Capulin Volcano National Monument Junior Ranger Program

Please click on the following link for the official Capulin Volcano National Monument Junior Ranger web page:

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You can pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Book at the Visitor Center. The Junior Ranger program is a self-guided activity book for children ages 6-12 years old. It takes most children two to three hours to complete the activity book. Upon completion, Junior Rangers receive both a certificate and a badge. Capulin Volcano does not have a Junior Ranger patch.

You can download a copy of the activity book by clicking on the following link:

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There are two levels of activities for Junior Rangers in the activity book. They are ages 6-8 and 9-12. To earn your Junior Ranger badge, you need to watch the park video or attend a ranger program and complete four activities in the activity booklet, including “Join the Ranger Team”.

Capulin Volcano also has a non-collecting scavenger hunt, called “The Lady Bug Hunt” for children under 6 years old. Upon completion, your child will receive a lady bug button and a certificate.

My family visited Capulin Volcano on April 8, 2009. My six year old daughter completed the Junior Ranger Program and my four year old daughter completed the “Lady Bug Hunt”. The activities for 6-8 years old were age appropriate for our six year old daughter. The activities consisted of drawing, coloring and answering some questions. She was able to complete most of the activities on her own; however, mom and dad helped her a little bit when it came to reading. The questions were also age appropriate for that age level.

In this blog, I will discuss the activities for ages 6-8.

1. Before and After: Volcano Snapshots – number pictures in order from 1 to 4 showing how Capulin Volcano erupted.
2. The Way a Volcano Works – Color a volcano
3. Tic Tac Habitat – Draw picutures of things you see to get three in a row.
4. Rock Record – Find a rock and answer questions.
5. Using Your Senses – Multiple choice questions using your senses.
6. Join the Ranger Team – What can you do to protect parks and keep people and animals safe.

To complete the Lady Bug Hunt, you are given a checklist of animals and plants. As you find the items, you check them off your list. You also need to collect two pieces of litter.

After we received the activity booklet and the Lady Bug Hunt, we watched the park video. There were no Ranger Programs offered that day. We then drove to the top of the volcano and hiked on the Crater Rim Trail. The Crater Rim Trail is a paved one-mile trail, which goes completely around the rim of the volcano. The views from the top were amazing. After that, the girls and my wife hiked the short Crater Vent Trail, which descends 105 feet to the bottom of the crater.

After the hikes, the girls finished their activities and we returned to the visitor center to turn in the activity book and scavenger hunt. We turned them into Ranger John Freed, who presented them with their Junior Ranger badge and Lady Bug button. At certain times of the year, Capulin Volcano is home to thousands of lady bugs.

Please see below for a scanned image of the Junior Ranger badge and lady bug button.