Joshua Tree National Park Junior Ranger Program

Please click on the following link for the official Joshua Tree National Park Junior Ranger page: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/forkids/index.htm The following is an electronic copy of the Junior Ranger workbook that must be completed to become a Junior Ranger at Joshua Tree National Park.http://www.juniorranger.us/JoshuaTree.pdfThe electronic copy was provided by Lorna Sue Lange, Education Specialist at Joshua Tree National Park. According to Joshua Tree’s website, the workbook can be picked up at park entrance stations and visitor centers. We picked ours up at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center. There are three levels of activities for Junior Rangers: ages 4 to 7, ages 8 to 10 and ages 11 to 14. Once completed the workbook states to take your workbook to any visitor center, entrance station or ranger program to receive your Junior Ranger Badge. Joshua Tree National Park does not have a Junior Ranger patch.In this blog, I will discuss the requirements for completing the booklet for ages 4 to 7.

Requirements for Junior Ranger ages 4 to 7:

Complete the two activities on the last page
1. Sketch your favorite rock formation and name it
2. Draw or write what you like best about your visit while at Joshua Tree

Attend a Ranger Program or visit an exhibit in a visitor center

Either list three reasons to protect and preserve Joshua Tree National Park or recycle all plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans that you use during your visit

Complete two activities from your age level, which are as follows:
1. Hunting for Habitat – draw pictures of food, shelters and animals you see in the park
2. Scavenger Hunt Bingo – look for items in the park to get bingo
3. Lazy Lizard Eye – Sit quietly and pretend you are a lizard – write about what you see and hear

Our family visited Joshua Tree National Park on November 17, 2008. We arrived at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center where we met Ranger Robb Hannawacker. Robb was very enthusiastic about the Junior Ranger program. Prior to entering the park, we attended a PowerPoint presentation by Robb, which counted as attending a Ranger Program. Robb then pointed out some areas that we would want to visit while in the park.

Our first stop was Hidden Valley, a 1-mile loop and picnic area. Hidden Valley was an easy hike with a lot of rock formations. The rock formations were beautiful. We saw several rock climbers during our hike. During the hike my daughter found a rock that looked like a Hershey’s Kiss and completed activity 1. After our hike we had lunch in the picnic area. Watch out for all the bees. They were so annoying that we went back to our car and ate inside the vehicle.

We then visited Keys View. It was an amazing overlook. After that, we headed towards the Oasis Visitor Center. We made a few stops along the way and took pictures among some Joshua Trees.

There were a couple of picnic tables behind the Oasis Visitor Center. We sat at one of those tables to finish up the activities in the booklet. After completing the workbook, we contacted Ranger David Denslow. David was extremely nice. I could tell that he really enjoys promoting the Junior Ranger Program. After going through the workbook with our daughter, he had her take the Junior Ranger Pledge and announced her new status over the loud speaker. He also gave her a Junior Ranger Badge and some Joshua Tree seeds to plant at home. Please see the scanned image below of the Junior Ranger Badge.

Joshua Tree National Park was beautiful. During our next visit, we plan and camping and exploring the hiking trails the park has to offer.