We LOVE national parks. We have never been disappointed in our visits to these spectacular pieces of our country. They are well-preserved natural habitats. The cost to get into the park are a small fraction of the amount of things to do and see and experience. It is well worth the money!
At EVERY major national park, there is a Junior Ranger program for the kids to complete Usually it is free, although we did have to pay a couple of bucks for one at the Smokey’s because there was not park entrance fee. There are usually 2 different programs, one for readers (6 yrsold-12) and one for younger children.
Taking a picture of a bear for his Junior Ranger Program.Our first stop at a National Park is always a visitors center. We watch a movie, see some of the displays, grab a map, talk to the rangers about kid-friendly outings or any info we need to know and then ask for a Junior Ranger Program. The kids work on these activities in the car and on our outings. On our way out of the park, they like to return to any visitors center, show the activities they’ve completed and be ‘sworn in’ as a junior ranger to get their ranger badge.
They are all specific to the things they will be seeing in that park and have pictures, puzzles, games and kid-friendly information. I feel like these are most secretive than they should be! You always have to ask for them and the rangers are usually like, “Oh yeah! Those!” why don’t they just have them out to take? Anyway, my mission is to get the word out to our junior members of society to make our trips to National parks more meaningful and memorable!