Do you love exploring and learning? As a family we have just started planning some bigger adventures. I feel most of my kids are big enough now to use all their senses to see the world – or at least to broaden their horizons beyond our own community.
One adventure we recently went on was to explore the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. As we paid at the entrance of the Grand Canyon the friendly Ranger saw my kids and told them about the Junior Ranger Program. Excited to hear that news, we proceeded to the Visitors Center to obtain the Junior Ranger activity book.
There are various activities available to accomplish based upon age (starting at age 5). You need to choose and complete 4 activities. One of our favorites was a bingo game. There were pictures of wildlife (big and small), flowers and trees you might encounter as you explore. We went on a hike to see the North Rim while we played bingo together as a family. We didn’t see everything but we sure had fun. Bingo kept the kids distracted which means there was very little, “I’m tired,” or “How much longer.”
As part of the program we also needed to attend a park ranger program. The next available program was about geology. In this 40 minute presentation we learned how the Grand Canyon was formed. We learned about the layers of rock and what is hidden in each layer such as clam shells and animal tracks. My oldest two were very interested to learn, my third did well, and my fourth bounced around a bit but survived. The presentation was not geared to kids but they did learn some fun facts.
The last requirement is to complete page 16 in the book about conservation. Answer 10 questions to see how environmentally friendly you are. Finally we were sworn in by the Park Ranger as Junior Rangers and received a badge.
- Junior Ranger Programs are available at National Parks and Monuments for ages 5 and up.
- Each program has their own unique activities and requirements to help you learn more about that location.
- Upon completion of the required number of activities a Park Ranger will swear you in as a Junior Ranger and give you a badge (and sometimes a patch, bracelet, coloring book or other).
- There is a Junior Ranger booklet you can buy to record your visits.
- Each National Park and Monument has a stamp (think passport stamp) that you can stamp in your book (we put it on the Autograph page of the Junior Ranger book). As a family we have one Passport that we stamp to record the date and place of each visit.
Also during this adventure we visited 4 other National Parks or Monuments. My girls were so excited to get their first 5 passport stamps and Junior Ranger Badges in one trip. We are already planning our next trip around National Parks or Monuments. If you need help planning a trip to the Grand Canyon or anywhere else contact Get Away Today. Use code 5CHEFS to get $10 off.