Yellowstone National Park in the Summer

Please click on the following link for the Official Yellowstone National Park Junior Ranger Program:

The Junior Ranger Program is open to children from the ages of 5 – 12 years old. There is a $3.00 fee for the 12 page activity paper, Yellowstone’s Nature, and is available at any visitor center. At the completion of the program, the Junior Ranger will receive an official Yellowstone Junior Ranger patch. The patch is modeled after the National Park Service patch, Junior Ranger patches feature a stylized bear track for 8-12 year olds, a wolf track for 5-7 year olds, and a snowflake for all winter junior rangers.

Yellowstone National Park also has a Young Scientist Program. Please Click on the following link for the Official Yellowstone National Park Young Scientist Program:

The Young Scientist Program is for students ages 5 and older. You can purchase the self-guiding booklet for $5.00 at the Canyon Visitor Education Center or Old Faithful Visitor Center.

On June 3, 2008, my five year old daughter completed the Junior Ranger Program for 5-7 years old and the Young Scientist Program for 5-9 years old. The 5-9 year Young Scientist booklet can only be purchased at the Old Faithful visitors center.

In this blog, I will discuss the requirements of completing the Junior Ranger Program for 5-7 years old and discuss what activities my daughter completed to become a Junior Ranger. My wife will make a post about the requirements for the Young Scientist Program for 5-9 years old and discuss what activities my daughter completed to receive her Young Scientist patch.

Requirements for Junior Ranger Program 5-7 years old:

1. Complete 4 of the 10 activity pages from the Yellowstone’s Nature activity paper, plus the back page of the paper, which is a checklist of the requirements needed to complete the Junior Ranger Program.
2. Attend one Ranger led program. You can find a list of the Ranger led programs in the park newspaper.
3. Hike one of Yellowstone’s trails.
4. Read the Junior Range Pledge to an adult and understand it.
5. Follow all of Yellowstone’s rules.

My daughter completed 8 of the 10 activity pages. The activity pages were fairly easy. The activities consisted of completing a maze by doing different activities in the park, completing a bingo page by visiting different sights in the park, complete a connect the dots page and learn about volcanoes, complete a habitat page where you draw animals and plants that you see, find hidden animals in a puzzle, watch a geyser and complete the activity page, visit a hot spring and complete the activity page, identify the animals that you saw in the park, visit the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and write a poem and draw pictures of your favorite things that you saw at Yellowstone.

We attended a Ranger led program called Yellowstone’s Geology, that was led by Ranger Stacy Woods. We picked that program because it was only 20 minutes long and I was not sure if my daughters had the attention span to sit through a longer program.

We visited the Emerald Hot Spring which is located at the Norris Geyser Basin and hiked the 1.5 mile Back Basin Loop. We also visited Mud Volcano and hiked that trail which was 2/3 of a mile long. Both were easy hikes.

I thought the program was fairly easy. The program recommends a minimum of 2 days to complete the program. After completing the activities, my daughter contacted Ranger Curtis Akin at Norris Geyser Basin. Ranger Akin asked her questions about her adventures and then had her say the Junior Ranger pledge. After the pledge she received her wolf track patch and took a picture with Ranger Akin. I was really impressed with the wolf track patch. Please see the scanned copy of the patch. My daughter enjoyed the activities and she took a real interest in learning about the park.