Muir Woods National Monument Junior Ranger Program

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

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

You can download a copy of the Muir Woods National Monument Junior Ranger Activity booklet, by clicking on the following link:

http://www.juniorranger.us/Muir%20Woods%20Junior%20Ranger%20Activity%20Book.pdf

You can also pick up a printed copy of the Activity Booklet at the visitor center.

I have looked in the Activity Booklet and Muir Woods website and have not been able to determine a recommend age group for the Junior Ranger Program. In this blog, I will discuss the activity book and requirements to complete the Junior Ranger Program. My family visited Muir Woods on January 2, 2009. You explore Muir Woods by walking on looped trails. The shortest loop being 1/2 mile and the longest being 2 miles. Prior to starting your walk, the Junior Ranger needs to sit down and listen to the surroundings, then write down sounds that belong and not belong in nature.

You need to visit the following exhibits and answer questions or draw pictures:
1. Redwoods and Their Relatives
2. Cross Section
3. Family Circles
4. From These Small Seeds

You will also need to stop at the:
1. Pinchot Tree
2. Redwood Creek
3. Cathedral Grove

After visiting these locations, you will answer more questions or draw additional pictures.

After completing the book, the Junior Ranger needs to answer four questions on the last page. Once you have answered those questions, you can leave them at the visitor center, mail them to the address listed in the Activity Book, or e-mail the answers to goga_muir_woods_nm@nps.gov.

When the questions are reviewed, a certificate showing achievement of the Junior Ranger Program will be mailed to the Junior Ranger.

Muir Woods is a beautiful place. Not something you would expect to see just miles away from a major city. It was an easy walk, with no elevation changes. It appears to be a highly visited location. Even though it had been raining most of the day, there were several people on the trails. The activity book flowed with the walk and was fairly easy to complete for my daughter.

I was disappointed with the way the Junior Ranger is awarded. So far, every program that my six year old daughter has completed, she has been required to say the Junior Ranger pledge to a Ranger or volunteer. After that pledge, she would was rewarded with a badge or patch (sometimes both) and sometimes a certificate. This was the first location where she was not required to say a pledge. It was also the first time that she was not awarded a badge or patch. She was disappointed when she was told the certificate would be mailed to the her. To top things off, the certificate wasn’t very nice. It looked like it was printed three to a page on an 8.5 x 11 – 20 lb paper and then cut in thirds.