roger Dissmore was asked to be the speaker, and the softball field area at Spencer Lake was secured as the camp venue. The stage was set, so packets were mailed out to the boys as George designed the first Pow Wow patch. He later went on to design patches for the next to camps as well and, along with the Royal Rangers District Staff, led the first two Pow wows in the district. George was awarded the Medal of Merit and Outstanding Service award, but we remember him fondly for his vision for an annual all-boys campout, an event we still continue to this day.
George Kupfer resigned after near two years and Rev. Roger Dissmore assumed his position. Roger invited Gene and Sharon Morrison to their home for dinner one night to share that God had laid it on his heart that the couple would be an excellent fit for the ministry. And Roger was right, Gene and Sharon went on to serve in Royal Rangers for over 50 years! Gorge oversaw the second and third Pow Wow camps and was speaker at both camps. George was awarded the Medal of Merit and the Outstanding Service award, and we remember his wife Mari, and children Jeffery, Sally, Roger Jr., Connie, and Perry.
Chuck Gamm attended the second ever National Training camp in the world near Hudson, Wisconsin in 1970. He was invited back the following year to serve as an advisor. Chuck put together a full District Staff along with Sectional Representatives and organized the first District Leaders meeting, that was held at the Wisconsin Rapids YMCA Camp. He served on Staff that same year at the same location a National Training Camp as Senior Guide. He became the first certified Instructor Trainer in the District along with Gene Morrison. He organized and attended the First National Camporama held at the air Force Academy in Colorado. Chuck was assigned the task of organizing and holding a District Royal Ranger of the Year program and the first FCF President Bud Bobo was appointed by Chuck. The property where Camp Wilderness is was given to Rangers and Chuck oversaw clearing of the land and laying out camp sites. In 1974 the first FCF Trace was held. He attended the National Camporama in Farragut, Idaho. Chuck attended First Assembly in Waupaca and was always well dressed – as a clothing store owner and insurance agent, that could probably be expected. He was the seven-time recipient of the Silver Eagle Award, holds the Medal of Merit as well as the Outstanding Service award. We remember his wife Paula, and children Cory, Chris and Kathy.
When he was not busy running Greatz Manufacturing, Doug Hunther oversaw the building of what is known today as Hinther Lodge and installed the amphitheater at Camp Wilderness. He is also responsible for our hot showers as he secured water and electric for Camp Wilderness and oversaw trips to two National Camporamas, and the World Fair in Tennessee. Straight Arrow and Buckaroos were started under his leadership as well as the first JLTA (Hiking).
Doug, continued to upgrade and tweaking the WNMD Royal Rangers programs and was awarded nine Silver Eagles as well as the Outstanding Service award. He served with his wife Diane and children Darren and Dean.