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The National Parks Junior Ranger Program

September 01, 2014 3 min read

Junior Ranger Program

Hey, folks! We like to share with you all exciting and unique ways to learn about science - The Junior Ranger program.

At the time we are writing this post, we still can’t get access to the zip lines for you, so we wanted to share another opportunity.  Anywhoo, back to the Junior Ranger program.

We first learned about this from Brock and Symphony during the botany leg of our summer science adventure. Since then, we have earned ten patches, including one from Yellowstone National Park!

Anywho, we have asked Brock Hoverbreck, a Redwood National Park ranger and local expert from our botany leg, to come by and tell you guys more about the Junior Ranger program.

Hello, all.

I am Brock Hoverbreck and I am here to share a bit more about the Junior Ranger program. I was glad Blaine and Tracey asked me to do so since I love to see students who are interested in the science that our national parks have to offer.

The Junior Ranger Program

“Explore, learn, and protect”– that is the Junior Ranger motto. Let us take a closer look at these three words to understand more about the program.

Explore

One of the requirements of becoming a Junior Ranger in the particular park is to get out and explore the area. Normally, the park’s program has instructions to visit or hike to certain places that highlight the features of the park.

In the Redwood National Park, we advise our potential Junior Rangers to hike the Tall Trees Trail to learn more about the logging that occurred in the park, to read about a historical presidential visit, and to see the major feature of our park – the coastal redwood tree.

These activities help students to explore the history and nature available in the area. After all, we can agree that the best way to learn about something is to experience it.

So, as a Junior Ranger, your first goal is to explore the national park.

Learn

The Junior Ranger program includes a booklet with activities that are designed to feature the science found in the park. These activities have you learning about the plants, animals, and geological features found in the park.

For example, in the Redwood National Park, we have students act as wildlife detectives, identify the living things found one of our tide pools, learn more about the coastal redwood tree, and create their own beach weather report.

All of these activities help potential Junior Rangers to learn more about the science that can be found in the park. Not only do they read about the principles in their handbook, but they also see the principles in nature, which has been proven as a highly effective way to learn science.

So, your second objective as a Junior Ranger is to learn about the science found in the national park.

Protect

Last, but not least, the Junior Ranger program teaches you to protect the park’s resources and the people who visit it.

As part of the Redwood National Park Junior Ranger program, we teach you basic safety rules, including several plants to avoid. We also teach you about how certain choices in the past, like logging, have affected the park.

Learning these safety rules and preservation principles help us to keep the parks safe and pristine for future generations.

Protecting our national parks is your third and final aim as a Junior Ranger.

Brock Hoverbreck

A Final Word From The Twins

Awesome! Thank you, Brock, for sharing more about this amazing program.

We have learned so much about calderas, rivers, trees, and deserts through the Junior Ranger program.

If you want to see which national parks have these programs, check out the list here on the national parks website.

We highly recommend finding your closest park and becoming a Junior Ranger!


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