Shiloh National Military Park

Please click on the following link for the official Shiloh National Military Park Junior Ranger web page:http://www.nps.gov/shil/forkids/index.htm

The Shiloh National Military Park and the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center have separate Junior Ranger Books, Badges and Certificates which can be picked up at the Visitor Centers at each location.

During our visit to Tennessee, my family visited Shiloh National Military Park on November 29, 2008. Prior to our visit, I was unaware that Shiloh and Corinth had separate Junior Ranger Programs. Unfortunately, it was at end of our trip and we were unable to visit the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. Corinth is about 25 miles south of Shiloh National Military Park and is located in the State of Mississippi.

The Shiloh Junior Ranger booklet states that it is recommended for children ages 7-15, but all are welcome to participate. The Junior Ranger needs to complete 8 of the activities in the booklet. There are 15 activities in the booklet to complete.

In this blog, I will describe the activities in the booklet and then discuss our trip and what activities my 6 year old daughter completed.

Complete 8 of the activities to earn a badge and certificate:
1. Who’s Who at Shiloh: The Army Commanders – In this activity, you draw a line from a Generals’ name to their picture.
2. Famous Veterans at Shiloh – In this activity, there are four veterans from Shiloh listed. There are also four short descriptions of how each participated in the history of Shiloh. The Junior Ranger needs to match the description to the correct veteran.
3. Unscramble the Army! – In this activity you list troop units and their commanders in order from largest to smallest.
4. Artillery: The Long Arm of the Army – Draw a picture of cannons found in the Visitor Center and read an inscription on the howitzer to determine how many times it changed hands during the war.
5. Infantry: The Backbone of the Army – In the museum you will find the different kinds of equipment the soldiers carried. Find equipment that match pictures in the booklet and label them with their correct name. The museum has two reproduction jackets and equipment that you can try on and take pictures of.
6. Raise Your Flag High – Look at the flags in the Visitor Center and draw a picture of it.
7. Scavenger Hunt – Find items in the Visitor Center
8. Picture It – Visit a monument representing your home state and draw a picture of it. If your home state does not have a monument at Shiloh, draw the monument you like best.
9. Cemetery Exercise – Find specific graves at the National Cemetery and answer questions.
10. Decoding the Battlefield – Match the right shapes and colors to their meaning
11. A word about the monuments – While touring the Battlefield, answer questions about 4 monuments.
12. Battlefield Tour – Answer 16 multiple choice/fill in the blank questions as you drive the Battlefield Tour.
13. Shiloh Indian Mounds National Historic Landmark – Visit the landmark and circle artifacts that have been discovered there.
14. Attend a Ranger Program or watch the film.
15. Write a Letter Home – Using what you have learned from your visit, write a letter pretending that you are a soldier that fought during the Battle of Shiloh.

My daughter completed: Who’s Who at Shiloh, Unscramble the Army, Artillery, Infantry, Raise Your Flag High, Decoding the Battlefield, Battlefield Tour and watched the film, “Shiloh Portrait of a Battle”.

Several of the activities need to be completed at the Visitor Center/Museum. I would suggest planning a full day at the Military Park. I wish we would have planned two days, because there is so much to see. I say this, because a lot of the activities needed to be completed at the Visitor Center. It took us a while, but that may be because my daughter was only 6 years old at the time of our visit.

I was unaware that there were several hiking trails at Shiloh. For information on the hiking trails at Shiloh, please visit:

http://www.shilohmilitarytrails.org/index.html

Shiloh Military Trails, Inc., a non-profit corporation manages the trails. By hiking the trails and answering questions, the hiker can earn patches. Please see their website for further information.

Since I was unaware of the trails available for hiking, our family did not go on any hikes, but plan to do so on our next trip.

After completing the booklet, we returned to the visitor center. Ranger Paige Burks reviewed the booklet and presented my daughter with a Shiloh Junior Ranger Badge and Certificate. Please see below for a scanned image of the Junior Ranger Badge.

While at Shiloh, I received an e-mail from Ashley Berry, Education Program Coordinator at Shiloh. In her e-mail, she informed me that the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center Junior Ranger Program was created for children ages 5-11. We have friends in Tennessee and plan to visit Corinth on our next trip.

One of the difficulties my wife and I had was trying to explain the Civil War and war in general. We had to explain why people were killing each other, the concept of slavery and the importance of the Shiloh National Military Park. We also visited Fort Donelson National Battlefield and Stones River National Battlefield during our visit to Tennessee. I think my daughter eventually understood what was going on, but I think it was a real hard concept for our six year old to comprehend.