Pecos National Historical Park Junior Ranger Program

Please click on the following link for the official Pecos National Historical Park Junior Ranger web page:

http://www.nps.gov/peco/forkids/index.htm

You can pick up a free Junior Ranger Activity Book at the Visitor Center. By completing the activities in the book, participants earn a Junior Ranger badge and signed certificate. Activities are designed for ages 6 to 12. At the time my girls completed the program, Pecos also had a Spanish version.

My family visited Pecos National Historical Park on April 10, 2009. Even though the activity book is designed for 6 to 12 year olds, the park staff allowed my four year old daughter to participate. There are a total of 12 activities in the book and are listed below.

1. Visit the museum inside the visitor center and answer questions.
2. Look at the pottery in the museum and find out what the pottery is made of.
3. The Trade Fair – Look at paintings in the reading area and write down or draw things that are being traded.
4. Read sign at the start of the trail and fill in the blanks about the rules.
5. Ruins Trail Tic-Tac-Toe.
6. Draw ladders on a Pueblo.
7. Connect the dots.
8. Translate Spanish numbers into the language you speak.
9. Circle animals that the Spanish settlers did not bring with them.
10. Circle items to take on the Santa Fe Trail.
11. Mark on the map where the two main battles were fought in New Mexico.
12. Answer story questions.

Interesting Fact: We got to the park around opening time. I didn’t know this at the time, but several people come to Pecos to fish.

After we received the activity books, we watched the park video. After the video, we went into the museum to complete the first two activities. The first activity was the hardest activity of all and definitely is for the older kids. I had trouble finding some of the answers.

To explore the ruins, you go on a loop trail. As you walk on the trail, you complete the booklet. The booklet also has short stories about people that lived in the ruins. The hike has very little elevation change and was an easy walk. One of the first stops is a Kiva that has been reconstructed. There is a ladder that you can use to climb down into the Kiva and explore.

We saw all the ruins on the trail and completed the activity booklet in about two hours. With a little explaining and help with reading, most of the activities were easy to complete for both my four year old and six year old daughters.

After the booklets were complete, we returned to the visitor center, where they both received their Pecos Junior Ranger Badges. Pecos National Historical Park did not have patches. Please see the attached photo of the Pecos Junior Ranger badge.