About Junior Ranger
As a family, we enjoy visiting National Parks, hiking, snowshoeing and exploring. We started taking our two daughters on hikes at very young ages and hope they grow up wanting to continue this past time.
A few years ago we visited Yellowstone National Park. We planned to spend most of the time hiking; however, due to an ACL tear (John) our plans changed. When we arrived at the park we looked into their Junior Ranger Program. Junior Ranger Programs vary from park to park and each park has guidelines or age requirements for each program. The Junior Ranger completes a series of activities during their park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receives an official Junior Ranger badge or patch and/or Junior Ranger certificate. Some parks charge a small fee to participate in the program.
After our daughters completed their first Junior Ranger program, we realized that there were several advantages to participating in the program.
1. The program encouraged/forced our family to seek out sites, trails and Ranger programs throughout the park, that we may not have visited.
2. My youngest daughter, who was only five years old, took a real interest in our trip and wanted to learn about the park.
3. My entire family enjoyed, learned and saw many more sites than we would have if we had just made this into a hiking trip.
4. My daughters wanted to earn more Junior Ranger patches.
In future posts, we will describe our trips and adventures and discuss the requirements of the Junior Ranger Programs that my daughters complete. I encourage you to comment and share your journeys. If you would like me to add a specific park or topic for you to comment on, please complete the online posting form (Share Your Experience Form) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.