RMNP Celebrates National Junior Ranger Day
As part of National Park Week, April 17-25, the National Park Service will sponsor National Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 24. Not only are park entrance fees waived throughout the week at Rocky Mountain National Park, but additional programs will be offered to allow children to learn about the park and earn their Junior Ranger badge.
On the Estes Park side of the park, rangers will show the 23 minute park film “Spirit of the Mountains” every hour on the hour at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center while the center is open between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. At 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. a talk entitled “Skins and Skulls” will be presented and children will be shown how to complete the requirements of the Junior Ranger program.
On the Grand Lake side of the park, rangers will offer one program at 1:30 p.m. that will last about 1 hour and 15 minutes at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Children will be able to earn their badge by attending this program.
The official park partner, the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, will feature a one-day sale on Saturday of all Junior Ranger merchandise in park visitor center bookstores. Junior Ranger T-shirts, caps, vests, fanny packs, and related items will be reduced by 20%.
The National Park Service offers Junior Ranger programs at nearly 300 sites across the country. Junior Ranger programs vary from park to park, but most are similar in that they require children to complete a series of activities to earn their replica park ranger badge. At Rocky Mountain National Park, six booklets are available for free. These include booklets in both Spanish and English in three age groups, five and under, 6 to 8, and 9 to 12 year olds and are funded by the Rocky Mountain Nature Association.
For children who cannot visit the park, they can go on-line to the National Park Service WebRanger site at www.nps.gov/webrangers to earn an on-line Junior Ranger certificate. The park also features an on-line Web Ranger Challenge which can be found at www.heartoftherockies.net and click on the Just for Kids icon.
Junior Ranger programs in national parks have grown in popularity over the years and a few young visitors have earned more than 200 badges by the age of 13! Families enjoy having their children learn about parks, meet park rangers, and earn a nice keepsake when they complete the Junior Ranger requirements.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call (970) 586-1206.