Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Junior Ranger Rules! National Park Program for Kids

“I, [child's name], am proud to be a National Park Service Junior Ranger. I promise to appreciate, respect, and protect all national parks. I also promise to continue learning about the landscape, plants, animals and history of these special places. I will share what I learn with my friends and family.”
Several years ago, while searching for ways to keep our sons actively engaged during our family vacations, we learned about the Junior Ranger program offered at National Parks across the country. These programs invite children to become a part of the National Park family through the completion of educational activities during park visits. Once a Junior Ranger has completed his activities and discussed what he (or she) has learned with a Park Ranger, he earns a Junior Ranger badge. My children have earned several of these badges -- after our years of moving and traveling during our military life.

An excerpt from my son's scrapbook shares how enriching the Junior Ranger experience was for our family:

"The summer of 2004 was one you will always remember! During our visits to Mesa Verde, Arches, and Grand Canyon National Parks, you became a Junior Ranger. You were completely in your element as you explored nature, completed assignments, and soaked up as much knowledge as you could about the Parks we visited. You took your job very seriously! I was so impressed with how you took responsibility for the environment, learned from the experience, and loved every minute of it. You should be very proud of yourself! We certainly are!"

Tools for the Trail: Or What Ranger Andrew carried each day.

1. Bottled Water - Lots of It!

2. Sunglasses

3. Magnifier

4. Nature Guide

5. Sunscreen

6. Trash Bag

7. Pen and Notebook

8. Good Walking Shoes

9. Can Do Attitude

Some Ranger Rules -- things to remember for the trip:

Stay on Trail! The cryptobiotic soil is alive! If you walk on it, it dies. It takes 50-250 years to grow back!

Keep the trails clean.

Help your brother along the way.

Visit the National Park Service website to learn more about Junior Ranger programs.

1 comment:

Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

We did this many times and the boys loved it! You did such a nice job on your scrapbooking.