Wupatki National Monument Junior Ranger Program

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

http://www.nps.gov/wupa/forkids/beajuniorranger.htm

You can pick up a copy of the Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitor Center. A minimum of 1 1/2 hours is needed to complete the Wupatki Trail, read the exhibits and answer the questions in the booklet. Once completed, return to the Visitor Center to get you Junior Ranger Badge. Wupatki does not have a Junior Ranger Patch.

My family visited Wupatki, Sunset Crater Volcano and Walnut Canyon National Monument on April 12, 2009. If you haven’t read my Aztec Ruins National Monument, this was an addition to our trip as we had to cancel going to Mesa Verde National Park because of snow. We started our day early so that we could go to all three parks. One little note, four corners, which is the State of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona is only open to the public during the day. We were driving by around 6:30 am and it was closed.

Wupatki National Monument offers a Junior Ranger Program for children of all ages. You can download a copy of the Junior Ranger booklet at the above link. I believe this booklet is for children seven and older, because when we arrived at the Visitor Center, my six year old and four year old received booklets for children 6 years and younger. To complete the booklet, you need to look at exhibits in the Visitor Center and explore the ruins by walking on the Wupatki Pueblo Trail which is a 1/2 mile round trip. Wupatki also has a Trail Guide which was very informative as we walked.

The booklets were age appropriate for my children. Parents are encouraged to to read the instructions, but the drawings in the booklet need to be completed by the Junior Ranger.

In this posting, I will discuss the activities in the booklet for children 6 years & under.

The activities were as follows:
1. Connect items from our lives today with something the people of Wupatki may have used.
2. Going Through the Garbage – Try to find artifacts listed while walking on the trail and in the Visitor Center.
3. Color animals and guess which ones were hunted and eaten by the people who lived at Wupatki.
4. Draw a picture of a petroglyph located on the interpretive trail.
5. Draw a picture of a petroglyph you would like to carve into a stone.
6. Draw a picture of what you think dinner would have looked like for a family living in Wupatki 800 years ago.
7. Draw a picture of what you would take with you if you had to leave your home and travel far away.

If you visit Wupatki National Monument, make sure you check out the blowhole next to the ball court. While we were there, the air was being sucked into the ground; however, depending on the weather, it also blows air out and can send, for example your hat, several feet into the air when placed over the hole.

After the girls completed their booklets, they took them to Ranger Brina. Ranger Brina went over the books with the girls and then had them take the Junior Ranger Pledge and presented them with their new Junior Ranger Badge. Please see photo below for a picture of the badge.