Urban Rangers (and the related girls' ministry, Urban Mpact), is the outreach to kids in low-income neighborhoods. The church sends vans and busses round to pick the kids up, brings them in and feeds them pizza or burgers/chicken sandwiches and takes them through the same curriculum that the regular classes teach during church on Wednesday. The National Royal Rangers even did a video on the program at our church:
My Sweet Baboo was one of the guys instrumental in starting that ministry (and the Senior Commander in this video is now our Men's Ministry pastor, so the Senior Commander who was called out with Bruce has stepped into that position since the video was made), so it was very cool that he and the first two Urban Rangers to earn their FCF level were in the same class (not only were they the first from our church; they are the first Urban Rangers in the state to earn their FCF).
In FCF, the guys are given nicknames and expected to dress in frontiersman/historical garb from (I think) pre 1850. They are encouraged to do research and build a character based on someone from that time period.
Every FCF recruit must be sponsored by an active FCF member, and it is traditional for the sponsor to give the recruit appropriate gifts at the call out. Since the Urban boys are, well, urban, the expense of the dress requirement could be an issue, so one of the gifts their sponsor wanted to give them was appropriate shirts. I know I grumbled about the last minute developments on that, but the truth is that I'm quite honored to make the shirts for these boys and it did give me an opportunity to pray for them, specifically, as I sewed up their shirts.
Now, to be truthful, for the shirts to be authentic they should've been hand sewn. But the authenticity is really only an issue for the guys who are into competitions about such things; basically, so long as it appears more-or-less authentic it is acceptable. So I made small buttonholes (neither of my machines will do eyelets!) in the shirt plackets instead of using metal eyelets, which were not used until right at the end of the designated time period, and I made sure the buttons were cut from shells instead of plastic. The lacing is deer hide cording that MSB found. The fabric is uber nice linen..but after seeing them on the boys, I'm wishing I could've made them a bit longer, but I was a little short on fabric for that.
They put on their shirts as soon as they got 'em; for now, anyway, they'll do just fine.
The tomahawks were also part of their call out gifts; their sponsoring leader has a forge and he and the boys made them.
Can you believe I've already been asked how much I would charge to make those shirts for others? Um, right now, you can't pay me... although there are likely to be references to future costuming for My Sweet Baboo, once he decides what type of character he's going to portray.
I foresee more costuming research in my future...but I found myself looking at the guys in costume, thinking "I have that pattern...I have that pattern...oh, I'm pretty sure I have that one, too...." ;-)