Education — Getting the Most out of the Junior Ranger Program

Junior Ranger TipsIn Junior Ranger Program {Part 1} of our Education Series, I told you about why I geek out over the fun park program that is absolutely FREE and how much our kids love it.   I mean, not only do they get to explore fun things like volcanoes, underground caves, and the open wilderness, but they get super cool badges to show off too!   If you have no idea about what I’m talking about regarding this resource you may want to go read {Part 1} before you move on.

One way we found to help our boys get the most out of each new place and opportunity for greater education was by doing a little prep beforehand.

There is so much to learn that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the information bombarding you when they get there.  If you have time,  make sure to do some research prior to discovering the deep forests or ferociously looking over dinosaur bones.  Depending on which park you go to, your child will be exposed to something special to that region.

So let’s look at an example on how this could work:

Let’s say you are planning a visit to The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Here your Junior Ranger will have an exciting opportunity to help be a part of protecting important wildlife, like turtles and birds. They will also have the big responsibility of keeping the water clean and protecting the historic features. They can explore the national park and get an education about the history, geology and nature in the area- and even find a hidden treasure!

If your kids are anything like ours, they may be so busy filling in the Junior Ranger Packet while you are at the park that they miss the essence (and education) of the place.  To avoid this, you can conveniently download the fun activity packet online before you get there so they have a chance to get familiar with the information and know what things to pay attention to.

Besides perusing the activity packet, one way to get your future Junior Ranger ready is to have them research the topic a bit. If they are old enough have them write a small presentation to present to the family after dinner. If possible, see if there are podcasts, Youtube videos or perhaps a documentary about the area at your local library. There are even fun links on some of the National Park websites that help prep your child to learn about the area.

Doing a quick Google search for fun activities for them to do is also a great idea. Here, here, and here are a few FREE educational resources that offer worksheets and printables to help engage your child in learning about a new part of the US or the world!

Having them prepped for exploration is not only a way to help them expand on their knowledge, but it also gives them huge boost in confidence! Helping them gather some basic information about the unique qualities of the park before you arrive can go a long way.  I know my boys thrive on the opportunity show off their skills, ask interesting questions, and earn badges like a pro!

Lastly, I am a newbie to social media.  Apparently there are about a zillion rules to follow — I am stumbling my way through and pretty sure I am breaking exactly all of them.  If you like the information we provide on this site it would mean a lot if you would share it on FB, Google +, or Pinterest {the buttons to do so are below}.  Thank you in advance!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

About Emily Oak

I am a Mother, a Lover, a Traveler, Entrepreneur and Blogger. I crave adventure, appreciate good leather, find old weathered wood beautiful, prefer french pressed coffee, and feel alive running in the rain (albeit at a snails pace)! I believe in living passionately, loving extravagantly, taking risks, forgiving often, and living for the audience of One. I am an introvert but you wouldn’t know that if you met me. I LOVE people.