Crater Lake National Park

I could not find the Crater Lake National Park official Junior Ranger web page. Their Junior Ranger Program is open to visitors 6-12 years old. The program is available from early July through Labor Day. There is no fee for the program. Once the program is complete, the Junior Ranger will receive a Crater Lake Junior Ranger badge.

In this blog, I will discuss the requirements for completing the Junior Ranger Program for ages 6-12 years old and discuss the activities my 5 year old daughter completed to become a Junior Ranger.

Requirements for Junior Ranger 6-12 years old:

1. Complete 4 of the 6 pages in the Junior Ranger booklet
2. Attend one Junior Ranger program
3. Attend one Ranger led activity

The six activities in the booklet were:

1. Slide Show – where you put the slides in order
2. Wildlife Walk – a word puzzle
3. Submarine Search – a word search puzzle
4. What’s Wrong – find things that don’t belong in the picture
5. Build a National Park – draw your own National Park
6. Visitor Center – multiple choice questions about Crater Lake

We visited Crater Lake on June 7, 2008. The north entrance was still closed because of snow. When we arrived at the visitor center, I inquired about the Junior Ranger program and the Ranger I spoke to was hesitant to let my 5 year old daughter complete the program due to her age. After looking at the booklet, I was confident that she could complete the requirements, but the Ranger was still doubtful of my daughters abilities, but decided to let her do the program. Their official Junior Ranger Program usually does not start until early July, so we could not attend a Ranger led Junior Ranger program. Their program started on June 30th that year. According to Crater Lake Reflections, the parks newspaper, the Ranger led Junior Ranger Program is a fun activity that lasts one hour and starts at 5:00 pm. This was the first time I became aware of Ranger led Junior Ranger based program instead of attending a regular Ranger led program.

Because the Junior Ranger program had not officially started for the season, my daughter was not required to attend the Ranger led Junior Ranger program. To complete the Ranger led activity, we watched an 18 minute video at the Steel Information Center. The film was about the human history of Crater Lake, from the American Indians who witnessed the lake’s formation to the prospectors who rediscovered it in the 1850s to the citizens who campaigned for its protection. My daughter completed the following activities: Slide Show, What’s Wrong, Build a National Park and Visitor Center.

After completing the activities, we returned to the visitor center were my daughter was quizzed by a Ranger for about 20 or 30 minutes. She answered all questions asked by the Ranger. After answering all the questions my daughter received the Crater Lake Junior Ranger badge. At the time Crater Lake did not have a Junior Ranger patch.