Sequoia National Park – Junior Ranger Day

My family attended the Junior Ranger Family Day at Sequoia National Park on April 16, 2011, which was held at the Hospital Rock Picnic Area from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

JR Stanley and JR Stacie were also with us during our visit.

JR Stanley and JR Stacie at the park entrance sign.

Sequoia National Park - Junior Ranger Day
Sequoia National Park – Junior Ranger Day

We arrived at Hospital Rock Picnic Area around 11:30 a.m. There was a registration table where each Junior Ranger was given an activity sheet. There were fourteen exploration stations. After visiting six stations, the Junior Ranger could return to the registration table to receive a Junior Ranger patch and a Sequoia and Kings Canyon Junior Ranger Book. The Junior Ranger Family Day counted as the first activity in the book.

Both Alyssa and Samantha visited all fourteen stations, which I will describe below:

The Fire Place: Discover how wildland fire is a natural event that has shaped the beauty of the Sierra Nevada. Learn three different ways that rangers manage fire in parks.

Sequoia National Park - Junior Ranger Day
Sequoia National Park – Junior Ranger Day

Here is Alyssa learning how to use an emergency personal fire shelter.

Animal Signs: Discover which animals live in the parks by exploring the clues they leave behind, such as tracks and scat.

Sequoia National Park - Junior Ranger Day
Sequoia National Park – Junior Ranger Day

Here the girls are identifying very real looking scat.

Leave No Trace: An important element of a park ranger’s job is to teach others how to preserve and protect these special places. Learn how you can protect parks, and teach others to do the same.

Water Safety: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park rangers work hard to spread the word about water safety. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET! Watch a demo of how cold water can affect your body.

Ranger Uniforms: Try on some ranger uniforms for size! Learn why rangers wear what they wear. Discover the meaning behind the National Park Service Patch.

Sequoia National Park - Junior Ranger Day
Sequoia National Park – Junior Ranger Day

Here the girls are learning about how a Park Ranger might rescue someone who fell into a river.

U.S. Park Rangers: U.S Park Rangers protect visitors, plants, and animals. Visit with rangers and learn about what they do and how they do it.

The girls loved getting into the law enforcement vehicle and turning on the lights.

Rock Art: Explore Native American paintings with the parks’ archeologist and learn how they fit into the story of the Indian village that was once here at Hospital Rock.

I didn’t know there were pictographs in the park. Make sure you stop at Hospital Rock to see the paintings on the rock.

Bear Essentials: Bears are one of the special creatures that reside in our parks. Discover some unique bear features and how park rangers learn so much about these fascinating creatures.

Sequoia National Park - Junior Ranger Day
Sequoia National Park – Junior Ranger Day

Alyssa and JR Stanley checking out a bear trap.

Naturalist Tools: Ranger naturalists rely on their senses to explore the natural world. Learn to use your senses to improve your ranger skills.

Creepy-Crawly Critters of Crystal Cave: Explore the special ecosystem of Crystal Cave. learn about creatures that call the cave home and how they depend upon each other for survival.

A Bit of History: Get lathered up at the barbershop and play with toys of yesteryear. Learn how Allensworth State Park rangers teach people about history.

The girls loved playing with toys of the past.

Butterfly Mobiles: Rangers protect habitat for wildlife, including tiny insects. Join a National Forest ranger, and learn how you can protect butterflies at home.

Sequoia National Park - Junior Ranger Day
Sequoia National Park – Junior Ranger Day

The girls making butterfly mobiles.

Alien Plant Invaders: The invasion is underway! Many plants are moving into places they don’t belong, causing problems for native plants and wildlife, even people. Learn how rangers get rid of these invaders.

Let’s Move!: Spending time in national parks can be fun… Learn some activities to help you enjoy your visit and feel good!

This was the first Junior Ranger day that we have attended. Sequoia National Park got it right. There were plenty of activities for kids of all ages. The girls enjoyed every exploration station. I was very impressed with all of the volunteers and park staff. There were students from Chico State University assisting with the activities. I was amazed at the turnout. There were kids everywhere, Exploring, Learning and Protecting.

I am not sure if I have talked about the girls Junior Ranger hats. I had a leather band made for the girls that has “JUNIOR RANGER” and then got them the same straw hats that park rangers wear. This was the first time the girls got to wear them to a park. The girls loved showing them off.

The girls haven’t completed a Junior Ranger program in a while. This day just made us want to go visit more parks.

Thanks to all the staff at Sequoia National Park. We had a wonderful time.

 

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