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National Park Junior Ranger program

Posted by on Mar. 15, 2015 at 2:24 PM
  • 9 Replies
Have any of your kids participated in the Junior Ranger program at a National Park? President Obama recently signed a bill giving all fourth graders a free National Park pass starting in the 2015 - 2016 school year.

We're heading home from Spring Break, and my daughter received her Junior Ranger badge at two of the four National Park sites we visited. She really enjoyed the California, Mormon, Oregon, and Santa Fe trailheads. Since we travel in a RV, she was surprised by how small a covered wagon was (42" x 10') compared to our RV (102" x 38').
by on Mar. 15, 2015 at 2:24 PM
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Replies (1-9):
GwenMB
by Gwen on Mar. 15, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Mine haven't. We've done a lot of traveling, but haven't gone to a national park - other than the national monuments. We'll need to rectify that sometime soon.

Impressionists
by Silver Member on Mar. 15, 2015 at 3:00 PM
I think fourth grade is s good age for the program (leaving aside the question of if it's a good program! lol). We got the required paper to complete it when we went to the Gateway Arch in St.Louis. Dd was only 6 and didn't want to do it at that time. I think she would be more into it now (I'm not saying other kids wouldn't be into it at 6 😉)
Andrewsmom70
by Gold Member on Mar. 15, 2015 at 5:33 PM
My son just got his Jr Ranger badge at Ft. Pulaski in Savannah. We had fun working on it together. We'll look for other options at other parks when we visit. My son will be in 4th grade next year so I'm excited about the opportunity.
steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on Mar. 15, 2015 at 5:41 PM

Yes, both of my boys have participated in the Junior Ranger program at several of the National Parks that we have visited.  My father has a lifetime pass to the National Parks, so we've never had to pay admission fees, not to mention that my boys are now older than fourth grade.  Seems odd that the free park pass is only for one grade level.

wakymom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 15, 2015 at 6:37 PM

 My kids have done the Jr Ranger program at several National Parks and enjoyed it.

It does seem odd to give a free pass to only 4th graders. Why only 1 grade level? Why that particular grade?

 

 

 

 

 

 

CometGirl
by Silver Member on Mar. 15, 2015 at 7:29 PM

My kids did the ranger programs all the time when they were younger.  They really enjoyed them and learned a lot.

ddhb2007
by Bronze Member on Mar. 15, 2015 at 10:57 PM
I'll admit to being biased since we started visiting National Parks with our daughter when she was only 15 months old. However, I do believe that this bill is a positive step for the NPS. People are only willing to spend tax money on things they're interested in. Getting children, I don't know why they chose 4th graders, into the parks is essential to being able to maintain the parks in the future. Most children, in my state, live within a two hour drive of a National Park, National Monument, National Recreation Area, National Riverway or National Trail. It wouldn't be unreasonable for the schools to take the kids on a field trip to visit one.

I hope that this program continues, so my daughter will be able to participate in the 2016 - 2017 school year. Whether it does or not, I think we'll let our daughter research the parks, and pick one for us to plan next year's Spring Break trip around.

2-point-doe
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 3:20 PM

We have been to several national parks but I don't think I have ever seen or heard of this. How do I find out about it as we will be visiting 2 or 3 in July?

ddhb2007
by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 4:05 PM
Quoting 2-point-doe:

We have been to several national parks but I don't think I have ever seen or heard of this. How do I find out about it as we will be visiting 2 or 3 in July?



When you go in, check with a ranger to get the book. Read the first page, and it will tell you what you need to do to get the badge. If you can't finish it there, you can send it in, and they'll send the badge to you.
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